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Tag Archives: Western church

Why Church History Matters for Discipleship Today

I love our evangelical stream in Christian history and would not be here writing or leading without it. Yet our emphasis on activity, now joined by the speed of change around us, has resulted in Christ-followers and churches without much depth. We need to learn about slowing down for loving union with Christ in a way that is powerful enough to transform us – and the people we serve. This requires we travel into different territory outside our tradition as evangelicals/Protestants and learn from church history and other Christians very different than ourselves. Let me invite you to download this free e-book on why church history matters for a discipleship that deeply changes lives in our churches today. It represents the fruit of over twenty years of study and thought. And I pray that the powerful truths on these pages will profoundly change your life and leadership as they have changed mine. Warmly, Pete. Read more.

Lessons from the Radical Leadership of Jesus

Leading people in the name of Jesus is complex, demanding great wisdom and discernment. I have dedicated my adult life to the study of leadership. I have written books on leadership, read innumerable books on the topic, and attended more than my share of leadership conferences. But for the last 18 months, I have been meditating on the leadership of Jesus in Matthew’s gospel. It has shaken me. The Holy Spirit has challenged me to honestly look at the Western church model of leadership that lives in me more than I care to admit (i.e. bigger, better, more, faster), and invited me to drink more deeply of Jesus’ life and leadership. I have summarized my learnings into five lessons for your reflection and prayer: Jesus rejected the powerful ministries presented by Satan – the sensational, the spectacular, and the speedy. Jesus chose the low road of suffering and the cross. He did not storm. Read more.

The Benedict Option: A Powerful (and Imperfect) Wake Up Call

The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, by Rod Dreher is an important book. It serves as a prophetic wake up call to the church, challenging us to take a fresh look at what is happening around us: We must “make a decisive leap into a truly countercultural way of living Christianity, or we doom our children and our children’s children to assimilation.” “The spiritual crisis overtaking the West is the most serious since the fall of the Roman Empire near the end of the fifth century. The light of Christianity is flickering out all over the West.” “If believers don’t come out of Babylon and be separate, their faith will not survive for another generation or two in this culture of death.” “Too many of our churches function as secular entertainment centers with religious morals slapped on top, when they should be functioning as the living, breathing Body of. Read more.

Fast – the Achilles Heel of the Church

In Homer’s Iliad, we read of Achilles who had been dipped in the river by his mother to make him invulnerable. The problem was all of him was dipped in the river except his heel by which she held him in the process. This heel was where he suffered his deathly wound during the Greeks’ battle with Troy. Our Achilles’ heels are our weaknesses, our dark sides, the unconscious parts of us that can be our undoing – regardless of how strong we are or how well we are doing in every other way. I have become convinced the Achilles heel of the Western church is our rushing. The crowds can be large, the programs effective, our growth impressive. But if we participate in the speed of our culture and do not slow down, it will prove to be our mortal wound. Why? It is violent. As one scholar noted: “The dominant form violence takes. Read more.

Fast – the Achilles Heel of the Church

In Homer’s Iliad, we read of Achilles who had been dipped in the river by his mother to make him invulnerable. The problem was all of him was dipped in the river except his heel by which she held him in the process. This heel was where he suffered his deathly wound during the Greeks’ battle with Troy. Our Achilles’ heels are our weaknesses, our dark sides, the unconscious parts of us that can be our undoing – regardless of how strong we are or how well we are doing in every other way. I have become convinced the Achilles heel of the Western church is our rushing. The crowds can be large, the programs effective, our growth impressive. But if we participate in the speed of our culture and do not slow down, it will prove to be our mortal wound. Why? It is violent. As one scholar noted: “The dominant form violence. Read more.

The Desert Fathers in Disneyworld

 Last week I took my 18 yr old and 14 year old to Disneyworld for four lovely days.  It is probably one of the least contemplative places I have ever visited, but one of the most fun! The creativity, quality, engineering and beauty that Disney has formed has a definite aspect of the glory of God. All I could think of was how the parades, floats, exhibits, even the rides, reflected the image of God in humans who created and shaped such a unique place. Since there was ample time to wait on my girls during the day, I spent a good amount of time meditating on The Sayings of The Desert Fathers by Benedicta Ward. I was grateful that, after thirty years with Christ, I am finally coming to a more integrated spirituality that can enjoy the fun of Disney out of a place of communion with God. (I did meet people who have. Read more.