May 27, 2011

Your Right Arm

Have you ever heard the expression, 'I'd give my right arm for X'? A teen in my youth group accidently discovered what he would give his right arm for the other day. He quite literally gave (at least temporarily) his right arm to do a cool skateboarding trick. He tried to tackle a rather difficult 360 turn, only to fall, fracture his arm and give himself a mild concussion.. He OK, but he will be in a cast for at least 4 weeks.

In that spirit let me ask you, what would you give your right arm for? Or to phrase it more Christianly; what would cause you to cut off your right hand?

May 24, 2011

It's Not Over Yet

May 21st has come and gone. And judgement day passed far more smoothly then I would expect for such an event. As most Christians, and pretty much everyone else suspected Harold Camping and his odd bible math failed to predict anything. I suspect Sunday was awkward for a lot of Christians. We had to lovingly tell some people we told you so, begin the work of collecting and comforting the disheartened, and we have to try to speak into the world that now see Christians as a little more ridiculous then they did before.

It would be hard work, lousy work, but needed work. With a sort of sigh we talked briefly about this on Sunday before we prayed as a congregation. I have to say even with this ahead of us I was at least happy to have it over. Sunday May 22nd ended it.

I took comfort in that. But I was wrong. It is not over yet. Move over May 21st, Hello October 21st!

May 20, 2011

Fact Checker

Every now and then I find myself in a little debate about what pastors ought to know. The debate seems to center around should pastors be specialists or 'jacks of all trades'? Should pastor's zero in on the bible, or should they know a little something about everything?

It is a tough debate. On the one side you venture into dangerous territory when you say knowing the bible is not enough. If you take that stand sooner or later someone will cry out that you are neglecting the study of the word, for the wisdom of the world. On the other side if you neglect broader study you can be rightly criticized for not following the example of Paul at Mars Hill. He learned about the people and their beliefs so he could best communicate the gospel.

So how does one break this ideological dead lock? Should pastors know nothing except for Christ crucified or should we become all things to all people so we might save a few?

May 18, 2011

Focus Error

I'd considered adding my voice to the whole Harold Camping bible guaranteeing judgement day on May 21st thing, but the idiocy of it seems to be well documented already. Camping is making a big mistake. He has so zoomed in on the charge that we are to be ready and waiting for the return of Christ, that he has missed that we won't know when that is. It seems obvious to the outsider that he should know that, verses like 'no one knows the day or the hour' and that, 'Jesus will come like a thief in the night' should tell him he is off base.

However I think that this kind of mistake is not uncommon. Now most of us don't make it in the same way, but I think we all make it. We all zero in on a narrow section on scripture, or one aspect of the Christian faith at the expense of the rest. At least I know there are times that I do.

May 13, 2011

All Fun And Games

Some of you may be wondering why I rarely blog about youth ministry. Which is fair given that 80ish% of my current ministry role is youth related. The truth is I don’t have a lot of advice to offer. I am far more a learner then an instructor. I have to study hard and reflect long to figure out things that some of my peers seem to know intuitively.

So most of what I could pass along you will find in these books.

However there is one youth ministry issue I would like to weigh in on. The age old debate between 'fun and games' and spiritual growth.

May 11, 2011

From The Mouths Of Babes

My hope for the future generation of Christians was dashed a little on Sunday. A boy, young enough to still say whatever stomps through his mind, yet old enough to form pretty strong opinions of how things ought to be, asked me on Sunday when I was going to start behaving like a real pastor.I was shocked, I didn't know what we meant.

As it turns out by behaving like, he meant look like.

May 6, 2011

Friday Is The New Thursday

Sometimes tradition trumps usefulness. Actually I suspect that happens more than 'sometimes'. This is a common enough criticism of churches. That even the most innovative churches quickly fall in to a traditional, whatever the tradition. That phenomenon is no ones fault, it just seems to happen that way.

A lot.

May 3, 2011

Reshuffling the Deck Or Playing a New Game

The future of governments have been in the news a lot lately. The world watched as Egypt fought for a new government, and for the right to vote in a true democracy. Shortly after winning that right other countries throughout the Middle East began to demand the same change.

For example Libya has entered into a bloody, and what will likely be a long civil war. At its simplest we have a group of people that are fighting for a new government.

On Friday Prince William and Katherine were married while 3 billion people watched the future king and queen of England make their vows. People are, at least momentarily excited, to see what the future will hold for the English Monarchy.

And here in Canada we voted yesterday and as a result the political landscape has changed dramatically.