Thought these thoughts from Mark Driscoll were appropriate. One of the struggles I constantly face is dealing with people who have no clue about being in the culture. Many folks I know want people to convert more to the conservative, white Christian sub-culture than convert to Christ.
During this Christmas season, when all of us are coveting more than should be humanly possible, you might want to check out The Global Rich List. Here you simply type in your yearly earnings and it calculates where you are on the global rich list. Now you can see where you stack up against the Bill Gates and Warren Buffets of the the world. And I think you’ll be surprised — I was.
After seeing where I fell on the list I was awed again by how rich the average American is, and how much poverty exist in the world. I was more than awed. I was ashamed. I heard Jim Wallis Wednesday night on “Anderson Cooper 360″ say that wealth is always meant to be shared, and I think he’s right.
This year our family decided to only give gifts for Christmas that blessed the poor and oppressed. Maybe next year we’ll skip gift-giving altogether and give more to the people who are further down on the list. Merry Christmas.
Tonight CNN will air After Jesus: The First Christians at 7 and 10 pm EST. It will be interesting to catch the news network’s take on a small band of believers, with a crucified leader became one of the most dominant and popular religions in the history of the world. Tune in!
I would like to be the first to congratulate me on being Time Magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’. Honestly, I can think of thousands of people who have had better or more interesting years, but it would be in bad taste to turn down such an honor.
After all, this year has had it’s ups for me. I was honored to be able to be a reviewer/reader for Sarah Cunningham’s book, Dear Church: Letters from A Disillusioned Generation. I have also had the opportunity to contribute to the writing of The Voice Bible Project, which I’m extremely honored by. I was blessed to teach at both the winter ACU Lectureship and Pepperdine University Lectures on topics which I think are important to the church. In addition, I’ve had a pretty full speaking schedule, speaking to hundreds of teens, ministers, and other adults — which is always needed when a family is living on one income. Plus, this year my wife became pregnant with our second daughter. And my brother — whom I come to love and appreciate more ever day — became engaged to a nice young woman who obviously loves him. Most importantly, I’m still the husband to an absolutely wonderful woman and father to an incredible 3-year-old girl.
I’ve noticed since high school graduation that life seems to move pretty fast — faster every year, it seems. Ferris Bueller was right, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” I have to confess that I’m one of those people who can easily become so engaged with projects and work that I forget to “look around.”
That’s why it’s probably a good thing that Christmas is so close to New Year’s Day. The combination of the two forces us to reflect on where we have spent our time, and what we have done with our minutes, and the whole time the birth of Jesus looms over us reminding us of what is most important. As I reflect on my year, it’s not the projects or production that make me feel like the person of the year, it’s the people whom I love the most that make me feel special, wanted, and loved. Those are the things that last.
Plus, you have to remember, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Nikita Kruschev have all been Time’s “Person of the Year.” Not the best company!
I mentioned in my last post that I would be reading a number of books over the Christmas holiday. Well, I’ve begun, and much to the dismay of my wife and daughter, once I start reading it’s hard to get me untangled.
One of the books I’m currently reading has me asking some questions. The questions are not about the argument of the book, but rather the language of the text. In the book, terms like “organization,” “gain market share,” and “compete with the competition” keep springing up.
I’m not sure how I feel about the words. Of course there are organizational aspects to the church, but aren’t we going a little too far when the organization of church becomes concern with “market share.” At what point — if any — does the church transition from a community of people seeking and offering life-change into a gaggle of salesperson? How much do we want the church reflect the best practices of the Fortune 500? It seems to me that it is very easy to build a large church: give people what they want, challenge little in terms of transformation, offer more and better activities for kids than any organization in town, make it easy, serve up religious goods and services. The problem is that I’m not sure if the best way to build a church is the best way to make disciples. I often wonder what many church leaders would spend their time doing if they (we) could divorce ourselves from the desire to compete with our fellow ministers and increase our market share?