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Well, I’m only human!

“Well, I’m only human!” No truer words have ever been used to cover more harm. “I’m only human” is meant to convey the idea that, given our human nature, “We have limits” or “We can’t do everything” or “We can’t be perfect.” Fair enough. But too often today those words are meant to cover almost every wrong or explain away all patterns of poor behavior. Here is the deal: of course we are only human. That is not saying much. There’s more: our nature can grow, deepen, and be transformed. This transformation is what servant leaders pursue as a first-order issue. In this chapter I want to help you think more deeply about it. I have coached young leaders during […]

The Tension Regarding Intention

The idea of cooperating with God, of being an ambassador of the kingdom, is often scary or negative. Some fear it will lead to works righteousness or legalism. Others fear that people will become self-appointed, power-abusing religious leaders. I understand the fear. Terrible harm has been done in the name of God. When we try to bring about the kingdom of God by our own force, all manner of evil can be released. Thus, just about everywhere I go these days I sense tension regarding the intention to be the cooperative friends of God. There’s uneasiness about intentional evangelism and leadership. In most of the emerging, alternative church scene, it is not cool to enter a relationship with evangelism in […]

What Is Church?

A couple of kindergarten-level drawings may help us finally get an unforgettable image of the church in your minds. Take a moment to imagine yourself sketching a picture of the church on a restaurant napkin. What did you picture? I’ll be it was a square or rectangle with a pointed roof line, topped by a cross. Right? It would be so much better to draw a bunch of stick-figure people doing life and mission together. I’m not down on buildings; I’m up on the people of God. I want to make them the center of our image of the church. Working against the image of the church as a sent people are three common misconceptions. The vast majority of Americans […]

Ancient-Future Practices For Contemporary Times

Anglicanism has the reputation of being rigid and bound by the Book of Common Prayer and the Thirty-Nice Articles. But Anglicanism has also, among its most gifted and courageous leaders, not been afraid to pursue fresh expressions of evangelism and church. The Anglican Church has a way of staying anchored to the ancient tradition while being in tune with the ever-changing times. Anglicans don’t do this merely for the sake of institutional survival, but as a first principle. In face the preface to the Book of Common Prayer calls for the church, in terms of its mission, to be continually led by the Holy Spirit. Within the framework of keeping the faith whole, the Book of Common Prayer encourages new […]