Randy's Ramblings

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Definitions and Assumptions
One thing that I am realizing is that we all come to the table with certain definitions and assumptions of what ministry is, what our goals are and how we achieve those goals. In our staff meetings at GLCC we have been talking about our vision, mission, goals, organizational structure, etc. Something that I've noticed is that we say that we want to be 'purpose driven' and that we want ALL that we do to be defined by the five purposes outlined in the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.

Our current structure, however, is not set up with purposes in mind, but age group divisions. We have a lead pastor, a pastor of maturity, a magnification pastor, a youth pastor and a children's pastor. Actually, we are kind of a hybrid - we are partially set up for purposes and partially set up for age group divisions. The two don't mesh very well, in my opinion - at least not in theory. I think that if we are going to be 'purpose driven' and truly build our church around the five purposes, then the age group divisions have got to go.

What does that look like? Well, we've already got pastors for three of the purposes (our lead pastor bleeds evangelism) and we have two other full time staff in the youth and childrens pastors, so it doesn't seem like too much of a stretch to go to a structure where there is a pastor for each purpose. All we need to do is replace the youth and children's pastors with a ministry pastor and a membership pastor. Then, under each pastor, there would be lay leaders that are passionate about that particular purpose and have the gifts necessary to work with different groups within the church, whether it is children, youth, young families, addicts, professionals, etc. These lay leaders would help the pastors flesh out the given purpose for various groups within the church and the church as a whole.

I believe that this would better align and integrate the church, bringing us to a place where we can do a better job of helping people become fully devoted followers of Christ instead of people devoted to our programs.

That's what I'm thinking about today...

The Integrated Church
Thinking some more about the integrated church...

As a youth pastor, I wonder if changing the way we do youth ministry will ever be effective if the church doesn't change as well. What good does it do us to create ministry opportunities for Junior and Senior High students that challenge them to grow in thier faith if, when they graduate, there is no relevant church for them to move on to? Therefore, if we're going to create impacting ministries, we can't just change individual aspects of the church, but the whole institution must change. And, if the whole institution changes and becomes more relevant, is there a need for segregated ministries such as youth ministry? If the church is ministering in a relevant way that impacts the people, is there a need to separate the youth from the rest of the church body?

There is a part of me that says "No" - if the church is truly relevant and communicating the Gospel in a way that is impacting the community and changing lives, there is no reason for there to be a separation between students and the greater body. There is also a part of me that recognizes the value of worshiping, learning and growing along side your peers - others who are your age, sharing experiences and struggles, etc. There is value in having times away from mom and dad and talking about faith issues in a different setting.

Have I figured it out? Not even close... still asking questions and looking for answers.

Saturday, April 26, 2003

New Comments Feature
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Thursday, April 24, 2003

Salesman or Witness?
By definition, a salesman would be someone who is attempting to move a product or service in order to make a profit. A witness is a person who tells the facts as they saw them or experienced them. Am I a salesman or a witness?
I don't even like to ask the question, let alone attempt to answer it, for fear that I might find that there is some, or a lot, of the salesman in me. In my quest to see others come to know the Jesus that I know, I fear that I might put an unnecessary spin on the story - an unneeded polishing-up of the picture. Jesus doesn't need salespeople - He's doing just fine without our help, thank you. I want to be a witness - I want to be a truth-teller. I want to tell people what I have seen Jesus do in other peoples' lives and what I have experienced of His work in my own life.
Lord, kill the salesman and revive the witness in me!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

What if Church was integrated?
I've been wondering... what would happen if church were completely integrated? I mean, no youth ministry, no children's ministry, no senior's ministry, etc. Just church. Just believers worshiping together, living in community, learning and growing together, spreading the Gospel together. What would that look like? Is it possible? Is that what the church in the book of Acts looked like?
Just wondering...

Friday, April 18, 2003

Linux Magazine | January 2003 | FEATURES | Microsoft's Power Play
Bruce Schneier says that Palladium should give Linux users cause for concern. "If Microsoft gets to decide what's trustworthy," he says, "it's unlikely that anything that's a serious competitor to their market share will get that moniker."

Interesting article on Microsoft's continual quest for ultimate power...

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

The Miami Herald | 04/04/2003 | Army chaplain offers baptisms, baths

CAMP BUSHMASTER, Iraq - In this dry desert world near Najaf, where the Army V Corps combat support system sprawls across miles of scabrous dust, there's an oasis of sorts: a 500-gallon pool of pristine, cool water.
It belongs to Army chaplain Josh Llano of Houston, who sees the water shortage, which has kept thousands of filthy soldiers from bathing for weeks, as an opportunity.
''It's simple. They want water. I have it, as long as they agree to get baptized,'' he said.

Unbelievable... that's all I've got to say...

Monday, April 14, 2003

Frog and Toad
Do you ever read the "Frog and Toad" books? I suppose if you're not a parent, you might not have a clue what I am talking about...
Frog and Toad are best friends, and are the main characters in these short childrens' books. Of course, they are supposed to be childrens' books, but I think I get much more out of them than my 18-month-old daughter does. Tonight I read a story called "The List." In the story Toad makes a To-Do list for the day, including things like; get out of bed, eat breakfast, go to Frog's house, go for a walk with Frog, etc. At the end of the walk with Frog, the list is swept away by the wind, much to Toad's dismay. Frog, of course, suggests that they run after the list, to which Toad replies, "Run after the list? That's not on my list of things to do today!" So Toad sits and pouts while Frog unsuccessfully chases after the list.
How often do we stick so closely to our list that we just don't know what to do when things don't go as planned? Sometimes I wonder if our To-Do lists are just another way of trying to control our lives - to plan everything out so that nothing unexpected can mess up our well-crafted plans for the day. Then a situation comes along and blows our To-Do list away and we act like it's the end of the world! What will we do?! Can we survive without all that structure?
Let the list fly away. Listen to God. What does HE want you to do today?

Sunday, April 13, 2003

I'm Still Alive...
Hey everybody - I haven't keeled over yet.. I'm still here! This time of year everything seems to suddenly crank up into full gear, whether you're ready for it or not. I guess I wasn't ready, 'cause I'm doing everything I can to keep my head above water!
We're enjoying the weather, supposed to be 77 tomorrow!! Hopefully I'll get out and play some golf this week.. although, who knows what my golf game will be like this year.. oh well, it's great to get out on the course and enjoy the weather anyway.