August 28, 2008

You Have to Get Wet

Some will go way above and beyond to try and attract people to their method, while losing the message. Watering down the gospel story, leaving the name of Jesus out for fear of offending someone. Some will go to the other extreme, being extremely careful not to have any appearance of the world and culture around them. Should the church use culture to reach people? Or should the church remain completely isolated, never having anything that even has the appearance of the world around it?

We have to find the balance. We have to meet people where they are. If people are drowning in this culture, we have to be willing to go to where they are.

Think about it this way... You can't rescue a drowning victim without getting wet. Imagine trying to save someone who is drowning by shouting to them from dry land. "Hey, move your arms like this! Kick you legs! Come on, you can save yourself if you will just listen to me! I used to be drowning just like you! I made it out - and I know you can too!" That would be ridiculous! If you see a person out in the water drowning, you have to swim out to them, grab them, and help them find their way back to the shore! You don't join them in the drowning process, you've already been saved from that. But you have to use methods that meet their current needs. You have to do what it takes to get their attention, to swim and lead them out of the danger they are in. At the same time - you don't go swimming out with fancy strokes, showing off your amazing ability to survive in the dangerous waters around. No - you go in with one purpose, one focus - to get out to them and help them find their way safely back to land.

Should the church use culture to reach people drowning in this culture? The church cannot avoid getting wet if she intends to help people find their way safely to Jesus. It will be messy. You will get wet. But we have been commissioned to go into all the world and make disciples of all people.

August 21, 2008


Walking through the wilderness gives one lots of time to think. As I led my daughter Kara through Yosemite National Park, packs on our backs, down wilderness trails, I had to remind myself constantly of several things. First, I had to constantly remind myself that Kara is not as big, as in shape, as strong as I am. I have spent years working out, training, and trying to keep myself in decent shape. She has not (she's only 13, she hasn't had the years that I have had).

As I would head up the trail, I would look back and see Kara sitting on a log resting...after less that 10 minutes of walking! At first I would encourage her to get up and keep walking. Then after a while I had to realize that it was ok for her to stop, as much as she needed to. We were not in a hurry, it was not a race. To me, everything is a race, the destination is the goal. I really had to force myself to slow down and enjoy the journey.

Then it hit me. I had planned this trip. I was passionate about completing it a certain way. I had asked her (and talked her into) coming along with me. this trip was not her idea. It was not her plan. It was not her vision. She did not have the same goals and expectations that I did. She just wanted to follow me because I was her dad!

This same thing happens in all walks of life. A person will have a vision, or a goal. He or she will begin recruiting others to follow them, to help them to accomplish that goal. Then the leader heads off down the trail. The problem is this: the leader is passionate about this goal. The leader has dreamed about it, planned it out, though it through. The leader is prepared, mentally, physically and emotionally for what lies ahead. But how often does the leader forget that his/her followers are not where they are? As a leader, we must slow down, and bring those who are faithfully following alongside. We have to be prepared to stop and rest with our followers. We have to be mindful of where they are on the journey.

This doesn't mean that the leader shouldn't push those following to their limits, and even beyond at times. You can't grow as a follower if you are not pushed beyond your limits. But it does mean that the leader should recognize that those following are not at the same place as the leader.

Are you leading? Are you aware of where your followers are? Are you encouraging them, bringing them along?

August 20, 2008

Epic Yosemite Adventure!

Well, we made it! I dragged my 13 year old Kara 21 miles, on foot, over two of the highest peaks in Yosemite National Park - Cloud's Rest and Half Dome - in two days! We pushed ourselves to the limit - and even to tears a couple of times. She fought a tough battle, and we finished strong. I am so proud of Kara - she was amazing!

You can check out pics here. I will be sharing some of what I learned about myself over the last several days.

August 13, 2008

Summer's been quite a summer. I have been missing from blogworld for a while...I guess it's time to get back to it!

And I will - sortof - slowly. I am actually getting ready to fly to the west coast on Friday. Kara and I will be flying to San Francisco, then driving to Yosemite National Park where we will spend 4 days and 3 nights backpacking in the wilderness. I cannot wait! It is going to be a great time to get away - refocus - spend some quality daddy-daughter time - and just have fun.

For those that are interested - I purchased a Spot Tracker - a satellite tracking device that updates my location every ten minutes. It even has a 911 button in case I get stranded and need help. If you want to check on us in the next several days - you can follow this link, and see updates of our progress, beginning on Saturday, August 16, thru Tuesday, August 19.

Well - happy tracking - I'll post more after the trip!