Friday, January 27, 2012
I was privileged to share my (Southgate) story with Mark Meyer and the Maximizer guys that meet weekly to talk about making an impact through business in the context of the kingdom of God and the local church. They were so receptive and supportive! A real blessing! I rediscovered (as I do quite regularly) the heartbeat of our vision found in Jeremiah 29:7 "Seek the Welfare of the city where I have sent you..." It dawned on me as I was driving to the 6:30 am meeting that "J297" would probably be the best way to describe what we want to be all about at Southgate. What a great way to start the day!
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
One of the challenges of local church life is money... you know, having enough of it to do what the church is supposed to do. Why is that? Lack of teaching? Skepticism? Greed?
Here's what I think. Most people aren't greedy, they just need a good reason to give and the church just doesn't seem like one. This chasm in our understanding of seeing the church as a viable cause is deep and wide but, it is earned.
But, I for one think the church is a good cause. It has the potential to mobilize an army of volunteers in a moment's notice because its rooted in a value system (theology) of love, compassion, care & hard work. (Notice I said it has the 'potential' to do this.) There has been too much separation in our understanding of who we (the church) are and what we do. Our identity has too often been rooted in a doctrine we talk about rather than a way of life we demonstrate and sometimes describe. Perhaps if we witnessed churches catalyzing movements & becoming more like community centers and less like temples we would earn a new reputation.
This is Isaiah's confident, hopeful prediction about God's people, his church...
"The nations will see your righteousness. World leaders will be blinded by your glory. And you will be given a *new name by the LORD’s own mouth."
Isaiah 62:2 (NLT)
* The new name: "Sought Out" from Is. 62:12 (NASB)
What kind of shift needs to happen for the church to be seen as a good cause?
Monday, January 23, 2012
You never know how hard until you're being tested by it. Change that is... We (Cynthia & I) experiencing change in a big way in our lives right now...
- Cynthia's grandmother just passed marking the end of an era for her family and even our church.
- We are now empty nesters as our youngest (18) son graduated early and is pursuing his music dream out in California.
- Our church leadership team has gone through a massive transition that has tested friendships, faith and loyalty. Not easy, but necessary.
- We are in a 21-day season of prayer & fasting that is leading us back to our king, Jesus. It couldn't have come at a better time for me. That much is certain.
"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things." Machiavelli