I read Brian McLaren’s Everything Mush Change some time ago. And today I came across this diagloge between McLaren and Andrew Jone (Tall Skinny Kiwi).
If you are interested to know where McLaren is coming from this might help. I am not advocating his views wholeheartedly but I like that he forces me to think about what I think about things. :o)
Read the discussion here.
Simple Church by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger is a quick and clear read. The title is pretty good at explaining what the book is all about. The Authors posit that that church’s natural inclination is to become more and more complicated. Through years of growth, new models, new programs, most churches have found themselves with too much to do, too much to maintain, and too many wheels to keep spinning. And the sad thing is, this isn’t working.
The Authors examine what sets thriving churches apart from non-thriving churches and the conclusion that they put forward in this book is Simplicity. Churches that are growing, have a clear and simple process to help people become disciples of Jesus. Whereas churches that are not thriving do not have this simple mentality.
The idea is so counter intuitive to much of the church world that really wants to see that we have a bunch of programs to keep our people busy. But that isn’t effective, it eats time and resources. But when a church is simple then all the time and resources are devoted to just a few things, that they do great.
I don’t want to say too much about the meat of this book because I believe every church leader should read it. And as a church that is in the middle of a huge transformation process I thing our church can use these principles. It’s a pretty powerful idea, less is more. So yeah, read Simple Church.
In College I scored a sweet deal on the Logos Scholars Library. It’s a ninja bible software, I loved it, I used it all the time, and then I got a mac and I had to say goodbye to my dear friend Logos.
Yesterday I found out that they started the beta testing for the Mac Version. Some of the features are limited but I just was so filled with Joy to see my bibles and commentaries back on my mac. So great. This was the only piece of software that I’ve missed since switching to a Mac.
If you are like me go to Logos.com and check it out.
Just a few moments ago I finished the third book in Eugene Peterson’s Current series of writings. The Jesus Way is a challenging and thought provoking book that goes into great detail Exploring first of all what Jesus meant by “I am the Way . . .”
Peterson describes the power behind metaphor and particularly the way metaphor in a way that my english teachers wish they could communicate. He looks at how Jesus’ way is an invitation to participate in the movement of God, and to participate with Jesus in the redemption and restoration of the world.
from there Peterson looks at the ways that lead up to Jesus. Using the Examples of Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah, and Isaiah peterson shows how each one of these leaders and prophets embraced their role in pointing to Jesus. Each chapter really has a theme that is explored in great detail (Abraham – Sacrifce, Moses – Bringer of the Words of God, etc.) These chapters are particulary profound.
After looking at Jesus ancient predecessors, he turns to three of the major figures that surrounded Jesus’ life and contrasted them to Jesus and the Jesus Way of life. Herdod in his desire to be great. Ciaphas and his desire to create a God System that benefited him, And Josephus and his desire to use the Zealotry of his fellow Jews to advance himself politically, at the cost of his fellow Jews’ freedoms.
This book is worth the read. I’ve had it for a while and finally got it done. This reading one book at a time resolution has been quite helpful for me personally. It is a little wordy and heady but I could tell that Peterson was doing his very best to put as much power into every word that he could muster. I underlined a ton of passages, and this is a book that I will have to digest over time.
It’s also a great resource if you are looking to do a Character Study on any of the OT characters mentioned. The David chapter will be very helpful to me as I prepare for an upcoming study on David for our youth group.
So read the Jesus Way and I think you will be pleased, challenged, and encouraged.
I’ve come across an interesting new voice in the youth ministry blog-i-verse.
Once A Youth Pastor.
This guy was a youth pastor, and now that he’s not he’s asking a lot of questions about youth ministry effectiveness, essentials, etc.
Pretty interesting. Somethings I agree with, others I don’t. But he raises a lot of good questions. Check it out.