Our Medium Group

I kind of lead our small group. Except there is about 18 people in it, so I like to call it a medium group. But I can’t do that too often because it makes it sound like a coven. We meet everyother Friday night and pay to have the kids taken care of. I really love the people in our group.

We are normal people, ex-anythings that are trying to learn to follow and become a community of Chrsitians who are committed to each other, Jesus and those not in our medium group. We want Albany to be better because we are becoming more like Jesus. We want to gather and yet be different so that we have diverse relationships.
We are all similar age and have kids, but that was an accident (not the kids, the formation of the mediums).

So last week we started watching The Jesus I Never Knew with Yancey. When we came back from the video (VHS, we had to watch it in another room) I sat on the floor (like the hippy I am) and the whole group set up in stadium seating on the couch and stools behind the couch. Since I am trying to help us create a group instead of a feeding trough I asked (told) them to move around to the side and make more of a circle. I asserted my leadership. I got a couple weird looks but they moved and we had one of our best groups ever. The conversation wasn’t all through me, it actually moved around the room and there was direct interaction between people. I was very blessed.

I am thinking about this, though, becauseo reading Dan Kimball’s reflections on pews and thinking through my own theological avariance to pews (it worked in a system that is now obsolete). And I am thinking about our small group last year, where I tried to not be the leader and just be communal. That sucked. The group was great, and I loved the people, but we went no where. Albany was not better because we met on Friday nights.

This year I have been asserting myself as an emerging leader. It feels weird, different, but I am, I think, more truly living out my calling as a pastor when I am leading people (youth, adults, seniors, whoever). Not way out in front, but just barely ahead and helping them to come see more of the Jesus-way (props to Sander’s Spiritual Leadership).

Who would have thought all this up? What a blessing to partner with the Lord in what is coming soon and is already here…but has been forever.




Jaws came out when I was very young. I am afraid of sharks and because of that I hate them. I hate being afraid of anything. So I think I need to make it one of my life goals to touch a shark.

maybe a small one in captivity would be a good baby step…


This year I was nervous. I have to admit it. The HEAT just didn’t seem to be getting it together. But – SHAQ IS BACK!!

scoring 49 points in two games on only 30 shots (let’s see Kobe do that!) and shooting 73% from the line.

Detroit who? Pistons? I might remember them…they used to be the favorites, right? Before SHAQ woke up?

Doug Pagitt, Preaching Reimagined

I read this book before going to the National Pastors Convention (which is a set of blog posts that I need to finish) where I was going to learn from Doug. I went to a early morning book club, but Doug talked for a long time and I didn’t get a chance to ask my questions…that sucked and I was disappointed for getting up that early.
This book is a viewpoint that preaching goes more on the pastor side (as oppossed to the prophet side, ala Driscoll and Bell). It has some really interesting insights – if you are one who leads and addresses the whole congregation, it’s very likely worth the read. Here’s some stuff that I was drawn to:

>> Doug’s style of preaching is (self-) called progressional dialogue. He calles traditional preaching, “spreaching”. Saying that the church is the only place in culture where spreaching happens. I think comedians do it to though…but I don’t know what the implications of that are for preachers…

>> p. 31 “We tell the story of the Spirit blowing where it will. Yet we resort to speaching in an effort to protect the story, to make it digestible and applicable. The gospel is simply too powerful for that kind of control.”

>>p. 35 “I’m not suggesting we need a new kind of preaching to reach a target market. Rather we need a new kind of preaching because we need a new us.”
And I (james) think the same can be said for forms of church!

So what is the role of apostolic leadership in the emergent church?

>>Chapter 11>>Implication vs. Application>>This chapter put to words much of my thinking on the application/implications that are presented at the end of Purpose Driven sermons…”Think about the ways in which the disciples responded whenever they listened to Jesus preach. They wondered what this call would mean for them. They talked to each other about what they’d heard. They asked Jesus questions about how his words were changing them. They were not asking questions of application, but of reorientation.”

The gospel is not a prescription!

What does this look like in youth ministry?

>>p. 145 on pastor burn-out rates: “Something is tragically amiss when the life-giving gospel becomes hazardous to the lives of the people most engaged in it.”

Divorce kills the Sabbath. Kids spend the week at one place and the weekend somewhere else….where do they rest if both parents are trying to get maximum relationship out of the kids?

I think I like this book mostly because it helps me to go somewhere with my
thoughts. Pagitt doesn’t tell me things as much as he gets me going in
directions that lead to really really awesome thoughts, feelings, changes
and expressions of Christianity in a postmodern world.

We’ve gone too far…

We should, in the America that is marketed Christianity, take notice when the Christianity we are marketed may have gone too far. This, I believe, is too far.

But it is so dang* funny!!

(*that dang was especially for Cassie…)

Recent Searches

Here’s some recent searches that have ended up in the reorientation:

>> mtv overdirve (and yes, that’s spelt wrong…)
>> “mark driscoll”
>> leron schults
>> “shed his blood with me today shall be my brother”

Prayer Rug

So I get this prayer rug in the mail, two or three times now and they say that if you mail it back, after using it, that you will be blessed a bunch. So I checked the appropriate boxes (asking for a blessing to cover all of our debt) and sent it in. Thing is, I used the name John E. Rocket. They sent me a book now! It’s called the Seed Principle, and you can see where this is going. Apparently now I mail something else in, the little card on the back, and they rush me something else so that God can be my financial partner.

Th church website is here, and apparently they have been accused of being a scam trying to get people’s money – I don’t know how that could be!

This is even better than doing the publisher’s sweepstakes!!