Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ethos NYC

I spent the last 2 1/2 days at the ETHOS NYC event, a leadership expereiment, at Columbia University. The event was lead by Erwin McManus and several of his team from Mosaic LA. I'm not a good note taker so here are some random quotes I jotted down.

Unless otherwise noted the quotes below are form Erwin McManus:
Ethos, defined as, The fundamental character or spirit of a culture; the underlying sentiment that informs the beliefs, customs, and practices of a group or society, cannot be created, cannot happen with only one person.

The Church as it exists right now is an institution, what Jesus started was a movement. Somewhere along the line, we lost our motion.

The predominant mindset will become the ethos.

The majority will not lead, a small group willing to risk greatly will lead.

Mystics live in relationship with invisible realities. (Could be my favorite one)

Talent doesn't point to passion.

Ambition is good, selfish ambition is bad.

We have screwed up Jesus' command in Matthew 28:20. He did not tell us to teach all nations all things but to obey all things...most of us already know too much, the question is how much do we obey?

Drawing the line of faith too close creates high maintenance discipleship. Pushing the line out...followers of Christ are those who give all.

If we listen well enough, most people will tell us how to lead them to Christ.

In response to what is the most effective thing you are doing to reach people for Christ:
"We throw parties. Our first party one person came, now 80-100 show up."
one of the Church planters of Mosaic Dusseldorf, sorry I am spacing on his name
"Instead of building a church building we built a coffee shop that sees 600-700 people a day. And we hold a couple services there on Saturday Nights"
Mark Batterson, pastor of National Community Church Washington DC

Emotional health and spiritual maturity are inseparable. It is not possible for a Christian to be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature.

Most people, in our congregations, live off other peoples spirituality.

My message has to be done by Thursday so I can take my day off on Friday and Sabbath on Saturday.

We violate the image of God in us when we don't practice taking sabbaths.
Pete Scazzero, Founder, New Life Fellowship, Queens, NY

Those are my notes, fragemented as they are. Lots of stuff still churning in my head, may be another post to come on ETHOS NYC: the aftermath

Monday, November 20, 2006

Don't mind me while I rant

A blogging friend recently asked if it was okay to repost some comments I had left. I was told ahead of time the thoughts would be edited; I had paid my friend a compliment in the comment and she thought it too self-serving to reprint it. In the reprint, I was cited as the source. Asking permission to repost my stuff was a very courteous gesture, while not necessary, I appreciated the thought.

Now let's travel to the far end of this spectrum we shall call blogging integrity. Over a year ago, I read and printed for reference, an article on leadership from a favorite e-zine. I recently read a post from a widely-read emerging missional(whatever you wanna call it) blogger on leadership. As I read, I thought "yeah this makes alot of sense." Then another thought occurred to me, "Hey this stuff sounds kind of familiar." I walked away from my computer. A day later, I dug up the old article I had printed. Wouldn't you know it, almost word for word, the article on leadership from the e-zine got jacked, lifted, pilfered!!!! I realize that there is nothing new under the sun; almost all ideas are old ideas revisited. But this was word for word. That's just poor. I don't care who or what the source or who or what the author you don't do that. There wasn't even a token, "I don't remember the guy's name but..." or "I read this someplace else..."
Maybe I'm just being naive. Maybe if you put something out on this crazy internet thingy, you should do it, knowing that someone, somewhere will probably steal one of your ideas and claim it as original. Call me an idealist but blogging integrity is not something to be taken lightly if you take your blogging at all seriously. One would never publish something in print form that was someone else's work with citing the source. I am not suggesting footnotes according to Strunk & White but the simple "Hat Tip" will do; something to give credit where credit is due.

Here endeth my little rant.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

When God breaks through...

So I have been reading through Renovation of Heart: Experiments in Spiritual Transformation by Dallas Willard and Jan Johnson.
In praying through and thinking about the experiment for Day 32, Next steps towards Love, Joy and Peace, I had a huuuuge a-ha. I was considering what the book refers to as the "destructive feelings" that exist in my life. I have gone through my adult life with a bad habit that I didn't know existed. If I have a bad day, a tough exchange with someone, if a program I planned didn't go well, you get the idea, then I am entitled to some sort of compensation for that unpleasantness. Say something goes wrong, I get home, I replay the day and think to myself, that was miserable I am entitled to....not just a glass of wine with dinner but one after the kids got to sleep, or a giant stack of oreos, or 3 hours of video games that end at 2:00 am.
As I thought these things through I realized that I was standing directly in the way of God's work in my life. The bible talks about "God turning what man intended for harm into good" and "God working all things for the good of those who love him."Instead of acknowledging God's ability to work even in the crap of my life I chose to handle it myself.
I prayed and asked God to forgive me for getting in his way and for the faith to trust Him to handle even the crap in my life.
I love it when God breaks through.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Scot Mckinght on an "Evironment of Honesty"

Scot Mcknight has some insightful thoughts on the Ted Haggard Mess that has been/is unfolding.

Haggard's troubles point to larger problems within Evangelical Christianity not just the sins of one man. According to McKnight
1. Christians, and not just pastors, do not feel free to disclose sins to anyone;
2. Christians, including pastors, sin and sin all the time;
3. Christians, including pastors, in evangelicalism do not have a mechanism of confession;
4. Christians and pastors, because of the environment of condemnation of sin and the absence of a mechanism of confession, bottle up their sins, hide their sins, and create around themselves an apparent purity and a reality of unconfessed/unadmitted sin.
5. When Christians do confess, and it is often only after getting caught, they are eaten alive by fellow evangelicals — thus leading some to deeper levels of secrecy and deceit.
Therefore, we need to be diligent about correcting the above. We need to be diligent in creating an "environment of honesty." Please read Scot's full post here.