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reckoning

Chilly —  May 2, 2016 — 2 Comments

reck·on·ing   [rek–uh-ning]

the avenging of past mistakes or misdeeds.

reckoningDo you ever wonder what we’re really doing or at least supposed to be doing? Why are our methods, passion, and approach all greeted with such resistance, fear or doubt? Why are people in the community more intrigued by and engaged in transformation than people in the church? Why no one seems to be able to find the correct phrase or word to describe us? Are we nameless?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this…

What makes us any different from previous pioneers, revolutionaries or trailblazers of the faith?  Are our ideas so unique? Are sermons more inspiring? …hardly. Is it our tech toys, websites, blog pages, crazy videos, or loud music? … no, I don’t think so. Maybe it’s our jeans & t-shirt Sunday attire.  Ha, that’s not it either – but it’s definitely a perk! 

So, what makes us different? Why all the books, conferences, articles with words like: engaging, convergent, relevant, next generation, influential, mosaic, story-telling, etc.? You know what, I don’t know either…

Maybe the labels and titles came from the rigid, controlling, established, religious, on-their-way-out, leadership of organized churches & denominations. We tend to fear what we don’t understand, and a label always helps us sum up something we don’t really get… was that offensive – I’m sorry – that’s not my intention. Honest. I’m not picking a fight.

You see, I don’t think we’re really that unique. From the first century church to where we are today, there has been a need for individuals or groups of believers that stand up and bring radical correction to the waywardness or blandness of the church Jesus planted. Throughout history there has been a need to get back to the main thing:  Salvation, discipleship, and community.

When we stray from the foundation, we tend to take ourselves too seriously and the results are tragic: religion replaces relationship, selfishness replaces simplicity, lust for power replaces love for people, control replaces compassion, greed replaces grace, jealousy replaces joyfulness, conflict replaces courage, and frustration replaces freedom. Has this happened in your church (or mine)? Oh man, just the thought of this makes my heart hurts…

It’s easy to fall into this and hard to climb out – but, we must!  [Warning: Rant in 3, 2, 1 …] And, I don’t think the answer is to abandon ship – kick dirt on your church, or walk away because ‘they’ won’t change and only YOU know what authentic Christianity is – and, then use social media and toxic small groups to validate your righteousness & meekness (receiving applauds & pity from every ‘hurt’ leader) – grow up, shut up & move on – gracefully. [end of Rant]

For the rest of us, still in it to win it, let’s begin our adventure back to truth & life TODAY! It’s time for a holy reckoning to happen in and through you. I want a better church for my kids and the generations to follow – better doesn’t mean “new” – actually it’s just getting back to the book of Acts and living it in the 21st century. It may be simplifying: Love God, Love Others & Love Life.

Yeah, labels will come… judgments will be made… shunning could happen. Embrace it. And do what you’re made to do – be who HE made you to be. The message IS sacred, the method is not... keep that straight and LISTEN, LEARN, LIVE, and LOVE!  The lost are all around us – they’re looking for something genuine & trustworthy — someone to help them find the truth. Making disciples is still the Great CommissionYOU ARE NEEDED.  It’s time.

                                one to be reckoned with,
Chilly

Q: What needs a day of ‘reckoning‘ in your life or leadership today?

ReFocus

Chilly —  October 16, 2014 — 11 Comments

Today I deactivated my Facebook account.

Gasp! What?! Why??

I know, I know! Crazy, right?!

I had 4,211 Facebook friends. I was Administrator of 4 Facebook pages and 2 Facebook groups. Probably had a combined influence of nearly 10,000 people.  And…

I’m done.

I could give you several personal, specific, reasons for this action. We had some security concerns and I made a decision best for my family.  I also made the decision to refocus my time, attention, interactions and rest.

Here’s a few other questions or thoughts that played into this decision:

  • quitting-facebookWhy do we spend so much time trying to maintain relationships, statuses and expectations of people online and so little time loving and serving our family, neighbors and community?
  • How much time do we waste or sleep do we lose lost in social media?
  • Do you have any idea of how many potentially dangerous entities exist on the other side of our computer screen or handheld device? Have you looked closely at these sites on your spouse’s or children’s smart phones and laptops? A few sites: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouNow, Kik, Youtube, Vine, Vimeo, Pinterest, OooVoo, Pheed, Wanelo, Reddit, and MORE! Overwhelmed yet? Any of these could introduce loved ones to predators, pornography, fraud or worse!
  • Yep, I know there’s good things that happen via social media — that’s why I’m not telling you to stop. I’m telling ME to back off and refocus. I’m evaluating each media application and seeking to minimize my activity and accessibility.
  • The people who truly love you and desire to know, WILL CONNECT WITH YOU. Rather than a random, “hey you” that leads to hours of mindless chatter rarely producing authentic relationship, focus on people you can look at, touch and do life with…
  • Facebook was step one. I’m evaluating ALL applications and sites. I’m excited to simplify.
  • It’s ok to use social media but DON’T let it use you.

Well, that’s my street corner, megaphone, blog-post rant. Are you still here??  Yeah? Cool! Then let me throw a couple verses at you that I’m meditating on today:

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:2-3

IF you still want to be connected online, you can subscribe to this blog – there’s a place for your email address in the top right. I’d also welcome a coffee in person sometime!

Thanks again for being in my life — for praying for me, reading my stuff and spurring me on! My life is enriched through true friendships!  Love, Chilly

Saturday Sigh…

Chilly —  May 3, 2014 — 6 Comments

SaturdaySighThe sermon preparation is done, the errands have been run, the coffee has been enjoyed, the family is all doing their own thing and I’m sitting down thinking, dreaming, and asking myself questions. Sigh…   so, here’s a peek into my heart & brain

 

  • Is my life & ministry Biblical or more like my own paraphrase?

 

  • How can I consistently improve my prayer life (quality & quantity)?

 

  • Am I improving as a husband & father?

 

  • Who are my true friends?

 

  • Who am Itrue friend to?

 

  • Have I personally applied the message I’m about to share at Courage Church?

 

  • Is coffee (good coffee) a drug and am I an addict?

Continue Reading…

This is a blog post by Matt Boswell, pastor at Redemption Church.

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When Ellen and I were first married ministry was not our 20-year plan, the Navy was. We had it all planned out; we were to spend the next 20 years with me being gone for 15. The Navy explained to my sweet new bride how grueling it would be, that I would be gone often and that even when I was around my mind would be elsewhere. Knowing that my particular career path in the Navy would be a marriage destroyer I pursued a discharge for the pursuit of higher education. With the promise of a difficult future behind us we embarked upon an easier dream where everyone would love us and things would be calm: pastoral service.

Twenty plus years later I can tell you it has been a ride we never could have anticipated. So much so that only now do I feel equipped enough to share a few things I either lacked the clarity or courage to share until this season of life. I want to share the 10 things we as pastors don’t really want you to know about us. Now in doing so my aim is not to rat out my fellow pastors. Nor am I doing this so congregants sleep with one eye open regarding their leadership. My intention is precisely the opposite. I hope that from this:

  • Churches will pray all the more for their pastors because they understand the challenges.
  • Churches will be doubly grateful for the fact that so many pastors stay in the saddle despite their fears, hurts and frustrations.
  • People in churches will think twice before engaging in things that sink deep into the soul of their leaders.

Therefore I give a glimpse into what we as pastors don’t like to admit about ourselves.

#1. We Take It Personally When You Leave The Church.

It’s just a straight up fact. We pastors eat, drink and sleep the local church and with that have a deep desires to see it thrive. Therefore when you leave to another church because…

  • you’re bothered by a recent decision, but didn’t ask about it…
  • the new church has a bigger and better kids wing, youth group, worship team, building space, (fill in your blank)…
  • your friends started going there…

… it hits us personally.

For us it feels disloyal, shallow or consumer driven. People affirm that church is a family, thus when you up and leave because the church down the road has Slurpee dispensers, a fog machine or it’s just cooler, well it jams us pretty deep.  Continue Reading…