Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Take a moment to reflect on these to see if the Holy Spirit does some work on your heart and mind. These thoughts are straight from Steve Van Diest
Characteristics on Missional Living
- You are willing to leave something behind (see Abram in Genesis)
- You are compelled by a vision of God’s promised future (Genesis 12)
- You realize that the journey is bigger than their lifetime (Heb 11)
The thing that struck me the most is what are Detours of Living for the Mission.
1. The “Demas Danger:” See 2 Tim 4:10 – Loving the things of the world.
2. The “Good Old Days” Syndrome: Mindset that it was better back then or this way.
3. The “Dead End of Disappointment:” We lose hope b/c of trials.
What is keeping you from living for the mission of Christ? Where you do fall most? Do a quick evaluation to see if your heart is matching the missional living that God has called us to or if you’re getting off track.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
So isn't it ironic that I met with Alex today. He is a freshman who placed his trust in Christ roughly a month and half ago. He met me at a coffee shop on the edge of campus with the idea of a major outreach. His almost exact words were, "I've never done anything like this, but more and more I feel like God is in this and I want to go big or go home." So not only is a freshmen (A FRESHMEN!) saying this to me, but his outreach idea is meant to build bridges in a compassionate, humble way to people that would never check out 'Real Life,' our weekly meeting. I'll explain more later. I'm really kind of blown away.
So my challenge is to coach him without stiffling student ownership. I've literally told him that this is his baby. I given him some helpful hints and set him up with a bit of organization for a outreach team and prayed with him. But this is his brainchild and I want him to deeply own it. I want him to own it in a way that he is on his knees, petitioning the Lord for wisdom, strength, and for the Spirit to direct him. I want him to link arms with others and be deeply dependent on the Lord.
More than ever I believe that if students have that experience of stepping out of the boat (props to John Ortberg) and trusting the Lord for something way bigger that themselves, it will shape them forever and have lasting impact in our local ministry, in recruiting for staff, and in how people are involved in ministry wherever they are at.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
At its heart is “the failure of success“—a desire to protect what we have achieved rather than to pursue mission.Here are the consequences for each of the characteristics of dynamic movements.
1. White hot faith - Members of plateaued movements prefer security, social acceptance and prosperity to radical dependence on God. They seek a tamer, more rationalized expression of their faith and begin to interpret the movement’s mission in this-worldly rather than other-worldly terms.
2. Commitment to a cause - Movements emerge because of high levels of dissatisfaction with the status quo. They plateau when members lose their sense of urgency about the need for radical change in the light of a kingdom vision. Plateaued movements increasingly see their mission as protecting what they have gained rather than transforming the world. Discipline becomes lax as members seek a lower level of tension with the surrounding culture.
3. Contagious relationships - There is an increasing reliance on paid professionals to spread the faith and a decreasing reliance on ordinary members and new believers who reach out to their networks of relationships.
4. Rapid mobilization - Religious professionals replace volunteers and the primary workforce. Their role becomes caring for a settled congregation within parish boundaries rather than pioneering new mission among unreached people. The predominant model of church is that of the settled congregation at the expense of the mobile missionary band.
5. Adaptive methods - The environment becomes more formal and complex. Once successful methods become institutionalized. Dissent and diversity are discouraged. Doing things right becomes more important than doing the right things.There may be some exceptions to the tendency to drift towards Plateau and Decline. I just haven’t come across any.
Posted in Movement Building, Marks of a Movement
Saturday, November 05, 2005
This morning John Ortberg was the plenary speaker at the National Outreach Convention in San Diego. He spoke on what kind of person God uses to change communities. Great message with some very powerful insights. Citing a Harvard study, that we were assured was Harvard as in the University, 7000 people were tracked over 9 years. Those who were not in community were 3X as more likely to die prematurely as those who were in community. In fact, people who smoke and drink and over-eat, who were in community, had a better life expectancy than those with better health habits but were out of community. "Better to eat Twinkies with friends than broccoli alone."
The dinner was our annual Fellowship dinner fundraiser. It's the one fundraiser we do that provides for all the campus ministry expenses. God provided last night and we saw about 35K dollars pledged.
Yesterday I had the privilege of spending some time with Steve Douglass - el presidente of Campus Crusade for Christ. Steve spent some time with our national leadership team.One of the questions we asked Steve (I think it was Sam Osterloh) was, "In the history of Crusade, what was the best year of the campus ministry (best meaning missional / exciting / effective)? " Of course Steve answered . . . . it is still in our future - the best is yet to come.But as we pushed him, he nailed it down to 1967-1970. Here are the six things he said were true of this dynamic period.
Expectant: There was an expectation of God working. You could feel the electricity in the air - nothing was too big for God to accomplish - and we expected him to do so.
Simple: The tools were simple, well taught and used effectively. You quickly learned and then were expected (even called) to action and reproduction. You went to campus and you knew exactly what was expected and what you needed to do.
Consistent: Everyone was on the same page. Simple, transferable and universally used.
H.S.: "We talked about the work of the Holy Spirit much more than we do today." Everythings was about the movement of the Spirit - conversations flowed from what the Spirit was doing. (so much so that many people thought we were a charasmatic group).
Student Ownership: "I owned it - and so did my roomates. Not that we did it perfectly, but we deeply owned it and were allowed to run."
Quick Turn Around: After someone trusted Christ they were out sharing the next day. You could become a new believer and be teaching basic lessons in less than three weeks.
Interestingly, Steve said that maybe only 30% of the whole of Crusade was operating at this high octain (he was gueussing and speculating), but it was enough to dirve a huge level of work, excitement and resources for the Great Commission.
As I look at thoses six . . . . well, it does not seem that complex. Again, Steve was answering off the top of his head, so I am not sure he would identify this as THE SIX THINGS - but it is telling to see the organic nature of movement in this simple list.