Saturday, July 10, 2004


There's something really good about going somewhere and seeing life from a different angle for a few days. From 1996 until last year, I averaged nearly a trip per month mainly because of work stuff. This week was my first flight since January. I forgot how healthy it is to get away, if even for 48 hours.

I got to spend quality time with Joe on the way to Phoenix, and even more quality time with Doug (we drove) on the way back from Phoenix. I saw people from previous stages of my life in Phoenix -- they remind me of past experiences and bring back terrific (and terrible) memories.

The day before a trip I'm usually so stressed that I consider not going. The day after a trip I'm usually so exhausting that I wonder why I went. But then thinking back, I realize that I grow more by getting out of my routine, seeing different people, and doing different things, than by anything else I do.

If I ever make significant $$$, I don't think I'll sink it all into a massive house and hot cars. I think my main indulgence would the freedom to go more places more often. To take off for the weekend (or occassionally longer) to go someplace different and experience life there.

Unrelated -- Tonight Rebekah and I are going out to celebrate our ninth anniversary. Damn I'm old.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Boiling Down 15 Years of Journey Into a One Hour Talk

This Thursday I get to speak at a workshop at a convention in Phoenix about the journey we've been on. As I've thought and prayed, I think I'll outline my journey from the past fifteen years by talking about:

1. Generational Issues (from Baby Boomers to GenXers). During this stage of my journey I was focused on making the church more relevant.

2. Cultural Issues (from being a pastor to being a missionary). During this stage of my journey I was focused on seeing the church be on its mission first and foremost.

3. Theological Issues (from an organizational church theology to an organic church theology). During this stage on my journey, I discoverd that church was more like a family than a business.

4. "Me" Issues (from focusing on religion to focusing on relationships). This most recent stage of the journey can best be summarized by some outtakes from a Wayne book:

"Jesus' followers were not focused on liturgy, tradition, or growth strategies, but on the power of simple God-centered friendships, both with believers and with those still trapped in the world. The early believers didn't see themselves as an institution; they saw themselves as a family. Church wasn't something they went to; it was a way of living in relationship with the Father and his other children. When the apostles summed up the early believers' lifestyle in their letters, they didn't mention much about their ogranization or their meetings. Instead, they wrote about their relationships and the joy of treating one another the way God had treated them."