Monday, August 31, 2009

Birthday visit

Today marks the end of birthday week at our house.

It's a week of festivities and fun that begins with my daughter's birthday and ends with my son's. They were born seven days apart (in different years, of course).

On Shawna's birthday we spent the day hanging out, playing and reading.

Today is very similar except instead of reading I spent some time chatting with the friendly neighbourhood Jehovah's Witnesses. Two kind folks came to my door to try to convince me of a few things: that the Trinity doesn't exist, Jesus isn't God, and that the Holy Spirit is not a person but a force.

We had an interesting conversation. It came to an end when I let them know that they weren't going to change my belief or experience with the Triune God. They'd probably have a better chance of convincing me that my wife, although influential, is not a person; I don't have children; and I can leap tall buildings in a single bound.

I wonder when their children's birthdays are. Then I could return the visit.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A day with my favorite people

It feels strange watching my wife play our shooting gallery wii game while I edit this blog post.
It feels even weirder knowing that she got a bronze medal and I didn't.

In other news, it was our daughter's 8th birthday today. Erika spent it downstairs slaving away on business related work. I, on the other hand, spent the afternoon reading outside while our kids played under a maple tree nearby.

This evening the birthday girl dished up "man sized" slices of birthday cake & ice cream for the whole family. We finished the day by playing a rousing game of Cranium; our 4-year-old emerged victorious by performing amazing feats, such as, acting out 'C-3PO' by collapsing into a tripod and shuffling along the living room floor.

Now that the little ones are safely in bed, I think I should spend some quality time with my wiife. No, I didn't misspell that last word.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pastoring: 1st century style

I'm becoming more and more convinced that 21st century pastoral leadership doesn't require titles, offices, positions, buildings or pay cheques.

It does demand personal investment in people, authenticity, and a willingness to boldly and humbly challenge the religious status quo.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Time to move

I wrote this for our church website a few months ago:

"The church is not a building. It is the community of God on mission."

How would church leadership change if pastors were asked to mobilize people rather than attracted them to Sunday morning services?

What if a church community decided to flatten its leadership and give the power it invested in its clergy to small group leaders.

We'd have a movement on our hands, folks.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Towing the party line?

Sometimes I wonder what the church would be like without politics.

As I read the definitions for the term (below), I was struck by the references to power.

Isn't it funny that the very community where power should be shared and given away to others tends to be the context where power is used to get our own way.

politics |ˈpäləˌtiks| |ˈpɑlətɪks| |ˈpɒlɪtɪks|
plural noun [usu. treated as sing. ]the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, esp. the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve powerthe activities of governments concerning the political relations between countriesthe academic study of government and the state activities within an organization that are aimed at improving someone's status or position and are typically considered to be devious or divisivea particular set of political beliefs or principles(often the politics of) the assumptions or principles relating to or inherent in a sphere, theory, or thing, esp. when concerned with power and status in a society

I dream of a day when the church will be characterized by giving instead of getting, humility not pride, and liberation rather than power struggles.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I've taken this week off of church ministry to accomplish two things:

1. Have fun with my family.
2. Come as close as I can to finishing the New Testament Distance Education course I've been writing.

Here's an update:

Yesterday we spent the day at Canada's Wonderland. Since Elijah is only 4 years old we were limited to certain rides by his 40 inch height. My two favorites were Thunder Run and the Ghoster Coaster. The ice cream and strawberry funnel cake was a close third.

Today I submitted my supplementary notes on apocalyptic literature to the College Distance Ed. office. The director liked what I had written so this evening I'll be writing at least one more section. If it sounds like fun, it's not. It's certainly not something I'd recommend doing on a vacation.

For supper tonight we're eating vegetable stir fry and cucumber salad. The green beans, cabbage, cucumbers, and broccoli have all been freshly picked from our garden.

Too bad ice cream doesn't grow on trees.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Leadership Summit 2009

I got back from Leadership Summit 2009 on Friday night. It was a 2 day simulcast that our staff team attended in St. Catharines.

Here are some highlights from the presenters:

In regards to hiring staff...
-Don't hire in a great state of need since candidates can get idealized
-First impressions are frequently wrong
-Look for 2 or 3 values that are essentials. If the candidate doesn't have them, they're not the right person for the job
-Create a strong culture and ask whether the candidate can picture themselves in that culture

In regards to cultural shifts...
-Churches should stand out as islands in a sea of secularization
-Relevance is lost when internal change lags behind external change
-Listen to the renegades
-Generate more new things
-Deconstruct what you already believe about the church
-God expects us to be radically unconventional
-It doesn't happen in a top down, autocratic approach
-Build organizations that can thrive without hierarchy
-Power comes from below rather than from above
-The problem with organized religion isn't the religion part
-God commonly releases vision from the fringe
-Lead from the fringe
-Failure is success to God

Am I willing to take the faith steps I know God is asking me to take?

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