August 30, 2002, 10:30 am
Filed under: uncategorized

A few questions . . .

From a church planting book by Aubrey Malphus that I’ve been reading:

What are your motives for wanting to plant a church? Are they the same as those found in 1 Thessalonians 2:2-6?

How would you describe your character? Does your character match up to that of Paul in 1 Thessalonians 2:2-8?

What are you doing to develop your character?

By the way, to attemtp to answer these questions, I found it helpful to read 1 Thessalonians 2 from The Message.

August 29, 2002, 2:50 pm
Filed under: uncategorized

Last night a good friend who lives in L.A. came over and had dinner with Michelle and I. He knows us and our church very well, and he and I stayed up late talking about the nature of things around here lately. He gave some really good, wise counsel. How refreshing. I keep telling him that someday he and I will plant a church together. The funny thing is that now he has other friends who are telling him the same thing. I’m going to really pray for this guy . . . maybe someday something will happen.

August 29, 2002, 9:33 am
Filed under: uncategorized

So awhile back, I was reading the Water’s Edge blog, as written by Joel McClure and Randy Buist. Joel’s post from July 29 was a cool exercise he did to release tension that he sensed in himself while driving.

I remembered that process this morning, and as I prayed, here’s what I did:

God, I submit.

I fully and completely submit.

As I breathe out, I release frustration, anger, and confusion.

As I breathe in, I receive Your peace, power, and clarity.

As I breathe out, I release pride, discontentment, and worry.

As I breathe in, I receive Your joy, confidence, and authority.

As I breathe out, I release powerless thoughts and feelings.

As I breathe in, I receive discernment.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;

test me and know my thoughts.

~Psalm 139:23

August 28, 2002, 3:52 pm
Filed under: uncategorized

Way too stinking busy around here. My desk is all piled up, mostly with meaningless crap.

I’ve been thinking, though. Thinking about the degree to which I’m perpetuating a dangerous flow of consumerism under the guise of “ministry” via programs. I have made arguments to the “powers that be” to that effect, but have been met with a blank stare that says, “Duh . . . of course these programs we’re doing are important and valid ministry. What are you trying to say?”

I think what I’m trying to say is that here we are, in the middle of a bunch of problems that have arisen out of what I call dissatisfied customers – people who we helped train in consumerism, but have become bored or bothered by the products we’ve been offering them lately. Yes, here we are, and we have a better opportunity than ever before to reinvent our reality. But no, we like being consumers. We like catering to consumers. We have job security as long as there are consumers. We insure that people still “need us” as long as there are consumers.

I wish I could explain this away as cynical discontentment, but I know better.

August 27, 2002, 8:55 am
Filed under: uncategorized

There are some really interesting conversations going on over at the postmodern theology discussion group regarding evangelism in postmodern communities and what the distinctives are within postmodern communities.

August 24, 2002, 10:47 am
Filed under: uncategorized

From Erwin McManus’ book An Unstoppable Force

When we sense the dissipation of our ethos, we begin to undergird it by establishing more laws and more rules. And that has been the experience of the church. In seeking to keep people moving in a common direction, the church has become far too dependent on rules, guidelines, and laws. One of the unusual things about a commonly held belief or value is that the law or the rule isn’t necessary to keep people within its boundaries. If you have to try to make someone do something, then you have a real problem. As long as you’re making people do things, it implies that they don’t want to. This may work with children, but it is destined to fail with adults. When the church neglects the development of ethos, legalism rules.

How true! What irony there . . . the people in church lack the desire to pursue God in a genuine and personal way, so they legislate it. Then when voices come along that attempt to free them from the chains of this legalism, they rebel and insist that they love their chains.

Perhaps prison is the safest place of all . . . nobody would ever try to break in, would they?

August 24, 2002, 10:33 am
Filed under: uncategorized

Meet Len. He’s one of the insightful voices in the postmodern theology discussion group.