It is National Poetry Month.
Here is one for all who love to hike the backcountry.
Along the trail,
Bend and switchback,
Through wilderness wild,
Troubles melt away.
Within the forest,
Quiet and still,
Filtering light through,
Soft murmuring high above.
Amid the meadow,
Peaceful and carefree,
Creek drifts within,
Abundant wildflowers, yellow and blue.
Beside the lake,
Serene and calming,
Whispering to the soul,
Unfettered by time.
Up the mountain,
Wonder and awe,
Lofty, rising high,
Touch the farseeing places.
Because I wander.
(c) 2015 by Rick Meigs
To paraphrase Seth Godin,
What would happen to your local area community if you shut the doors tomorrow?
What would happen to your neighbors and to your neighborhood if you stopped doing your work?
If you stopped your normal church activities, if you stopped gathering, would they miss you if you were gone?
I like Portland, and from the number of people moving here, it’s obvious that others like Portland as well. The media thinks it is a hip city where everything and everybody is easygoing, open-minded, and charitable.
But Portland has its warts, seamy side and general unpleasant aspects — and weather is not one of them. Here are just
- Portland lacks broad population diversity and is the “whitest city in America.”
- The Portland area has one of the three largest commercial sex industries in the country and child sex trafficking is widespread.
- Food insecurity is a big issue in Oregon where 1 in 6 people struggles with hunger.
- Oregon’s education system finishes 41st worse among the 50 states and District of Columbia, with a grade of C-minus.
- Portland traffic congestion is ranked as the nation’s 10th nastiest, worse than Houston and Boston.
- The Willamette River tops Oregon’s list of toxic waterways.
Ronald Davis shares his story on how it feels to live on the street and how he is treated by people.
There are lots of Ronald Davis in the world who need a kind, caring and gentle word.
In light of the recent Mark Driscoll mess, the topic of pastor leadership style has been hot.
In the world of business, ‘the boss’ is a proven and highly successful leadership style, but nowhere in the New Testament do you find that approach encouraged. In fact, as the word pastor implies, they are to be shepherds.
Although there is rarely an ‘either or’ perspective on most topics, creating comparative lists of opposites can be a useful way to illustrate and elucidate a point.
Here’s my take on the difference between ‘the boss’ and shepherd styles.
According to a just released Pew Research Center survey, Jews, Catholics and evangelical Christians are viewed warmly by the American public. Not surprising for the missional minded, Pew found that knowing someone from a religious group is linked with having relatively more positive views of that group.
Find the full study here.
I’ve posted on the concept of missional being the “slow movement” of Christianity. The concept of slowness, as defined by this movement, is essential IMHO. Taking the appropriate amount of time to experience the various activities, people and communities in our lives, we are able to savor, deepen, and invigorate the important things and relationships.
Two authors have now published a book focused on the topic. “In Slow Church, Chris Smith and John Pattison invite us to leave franchise faith behind and enter into the ecology, economy and ethics of the kingdom of God, where people know each other well and love one another as Christ loved the church.”
The book has been well recommend, so this 247 pager has been added to my “slow” reading list.
Here is another post related to consumerism in the church.
Also checkout SlowChurch.com.
HT: Scot McKnight
Tags: Missional, Third Place
Back in the ancient of day, 2007, I wrote on ‘Third Places.’
Missional Church Network has a very good follow-on post that is well worth the read: ‘What is a Third Place?‘ Good video also and I really encourage you to pursue finding the ‘Third Places’ in your neighborhood, then get involved.
David Fitch has a really good post entitled, “Just Another Program? Is ‘Missional’ Doomed?” In it he interacts with a letter Bob Havenor wrote to him on the Missional movement and why it is failing.
Well worth the read because it touches on a
paradox difficulty we face in the deconstruction of traditional church structures, particularly the Sunday focus.
Here are a couple of quotes from the post that allude to this difficulty:
Havenor: “The latest attempt by church people to reinvent the Church is failing precisely because they are repeating the same error: assuming that new ideas within the same structure will produce radically different results.”
Fitch: “However, I still see the gathering as essential spiritual formation for mission. The formation that happens here is what resists the church from being absorbed into ‘the world’s’ story.”
Give it a read and enter into the discussion.
I’ve posted on the concept of missional being the “slow movement” of Christianity. Give it a quick read and then see where Dan White takes another slant on this topic in “Missional-Marinating.”
I really like this quote:
I’ll tell you up front, my old-high-capacity-leader-self resists this marinating process. My old self can’t rest, it can’t sleep. It needs quick returns, escalating numbers, regional buzz and high excitement. All of those pieces previously helped me not feel like a failure. But here in the laboratory of a Missional-Community, slow is our friend. Seeking slowness is essential in the stew of discipleship. Cultivating a culture saturated in the embodied life of Jesus requires purposeful patience. A new character needs to be developed while leading in this type of atmosphere. Slow is not something to bear with, it’s something to embrace. No longer am I trying to launch an organization that sparkles before its consumers. The call is to shape a way of life; to create a conducive setting for transformation. In this stew we need unhurried time and grace-filled space for:long conversations, unearthing conflicts, detox from consumerism, facing missional fears, relearning how to listen, frustrated prayers and moving beyond suspicion to trust.
You can follow Dan on Twitter @danwhitejr .