Thursday…4?

I have been on the road a lot this week. Planes, cars and about to be on the road again for some  actual family time rather than work time. This has limited my ability to write this week. Since I won’t be able to write a “Friday 5” tomorrow, I did have 4 thoughts for the week to help sharpen our focus, so we’ll just call them the “Thursday 4”.

Here we go…

I think we’ve under sold our women.

I pride myself on being a good public communicator. However, recently, my wife Jennifer and I spoke at a partner church in town on the assigned topic of “Racism”. Since we have an mixed family we’ve had a few experiences. Nothing of our experience matches an African American family at all, but having an African American child has has a few challenges, so we were invited to speak. Afterward, it was my wife that was invited to speak at an MLK event. I have always known Jennifer to be a solid public communicator, but she’s just good. She needs more opportunities to teach.

I’ve also noted that usually our men are not first to volunteer for much. It’s usually women. Also, I’ve noted that women do a better job than most men. More detailed and nicer. Women will think through details and implications.

There is more brewing here in my soul, but that’s enough for now.

The world is open to domain leaders and domain engagers who are serious about being more than an employee who takes home a check…not preachers. 

The world is not opposed to Christian business men and women, doctors, attorneys etc. The world is wide open to those who take domain engagement seriously. What if God is inviting us through the front door but it does not look like that last season of success?

The modern missions movement was highly successful. It set the stage for today, but today’s world is not that world. We are truly in a “flat world” scenario in which the nations are fluidly available anywhere anytime. That is a game changing reality.

Bible degree guys can’t get in nor are equipped to work around the world. Business people are. Electricians are. What if we trained our people in all things gospel then released them to the nations? What if the next generation of pastors were domain engagers who then received bible training or walked by the empowering Spirit?

I’m so thankful for Bob Roberts Jr. who is my spiritual father and takes me under his wing to teach how to be in the public square, how to meet with other faiths and be friends yet never compromise the gospel and even invite people to know Jesus. Paul did that. That was his mode. Paul operated in Public. Yes it got him in trouble, but it put him in front of kings and leaders and opened the world to him. We’ve got to figure that out.

Our little bit of success in our part of the world has been due to perserverance through hardship but God is opening global doors that defies the old school methods. It’s blowing my mind and defying my chosen strategies. It may be time for my strategies to line up with what the Spirit is doing.

I’m not saying bible training is not important. I am saying that the world is NOT open to people whose only training is bible.

What if the whole church was the missionary? Does that quesiton sound familiar? Yes! You hear it all the time from me. It’s time for us to work those implications out.

We have to learn to be friends with people we disagree with. 

We are far too tribal. If someone disagrees with us we want to fight, argue or even not be friends with them. We can’t do this. Gathering into tribes of people who only agree with us keeps us from engaging people with the gospel long-term, it tends to reinforce false ideas that we could use some help straightening out (same propagates same and when we are wrong then same wrong propagates same wrong).

It’s good to have friends who will challenge you politically, spiritually and physically.

We are just tribal and develop tribal language. Break tribes. Be friends with people you don’t agree with, and if someone disagrees with you, don’t take offense.

We are by nature idolators, constructing images of truth shaped by our own desires. – Leslie Newbigin

That line is by Leslie Newbigin (go look him up). Or as my friend Ross Patterson recently said in response to a post I made, “Behavior driven beliefs versus belief driven behavior.”

I’ve found that much of the Christian sub-culture in the post-Christian south is formed around “images of truth shaped by our own desires.”

People will find bible verses to justify their hobby-horse for the season like a bird can find a worm (does that image work?)

For some reason we can major on things that are frankly irrelevant and make them centerpieces to our lives while ignoring justice, righteousness and truth as defined by God in the right reading of his word.

Truth is not what we perceive something to mean. Truth is reality from God’s perspective. In other words, when we come to the bible, we are not looking for verses to justify what I’m passionate about at the moment, but we are captivated by God’s word, hungry for God and are shaped by what he says as we know it from his point of view. That creates prophets. The former creates slaves of cultural fads. 

I hope these thoughts set you to thinking and searching God’s word. His Manual is true without any mixture of error, so measure up to it…don’t make it measure up to us.

 

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