Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Race is On Again

The Amazing Race has returned for its 9th season and it would appear that it has shaken the malaise of last season. The family race was an interesting experiment, but just too many people to watch - and who wants to hear teenagers whine. With 11 interesting teams of two there should be some worth rooting for. Already getting out of the USA (Sao Paulo, Brazil) the locations should be much more exciting and fun. As a former youth pastor, I'm thinking this might be a cool game to re-create in some church ... maybe a race to all sorts of missions projects around the world. OK, probably not since the fund raising would be a real bear.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Velvet Elvis : Repainting the Christian Faith

Rob Bell is a pastor. A young pastor. Younger than me. By a lot of years. I've been in the ministry for 35 years. I'm not sure Rob is that old. So, I have to confess that reading his first book, Velvet Elvis, was intended to be something of a critical chore. Find out what he has to say, critique it, use the little that will be good and discard the rest. That was the intent. I read a lot of books that way. The result ... I found myself liking the young pastor Bell ... a lot more than I thought I might. He is honest - especially about how he has not yet arrived at perfection -- especially as a pastor. I especially liked the call to kill "superpastor." Maybe I liked it because it is something I must remember (i've met superpastor), or maybe because I tend to wrestle with letting "superpastor" drive me, or maybe because I'm seeing more and more how the church (and we as leaders) can get wrapped up with its own "success" to the detriment of the truth, justice and God's way. Bell goes as far as saying that trying to be "superwhatever" will ultimately kill our spirit. Lot's of people don't like Bell. Apparently he's drawing fire from non-christians, liberal christians, conservative christians, small church pastors, large church pastors, purpose driven christians, and probably a lot of my friends. Pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he doesn't seem to completely fit anyone's box - kind of like the guys at Mars Hill here in Seattle area. Even if you don't like Bell, don't like anything that seems to be "emergent", don't like what he thinks about marketing the church (read him, you might be surprised!) ... I hope you'll consider his warning about the superwhatever. I'm glad that Rob met "him", and started to deal with him, while he's still young. I wish I had.
I meet so many people who have superwhatever rattling around in their head, They have this person they are convinced they are supposed to be, and their superwhatever is killing them. They have this image they picked up over the years of how they are supposed to look and act and work and play and talk, and it's like a voice that never stops shouting in their ear. And the only way to not be killed by it is to shoot first. Yes, that is what I meant to write. You have to kill your superwhatever. And you have to do it right now. Because your superwhatever will rob you of today and tomorrow and the next day until you take it out back and end its life. Go do it. The book will be here when you get back.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The sad thing about this ...

... is that many will believe that this "MegaChurch video game" is real. Then again, it seems like there may be churches already playing the game in real life ... church just the way you like it! (For those a bit slower than others - this is a parody).