Is the Bible a Start or an End?

I read this quote somewhere, but I can’t find the link. However, it’s so good that I wanted to share it with you.

The Bible in Jesus world was a scroll that you saw someone reading in the center of the room, in the midst of community.

And then you all discussed it. You surrounded the words…you encircled them literally, physically…and then you engaged with them. Together.

It was a communal experience.

Picture all that energy swirling around the room, picture all those opinions, picture really wise people saying interesting and profound things, picture that crazy uncle rambling on and on and making no sense.

And then you’d come back next week and do it all over again.

The Torah started the discussion.

For many in our world, the Bible ends the discussion.

Age Effectiveness in the Local Church

I’ve been thinking about the effectiveness that age brings to the local church. It seems to me, that as leaders in the church, we fall into three separate age groups of effectiveness.

Ages 20 to 35
From age 20 to 35 – you’re learning and establishing what kind of pastor you will be – education, influence, success and failures. Lots of rebellion, lots of hard times, lots of growing. You can fight with older pastors/churches – but you aren’t going to win.

Ages 35 to 55
From age 35 to 55 – you are building the culture of the church. The culture is established by what you determine is important, how well you lead your church, how well you disciple the people in your church, etc. You are trying to recruit people younger then you and learn from people older than you while creating the church that God has placed in your heart.

Ages 55 and beyond
From age 55 and beyond – you are simply a caretaker for the next generation. They aren’t going to do church the way you want them to. It’s going to look different. It’s going to feel different. They are going to treat the church differently then you would. And you can fight it or you can trust that God knows what He’s doing by putting these people in charge. The worst thing you can do is complain about the younger generation.

How do you see age effectiveness in the local church?

Creating a sense of Urgency

I often run into individuals who have incredible dreams and passion but no sense of urgency. They love to talk about things, but the actual doing of said things is a foreign concept. They have no urgency and as a result often end up being complacent.

Here’s the thing – having a sense of urgency is not normal – it must be created and recreated. The problem comes when we create a sense of false urgency out of anxiety or frustration that manifests itself in a flurry of unproductive behavior.

When urgency is understood both intellectually and emotionally, it always results in productive, daily behaviors that move us closer to our target.

There’s a couple of things we can do to move towards creating a mindset of urgency

  1. We can look outside of what we are currently doing.
    If we want to change something, then we have to move from an internal perspective to an external perspective.
  2. We have to act like we have a sense of urgency every day.
    This means we are ruthless in removing obstacles and challenges that keep us from our mission. This means we speak passionately about what we are working towards. This means we walk the talk at all times.
  3. We have to find opportunities in the midst of the chaos and crisis.
    When we have a sense of urgency, we can’t focus on damage control. We recognize there are going to be some casualties along the way, but the greater purpose is what drives us. Sometimes damage control makes us cautious and complacent and as individuals driven by a sense of urgency, we cannot afford to be cautious or complacent because there’s too much at stake.
  4. We have to eliminate the idea that things are fine.
    If you look at a situation and think to yourself, “It’s fine as it is”, chances are you are not looking at that situation with a sense of urgency. That means you’re not seeing all the problems or challenges associated with that situation. What follows is the inability to know when to act.

Bottom line is that we have to act with a sense of urgency if we want to achieve what God has placed in our hearts. Acting urgently is the what allows us to move through complacency.

Credentials or Character?

The Raiders/Antonio Brown drama is a perfect example of an organization hiring someone who had the credentials to perform, but not the character.

I see this as a significant reminder for anyone who is hiring for a position – you have to know that whoever you are hiring can be trusted – and trust only comes from character, not competency.

If you don’t hire for character, then the individual’s competency doesn’t matter. They might be a perfect fit from their resume, but if you can’t trust their character, you should walk away. You can always train and develop an individual’s competency, but rewiring their character is an almost impossible task.

You have to hire with this criteria and in this order:
Character – Can you trust the individual?
Competency – Do they have the skills or do they have a history of being able to learn the skills necessary for the position?
Culture – Do they fit in the organizational culture?

IF they have the Character, and IF they have the competency potential, and IF they can connect with the culture – that’s who you hire for the position.