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"To understand is hard. Once one understands, action becomes easy." (Sun Yat Sen) This is especially true of the church. We may hope and pray for renewal, but until we understand what is holding us back, our every action is ineffective. Three questions have been proven effective in leading to both understanding and action:
1) What is the nature of the church?
2) Where is society taking us?
3) What does God call us to do? (our unique vocation).
A guide for a prayerful discernment process in your congregation.
There are three questions that guide the visioning process. They relate to nature, context, and mission. In this workshop, Bill Kemp shows how these questions developed by Ram Charan for the business setting can be translated for the church use. Asking the right questions is especially important for congregations in transition. The same questions phrased differently can help individuals set appropriate personal goals. The biblical and theological underpinnings of each question will be explored.
How to heal the past, be compassionate today, and non-anxious for the future
Intentional interim ministers have a tool box they use to bring Shalom to traumatized and conflicted congregations. That same tool box can helpful for individuals seeking Shalom. To find inner peace we must learn from our past, live compassionately in the present, and plan without anxiety for our future. This is more than simply a balancing act. One must develop a healthy decision making process. One must understand the roles and relationships that provide structure for our individual lives. One must find new ways to bridge conflicts and offer forgiveness.
We are not entirely present to ourselves until the day of our death.
Louis Lavelle (Christian philosopher 1883-1951)
Until now, we have worried about tomorrow -- unpaid bills and upcoming appointments. The future has driven the present moment from our awareness. We have grown accustomed to knowing more about what is in the refrigerator than about what is in our hearts.
In San Diego there’s a boat museum with three old submarines tied to the dock. I was visiting the Russian Whisky Class submarine from the 1970s, when I noticed a beautiful sailboat tacking against the wind in the harbor. What’s the difference between these two boats? The sailboat is dealing with wind and current. It is taking risks. The Russian sub is securely fastened to the shore. It is a museum piece. I find that when I talk about the church in the postmodern world, the image of the sailboat resonates with only a few church leaders.
I talked with a well-trained, dependable, and highly fruitful youth pastor yesterday. Such creatures do exist. He was even the product of my own denomination (United Methodist), though now, is serving on the staff of a non-denominational church. His story speaks volumes about what needs fixed in the church and provides insight about what needs to be done to reach the next generation with the gospel.
For weekly posts dealing with the Lectionary Scriptures go to www.billkemp.info