Nov
24
2010

Surviving Church Burn Out: Recognizing the Problem

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Matt note: I have been a fan of Ed Cyzewski’s writing for quite some time.  His blog In a Mirror Dimly has been on my daily reading list for quite some time.  Last week he began writing on ministry burnout, something which I have both seen and experienced in my time serving churches.  Ed has graciously allowed me to repost his series here.  Enjoy. Pastors aren’t the only ones who burn out from church and […]

Nov
22
2010

Missional Mondays: Activities Centric vs. Lifestyle Centric – Playing it out some more

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Like I said in my last post, I’ve been working this idea out recently and it has helped me explain a lot of stuff so I thought I would share it. Over the last three years I’ve had to defend my missional thinking a lot.  What’s been strange is that when I explain it people are usually cool with the theology.  It is the practice they fight with. Believers love talking about how… …God is on a […]

Nov
19
2010

Gone Fishin…

CAPE HATTERAS, NC SEP '06

Today marks the beginning of my annual pilgrimage to the outer banks of North Carolina.  My family has spent Thanksgiving week in Frisco, NC since I was in fifth grade and it is one of the highlights of my year.  This has been a pretty tumultuous year for my wife and I and we are excited to have the opportunity to get away, unplug, and hopefully catch some fish this next week.  With that in […]

Nov
18
2010

Forget Strength, Pray for Wisdom

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I think we have all been in a gathering of people taking prayer requests when someone says something along the lines of “and pray that I will have the strength to resist temptation as I go about the normal pattern of my life this week.”  I cringe when I hear that.  I cringe because it always makes me feel like the person asking for that is already planning on acting on that temptation that they […]

Nov
17
2010

Sabbath, Connections, and getting ready for Christmas

Knee deep in paradise

Early this week I read an article on the disappearance of deep thinking and sacred space over at The 99%.  The message of this post has been floating around in the back of my head ever since.  I suspect that it’s refusal to leave my thoughts has to do with two things: my impending vacation time, and my dread of the Christmas season. I believe that we all know that we all inherently know that we are […]

Nov
16
2010

What Slips In?

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Every Tuesday morning I join with a group of men waaaay to early in the morning to study the Bible together.  This morning we started to walk through the book of Galatians together, and I was struck by something in the first chapter: Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. Galatians 1:7 Paul is concerned by what is slipping into the faith that he had […]

Nov
15
2010

Missional Mondays: The Evolution of My Missional Thinking

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Matt Note: I am excited to introduce my friend Jeff Elkins to the churchthought community.  You can read a description about Jeff below, but what he doesn’t say is that Jeff flat out thinks well.  You could burn through many hours camped out in a coffee shop talking church with Jeff and come away feeling like you have been drinking from a fire hydrant.  I am honored that Jeff is willing to spend his Monday’s […]

Nov
12
2010

The Importance of Why

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When we are young we instinctively know the power of the word why.  “Why is the sky blue” turns into asking why when told to do something.  Somewhere along the way we buy into the idea that “because I said so” or “because that is the way we do it” is a legitimate answer and begin to ask why less and less. While answering the question of why can be frustrating at times, it is […]

Nov
11
2010

Vitamins, Aspirin, and the Pursuit of the 60%

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Two articles have had me thinking this week. The Christian Post had a story late last week that touched on the speaking of Alan Hirsch saying that the majority of churches in this country are engaging in ministry practices that will engage at most 40% of the local population.  In other worlds, while church planting movements are the sexy new thing in many Christian circles we need to be careful that we are not replanting churches that […]

Nov
10
2010

Attention to Detail

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During basic training at the Air Force Academy the phrase “Attention to detail” was drilled into our heads.  The idea was that if we paid attention to the little things the big things would naturally work themselves out.  Late last week Spence Smith shared the story of Van Halen and brown M&Ms.  Basically, Van Halen would request a bowl of M&Ms with all the brown ones removed at each show.  This was done not because […]