Change of Geography is not a Change of Mind

A change of geography is not a change of mind.And for us to be transformed, it is the mind that needs to be renewed.We can change locations, churches, styles, formats, platforms and words. But unless our minds have been changed then nothing significant has really changed.It amazes me when I talk to people who have made a significant move. They've made some kind of exterior change and feel all radical about it. But I'm still talking to the very same person. There really has been no change. … [Read more...]

Responses to Confusion

When we proceed into a time of spiritual confusion there are different responses. Here's a few:Reversion: Because the intellectual confusion is so foreign and overwhelming to us, we revert back to our previous posture. The new conditions actually feel wrong to us. Even heretical. The strangeness is so intimidating that we assume we are going against our consciences and that we would be sinful to persist in that direction. All kinds of people and scriptures come pouring in warning us, … [Read more...]

Transformation to Freedom

Probably the best book on marriage is David Schnarch's, Passionate Marriage. Here's just one quote: Crucibles are always interlocking. When one partner goes into his crucible, the other partner goes into hers– or gets out of the marriage. I apply this to any relationship, including yours with the church or any community. Your life task, if you choose to accept it, is to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. If your relationship with a community is increasingly strained by your t … [Read more...]

Be New Wine!

Someone once said that old wine skins can't handle new wine. They'll burst. It is a picture of convention's inability to endure change.Once in a while I notice that I'm feeling more tired than usual, sad, bored, unmotivated, and easily distracted. It takes something like a two-by-four over the head for me to realize what's going on.Almost always, it's because I've begun serving the system rather than the people. It's because the machine has asserted its supremacy and priority over my life. … [Read more...]

Silence and Crucibles of Change

I'm feeling kind of quiet these days... again! I'm lying low. Or trying to. In spite of my attempts to be quiet, the is the never ending suffering of those around me. And I, to a degree, suffer myself.Marriages of my friends are breaking up at an alarming rate. It is epidemic, shall we say. And, as usual, our own marriage is being stretched as Lisa and I try to learn to grow as individuals while staying in love and in close proximity. You see, this is always the problem: how to grow personally … [Read more...]

Revolution of the Mind

It isn't how you do church. In my opinion, it doesn't matter what tradition you follow. Your church expression can be anything from none to house-church to the highest liturgical expression. The fact is, none of these matter. Well, in fact, they all do matter. None of them are the solution. None of them are the problem. This is what I mean by "none of these matter". I do not think that rearranging the order is going to change the root problem... that is the human mind. I am convinced that it is … [Read more...]

I Found a Home

I received a call yesterday from someone who wanted to interview me regarding emerging forms of Christian and church expression in Canada. It was a nice talk. He asked me about the community I pastor. I told him what I could. But I could appreciate the frustration this guy must feel when trying to get a grip on what's happening here. I could tell he understood much of what I was saying. We seem to be on the same page.He's making a documentary on the issue. So he asked me questions and I gave … [Read more...]

Love Without Fear

It is important to create an atmosphere of honesty, confession and repentance for a community to be healthy. My experience and the experience of many is that even though repentance is encouraged, it is at the same time discouraged because of the possible repercussions that follow.We have a choice: either encourage honesty and live compassionately in the midst of that; or encourage pretense and live severely in the midst of that. I see no other options. If you choose the first one, guaranteed … [Read more...]

Loving What Is

I cannot change the world and I have no intentions of doing so. I can't change the world, but I can change! So I don't expect or ask the people of my community to change the world. I resist all invitations to change our city, to transform our town, to change our society. I always encourage us to work on ourselves. It is urgent! This at first might look like passivity.At the same time, I feel it is my task to love what is, to love reality. I cannot live in a fantasy world of what could've been … [Read more...]

The Bone of the Beast

I was trying to explain something to someone the other day. He was upset that I seem to keep trashing the church. I'd told a story during my sermon last week that happened at a church conference years ago. He felt it was unfair to bring up the incident, that it puts the church in a bad light, and the church is getting trashed enough as it is. It gives the impression, he thought, that I believe our own church and my style of ministry has got it right and everyone else has got it wrong. I … [Read more...]