But they're not my own because I'm not that authentic. I just finished Mark Driscoll's "Confessions of A Reformission Rev". It's the journey of how his church plant in Seattle called Mars Hill has grown and developed over the years. Each chapter focuses on a specific chapter of their life (ie: 0-45 people, 45-75 people, 350-1000 people, 4000-10000 people, etc...I think you get the point).
In case you don't know much about Mark, he seems to get himself in trouble a lot because he speaks his mind (for an example, you can read this about a little video he made and some of the discussion it has stirred up). But I like his approach. I like the fresh style and the sarcasm. And I like the insights he has to offer.
A few things in particular are spending an extra bit of time floating through my cranium:
1. Mars Hill really calls people to step up to the plate. And there are many times where Mark mentions that they want people to be serving in the church rather than just being consumers. For that reason if someone isn't willing to dive in and get involved, they are told to leave. When was the last time we told someone to leave church because the only thing they've done for the last 10 years was sit in a pew?
2. Mark expanded on an Amway concept to develop 4 phases of organizational decline. In it he describes it as:
Phase 1 - Creative, the dream stage
Phase 2 - Management, the reality stage
Phase 3 - Defensive justification, the failure stage
Phase 4 - Blaming, the death stage
If you want a more detailed explanation, buy the book. But let's just say that I'm finding myself asking lots of questions where the ministries I am involved at would be on this chart. And to be completely honest, it's a scary question to ask. What I am discovering is causing me to shake my head lots and mumble "aarrrgghhh" (and that's not in a pirate type of way). Ask my wife...it's true.
3. Attractional or missional? Which describes me, my ministries, and our church? Driscoll's challenge is that churches should be both. They should be drawing people in, but they should also be sending people out. Again he talks about not wanting church to be consumer-minded.
As you can imagine, this is only a small piece of the picture. There's lots of stuff to chew on. And I'm sure this will only serve to continue my ongoing process of "God...what the heck are you up to?"