ministry placement up

we know it took longer then we figure, but we did it - given coding issues, design issues and just dealing with the time to do it, along with living our lives and keeping our families happy - but the ministry placement is up and running - in beta. while we have received a great number of comments from people saying "about time" we have also received emails from people saying "why?" well, to answer that we need to share our heart -

we did this, not to make a buck, because we felt there was a deep need to place emerging thinkers in emerging communities where they feel welcomed. there is nothing more destructive to a person then to be placed in a community of faith where their thinking is not the same as the community. the idea is that the communities placing an ad would be emerging, at some level; and the people looking at the ads would also be emerging at some level. this way there is at some core connection a union between people and community.

there is a fee, but trust me it is not a big fee and it is not designed to cause the ministry to suffer - it is designed so that we can help pay some of the expense connected with ginkworld - hosting fees, bandwidth fees and the like. our only concern is that we keep moving forward in this ministry - so, what is the fee? $54.00 to list the ministry opening for three months, and there is no fee for people to look and search the database for different positions.

take a look, check it out and let us know what you think - we truly desire your input.


what do YOU do?

i had lunch with a good friend yesterday and we were talking about church- and what needs to be done in and about churches today. here are some of the things i think the church needs to confess, and seek forgiveness, as they strive to walk closer to where God desires them to be.

i believe that the american church has lost its true call: i see the church concerned with numbers; members, money and ministry - they center of the idea that the bigger they are, the more money they have and the more ministry they offer means they are "more blessed" by God - they


a BIG reason

a comment made on my "grace driven" post got me thinking - and opened my eyes to something i had felt, but could not put words too:

rdnakx250 wrote...
"I am a professional ministry person and I have noticed that across the board we (as professional ministry people) don't like each other very much. For that matter we don't trust each other very much. Its probably because as leaders we don't take grace seriously. Its too unpredictable. God can make lemons into lemonade and we want retribution."

man, did that open my eyes to so much - they brought up a very good point - and one BIG reason i am not excited about the current state of the church - pastors do not like each other.

i have seen it, felt it and, to be honest, must say that i have even been there - why? not sure, trust is one big reason - and that one runs deep in many directions. pastors do not trust each other because we think other pastors are going to "take" our people -

let's be honest with that one. i have heard other pastors say that they are unwilling to do joint services with certain pastors because they feel that the other pastor is a better speaker. they believe if their people hear the other pastor they will "go to his church" - you know you have not allowed certain local people speak in your church because they are better speakers. this is a "trust issue" but it also is a "self centered" issue - we want to be the center of our peoples universe. we say, "look at the cross, not me" but we act "look at me."

i am in process with this one, because i have felt it and i know i have acted this way - i am trying to find the words to express this lack of trust - to identify it, name it and then act upon solving it. i think this is one of the biggest reason the church is declining in growth - people feel our lack of trust and some how know it is wrong - so they stay away.

as pastors we need to get over this - because if not we will be adding our voices [even the silent ones] to the echos of past voices striving to kill the church


and so i run

not too long ago i started to run; now i am not a big running fan so i just run about a mile and a half - which is actually just jog. i use to ride the bike at the gym, but as of late money is tight so the gym is out - and so i run.

now, the cool thing is i get too spend time running and just thinking to myself - running and thinking - i like that - it is my "zen time" - where i can envision changes i need to make and opportunities i can see coming my way - i like the run time, and so i run.

today, i noticed something very interesting - as i was running i noticed that if i keep my eye on where i am going, i get winded faster - but, if i keep my eyes down, looking at the journey, with the occasional look up, i spend more time thinking about other things and less time getting winded - that impressed me enough to be thinking [during my looking down time] about my faith walk [run] and what'[s happening to me in the process - because i am in the process of completely losing my religion - which is cool, because in that i believe i am finding God.

you see, if we spend our time looking at where we want to be we miss out on so many things - like the wonder of the run - the ability to just ponder the possibilities and notice that the cracks in the sidewalk will not trip you up - but, if we are looking up at the destination we miss the flowers planted along the way, we miss the dips in the road that cause us to trip, we lose track of the rhythm of the run and we miss the opportunity to just be with ourselves and God - because we are thinking about the destination, we miss the wonders of the trip.

i like the journey, the destination is not that impressive to me - it is not that i "get to go to heaven" that desires my heart to know God - it is learning all that God wants from me that counts - because if i only think in terms of "going to heaven" i miss out on what it means to live a life dedicated to christ, dedicated to his teachings, dedicated to achieving the light that flowed from christ to others, dedicated to knowing how grace, love and forgiveness are the centers of all we do and all we can offer the world - because in the reality of the moment we know we can not offer anything to anyone - we do not offer heaven, we do not offer salvation, we do not offer life - we can only offer ourselves and let God work in the lives of others - and so i run.


grace driven

i have ben thinking recently about a great many things - but the one that has been driving my thoughts of late is this idea of grace - what is it, how is it to effect us and what is it that makes it such a important part of our lives - and, in my personal view, is the center of all we are as followers of christ - as disciples of the master we should be "grace driven."

grace is one of the hardest things in our faith to grasp - because of the required elements that make up grace - for grace to be grace, it must be carried with love, forgiveness, acceptance, understanding and have at its core ideas centered on helping others, going beyond self, giving of your total reality and mostly a desire to be willing to die for another - even someone you do not know. it is in those elements we truly find the grace christ had for us and it is truly the grace we should have with each other.

grace requires that we accept each other for who we are, and not what we think others should be. grace requires that we forive all, not just those we think are "worthy" of forgiveness. grace requires that we love everyone with "corinthian" love, and not just those we like. grace requires that we seek to understand those we do not understand, not to change them but to truly understand them. grace requires of us a true change of heart, a true change in life where we place the needs and wants of others above the needs and wants of ourselves.

i have written before that living in grace is harder then living via the law - because when we live via the law we have "rules and regulations" we can follow to help us know what and what not to do - but when we live by grace, we live by what we believe the holy spirit is telling us - we believe we are acting in the way God desires us to act - when we live by grace, we live by a standard set by christ, and carried over time to the hearts of millions.

you see, when we are "in the law" we can only do as the law tells us - if the law says "being nude is a sin" then we naturally carry that to the extreme and even disallow bathing "in the nude" - but with grace, we see the human body as a wondrous gift from God - and see the form as something wonderful, filled with grace. law blinds us and causes us to create other laws - which cause other laws - and we become a culture based on laws, where only the judges and lawyers have any idea what we are doing - or how to do anything.

the idea is not to be driven by the stick rules of law, but by the fluid nature of grace - to learn to move with the nature of our hearts and connect our reality with the reality of God. it is when we do that, when we strive to live by grace and find no excuses for not doing so we connected deeper to the God who created us, and the humanity that God created.


i am a "gutless grace girlieman"

i am amazed at our critics. most misunderstand us so much that they place people like benny hinn, rick waren, and others into the camp of "emerging" - that's cool, but many do they miss the boat in how we think and what we believe - but recently it has been more of a "name calling" game on the part of our critics - we have been called "girly-men" or "sissies" - here is an example "headline" of a blog that is anti-emerging:

Emerging Church: bad as Gutless Grace Girliemen? Worse than Wrongheaded Wrightophiles?[wright, by the way, will be at soularize this year - you need to check it out] Sillier than Leaky Canoneers? — OR —Emerging/Emergent Errors; Puerile Pomo Prattle; Abominable Antinomian Aberrations; Novel New-Perspective Nonsense; Crazy Charismaniac Charlatanism; Sanctimonious Sacramentalist Superstitions; Cynical, Condescending Catholicity; Private Prophetic Phantasms; and Seeker-Sensitive Silliness: What Do They All Have in Common?

let me see if i can address one of their concerns - the one that appeals to me the most

"gutless grace girlieman"
as i stand with my hand in the air, i proudly proclaim that i am a "gutless grace girlieman." you see grace as something very important to my faith walk - i believe i should err on the side of grace, and never on the said of "law" - keeping in mind that the law is over and we are to live in grace - but those who are "anti-emerging" seem to also to be "anti-grace" - heck, they seem to be "anti-everything" even when they claim to be open and loving.

i am a guy comfortable enough in my "maleness" [which is a role defined by culture and not scripture] to believe that grace is the most important part of our faith - because when we live in grace we offer forgiveness, we can show love, we can accept people where they are and have honest, open and loving conversations with them - but when we live in "the law" we demand "justice" so forgiveness is out of the question - we only love those we like and we are unwilling to accept others who differ from us - so, while many may see me as a "girlieman," i see myself as a loving, caring, open and welcoming person of faith who walks in the light of christ - besides, at 6' 2" and 225 lbs with a chest bigger then my waist - there are not many willing to come to my face and call me a "girlieman" - interesting

now, as one "girlieman" to another - of all genders - let me say to stand proud in living by grace - know that as a follower of christ we are to live, breath, bleed and spread grace to all the corners of the earth - no matter the cost. what they seem to think is "funny" and insulting - i find truthful and supportive - i live in grace, and i would pray you do also.