Category Archives: leadership

Christian? European leaders?

70+ years ago C. S. Lewis said that the word Christian had lost its meaning. He compared it to the word gentleman, in that ‘gentleman’ once meant that one had a coat of arms and owned land. Today a gentleman might hold the door for a lady. He continued by pointing out that the word Christian once meant ‘little Christ.’ I think what Lewis was getting at was that being  a Christian meant that one was a disciple, a learner of Jesus who gave up a great deal to follow Him as master. 

Today, calling oneself a Christian is a label one chooses as part of one’s identity. In many contexts, it really doesn’t mean much more than one’s political party affiliation. 

Click, read and consider this exchange in a Budapest paper where Hungary’s PM Orban has stirred the waters about protecting a so-called Christian Europe.

The article shows a Christianity that is hardly Christian in the biblical sense. Thus, I largely reject using the term at all today.

Shocking?

Well, dear reader, remember Jesus died to forgive our sins and rose from the dead to give us eternal life. He then told his disciples to make disciples.

He told no one to fill buildings with converts, onlookers and seekers listening to someone talking about subjects they don’t care about. All so they can check a box that helps them call themselves Christian. Or helps them be seen as “Christian” because they are in the building.

Don’t check a box in a building full of people you don’t really agree with. Instead, do what Jesus commanded: 

Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength

and 

love your neighbor

and

love your enemies.

He did. 

Want to protect “Christian Europe” Mr. PM? Love those refugees and help them get to Western Europe. Love and help the NGOs and just plain folks who are taking sandwiches and water to these oppressed people. 

Don’t feel the love? Consider C. S. Lewis’ advice. If you don’t love your neighbor, just begin by acting as if you do, then, after a while, you may find that you do.

_________

Both Lewis thoughts are from Mere Christianity.

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Filed under crisis of refugees, leadership, seeking understanding, Uncategorized

Thank You to God and our partners

Usually at this time of year, I’m busy “getting the word out” about our end of ministry-year budget need. This year I don’t have to write that post and link it to Twitter and Facebook and www.ceokids.org/giving. God has already used our financial partners to meet that need. For that I am truly grateful. Actually I hadn’t even thought about it until I went to a ministry website and there it was: “help us reach our financial goal by June 30th!” So, when I saw that I thought, “oh yeah, I don’t have to do that this year!” Thanks be to God.

Well, I would say that anyway – Thanks be to God – even if we were squeezing every dime we could and cutting the budget to finish the year “in the black.” Indeed, it is then that I better mean it – thanks be to God. For you see, it is in hardness and struggle that I learn and claim Romans 5 where Paul takes us from suffering to hope. But today, I am simply grateful and I’m looking forward to the next season.

So, if you pray for CEO and our team and our work – thank you. If you give financially to support us – thank you. God has used you ahead of time this year. Thanks be to God

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READ: @jr_briggs interviews Eugene Peterson

J. R. Briggs (did you read FAIL yet? you should. go HERE) anyway @jr_briggs interviewed Eugene Peterson about being “The Relationally Grounded Pastor.” It’s about pastoral ministry. Shepherding. Check out these quotes that struck me:

“I’m alarmed that we measure things by what the world counts as important.”

“…if we let people define themselves in terms of problems then they get defined in our minds as problems. We have to fix them, and that’s just death for a pastoral vocation.”

“…let your congregation be the congregation it can be out of who they are.”

Read the interview HERE. I hope you will be challenged and encouraged.

If you have not read Pastor, Peterson’s memoir, you owe it to yourself to make time, maybe this summer, to dwell on this scholar/pastor’s story.

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Filed under being a disciple, disciple making, leadership

Do you give or receive counsel? See below…

If you are in the habit of giving or receiving advice, the following article should be helpful to you.

Read Advice on Seeking Advice:

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Filed under being a disciple, disciple making, leadership, seeking understanding

pastors and leaders: important article for you and your team to read and discuss

This is a pretty long article that describes causes of and lessons from the failure of Mark Driscoll and the demise of Mars Hill.

It will take you a few minutes to read but there are so many important lessons to be learned that I urge you to read it and discuss with your team/elders/staff/mentor/fellow-disciple/or whomever. (If you’re out there all by yourself and have none of these, get a’hold of me.)

Click Here to read The Painful Lessons…

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Filed under experience, leadership, seeking understanding