A list: More things I’m thinking about (Part 2)

Welcome back. More off the cuff thoughts…

Questions I’m asking #33 – 63…

33. If the world is going to be reached for Christ by professionals and others working in the secular market of commerce and ideas, why do we keep training pastors?

34. What’s seminary for?

35. How can we help prefessionals and entrepreneurs move into the reality that they can be pastors, prophets, evangelists and apostles?

36. If the gospel spreads more quickly via “real world” relationships, why bring converts into the world of fake church relationships.

37. Wouldn’t the best economic model be for church planters to be professionals?

38. Why would we support missionaries who live in the west? Isn’t this where everyone wants to live anyway? AND, isn’t this where most of the churches are already?

39. Even if we eliminate the huge percentage of churches that don’t work in the west, we still have the lion’s share of churches in the world. Why are all the “called” led to the nicer places to live where the life is good and the environment is wholesome enough to raise a family?

40. Is the call to ministry today synonomous with a means to escape the front lines of God’s work?

41. If the Holy Spirit were the director of Mission [which He is], wouldn’t he be deploying the vast majority to where the church isn’t?

42. Where are the places on earth where the gospel is most needed?

43. If we counsel the “called” to go to seminary, they will have a more difficult time entering the places the Spirit of Mission will wish to deploy them. Shouldn’t we instruct the “called” to become business people, artists, doctors, professionals, etc so they can get the proper visas and have the economic base to take the gospel where the church and missionaries can’t take it?

44. Are we not all “called”?

45. What did the Apostle Paul do about childcare in the churches he started? Music?

46. Why don’t we have house churches with Karaoke worship as a primary model?

47. Twenty five years ago, everybody I knew in the Christian camp had an epistemology that allowed them to believe they had a bird’s eye view on reality. They spoke The Word of God. Not their opinions. I felt it was idolatry to deny my subjectivity. I was called a subjectivist, a liberal, a pagan. And that was by my friends. Now being a subjectivist is trendy and noone seems to remember the old days when they were God. What happened?

48. Does anybody still assert that the Bible was innerrant in the Original Manuscripts anymore?

49. Is it wise to spend billions on the space program when there are billions of people who need help here on earth?

50. How can we not put everything we are into the space program? The stars are our destiny.

51. Why is global population declining?

52. Why is the West in a death spiral when it comes to birth rates?

53. If we could visit planet earth in 2207, would London and Paris be cities with a Muslim world view?

54. What would Los Angeles and San Franscisco be like in 2207?

55. What’s really going on in LOST? Are they in the Garden of Eden?

56. Is Global Warming really anything out of the ordinary?

57. Is the “successful” church and the “successful” pastor irrelevant to the gospel?

58. If the world will be reached by a movement of non-clergy women and men working together in small teams to take the gospel where it needs to go, why do we care so much about breaking church growth barriers?

59. Given the above question, what’s the role of the pastor in the world?

60. Wouldn’t most small churches be better off just becoming small groups for the local mega church?

61. Wouldn’t mega churches be better off just selling their mega properties, dissolving their mega staffs, giving their mega budgets to plant churches in India and Africa, and distibuting their members into small evangelistic teams?

62. Does a church or ministry need to be a 501 C3 non-profit organization? If it weren’t, what would it’s organizational and economic model be?

63. Once the chicken got to the other side of the road, what exactly was accomplished?

See you in the Mystic…

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14 thoughts on “A list: More things I’m thinking about (Part 2)

  1. You have a fertile mind! I am interested in what you are doing?
    At the moment I feel so weighed down by questions about the church, the world, salvation etc that I find myself paralysed and doing very little. It was much easier in the past when everyone accepted the Bible was inerrant, the pastor was the head honcho, church was 11am Sunday and salvation was about walking down to the front and then not drinking and smoking or going to the cinema.

  2. well, first of all, James, how can salvation not include drinking and going to the movies? that’s a salvation i’d want to lose.

    here’s some advise from a former church planter who has had the experience of being paralyzed…1] enter a quiet room, dim the lights,
    lay flat on your back, don’t worry this doesn’t get kinky, and then
    2] begin to give thanks –not silently but so that you can hear them — for at least 40 things God has brought into your life and every positive ministry experience, then finally, when you feel good [or at least better], 3] get up, pick up your mat, and immediately take a walkabout your city –mentally mapping it, noticing people, sit at a cafe you’ve never sat at before, have a beer at a pub you’ve not visited before, and walk some more — and STAY ALERT to your intuitions and follow them, pray for people and places as you go. Return to your home and journal your observations [as well as other sensory impressions] and feelings and ideas. Post about it –not on xanga –but on your vox. Repeat a few days later or at will.

  3. “how can salvation not include drinking and going to the movies?” … how did you ever survive in a SBC church?

    I’ll give the dark room a try! Nobody reads my vox that’s why I post on xanga

  4. james, you’re assuming i survived.

    now about the other thing…i don’t read any xanga’s anymore because the icons and headlines don’t appear in the vox cafe. 🙂
    but i know what you mean, i hated –at the time –to leave my xanga audience behind. now in retrospect, it didn’t matter. but if and when you post to your vox, since i keep voxtropolis.com open all day while i work, i’m more likely to see it and read it.

  5. hey james,

    i read your VOX too, you’re in my RSS list 🙂 sorry i don’t comment much… i’m not much of a commenter… i haven’t been blogging much either.

  6. I’m enjoying reading the lists and questions…I can attest to the same feelings as James and having beenin a better palce where I did do the “walk about” around Sac…it made a huge difference — in me and my work here.

    Funny thing realting to calling: last night at swim team I reconnected wiht a mom who’s a terrific artist and quickly got into a VOX conversation, what we’re doing, why, how all that…first she enthusastically desired to participate, as an artist AND a collaborater…then as she ponder the whole things she asked, “So, is this your calling?”…I had to think for aminute, then replied, “Yes, yes it is…”

    What caught me off guard was not the question so much as the fact that earlier our conversation had been about her distaste for church-y folks…then she asked about calling…intersting…

    So I’m doing your dark room technique too…then I’m going back to the streets…somehow.

  7. Alex,

    I think I face a greater challenge getting everyone to move to Winnipeg than you do getting everyone to London. 🙂

    “Has anything I’ve ever done or said made any real difference to anybody?”

  8. I also wonder what’s going on in Lost. We live in Japan, so I watch one season at a time on DVD. We’re stuck at the end of season 2 now.

    Great comment to James up at the top.

    I’m with you on the drinking thing, sort of. Never thought about drinking in heaven though… Ever read “The Last Battle” in the Narnia series? If they have fruit like that in heaven, then who needs a beer. Then again, the beer may be really, really good.

    My old college roommate thought they’d have sex in heaven. That image doesn’t quite compute with me, but I’m betting you’d agree.

    I resonate with what you’re saying about being called to the poor, the difficult places to live, and basically to the lost. Sometimes say the same things, but it seems like misplaced guilt to me. There’s plenty of guilt to go around. You, or I, could probably take the money we spend on things like beer, movies, concert tickets, high speed Internet, a cell phone, nice coffee, etc. and put it to work literally saving lives.

    I don’t think it’s working. I need to go to Starbucks and think about it.

    But when I’m totally focused on God’s grace — aware that I’m rich beyond imagining because of who my Father is — then I could throw of my clothes like Francis and walk outside the walls with nothing to lose.

    I don’t know if I’d go to the poorest of the poor or the most lost. I could spend all my life looking for them (who’s the poorest?). Somehow we all follow a sense of calling to get wherever Jesus is going. Personally, I like the spirit of your bro’s take on Psalm 37:4 – Delight yourself in the Lord and do whatever you want.

  9. Andy, maybe we’re not going to heaven but to a new earth. but before then the stars.

    i love your last paragraph most of all. honest. practical. ya, my bro sometimes says the funniest things.

    thanks for your input.

  10. Wouldn’t mega churches be better off just selling …
    This is the sort of thing I turn over and over again in my head. My first reaction is , yeah, why do they need fancy lights and corporate waterfall displays? Then I think about all the people who came to know Jesus because of those efforts. But, what if all of us were who we’re supposed to be as Christ followers – wouldn’t that make this sort of set up obsolete?
    I’m not sure about getting rid of seminaries. It seems like there should be at least a handful of people who really know this stuff inside and out, the Hebrew, the greek. Kind of like reference librarians.
    My question: I looked up something in Revelation for a Bible study last night and I thought “this is a record of a vision”. I may believe it just because I was taught to from a very young age. How does it differ from other visions people have had about things like special plates or that they’ve been given a final word from God. What’s so special about “ours”? ( I will admit to being obsessed with it in my jr. high years, so many Christian sci-fi type stories to read and scary movies back then )

  11. laurie, thanks for the input. yes, mega churches have definitely contributed to reaching many, many people for Christ. I came to Christ via the efforts of a terrific couple who were part of the outreach ministry of a mega church.

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