When the Adventure becomes a Job

Chilly —  April 22, 2014 — 56 Comments
[REPOST]

Disclaimer: I wrote this in my journal late, late last night (around 4am). It’s a glimpse into things I’m thinking and feeling — it is not meant to critique or attack other churches/ministers. Please read through this filter. 

Do you remember when God called you?

  • was it after getting the results of your ACT or SAT exam?
  • did it come in a certified letter?
  • were you walking through a job fair?
  • did it come with a paycheck?

CalledProbably not, right? It was probably more spontaneous, crazy and epic than a human designed promotion. It was supernatural, right? It made you insanely excited and totally overwhelmed all at the same time! You had the thought, ‘there’s no way I can do this’ and yet, you also KNEW, ‘ there’s no way that I CAN’T do this!

Maybe I’m just weird, but I’m more than a little concerned about what’s happening in what we call ‘Christianity’ – specifically within our leadership. Way too many pastors seem too burned out, depressed, suicidal, wimpy and self-loathing. Some have begun to sound like excuse-making complainers. They’re lonely, hated, misunderstood, tapped-out, and overwhelmed. I hate seeing this! I want to help!!

Yep, I too have been beaten-up (a little bit physically, somewhat spiritually and a lot emotionally). I’ve been robbed, betrayed and played. I’ve been out of money, abandoned, over-worked and super tired. SO WHAT!

It’s not like Jesus and the Bible didn’t warn us. And, it’s not like Jesus and the Bible didn’t tell us what to do when this stuff happened. Jesus said, “Take heart!” not “take cover!”

Being miserable, cynical or sarcastic IS NOT the answer! Neither is quitting.

Turning the body of Christ into God’s robot isn’t the answer, either! Our need to control is making our lives out-of-control and stressed out. 

“Doing church” was never God’s plan… the church is a living organism that’s growing, changing and functioning through the authority of God, the leading of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.

I’m really concerned about the structure, professionalism and business-like approach to ministry that has become commonplace in our churches – and, more personally, in our lives.

Yes, many are producing churches that are big, well-oiled-machines, that function with precision and reliability. We run staff gatherings and board meetings like Fortune 500 think-tanks… little risk or faith desired or required.

Checks and balances. Budgets. Protocol, precedents and procedures. We’ve got manuals and job descriptions for everything. We can’t have chaos after all.

Hmmm… have you ever been in a father’s (or grandfather’s) house? Does he give job descriptions to his grand kids? Things are messy, loud, unorganized and spontaneous. Yet, laughter and love are everywhere! Now, I’m not saying that’s, exactly, what church should be like… but, I do think Jesus was saying something when He rebuked His disciples by saying, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 17 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” Luke 18:16-17 Speaking of kid’s with callings…

I’m also concerned about how we train those called into ministry. $100,000+ for a Bible College/University degree is the norm. Student loans, classroom lectures, test taking and term-paper writing may not provide proper training or evaluation. Remember, some of the original disciples, church-leaders and church planters were ‘untrained’ — They had not attended the rabbinical schools of their day, yet they knew how to quote and explain scripture better than the rabbis. They were discipled. I’m not hating on seminary — I attended one and I was a professor at another — what I’m saying is that these institutions are not the only (or always the best) way to develop the calling in someone’s life. Discipleship must still trump diploma. Ministers should be active learners not those that think they have all the answers.

Maybe we’re too serious, controlled and up-tight? Maybe we’ve lost the adventure of our calling and turned it into a job? Maybe we’re more full of ourselves than we are the Holy Spirit?

Here’s some specific things that concern me in our pastors, churches and ministries…

  • We give them instructions, but not purpose. We say ‘what’ to do without answering the ‘why’ we do it. Pray this. Read this. Attend this. Do this. Don’t do this. And, then, when you complete this; do more of this! Few people seem to be discovering who they are because we’re telling them what to ‘do.’ As a result …
  • We develop systems to evaluate the success and efficiency of everything. But, we’re making disciples not employees… we’re making missionaries not machines. As a result …
  • We create check-lists, measurements and levels to show maturity and progress. We require classes, tests, attendance and conformity before most ministry opportunites can be considered. As a result …
  • We give out titles, positions and leadership like awards or promotions. There’s an elite aura around most upper-level pastors & leaders. There are people who may achieve board or staff level because of their faithfulness to a system or generosity (of time, talent or treasure). As a result …
  • People are confused about how to love God and their neighbors without losing their minds. They can operate their ministry in the church with precision but never talk to their next-door neighbors. Their cars are used for multiple church events like a soccer-mom’s van in the summer! They’re too focused and busy to play with their kids, date their spouse, go to the park, or sleep in on Saturday morning As a result …
  • Insecurity, Stress, Fatigue are having a party just on the other side of fake smiles. Ouch. Or, maybe the manifestation is pride, control and rules. Either way, both have roots in FEAR. And, fear has NOTHING to do with the adventure of God’s calling. His perfect love drives away ALL fear (1 John 4:18).

I don’t want a job. I want an adventure!

I want to wake up each day FULL of wonder, passion, energy and joy!

I want to pray because it’s fun and because Jesus talks to me! I want to read the Bible because it’s alive and it rocks my world every single time I read it! I want to make disciples because I’m called to do it and because I’m uniquely designed to reach, love, mentor, train and help others become disciples.

I want my wife, kids and friends to LOVE living life together. I want church to be about who we are becoming not what we are doing. I want the community to change through love, miracles, kindness, compassion and friendship.

I want other young Christians to WANT God to call them into the ministry even before it happens simply because they’re around the adventure of my life!

This is NOT a depressing view or rebuke of others, church, ministry or whatever … nope! I, obviously, know that some systems, structure and planning are needed in ALL ministries. Please don’t get all worked up or defensive. I wrote this in my journal — and, my journal is not the Bible! I’m simply asking questions because, asking questions is how we get answers.

Ultimately, this article, is just me saying that I’m CHOOSING to keep living the adventure and inviting others to join me! It WILL be imperfect, it will include failing and it will be unpredictable. It WILL not pay much in money but it will be INSANELY rewarding and super exciting!

The ADVENTURE continues!
Chilly

This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

56 responses to When the Adventure becomes a Job

  1. WOW. This is so timely as Jeremy and I are laying the foundations and embarking on the ADVENTURE called Freedom House. Printing this out and holding it close in the months to come. Thank you for these refreshing and freeing insights, Pastor Chilly. Lots of love from CT!

  2. I love it Chilly! I am sharing this with all of the churches and ministers I oversee, and I agree wholeheartedly that the Kingdom is about a family and being, and not just doing like many organizational structures, even though we need some organization. What I have seen over the last 25 years are people being swallowed up in systems that are more concerned about the good of the organization or the system, and vision than they are the people, which is why many view them as dumb sheep rather than son’s and daughter’s of the King. I believe much of the burnout and stress is because so many leaders have no father’s in the faith or other brother’s that they are truly honest and accountable with, or no one truly caring for their soul, and that leads to priorities out of whack and everything else you mentioned here. Ministry is not our job it is our life’s call and mission, and enduring hardship and pain is part of the journey.

  3. This was so good, some thoughts I’ve had but hard to share from the outside. Glad to hear from a pastor. Point 1 reminds me of woe 1 (I call them 7 Wows) in Matt. 23.

    • Pastor or parishioner, we’re ALL in this together. God calls us ALL! Thank you for reading and responding. And, thanks for pointing us to Matthew 23 – great insight!

  4. So very well said! People get upset when you ask them if they need God to run their church. But it’s true…often times we want God to work within our processes rather than His messiness.

  5. Yes. This largely sums up the last 2+ years of our lives! Between church planting and opening a coffee shop, we’ve seen and heard and experienced all sorts of other people’s opinions and strategies and philosophies.

    We’ve chosen to mostly ignore the crowd (and by “crowd” I mean professional ministers), and take the plunge into “the adventure!”

    The result? FREEDOM!!! Freedom to BE who we were created and called to be, and the excitement of allowing God to have the freedom to do as He please with our family.

    We have been strapped by the burden of Bible College debt. We have been oppressed by the dead religion of business-as-usual church life.

    We might not have much in the bank, and we might not have much tank, but we are breathing in LIFE!!!

    Thanks, Captain, for this encouraging post.

    • You are heroes! Never doubt it or let anyone tell you otherwise! Your faith and really hard work, is about to reap the biggest harvest of your lives so far! I’m excited! I can’t wait to sit and watch the sunset with you someday at your coffee house (and church)!

    • I will start by stating the fact that different people will read this very same article and it will strike a very different chord in their response.

      I can only share mine and let me just say the following statement below really made me angry:

      “Way too many pastors are burned out, depressed, suicidal, wimpy, self-loathing, excuse-making complainers”

      Here’s why.

      I was fired almost 4 years ago from vocational ministry by a pastor who led me to believe that God spoke to him and told Him that it was my time to go.

      I have spent the last 4 years of my life searching, struggling, hurting and healing over what happened and trying to reconcile the reality that I was once called to vocational ministry at a young age and was incredibly blessed to get paid an honest living to fulfill this dream and passion of mine.

      I have interviewed for more ministry jobs than I would like to admit and still in a humbling place of searching. I have had to roll up my saleeves and find work just to provide for me family.

      I know what you’re thinking.

      Yes, the ministry is not for the faint of heart. It is hard, you do get hurt. It can be a thankless job.

      However. If God has allowed you the gift to be used by Him to advance his kingdom in any way shape or form AND you have the privilege to be earning a living doing this… Shame on you for complaining, even for a minute.

      I would give almost anything to go back to vocational ministry again. Should God grant me that gift, I can guarantee you I will look at things very differently and be more than grateful for that any opportunity.

      If you ever feel like it’s too hard or you’re not getting paid enough or “God forbid” your leadership oversight asks you to do something as that you feel is not in your “job description”, just ask Chilly for my number and give me a call.

      I might be able to share a different perspective and you might have a change of heart.

      • Thank you for your honesty & vulnerability. I apologize for causing you anger by pointing out those who take paid ministry for granted…

        That said, I’m very grateful that you still chose to leave a comment & share your journey. Many can probably relate.

        And, yeah, I agree with your frustration with those who are paid to do ministry and take it for granted by complaining & acting like martyrs. Especially, when amazing leaders/pastors like you would LOVE to be back in, paid, full time ministry!

        I believe your door is about to open!

        You we’re made for Adventure! You & I have shared some amazing ones! I’m praying for MORE to come for you & your beautiful family.

        Love, Chilly

    • Steve, this is exactly what I was trying to tell you about a year ago. I had lost the taste for the so called organized for the reasons in this article. But never forget where I come from and talk to God every day. We do not all handle our relationship in the same maner, and always remain hopeful to be a better person.

  6. Man! I’ve been having my calling reignited lately. Definitely had my moments and this is so accurate because it definitely happens a lot with young people. We get excited but then we forget the “why” and get focused on the “me”. I for one love being back at my church and living the dream: the adventure of my faith. My church btw is Courage Church.

    • … this is why I, for years, had a post-it note on my mirror that read: “today is NOT about ME”
      — by the way, really glad that Courage is your church!

  7. So timely! I need to make sure it is about my relationship with Him. It is about Jesus. It is about knowing Him and making it so others can know Him. We want our loved ones to be saved from sin so they can be in relationship with God, not so they can meet a standard and follow the right set of rules. We don’t seek behavior modification but a heart change to be more like the one who saved us and set us free.

    It has to be about Jesus. He is the adventure. Life lived in love and in relationship with Him is the only thing that makes it worth it and the only thing we were created for. Thank you!

    • ” We don’t seek behavior modification but a heart change to be more like the one who saved us and set us free.” BOOM! Yes! Jesus IS the adventure!

  8. I am going to be the brave soul and disagree with some points. It is your journal and your thoughts. I have a much different perspective but that is why God gave us our own brain.

    • Sue, I’m not surprised or disappointed that someone disagrees with this. Lots of people probably disagree with this.

      But, I would not say you leaving a comment means you’re being a “brave soul” — it doesn’t take courage to disagree to someone else’s point of view. That’s easy.

      Let’s save our bravery for proclaiming the Gospel to our hurting, lost world! I’m confident that this is something we can definitely agree about! Thanks for reading my post and sharing!

      • I do not want to be too transparent on the web, however life is not always a neat pretty package. People struggle with a lot of the issues you described, I struggle as well. I disagree with many thing you said, borderline offended. Questioning my bravery? Maybe posting on a blog doesn’t compare to soul winning in your book. For me to have the confidence to disagree with the majority and having a voice is huge.

  9. This is a great post and I love it. I love your heart in this. I am so glad to be a part of your discipleship and how you have taught me how to live by faith and passion rather than by religion and duty.

    Your viewpoint is from and toward people who are called into full-time “career” ministry. What is different for me is that YES, my calling came after my ACT exam, with a certified letter, from a job fair, and with a paycheck. The story of how I got to where I am is crazy, spontaneous, and SOLEY because of God’s hand and favor. My job is defined by, “There’s no way I can do this and yet there’s no way I can’t do this!” My career as an engineer allows me to not only minister in Detroit, but minister to people at work who I would have no contact and influence with by any other way. THIS IS WHAT IS SO AWESOME ABOUT GOD. He is not limited by a church building! He wants to reach people at my work more than I do and He has created me to do exactly what I am doing. I think, eat, and breathe like a calibrator. I can’t separate myself from it. It’s in my bones. By excelling at my job (again ONLY through God’s favor) I earn the right to speak into my coworker’s lives and use the influence God has given me. It doesn’t always feel fun or like an adventure, but it is.

    I do totally agree with you about how church can become too much like business. We can become program-driven rather than relationship and faith driven. I think it’s because we like to control and be able to measure progress when progress is best measured by the Holy Spirit and His timing – we’re talking about people here, not machines! Our churches need to be a place where people can have authentic community, growth, relationship, accountability, and where the supernatural power of Jesus is not limited by our lack of faith or desire to control.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Heart and Soul.

    • Bro, I don’t think I could add anything but a HUGE “Amen” to your comment! It should be a post all by itself! Thanks for fighting by my side for so many years!

  10. Amen! Amen! and Amen! Jesus came that we might have life and life more abundantly. An abundant life is not one where there is tons of money or possessions. An abundant life is an adventure. An abundant life engages your soul and keeps calling you to deeper and deeper levels of faith.

    Keep on living the abundant life. I am with you and praying for you!

  11. Thanks Pastor for keeping things real. The church you describe is the church I want to be apart.
    I’m so challenged by the way you think out of the box. I think I’ve been sucked into routine and checklists, to-do’s, structure, systems,money, stats..but that’s not what first called me into ministry and it’s definitely not what drew me to Jesus. All that stuff doesn’t require passion- atleast the crazy Jesus passion I have inside of me. Reading this is like a deep breath of relief- I can be this church, I can grow this church..it’s about loving Jesus, it always has been, it always will be. He lives in me. Need to keep my heart open and fear out!
    Crazy excited to be serving with you at such a time as this! I’m believing this with you, it’s my prayer and cry: “I want other young Christians to WANT God to call them into the ministry even before it happens simply because they’re around the adventure of my life!” Amen! Love you Pastor, You’re cray!

    • Katy, you’re one of the reasons I stay young and SILLY! I’ve prayed for you since you were in high school – even then, your potential was obvious! I’m so thankful that you’re my daughter’s best friend and yet, you can be my friend and assistant too! Cray-Cray!

      I love what you wrote: “All that stuff doesn’t require passion- atleast the crazy Jesus passion I have inside of me.” — yeah! May NOTHING and NO ONE ever tame that Jesus passion!

  12. Really interesting post Chilly.

    Love the line ….Jesus said take heart not take cover. Superb!

    I remember the chaos of pastoring in our church in the 1980’s when disorganization and chaos were worn like a badge of honor!

    The pendulum has now swung the other way and I think your call to arms is a timely reminder that the Holy Spirit moves on chaos and we need to embrace it and thrive on it.

    What’s doubly interesting is that out of chaos the Lord loves to brings order and structure so we often need strong prophetic voices calling us to discern the season and align ourselves appropriately.

    Timely word Chilly.

    • Thank you John! I agree and understand that God is a God of order — I’m trusting the Holy Spirit to provide the framework for the Adventure!

  13. Wow!!!! This post was ridiculous God’s truth.
    I think that people start living, including pastors, for the audience and not an audience of One. And that’s just not right. Sometimes we are called somewhere or to do something for a season yet we don’t stop because we might let someone down but if we aren’t doing what God called us to do, that’s the worst! We are living up to our calling that God has for us.

    I’ve watched Courage (and you) ebb and flow for years now and I’m crazy inspired to live spirit lead and dependent on God!

    Love this post, just what my heart needed to hear – the adventure of Haiti for a year seems a little scary but where He goes I will follow…

    Thanks Chilly!

    Inspired and energized!!!

  14. I’ve been beat up, chewed up, and spit out in ministry. I had to come to the determination that I’m done with the “job” and ready for, what you call, “the adventure.” I can say after 17 years I’m having the time of my life pursuing HIS calling. I’m done putting up with abuse of church power/politics and bureaucratic games. I’m done with pastors building empires instead of HIS Kingdom. It’s time to enjoy HIS presence and HIS calling. After all, HIS burden is easy and HIS burden is light. We need structure, systems, etc…but not at the expense of our marriages, family, joy, and, most importantly, HIS Kingdom being accomplished.

    Good stuff my friend.

    • Yes! You summed up my point about ‘organization’ perfectly: “We need structure, systems, etc…but not at the expense of our marriages, family, joy, and, most importantly, HIS Kingdom being accomplished.” — of course we need framework for ministry, but be sure it’s in keeping with our FIRST priorities!
      — Thanks for reading & responding Pastor Dave!

  15. Just wondering, how do you think one should address obvious error in teaching that is so prevalent these days? I want to serve but the things that I have convictions about seem to be dismissed from modern teaching. Every pastor seems to be the acolyte of some television “minister”. Sin and Hell and repentance are considered archaic concepts not worthy of consideration in the light of loving God’s easy system. I’m not saying that what I have experienced is the “only” correct way nor do I think that my life is without flaws. I just cannot support the works that are being presented by really good loving believers because they just are not reflections of the complete Scripture.

    • Ken, I’m not sure I’m the best person to address your concerns, however my answer is simple: LIVE IT and MAKE DISCIPLES. We reproduce what we are — whether in church context or family or students, etc. We should, certainly, preach the full Gospel (and, more importantly, live it).
      — we, ultimately, serve wherever God calls us to serve. Sometimes it’s like serving Jesus and sometimes it’s like serving Saul. Serve either way. Faithfulness & character define our ministry.

      Just a few quick thoughts — hope it made sense. Thanks for reading & responding!

    • Ken, keep the Word of God as your primary and secondary reference point, as you are. Speak the Word in love and continue to focus on the basics. We are all flawed, but He is flawless and faithful. You remain faithful.

  16. Chilly,
    He has been faithful to His call in my life and my family for 40 years. I echo your feelings and thoughts 100%. I’ve been to the rare-air and found it a choking environment. Now, I go where and when He calls and do whatever He says, no matter the cost. Wow! It’s been hard and tearful at times, but I don’t want any other choice. I desire to die empty, giving back all that He has entrusted to me. I am blessed to have a wife who believes the same and three daughters who live it out in their faith-based lives. Thanks for keeping it going.
    Wally

    • Wally, you could probably have written this post better than me. You’re genuine love for Jesus and others is contagious and I respect the faith that your life models. Paid or no pay, big church or no church, any color, any age; you serve with joy and compassion! You are the ‘real deal!’

  17. There are a lot of angles here! (is this book #2 ?!)

    I have seen some of what you’re talking about in churches, and I think it is a good discussion to have. However, this article made me think more about my personal responsibility. That idea that while I might be able to affect change in church culture, more importantly I CAN change my own heart, and life.

    So, a few of my thoughts….ultimately our ministry can only reflect our relationship (with Christ, and others). If there’s trouble inside us, then trouble will eventually come out of us. Like you and probably most others in ministry – i’ve also felt those feelings of despair, tiredness, etc and the weight of ministry. But, then just as soon as I feel that comes the realization that – my foundation is not my works, but my faith. The Church, or my spouse, or my calling is not my source – Jesus is. Sounds cliche at times,and it is if there’s nothing backing it up. Living life like Jesus wants us to is enough to keep me busy. Making sure i’m listening to him, and not trying to control my life is plenty of adventure, fun, work, discipline and fulfilling.

    In the church world i’ve see some really great churches that ‘have it all together’ and have the heart to back it up – and i’ve seen it from the other side too – a mile wide but an inch deep. I am thankful that God is a God of order, and while i love organization and systems and planning – without a doubt I want to walk according the Holy Spirit. I don’t always do it well, but my prayer is that i’d walk in step with the holy spirit. Not one step ahead or behind. I’m really thankful for a place like Courage Church where we get to be the church, and not that we are perfect, but I’m hopeful that we’re making Christ happy and proud, and that we are growing the way He is leading.

    Love you!!

    • Great perspective, Freddie! I love the call to the personal walk with God — that has to be where it ALL begins!

      “In the church world i’ve see some really great churches that ‘have it all together’ and have the heart to back it up – and i’ve seen it from the other side too – a mile wide but an inch deep.” — I totally agree! Organization is not the enemy — but I prefer to call it ‘focusing our faith’ — I want to be deliberate.

      Book #2?? This implies that Book #1 is still going to happen! (can you feel my pain?)

  18. wendy gelispie April 23, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Amen Chilly, I so agree when God called me to be a teacher I had no idea how I was going to do it but God has brought me every step of the way and I am ready to loose everything just to become who God created me to be. God children are so important to God and he want to place Christians around them. God gave a scripture Rev 2 verse three I think it said he that has a ear let him hear what the spirit is saying he that over comes will eat of a new manna and I will give him a white stone with his name on it. God changed the names of the disciples and he wants to change our names. When my class reached 60 one Easter I asked God was this the beginning of what you showed he said I can’t I can’t dream big enough for what he wants to do. God doesn’t want or need perfect people he only need people willing to say send me Lord Yes Lord. He can do it without us. I am so with you continue to pray for your ministry and your family. God ride is never dull or boring.

  19. Thanks CC. I have a couple of quick thoughts:

    First, I have read the same kind of things from the marketplace view about jobs. Lawyers and teachers get hurt too. Spiritual Leaders should not be complaining about the people. It is because if these people that we have a job.

    Pastors don’t leave ministry because people hurt them. Pastors leave ministry because they cannot handle people who hurt them.

    Second, one of the great lessons I learned early in ministry was not to complain. Especially because one day I will sit in the company of Job and Paul.

    Good discussion.

    Grenell

    • Thanks Jeff! Wise counsel, indeed.
      ~ the thought of sitting with Job & Paul is crazy … and, for me, the one that rocks me is Joseph — who, after everything he went through, said, “God meant it for good.”

  20. Awesome post!

    “I want to pray because it’s fun and because Jesus talks to me! I want to read the Bible because it’s alive and it rocks my world every single time I read it! I want to make disciples because I’m called to do it” – I want this too! I don’t want to slip into a ministry routine, I want to always be more filled with the Holy Spirit than myself.
    And sometimes this doesn’t come 100% naturally to me- I have to fight for my focus to stay on Jesus and off myself and surroundings. But when I’m fully fighting to live for Christ and committed to obeying Him- that’s where true JOY and PASSION come from!

    Thanks for the encouragement and for sharing your heart!

  21. Chilly, my heart so resonates with this post. Church leaders occasionally need a spiritual slap in the face – a wake up call – especially with today’s distractions.

    Discipleship has not been the priority of the church for some years now and if it continues it will be our demise. Maybe it’s too messy and takes too much time. Maybe it takes off the center stage and leaves us wanting for that occasional pat on the back.

    Perhaps there are some in our church’s pulpits preaching that haven’t been called to Pastor. Perhaps others have been distracted by God’s glory mistaking it for their own. Perhaps today’s church is too infatuated with becoming a mega-church and not focused enough on being a missionally minded community.

    Keep writing Chilly. Continue to wake up the Church and it’s leaders. Continue to be COURAGEOUS.

  22. Hey Chill… So much good stuff here. Your stated concern regarding measurables and structure are also concerns of mine, but from a different perspective. I am not part of a mega church but I can appreciate the business component of church life. As much as I agree that ‘professionalism’ is not necessarily a Jesus quality, churches and leaders can also be sloppy and unorganized. That can be a turn-off for an unbelieving world. In other words: Be on time. Start on time. Pay your bills. Follow up quickly. Make clear expectations of pastors and other leaders. These are good things and I could go on. The challenge is keeping the main thing central and primary in all we do. I love you and your crazy heart. You constantly challenge me to live the adventure! Cheers!!

    • Totally agree E! My family would be chaotic without structure! Hmmm…

      Maybe I just stumbled onto something… “Family” not business, organization or even church. Decisions created out of love not results. You get ‘me’ E, because you’re my brother – you love me – you believe! And, you love/need the adventure part of this whole thing too!

      I could go on. Maybe this will be my next post?!

      Thanks for posting!

  23. Interesting conversation about family—I wonder, for all my Catholic friends out there (I was raised as an evangelical) what their experience with the church has been? It seems their faith focuses on the importance of family and community and less on church…I don’t really see or hear of “mega Catholic” churches (note…history does paint a bleak picture for organized “religion” of any type.) I wonder what we can learn from one another? Often, in larger “mega” churches, I see the church “being the family” and becoming a monoculture that’s disconnected from from a larger, and more healthy, context and community. Could it be a matter of not caring about “being the church” but more so about tending to our actual families and being an active part of our local communities (likely speaking from a personal conviction here.) I know for some this is difficult because of their experience with family. Might it be that we have created a place (big/better/larger church) that tries to replace our actual family in an attempt to not have to face the reality of having broken family structures which surround us? I think I’ll just go be a hippie and go hug a tree now…and love my real brother—now that’s a challenge worth accepting! I love everyone’s perspectives—even the bits of nasty are a welcome relief—I enjoy thinking people. Structure in an organization is very important…contracts (agreements), wages (compensation), project management (priorities) are all normal and healthy. It’s when those things master you and you no longer master them that you must stop and “audit” and ask yourself, “Is this best for myself and my family?”

    • Really provocative thoughts Tim! I’m writing a new post, in response to the comments to this post, called “Family-Style” — we’re on the same page… I think! Thanks for reading my blog & responding!

  24. Well, I just saw this post. Just wanted to say that Troy and I were both encouraged by the adventure you and Netta have lived out before us. That’s why we’re still here in Ireland! It’s for the adventure!

    • Yes! You are ADVENTURERS! What a joy it is for us to be part of your journey and personal lives all of these years after we first began in Belfast!

      Press on!!

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