Saturday, July 02, 2011
Friday, July 01, 2011
For most of the past 20 years I have served on selection committees for the Rhodes Scholarship. In general, the experience is an annual reminder of the tremendous promise of America's next generation. We interview the best graduates of U.S. universities for one of the most prestigious honors that can be bestowed on young scholars.I think that is very true, and I wonder if the same could not be said for how we do church. We no longer seek to make well rounded disciples - we offer a plethora of experiences to produce - worshipers, self-helpers, anything but disciples.
I have, however, become increasingly concerned in recent years - not about the talent of the applicants but about the education American universities are providing. Even from America's great liberal arts colleges, transcripts reflect an undergraduate specialization that would have been unthinkably narrow just a generation ago.
As a result, high-achieving students seem less able to grapple with issues that require them to think across disciplines or reflect on difficult questions about what matters and why.
What I find most troubling is we have done so in the name of evangelism and yet evangelism was meant to happen in a person-to-person fashion. How can it if we do not make people that are capable by being both knowledgeable and winsome - smart and of good character?
We are in a sad place.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
The Gospel is bad news before it is good news. It is the news that man is a sinner, to use the old word, that he is evil in the imagination of his heart, that when he looks in the mirror all in a lather what he sees is at least eight parts chicken, phony, slob. That is the tragedy. But it is also the news that he is loved anyway, cherished, forgiven, bleeding to be sure, but also bled for. That is the comedy.Two vitally important things to take from that
- Bad news before good news
- The gospel as narrative - NOT DOCTRINE
I've said it before and I will say it again, Christ makes no sense if we are not sinners. We live in a culture that steadfastly refuses to acknowledge our sinfulness. Our emphasis has to change - we need to bring conviction to people. We just need to figure out how to do so without making people turn away. Christ did it with the woman at the well, certainly we can if we but delve deep enough into the Spirit to have Christ's true grace.
Telling the gospel as story is a good place to start that process. Rather than the four spiritual "laws" - it is something different. The Christian life is so much more than a set of beliefs. It is a story with all the classic story points - in fact it defines the classic story points.
Can you tell the story or just recite the "laws?"
Related Tags: Illuminated Scripture
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Your Job, Your Ministry
Even so, whether it is giving someone something to eat or drink, something to wear or somewhere to live, or any of the other myriad ways we serve one another in daily life, all legitimate forms of serving others, whether paid in wages or not, are valid ways to serve Christ. The key to this perspective, writes DeKoster, is to understand that our daily work is “the form in which we make ourselves useful to others, and thus to God.”Yet how many of us view our work as simply a means to a paycheck? And there in lies the problem.
I had a conversation with a friend not to long ago about the death of customer service. So much of it is becasue the average customer service employee is not trained they are programmed. Why do companies feel the need to write scripts for customer service rather than enable people to serve? Much has to do with the fact that few people actually do serve. Few people come to their jobs anymore with an attitude of service.
In a time of job scarcity, it seems to me that Christians should be more employable than others because we are supposed to be servants. And if we are not, what are we doing wrong?
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Making A Difference
Since I found Jesus again and started following his path, I am more grateful for all that I have and less bitter about what I don’t have – this positive attitude has made a world of difference in all aspects of my life.That is a somewhat unusual conclusion for a post entitled:
I was expecting something about "how to change the world," not just my life. But then, if you think about it, if everyone had an attitude of humble gratitude, the world would be a very different place.
Maybe it is time to count blessings.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Deal With It
I have some experience here and I thought I would offer my two cents - Walk Away - Quit. Yes, in the end it will be good for you becasue challenge just gets wearing and compromise never lasts with the truly controlling, eventually their need to control, particularly if yo are successful takes over. But the reason reason to quit is to teach the controller something.
You see, the fact is that no one can actually control that much - can;t be done, we lack the capability. The controlling leader will, of necessity, fail. They will either learn from their failure or the enterprise will falter completely. One hates to see an enterprise falter, particular one we love, but there are lessons in that if it happens as well.
But in reality that is unlikely, most of the time the controller learns, or moves on when things falter in order not to face the lesson. Yeah, there might be mess to pick up, but in the end things tend to restore themselves to order.
Not to mentiont he fact that quitting teaches it's God's problem, not ours.