Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'm Obsessed

Okay. I admit it. I'm obsessed with Dallas Willard.

I read this tonight in his book, The Spirit of the Disciplines.

"The secret of the easy yoke, then, is to learn from Christ how to live our total lives, how to invest all our time and our energies of mind and body as he did. We must learn how to follow his preparations, the disciplines for life in God's rule that enabled him to receive his Father's constant and effective support while doing his will. We have to discover how to enter into his disciplines from where we stand today--and no doubt, how to extend and amplify them to suit our needy cases." p. 9.

I don't spend enough time preparing for life like Jesus did. It's no wonder I don't respond like him.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Empowerment vs. Delegation

I want to empower people.

Not delegate my unwanted tasks to them.

In other news, click here for a great article on what the term 'missional' means


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Coffeehouse tonight

I'm getting ready for our coffeehouse gathering in Walkerton tonight.

One of the discussion items is this clip from MLK.  We're going to be linking it back to Deuteronomy 34.  It's amazing what one courageous person can do when standing against injustice and inequality.

Maybe I'll see you at 7pm.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Spiritual growth measuring stick

Some of my recent thoughts on measuring growth:

"We need new ways of measuring church success.  In a large church, Sunday morning attendance indicates an ability to attract people.  We give them excellent music and dynamic preaching.  And Christians come.  Then, when we measure our effectiveness we ask, 'are people coming to church?'

We rarely ask, 'are those churchgoers apprenticing to be like Jesus?'  Why not?  Because we don’t know.  We have very few, if any, ways of measuring whether or not a person is learning to be like Jesus."

We need a new spiritual growth ruler.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Spiritual Formation groups

Since my spiritual formation class is so large (53 students) I've divided the class into groups so they can help each other.

Each group will meet weekly at the end of class.  All semester, they will blog about their faith journeys.

I'm hoping students will challenge one another to practice what they learn in class, especially the spiritual disciplines.

I'm also expecting students to establish new friendships with group members.

What's my greatest goal?  Keeping students from spending group time playing computer games.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cold bath anyone?

I don't mind cold weather.  Unless it causes our water pipe to freeze and burst.

I knew something was wrong when I stepped into the garage for firewood and noticed a massive ice build-up on the car hood.

I looked up an
d saw icicles hanging from the dry walled ceiling.  Not good.

The encouraging part is that it happened in the garage and it was a hot water pipe (so the cold water still runs!)

The bad part is that the plumber can't come until tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dealing with mean people

It's the start of a new semester.  So this evening I prepared for my first Spiritual Formation class.

I'm going to play an audio clip from an interview between Dallas Willard and Bill Hybels.

Willard is a philosophy professor at the U of Southern California.  He has written books on discipleship and spiritual formation and is part of renovare - a church renewal movement. 

In one segment, Willard talks about dealing with mean people.  Here's my paraphrase: our tendency is to curse obnoxious people.  But Jesus calls us to bless them.  We are to live out of His kingdom paradigm.

I'm no good at blessing nasty people.  It's probably rooted in my insecurity and need to prove something.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Syllabi and Firewood

I spent most of my day in in my head, in isolation, finalizing the course syllabi for my winter '09 courses (Spiritual Formation and Worship Leadership).

If you're interested, you can access them here.

While I sat at my computer, some guys from my small group spent the day cutting firewood.  Out of the blue, they dropped off a trailer full of the stuff at my place.  Thanks guys! 

Life is better when other people are involved.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

To Walkerton and beyond

I met with our Walkerton Coffeehouse lead team tonight. The lead team is the core group of people who will be organizing our coffeehouse church gatherings. In the next 3 months we're hoping to establish a viable community of Jesus followers with this mandate:

"foster community among people who live or work in Walkerton; nurture conversations that lead people toward Jesus (whether they follow Him or not); and create space for non-traditional worship experiences."

Our next gathering will be on Sunday, January 25th - 7pm @ The White Rose Coffeehouse in Walkerton. Why not come and bring a friend?

Call me crazy but I think we can establish a network of coffeehouse churches throughout the Grey/Bruce region.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Keeping it fresh

I've simplified my website.

Further updates coming soon.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Man in Motion

Yesterday I preached my "relevant church" message.

Thanks to those of you who responded to my last blog post (by posting or by emailing me directly).  It shaped what I said.

Thanks also to those of you who emailed me or chatted with me after the morning service.

Some liked it, some didn't.  Sermon enjoyment is unimportant.  What is important is whether people were challenged to think, to respond, and to act as Jesus would.  

For those of you who want to here what I said (Mike and Tim) click here.
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