Category Archives: Kingdom / Church
Five years ago, if you were to visit China and meet one of many pastors with tens of thousands in his church (and some millions of millions in their church network), you might ask him, “How did you start this church planting network? How does it feel to lead something so large and successful?” Surprise–he wouldn’t know what you were talking about.
I wasn’t as if a Chinese person accepted Christ, followed God’s call into the ministry, and then felt led to start a church planting movement. Instead, it happened this way: Individuals found Jesus, he revolutionized their lives, and as a result Jesus spread from their lives to the lives of their family and friends. Then, so many people would up following Jesus that churches were necessary to assimilate all the people. It was a Jesus movement! –Bob Roberts, Jr. The Multiplying Church
HT: Scott Marshall
A thought from my friend Doug Paul:
“Here’s a quote from Malcolm Gladwell that was in The New Yorker that I think is pretty provocative:
‘Facebook activism succeeds not by motivating people to make a real sacrifice but by motivating them to do the things that people do when they are not motivated enough to make a real sacrifice.’
Doesn’t that seem to echo a lot of solutions the church is giving these days for our massive problem with discipleship and mission? We make the bar so unbelievably low for people that they’ll step over it just so we can say they are in. They aren’t actually disciples and our churches aren’t actually missional. We’ve just lowered the bar enough so we can say they are.”
Here are a few related articles – about how the change in the ‘type’ of German football (the world’s football & not the American football) came about. Great thoughts about leadership, developing leaders and instituting change – when there are forces that do not want to see change happen…
(maybe this should just be called ‘an ode to German football’ !)
maybe, just maybe – we are at this point in the state of our churches not ‘in spite’ of what we are doing, but exactly ‘because of’ what we are doing…
“But now let us try on a subversive thought. Suppose our failures occur, not in spite of what we are doing, but precisely because of it. Suppose, to illustrate, that the educators who guide our school systems seriously considered the possibility that the low attainments of American schoolchildren are not in spite of what is done with them in school, but largely because of what they are taught and how they are taught.
Or suppose that our national legislature began to think that our failure to come to grips with the national debt or violence in the streets is not in spite of what the legislature does, but because of it.
It may be hard to take such a suggestion seriously, but to do so might well provide a basis for genuine solutions to problems that now seem unsolvable.
A leading American pastor laments, “Why is today’s church so weak… have less and less impact on our culture? Why are Christians indistinguishable from the world?” Should we not at least consider the possibility that this poor result is not in spite of what we teach and how we teach, but precisely because of it?” –Dallas Willard
Last night at Kairos, God did something. Not sure of all the things the spirit did in people’s hearts, but I know god did something in my heart.
There was openness and honesty and acceptance and grace. It was a beautiful thing.
We shared secrets last night with one another. Secrets that some would never even whisper in the dark, but they wrote them down and opened up their hearts.
I was honored to be let in on some deep, hard, messy, broken things in people’s lives.
I shared this quote last night by Frederick Buechner, who is one of my favorite authors:
“I have come to believe that by and large the human family all has the same secrets, which are both very telling and very important to tell. They are telling in the sense that they tell what is perhaps the central paradox of our condition—that what we hunger for perhaps more than anything else is to be known in our full humanness, and yet that is often just what we also fear more than anything else. It is important to tell at least from time to time the secret of who we truly and fully are—even if we tell it only to ourselves—because otherwise we run the risk of losing track of who we truly and fully are and little by little come to accept instead the highly edited version which we put forth in hope that the world will find it more acceptable than the real thing. It is important to tell our secrets too because it makes it easier that way to see where we have been in our lives and where we are going. It also makes it easier for other people to tell us a secret or two of their own, and exchanges like that have a lot to do with what being a family is all about and what being human is all about.”
— Frederick Buechner (Telling Secrets)