Here’s a link to an article about the Anglican chruch considering reuniting under the pope. This, contrary to what many may initially think, is a wonderful progression. The potential in all of this is overwhelming. Click the title link to see –
I am regularly listening to Len Sweet’s podcast now – and hope to do doctorate work at George Fox before he is too old to be working…
Here’s some of what he has recently said, as reported in the Associated Baptist Press…
Deal with it, get over it or get help. That’s Leonard Sweet’s mantra when it comes to understanding Christianity’s fluid role in the postmodern world.
The Christian church is in the midst of a “perfect storm,” Sweet told a crowd of 150 at Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary Feb. 5. Such stormy weather is manifested in, among other things, postmodernism — the worldview that questions modern assumptions about certainty and progress. Modernism gave Christians a preferred status as “chaplain” to the culture. But Christians in the West can no longer expect to have that “home-court advantage,” he said.
What’s more, he said, the church can’t change the fact that culture has rejected traditional institutions. So it must change from the inside out.
And, he added, it does no good to complain about it.
“I think God is defragging and rebooting the church,” Sweet said, alluding to computer terminology for reconfiguring and restarting a system. “I think what he is doing is he is getting us back to the original operating system of Christianity.”
Sweet’s address came as part of the Waco, Texas, seminary’s fifth annual conference for pastors and laymen. He is a professor of evangelism in the theological school at Drew University in Madison, N.J., and is a visiting professor at George Fox University in Portland, Ore. His latest book, The Gospel According to Starbucks, uses the coffee giant to illustrate postmodern people’s shift toward an experiential, image-laden and communal way of viewing the world.
The old model of church is “killing the West,” Sweet said at the conference. The out-dated model is “attractional, propositional and colonial.” It must become missional, relational and incarnational, he said.
“This culture understands that everybody knows they’ve been created for a mission,” Sweet said. “It’s not a mission project. Do you hear the difference? [Throughout] your whole life, you’re in it. It’s a pilgrimage. It’s a journey.”
According to Sweet, the Roman governor Pilate was the first postmodernist because he asked Jesus a “fundamental postmodernist” question: “What is truth?”
All of Christianity hinges on the answer, he suggested.
“Truth is Jesus,” Sweet said. “This is the uniqueness of Christianity in all of the religions of the world. Every other religion defines truth in propositional terms.”
All other prophets and spiritual leaders told adherents to follow their teachings to find the way to enlightenment, Sweet said, but Jesus was the “only one who had the chutzpah to announce to the whole world ‘I am the way.’ Truth is a relationship.”
The ability to help people recognize the difference between propositional teachings and relational truth will come from a different mindset for teaching, preaching and living, Sweet said.
When he attended seminary, he said he learned that “preaching is making the Scriptures come alive.” Now, Sweet said, he has come to believe the complete opposite — Christians must come alive to the Scriptures.
“I’m not 360 degrees from there [his time at seminary], I’m at 180 degrees. The complete opposite,” he said. “The problem is not with the Word; the problem is with us.”
I had to read this book for my holiness class. It is pretty thourough and has a stellar beginning and ending. Sadly, it also has a middle that doesn’t move too fast as it repeatedly brings forth the same points using different viewpoints of Scripture. He lives a lot in the Old Testament, that is where his primary studies have been – and it has a lot of material that is of much value because of the historical context he puts it in.
Our denominational superintendent told us that this is his favorite book on holiness so I am going to have to go back to it and read it again someday a little slower – maybe as a devotional kind of thing like Scot McKnight does.
I find myself wondering if the calvinists have books that are this tedious…
Here’s some fodder in the early a.m.:
>p.27 “If the giving of the covenant is primarily an expression of the grace of God, its content demonstrates the ethical character of God. That is, he treats persons in ways that are first of all consistent with their needs, and only secondarily with his.”
Now, looking over the book , there are chunks that I like, not really quotes; there is no chance that I am going to put whole pages of this book up on this blog. You can visit my office and take it if you are that needy for holiness theology.
I am going to be reading a book every 2.5 days for the next two weeks and writing 22 pages of amazing papers. Thus, you likely won’t see the regular posts here. The benedictine one for sure, but the rest, not too likely. I’ll post on the books too…when I can. So – as a good-bye for now present, laugh your head off at this:
Sorry for the lack of posting – it’s going to be like this for three weeks because of sickness, other pastors leaving and papers due for my masters.
I do think everyone who has anything to do with youth ministry should read this list from Mark Riddle and spend some time with it. If you think these through without crying, well….
you’re not me…
To put it simply, it’s no longer acceptable that these things happen in most churches in North America. Things We Have Come to Accept in Youth Ministry:
1. Youth pastor turnover- That a youth pastor will only stay for a short time.
2. That the success or failure of the spiritual nurture of our kids is based primarily on the giftedness or lack thereof, of a person filling the youth position.
3. That the assumption by church leadership is that best youth pastors are young.
4. That a youth pastor can/will/should disciple themselves without the guidance of a senior pastor.
5. That a healthy gauge to tell when youth ministry is going well is when there are no complaints.
6. That Senior Pastors should not be involved in youth ministry.
7. That parents should not be involved in youth ministry.
8. That we give lip service to parents being the primary spiritual nurturers of their children, but do absolutely nothing to actually support parents in our church.
9. That so many youth pastors who feel called to ministry, leave vocational ministry before they turn 30.
10. That youth ministry is church for teens.
11. That youth have different basic needs than adults.
12. That youth have been systematically abandoned by adults within the culture and the church has done the same.
13. That having a youth pastor means the youth ministry is taken care of.
14. That the best youth ministries keep kids busy.
15. That it’s a sin to bore a kid.
16. That kids don’t think about theology or they aren’t ready for it.
17. That we do very little theological reflection when it comes to why we have a youth ministry.
18. The assumption that kids just want fun and games rather than relationships and theological engagement.
19. That Christian Education is an answer to all our problems.
20. That parental involvement in the spiritual development of their children is optional.
21. That the systematic estrangement of adolescents in our church is best for the kids and their “age level appropriate” activities and living out the gospel.
22. That kids only receive the benefits of a youth ministry/youth pastor and do not need to contribute to make this ministry happen.
23. That youth ministry is something only some of us in the church do.
24. That youth ministry is something that happens in a program at the church.
25. That all problems can be fixed with a program.
26. The perception that once I’ve grown my kids into college that I no longer need to work with youth.
27. That the youth pastor is actually just a director of activities.
28. That we no longer remember what a pastor is in many local churches.
29. That youth pastors have forgotten the reason they got into youth ministry in the first place because they are burdened with responsibilities they are miserable at accomplishing.
30. That the Jesus himself could not live up to the wildly inappropriate expectations a church has for a youth pastor.
31. That there is no healthy way to manage the expectations of the church.
I’m not so sure that’d I’d call it a revolution. The idea in this book is to help churches consider, assess and develop a church that can operate as a multi-site operation. this model makes the most out of developed leadership and creates many new avenues for young leadership to develop. Of course, the book is evangelical in its use of statistices (inflated and skewed), but the material is real and raw which makes the experiences of others help to encourage the concept of multi-site.
This book was put in all our staff’s hands by our senior – we are starting a new congregation the week after easter and doing a multi-site for oru easter sunday services. Building a new and bigger building doesn’t seem to be the way that God is blessing us, so we are trying to see if this is a direction God can lead us.
I’m not going to put a bunch of quotes, instead you can check out the book’s blog and get all the info you want!