Absolutism and Ministry Modelsa few comments. although I commented on the conversation going after Jonny's post, I would like to endorse his identifying not only our desire but perhaps our small steps towards talking about things in a way that will transform the way we are involved in the church. Part of this will be to analyze and discern the different ministry models that are out there.
It is at this point that I choose to part company with an overwhelming ethos that is developing on this page that I will call Ministry Model Relativism. I can agree with "there is no one right ministry model" if this means that "there is no right ministry model" in that there is nothing about ministry models that is even remotely related to following Jesus. by this, I mean that ministry models are derived from business culture in NA and cannot be expected to apply to a timeless mysterious community formed by almighty God. For us to think that Billy Hybles, the Pope, or anyone else would have more to say about the way we are to be followers of Christ than Jesus himself is ridiculous. To andy's valid point, these people are all needed to articulate and guide the church. There is a "ministry model" that is the absolutely best, and by this I mean only, model for how to be disciples and that is the life of Jesus Christ.
The task for the church is to be disciples and the literature comes in when we try to make sense of what that means. Thus, we can take someone like McLaren, Warren, myself, whoever, and ask if s/he is being a disciple of Jesus Christ, knowing that because he is a different person than us it may be not be identical to how we are disciples but knowing that ultimately his discipleship will have to bear fruit and can be "judged" accordingly based on the fruit Jesus calls us to exhibit in our lives (read: doing things).
We are to evaluate the church not based on income, numbers, lifes changed, etc. but only on the faithfulness to the call of Jesus Christ which requires ecclesial bodies both locally and globally that talk openly about what this means and how they are doing it. We must be willing to surrender our "right" to self-determined discipleship, minsitry models, etc. and allow the Holy Spirit to determine where this leads us. All this stuff to say that relativism regarding ministry models is as dangerous for the church as relativism regarding truth. We have a ministry model; it it is the Way of Jesus Christ (also, conveniently enough, a book by Moltmann that you all should read, if you are at all still interested in what anyone has to say about this.)