Saturday, January 24, 2015
Friday, January 23, 2015
Narcissism should not be said in the same breath as Christian. The former is love of self; the latter is love of God in Jesus Christ....Any person in leadership, even Christian leadership, can be tempted to love self and move into narcissism....Repent. Narcissism is a sin. Once we have an awareness of this sin, we must confess it to God.Self-esteem -- self-love -- narcissism it's a spectrum. I recall so vividly when I was told that all the emotional anguish of my adolescence stemmed from insecurity which stemmed from a lack of self-love. I won't pretend like I was a well-adjusted adolescent, but I will tell you that I am grateful for my insecurities. In the grand scheme of maturing in Christ I think I have an easier road than those of the current generation that have been so steeped in self-esteem that the act of repentance is viewed with fear and loathing.
While these quotes are about Christan leaders, narcissism may be the most pervasive sin of our age, affecting not just our leadership, but all of us. We don't talk about sin anymore, we talk about how people feel bad about themselves and how God can fix that. I cannot help but that than within reason, God wants us to feel bad about ourselves, to be aware of our sin and too allow His love, not our own, to fill the void in our lives created by that sin.
It is so hard to decry narcissism because its existence makes such condemnation seem as if we are condemning the narcissist. We have worked to hard to find a way around this communication block and failed so miserably that I wonder if we are not simply to plow right through it?I wonder if people do not simply need to feel, deeply the pain of dying to self that comes along with this. Yes, it will turn many people off and send many people a way. But I Cannot help but wonder if the winsomeness of those that come out the other side will not compensate in a generation?
I know we have to do something different or we are doomed to be a zombie church.
church communication narcissism sin
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Ironic I Think...
#1 – Singleness is not a sickness, it's a season in your life that should be lived well....It's not that that is bad advice, it is just very easy advice to give when you are no longer in the struggle. It;s also advice that most reasonable single people already know. The issue is not knowing this stuff, it's doing this stuff. They don't need advice - they need someone to stand beside them and help them execute what they know. That, I think is genuine singles ministry.
#2 – Don't allow loneliness to lead you....
#3 – Don't find your identity in dating....
#4 – Hang out with married people....
#5 – Be Yourself!
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
But I believe that every time the Church or individual Christians fail to live out the other four building blocks--loving God, loving our neighbors as ourselves, loving our fellow believers as Christ loved us, and making disciples--the root cause of this cluster of failures is that we have failed to grow as disciples.'Nuff Said. Read the whole thing.
We don't like the idea that God wants us to grow, to change.
We’d prefer to remain spiritual infants, sopping up the grace and love of Jesus with no thought of being changed by grace or of passing it onto others.
We’d prefer to turn our faith into a kind if intellectual transaction: We give assent to Jesus’ lordship and in exchange, He gives us forgiveness for our sins and life with God.
We want to be able to just say: “Thank you very much, Jesus, we’ll see you when I die and now onto the stuff I really want to do in this world.”
Or we want to make discipleship into membership, like belonging to the Kiwanis or the local health club.
But to be a disciple means to submit to the ongoing process of trusting Jesus to, day after day, destroy our addiction to the dying ways of this world and to make us more like Him.
church discipleship growth submission
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Stand Up, Sit Down Fight, Fight, Fight
I come from a Christian tradition that rarely bows in congregational worship. And I did not kneel when I said my prayers as a child. So, the physical action of bowing before God does not come easily to me. But, I have discovered that sometimes when I literally bow before God, my heart follows. My body leads my soul in offering myself to God, all that I am for his glory and purposes. Kneeling before the Lord helps me to experience the fact that he is exalted above everything else in the universe.Real power, real exaltation humbles the person before that power offering that exaltation. It may feel good to raise our hands and sing loudly, but I think we need to be humbled more than we need to feel good.
Monday, January 19, 2015
As in most of our speaking settings, we allow a portion of our presentation to be a time of questions and answers. And inevitably someone will ask us about the worship style preferences of the Millennials.The answer he does have about what they want is now heard so often it is almost trite - "authenticity." I am struck by how much that sounds like my generation oh so many years ago.
Typically the context of the question emanates from a background of nearly three decades of "worship wars." In other words, on what "side" are the Millennials? Traditional? Contemporary? Or somewhere on the nebulous spectrum of blended styles?
And though Jess and I did not originally ask those questions in our research, we have sufficient anecdotal evidence to respond. And our response is usually received with some surprise. The direct answer is "none of the above."
Most churches hear that and they think that means they have to amp up the service so people are REALLY praising.
Most Millennials mean that they are looking for faith that matters, and not just empty words or the sort of emotional high that commonly comes in churches these days. But I have a problem with how they define what matters. It seems like unless you are willing to drop everything, beg older people to give you money so you can go to 3rd world nation X and help them, your faith is not real or genuine. This too sounds a bit like my generation decades ago.
My father was hard core Missouri Synod Lutheran. He had about as broad a spectrum view of what it means to be the church as a Protestant can have. He did not talk faith much nor was he quick to join the latest mission to wherever. It took me a long time to realize just how deep and genuine his faith really was. It wasn't measured in the poor he fed or the money he raised. It was measured in his character and his commitment to those around him. His call was to make the world better right here right now, not over there and with them. Those with plenty to eat have needs too - just different ones than those short food.
Dad's faith was deeply authentic, but it was not showy - it was foundational. You'd never see it unless you looked.
I pray Millennials can see such foundational faith.