Before you get wrapped up with your weekend plans, here are three things I’ve been reading and thinking about this week. Hope you get as much out of them as I have.
Everything the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that i should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.John 6:37-39 NRSV (underline mine)
This text has been comforting to me. Christ will not drive us away. No matter what the current situation in our life he is willing to continue in the relationship if we are. Now, this doesn’t mean he lowers his standards or expectations for how we live. In fact, that is not even his to do since Jesus states that he is doing the will of the Father and not his own will. Jesus is “following policy” as we may say! That means that for me, and others, Jesus is willing to persist, even put up with us for a season, in hopes of drawing us closer and changing us for the better.
The church finds itself in such a position today. Even churches that were built on strong foundations find the ground beneath them turning into liquid. We have no idea what to do about it. I mean, how do you build a church when you don’t even know if the ground it is sitting on is going to remain solid? I believe the answer is in building Kingdom movements. The answer is in building something that has a strong foundation but is also infinitely flexible. There are grounded, fixed points that in some ways might resemble an organization, but upon a closer look actually reveal the nimble and flexible nature of the organism.Mike Breen from Leading Kingdom Movements
This quote defines in so many ways the local church’s current situation within the UMC. And rather than simply throw up our hands and wait for better days, now is the time to invest ourselves even more heavily. For the Kingdom is always active in chaos. In fact, the Kingdom of God is needed the most in chaos for that is our only hope. I see people wanting an exit strategy…maybe we are better off to burn the bridges of exit strategies and force ourselves to remain? I am making all things news Jesus said in Revelation 21:5. Transformation in my interpretation of this text comes from within and not by throwing out what is no longer seemingly useful or easy and starting over.
Most of the decisions we make in life turn out to be right or wrong not because we were prescient, but because of the way we function after we make the decision.Edwin Friedman from Failure of Nerve.
This quote hangs in my office reminding me that making a decision does not end my work. In fact, execution has just as much to do with a good outcome than a perfect decision upfront.