Showing posts from August, 2013

Three Invitations Boredom Brings

I have three young children at home (1 girl, 2 boys). My daughter just started grade 1 this week, and she loves having to take a bus to get to her school. Five days a week we wake up before the sun, ingest some sort of breakfast food, and make the trek out to meet the bus. Four days a week, we pick her up around 3pm. But Friday is a half day, meaning that she needs to be picked up at noon.
This is our schedule and routine. Mix in friends coming over for dinner, extra-curricular activities and family time and it becomes a full experience. There is seemingly little room for boredom, but without fail, one of the kids will vocalize with great conviction that they are bored if they don't have something to do or are asked to spend some downtime each day. Their response to moments of boredom makes me chuckle, cause I remember saying something similar to my parents when I was younger. In fact, I even thought that being bored might actually kill me one day. But guess what? It hasn't.

The Great Consumer

I recently read a claim made by Alan Hirsch that 95% of churches in North America are attempting to reach the same 40% of the population. While in some cases this might seem like an exaggeration, the North American propensity towards consumerism might actually confirm such an analysis.

Our predominant culture is built upon individualism and consumption. We create to consume, we consume to create, and this endless cycle repeats itself. As a parent, pastor, friend and leader, I often spend my time thinking about how I am inspiring others and what sort of life I'm inspiring them towards. The cyclical nature of the above-described cultural reality seems more like a life-sucking vortex than an inspirational fountain.

Consumerism isn't entirely evil, but when left imbalanced, it can become the millstone that sinks the ship so to speak. Here are three tendencies this imbalance brings.

1. Loss of the ability to create.At the dawn of the human age, humanity was given two great responsibil…

To Shame or To Inspire

Our family recently watched The Croods. Our kids loved different elements of the show, and as with all movies in a household containing pre-school aged children...our kids have enjoyed mimicking different phrases and scenes from their newest favourite movie.

I've always been fascinated by different forms of communication and the motivations that drive our need to communicate.

There are two characters in this film that personify the classic tension found in shame or to inspire. Grugg is the prototypical father figure. His desire is to keep his family safe, and he uses fear to keep his community in line. Guy, on the other hand, while desiring to see everyone remain safe, chooses to inspire the community through his communication style.

Watching these two individuals try to lead their community made me think. As parents and leaders we face the decision to shame or to inspire on a daily basis. These are the two primary voices of leadership that are at our disposal. …