Some times there are cool things… and sometimes there are HUGE things.
Last night I received confirmation of a HUGE thing that has been in the works for a while.
Below is the statement that the Leadership Board of World Relief approved yesterday.
“WR as an organization has given approval to its International Director (Brose) to work in conjunction with Antioch Church in Bend to explore, brainstorm and experiment with new models and ideas for collaboration between missional churches, WR and international fields. The project has the rights and privileges stated above and will report ideas and findings to WR at specified dates.”
In essence, World Relief has sanctioned Antioch to work in conjunction with Dan Brose (The World Relief International Programs Director) as a “research and development” project for World Relief as an organization.
Have you ever had that realization the older you get that you are more like your parents than you thought?
My sister sent me an e-mail today saying that she is a lot like dad (in reference to one of his primary virtues).
I’ve been having the same experience lately about feeling “like dad.”
Here’s my list: I like quiet now (even though I always craved crowds and people), I listen to soft and relaxing music (pretty big change from The Grateful Dead that I listened to in college), I like to unwind in the evenings and sometimes watch a little tv (I always remember my dad falling asleep on the couch in the evenings)… anyway, the list could go on.
We spend most of our early lives fighting to be unique only to realize later that we’re a lot like those around us. It’s kind of like pulling on rubber… it’s a lot of work and it will just go back to the original shape when you stop and take a breath.
There’s a lot more uniformity in this world than I think we realize.
I kind of hope that it holds true in the spiritual world too and that someday I’ll find out that I’m a little more like The Heavenly Father than I think I am.
Have you ever felt like God was trying to talk to you, but that you couldn’t figure out what He is saying?
I’ve felt like that the last couple of weeks.
It’s a weird place to be. On the one hand you are excited thinking that the God of the universe has something to say directly to you (pretty cool!!) and on the other hand you have the frustration of being in a fog and thinking that you must be an idiot to have such a hard time understanding.
Anyway, I think that prayer often times looks a lot like the mom who is teaching her toddler how to walk… standing just out of reach as the little tike stumbles awkwardly forward.
There were around 40 people at the first Fast Pass Class last night. I was pretty amazed.
My biggest challenge right now is trying to find ways to get so many people connected at Antioch.
If you’d like to help… I could sure use it!!
e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to help with small groups, ushers, greeters, Sunday set up, Children’s Ministries, hospitality, volunteer placement ministries or anything else that will help in getting people plugged into the church :)
Bukwo is where I went in December and where we are returning in February.
The people dancing with branches are the church that Antioch is going to partner with. The pastors interviewed are the pastors we are partnering with. The people and places are what we are falling in love with.
I was praying in my study this morning and my oldest daughter Mary Joy came in terrified because of a nightmare about monsters.
Have you ever thought about monsters?
I don’t know what Freud would say, but it seems like everything scary in this world is a twisted picture of what is whole and complete. A monster is a perversion of a good creature or human being… an evil person is a corrupt version of a human being… a deranged person is a sick version of a human being. Bad often seems to be the deficiency or brokenness of what is good.
This is a lot like St. Augustine’s view of evil. Augustine believed that bad didn’t exist as an independent entity. Rather, his view was that bad or evil is the absence or twisting of good.
On this view, spiritual growth or sanctification means the unbending and becoming of what is already latent potential through the work of the Holy Spirit. Becoming like Christ means becoming what God originally intended for men and women before sin corrupted our nature.
I don’t think that this is how we usually approach spiritual growth. I believe that we approach sanctification 3 dimensionally rather than spiritually. We run from monsters that we think exist. We run from people who threaten. We run from situations that scare us. We hide (much like Adam and Eve hid in the garden).
We think we can move, evade and find space in order to be spiritual. We think that the bad things are “out there” – thus the 3 dimension approach to growth.
Whether Augustine was right or wrong about evil, it seems like we may be able to learn a little about spirituality through his views… that we need to irrigate the arid places of our own souls and that we need to spend time with God so that he can straighten out our inner tangles. That the monsters we see are often just pointers to the reality that the things of this world need to be sanctified and remade.
Maybe there was a hint of all this thinking in the things I whispered to my daughter as I rocked her in the Lazy Boy… “Mary Joy, you are so very special and I love you.”
I didn’t whisper to her about the reality of monsters and that they couldn’t reach her; rather, I whispered to her about the reality of good and that she could reach it.
The Antioch Staff just finished two days of meetings together to look at structure, vision, ministry, programs, job descriptions and a host of other things.
I’d have to say that it was one of the most profitable times that I’ve ever had with a group or team.
The funny thing is that some of the most productive discussions followed from arguments. I don’t know about you, but I think that there should be more expressed disagreement face to face. When we talk about differences of opinion with each other we often work through to a better solution and a more authentic foundation for our relationships. On the other hand, when we disagree without communicating face to face it leads to gossip, judgment and criticism.
I love that the Antioch team not only knows how to laugh well… they know how to disagree well.
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