Simplicity

00 So I’m a rookie-practicing church planter. I’ve been a pastor in different settings and cities for the last 14 years but starting a church out of nothing certainly makes me feel like I’m in a different ball game all together. Even though I’m wet behind the ears as an official church planter there are some core values that I’ve stood on over the years to create a trajectory of spiritual vitality. With all the ministry fads and tools that have been waved under my nose I’ve always pursued loyalty to the principle of simplicity. One of our church community’s early non-negotiables is simplicity. I recently told another pastor “I don’t know much but I know it will stay simple.” This issue of simplicity is even more sensitive with the “dechurched” – (those who likely have a significant affinity towards Jesus Christ but for some reason have found current expressions of church irrelevant to their everyday life) and “unchurched”- (their only understanding of church is from a distance; TV preachers, politics, best-selling books and maybe family history). As an insider to the church world, I perceive we’ve projected an image that church is complicated; growing in Christ is a set […]

What Does It Mean To Be Human?

00What does it mean to be human? I used to think that the more human I was the more sinful I was. My definition of being human was closely associated with sinfulness and rebellion against God. To be human was not a good thing. Being human equaled being “fleshly” or “worldly”. I think that is why so often preachers like to emphasis the Holiness of God more than the Incarnation of God in Jesus. Here is the question; do we become more holy the less human we become? My answer… no. Humanity was and is God’s idea. There is a mysterious splendor in the concept of being truly human, this is what I believe Jesus precisely portrays and declares with his life, being and teachings. Jesus was and is the definition of what it means to be fully human. Jesus is God’s original thought of what it looks like to be in the flesh. Jesus reclaimed the fully human life that affirmed a new sense of identity and dependence on God. It was stated from his own mouth that “I do nothing except for what the Father does (Matt 27:50)”, “as I am loved by the Father so I love […]

Leading From a Still Soul

00 Leadership is often viewed by the masses as an opportunity to move people in a certain direction or to accomplish a certain task with a group. The end goal is often about being productive. Within the church that productivity translates into equipping people to do the work of the ministry. As a leader inside the organized church for the last decade there is a sly temptation upon my soul. You see, being a visionary and a strategist I want to see us climb mountains, grow stuff, step over blockades and mission new frontiers but the temptation to lead and respond from a dark place in my soul is always there. With people comes opposition, negative feedback, vision confusion, obstinate attitudes, slowness in retention and straight up personal critique. These often feel like arrows at our identity, our mission, our calling and our leadership proficiency. So the natural tendency is to steamroll over people who voice concern or to demonize them in our mind as “against us”. It’s easy to see people who slow us down or call our methods into question as obstacles in the way of the mission. That’s why I’m slightly (emphasis on slightly) uncomfortable with using […]

A Key Issue in the Church of the Future.

00 Check out this short but great little article on Multi Ethnic Churches. The Theology of Multi-Ethnic Church | Out of Ur | Conversations for Ministry Leaders The America we live is quickly becoming and is a mash up country of different cultures. How do we build a kingdom community where ethnic preferences collide. Does one ethnicity have a trump card? This has great implications on worship styles, leadership approaches and family structures. To me the most obvious effect of ethnic diversity is on what kind of hermeneutic we use when reading the scriptures. It’s important to understand that around the globe people read very differently; they interpret, apply and ask different questions than white westerners do. Truth is defined differently around the globe and the globe is at our doorstep. In the West we are Rationalist, asking “can we argue this, then it must be true”, in the North of the globe they are often Pragmatics asking “will this work, then it must be true”, in the East they are Renewalists asking will it bring change, then it must be true” and in the South they are Communalists asking “is it good for all us, then it must be […]