For me, one fingernails-on-chalkboard irritation is lack of interest in understanding other people’s perspective. Not lack of understanding, but lack of interest in trying to understand.
If you want to find how well-shaped my character is, one good test is to show no interest in understanding what I’m trying to say. That frustration transfers over to conversations that I’m not a part of, too. Which is why I love radio talk shows. Maybe not.
Anyhow, take Ferguson. What a rich mess of opportunity to push through to understanding. A so-largely missed opportunity. I won’t try to unravel it here and now, for lack of time and competency, but I can say that the clanging gongs of noisy finger-pointing non-communication has me pretty discouraged. Not entirely discouraged, because there are real conversations happening. Perhaps there will be enough critical mass of thinking communicators to advance things past ‘us against them’. I hope so, and hope to foster that kind of communication as I’m able.
Here, on this blog, I find myself mostly writing about what it means to be a follower of Jesus interacting with other followers of Jesus, together (hopefully, ideally, by God’s grace) bringing healing and restoration to a broken humanity. A big part of that is the ability for us to communicate and share together in what is true and good. It’s not easy, as I’ve sought to highlight in a number of posts so far.
So, it is with great anticipation that I am engaging with some other bloggers (and all of you who will interact in comments here and on the other sites) to have the first of what I hope will be many blogged round-table discussions.
The starting point for our discussion will be a video and blog post by Richard Jacobson, and the first topic will deal with the nature of leadership in the church. You’ll want to visit his site to watch the video, read the post, and comment. The rest of the lineup are Jon Zens, Keith Giles, Neil Cole, and myself.
The idea here is that we will be interacting with one another in the process of blogging. This will be a rolling conversation that has the time and space to flesh ideas out and build and cross-examine. And, you are welcome to join in the conversation! Comment, and as it seems good the next blogger down the line may incorporate your thought or question. I don’t know how it will all work out, but I’m hopeful for some good dialogue.
So, dive in. Check out the intro video, and then follow and interact with the discussion. The schedule is below, with a little bit about each of the participants. Enjoy!
Decision Making In Organic Church Part 1 – Richard Jacobson
Richard is an artist and former pastor who has as animated video and cartoon blog called Church Anarchist. It explains why the church was never intended to become an organization or a corporation like it is today.
Decision Making In Organic Church Part 2: The Mind of Christ in Our Life Together – Jon Zens
Since 1977, Jon and Dotty have been traveling among and encouraging relational communities. Jon has been the editor of the Searching Together journal since 1978. From 1970 – 2000 he worked in three manufacturing facilities, and he is the author of many books, including 58 to 0 — How Christ Leads Through the One Anothers.
Decision Making In Organic Church Part 3 – Keith Giles
Keith is a former pastor who left traditional church to start a simple church where 100% of the offering would go to help the poor in the community. He nows works as an advertising copywriter and publishes books about following Jesus in daily life. His latest book is “The Power of Weakness”.
Decision Making In Organic Church Part 4 – Dan Herford
Dan is an artsy engineer with a bike shop and a blog. He has a patient wife, six children, and more interests than time. He wonders about words like ‘pastor’ and ‘disciple’ and ‘church’.
Decision Making In Organic Church Part 5 – Neil Cole
Neil Cole is an author and organic church planter that has catalyzed church movements around the globe.