Positional, Relational or ___ Authority

Leaders often speak of relational and positional authority. Pastoral leaders understand that relational, mutual (back-and-forth) authority is best. Positional authority is not something you want to appeal to very often.

BUT what often gets entirely ignored is the charismatic authority of Jesus. That is "charismatic" in the sense of the Holy Spirit in a person creating a new way of thinking or new set of circumstances on the ground. This is through the creative work of the Spirit (it is empowered in the state of play that can be entered into through prayer and worship, which cultivates prophetic imagination often very different from the current relationship "facts") . The gift makes it's way as the old-timers would say. Too often we exalt relational authority without realizing that people are often operating out of their culture, toxic emotions or simply emotions and thoughts MAINLY formed by the world with a veneer of prayer. To assume one can simply lead relationally without the hard work of prayer which empowers us charismatically, we will not be able to lead positionally nor relationally in the direction of the Kingdom of God.

#saturdaycoffeethoughts #futuresermonprep

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What is Sin?

I am about 1/3 of the way through The Day the Revolution Began: Rediscovering the Meaning of Jesus' Crucifixion and highly recommend it.
As we known in other walks of life, when people duck out of their assigned responsibilities, someone else will take the over instead, and no good will come of it. When humans sin, they hand to nondivine forces a power and authority that those forces were never supposed to have. And that is why, if God's plan is to rescue and restore his whole creation, with humans as the active agents in the middle of it, "sins" have to be dealt with. That is the only way by which the nondivine forces that usurp the human role in the world will lose their power. They will be starved of the oxygen that keeps them alive, that turns them from ordinary parts of God's creation in to distorted and dangerous monsters. 101


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The Church Year

I was not raised in a church that recognized the church year. In general we were taught that it was "dead religion". Of course there is always the reality that ritual without real reflection can become deadening. However, rightly reflected on it can also become a powerful source of pushing against the totalizing claims of the world without Jesus.

So some years ago I began using and incorporating the church year into my teaching/preaching and worship. Sometimes very obviously and other times, just barely. I think this is a fairly upbeat intro to the church year. [embed]

The Story ... As Told Through the Christian Calendar from Christ Church Anglican on Vimeo.

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The Call to Maturity

The Bible holds two images of the believe in tension. On one hand we are to be child-like in our faith, how we choose to use holy and prophetic imagination in the play of the word and spirit in prayer and worship, and in our hope.

On the other hand, we are to "grow up" emotionally. This means we own and choose to enter into play and then back out into non-play life empowered by the Spirit, CHOOSING to let that empowerment work in us and through us.

Smith, in Called to be Saints, asks:

What would it look like if congregational life were oriented around this vision of spiritual maturity in Christ? Consider the implications for three dimension of congregational life: worship, teaching-learning, and mission.

  • The church is liturgical community - called to worship
  • The church is a teaching community - called to the renewal of the mind.
  • The church is a missional community - witnessing in word and deed to the reign of Christ.

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Play the Lie

Called to be Saints, Gordon Smith "If I am called to be the executive director of an agency, the principal of a school, the pastor of a church or the manager of a business, I lead by naming reality. I ask what is the ACTUAL set of circumstances that lie before me and around me?...We start here and now. NO nostalgia, no regrets, no illusions...we do not live emotionally in a previous time. We have no patience with "the good old days." They are long gone...Integrity includes the capacity, to use golfing language, to play one's lie: to proceed without complaint about the weather, the depth of the rough, the capacities of the groundskeeper, the noise of the children in the nearby backyards, the quality of conversation in your foursome or the refusal of other golfers to turn off their cell phones. We just play the shot....we play the lie." Smith, Called to be Saints, 104-5.

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Reading List Updates

I am trying to always learn and grow as a leader, pastor and pastor-theologian.

Right now I am reading:

(in addition to the Bible and a bunch of John commentaries)

Called to be Saints: An Invitation to Christian Maturity, by Gordan T. Smith, an Alliance theologian in Calgary, Alberta.

The Day The Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus's Crucifixion, N.T. Wright

Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities, Roger Olson

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Articles this week…

First a picture that sums up ministry:

Pastoral App Apreciation Month Promo From the Skit Guys: "The Pastor's Chair"

The Thing All Women Do That You Don’t Know About

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Warfare Worldview of the NT

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Eph. 6:10-12)

We have started a short topical series on living in the warzone on Sunday's at Bayshore. This is within the larger picture of the Gospel of John series.
Here are some resources that I have found helpful both theological and practice:
The Case for Christianity
The Screwtape Letters
The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis

The Unseen Realm by Michael Heiser
Ben Witherington is doing a LONG blog interaction with him at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/bibleandculture/2016/09/29/michael-heisers-the-unseen-realm-part-nine/

Understanding Spiritual Warfare: Four Views 2012 by James K. Beilby (Editor), Paul Rhodes Eddy (Editor)

Satan and the Problem of Evil: Constructing a Trinitarian Warfare Theodicy 2001
and
Is God to Blame? Moving Beyond Pat Answers to the Problem of Suffering 2003
by Gregory A. Boyd

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How to improve your christian experience – ban small talk in gatherings

Here's a thought-provoker...http://www.wired.co.uk/article/banning-small-talk Banning Small Talk

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Some quick reads for a better life

http://nypost.com/2016/08/27/its-digital-heroin-how-screens-turn-kids-into-psychotic-junkies/: It’s ‘digital heroin’: How screens turn kids into psychotic junkies
By Dr. Nicholas Kardaras
August 27, 2016 | 7:54pm

Susan* bought her 6-year-old son John an iPad when he was in first grade. “I thought, ‘Why not let him get a jump on things?’ ” she told me during a therapy session. John’s school had begun using the devices with younger and younger grades — and his technology teacher had raved about their educational benefits — so Susan wanted to do what was best for her sandy-haired boy who loved reading and playing baseball.

She started letting John play different educational games on his iPad. Eventually, he discovered Minecraft, which the technology teacher assured her was “just like electronic Lego.” Remembering how much fun she had as a child building and playing with the interlocking plastic blocks, Susan let her son Minecraft his afternoons away...


Stop Complaining About Problems in Your Church And actually do something to fix them.

Sports have analysts, experts and commentators who get paid to talk about how different teams and athletes perform. Movies have critics who make a living writing reviews of how well a movie was made, the performances of the actors, the quality of the writing and so on. We have things like Yelp and Angie’s List for reviewing businesses. Even Netflix and Amazon Prime provide us with the ability to rate movies and write our own reviews.

At every turn, our consumer-based culture has ingrained in us the idea that our opinions are of the highest value. It’s no surprise that we bring this attitude into the Church...

Read more at http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/church/stop-complaining-about-problems-your-church#uo14EZs6QuOocxkm.99

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