Who leads this whole thing?

The one questiont that I have been wrestling with in conversation with a friend and as a result of reading The Forgotten Ways is the issue of authority.  What does it mean?  Who is in authority? Is there leadership anymore? What does it all look like in reality, right here, right now? Are we all to do what is right by our own personal hermeneutic? Are we simply to do what feels good?  Is it "just Jesus and me"? What is the role of the community of God's people? What are the individual roles within that body?  Are some called to lead?  Are some called to follow? What do we do with the Bible? What do we do with our heritage of the visible church?The answers are not easy in coming.  But the list of questions continues to grow. Check out our conversation here....
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Stepping out…

So, I have begun thinking about "programming" in the church.  It's something that I have been wrestling with for a while and my thoughts are beginning to clarify a bit more.  I studied some pretty large chunks of Acts this winter and spring.  Something that really hit me was how "out there" the first and second generation Christians were (Paul is a second generation, let that one sink in for a moment).They met together and ate food.  They worshiped out in the open at the Temple.  There was no real distinction in their mind of anything sacred or secular.  There certainly did not appear to be any kind of "holy huddle" going on in the early church.  There was rhythm to their life.They broke bread, they served, they remembered the Lord, and they sat under the teaching of the leaders. They did all this in a culture that was just as pluralistic as ours.  They did this in a culture...
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Applying the paradigm…maybe?

Here is something I put together about applying the missional concept to the role of "Youth Pastor".  What do you think?IntroductionThere has been a fundamental change in the way the world works over the last twenty-five years. The shift has been called “post-modernism” or “hyper-modernity” or “post-Christian” or “post-Christendom”.  Regardless of what one calls the paradigm change, the change has indeed happened. The way that most people see and understand the world is very different than it was not very long ago.   You could say, “this ain’t your mama’s world anymore”.   The kind of shift that has happened is as thoroughgoing as the shift that took place in the 1960’s, maybe even more so.The environment that the children of the emerging generations  are growing up with is a unique one that the church, their parents, and their educators have not ever experienced.  The rampant individualism, the emphasis on a radical consumerism, and the overdevelopment of the institutional church are leaving...
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The Forgotten Ways, Part 8

It's hard to imagine a few weeks ago when I sat down with my friend Doug at the Bean and he encouraged me to read Allelon.org's blogs about the missional church that it would have led to a month of thinking more deeply about what it means to be the church.  The next day I walked into the library at Michigan Theological Seminary and grabbed a little book called The Forgotten Ways.  This is post eight, the last chapter of the book: Communitas, not Community.I think that the opening quote from Paulo Coelho is best summary of the chapter where he says, "The ship is safest when it is in port. But that's not what ships were made for."The quote says it all.  In recent times there has been an emphasis on "community".  This emphasis has always highlighted the church being a safe place, a retreat from the world.  The metaphor of a hospital has been used.  The community was...
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The Forgotten Ways, Part 7

As I sit here at home I have just finished the book! So we are on the home stretch with only a couple of posts on The Forgotten Ways remain. This chapter was one that I was not particularly looking forward to.  As a result it took a while to chew through it.  However, it turns out that "Organic Systems" are actually pretty cool things!  Who knew?I think that the best way to understand the concept of "Organic Systems" in Hirsch's mindset is to think about a spiderweb.  The whole web is connected to itself.  There are multiple nodes and lines.  The whole thing is interconnected.  This is what an organic system is all about.Consider our body.  There are multiple little systems like the nervous system, skeletal system, or epidermal system, but each one by itself does not a body make.  They all come together and create a body. This is what the church ought to look like.The church, Hirsch...
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