A postmodern journey of faith...


I'm not sure if I'm going to continue doing this, but I'll give it a shot today.

I like to spend time over at Sacred Space doing my meditation online. I can get it on my Handspring, as well, so I can do it wherever I go. This is my personal meditation on today's text. I probably won't do this daily...

Matthew 20:20-28
James and John were very human. You can't blame them...they wanted to be sure this was going to be worthwhile. I think any one of us would be asking ourselves the same questions. But what I really love about this passage is what's written between the lines in Jesus' response to the 10's indignance (is that a word?). By saying what He does, it's as if He's implying: "You know, every one of you feel like this. If you didn't, you wouldn't be irritated with James and John...be honest with yourself. You know, the rulers of the Gentiles Lord it over them..."

When we read the Gospels, we love to pass judgment on the disciples' humanness--it somehow allows us to excuse our own human desires. I think that's where the 10 are at here. If they can judge James and John's indiscretion, then it takes the focus off their own.

A thought: if it pushes your buttons, you'd better look in the mirror. Is your indignation righteous or defensive? Hmmm...


This afternoon I ran into some potential parishioners for the "new church." What new church? Well, that is a problem isn't it? I get frustrated trying to explain to people what we are...and aren't. I get even more frustrated trying to explain why nothing is happening. It's apparent to me that there's a real need here...but more and more every day I'm learning that I'm NOT the Messiah. Jesus handles those duties so much better than I. I'd like to bail everybody out of their unhappy church situations...but I just can't.

Al Magnuson, district minister for the Heartland Baptist District put hit the nail right on the head several months ago as we were visiting about this venture. He said that we can't be about used Christians. I've learned that list-keepers are always list-keepers. They don't change...they just start new lists. And those list-keepers...they are the "used" Christians. We don't need those. I tend to make people like that unhappy anyway.

No new insights to lend today. I'm just keeping-on keeping-on.

One more thing: I got a call from my former senior pastor today. It's official: my ties are broken and I'm now 100% a free agent...for what it's worth.



Well, this is my first post using my Handspring. Hopefully the portability of this setup will help ensure that I update this blog a little more often. That, and with some hopefully shifting priorities, this will become a primary outlet for me. We'll see.

My foray into the emerging church movement hasn't stopped...but it seems to have changed. I've been pastoring a small church about 35 miles north of here since the end of February. It's a part-time gig, but it's been a welcome change. This church as been pursuing the same paradigm of ministry for about 20 years, and it doesn't seem to be working. What is really needed in this small midwestern town is a church stemming from the emerging church movement. I hate to use labels...but for the sake of the uninitiated...

The town is probably about 80% churched...but that doesn't mean that 80% of the people know Christ. But this situation poses some unique problems for us...namely that fact that no one really wants to explain why their car was at our church on Sunday morning instead of their own. What this requires is a change in paradigm concerning how we relate to the community and how we execute our services. If we can resituate ourselves as a non-threatening family-oriented entity, I think we'll have a chance. We can only hope.

At any rate, as for the Gateway, things are on hold for now. We may look at moving toward a worship-service-only format, at least to start. I don't really want it to be a church...but rather a faith community. We need a generic statement of faith, but then not have to worry about the details. Perhaps I'm dreaming...but then faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen, right?