Archive for January, 2010

Books / Readings, Missional

Live Sent Post #2

So this week was a fairly full week and I didn’t get around to posting a second reflection on the book “Live Sent” by Jason C. Dukes. But here are some more “random” thoughts about the book and some quotes that I especially resonated with.

First off, I would say that one of the best chapters in the book relates to discipling, or “discipleship”. This chapter was a much needed part of the book, and a much need part as we think about Veritas and our future. Rethinking the idea of Discipleship being individualistic, cognitive-only, and done in a class with a beginning and end point. Afterwards you are a disciple and you have your certificate to prove it. He says that “Discipling is learning and living the ways of Jesus so that others learn and live His ways, too, so that others learn and live His ways, too, and so on.” Jason says that discipling is a “process, a multi-tasking kind of process that has as its core value the necessity of doing life together.” He frames discipling around 3 elements:

1. A first element I would suggest for the discipling process is relationship.

2. A second element I would suggest for the discipling process is discernment

3. A third element of discipling I would suggest is release. (this third part to me is so needed and follows Jesus model of sending out the 12 and the 72.) Jason expands on this by saying, “Church leaders must be willing to measure success not by how many people they can draw and manage, but by how many they can release and relate with and coach to be discipling far beyond their influence and control.” And one way to do that is by watching the calendar of the church, “We will not busy you with church activities, but rather we will equip and release you to be the church within yoru daily and weekly activities.”

Here are some other quotes from other parts of the book in regards to living a sent/missional life:

“You were made to know life abundantly, and life abundant happens when you live beyond yourself.”

“If we rethink our ‘live’ and embrace wholeheartedly a life lived beyond ourselves rooted in the ways of Jesus, then it will influence the way we define success in life.”

“He trusts you with the responsibility of sharing His love with the world and being a significant part of His restoring humanity.”

“Getting to know the people of the culture we have been sent into and knowing the effective ways to connect with and communicate with them is called “contextualization”…..”Unless you are befriending them, eating with them, drinking coffee with them, encouraging them, learning from them, and giving yourself away to the people of yoru culture, you are not contextualizing.”

“The health of a local church is actually not based on the number who ‘attend’ but rather the way in which people love one another and are walking relationally in life.”

Another great section of the book in my opinion was chapter 7 entitled “Stay on the postal route (or wireless travel. Our spheres of influence in daily living.) In this chapter he lays out the spheres of influence that you have in your daily life and how to live sent in the midst of those spheres. His spheres of influence include: family, Neighborhood, Marketplace, World, and the Web. Ths is a great reminder, especially the family and Web part, as sometimes I forget about living sent to my wife and children, and extended family, and I almost have never thought about living sent on the web.

I’m sure there are more quotes that I could write about. More thoughts I could write about. More ways of Living Sent, but I think these are enough for now. I have finished Live Sent and will be moving to the book “Thy Kingdom Connected:What the Church can learn from Facebook, the Internet, and Other Networks” by Dwight J. Friesen. I will be blogging about this book in the near future as I read it.

Books / Readings, Missional

Live Sent

As I mentioned a few blog posts ago I am reading Live Sent by Jason C. Dukes. I am a part of the Ooze Viral Bloggers and received this book the other week to read and write blogs about the book.

Jason’s overarching metaphor for the idea of living missionally or as he calls it Living Sent, is the metaphor of a letter. Being a letter to the culture, your family, your neighborhood, and the world. I have to say I loved the metaphor and how it also changes the metaphor for church.

In Chapter 2 entitled “Rethinking Church” he works on redefining the metaphor of the church from being a fueling station to a Post office. Here is what he says, “But Sunday mornings cannot be viewed as just “fueling stations” any longer. They must be viewed as Post Offices, gathering and sorting mail in order to send out those letters into daily culture.”

I am not quite finished with the book, but there has been much in this book that has encouraged me in the midst of planting Veritas. There has been much to challenge me. There has been much to remind me.

I think the two biggest statements that has helped me, and are worth the price of the book (I would actually buy this book with my own money, if I hadn’t got it for free) are these:

“But, because of our emphasis on “going to church” and trying to “grow the church” (something Paul wrote that only God does)……” This statement has helped me to cut myself some slack regarding the growth of Veritas. Not that I just sit around and do nothing, but that ultimately it is God who will grow HIS Church.

“The question may not be ‘what do I need to do to live sent everyday. The question may be this- what do I need to stop doing so that I can live sent everyday.” So often in these books it’s like, “Now what am I going to have to add to my life to fully live this out. What he is getting at with this question is the idea that maybe we need to drop something from our calendar so that we can be more fully sent into the world. In another place he said this, “Maybe a bit less ‘church activity’ on their schedule and a lot more of ‘being the church’ in the midst of whatever their schedule already is. Why add ‘church’ to what you do when you can be the church in all you do…..People go to church too much and are not being the church enough!!!”

I have a lot more thoughts on this book, and I will write another blog in the next few days of some other thoughts, quotes, and comments I have regarding this book. One of these thoughts revolve around the being sent to my family, and not just seeing this “missional” life as being sent to others outside my family (which it is also that).

So until I write that post, I will contine to try to Live Sent, to my family, to my neighbors, my friends, my enemies, my community, my world, and on the net as well. May you go and do likewise.

Books / Readings, Community

A Helpful Framework

Just finished reading a book called “Whole Church: Leading from Fragmentation to Engagement” by Mel Lawrenz. I can’t recommend the book except that the framework he sets forth I find really helpful and provocative! The book is just lots of ink on paper. The framework is on page 11 and the rest works at supporting the framework, but not very well, in my opinion.

The framework Mel sets forth is a helpful way to think about God’s work in the world and the work that God has called us to do in the world as well.

Mel defines engagement as “Bringing together God’s supply and human need.

And then he further talks about four kinds of engagement that every church is called to do.

1. Engaging with God (the life of worship and personal devotion)
2. Engaging with God’s people (real koinonia {Community} through small groups and other means)
3. Engaging with your community (imaginative ways to distribute Christian witness that is decentralized, grass roots, salt and light.)
4. Engaging with the world (developing an awareness of and involvement in global mission)

When Jesus announced, what I call his mission to the world, he said he was sent to engage the world. He said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” That’s engagement!

It is also what he calls us to do!

Books / Readings, Missional

Live Sent plus a great quote

Live Sent is a new book by Jason Dukes that i just got from the Ooze Viral Bloggers. I am excited to begin reading it, gleaning insight about what it means to live sent, and see how this book might help as we explore the Missional Life of Jesus at Veritas.

Jason lays out 4 elements that are utmost importance to the mission of being the hands and feet of Christ and the blessing that we are to be as Christ followers. The 4 elements are:

1. In order to live sent, there may be some things we need to rethink.

2. Living sent is all about trusting your value.

3. Living sent is all about doing life together.

4. Living sent is all about giving ourselves away intentionally.

I think these 4 elements are crucial to a life of a missional follower of Jesus, and they are ones that I have, and will continue to unpack and wrestle with. I look forward to wrestling with and unpacking these 4 elements as I read the book and use this blog space to record my thoughts. After I am done, if anyone wants to borrow the book, let me know.

Also I recently found something that really relates to living a sent life. While working my AM shift at Starbucks the other morning, I was reading a paper that includes reports of good customer service and bad customer service. Each paper includes a thought provoking quote. The quote that was on the one paper struck me and resonates deeply within me, but also connects with our new sermon series “The Missional LIfe of Jesus”

It is by the writer Frederick Buechner. “The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.”

We all need to remember that as we seek to live out the kingdom in tangible ways. We might never really see the impact that we might have on someone this side of heaven. So let’s all work on being the hands and feet of Jesus, seeking to bless others.

Community, General, Special Announcements

Happy Birthday to Emergent Brethren!

This month marks an anniversary since the start of this blog site. Here are some numbers to show its activity:

166 Posts, including the section on Brian McLaren’s book
13 Authors who contributed the posts
13 The most number of comments to a post (see the 3/15/08 post by Michael Salerno called, “My money, my mouth”)
11 Number of countries with readers who have visited this site.
5 Number of pages visited by a new visitor in Saudi Arabia.
3 Number of years this site has existed.

Thanks to everyone who’s written a post or left a comment! Your writing is a blessing to many people (even if they don’t leave comments)!

With much appreciation,

Jeff Glass
Site Administrator

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