The Benedict Option: Sam Rocha’s Critical Review and Robert Webber’s Secular Saint

There’s been quite the discussion about Rod Dreher’s recently released book, The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation. It seems to me there’s a lot of hype surrounding its content and applications. It reminds me of what we saw in the “emerging ministry movement” of 20 years ago, with leaders looking for The Next Big Idea that would supposedly change the playing field for relevant ministry. However, such answers often ended up being lists of glib tips and methods and models that supposedly worked anywhere — a nice bypass for the painstaking local work of cultural exegesis and careful contextualization.

I’m not a fan of hypeful answers to complex questions. I prefer figuring out the broader context as a better way to give a more reflective response instead of universal principles that easily slip into quick-fix programs. And, since I have been writing about many things post-modern, post-Christian, and post-Christendom for 20-plus years, I thought it might be helpful to post several resources and thoughts to contribute to the discussion. Continue reading

Review of *UnLeader* by Lance Ford

Hear ye, hear ye … I have just posted my first-ever book review on Amazon!

It is for UnLeader: Reimagining Leadership … and Why We Must, by Lance Ford (Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2012). I received a review copy in September 2012 and read it then — and have peeked at it (and the stack of notes I wrote!) off and on ever since. I was planning to post a review last year, but other circumstances took over for a while and many things disappeared into that vortex.

However, what the time-lag added to the writing of my review was the reality that for 16 months, UnLeader keeps coming back to mind as really something extraordinary. I hope what I’ve posted will give a fresh and helpful perspective on grasping the value of what Lance Ford has produced, and the gift it is to the Kingdom. I also hope you will buy a copy, read it, and be changed by the  powerful and empowering message that Lance Ford offers!

And here is that review … Continue reading

The Frodo Syndrome: Overcoming Grief and Melancholia in the Modern-to-Postmodern Transition

Summary: We find that there are serious depths of melancholy and grief on all sides of the postmodern-generational divides. The older generations often want to bless the younger, but feel unable to understand their emerging world or that the community connection has been frayed by their overcontrol. The younger want to be blessed, but feel unable to live in the world of the elders and also feel they must answer to a higher authority and be/do what they were created for in the world as it now is.  How do we find a language to express this disconnect, and facilitate a both/and, “wabisabi” dialogue designed to keep us connected and let all parties find purpose despite the chaos? Perhaps an answer is found in … “The Frodo Syndrome,” for how to overcome grief and melancholia in the modern-to-postmodern transition. Continue reading

Kingdom Leadership After Lakeland Part 3-Addendum #4: Reconstructing Ministry Systems-How Do We Fix a Leaky Boat, and Who Can Best Lead in Doing So?

If you haven’t read Addendum #3 yet, start with that. This post won’t make sense without it …

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Kingdom Leadership After Lakeland Part 3-Addendum #3: Reconstructing Ministry Systems-When Churches are Like Leaky Ships, How Do We Fix the Boat?

Addendum #3 deals with church systems being like leaky ships. Addendum #4 will suggest tools for fixing the boat, and preview who might be best equipped to lead in that process.

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Kingdom Leadership After Lakeland Part 3-Addendum #2: Reconstructing Ministry Systems-Six Trends toward Systems Solutions

This post and the next one pick up the theme of moving beyond the rubble of deconstruction. They deal with reconstructing ministry systems. After these, I’ll plan to continue with the planned posts on reconstructing “spiritual parenting,” and then on to reconstructing leadership. This may not seem like a very logical way to present this material, but all I can say to that is I post them when it seems like time to post them. I trust there’s a Spirit-directed flow to them for reasons I cannot fathom, and I’ve learned to be okay with that. And there you have it, so here we go!

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