Monday, April 25, 2005

Why Benedict

Figuring out a pope's name is rough - but I really don't think it gives the pope any street cred that he chooses his own nickname. But, how much street cred does a pope actually need?

Check this out: Why "Benedict"? (Keith Olbermann)

Big Question:

Who has more street cred, the pope or you?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Dangerous Wonder, Michael Yaconelli

Last night I blasted through Dangerous Wonder by Mike Yaconelli in preparation for Sunday's worship gatherings. You need to get this book into your hands.

Yaconelli is one of the most influential people in my life. His views on life and following Christ and youth ministry helped to form me and build me into the (hopefully) dangerous youth pastor that I am today. He passed away before I ever met him in an auto accident around the Oregon/California border. He might be the only person who I never met whose death brought tears to my eyes.

He was an excellent man and his influence lives on. You can visit his online memorial, hosted by Youth Specialties.

In the tradition of the reOrientation, here are some memorable and influential quotes from the book.

"I want a lifetime of holy moments. Every day I want to be in dangerous proximity to Jesus. I long for a life that explodes with meaning andis filled with adventure, wonder, risk and danger. I long for a faith that is gloriously treacherous. I want to be with Jesus, not knowing whether to laugh or to cry."

"...children's questions are more than a request for information. Their questions are an act of affection, of communion, and of trusting."

"The trouble with children is they believe you."

" the process of socializing our children to follow the rules, do we rob them of the discernment needed to know when to follow rules and when to break them?"

And finally, quoting Will Willimon,

Just when I get my church all sorted out,
sheep from the goats, saved from the damned,
hopeless from the hopeful, somebody makes a move,
gets out of focus, cuts loose, and I see why
Jesus never wrote systematic theology.
So you and I can give thanks that the locus of
Christian thinking appears to be shifting from
North America and northern Europe
where people write rules and obey them,
to places like Africa and Latin America

where people still know how to dance.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Benedict 16

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany has been selected by the Roman Catholic church as the new pope. - CNN

And we were all looking for a black latin american?

Just a few hours ago the cardinals elected the new pope. Many who read this blog don't give a rip, but I do. I think the last pope was a great guy to advance the kingdom of God, following a couple popes who had more struggles. Even as I struggle through some catholic doctrines, I think the catholic/orthodox/protestant convergence/healing that is occuring after ~1000 years of splitting is a really good thing.

A big question, thanks to Andrew Jones, has to be what does the catholic church do to engage the future?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

ATF reflections

Here's some links to variuos reflections on Acquire the Fire on the weekend - and if you are an Albany HS'er be sure to check this thread on the Driven Forums.





Add link to your in the comments if you've got'em!

Monday, April 11, 2005

Acquire the Fire

This past weekend I led the group up to PDX for a weekend Acquire the Fire conference.

ATF is run by Teen Mania ministries, and they do advertise the snot out of their products, but the weekend is the best I can get in the pacific northwest.

So it was a super weekend and many kids made new or renewed commitments to following Christ.

I don't have time know but I will post some links to reflections from students. Or, if you were there, then post your links in the comments here.

out like American Idol -

Church Marketing Sucks

Chruch Marketing Sucks is a website that is dedicated to making fun of churches that have spasm marketing campaigns. It is a major error the American church makes, mistaking evangelism and marketing for each other. It isn't even a site that says marketing is bad, it just points out how bad churches are at marketing.

I have blogged about this before, Christian Marketing Machine is Killing Kids, and I feel pretty passionate about it all.

So the quest for the reorienting church and Christian is, "How do we improve marketing while improving witness?" And, "What is the difference between the two?" And, "What are the results of bad marketing and/or bad witness?"

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The Great Commission

After further reflection, I think the last post was a bit of a rant, but I am revisiting this thought day after day. I was reading last night, a book that I will definitely post on, and it asked the question, "how are postmoderns to fulfill the gospel?" And I couldn't help but deconstruct that thinking into asking why the word fulfill is used? I think the emerging church and its leaders must ask some big questions about the great commission, especially in light of the reforming of the gospel and re-understanding of salvation.

Is the great commission a task or a way of life? Are we to "do", "be", or something else with the great commission?

Will the great commission ever end, or will it continue in eternity?

I contend that the GC is a way of life. The kingdom of God is now and we are to be disciples. Disciples who make other disciples. Sorry, no mention of converts there. But, beyond this, if I beleive that the GC calls us to a lifestyle of making disciples, then I have to believe that this kind of activity goes on for eternity in heaven/new earth.

So, as a way of life, and not as a task, the GC will not be the prevailing theme of the emerging church, yet disciples, and converts (and yes that word is problematic also) will become.

So, go ahead and take it off your church letterhead, because no body is going to care about your task anymore. Just help people become

Friday, April 01, 2005

The Commission

What has become known as the Great Comission or, in Sonlife circles, the Everyday Comission does not need to be fulfilled.

I spent last night reading and working thorugh Robert Colemans' The Master Plan of Evanagelsim and grew increasingly concerned that modern American Christianity see Matthew 28:18-20 as something to be fulfilled.

It is, I believe, way closer to the truth to see Matthew 28:18-20 as a way to live. The goal is not world evangelism. World evangelism comes when people are living GC lifestyles. World evangelism is a by-product, not the goal. The goal is holy living (has anyone else noticed how Wesleyan I am becoming?). Connection to God. Repentance. Obedience.

So, people, please stop witnessing to people with hopes that Christ will come back if we just tell everyone about Jesus. That's stupid.

Just live. And be the witness. People don't need another prescription plan, they need to see Jesus - so ask yourself the question, as I am, where is Jesus seen in you?