Monday, November 23, 2009

Silence in the face of opposition

Simply an outstanding quote
"The answer is simple: for myself, I do not believe that it is appropriate that I spend my time defending my name. My name is nothing—who really cares about it? And I am not called to waste precious hours and energy in fighting off every person with a laptop who wants to have a pop at me. As a Christian, I am not meant to engage in self-justification any more than self-promotion; I am called rather to defend the name of Christ; and, to be honest, I have yet to see a criticism of me, true or untrue, to which I could justifiably respond on the grounds that it was Christ’s honour, and not simply my ego, which was being damaged. I am called to spend my time in being a husband, a father, a minister in my denomination, a member of my church, a good friend to those around me, and a conscientious employee. These things, these people, these locations and contexts, are to shape my priorities and my allocation of time. Hitting back in anger at those who, justly or unjustly, do not like me and for some reason think the world needs to know what they think of me is no part of my God-given vocation. God will look after my reputation if needs be; He has given me other work to do." Carl Trueman

Friday, November 20, 2009

Gospel Centered Leadership I

What a journey it has been! The recent years saw us preoccupied with an ecclesiology that, Michael Eaton called "over realized". We preached 'model', 'pattern' passionately. But our God is gracious, kind and infinitely generous. He walked us back to the edges of our faith... to the gospel we had so sadly sent to the bookends of our convictions and gently drew us in. After 25 years of pastoral ministry I had to admit to a wonderful community that I had erred. This was a most humbling realization.

Those years saw us use many hubs as the center piece of our faith. At times we placed 'the nations' as our focus. At other times it was leadership development, church planting, being missional... of course we splashed it with community and even thought 'encounters' were worthy center pieces. What a tragedy. When we found that the gospel was not a tag on to a sermon to test the waters of salvation but the very vertebra of body life we knew so much had to change. When I read that Paul wanted to 'preach the gospel even to you [the church]' in Rome I knew I had lost my way somewhat. Then to read that he chose to know nothing but "Christ and him crucified" to the Corinthians, I knew a new and fascinating journey lay ahead of me.

This blog will take a few days to explore what gospel centered leadership might look like. I look forward to our conversation...