Archive for May 2002

Oh, the insanity. Can’t sleep because of all the thoughts racing in my head. Maybe I’m a head case . . . maybe God is trying to get through to me. I continue to battle with some conflicted thoughts and feelings about the best approach to starting a new work. I want badly to give God an opportunity to work things in a powerful new direction within the church I currently serve. I want badly to watch God work in a way that outlasts some of the other attempts at doing a new church within an existing church framework . . . and yet I see how things have happened. The struggles and strain. The egos and conflicted vision. I’ve been warned strongly by those that know better because they know by experience. And yet I want badly for them to be wrong. If they are, in fact, wrong, then […]

Just for kicks, and because it still applies, here’s a little thing I wrote on January 23, 2002: God continues to move in my heart. I’m becoming more of a mystic by the day – whatever it means to be a mystic. All I know is that there is a stirring in my spirit that I don’t think I’ve had before. Perhaps I have, but not at this depth, and not for this long. It’s a gift, truly. But what a dissatisfying gift. I feel like I’ve been allowed to look into a holy place, but only through a distorted, foggy window. I can make out shapes and colors, but not faces and images. Maybe I just need to grow up in these mystical experiences and gifts before things come clearer, or maybe this is just how it is. I guess I’ll have to answer that one later. All I […]

I will pursue ordination. I will do it with a strong sense of personal direction, rather than being directed in the process. Instead of submitting to a predetermined list of things I have to know, I will propose the process myself, and then submit to the directives I’m given. In any ordination process I’ve heard of, the primary component has to do with systematic theology. I plan to reinvent that. I’m not sure theology is even a biblical word. I’ve thought about it and determined that a better approach is integrational doctrine. I know that doctrine is a biblical construct and it’s important that I be able to answer well and teach well when called upon. Systematic theology is just too, well, systematic. It’s linear and brings to mind stupid thoughts like, “If I put everything down on paper in an outline or chart, I can understand God.” The fact […]

Fear causes me to hold back. I don’t move in what God has shown me to do because I don’t have the answers as to how this whole deal is going to play out. News flash: I don’t really need to know. What I do need to do is structure my life in such a way that I am moving forward at all times.

In order to stop allowing myself to dwell on the problems of the past and even some of the problems of the present, I want to spend time brainstorming about the future and the problems that might arise from me moving in the right direction toward it. Then, every time I needlessly spend one hour on a problem of the past or present, I will discipline myself to spend two hours on the problems of the future. That way, even when I’m slogging my way through things that I should be beyond by now, I’ll at least be moving toward a better future.

Trying to teach someone to think like a postmodern is kind of like describing what a pink octopus looks like to a blind man. It may be possible, but it will take a long long long long long time.

Call me prophetic, but yesterday I was reaffirming our need in the church to deal with problems. However, instead of dealing with the problems of the recent and distant past, which many are bent on living in, we need to deal with the problems of the future. I’m convinced that no matter how long I “do” ministry, there will be many problems. That’s not a bad thing, it just is what it is. So, if I have my choice of which problems to deal with, I’ll take the future ones – the forward thinking ones. I’m tired of endlessly defending strong decisions that people can’t get over. I want to work out the “problems” of reaching people with the gospel more effectively. I want to work out the “problems” of sharing hope with a generation that hasn’t figured out yet that there’s hope to be found. I want to work […]

Sometimes I wonder if the change I seek is really change at all. It certainly isn’t change from the biblical story of Christ and the church . . . at least I hope it isn’t. But what is it about starting a new church or even merely a new worship service in an old church that attracts me? I think it’s that I want to be a part of God’s work in a new way with an unreached people group within my generation. But is the process of reaching these people really all that different than reaching any other people? Perhaps not, but the issue is getting a significant number of like-minded people in the same place all at the same time. I serve in a place where I am not of like mind and experience with those around me. So in that light, I guess I’m a missionary to […]

Aaahh, back to work today. I’m feeling good about where God has me for the moment. I know I won’t necessarily stay here long, but I’m o.k. being here for now. New opportunities are just around the bend.

Got back yesterday from the Seed Stories thing. Hmmm, how to describe it? Not a conference, but a dialogue with other church planter types. I’m still swimming in a large ocean of thoughts and questions. Mostly questions. In fact, that may the thing I have taken away from the experience of most value. I know when I return from my vacation I’ll be asked what I learned and particularly what I heard from God while I was at Seed stories, but really, it’s all a bunch of questions. And that’s a cool thing. I feel better about where I am because of the questions. So that’s the main thing . . . keep asking questions. Quit trying so hard to find answers to the questions I already have – it’s a big waste of time and synaptic energy. In the process of asking more questions, the ones I already have […]