Unless You Become Like One of These

Last Friday’s lack of school came easier. The predicted ice storm never came. Images of crashed semi-trailer rigs pointed to a storm that missed more than failed to arrive. Read More

Winds of Change

The wind shifted out of the north. We know the State Fair starts tomorrow. Around these parts that means an increased possibility of Fall weather – colder with some rain. Read More

The Word(s) That Change(s) the World

Jesus calls into question our need for oppositional postures. But, in order to maintain the strength of our perceived positions we need someone, some group, with which to be angry. Funny thing is that when we read the Gospels, Jesus’ words reserved for those who chose him as their enemy came not in defensiveness but in calling the religious leaders to account for the way their words became a burden to those most in need of hope in God.

Maybe this video would point to the call for Christians to give their brothers and sisters the benefit of the doubt. And, maybe we would hear Jesus calling us to account for how flippant and careless we are with our words all in the so-called name of what is true.

Linus’ Blanket, Peterson’s Bully, and Liturgical Escape

Amidst the various characters tossing bean bags, shooting angry birds, and many other games played during our Fall Festival, I noticed little Charlie Brown. Patty remarked that we should have recorded the annual replay of Charlie Brown’s, It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, and keep it for Cohen and Max. There is always next year.

Dr. Warren McWilliams, one of my theology professors at Oklahoma Baptist University back in the day, once mentioned, The Gospel According to Peanuts. The book, published in 1965, may be considered the forerunner to a modern genre of books where the author takes a popular movie, television series, or other cultural artifact and mines it for its implications. My friend Chris Seay wrote several books along these lines, The Gospel According to Tony Soprano, The Gospel Reloaded, The Tao of Enron, and The Gospel According to Lost.

Christians are not the only ones to find some connection with human experience, the world of ideas, and cultural icons.  Slovenian philosopher Slavo Zizek used a Three Stooges episode to explicate Sigmund Freud’s – id, ego, and super-ego.

So what of Linus’ blanket? Read More

The Serum for What Ails Leadership in the Church

Looking for a small monkey had Dustin Hoffman willing to break a number of rules to develop the antidote for a deadly virus in Outbreak. Sometimes we may feel like unlocking the key to leadership in the church in an era of what Alan Roxburgh refers to as discontinuous change like finding a lone monkey in a forest. If we could catch the little rascal we may well be able to find the antibodies, and so the antidote, to a form of leadership that may well have inoculated us against leadership qualities most helpful in carrying on the mission of Jesus in the world.

Dave Dunbar, President of Biblical Seminary, offers some thoughts on the possibility the Church, like Kodak, may have developed antibodies limiting the leadership adaptability. In his recent installment of his Missional Journal Dave writes,

This is not an uncommon story in our world of discontinuous change.  Past
success has a downside–it can inoculate individuals and organizations
against the very adaptations that might allow them to thrive in a new

Dave goes on to describe forms/qualities of popular forms of church leadership that may well need to die. He concludes leaders in the missional church/turn will need to recognize those antibodies leading to a resistance to change.

My doctoral work was on leadership in the small church. I identified four qualities that inhibited adaptability – resistance to change, fear of outsiders, lack of cohesive/coherent organization and lack of unified forward movement. Resistance to change seems to be a given in a time of discontinuous change. I always marvel at our willingness to build new homes, buy new cars and dabble with the latest technologies but when it comes to church we cannot possibly consider change a possibility. Read More