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Showing posts from October, 2010

The Story of Joseph - Discipleship 106

One story that has captivated my thought life over the last few weeks is that of Joseph. Many of you may be familiar with this story, but for those of you who are not, let me provide you with a short synopsis.

Joseph was the second youngest of 12 brothers. He was seen as his dad's favorite son, and his older brothers hated him for this reason. Sold into slavery by his own kin, Joseph wound up in Egypt (a foreign country) where he experienced more pain and suffering, while bearing witness to God's continued hand of providence in his life. Fortunate enough to be delivered twice from obscurity, Joseph ended up in a position of authority from which he could have enacted his revenge on his family. Instead, Joseph demonstrated compassion and mercy to his brothers, forgave them for all the treachery they had bestowed upon him, and released them from their burden of guilt. Uttering these famous words found in Genesis 50, "You intended to harm me, but God made it turn out for the …

Willing to be used? - Gianna Jessen - Discipleship 105

What is intended to harm us, God will use for good if we let God be God.

My wife stumbled upon this inspiring video of Gianna. Her birth-mom tried to abort her at 7 months...God used these catastrophic circumstances to do something amazing in her life and through her life. I believe God desires to use each of us to change the world. The question is do we see our circumstances as an obstacle or an opportunity for God to be God?

Lessons from an Election - Discipleship 104

Yesterday the city of Calgary held its' municipal elections. I made several observations about this experience that I believe are key for the Christian church to understand in terms of discipleship and spiritual transformation.

1. Diversity - Diversity is our friend, not our enemy. When you think about how to engage people in the pursuit and relationship with Jesus Christ, diversity is the key. As someone who seeks to communicate God's truth in a relevant and inspiring fashion, I must be willing to change up my methodology in order to reflect the emerging culture that I am seeking to engage. There are times when we can view diversity as a negative thing. My family is ethnically diverse. My son is adopted and is of African-American background. What we as a family have learned is that the diversity we enjoy as a family unit is more enriching and powerful when we focus on how we are similar more than how we are different. While it is important to celebrate our uniqueness, we must …

Empowering to Succeed - Discipleship 103

I stumbled upon this video from Ted.com and was instantly struck by some of the cross-over principles that one can apply to the church's pursuit of discipleship...and in particular, the discipleship of youth and their families by the youth ministry arm of the church.

The word empower has lost a lot of its' weight in our society today. Rarely do we see leaders given true autonomy in their leadership. We have checks and balances in place (good things) for our leaders, but sometimes its' these same systems that get in the way of true, innovative leadership. What if discipleship focused on resourcing people to succeed in living out the Great Commandment and Great Commission? How different would our "programming" elements within the church become? Would we have the courage to resource others to carry the vision forward, or will we fight for our system and allow structure to rule as king?

Two Key Questions - Discipleship 102

At Thanksgiving dinner I had the privilege of reconnecting with cousins and other family. During our dinner conversation, we began talking about this emerging generation of youth and how to interact with them as it relates to the gospel. Heavy subject matter considering it's Thanksgiving (in Canada), but because of the passion my family shares for following Christ and considering what I do for a living as a pastor, these tangents often happen.

We began sharing about a youth rally that took place in our city this past summer. We spoke about the grandeur and wonder of this event, and then allowed our conversation to continue towards the subject matter of discipleship. I shared a thought that I wanted to expand upon in this blog because of the interesting reaction that I received regarding my comments. Keep in mind that the context for our conversation was discipleship of youth. I simply mentioned that youth are interested in first answering the how question before the why question w…

The Four Elements - Discipleship 101

I've been drawn to studying the early church community as of late. We've recently launched into a new vision and philosophy of youth ministry that is much more relational focused, and less corporate larger group gathering oriented. There are always snags when launching a new vision and philosophy during the implementation process, but using a basic framework from Acts 2:42-47 has helped us paint a picture for families, youth and leaders regarding our direction. What I'm learning is that the process of casting vision is never finished. We must constantly communicate the vision, the direction and the philosophy so that we may recruit many more champions to this emerging cause.

I guess it's like the ultimate marketing strategy. Whenever you want to gain momentum, you draw in other's to your cause. Working with this emerging generation of young people, I am learning more and more that they are indeed a cause generation. If you can communicate the vision in such a way a…

Web Video is Changing the World

Have you ever watched any sort of video on the web? Sports highlights, how to make videos, and other instructional communications are available to us at the touch of a button. In ministry we often speak about the attractional and missional models. While some might suggest one model is better than the other, I would contest that both of these models are under constant renovation...they are moving targets of sorts. Whether we are drawn to one context or another, like it or not, we use both of these models in one shape or form in ministry.

Today I find myself asking the question if we can utilize technology for attractional purposes, allowing crowd accelerated innovation to be the marketing strategy that continues to change how we do ministry. Check out this video. I'd love to hear your thoughts!