Archive for the ‘discipleship’ Category


“You cannot hear (revelation) without heading it.” Peter Rollins (ht)

I think one of the great lies festering within the church is that hearing is enough.  We can easily leave people with the impression that you can hear the Gospel and that is enough.  We don’t communicate well that it is the the fruit (heading) that is always the evidence of that hearing.  One proves out the other.  But we don’t always tell people that.


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The Human Condition

Magnolia is one of my favorite movies of all time.  It is one of the best stories of the human condition and the space we find ourselves in. Everyone is searching for love in their own way only they keep bumping up against the brick walls.  And what is amazing is how the soul just has to keep going.  As human beings in the midst of suffering and our brokenness we find a way to keep searching.

What I loved about it was P.T. Anderson’s subtle conclusion that the movie presents, and culminated in this song.

“It’s not going to stop till you wise up. So just give up.”

May we as followers of Jesus live lives of surrender every single day.

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Just wanted to let you know that we’ve added a blog over at Thrive Ministries.  We’ll be focusing on what it means to follow Jesus, discipleship, mission, community, and more.  I hope you will join me over there.

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I’ve always wondered why the church doesn’t teach the priesthood of all believers. (1 Peter 2:9)  And then I saw this cartoon. (ht) It says so much in four little panels.  And it begs the question inherent in theology that we get it wrong sometimes, which has a label called heresy.  Heresy is big for some people.  But is heresy really the problem?

So I’m gonna ask a question.  What if the problem of theology is not that we’re getting it wrong, which is an inevitability for broken people, but that you are different from me?  And I don’t really need to get it right.  I just need you to agree with my version of it.

And if I empower you to be a priest, to trust in the Spirit’s capacity to speak to you, to be who you are designed to be in Christ, then you may say something I don’t agree with.  And then I will have empowered you to disagree with me, which means that I’ve somewhat approved it.

Again, just thinking out loud.

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Today I learned a new phrase that really caught my attention.  It comes from Len Hjarmalson’s post, Feeding the Beast.  He says,

Go on a unique, unreproducible journey with a group of people…

The rest of the post is important too but that phrase caught my attention.  You see I’ve been looking for ways to communicate what we do in Thrive, and will eventually do in Tribe.  Thrive has been almost like a lab for learning what it means to follow Jesus in a wholistic way.  Tribe will eventually become a missional network for groups that want to participate together.

But it is this journey together in missional community that has been my playground for the last five years.  And one of the tensions is that no two groups are alike.  Some are slow developing, while others move along very rapidly in their own development.  Some break up before they even started, while others find the courage to break through the chaos and discover the deeper side of community.

Yet each journey is unreproducable.

This phrase has so much permission built into it.  It speaks of the obvious, yet often forgotten fact that each person is unique in the kingdom of God and has permission to discover God in his/her own way.  No two journeys are the same.  The intent and destination are the same: participate in His mission so we can discover His restoration and kingdom.  The process is even similar: three years in a missional community. But no two paths are alike.

And what I realize now is that God has uniquely built into the journey process what is almost like a trail in the sand.  Each footprint from others vaguely remains as an outline, which invites us to follow but to chart our own footsteps that God is calling us to take.  We all practice love and trust…in familiar ways in our own lives but in distinct situations.

Yes the steps are similar, but no two steps are alike.  Each has its own timing and rhythm.  Each has its own uniquely imprinted stamp of God on it as we step forward into the Father’s embrace.  Each time someone learns how much God loves is truly unique to them, even though it has happened a million times before.  Each time someone discovers their own restoration, it has a distinct aroma all its own, even though that aroma has been enjoyed so many times before.

Much of what we do in Thrive is inspiring people to take that unreproducable journey, to discover God’s path for his/her life.  And there is an obvious hesistancy to taking the risk with God in something that has never been done before.  We want what works.  We want to know it’s going to work before we do it.  And much of my journey has been to create a framework for engaging the missional journey.  But the real work is participating, to take that first step that is meant exclusively for me.

Part of the tension for me has been in releasing what we do in Thrive back into the hands of God.  My temptation is to want to be validated by the success of what we do.  And the more I focus on the success of the groups the more it sucks.  The more I release the outcome, the more God’s Spirit shows up.  Isn’t that just like the kingdom of God.

If you are looking to participate in the unreproducable journey, a journey that is uniquely meant for you, feel free to contact me.  At this stage we are primarily loking for leaders who want to take the risk to lead a group of people in that journey.  Feel free to contact me with the email in my about page.

Much love.

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Walk The Talk?

Can something be a reality in life that we even agree to intellectually yet have no affect on our life?  And if so, what does that mean?

What say you?

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Last night some friends of mine had a date night that turned into a mini meeting about Tribe. Tribe is our dream about what church could look like, one that is bent towards following Jesus into mission.  In some respects its audacious, and is certainly bigger than the sum of us, which makes me realize I need to stay grounded in Him as much as possible.  It is why I am so blessed to have so many great people already a part of this.

My wife asked the other wives what they felt about what we were dreaming up.  It totally surprised me because I got to see the passion and beauty of my wife seriously wrestling with the call of God in her life, one that has pushed her in really great ways.

And then someone said, (I think it was Jeromy‘s wife), “I’m afraid of not doing it.”

And at that moment there was a collective sigh, a pregnant pause that revealed what all of us were feeling.  You see, the more we took steps towards participating in God’s mission, the more it delighted us.  It stirred our hearts to consider doing something that we believed would reveal a more wholistic way of being the church and participating in what He is doing.

But the risk was that by talking about it we could create a hope that might possibly never be fulfilled.  By taking those first steps in some way meant that we were doing it.  And what if at some point we decided not to, that it was just too much to do? By talking about it we were exposing some pretty serious dreams that each of us longed for and hoped for.  But at the same time we were creating a risk that our dreams would never come true.

Several people at the table said, “I don’t want this not to happen.”

There is a moment of convergence when an idea takes root in a group of people, and the first step is hard.  But there also comes a moment when the second person takes that step and the third and suddenly everyone looks around and says, “Are we really doing this?”  Last night was one of those moments.

Have you ever felt like this?

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