vision


This quote humbled me big time today:

There is something deeply spiritual about honoring the limitations of our lives and the boundaries of what God has given us to do as leaders. Narcissistic leaders are always looking beyond their sphere of influence with visions of grandiosity far out of proportion to what is actually being given. Living within our limits means living within the finiteness of who we are as individuals and as a community- the limits of time and space, the limits of our physical, emotional, relational and spiritual capacities, the limits of our stage of life… and the limits of the calling God has given. It means doing this and not that. It means doing this much and not more.” – Ruth Haley Barton

I don’t know if you’re like me, but I tend to live in the future.  I’m a dreamer.  I have “visions of grandiosity” and sometimes forget what is right in front of me.  While taking time to dream is important, I want to “live within the limits of the calling God has given me.” 

(HT: Todd Heistand)

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Jonathan Dodson:

Many people in America approach “church” as a community of convenience, as a product that exists to service their spiritual needs, on their terms, in their time. The Bible, however, holds out a very different concept of church, a community of grace, an imperfect people who forbear, forgive, and love one another. The community of convenience stands in the way of a community of grace. 

Last week I preached on Our LIFE Together at LBC.  It was Part 3 of a series on the mission of our church.  My particular message was aimed at how we can grow in our relationships with believers.  I spent a little time in John 13:34-35 to show how this passage is the foundation for all the other “one another” passages in the Bible.  From there I challenged our people to be involved in a LIFE class to practically do life together so others may live.

(LISTEN or WATCH here)

My friend, Jonathan, writes a helpful article on the church as a gospel community.

My friend, Jonathan Dodson, always encourages me in his quest for greater community in the church.  He planted a church in Austin, Texas and has written several published articles for Boundless and Acts 29.  Take a look at his post on community and give your two cents.  He’d love your input.

51jyg2vp30l1Many of you know that the inspiration for this blog came out of a book with the same title, Life Together, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  I was delighted to see that John Piper has also been inspired by this man and this book and what it means to “take Jesus and his church seriously.”  (Read more here)

031028530511Pastor Geoff Surratt, a self-confessed “church addict”, recently completed his latest book, Ten Stupid Things That Keep A Church From Growing.  He humbly admits that he himself has committed all ten of the mistakes mentioned in his book.  Here’s the first two:

  • Trying to do it all

“Pastors tend to default to doing everything themselves rather than working through people in the congregation,” Surratt explained to The Christian Post. “They take on a lot of different hats and wind up overworked and underproductive because of that.”

  • Establishing the wrong role for the pastor’s family

He lists five “stupid ways” a pastor or ministry leader can destroy their family while chasing after God’s vision for the ministry.

For more info. on the book, go here.  It will be published by Zondervan in May 2009.

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