Archive for March, 2007

Leadership, Special Announcements

New Pastoral Excellence Groups Study Postmodern Culture/Church

From today’s CoB Newsline (3/29/07) I read,

Vital Pastor program continues to launch and conclude pastor groups.

In late 2006 and early 2007, six pastoral cohort groups in the Church of the Brethren were awarded Sustaining Pastoral Excellence (SPE) grants that launched a two-year, self-chosen study focus for each group. SPE is administered by the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, a joint ministry of Bethany Theological Seminary and the Church of the Brethren General Board, and is funded by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. Following are the groups of pastors, their congregations, and their questions for study:

Ryan Braught, Hempfield Church of the Brethren in Manheim, Pa.; Dennis Garrison, Spring Creek Church of the Brethren in Hershey, Pa.; Steve Hess, Lititz (Pa.) Church of the Brethren; John Hostetter, Lampeter (Pa.) Church of the Brethren; Bob Kettering, Lititz (Pa.) Church of the Brethren; Phil Reynolds, Mohler Church of the Brethren in Ephrata, Pa. Question: “What leadership skills are needed to pastor disciple-forming communities in a postmodern world?”

Dennis Lohr, Palmyra (Pa.) Church of the Brethren; Twyla Rowe, Westminster (Md.) Church of the Brethren; Dick Shreckhise, Lancaster (Pa.) Church of the Brethren; Jim Zerfing, Lake View Christian Fellowship Church of the Brethren in East Berlin, Pa. Question: “What are the insights and skills needed for effective pastoral leadership to minister amid the intersections of our Anabaptist/Pietist identity and the emerging postmodern church/culture?”

I hope these pastors will add to this website with their questions, insights and learnings. I would love to hear from them! Perhaps by posting here, we could contribute to their learnings, too.

So. . . what do you all have to say?

Jeff Glass


Prophetic Thoughts from Marshall Macluhan

I just got back from the 1st day of a 3 day seminar on Alternative Worship at Lancaster Theological Seminary.  They brought Jonny Baker in from GRACE in London (writer of Alternative Worship).  Jonny gave us different quotes from Marshall Macluhan (the medium is the message).

Here are a few that speak profoundly to me..if you want to talk with me about them, call me or e-mail me.

“The potential of any new technology is always dissipated by its users involvement in its predecessors” (Can this also refer to the potential of new ministries-alternative, etc.. being dissipated by the leaders involvement in more traditional structures??- Thoughts???)

“Official culture still strives to force the new media to do the work of the old media, but the horseless carriage did not do the work of the horse; it abolished the horse and did what the horse could never do.”

“The amateur can afford to lose.  the expert is the man (or woman) who stays put.”- (This one is painful for me to hear as I am struggling with is very thing.  Can I take the risk or am i more comfortable staying put???)

I guess related to these things is my question.. can an emerging/postmodern ministry (emerging church) stay within an institutional church or will it eventually need to move out on its own or face death of it’s original vision and dreams?  Your Thoughts??


Ministry Formation

More on Offense!

When we get tripped into playing defense, all our time is consumed by responding to and defending not by moving forward. So, what’s the future look like and how do we get there? A lot of energy and time is consumed playing defense. Defense is about holding ground, not necessarily advancing ground!

When I look at the life of Jesus, I think he played offense almost exclusively! It’s almost Easter… look at his movement toward the cross… he definitely did not let the critics keep him from the larger reality of his destiny! Nor did he loose much time or energy focusing on the present challenge, but was focused on what he knew was ahead.

Just this week I had a situation where it would have been easy to slip into defensive mode, but I stayed on offense and God honored that in a big way… can’t disclose details yet… but one day it will be a great story of God’s awesome power and provision to share with others!

Ministry Formation

Living on Offense…

I’ve been thinking lots about life lately and what I have acheived and what I want to acheive in the time I have left. It seems that so much of my life has been lived in response to what has happened to me (defense). And I am finding that I’d like to think seriously about what it might look like to live life on offense! What would it look like to lead on offense? What would it mean for my life if I spent more time anticipating or imagining rather than reacting to what’s happening. Or more time imagining/ anticipating a preferred future rather than getting sucked into the daily grind and bouncing around like a beach ball on the ocean. What if I knew where God was calling me and I charted a course in that direction? What if I took risks and dared to achieve things that I can’t do on my own, but need God to show up to help out or to make possible. How would my life be different? Would I find more satisfaction and fulfilment?

Living on offense shouldn’t be hard… after all we have the promise of God to “Be with us always, even to the end of the age.”

I’ll probably post more on this soon.