Archives for April 2007
Occasionally when I travel to Philly to work with ETREK and Biblical Seminary I discover a meeting I would enjoy staying around for. I noticed a flier announcing Scot McKnight would be at Biblical and participate in a "workshop" of sorts with John Franke and Dave Dunbar. Scot posts on the event noting the audio for the event will soon be posted at the Biblical website. His reflection on what he dubbed his favorite question,
Hereâ??Ã?Ã´s my favorite question â??Ã?Ã® and it was asked about five times in five
different ways: How do you make an already-formed church into a
missional church? (I didnâ??Ã?Ã´t have the chutzpah to suggest that Reformed
churches, since they are always reforming, should have the least issue
with this, but the simple fact is that many Reformed churches are more
tailored for 16th Century Europe that 21st Century postmodern West.) My
answer: be missional yourself, surround yourself with some other
missional folks, stay in loving communication with your leadership, and
only break away if it becomes intolerable or insufferable. Why stay?
Simple: there is nothing so compelling as a missional group.
My mother often told me on my birthday I would not be one year older until the clock hit the time I was delivered. This morning we called Kimberly (she is first on the left of the three women in my life) and I repeated my mother’s logic.
Me: "Kimberly, you will not be 22 until 7:20 p.m. this evening."
Kimberly: "You will have to call me during Bible Study this evening then."
The best thing to do was take her to lunch – Jason’s Deli. We enjoyed soup and salad on a rather cool April day. Cloudy and overcast but fun to sit with our oldest and chat away. I always liked John Mayer’s "Daughters." I pray my daughters love more and better than their Daddy. Going out with the reminder for other Dads who may be staring in the face of a young adult and remembering days now long gone …
Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers be good to your daughters too
Scot McKnight gives good reason to consider Biblical Seminary,
Just in case you donâ??Ã?Ã´t know, Biblical is an innovative,
missionally-shaped seminary with solid theological roots in the
Reformed movement and clear commitment to the Scriptures as the story
into which we are called as Christians to live. I canâ??Ã?Ã´t say enough for
the quality of people teaching there and studying there. I loved it.
I am afraid some who stop by may not click through to the link to John Frye’s hosting of Dan’s thoughts. So, at the risk of offending some and hopefully stirring more I copied the text and make it available here. Should it inspire you to read more, go over to John’s site and look for the posts with the real long letter like – TPFKATP …
Dan McDonald is a friend of Bill Kinnon and Dan pastors Grace Toronto
Church. Dan has jumped into the People Formerly Know As conversation.
Here are Dan’s thoughts on People Formerly Known As The People Formerly Known As The Congregation"
raise a glass to the People Formerly Known as the People Formerly Known
as the Congregation, who, upon hearing that their disaffection had
created a tsunami-like publicity wave that was about to become a
Zondervan marketing campaign and then a new para-church ministry (40
Days of Anti- Purpose?), quietly realized that it was no use. Even
their defiance had become hip. Soon CNN would be calling, and Larry
King would be asking them for an interview. Sigh.
"And so, with
heavy hearts, they looked around for the most authentic expression of
Christianity they could find. It wasn’t in the Christian bookstores. It
wasn’t in the radio programs. It wasn’t even in the TV shows; Lord, no.
Oprah didn’t quite make it. Benny and Jimmy and the TBN gang had too
much hair spray and too many white suits and ever-white teeth. And it
was no longer in the blog weave known as TPFKATWhatever, which was now
hopelessly popular, cool, hip, and with it.
"So they dragged
themselves down to the local church. Not the magnet Uber-church that
took up 15 acres of land, but the local church with the faded sign and
the musty carpet. And there, they found something bizarre.
music, draggy announcements, bad children’s stories, dated PowerPoint
templates, and something else…. real parents who were teaching
children about Jesus with joy in their hearts. Ushers who loved to
serve. Snacks teams that laughed as they missed the last part of the
service just to feed a hundred people. Guitarists in tears over a
cheesy illustration by the young pastoral intern, who was so nervous he
had forgotten to button his shirt properly and was speaking for 58
minutes because by gosh, since he only got to preach twice a year, he
was going to tell them everything he had learned in the past 6 months.
And patient singles, couples and parents nodding dutifully to him,
knowing he was nervous and helping him feel loved and prophetic and
useful. and finding that in those 58 minutes were some very helpful
things for them, because a Voice was using this intern in his
"And that Voice, the Voice of the Shepherd, touched
the PFKATPFKATC. And they remembered why it took them so long to become
the PFKATC. Because despite the second-rate production values, the
Spirit was here. He promised to be wherever two or three are gathered
in His name. Excellent it wasn’t- Cheesy it was. Authentic? Go ask the
snacks coordinator if her joy is authentic, and she’ll think you’re
from another planet. You can’t DREAM UP this kind of second-rate cheese
combined with this much first-rate joy in our culture any more; it has
to be authentic.
"So they- the PFTATC, that is, decided to be
radical and do a crazy thing. They called up the People Presently Known
as Pastors, and found a bunch of peope equally frustrated, tired,
restless, and hopeful. And they talked. And the PFKATCongregation
realized the PPKATPastors hardly read blogs, because they are so busy
dealing with the complaints and needs of the People Still in Their
Congregation. The pastors were stunned that these people cared so much;
they had assumed the leaving was because the PFKATC cared too little.
lo and behold, they each found out something wondrous and true, and
that is this: that the people presently known as pastors mostly got
into the pastorate for people like the PFKATC, because you care so much
about the kingdom. And so do we.
"And so I raise a glass, as a Person Still Willing To Call Myself a Pastor, to You, the People About to Be Known Again As The Congregation.
I know church isn’t what it should be. That’s my fault- and yours. I
stamped it with my pathologies, and so did you. Don’t try to bail on
your responsibility just because I got paid to do this full time. Guess
who paid me? This sucker is OURS, first to last. It’s wounded, and
weak, and corrupted, and full of hypocrisy- I agree.
funny thing is… it IS the body of Christ. A messed up, messy,
ego-saturated, hypocritical institution on earth. With idiots like you
and me running it, what did you expect? Oh yeah, and one more thing –
it is also His Bride. The glorious, triumphant, sinful yet forgiven,
cleansed, spotless Bride against whom the Gates of Hell shall not
"If you turn your back on His Bride, you turn your back
on Him. And since you are His, you won’t do that. You will come back
and help make the Bride beautiful again. Because you care. There is
enough piss and vinegar and sadness and passion and real,
Spirit-groaning hope in these blog threads to start a new Reformation.
It’s high time we started. Who’s got the nails for the Door? I’ll bring
"And drink a glass to you all.
* * * * * * * * *
Bill Kinnon commented, "Dan made me laugh and skewered me with the truth."
I, too, thank you for your wading into these PFKA waters and bringing a
perspective that can easily get lost in the turmoil of "doing church"
in the 21st century.