Thursday, September 15, 2005

Broken Levees, Hugged Necks & Shut Mouths

I just read a newsletter from Mission Alive and was hit hard by the following quote:

"Today the storms of postmodernity have slammed into our modern shores and the levees of modern Certainties have been breeched. As a result, our churches have been flooded, and many left dead and homeless. Many churches are stagnating, some dying, because of nominalism, disequilibrium, loss of message, anger and sin, lack of spirituality. But renewal is occurring."

That is a perfect description of the current spiritual climate in North America today!

I ran across another quote from my good friend Greg Kendallball's blog:

"So here I am again, working late at night on a paper, reading through some pretty heavyweight material. I realize that I, in training myself for ministerial leadership, have a need to wrestle with these things. I need to understand words like “ontology” and “epistemology.” I need to understand the history of the church, the doctrinal differences over the substance of Christ, over the Eucharist. I, myself, me, need to study theology."

I agree with Greg. Usually do. Let me tell you what else those of us in ministry need to understand. Pain. Pride. Power. We also need to know how to put our arms around someone's neck who is hurt and look them dead in the eye and speak words of comfort, healing, and hope. I did this just last night. I held and prayed over a wounded brother (wounded by "friendly fire") and held his neck as he fought off tears. I don't know what kind of "ology" that falls under but it is the ology that I find myself needing the most. (I know that Greg knows this too so this isn't a rebuke of his point. His point just got me thinking about what else we should wrestle with as leaders) I need to study theology more. I also know enough about God to know that sometimes holding people is the most God-like action you can take.

And finally...

Kim and I stepped in and taught 2-5 year olds last night. We taught the story of Daniel. I'm preaching from Daniel next Sunday and let me tell you that I learned more about Daniel from those little kids than from a stack of books. My favorite came from a cute as a button little boy named Matthew. Kim asked why we should trust God and he said, "cause he sends angels to shut lions' mouths!"

In case you forgot, let Matthew remind you: God can be trusted.


Paige said...

Thanks for your blog today. Don't you just love kids and their answers...they speak the truth!

Buster said...

As to the kids . . .welcome to my world!

Miss you guys

Beaner said...

It's great to have people hug our necks during the intense struggles in life that we go through. However, we need to KEEP HUGGING! 3 months down the road that friend of yours will still need you. Too often in life & in church we just move on to the next immediate need. We're good at making meals & sending cards, but it fades long before the hurting stops. I'm going through it now, so I know. BTW, the song you posted yesterday is EXACTLY where I am - thank you for the words that I needed to hear at just the right moment. Sometimes God uses people in ways that they never even know!

DJG said...

Love what kids can teach you!

Brandon Scott said...

Another blog reminder of why I love you...I mean I love you because Jesus loves both of us...but I love you because of who youa re too and this blog really shows that.

Plus, you're a rock star.

Jon said...

I think that we become too ministry minded. We're so ready to save the world that we don't center on the God who actually does the saving. In my journey now, I'm trying to come back to a God-centered approach to everything. When He is at the center, then and only then can true ministry take place. All the degrees, books, worldviews mean nothing without God as the center. In a world of tragedy and poverty God is our only hope and is our only source of education, affirmation, and example for real ministry. We don't minister for the sake of others, we minister for the sake of God's glory and from that same God we find out how to minister. I'm with you.