Vulnerability

I think what is really troubling me in this whole issue is that there is a lack of vulnerability on the part of church leaders.

When dealing with a church there is a lot of trust in the congregation that the leaders will help them to become more like Jesus.  Church members confide in leaders their struggles and where they need help, believing that these leaders will help them to grow.

Confession creates a position of vulnerability with the hope of restoration.  When we (church leaders) put a bunch of barriers in someone’s path to restoration, or give them arbitrary activities that we think should make them closer to Jesus, we take advantage of their vulnerability.

That’s abuse.

Church leaders, have you ever made a mistake?  Have you ever had to confess your mistakes to someone?  I know the pastor in question has been publicly chastised and claims to have undergone discipline himself.  My question here is shouldn’t that discipline create more humility and more vulnerability?

There is a fear in church leadership that if we show our own weaknesses then people won’t want to follow us.  That is we let people know we aren’t perfect they will see through our B.S. and go to someone who has their crap together.

I know from experience at Creekside that when our pastor (Don) has expressed his own weaknesses people have actually responded favorably.  Don is one of us.  He’s not better than us, he’s just one follower of Jesus trying to help other people follow Jesus.

In a conversation with another person who calls Creekside home they said that why they love Creekside is that we are willing to talk to people based on life experience.  We have a community of broken people and Jesus is putting us back together.  We have drug addicts sitting next to stay at home moms.  All of us recognize that we need Jesus.  And recognizing that we all need Jesus helps us to be vulnerable and honest with each other.

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Groups Coach

Yesterday I talked about the importance of starting and maintaining the projects that you know you can pour yourself into.

One of the projects that I have started and I want to make sure that I can keep focused on and maintain a strong level of commitment to is Groups Coach

Groups Coach is a training initiative for our Groups Ministry at Creekside Church.  The goal is to produce a weekly 10 minute podcast that our leaders can listen to for quick training sessions.  The beauty of the podcast is that it’s available when the leaders are available instead of trying to work everybody’s schedule into a meeting.  There will still be needs for meetings of course, but this way training will be in small doses instead of trying to drink from the fire hose.

Out of this there is also a blog project to post groups and community related articles and ideas.

And this is a resource that I want to give away for free.

So if there are any folks out there who need resources for training group leaders, then please check out Groups Coach, and please tell your friends, colleagues pets etc know about it as well.

The Groups Coach Blog  GroupsCoach.tumblr.com

Groups Coach Twitter: twitter.com/groupscoach

email ideas for groups coach to coachinggroups@gmail.com

Calibrate NW session 6 – Rich Stearns

CEO of World Vision
Author of The Whole In Our Gospel

We’ve drifted away from being fishers of men to being keepers of the aquarium – Paul Harvey

It may nite be our fault that 24,000 children die every day, but it is our moral responsibility to do something about it.

We are God’s plan to change the world.
But we have to be willing, available, and willing to pay the price to be used by God.  

Luke 4 Jesus in the synagogue laid out his mission connected proclamation and justice!  Have we been that good news for the poor?

Revolutions challenge the powers from within

We can’t just proclaim the good news we have to be the good news

The gospel is not a private transaction between God and me.

We are not saved by works, but we are saved for works

Revolutions start with small people who use their outrage to motivate change.   

Calibrate NW session 4 – Alan Hirsch

Look for an Alan Hirsch Calibrate Video

How do we retain a movement that resonates with who Jesus is?

Renewal – recover the apostolic movements

ReJesus: we have to rediscover the role of Jesus and the phenomenon of Jesus.
Christology lies at the heart of the renewal of the church.
When we veer we have lost sight of Jesus
We must radicalize in order to missionalize

Christology > Missiology > Ecclesiology

The subversion of Christianity – that is a book title that I need to look up

Christianity (minus) Christ = religion

ReDisciple: becoming a little Jesus
Embodiment and transmission
Spiritual authority is bound up in this as well
It is our capacity to live our messages
Movements grow based on the ability to grow disciples
Leadership is an extension of discipleship
Consumerism is killing us (from within)

ReMission

(missile and mission come from then same word.  You want to send missiles not receive them)

Missional God
Incarnational God -Jesus was born as a baby instead of sending cosmic lazier beams.
Missional Church means we are going out into the world. We are sent out!
Incarnational church means going deep

ReOrganize
What we need are mission ally responsive, culturally adaptive, organizationally agile, multiplication movements
Don’t plant a church plant a movement.

Movements
– mobilize the whole people of God
Every believer is a church planter every church is a potential church planting movement.

Movements are reproducible and reproducing.

Movements are structurally networked

Movements imply missional leadership & ministry modes. Eph. 4

Calibrate NW session 2 w/ Carlos Whitaker

Twitter.com/loswhit hey people follow him. 

One Sunday in a Gym, next Sunday in a $53 million dollar facility. 
         That would be jarring

If why is our last question for what the church is up to, that messes things up.

If why is first that changes the game entirely

Called to disturb and disrupt the career Christian for the sake of seeing Christ’s face again.

Instead of building a service to attract non-Christians what if you built  attractional Christians? 

The greatest moments in our services are the elements that are not produced.  They are moments where the Divine can interact with the human.  (last sentence is my own)

As we fight traditionalism we are just creating more traditionalism.

Disturb and disrupt

This generation doesn’t want to be entertained they want to be a part of a movement

Francis Chan Calibrate NW 2010

More and more people are taking the Bible seriously and not relying on tradition.  
The problem is that we were not sticking close enough to the Bible.

When we look to scripture we see that God is calling us to be united like a family

Once we were not a people, now we are!  God has brought people from all over the world to be one people.

Lack of commitment in church people is troubling

Following Jesus is an everything thing.  It’s about your whole life.

How many people in our churches have actually discipled anyone?

The emphasis of the New Testament is making disciples not the services we are having.

We are all called to make disciples. Not just the “trained professionals”

Discipleship is on the job training.  

There is a wave of people who read the Bible and now there is something more for the contemporary church.  No one is reading Acts and saying. “wow, that’s just like my church.”

The events in the book of Acts wasn’t just for then, but for today as well.

What is the sign to the world that we are right about the truths in the Bible?  When they see us walking together in unity.  

We are called to encourage each other and strive together knowing that God is our good shepherd. 

People want their leaders to be strong and courageous.  We don’t need to translate that to arrogance.  But we need to believe why God has called us to and that the Spirit is in us and empowering us.  Be strong and courageous!

James 5:17 – Elijah was a man just like us

God will choose the weak, the people who are just like us.  

1 Peter 4:12 Done be surprised by the fiery ordeal   

Nouwen on Leadership and Theological Reflection

Without solid theological reflection, future leaders will be little more than pseudo-psychologists, pseudo-sociologist, pseudo social workers.  They will think of themselves as enablers, facilitators, role models, father or mother figures, big brothers or big sisters, and so on, and thus join the countless men and women who make a living by trying to help their fellow human beings cope with the stresses and strains of everyday living.

But that has little to do with Christian leadership because the Christian leader things, speaks, and acts in the name of Jesus, who came to free humanity form the power of death and open the way to eternal life.  To be such a leader, it is essential to be able to discern from moment to moment how God acts in human history and how the personal, communal, national and international events that occur during our lives can make us more and more sensitive to the ways in which we are led to the cross and through the cross to the resurrection.

The task of Christian leaders isn not to make a little contribution to the solution of the pains and tribulations of their time, but to identify and announce the ways in which Jesus is leading God’s people out of slavery, through the desert to the new land of Freedom.

. . .

THe Christian leaders of the future have to be theologians, persons who know the heart of God and are trained — through prayer, study, and careful analysis — to manifest the divine event of God’s saving work in the midst of many seemingly random events of their time.

Theological reflection is reflecting on the painful and joyful realities of every day with the mind of Jesus and thereby raising human consciousness to the knowledge of God’s guidance.

Henri Nowen In The Name of Jesus: Reflections of Christian Leadership. New York: The Crossroad Publishing Co, 1989. pp 86-88