In a recent teaching (Part 1, Part 2), my friend Mark Sampson, explains how, through history, Christianity has become a faith of the individual. As a result of events like the Enlightenment have lost the communal dynamic of our faith. It has become a personal, interior faith, that is no longer lived out in a social context. As an individual today Faith has little place in my work, my studies and my play. I am expected to have my 15 mins with God each day and maybe some with the community of believers on Sundays and Wednesday evenings. My spiritual focus is on my “quiet times;” my times alone with God. My prayers (mostly) revolve around my decisions, my direction and my needs.
The Israelites, chosen to bless the world, didn’t live their faith out as individuals. They were a people, a community and God was THEIR god. God was their King (for a while). He was committed to them, and they were to Him (for a while). He was at the centre of every aspect of their culture, social, and economic framework (for a while).
As a Christian today, how can I live more as if God is OUR God and not just MY God. I’m not sure. But, he’s a challenge to any of you who are worshipers: What does worship look like if not longer a individual faith? Today at Church I couldn’t help but notice how me-ish the songs were. I couldn’t help but wonder what songs we would write with a different kind of faith.
I get that title from the movie “Meet the Robinsons.” It’s a kids movie, but it’s spot on in its overall message. So, I’m keeping moving on..
I’ve been challenged by a series of lectures (God and the Domains, God and your Future) by Patrick Dodson, a former(?) YWAMer and thinker.
He talks about knowing the theology of your field and outlines some steps to constructing a framework to understand God through what you are doing. It’s made me think about my views of technology and realise that I really don’t have a strong understanding. I have a passion, I have awe and excitement, but I don’t have a complete insight to God’s purposes in Technology, especially not the way Patrick talks about. He makes it sound so exciting by describing how in the process of constructing a framework for story you learn about God and His character.
I was intrigued in thinking about what would happen if I applied that process to working at the store. What would God have to say about that Job? And would that understanding impact my work and my relationships with my co-workers and customers? What would be the overall effect?
I’ve been wondering what is going to be the Kingdom of God’s killer web app. That is what I want to be involved with, developing something that is so significant and important that it gains significant ground for God.I was IMing with my good friend Dave about this recently and he asked for some help in developing a podcast site called YWAMPodcast.net. Its a site containing a lot of teaching material from YWAM’s history, specifically organised around YWAM’s foundational values. He said that he gets emails every week from people that really appreciate the podcasts and get so much out of it. Dave is focused on education and learning communities and so he really wants to develop this site so that it can be that. I’ll be helping him. Done right, this could be a killer app.Another site that was brought to my attention today was YWAMKB.net. KB stands for knowledge-base. This is an awesome site that YWAM Europe has created to provide a resource for YWAM Bases around the world. It is filled with information and guides on how to lead evangelisation teams or run a school or manage your base effectively. When I saw this site I was blown away with how useful this could be. As I dug deeper I found a lot of information holes that need to be filled, but it’s still amazing.
I’m in an interesting place right now. People around me (my wife mainly) have been talking about a new approach to missions. The traditional support network apparently isn’t so much for our generation or for these times. We need to look beyond that and beyond just our financial needs and see how we can connect with the community around us in a way that goes beyond “traditional” ministry. You can only impact so many people during 9-5, cause most of them are at work.. interesting conundrum. Its seems that there is a lot that can be done as you work within smaller communities at work.
The connecting place for me, at least the most obvious, is in the area of web-development. The problem is, and hence my interesting place, is that I have never had actual training in this. I’ve taught myself everything and my knowledge is, i’m sad to say, sketchy. I’m not confident. If I want to find some work with a company, I really need to know my stuff – I literally need to kick ass at what I do (but I don’t).
But, I have been learning PHP, a language that enables you to develop interactive sites that are dynamic. Most blogs and social networks around are built on php. Its a power language. I just don’t know if I have time to get really good at it, or if I should take a crash course!
Tracie and I have been thinking about our role here in Madison. We want to do more and we want to be more effective. We’ve started a process of praying about what that “more” looks like and how we fit in it. We both want to see the church rise up and be Christ in Madison, and want to see the truth of God and his world be communicated throughout the city.
We did a school a few years ago called the Humanities & Sciences: A Christian Perspective and have often talked of seeing that school pioneered in Madison. We would want it to be a school that is engaging with the campus – processing and discussing the things that they are learning with students down-town. I felt that if we didn’t do that, we would still be in a place of frustration – feeling like we are teaching all this amazing stuff, but it isn’t impacting the people who need it the most – it isn’t practical – it isn’t having any effect on the world!
As Tracie and I were talking, I started thinking about activism. I don’t know where it came from, but something connected with me. I was thinking: we have a lot to learn from the activist movement! Activists are so set on what they are active about. They are convinced that people need to know about whatever it is they are for (or against) and will do whatever it takes for that to happen. If they need funds, they fund-raise. They are committed to their cause.
For some reason I connect more with this framework than the missions framework. Maybe its because of the baggage that the term missions carries in my mind: that its about preaching and evangelism and mercy ministry, which are all good things, but not things that get my pulse racing. I can do activism! I can be a Christ activist. I want to have that same level of commitment and single-mindedness, pushing forward His causes. It’s really helped me to get re-motivated in some areas of my life and work. I’m going to continue to process things in this context.