I haven't posted for a while - sorry. Last week was a bit of a blur getting ready for vacation, plus a volunteer appreciation night, lots of serverie stuff, and preparing for a weekend of teaching. Anyway -today was my first day of vacation and it was great- helped Kim finish up a house she has been working on. She actually finished two houses in this last week and is semi-retired for the summer. She has asked for a pedicure for her birthday (this Thursday) which is a good sign that she's actually serious about taking some time off! My wife is the most amazing woman I know.
Anyway here are some brief thoughts that I considered posting about this past week but didn't have time to (lots of church related stuff - beware!):
1. We have the most amazing volunteers at Grace. We celebrated their faithfulness this past Wednesday night. They carried us through the biggest transition Grace has ever experienced. Nearly 450 people have served at Grace this past year. That's a staggering number.
2. There is not one county in the USA with a greater percentage of "churched" people than it had ten years ago.
3. There are 6 million less people going to church in the United States than were going to church in 2000. We're losing ground. It's time for the church to step up and get serious about her mission - and also get our heads around the fact that people are more fascinated than ever with Jesus but are less than compelled by the church.
4. Reggie McNeal's teaching on the Missional Church from the MBC Annual meetings are rocking my world. I've never gotten much into his books - but he has some profound things to say about the current and future state of the church.
5. I have been reading the "Evangelical Manifesto" that was published last month (I know - sounds scary right?) Anyway- I was very impressed. There are a couple of parts that I need to re-read because there were a few red flags at first pass, but by and large I think it does a fine job of re-defining evangelicalism which has been grossly misunderstood and misrepresented in recent years. Grace would definitely be qaulified as an "evangelical" church. I would encourage any Grace attender to read it (they also have a cliff notes version at the website)
6. I'm reading this book by David Bivins. It's very good - dives into the context of Jesus' life and teaching - a subject that I've been very fascinated by in recent months.
7. I just read I Am Legend (I know it's a little different than Jesus in his Jewish context) but it was just for fun. Nothing like a 1954 science fiction novel about vampires to get the heart thumping. I saw the movie and was really intrigued by the "last man on earth" concept. Holy smokes - the book is nothing like the movie. There are very few similarities. The movie was happy and gay compared with the book. I guess they tried to film some parts more like the book -but audiences hated it so they caved...
8. If you don't know Mars Hill church out in Seattle and Mark Driscoll - you should. The guy is a throwback preacher - but young and hip and all that stuff too. He has a great site called The Resurgence that has some great ministry content on it. They post videos from their conferences for free which is a great gift to other ministry leaders.
That's enough for now. Going golfing with my pops tomorrow and looking forward to it.