I talked to the head of a parachurch ministry today, someone who used to pastor a church in Toronto. I asked him if he missed Toronto, and he said somewhat, but he didn't completely miss pastoring. As someone who loves pastoring, I can relate. There is this nagging feeling that what's expected doesn't always measure up to what's right. Erwin McManus says that most congregations have lost the essence of what it means to be a church. If that's true, and I think it is, it's no wonder that it's so difficult to pastor. There are glimpses of what it could be like, but as Eugene Peterson aptly said, there's more cleaning horse manure in the stables than there is riding the horse in parades. (Sounds like most jobs!) I'm going off now to rest so I can get ready to clean more stables tomorrow.

James Ossuary Coming to Toronto

Royal Ontario Museum
The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) announces that the recently-discovered James Ossuary, 1st century C.E., will be coming to the Museum. It is expected that the ossuary will be placed on exhibit in the Mediterranean World Feature Exhibition Gallery by Saturday, November 16, 2002 and remain until Sunday, December 29, 2002. "The ROM is honoured to receive the James Ossuary such a short time after its discovery," stated William Thorsell, Director and CEO of the ROM. "We are delighted to be the first museum to display it and bring forward the various expert theories regarding its religious significance and archaeological history."

Final Sessions

Every year I've come to Catalyst, it's been just what I needed. This year I prayed that God would really speak to me. There are some decisions I'm wrestling through, some steps I need to take. Over lunch I talked with Char about some of these decisions. Immediately after, Andy Stanley gave a talk that directly addressed what we were talking about. How amazing is our God. Some learnings today:
When we coast: "The sun goes down, and the devil didn't even have to work that day." (Laurie Beth Jones) Related quote from Erwin McManus's latest book: "I am convinced the great tragedy is not the sins we commit, but the life that we fail to live." On little leaders: "If you're not comfortable getting to the place where it's not about you, you're in the wrong line of work. Humility is seeing God as he is. Pride is seeing ourselves as we're not." (Louie Giglio) Courage: "Talent, education, calling won't establish you as a leader. Insight won't establish you as a leader. There are smarter, more gifted people. Only courage will establish you as a leader." (Andy Stanley) Success: "The secret of your success is discovered in your daily agenda. Many of you are successes; it just hasn't shown up yet, because we confuse success with recognition of success." (John Maxwell)
I need some time to make some decisions, take some steps from what God has been teaching me. We're here until Sunday so we can attend Northpoint. God is starting something - he's at work.