After reading this book, I am going to buy Mark’s other book, Radical Refomission. It’s really, really super. I am going to go through my regualr drill of quotes, questions and thoughts, but you should know that I stayed up until 2 am on a Saturday reading this book, and then spent two hours praying really hard. Then slept for almost three hours and went to Sunday – ministering to/with people from 8 am to 10 pm with a 1 hour lunch and a 15 minute dinner – and I didn’t feel all that tired…a little scatter brained, but most people don’t notice that as unusual.
Anyways – here it is!!
>> I noticed right off that Mark sees himself as a missionary, and sees it as his job to know the culture and the things that are shaping that culture in order to help his church enter that culture effectively
>> In the introdution, question two had a great little checklist that can help be a diagnostic for some church leaders
>> p.22 “The emerging church is a growing, loosely connected movement of primarily young pastors who are glad to see the end of modernity and are seeking to function as missionaries who bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to emerging and postmodern cultures”
>>AMEN!! Are you glad to see the end of modernity?!
>>p.23 “Will you proclaim a gospel of forgiveness, fulfillment or freedom?”
>>p. 47 “Over the years, I have become increasingly troubled by the frequency with which young pastors simly dismiss the New Testament teaching on church leadership and discipline, so that if four guys are drinking beer in a pub, they can call it a church…[I say] that sometimes a whore wears the same perfume as a wife, and it’s no different with the bride of Christ.”
>>p.48 (on homosexuality in the church) “It seemed odd that a male greeter who had likely had sex with a man before church chastised me for wearing a hat in church because I was disrespecitng God.”
>>p. 59/60 Mark gives an example of his fine counselling skills. Buy the book for these two pages alone!
>>p. 67 on marrying people, “knowing that their marriage is for the gospel as much as the gospel is for their marriage.”
>>p. 71 “I can honestly say it was the gayest thing I have ever been a part of.” (referring to a church painting party)
>>p. 77 in response to the desires of some to have collective sermon preparation…like Doug Pagitt’s book, Preaching Reimaging, “My people needed to hear from God’s Word and not from each other in collective ignorance like some dumb chat room.”
>>p. 78 “I decided that being cool, having good music, understanding postmodern epistemology, and welcoming all kinds of strange people into the church is essentially worthless if at the bedrock of the church anything other than a rigorous Jesus-centered biblical theology guides the mission of the church.”
>>p. 83 on his church changing meeting locations, “In the move, we lost some of our least-committed people, as I was hoping we would.”
>>p. 103 “As I studied the Bible, I found more warrant for a church led by unicorns than by majority vote.”
>>p.112 “As people completed the [membership] class, they were encouraged to either sign up as members or leave the church and go elsewhere.”
>>p.113 on giving “So we started asking members for annual pledges, tracked their giving, and contacted them if their giving was significantly below their pledge.”
And finally, why I love Driscoll…
When we started the church, I was full of pride, and by God’s grace, I am now down to perhaps half a tank. I routinely critiqued the work of other men, particularly older men who had faithfully served Jesus be reaching modern and suburban types of people. It was typical young-buck-in-rutting-season folly.
But now that I’ve had a few years of ministry beatings, I am increasingly grateful for the Christian leaders whom Jesus is using even if they are considerably different from me.
If you are a church leader, paid or not, buy this book. Make your mission the gospel of Jesus Christ.