It’s Holy Week and things at work have been great this week so far.  There has been a lot more time finding the little things and getting them just so for the services.  Beginning on Wednesday we have has a service every evening and we will have 4 on Sunday where many will come to hear our Easter message.

So how do we church folk keep our sanity?  Well Paul organized the lollipop basket and I joined in on the fun.  It was a strangely soothing exercise and now makes for a nice visual.

It has been a great week and as Easter draws near I am getting excited.  But if you ever have wondered what we do all day in the church office, it this is a peek into the inner workings 😉

Faith Lab: Table Talk

There is a special connection about coming around a table and having conversation.  When we can sit and eat together in an unhurried time of fellowship we can more deeply come to know one another.

I have 2 meals a week with church folk (one with my small group and then another with those who come to our mid-week service).  It is really neat to share in life with one another.  We are able to talk about the things that regular Bible study or church wouldn’t uncover.

A new thing that I have been trying out is having some conversation points around dinner that would take the conversation a little deeper and foster true community.  Rather than talking about the latest teen star’s new haircut, talking about how God has been acting in the past week, or what is weighing heavy on our hearts is a way that we can come together as the poeple that God has called us to be.

If you lead a study and there is a video component.  Maybe watch it before the meal, read something from the news and share thoughts about how it impacts your community.  It is wild what conversations will crop up around the table when you have the time to sit and eat.

It works

I was able to spend the day with Shane Claiborne today and it was a great encounter.  I have read a couple of his books, his stuff has sparked ministry at my church and I was taken aback by his heart.  I have a ton to think about and reflect on.  I know he is right on so many things.

Here is one thing that struck me.  Though conversations today folks kept bashing their church because they were not more like Shane’s community (thesimpleway.org).  But, this misses the point.  We are not called to reproduce, but use what we have.  Shane is a modern day reformer and restorer and is doing GREAT work.  He works with community.  He is not a church planter he is a community planter.

My challenge is now translating what Shane offered up about the call to minister to the least the last and the lost, into what it looks like for my local church.  I would say my congregation does a very good job at this, but I would like to hear thougts about if we (MUMC) are serving the community or being a community that journies and serves together.  In other words is there relationship between those who are serving and those who are being served.

Tonight we just had a worship service to send a group on a week long mission trip to fix houses, and I know that they are going to be in community with one another and those they serve.  I am excited to hear back from them about the movement of the Spirit.

Just some ramblings as I work through this and process the day (my wife is teaming on a kairos weekend and I am home alone otherwise she would be getting this).


Love Wins: Thoughts

Rob Bell just released a new book a couple of weeks ago.  It is all about Heaven and Hell.  It takes some of the thought about both and examines them and then moves into some new territory for most.  I don’t want to post a review here, or my thoughts about where Bell goes with the book because I don’t know that this is the best part of this book.  Bell throws out the thought that though there is a hell there is also a possibility that there is no one in it.  That God’s love wins totally and completely.

I don’t think that this is the strongest book Bell has written.  And I am a Rob Bell fan.  I loved Velvet Elvis and Sex God was a great book too.  But I thought that this one fell short on writing style, but given the topic I am sure that it may have been harder and less seductive than say, Sex God.  But, I have notices that there have been a ton more blogs and rants flaming Bell for his views on this.  They blast him for the universalism that this text treads on.

My hope is that this book is not a time to take sides and throw verbal grenades at one another.  But, that we are able to come together and use this a a jumping off point for conversation.  Bell gets us away from the little red guy with a pitchfork images of hell and the heaven where we all just hangout in the clouds and play out harps.   He paints a picture for many of a heaven worth wanting, a hell worth fearing and a God worth trusting.

Bell has asked the hard questions and taken a stab at answering them.  He has given us something to work with.  Lets use it for a platform of conversation and not as a foundation to draw up battle lines.

Get a copy and take a read for your self or borrow my kindle copy