emerging adulthood?

A friend passed this link onto me earlier today and it’s an interesting read on a societal trend.

What do you think is happening in our culture? Is there a new “emerging adulthood”?

the curiosity of a “man of the cloth”

I’ve had some experiences lately where I’ve been addressed or introduced as a “man of the cloth.” Up until this morning, I had no idea what this phrase meant but through the wisdom of the internet, I was brought up to speed.

Here is the article that set me straight.

How about you, are there odd ways that you are addressed or introduced?

living on mission

Over the past few years, I’ve been thinking about how I live on mission in North County San Diego. I like how this idea sounds and how it plays out in my life as I engage people in the real world.

A funny author that I’ve referenced before is Jonathan Acuff who writes the blog Stuff Christians Like. He has this one post from a few years ago about the fear that God will send him to Guam.

What do you think? When you hear the word “mission,” do you think God will send you to Guam or Africa or the jungle?

kids included in church?

Check this post out by Jonathan Acuff, author of Stuff Christians Like.

This is what I wrote in my comments on the SCL site:

“First, this video is hilarious and the opinions are all over the map.

Rooted within the video is an interesting belief about how we practice and understand church. The question that Jon asks is a small look (microcosm) of how the church in North America has come to practice – the larger the church, the more likely the church is segmented by age and stage of life. If we are asking this question about children (or teenagers) and using terminology like “big church” and/or “adult worship” we might be missing the point of the church and our role in discipling all ages and stages.

If you are interested, take a look at this article by Kara Powell in Leadership magazine from a few months back: Is the Era of Age Segmentation Over? It is worth the read as we think about segmenting or segregating kids (or others) from the body of Christ.”

What do you think, could we be missing the point of church?

taking risks in community

Last night I was reflecting with a good friend and my wife on the dynamics of how we grow in the context of community.

On Saturday, my oldest son Brighton and I were at a school riding bikes with a friend of his. When we arrived I noticed that the other boy was already on the playground riding his bike without training wheels. I knew the boy was only a month older than my son and (maybe selfishly) I wanted Brighton to try to ride his bike without his training wheels. But I regretted not bringing  a wrench so I could take them off.

Brighton started to ride and was watching his friend ride. After 5 minutes he rode over and asked if he could take his training wheels off and I told him we could but it would have to wait until next time. I admit I was a bit bummed inside.

After a few more minutes, another Dad came down to the playground with his daughter and her bike. In his hand he was carrying a wrench. After he was finished, I asked if I could use it. I removed the training wheels, lowered the seat and had Brighton measure to see if he could reach the ground with both feet. Brighton sat up on his seat, I made sure we had enough room, I put my hand on the back of his seat and after 10 seconds he was off on his own. It was one of those significant moments I had thought about…teaching my boy to ride a bike. Sure he had some bumps and bruises that day, but he was ready and he was willing to risk because his friend had gone before him.

I was so proud to be present as he rode around proudly on that playground. Here is a video of Brighton riding last week (and me encouraging him):

Are you more likely to take risks and grow when others around you are doing what you haven’t done before?

the burn of horseradish

Last night a group of 13 of us ate a Passover Seder meal together at our house; it was a very unique time of looking forward to Easter and the fulfillment of this meal. One of the most unique elements of the meal is Maror (bitter herbs) as represented by horseradish.

Have you ever eaten raw horseradish? We all picked up a small piece at the same time and ate it together. As we took our first bite together, everyone was gasping for air, looking for something to drink and choking back tears. It was honestly five minutes of hilarity as I was nearly dying and looking around at everyone else’s reaction.

One of the participants last night shared this article with me this morning so we can grown our own horseradish for next year. Anyone interested?

road tripping without road tripping

A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick FixThis is what I did this last weekend on Friday night through Sunday afternoon.

As I was about to go to bed on Friday night at 10:30 I received a call from my uncle who was with 37 other people stranded at the U.S.-Mexico border on a broken down bus. These 38 Oregonians had been trying to get out of San Ysidro since 4:00 pm without any other viable options.

After a few minutes of thought and a few phone calls to coordinate. I drove 300 miles between 10:45 pm and 4:45 am in order to get them up to Anaheim so they could meet their replacement bus the next day. (By the way, I heard the next day that their replacement bus broke down in Sacramento on the way to rescue them…I might not rent from that company again.)

On Saturday morning, I woke up after a 4 hour nap, packed and got ready for the day, dropped off the boys, married a couple and then drove from San Diego up to Porterville, California for another wedding. On Sunday morning, Amy and I did the return trip to San Diego. When all was said and done, I had driven over 850 miles in less than 41 hours. I am finally catching up on sleep after 2 days.

In the midst of other things today, I started a book that I hope to finish in the coming days called A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix by Edwin Friedman.

In it, he writes, “Living with crisis is is a major part of leaders’ lives. The crises come in two major varieties: (1) those that are not of their own making but are imposed on them from outside or within the system; and (2) those that are actually triggered by the leaders through doing precisely what they should be doing.”

My series of road trips in less than 2 days encompassed both of these varieties of crises as he describes. If there is anything I have learned in leadership in the church it is this.

How about you, is crises a part of your life and work?

innovation and the church

This video is good news for the church.

In 20 minutes, author, speaker and business thought leader Gary Hamel speaks on innovation and the church. Here are some of his key ideas for churches who desire to become more innovative:

(1) Overcome our natural tendency to deny things that discomfort us.

(2) Generate higher numbers of new strategic options…experiment and fail forward.

(3) Challenge our orthodoxies or dogmas (habits on how we do or are the church).

(4) Think from the outside-in. We are called to work with outsiders as we co-design.

(5) Have a stance or posture to being open to as many people as we can.

(6) To build an organization that is innovative, we need to turn the pyramid (power relationships) upside down. For example, mission shaped communities.

(7) Stay focused on core values. The why of what we do rather than the what and the how.

What do you think about Hamel’s ideas?

the smell of a new book

A few months ago, I pre-ordered a few copies of Jonathan Acuff’s new book called Stuff Christians Like. Acuff writes one of my favorite blogs as he laughs at himself and the rest of the Christian subculture in North America. In the midst of his humorous writing, he has a way of uncovering truth.

Today, to my surprise, two copies of the book arrived and I am so excited to read it and send another copy to a good friend that needs a good laugh. I have a feeling that this new book might delay me finishing all the other books that I am in the middle of.

great article on preaching

If you like good speakers and preachers, read this article by Mark Labberton in Leadership Journal. It is well worth your time.

What do you think of Labberton’s thoughts on gravity, light and air?