A postmodern journey of faith...


I'm doing this the morning after, for what it's worth. I should be working on continuing ed. stuff, but this is good therapy, I think.

We went to The Crossing last night. It was a good experience...very relaxed and somewhat relational. I didn't feel especially well-connected, but part of that could have to do with the fact that it was obvious I wasn't from Sioux Falls. Still, it was more relevant to me than anything else I experienced yesterday, at least considering churches.

I had a hard time yesterday in service at First Assembly. I guess it's just not my speed anymore...I certainly felt out-of-place. I never thoght I'd feel that way here (writing this at the office). I guess when it's time to go, it's time to go. The decision for me to move on came rather abruptly and unexpectedly...e.g., I didn't make it, really. I shared my heart and got told that it was time to pursue my vision. But you know, in the long run, this is probably the best thing. My ability to really do my job has suffered horribly from a lack of focus. I guess I'm just not called to youth pastor anymore...at least for right now. And so, my out-of-place feeling could have a lot to do with a breaking occuring.

But that brings me to yesterday (Sunday). After church, I was able to put the displacement stuff out of my mind until after service at The Crossing. After that, it all came crashing down. If you'd asked me last night, I think I would have said, "I'm out of here." I sat with the leadership team at Culver's, and just felt like I was on the outside looking in for about half the time. The rest of the time, I chose to be on the outside. And then we went on and discussed the fact that I really haven't even gotten a pat on the back and a "thank you for 5 1/2 years of service" from more than a few people (I can count them on less than one hand). Needless to say, this didn't help my discouragement. I don't need to justify how I'm feeling; I need to move on.

I think the biggest thing I'm trying to deal with is the fact that I'm not so sure I can do this thing. They've put me on the team as the resident evangelist. It is, in-part, my vision that is driving this thing (along with Andrew and Rod)--yet, I'm not so sure I can do it. I've said it repeatedly: everyone else has more confidence in me than I do. I guess I've just been burned too many times--gotten my hopes up only to be let down. My dilemma is quite paradoxical: I'm afraid that I might not be on the same page with others on the team and that my input will be overlooked (but that's my pride talking, I guess). On the other hand, I'm afraid my vision for this thing is too "far out there" to be realized. But then, that's probably what would make it a God thing. At least according to what I've been teaching for the last 4 years or so, it would be.

"The most helpful experiments are accomplished by people who are too naive to know that they are getting into. The wise and experienced know too much to ever accomplish the impossible." --Gordon Cosby, Church of the Saviour in Washington, D.C.

This has become my motto for life, lately.

I'm tired. I'd just like to walk away for awhile and take a break. Trouble is, I'm afraid that if I do, I won't ever come back. And for me, the mission is too pressing--there are too many lost people.

Lord, send revival. Start with me.


OK, better day today. Discouragement only nibbled for part of the evening...it didn't eat me alive. Actually, I'm getting really excited about certain elements of this church! Postmodernity is wierd, in that the same things that scare the crap out of you also excite you intensely. So I'm thinking of water...Len Sweet talks about orienting on the North Star--Jesus Christ--in AquaChurch. Sounds like a good plan to me...we anchor to Jesus Christ and trust the Spirit to lead us into the absolute unknown. Right. Like Voyage of the Dawn Treader sans Reepicheep.

Actually, I'm thinking of the cover of the Kansas album, "Point of Know Return."

I struggle here a bit, because I really want something fluid and different. I don't want to see this become a hoky home group--an "anti-church" church. That's not what I'm about. God has called me to the church--to help reawaken it, to revolutionize it. I guess that sounds presumptuous, but I just so yearn for a reawakening of authentic Biblical faith. The really frightening element of this is that I think authentic Biblical faith could look very different than anything any of us has ever seen before...and certainly different than the standard by which we measure our faith today.

Tomorrow evening we visit The Crossing in Sioux Falls.


Great article here about The Landing Place in Cincinattio, OH. It's not a house church. And it's not Gen-X, okay?

Click to read it @ The Ooze.
Scared spitless.

People ask me how I'm doing nowadays...and that's the best answer I can give them. Scared spitless. Let's go down the list...I'm getting married in 7 days. I'm jobless 2 days before that. I'm starting a faith venture without a clue where in the world I'm going--except that I'm trying to be relevant...whatever that is. Oh yes, and I'm going to be a daddy 3-times over in a week, too. Scared spitless.

Today was spent in Sioux Falls at the mall, trudging through continuing ed. stuff for my credentials while my dear fiancee went "wedding night" shopping. I really battled with discouragement as I studied the Assembly of God's bylaws, learning more about their position on cross-denominationalism. Basically, not. Don't go there. It can create "confusion and division." Oh, that's not what they say exactly, but that's implied. So, I'm a little worried about this process of starting a new church--not only is it something radically different than anything done around here before, but it's cross-denominationally planted, and non-denominational in scope. In other words, I'll be really lucky if I get to keep my credentials, much less get any endorsement for the work from my denomination. But my district superintendent is a forward-thinker, and I'm holding on to that. The A/G is changing...much like a slow-moving dinosaur, but it's happening. I pray that I can be a part of that process.

Another thing that hit me as I studied today was the topic of worldliness. Would somebody please define that for me? I'm really curious as to what, exactly, "worldliness" means. To some, I would probably seem worldly. Heck, to many, what we're doing here would seem worldly--especially since I'm not a "shove-it-down-your-throat-until-you-get-saved" kind of evangelist. A modernist evangelist friend of mine would say I've compromised horribly.

I'd like to think I'm living Jesus-style.

Remember, we're not so worried about the appearance of evil--that's not really what the Bible says. We're worried about the reality of it. Or the intention of it. I know I'm not guilty of at least one of those. You pick.

Maybe it's both. We can only hope.