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Tag Archives: unity

Turning Point Lessons from New Life

Character is more important than gifting. Being is more important than doing. Do not rush. When decisions were made quickly, without pausing to pray, think, and process implications, we have had regrets. Each leader need to take responsibility and initiative for their own growth and development. Clarity of vision results in a unified leadership, and unified leadership reinforces the vision. Extended Sabbatical rest releases new, life-giving initiatives from God and enables us to serve out of a cup that overflows. Face the truth and act on it, even if it hurts. Enforce our values. When we have compromised on this, due to expediency, it has been costly, damaging our integrity as well as our long-term mission and effectiveness. Be faithful to our “charism,” the grace from God that is uniquely ours. Learn from other streams and ministries, but be content in our particular gift and DNA from God. Intentional mentoring and development of individuals. Read more.

10 Turning Point Lessons from New Life

Character is more important than gifting. Being is more important than doing. Do not rush. When decisions were made quickly, without pausing to pray, think, and process implications, we have had regrets. Each leader need to take responsibility and initiative for their own growth and development. Clarity of vision results in a unified leadership, and unified leadership reinforces the vision. Extended Sabbatical rest releases new, life-giving initiatives from God and enables us to serve out of a cup that overflows. Face the truth and act on it, even if it hurts. Enforce our values. When we have compromised on this, due to expediency, it has been costly, damaging our integrity as well as our long-term mission and effectiveness. Be faithful to our “charism,” the grace from God that is uniquely ours. Learn from other streams and ministries, but be content in our particular gift and DNA from God. Intentional mentoring and development of individuals. Read more.

Listening to the Church in the World

As part of the inauguration of the new President of Fuller Theological Seminary, an afternoon symposium was held called “Windows on the Church in the World.: A U.S. and Global Panel.” There were many things for us in the West to hear from the church around the world, but the following were my take-aways: 1. David Zac Niringiye, a bishop and teacher from Northern Uganda, spoke about the church, power, and the cross. He talked about standing up against corruption in Uganda, his arrest by the government, and the silence of the church. He shared about how many churches in Africa support corrupt dictators like Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe in exchange for access to power and perks like free land. He challenged us, “You want to talk about our dictators in Africa. We want to ask you, ‘What about your President Bush who went to war in Iraq on false pretenses and you didn’t say a word?’” He challenged. Read more.

Listening to the Church in the World

As part of the inauguration of the new President of Fuller Theological Seminary, an afternoon symposium was held called “Windows on the Church in the World.: A U.S. and Global Panel.” There were many things for us in the West to hear from the church around the world, but the following were my take-aways: 1. David Zac Niringiye, a bishop and teacher from Northern Uganda, spoke about the church, power, and the cross. He talked about standing up against corruption in Uganda, his arrest by the government, and the silence of the church. He shared about how many churches in Africa support corrupt dictators like Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe in exchange for access to power and perks like free land. He challenged us, “You want to talk about our dictators in Africa. We want to ask you, ‘What about your President Bush who went to war in Iraq on false pretenses and you didn’t. Read more.

Taize and Ash Wednesday

On Wednesday night this week, at 7 pm, New Life will host a Taize, Ash Wednesday service. I have been praying and pondering this possibility for over eight years. In the summer of 2004, Geri and I, along with our four daughters, spent a week in Taize, France with a monastic community of about 90 men. About 5000 young people from Orthodox, Protestant and Roman Catholic backgrounds also participated.  I learned3 simple, powerful truths that week: 1. There is only one church and it consists of people from all three main branches of Christianity – Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant. Brother Roger, a Lutheran pastor, founded Taize during World War 2 to be a prophetic sign in the midst of the Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant Christians killing each other on an unimaginable scale. What unites us is a personal faith in Jesus Christ and a commitment to Scripture as outlined in the Nicene Creed.  This. Read more.

The Future Runs Through the Past: Learning from History 2

The greatest richness and learning that comes out of us learning church history, especially early church history, is the perspective it gives us on the North American church. This leads me to the next few lessons. The first relates to the state of the church today in light of history. One twenty two year old in our church put it well: “I had no idea how weak we as the church in America are until I heard/saw all this.” This came out of listening to the purifying effect of the persecutions up to 311 ad where Christians experienced 129 years of persecution and only 120 years of relative peace. This eliminated any notion of half-way, nominal Christians rather quickly. Christianity is an Asian religion with rich African roots, not Western. They continually moved Eastward in their mission. Who knew there were three “Christian kingdoms” in Asia before the Roman Empire. One seminary alone, in. Read more.