Category Archives: Humility

Conviction

I just finished a little facebook tussle, which is second on my list of ultimately futile activities, over status update I made about a hot button cultural issue, which is the straightest line leading to the second most futile activity known to man. In this little back and forth, it became very clear that I was wielding a sword in what the other person assumed was a pool noodle fight. In that scenario, neither person looks too bright.

But this kerfuffle brought a number of thoughts to mind as I reflected. The whole situation was interesting to me on a number of levels:

1. Should we speak? People love to speak, but rarely have something to say. Social media has given us the ability to speak, which has morphed into an obligation to speak. This cuts towards me just as much as it does to the other person involved. I deleted about eight different tweets about the topic I brought up, because it was far too big a topic for a tweet. So why did I keep writing them until I clicked Tweet? Because I felt compelled to speak, primarily because I was able to speak. For the person who responded to me, there was a compulsion to say something in response to my saying something, but a vague and indefinite fortune cookie maxim was all they had available at the moment. But if I was speaking to something much larger than I could reasonably address, and if the person responding had nothing of substance to say in response, perhaps we should both have just stopped typing.

2. Speak with conviction. The person’s initial response was vague, and the follow up responses were a mix of denying what they had vaguely said, backing out of the argument they started, and at one point saying they had no intention at all behind what they said. If there is no intention, why say anything? And the answer is simple – there was intention behind responding to my status update, but the intention lacked the fortification of conviction. Paraphrasing Stinger, The person’s rebuttals were writing checks his conviction couldn’t cash.

3. Taylor Mali knows what I’m talking about.

4. Humility should be attached to ambition, not knowledge. G.K.Chesterton, writing about a hundred years ago noted this new tendency for people to act as though pretending not to know something was humble. That is relativism, agnosticism, or laziness, but it is not humility. Humility is meant to limit our inner world, not write off the outer one.

5. Christians must speak with conviction. Have you ever had that moment when a group of friends are trying to decide where to go eat, and all of them, looking out for the happiness of the others, keep deferring to everyone else, who are all deferring to everyone else? All it takes is one person with the conviction of personal desire, and the Mexican standoff will end. Our culture is at one massive Mexican standoff, and we desperately need Christians to step in and bring the clarity, honesty, and peace that can only come through Christian conviction.

In summary: don’t speak unless you have both something to say and the conviction to bring others with you.

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Strengths Based Leadership In Christian Ministry

leaderYesterday, I saw something scary. Something that I have sadly come to expect. I saw a couple of Executive Level leaders bantering back and forth about the people they cannot wait to cut from their organization. I listened to them discuss the best strategies for engaging people just enough to get their help without creating lines of connection that would be difficult to break. Where I come from, we call that using people. They laughed at the weaknesses, quirks, and eccentricities of the organizations they compete with, and they reveled in their personal aspirations towards greatness. Sadly, I see this all the time.

I see this, because I am a church planter, networking with other church planters.

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Be More Judgmental. -The Apostle Paul

2Earlier today I read an article from Christianity Today about Donald Miller’s recent declarations about his relationship with Church gatherings, confusingly called church. I do not think he is forsaking the universal Church, because that would mean forsaking Jesus. I think he is forsaking the Church gatherings which have come to be known as church. That is how I read what Miller says here and here.

I agree with Kevin Miller’s assessment of Brian Maclaren and Rob Bell. I think he prematurely loops Donald Miller in with them unless he argues from the perspective of trajectory, which I would think a very fitting argument. Either way, Kevin Miller is experiencing the same push back any Christian feels when they call out another Christian’s actions or words as dangerous, lacking in wisdom, or out of step with the Bible. You hear the accusation coming from believers and unbelievers alike. It comes with both patronizing disdain and vicarious offense. It comes down in one word. Judgmental.

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Humility

humilityThis past weekend, I had the opportunity and privilege to lead a big, complex event that was a big success. In so doing, I was given a great gift from God – humility. Humility from the goodness of others when I did not deserve it.

I have been wanting to write about humility for a few months, but it is a tough topic to tackle. This past weekend I felt a kind of humility different than my normal experience and it prompted the thoughts below, which may be nearly indecipherable to anyone who has not experienced these two paths to humility.

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