I have been thinking recently about the idea of mutuality: where people stand in relationship, each bringing truth and life to one another.
The root word “mutual” means:
1. done, felt, or expressed by each toward or with regard to the other
2. with the same feelings, or in the same relationship to each other
3. shared by or common to two or more people or groups
I would like to explore the power of mutuality for times when Christians gather together for the purpose of encouragement, education and recommitment to Christ within the presence of God. I hesitate to use the word “church” because I find that many people’s minds lean towards a building rather than a ‘people called out’ from the world and ‘set-apart’ for a special purpose. How would our gathering together be transformed if we placed significant value on mutuality?
In this setting, the role of leadership would look more like the conductor of the orchestra. Quietly but emphatically lifting her hands, she creates an environment where each participant not only discovers something they have to give but is given permission and place to share it. Each person has the opportunity to offer of themselves and receive from others in church.
Mutuality takes on beautiful possibilities in the face of inequality and difference. I believe mutuality can enliven our communities when engaging people who are illiterate, those with limited education, people with disabilities and those with poor social skills. A serious practice of mutuality invites just about anyone, maybe everyone, to the place where they see themselves as having something valuable to contribute.
Isn’t it part of our calling from God to help others find ways to communicate the “treasure” that is inside them? I am totally energized by helping someone to see something in themself that they have not yet seen or validating a gift they have seen but has been previously unrecognized by others. I experience personal ‘revival’ when I join with someone to find a way of sharing their hidden treasure with others. Perhaps some of the mystery of the kingdom of God is revealed here. What do you think?
— Keith Wasserman