Church and The Church

This week I read two posts by Donald Miller on the Storyline Blog.  One was talking about how he doesn’t connect to God when singing in corporate worship, in which he shared that he didn’t attend church frequently.  Apparently the Evangelical community took issue with this and he followed up with what I thought was a really, really thoughtful treatment on the topic of church attendance and church community.

I have my own thoughts, and I know a lot of evangelicals who have walked away from church membership or regular attendance in a local church.  A few years ago I wrote a few posts about Church stuff, and while they are interesting, they are not nearly as incisive as his so I suggest that you all read his posts.

Regardless of whether my own thoughts are insightful, I thought I would share some new thoughts that came while reading the blog posts. Continue reading “Church and The Church”

Mission Vs. Discipleship

Talking about Mission vs. Discipleship and I have been noodling some dumb ideas for a couple weeks. A couple weeks ago when I was mowing the lawn for the last time this year, an analogy presented itself, and so I thought I would share that as a way of expressing how mission and discipleship work in the Body of Christ.

My analogy is that of an orchestra or other musical group. Mission is like the performance. We share our love for the music, and the composer with others who are not in our ensemble. Our mission is to help as many as possible take up an instrument. Continue reading “Mission Vs. Discipleship”

[SPEW #4] Declining Health, Issue Christians, Pronouns, Change

Five Warning Signs of Declining Church Health –

When I read this, it resonated with me, but the more I read, the more the 5 signs seemed superficial to me.  (OK, I know that my inner analyst says that about everything) – but Thom faithfully talks about symptoms that indicate declining health of a church.  This is what you see.  I would like to see a companion post about 5 signs that a church is recovering.  I may post about this in the future. 

Ed Stetzer – Why I Have No Difficulty Helping “Issue Christians” to Move On

Wow – I had no idea – how pervasive this was, or how much of a problem it could cause (see I really am just a lay person).  Interesting – while Ed is just happy to let them move on, my heart went straight to why does this issue get in their way.  I have been at a church where issue christians raised a stink about various things, (a whole chunk left the church over home schooling) but I had no idea of the magnitude of the phenomenon.  What can a church do, when it’s members become “issue-ish”, and what can we do to prevent this, or to help issue christians regain some “balance”. 

I have always thought that it was simply a case of “majoring” on the “minors’ – meaning taking one’s focus off of the core responsibilities of church and of mission, and micro-focusing on some peripheral aspect of it. 

Pronouns and discipleship | Think Christian

Interesting thoughts about how we talk.  How we talk to God, to each other, about our faith, our needs, our selves – apparently is an indicator for our maturity.  Scholarly ideas with some pragmatic applications.

The Fluidity of Change | Foundation Ministries & Publications

Linking change into our spiritual development and our desire to fulfill God’s purpose.  Can we be missional and resistant to change?  When a church is resistant to change, what does that mean?  See the first link above….

the “Spew” #2

Which Customer Is Your Ministry Designed to Connect? |

Recognizing that ministry is not a one-size-fits-all enterprise is a very important thing.  I think this post shares a really good example of this.  While calling those we are called to minster to “customers” feels very “marketing-ish” the message rings true.  You won’t attract People if you won’t meet them where they are.  Jesus was all over that message.  We should be too.

Neil Cole: Can Groups Be Missional & Make Disciples? | Verge Network

This is a very provocative article that I don’t truly agree with, but I am positing it here because juxtaposed against Mark Howell’s article above – it makes Mark’s point stand out even more.  Discipleship is a smaller box inside the innermost box.  Look for a post on the FPM blog about this very topic in the next few weeks.

The Danger of Vision Casting | Ron Edmondson

Ron’s post on casting vision without completing vision is dead on.  I have lived through this, and his warning is appropriate.  It is not only dangerous for the organization as a whole (it can lead to dissapointment) it is dangerous for leadership for the very reasons that Ron lists.  Great post!!! The cost of completing the vision must be contemplated before you cast it. 

Luke 14:28-29

28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you,

Vision, Strategy, Policy – In Search Of

When casting vision, you need strategy to complete it.  This post from my other blog is complementary to Ron’s post above, providing a simple framework for contemplating organizational change using vision, strategy and policy.  Organizational change is hard – don’t kid yourself into thinking that if I can envision it, someone else will make it happen.

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