Sunday, May 12, 2019

Held captive by Insiderness

This post by Seth Godin set me thinking about my experience with the church. 

Trapped by the incoming

The incoming is coming to you because a while ago, you did something brave and generous and risky. 

Incoming is great. It’s a reward for your impact. It’s a chance to serve and to make a difference. And it enables you to go to work every day. 

If you spend all your time dealing with the incoming, though, you’ll have no time and no energy to create the next thing. 

Every successful organization that has ultimately faded away via irrelevance has failed for this very reason.

It would seem that for some reason in church over time our natural (or should I say our unnatural drift) is towards the inside rather than the outside.

Most of our money is spent on the insiders
Most of our staff is focused on insiders
Most of our volunteer roles are focused on insiders
Most of our energy is spent trying to keep insiders “happy” rather than finding outsiders to welcome
Most of our discussion is around theological theory rather than embracing those who can’t understand what we are talking about but know they need help

It takes purpose to go against the flow to reattach to the core of our mission.

To seek and save the lost....

The apostles refused to be trapped by the inside problem of racial discrimination, set Godly men to lay down Godly principles, and carried on with the mission.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

When death is a better opportunity than life...

In the 1990s, several key leaders of the church in Iran were killed. One of the most famous martyrs, Mehdi Dibaj, gave a defense before the Islamic courts prior to his death that has become a rallying cry for many Christians in Iran. Dibaj declared:

I would rather have the whole world against me, but know that the Almighty God is with me; be called an apostate, but know that I have the approval of the God of glory. . . . Life for me is an opportunity to serve him, and death is a better opportunity to be with Christ. Therefore I am not only satisfied to be in prison for the honour of his Holy Name, but am ready to give my life for the sake of Jesus my Lord and enter his kingdom sooner, the place where the elect of God enter to everlasting life

Desiring God read more

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Get off the couch and gather round the table

St Francis had the table laid upon the naked earth as was his custom. And when meal lime came, St Francis & St Clare sat down together, and one of the Brothers with the companion of St Clare, and next all the other brothers, and they humbly took their places at the table. And with the first dish St Francis began to talk of God so lovingly, with such depth, so wonderfully, that the divine fullness of love descended upon him, and all were enraptured in God. And while they were thus transported with eyes and hands lifted towards heaven, the people of Assisi and Bettona and in the neighbouring towns saw that Santa Maria degli Angeli and the whole convent and woods, which then were at the side of the convent seemed to be in a great blaze.
St Francis and the foolishness of God p66

A few random unconnected thoughts
  1. The table is possibly the greatest and underused tool that we have to build community & make disciples
  2. Us charasmatic / Pentecostals dont have the corner when it comes to the supernatural 
  3. “Worship” can never be contained in a building or a time, it needs no music just hearts enraptured by and directed to Jesus.
  4. It almost sounds like a “small group” I’d go too! Lol

Monday, April 01, 2019

Mother’s Day Musings

Was meant to publish yesterday but somehow didn’t, but the thought transcends Mother’s Day :)

In February 2000 as we all looked forward in hope to a new millennium, my world changed with one phone call from my dad. My mum, or as we would say back home - mam, having survived a scare with cancer a few years earlier the doctors were confirming the devastating news that it was back. A hastily arranged flight up north to Aberdeen followed, to be greeted with the news as I arrived at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, that this time there would be no cure. The next couple of weeks was spent at our family home with my dad caring for her as her health slowly deteriorated.

I have many private memories of that time as we took turns sitting at her bedside throughout the day and the long nights. But two things I can share that sums up much about my mam.

One of her brothers came to visit and said to her, Why you Elsie? His thought process was that my mum, in his mind at least, had possibly lived a good life and why was this happening to her? Quick as a flash she shot back, Why not me? Living a good life or being a Christian did not give her a pass from illness but following Jesus assured her of comfort in the dark times and a guarantee of an eternity in heaven.

As my mam grew sicker and drifted in and out of consciousness she often would say “I would like to have done one more year”. At first, I wasn’t sure what she meant but then discovered that it was about the Sunday School at Cairnbulg AOG. She had started teaching a Sunday School class as a teenager and continued ever since. Taking out a few breaks when her kids were born she had served for 39 years and she would have liked to have made it 40 years as teaching children about Jesus was so important to her.

Amongst a host of other things, my mam demonstrated to me what trust in God and faithfulness to His cause looked like.

Thank you mam.