Found this editorial cartoon in the paper today which gives a window onto how the church is viewed:
Regardless of how fair you feel the critique is, it does suggest, to me at least, a different kind of message from heaven one might want to keep an ear open for. Something along these lines:
Now, how's that again O Loving One? I ask a handful of people to manage your money and use the edifice they already have to live a glorious life of joy and generosity that clearly has your name written all over it? Then we plead for others to join us with their big bucks to live lives of simplicity and service, to show we're not faking it, and to demonstrate that your beneficence is not a ponzi scheme? Say, this sounds pretty good!
Monday, January 14, 2013
Sunday, January 6, 2013
For a quick rundown on some critical priorities for change in the church, it would be tough to do much better than these five below. They are the themes for the Exponential conference
"The DiscipleShift theme is about moving the church planting conversation beyond missional versus attractional to a deep and passionate discourse around disciple making. At next year’s conference, we’ll explore several major shifts:
Shift 1: From Reaching to Making We need to shift to a clear definition of “disciple,” and then ask if our church is making that kind of person. It’s not enough to reach people if we are not making biblical disciples.
Shift 2: From Teaching to Modeling Discipleship begins with pastors and church leaders shifting their view of discipleship from classes toward a discipleship lifestyle. As leaders, we must intentionally model what it looks like to follow Jesus and lead others to do the same.
Shift 3: From Attending to Participating Discipleship cannot simply be a program or a ministry we offer and people attend. We have to shift discipleship back to the center of our churches, making it the purpose of everything we do and let people know that discipleship is dependent on participating in the endless process of following Christ.
Shift 4: From Connecting to Transforming Beyond just classes and sermons, discipleship must be based friendship and time together. To cultivate the kind of disciples Jesus did, we have to shift our paradigm from activity and surface connections to deep, accountable relationships.
Shift 5: From Attracting to Deploying Jesus was much more concerned with the 12 men He invested in than the thousands He taught. Shifting our scorecard from how many people we gather to how many disciples we deploy is essential."