Thursday, April 30, 2009

Preaching is a Dangerous Thing

The ministry of preaching is ever-challenging.  There are weeks that I sit down with a text, and the ideas just come flying.  Then there are weeks like this one.  I am preaching through Luke -- not verse by verse, but selected passages.  I am now to Luke 9.

This chapter has a number of separate, yet interconnected, stories.  I am only going to overview "the sending of the 12," "the feeding of the 5,000," and "the confession of the disciples."  The theme of this chapter seems to be "Who is Jesus?"

The text I have settled on for this week is "the transfiguration."  It is one of my very favorite passages of Scripture -- especially as one connects it with John's words in John 1: 14:  "We have seen his glory   . . ."  But I am sitting here on Thursday -- still not sure of what to do with the passage.  It is definitely one of those that one must be careful not to get in the way of.  And that is my concern.

Can you even imagine what it must have been like to see that?  Peter, James and John got to see Jesus the way He now appears in heaven -- in all the splendor of His glory!  And we will get to see Him that way some day, too.

But I'm still wondering:  What needs to be communicated to my church on Sunday morning?  I LOVE the challenge!  But texts like this also make me aware of the danger.    

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Day of Reflection

Beverly and I are going this morning to sign our wills.  We had one made years ago that I have never felt comfortable about because it was kind of a "do-it-yourself" will.  Interesting how things like that remind us of our mortality.

A year ago today, my father-in-law passed away.  I have really missed him.  He had a great impact on my life.  I learned so much from him.  And I hope I can leave such a legacy of memories as he did.  I can still hear his laugh, and the way he cleared his throat.  My guess is that he has convinced a lot of people in heaven to become Democrats.  

I think we can officially say that the Spurs' dynasty is done.  I hope the Mavs don't get the big head after easily doing away with a team that is too old to finish -- and missing one of their key players.  It does seem that the Mavs are peaking at the right time, but Denver is going to be a different test all together.

I'm not a huge "Idol" fan these days.  I guess I've gotten a little tired of it.  But I do have my favorites -- Danny and Kris.  I don't know what it is about Adam, but Beverly and I both feel there is a dark, evil presence around him.  And the high-pitched squeal is really getting old (actually, I guess I never did like it).  I have a feeling he might win, though.  However, a lot of people really DON'T like him.  So once it gets down to only 2 or 3 contestants, that could work against him.     

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

C. S. Lewis' Journey to Joy

C.S. Lewis spent much of his early adult years as an unbeliever.  He longed for joy in his life, and found moments of it through reading and writing stories and myths.

Late on the night of September 19, 1931, Lewis was in the midst of a discussion with several fellow intellectuals.  One of them was J. R. R. Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings and a believer.  One of them asked Lewis, "Why are you mysteriously moved by the notion of sacrifice when you read it in pagan stories, but not also moved when you read of it in the story of Jesus?"  Lewis would write that on that night "the penny dropped" -- and he began to ask himself if maybe the story of Jesus was the joy he was chasing.

He would say that he could trace back to that night as the point in which he found his "Joy."  He discovered that it was not joy that he was yearning for, after all.  It was the Person to whom this joy was pointing.  He explained his quest:  "But what, in conclusion, of Joy?    . . . To tell you the truth, the subject has lost nearly all interest for me since I became a Christian."  

He concluded with this:  "Joy is a person, and his name is Jesus."   


Monday, April 27, 2009

The End of Christian America? (6)

Final thoughts from Greg Boyd's article -- reasons why Kingdom people should not weep over the demise of American Christianity:

3.  If Evangelicals lose all their political clout, we may be less tempted to lust after political power, which means we may have one less distraction from actually doing what God called us to do -- namely, manifesting God's reign by how we humbly live, love and serve.

4.  The Kingdom has always thrived -- and really, has only thrived -- when it was on the margins of society.  The Kingdom is, by its very nature, a "contrast society."  If Christians lose all their power and position in society and become marginalized, this can't help but be good for the Kingdom.  If Christians become persecuted, it likely will be even better.  We'd be turning back the clock from the disaster of Constantinian truimphalist Christianity in the direction of apostolic, servant Christianity.

5.  The "Christian" element of American culture was never deeper than the thin veneer of a shared civic religion.  Many think that being "Christian" is focused on preserving the civic religion (e.g. fighting for prayer before sports events, keeping the ten commandments on government buildings, holding onto a "Christian" definition of marriage within our government, etc.).  Not only this, but this veneer of Christianity causes Jesus followers not to notice the many ways foundational assumptions that permeate American culture are diametrically opposed to the values of the Kingdom.  If the civic religion of Christianity were to die, Kingdom people would be less tempted to associate Christianity with symbolic civic functions and would become more aware of how the Kingdom sharply contrasts with foundational aspects of American culture.

6.  Finally, if Jesus followers lose all their position and power and become a minority . . . this will expose the idol of American individualism we have bought into for far too long and perhaps help us realize that we need to cling to each other and that the Kingdom is inherently communal.  We are called to manifest God's uniquely beautiful love and bear witness to the reality of Jesus Christ by how we share our lives and serve one another.  But it is very difficult for many of us to embrace radical Kingdom community when we can get along very well (by American standards of "well") without it.

The God-given mandate to Kingdom people is not to keep the broader culture from falling apart, but to offer all who are hungry a radically different, far more beautiful, way of doing life.  And often people will not take this offer seriously until everything else is crumbing around them.

Let the civic religion die.  Our task is to live in a way that gives people hope.       

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Miss USA and Cloning

OK, I know.  I was going to wrap up my series today on the demise of Christianity in America, but there is something in the news that is REALLY irking me.  I am not a fan of the Miss USA pageant, but something happened during it on Sunday night that is receiving a lot of national news attention -- more so even than the winner, Miss North Carolina Kristen Dalton.

During the contest, Miss California Carrie Prejean was asked a question by openly gay pageant judge and "celebrity" (I've never heard of him) Perez Hilton.  His question was whether every state should follow Vermont in legalizing same-sex marriage.  Now, is that a political question?  If not, what is it?  I ask that because of his comments below.

Prejean responded, "I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other.  But in my country, and in my family, I think that I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman.  No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised."  Her wording was a little clumsy, but certainly not offensive.  She stated her opinion.

Hilton has referred to her as ignorant.  Tuesday on the Today show, he said that his question was relevant (of course it was to him and his agenda).  He added that Prejean should have "left her politics and her religion out because Miss USA represents all Americans."  Huh?

Question for the totally unbiased Mr. Hilton:  How could she have answered that political question without letting her politics enter into it?  It was a political question.  Now, if she had happened to agree with you, suddenly she would not have been political in her answer.  Right?  

Mr. Hilton, your political bias is showing.  Not only that, but you are showing a total lack of class and reason.  To disagree with you does not make a person ignorant.  And yes, many of us do make decisions in this life based upon our religious (or nonreligious, in your case) beliefs.  Prejean did not try to force her opinion on anybody, nor did she get "preachy."  YOU, Mr. Hilton, are the one showing intolerance here.

This is totally ridiculous.  Mr. Hilton is the one who should be taken to task here by the media.  Not Ms. Prejean

On another moral subject, I read yesterday that an American doctor who is now in hiding claims that he will clone a human within two years.  I have concerns about this, but I am not sure why our culture is drawing a moral line here.  I admit to ignorance on this subject, but how different would cloning a human be from invitro fertilization (I am not saying invitro is wrong)?  I really am hoping someone can enlighten me here.

And interesting:  As a culture, we are saying abortion is not immoral.  Euthanasia is becoming more accepted.  Stem cell research is OK.  But we are going to draw a line in the sand on this one:  No human cloning.  Again, the idea is unsettling for me, too.  But what is the rationale?     

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The End of Christian America (5)

Here's more excerpts from Greg Boyd's article "Don't Weep . . .":

For those who are heavily invested in the Christian religion, at least as it's usually been understood in America, the news that America is entering into a 'post-Christian' epoch is understandably alarming.

But here are six reasons why I do not think Kingdom people should weep over the demise of American Christianity.

1.  America has never been, and will never be, a "Christian" nation in any significance sense.  Among other things, America, like every other fallen, demonically-oppressed nation, is incapable of loving its enemies, doing good to those who mistreat it or blessing those who persecute it.  By applying the term 'Christian' to America, we've massively watered down its meaning -- which undoubtedly helps explain why the vast majority of American Christians assume being 'Christian' is perfectly compatible with hating and killing your national enemies . . .The sooner the label 'Christian' gets divorced from this country, the better.  It provides hope that someday the word 'Christian' might actually mean 'Christ-like' once again.

2.  There's a good bit of research demonstrating that the majority of American's identify themselves as 'Christian' when asked by a pollster, but when asked what this label actually means in terms of core values and lifestyle choices, it becomes apparent that for the majority of them the meaning of 'Christian' is basically 'American.'  I submit that the main problem Kingdom people confront in spreading the Kingdom in America is that a majority of people assume they are already in the Kingdom -- they are 'Christian' -- simply by virtue of being American . . . If fewer people are identifying themselves as 'Christian,' this is good, for it means there's one less major illusion that Kingdom people have to confront and work through as they invite these folks into the Kingdom.

I will finish these thoughts tomorrow.         

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The End of Christian America? (4)

Somewhat as a response to Jon Meacham's article in Newsweek, "The End of Christian America," Greg Boyd wrote a piece entitled "Don't Weep for the Demise of American Christianity."  He puts forward some very good thoughts for consideration.  Today let us consider his assessment as to what has brought about this decline:

1.  American churches have been, to a large degree, gutted by good old fashioned American pragmatism.  We've become preoccupied with being "relevant" and "efficient" at the expense of holding fast to the theological depth of our biblically based traditions.  Megachurches in particular are guilty of this -- which in part explains why they become megachurches, for relevance and efficiency sell well to baby boomers.

2.  Evangelicals "have identified their movement with the culture war and with political conservatism."  Spencer notes that "we fell for the trap of believing in a cause more than a faith."

Manifesting typical Constantinian triumphalism, many conservative American Christians naively thought we could transform American society in a "Christian" direction by acquiring political power to enforce our (self-proclaimed) superior views on selected topics (especially abortion, gay marriage, creationism in schools and stem cell research) on the broader culture.  It has not gone well, to say the least.

After 40 years of intense political involvement, Evangelicals have little positive to show for their efforts.  To the contrary, we've arguably only succeeded in getting multitudes of non-Christian (or simply non-Evangelicals) to disdain us and the "Good News" message we're supposed to bring.  Now that the political parties and positions Evangelicals largely identified with have fallen on hard times, Evangelicals have, to a significant extend, fallen with them.

More tomorrow.       


Monday, April 20, 2009

Post-Christian America (3)

Final thoughts from Jon Meacham's Newsweek article, "The End of Christian America."

"Religious authorities can themselves be corrupted by proximity to political power (haven't we seen evidence of that!).  

"The Psalmist . . . said, 'Put not thy trust in princes,' and there is much New Testament evidence to support a vision of faith and politics in which the church is truest to its core mission when it is the farthest from the entanglements of power.  The Jesus of the Gospels resolutely refuses to use the means of this world -- either the clash of arms or the passions of politics -- to further his ends.  The preponderance of lessons from the Gospels and from the rest of the New Testament suggest that earthly power is transitory and corrupting, and that the followers of Jesus should be more attentive to matters spiritual than political.   

[A] central message of the Gospels is the duty of the Christian to transform, as best one can, reality through works of love.  'Being in the world and not of it remains our charge . . . the church is an eternal presence in a fallen, temporal world -- but we are to have influence.  The Sermon on the Mount is about what we are to do -- but it does not come with a political handbook.' 

Tomorrow I will share from another article, entitled, "Don't Weep for the Demise of American Christianity."

Friday, April 17, 2009

"Post-Christian" America? Part 2

I continue today with excerpts from Jon Meacham's Newsweek article on post-Christian America.  He observes that "the power of the republican system engineered by James Madison at the end of the 18th century, that America would survive in direct relation to its ability to check extremism and preserve maximum personal liberty.  Religious believers should welcome this; freedom from one sect means freedom to all sects."  

He continues:  "Anglican observance was compulsory at Jamestown, and the Puritans of New England were explicitly hoping to found a New Jerusalem.  But coerced belief is no belief at all; it is tyranny."

Meacham reminds us that the Founders "let the religious take their stand in the arena of politics and ideas on their own, and fight for their views on equal footing with all other interests.  American public life is neither wholly secular nor wholly religious but an ever-fluid mix of the two.  History suggests that trouble tends to come when one of these forces grows too powerful in proportion to the other." 

He observes that "Prohibition was initially seen as a great moral victory, but its failure and ultimate repeal show that a movement should always be careful what it wishes for."  

He cites columnist Cal Thomas, who was an early proponent of the Moral Majority:  "No country can be truly 'Christian.'  Only people can.  God is above all nations, and, in fact, Isaiah says that 'All nations are to  him a drop in the bucket and less than nothing.'  Thinking back across the decades, Thomas recalls the hope -- and the failure.  'We are going through organizing like-minded people to 'return' America to a time of greater morality.  Of course, this was to be done through politicians who had a difficult time imposing morality on themselves!'"

Thursday, April 16, 2009

"Post-Christian" America? (Part 1)

I have been following with interest the reports of America being a "post-Christian" nation.  Time magazine recently reported that the number of Americans who claim no religious affiliation has nearly doubled since 1980, rising from 8 to 15 percent.  The percentage of self-identified Christians has fallen from 86 to 76 percent.  The only growth has been in the number of people willing to describe themselves as atheists or agnostics, increasing fourfold from 1990 to 2009 (from 1 million to about 3.6).

Over the next couple of days, I want to share excerpts from a couple of articles I have read.  One is by Jon Meacham of Newsweek.  He says, "Let's be clear:  while the percentage of Christians may be shrinking, rumors of the death of Christianity are greatly exaggerated . . . there is no doubt that the nation remains vibrantly religious -- far more, for instance, than Europe."

Then he clarifies something that all of us need to realize and accept.  He says, "What, then, does it mean to talk of "Christian America"?  Evangelical Christians have long believed that the United States should be a nation whose political life is based upon and governed by their interpretation of biblical and theological principles.  If the church believes drinking to be a sin, for instance, then the laws of the state should ban the consumption of alcohol.  If the church believes the theory of evolution conflicts with a literal reading of the Book of Genesis, then the public schools should tailor their lessons accordingly.  If the church believes abortion should be outlawed, then the legislatures and courts of the land should follow suit."

I would submit (and I am just coming to an understanding of this) that Christianity does not thrive when it is controlling the political agenda.  How is this really so different from Islamic states, which we have SO criticized?  No, Christianity has always thrived when it was the "counterculture" that Jesus came to model.  But more from Meacham's article tomorrow.           

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Improving Marriage

I have heard Beverly speak many times on the greatest concerns of men and women. For men, it is the fear of shame. For women, it is the fear of isolation. Steven Stosny, who has done extensive research in this area, has come up with a list that I found interesting and beneficial: 

25 ways to make a woman anxious

Ignore her
Tell her what to do
Be short with your answers
Tune out her feelings
Stonewall or give her the cold shoulder
Take her for granted
Limit or criticize her spending
Tell her to stop worrying
Tell her she's making too much of it
Tell her to get over it
Tell her she talks too much
Complain about her weight
Criticize her family
Withdraw or shut down
Yell or get angry
Pout or sulk
Threaten to quit your job
Flirt with other women
Don't know her dreams
Tell her she's just like her mother
Complain about her girlfriends
Give her the cold shoulder
Dismiss her ideas
Sound like you're trapped in the marriage
Buy a sports car

25 ways to stimulate shame in a man

Exclude him from important decisions
Correct what he says
Question his judgment
Give unsolicited advice
Dismiss his opinion
Imply inadequacy
Make unrealistic demands of his time and energy
Ignore his desires
Focus on what you didn't get, rather than what you got
Withhold praise
Use a harsh tone
Be abrupt - spring things on him
Undermine his wishes
Criticize his personality
Disrespect his work
Show little or no interest in his interests
Criticize his family
Interpret, psychoanalyze, or diagnose him
Make comparisons to other men
Focus on your unhappiness
Put friends before him
Value others' needs over his
Rob him of the opportunity to help

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Great Night

I read this morning that the Obama's new dog is from Boyd.  Imagine that!  A Wise County dog in the White House.

Beverly had her fund raiser last night for Wise County Christian Counseling, and it was a WONDERFUL night.  I am so proud of her.  She is carrying a double case load right now, but never complains.  She wakes up nearly every morning saying, "I love my job."  And as a result, the Lord is being faithful in blessing it.  We feel incredibly blessed to have the kinds of friends we do.  As I listened to different ones speak last night about Beverly, it gave me goosebumps.  My son-in-law was there, and afterwards I said, "Isn't it great hearing people from the Decatur community talk about Beverly like that?"  He said, "Yeah, it sounds like they really know her."  How cool.

And just think:  I'm married to her!  

"24" took an unexpected twist last night.  Beverly and I are still trying to figure out what happened!  Sorry, can't tell you.

I heard a saying last week that I keep thinking about.  It goes:  "Every generation thinks it is smarter than the one that came before, but wiser than the one that follows." 

Monday, April 13, 2009

Random Thoughts

Well, it went from an incredible Masters to a train wreck in a matter of minutes.  I started off thinking Tiger would win it again.  After Friday, I was pulling for Kenny Perry.  After Saturday, I'm still thinking Perry.  Halfway through Sunday, I'm thinking Tiger or Phil might take it.  Then they faded, so I was back to pulling for Perry.

Two holes left.  Two shot lead.  I'm thinking, "This is great.  The 'old man' is going to win a major.  Fellow Church of Christ guy.  Considered the kindest, nicest guy on tour.  Good for him."  But then he choked.

So, a three-man playoff.  In my mind, I'm thinking, "OK, I'm pulling for Perry.  But it would be OK if Campbell wins.  Just please, not Cabrera."

Winner?  Cabrera.

This guy is from Argentina, and does a lot of good things in his country.  He is a happy-go-lucky kind of guy.  But I just have a problem with a guy who never wins anything else -- yet now has two majors.  It just seems flukey to me.  But obviously, it involves more than that.

I am thankful today for the safe rescue of the ship captain who was taken hostage by pirates.  What an ordeal that must have been!

And did you see the story about the woman who jumped into the polar bear exhibit at a zoo in Germany because she wanted to go swimming?  She was mauled and bitten, but was lucky to escape with her life.  Jack Hanna said apparently the bears were just toying with her, because they could have ripped her apart in seconds.

Of course in our "victim-mentality" age, the zoo is being called into question.  ENOUGH!  The lady had to climb two tall barriers to get into that enclosure!  The zoo had taken all the precautions necessary.  At some point, individuals must be held responsible for their actions!  She needs to spend some serious jail time.       

Friday, April 10, 2009

9 Years of "Grampy-ing" and Sports Records

Nine years ago today, my identity was changed forever.  I became "Grampy."  I will never forget how special that day was.  And my nine-year old granddaughter is blossoming into a beautiful person -- physically, but also in heart.  She is SO kind and loving, and I am proud to be her "Grampy."  

In the intervening years, I have become Grampy three more times -- with another one on the way.  These are rewarding days.

Happy birthday, Malaya!  I hope you have a fun day.

When I was a late-teen to young man, Jack Nicklaus was setting the bar for major wins.  When he reached 18, it seemed he had set a goal that would never be broken.  After all, the closest to him in the modern era had been Gary Player with 9.

But who would have predicted Tiger Woods?  At age 33, he is entering a golfer's prime -- and already has 14.  I still don't think it is a given that he will break Jack's record.  There are finally some young guys coming up that I believe will rival him.  Due to his knee injury, he missed a great window of opportunity last year -- with both the British Open and PGA at two courses to his liking.  But chances are, Jack's record will fall.

So what sports records are untouchable?  Well, I would say Cy Young's 511 wins and Joe DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak would be there.  Maybe Wilt Chamberlain's 100 points in one game.  Byron Nelson's 11 game win streak seems pretty safe to me.  Jerry Rice's career touchdowns?   

Any others?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

I Just Don't Get Facebook

I read this morning that "Facebook" now has 200 million accounts.  I tried it several months back, but sorry -- I just don't get it.  On my Facebook page, I would read that "So-and-so just brushed his teeth."  Or someone is watching Oprah.  Someone else just took a shower and is late for work.  Do we really need these kinds of details?  It seems almost like a strange form of voyeurism.  So I quit it.

Different strokes for different folks.  Some people like to hunt.  Some people like to fish.  Some people like to play golf.  Some people like to spend their time on Facebook.  I'm just saying that I don't get it.

My childhood hero, Arnold Palmer, hit the ceremonial tee-shot to begin the 2009 Masters about an hour and a half ago.  I confess:  This is not a good week to be Easter weekend.  I am VERY distracted this week.  A couple of my buddies told me that I looked sick, and need to just stay home Thursday and Friday.  I wish I could.  But the sermon still has to be preached Sunday.  

Needless to say:  I am very thankful for DVR.  

Late addition to this blog:  Why do barbers hate sideburns so much?  Since I go so rarely to the barber (once a month), I forget to ask each time.  But as the barber trims my hair, I will inevitably hear that sound as my sideburns are hacked off.  And it is not a single occurrence or a single barber.  And they always get them slanted at about a 45 degree angle. 

Any ideas?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Pirates? and the Last Supper

I see this morning that pirates have seized a ship with 20 Americans on board.  Pirates?  What is the deal with this all of a sudden.  In the last year, it has suddenly become dangerous for international ships to sail.  Something about that seems archaic.

I know it's not the reality of the situation, but I picture Johnny Depp or some peg-legged guy with a parrot on his shoulder stepping off a boat with a skull-and-crossbones flag -- boarding a ship with a black-powder pistol.   

The Last Supper:  Nearly two thousand years ago today (or tomorrow, depending on your understanding of Scripture), Jesus sat down with His disciples in the upper room for that meal.  He washed their feet and told them about the betrayer.  He was in anguish as He considered what lay before Him.  It must have been a heavy night.  I want to live with that for the next couple of days.  What were those days like for His followers?  Of course, we know the story has a perfect ending.  But they didn't.   

Monday, April 06, 2009

One of My Favorite Weeks

It has become one of my top 5 weeks of the year.  This year, two of my tops get combined into one.  

An obvious one is Easter.  While in our tradition, we partake of communion each week in remembrance of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus -- there is something special about Easter.  THE day.  The day that the tomb was found empty.  The day of beginning anew.  The day that sets us apart from ALL other world religions.

As I have mentioned last night, a few years back what was believed to be a finger bone of Buddha was found.  The bone "went on tour," with people standing in line for hours to see it.  And it made me think, "If ever ONE of Jesus' bones was discovered, we would be DONE as a movement."  But we don't have to worry about that.  Because the tomb is empty.  And Jesus lives!

But the 2nd special thing about this week is that it is Master's week.  Augusta.  It has to be one of the most beautiful pieces of property anywhere.  Every blade of grass perfect.  I have watched this tournament since it was on TV in black and white.  The history.  The pageantry.  The "we will do it our way" attitude.  Five minutes of commercials per hour max.  The crowd must be referred to as patrons, not gallery.  No off-color comments by the TV guys.  

A few years back, a woman protested before the Masters over Augusta's refusal to allow women to join.  Now, I don't agree with that position.  But you have to admire their moxey.  She was trying to get all sponsors to remove their commercials.  So as not to put any companies in a position of having to take sides, the Augusta membership said, "This year, WE will cover all the expenses.  There will be NO commercials."

Anyway, I digress.  Even if you don't like golf, you need to watch the Masters just for the beauty of the dogwoods and azaleas, etc.

I can't wait!  Empty tomb.  Dogwoods and azaleas.  And Tiger winning his 5th green jacket.  

Friday, April 03, 2009

What a Tragedy

My heart goes out to the family of slain Bridgeport Police Sgt. Randy White. Senseless! A man known to local police was involved in a hit-and-run accident on HWY 287, fled the scene, abandoned his pickup and stole an SUV. The officer was pulling people over to get them out of the way of the chase, when the criminal rear-ended him -- ramming his squad car into a tractor-trailer and killing him.

White, 32, leaves a wife and 5 year old.

Beverly and I are not keeping up with American Idol like we have in the past.  We usually fast-forward through "elimination night" on Wednesday after church.  But my favorites are (sentimental favorite) Danny and Kris.  Adam is a weird dude!  But I think he might win it.

I think the best reality show on TV right now might be "The Haney Project."  It is on the Golf Channel.  Hank Haney (Tiger Woods' instructor) has taken on the challenge of changing Charles Barkley's swing.  If you have never seen this guy swing a golf club, go to Youtube and enter his name and have a laugh.  This show is FUNNY!  And much of it is filmed at Vaquero in Westlake.  

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Long Tenure for Preachers

An old adage about tenure of ministers goes something like this:

The first two years, you can do nothing wrong.
The second two years, you can do nothing right.
The third two years, something gives.
The seventh year, your best ministry begins.

I will soon be beginning my 5th year of serving the Decatur Church of Christ, and I still feel like I am in the 1st stage.  All studies suggest that the adage is especially true when it comes to long tenures of preachers (hint, hint).

Why?  According to Lynn Anderson, several factors contribute to this.  But to name a few:
- Rapport: Time gives an observant minister rapport with the community.
- Credibility: Credibility enhances as people see their minister love and care for them over the long haul.
- Bonding: Powerful feelings flow between church and minister that only time can generate.
- Access: Long-term ministry opens enormous access into people’s lives.

(This ad is paid for by the Rick Ross for long tenure campaign.  I endorse this message)