It seems like I haven't had a chance to sit and ponder/write things for awhile. So I'm trying to puke out a post on the fly here. Not like most of them are overly thought out in advance anyway, but.... Anyway... just some random thoughts running through my head on this day.
- I read the other day where Mark Driscoll is starting a new church in Arizona. The article was pretty critical not only of him, but a couple of his former staff that are involved with this venture too. I really don't know what all has happened with Mark since he agreed to step down at Mars Hill. I do know that I have always felt like some people lumped me into being somewhat like him (mean/bully), and whether it is fair or not, I am glad I am not him. I do, however, wish I had his resolve. Because what has kept me out of ministry is basically my weakness and fear. Hopefully he has dealt with his issues, and good on him for overcoming (if he has).
- I will say this, though, in regard to no longer being a pastor or ministry leader: I like not having to care about hurting people's feelings. Not that I think I have a license to be mean now, but I don't have to worry about who's watching over my shoulder or ready to stab me in the back. I simply don't care anymore.
- At our small group last night (the one we participate in), the topic was how do we discern truth. Jane and I are both a bit frustrated with the format - which is perhaps more a 3dm-model issue than a personal thing with our group leaders. There is not really much opportunity for discussion, and we neither one feel like we fit very well with the group. There are some really, really good people in our small group, but I get the feeling most of them are pretty secure in their answers and possibly a little naive about society. For instance, we didn't know how to bring up the fact that, at least in our experience, you can't just point everyone to the bible to determine truth. Not that we don't believe the bible is true, but we know enough that it's NOT truth to a lot of people, and even with people who do believe it, there are valid points on opposing sides of a multitude of issues. I don't think truth is something you can just determine you're going to find in a 30-minute session. Moses wandered around in the desert for 40 years and never fully realized it - and God was leading him the entire time. Anyway, maybe it's more of a frustration with those who want to give simple answers to complicated questions than anything.
- Another thing I've been wondering about lately is the place of "popularity" in ministry (popular music, books, speakers, trends, etc). I was talking with a friend about Shane Claiborne this morning. This person knew of him, but said something like, "Man, he's kind of fallen off the face of the earth." I was a little stunned, because I still hear and read about him quite often. The fact is, he isn't as "popular" as he once was. Kind of like, if' you're just doing mundane, ordinary, everyday things... well, you're just a nobody. Now, I'm not knocking this person I was talking to; he may not even think that. But in our celebrity culture, that seems to be the norm inside the church as well as outside it. So, it's kind of given me a desire to seek out some of the older authors I use to read, or even friends who do everyday ministry in the real world. The Eugene Petersons, Wendell Berrys, Henri Nouwens, Brennan Mannings.... (I suppose they're all popular in many ways too. Argh)...