It's Not About Us

This post is from the defunct blog "Dying Church"

What is needed in a pastor? Not from what congregations want or would like -- that's an endless laundry list. Rather, what does God want and what does God call forth in those his Spirit raises up and gifts as pastors? The unfortunate thing is, more time is spent finding or creating pastors of our own taste rather than seeking a biblical understanding of the pastor in the life a congregation. Biblically, pastors are shepherds of human souls, overseers (episcopos) of the spiritual life of those entrusted to Christ. They are guardians of "the faith delivered once for all to the saints" and stand vigilant against those forces that seek to harm God's people. The whole idea of a pastor as a kind of manager, or worse, CEO is the imposition of a 20th century business model on the church itself, and a recasting of "pastor" in those terms rather than biblical terms. A second imposition, that of the pastor as "caregiver," defined not as one who protects and defends against the enemies of the soul and spirit, but as a pyschotherapist, is another 20th century recasting of "pastor." The thing is, in each case it comes back to us, to what we want, what we'd like. I think it's time for us all, perhaps beginning with pastors, to understand what God means by "pastor", what his Kingdom requires from pastors, and how he is addressing that either with or without the assistance of the church.

Who Reads Darryl's blog

Sorry about the double entry. Most of us who blog aren't technical wizards. :^) I've wondered who reads Darryl's blog? His church members, other bloggers, school mates, family, random others? Probably all of the above. And I wonder how many of you have considered blogging? It is an interesting and rather addictive hobby. It is amazingly interactive. And with all the ways you can blog on different platforms now, it isn't hard and it isn't expensive. I started over a year ago with absolutely no skills. Anyone can try. And who ever does, finds out quickly why they are at it. It is quite a growth experience. It is community; people-oriented. And within blogging all the messiness of relationship comes out, and there in lies the challenge. It even affects some of the founders of blogging. People like Dave Winer, who built an amazing blog platform and who has been at this longer than most people. He has helped thousands and thousands of people into this medium. It isn't the technology that has discouraged him.

Jars of Clay

This post is from the defunct blog "Dying Church"

Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:7 "But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us." This passage lies at the heart of my understanding of church life. I volunteered to help out here at because I think the mangerial, corporate, and 'numbers oriented' ministry is bankrupt. Any view of church life that doesn't look seriously at what makes the church unique is just one more view of popularity, profit, and success. Recognizing that the church contains a power that is beyond marketing, curriculum, or culture is the first step in denying ourselves and lifting up Jesus. The church is but a jar -- what is in the jar is far more valuable than the jar. The biggest flaw with corporate churches is that too many of the members of those churches are consumers. They have found a product that they like - at a franchise that makes them feel the way they want to feel. The consumer is using (abusing) the gifts and talents that others have worked hard developing. The church cannot have any coat-tails. Each member must find their own place of ministry, they must foster their own prayer life, and must study the Bible regularly for their own growth. Without action, prayer, and study the garden withers and no fruit is produced. Churches are communal experiences of believers. But each believer has to participate fully in the life of faith. No consumers. No cheap grace. In the end, corporate churches only perpetuate the fraud that the church is unique because of the success of the organization (shown through numbers, budgets and buildings). The church is unique because of the message of good news - the story of redemption and salvation. Paul had it right ... "But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us." Any thoughts for the new guy ... ?

A Search and Rescue Mission?

The thing I love about Jesus (one of many) is his singlemindedness. He could have spend more time than he did in theological debates. He could have taken advantage of the huge crowds that followed him and made a fortune. He could have flaunted his deity. But He did none of these. Instead he focused on his objective, to seek and save the lost. He never wavered from it. As a pastor, I'm a little ashamed to admit that the church, at least my church, has somehow come to believe that Jesus came for OUR benefit, and so church focuses on US; our needs ands wants, keeping US fat and happy. I've been reading Luke 15 again, and rediscovering that God really values people. His number one priority is, and always has been, restoring mankind's broken relationship with Him. It should be mine too. This is a rather hopefully rediscovery for me! Brian

Holiday Weekends

Hi Brian, I'm Bene, the other half of the DashHouse blog sitting team. I just checked the weather for the Sturgeon Falls area. It's a bit on the cool side at night...comfortable for sleeping at around 10C, and there will be a shower, then four days of great weather. Stress busting. I promised I'd be on my best behaviour while I posted here, and was thinking about stress. Darryl's only admonition was..."have fun." LivingRoom is a blog from Australia I read daily and he linked to fun flash game called copter to tackle in spare moments when you are stuck in front of the computer. Ian McKenzie, a Canadian blogger, has a neat little one called SF cave you can play on the PC or hand held. One of the daily stresses in my life is being patient with er, difficult people (including myself:^). So in the spare moments I can act like a kid, I shoot smiley faces.