TGR-S4E1: Healthy Submission

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We kick off Season 4 of The Great Reset with the Biastes* on 1pm PDT Tuesday, Aug 25, 2020 by wrestling with questions of authority and submission, prompted by a viewer’s email.

Question

How should members of Christ’s Body best relate to internal and external human authorities and institutions, in order to continually increase God’s Kingdom?

Practice healthy submission to existing structures while we continue to design and implement more Christ-centered models
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TGR-S2E4 Teaching Repentance

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We continue this Season’s focus on The Great Reset of Education at Tuesday 6/9, 1 PM Pacific. In particular, we are wrestling with hard questions of justice and repentance in light of the recent killing of George Floyd.

The Great Reset, Season 2, Episode 4

Question: How do we teach people where they need to repent?

  • What should followers of Jesus condemn?
  • What would that require us to tolerate?

Perspective:

  1. Judging others from a position of Power
  2. Judging behavior from a position of Authority
  3. Judging ourselves from a position of Vulnerability
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Monk’s Redemption: A Psychological Allegory

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Inspired by the USA Network TV show, Dick Schwartz’s Internal Family Systems model, and a Dream and Vision I had.

Cast of Characters

In order of appearance

  1. Natalie Teeger, the Integrated Self (Spirit)
  2. Adrian Monk, the Manager
  3. Leland Stottlemeyer, the Protector
  4. Hope, the Exile

Also featuring:

  • The Light, Truth
  • The Key, Forgiveness

The Vision

I see a locked door. In a dark and scary place, like a monster movie. Big, iron, with crisscrossed chains and padlocks.

Natalie walks up holding a flashlight. Monk trails behind nervously.

Suddenly Stottlemeyer steps in front of them. His eyes are bloodshot, as if he has been drinking, crying, or not sleeping. Perhaps all three. He is holding his gun in two shaky hands. Pointed at them.

“I warned you not to come here,” he rasps in a hoarse voice.

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Honor Thy Flawed Fathers and Mothers

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Solving the “Asian Parent Problem”

http://biblehub.com/matthew/23-9.htm “And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.”

Over the last few years God has been putting me through a graduate course in dealing with my father issues. I still haven’t graduated, but at least I know what my thesis is. 🙂

Backstory

I never really wanted to be a leader. I just wanted to find a leader I could trust, who cared about the things I cared about, so I could define my mission as a sub-mission of theirs. Unfortunately, things never quite worked out that way.
This is not to denigrate the honorable men (no women, but that’s another story) I have served under in the context of work, ministry and family. I have been extraordinary privileged to have been by led and mentored by a succession of extraordinary men of deep integrity, from my own earthly father to Steve Jobs. People who were sincerely committed to the mission, practiced what they preached, and never abused their authority.

And yet…

For all their strengths, those leaders all their blind spots. Areas where their behavior didn’t align with the values they genuinely believed in and communicated. Attitudes they were oblivious to that clearly hurt both individuals and the organization’s ability to fulfill its mission. Continue reading

LEAD! C.7 Silence and Solitude

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In Which We Withdraw From The World To Draw Near To God

The modern world considers solitary confinement and enforced silence as among the worst long-term punishments — with good reason; it is a terrifying thing to be cut off from the consolations and diversions of society. And yet, the very severity of that terror hints at the fertile spiritual soil to be uncovered when we deliberately cultivate time away from the distractions of ordinary human life…

Memory Verse: “Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowd sought Him and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from leaving them; but He said to them, ‘I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.’ “Luke 4:42-43 (NKJV)

Assigned Reading
  1. Richard Foster: Celebration of Discipline

    • 7. Solitude
  2. Donald Whitney: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

    • 10. Silence and Solitude
  3. Eugene Peterson: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

    • 7. Security: “God Encircles His People”
  4. Ruth Haley Barton: Sacred Rhythms

    • 2. Solitude: Creating Space for God

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LEAD! A.6 Father’s Kingdom

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In Which We See God Creating His World, and Our Place In It

The overriding theme of our journey has been exploring what it means to be “baptized into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Having dealt (however superficially) with the ontological aspects of that “name”, we now focus on the narrative aspects. In particular, we will focus on the arc of “creation corruption and redemption” found throughout scripture (and literature), as manifested through the persons of the Trinity. Starting with the Father, and Creation…

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LEAD! A.5 God’s Tri-Unity

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In Which We Discover The Persons Who Make up the Godhead, and How They Relate to Us

Shield-Trinity-Scutum-Fidei-English We believe in one God, consisting of one substance — one name, one identity, and one character — sometimes called the Godhead. Yet, that name is expressed through three distinct persons, as illustrated by the classic diagram on the left. Theologians use the term “Trinity” to describe this paradoxical mystery, which is explicitly described in the New Testament and often alluded to in the Old.

In this lesson, we will be focusing primarily on the Economic Trinity (“How God Acts”) rather than the Essential Trinity (“What God is”). See the “Explore” section for other perspectives.

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LEAD! Syllabus for “Theological Foundations”

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[NOTE: the official syllabus is now on the “Lead” page; this post is obsolete, but kept for the sake of historical continuity].

[Yes, I should probably have written this before the first lesson, but better late than never…]

In thinking about it, I ought to take my Curriculum one step further, and actually identify the passages and key learnings for each lesson. Not only will this help ensure I’m on the same page as my pastor, but it would enable others to write some of the lessons (since class starts on September 4th!).

I’ve also cross-referenced these lessons against two common systematic theology books:

In addition to providing a sort index to the topics covered, this allows students and teachers to use those as supplementary textbooks.

  • Draft 1 – Sunday, 24th August
  • Draft 2 – Tuesday, 26th August: Added “Doctrine” “Essentials” chapters for each lesson
  • Draft 3 – Friday, 29th August: Added “Doctrines” chapters for each lesson

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LEAD! Curriculum Reset for “Theological Foundations”

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So, the good news is that our church is gearing up to start LEAD! on September 4th, and already taking applications! That’s also the bad news, since I’ve only finished three classes. 😦

Still, it only takes me about four hours per class, which is two late night waiting-to-feed-Rohan sessions (assuming he behaves), so I should be able to keep up.

The real problem is that my lesson topics have gone in a completely different direction that originally envisioned. More, my pastor has a slightly different vision for how things should fit together. Given the time timeframes, it is essential we get on the same page (and stick to it, if possible).

Here’s my current vision for what is now being called “Theological Foundations”. Hopefully my pastor and I can converge on this syllabus soon (once he’s no longer busy with his new grandson 🙂

[Updated and ratified 8/19 with John Isaacs]

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TELL: Theological Essentials for Lay Leaders

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As a counterpart (or even prequel) to my previous article about “safety skills“, I wanted to identify those theological topics essential for lay leaders to understand. In particular, I believe lay leaders need a more concise and practical “boot camp”, in contrast to the multi-year “officer’s training school” provided in seminaries.

Another difference in focus is that I believe (along with the writer of Proverbs) that the goal of theological education is wisdom, not mere knowledge. That is, the goal is to cover a small number of essential issue in sufficient depth to enable people to make more godly decisions — not simply provide an intellectual overview of traditional topics.

Given all that, here is my best attempt at a minimal 12-week course that covers the heart issues of contemporary theology. What are your thoughts and suggestions?

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Twelve Steps to Arrow-Proof Your Ministry

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Apologies for the pretentious title, but I wanted to challenge myself to identify and reorganize the lessons we covered in last year’s leadership class into a coherent prescription for facing down “Ministry Killers”. The idea is that each of these “steps” would be a single “life lesson”, but that together they provide the “full armor of God.

What do you think? Did I miss anything important?

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