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Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

February 28, 2007

Yesterday I was talking with a friend that is in the leadership at the church he attends. We discussed many things but one of them was about changes he sees taking place in that congregation. He was talking about that they have people on both extremes (well not really but two sides). Some don’t want any change to happen, others think that it can’t happen fast enough. As I understand it they believe they are making changes in a step by step progression so as not to alienate either group.

Today, we learned that our adoption process is out of neutral and moving forward again. Last week I called one of our US Senators (Thad Cochran). He wields a lot of power in DC but is not a high profile guy. Until the last election he was head of the Senate Appropriations Committee so had a leash on what every Government agency got in funding. Anyway, amazingly he contacted Homeland Security on our behalf to see “why the process was taking so long”. A day later our application is approved and on the way to us. Coincidence, I am certain. Not. Anyway We and Rachel “Thad” Stewart thank you Mr. Senator.

Tomorrow, we are going with some friends from here to Birmingham. We will meet the dynamic Duo (Donna and Terri) there for a Chris Tomlin/ Matt Redman Concert. I am really looking forward to it. Both of these musicians will be quick to say that it is not a concert, it is a worship event. I agree and look forward to praising God for his goodness and love.

What do all these have to do with each other? I wonder if living in the past is wrong? Is is wrong to try and smooth the feathers of those who are unwilling to change if change is really needed? Does leadership sometimes require risking stepping on toes? Saying, this must change and now (like our adoption process) too much is at stake. Does a view toward the future affect us? I think it does, your view of what is coming, that Jesus is coming, and what that means affects how you live.

Hoping I can turn my eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. February 28, 2007 3:31 pm

    Enjoy (I’m) your (so) “concert” (jealous).

  2. February 28, 2007 3:35 pm

    you could drive down.

  3. February 28, 2007 6:02 pm

    If we did have that urgent view of Jesus’s coming, some of the things that create strife and division among us would vanish.

    At least that is my opinion! 🙂

  4. February 28, 2007 6:34 pm

    Danny, great to have back. I think your right.

  5. February 28, 2007 7:40 pm

    I am really looking forward to a great time of worsip too….

    I think at some point you have to decide to press forward…not to run over those in your path, but not letting them hang on to you and drag you down either….

  6. February 28, 2007 7:58 pm

    I think leadership requires a vision and direction (unless you think you have arrived) The other method is management, not leadership.

  7. February 28, 2007 9:35 pm

    Fantastic concert, I really enjoyed Tomlin. If you ever get a chance, Jeremy Camp is one memorable worship experience. Congrats on your adoption. Have you blogged about it before, I’d love to know the story (why’s, where’s, who’s when’s).

    When ignorance stands in the way of moving forward, then yes, sorry, it may step on some toes. Case in point, my church, in speaking with the minister, he mentioned that he and the elders agree on more “progressive” ideas for the church but for the sake of unity and the older people in the congregation, they are leaving it alone. Want to know what it is? Women serving at the table. That, too me, is tradition of man and if allowing women to serve (yes, its a servant role) causes some strife well then…too bad.

  8. February 28, 2007 10:03 pm

    I’ve seen Tomlin twice…he’s never disappointing.

    There are some more posts here if you click on adoption under the categories at the right or you can go to for more.

    I know that it sounds right to preserve unity…but that is not what is really happening. And it seems that if souls are at stake then leaving your comfort zone might be a requirement.

  9. February 28, 2007 10:55 pm

    I’ll check out the link.

    My father-in-law has adopted 2 beautiful girls from China over the last 5 years and they are making plans for #3.
    What a wonderful thing.

  10. March 1, 2007 8:44 am

    It seems the management model is the one I am most familar with….

    Can’t wait till tonight!!

  11. March 1, 2007 9:29 am

    We could all use more visionary people around us (esp. in leadership), don’t you think?

  12. March 1, 2007 1:19 pm

    I fear that at least some leadership decisions have more to do with finances than patience. Churches that are in debt up to their eyeballs generally have fearful leaders. As a result they reach a balance between what can be tolerated and what will not. Churches will eventually reach a point where a decision for further direction must be made. It eventually comes down to loosing the stiff and unmovable members, or the progressive, open and grace filled members. Back in 1999 Madison reached that point. How thankful I am that they were more concerned in the things of God, than finances. We lost around 1500, and many of them were “old money” givers. It was touch and go for a year or two. Now seven years later things are going well, the financial crises seems to be over and Madison is on the march once again. Bottom line, IMHO, it is not a financial decision, but a spiritual decision that must be made. Which will be determined more by the spiritual make up of the leaders than the congregation.

  13. March 1, 2007 5:11 pm

    I was just listening to Redman’s Beautiful News today thinking this is good and how I wouldn’t enjoy this in concert.

    When I came here I talked about how as a denomination the goal is to build a fort and protect the walls from the enemy, whoever you see that enemy being. The walls are your key doctrines. The problem with that is forts don’t move.

    We talked about the fact that we are actually on a journey and for a journey you need a different mindset. In any journey you have to remain flexable because you never know what may come next. You have to be willing to leave something behind to get to where you need to go but I do think that in a journey you have to be careful not to abandon the slower movers, you don’t want to just leave people behind.

    In the end this is kind of hard for me because I am at a place that is very different. Last year we gutted the entire kid area to make it cooler. Nobody got mad about that. We do a lot of things that other places wouldn’t dare allow but I will say that we all have lines. We all have a place where we would feel uncomfortable and where we wouldn’t like a place to go.

    I don’t mind change but change to get a place more like I like it doesn’t sound much different than stopping change to have a place more like I like it. I think you have to be careful. To tell someone I don’t care about what you want because I care more about what I want is not good.

    I think you start with a different mindset but you must always remember that it has to be about more than my personal taste.

  14. March 1, 2007 7:32 pm

    Awesome news about the adoption. So cool to see you walking through this process!

  15. March 1, 2007 9:32 pm

    I hope you and the gang are having a great time right now! Way to go pulling strings with Senator Cochran.

    Church leadership is so complex and takes a lot of prayer and patience. It sure helps to have some visionaries around, though!

  16. March 2, 2007 11:13 am

    Donna, we tonight has become last night. It was great!

    JeanBean, yes!

    Lee, you always leave great comments, thanks for your years of wisdom. Madison is a wonderful story. There is some real wisdom there about churches not going into debt I think.

    Darin, although I was pushing the other side of the coin in this post, you are right. It does have to be about more than personal taste. Maybe it should almost always be about someone else’s taste. I love Rob Bell’s analogy of brick walls and a trampoline as metaphors of faith in “Velvet Elvis”.

    Amanda, thanks for stopping by! See you Sunday.

    Amy, yeah, complex it is. You would have LOVED last night.

  17. March 2, 2007 2:38 pm

    Can I delete what I said? I agree with you 100%.

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