Friday, November 27, 2009

71. Conductor as metaphor for Apostolic Leadership

I love this video from TED because it points to the exact dynamics of apostolic leadership. As a conductor, you help the potential come alive. But there are many ways to be a conductor, some healthy, and some unhealthy.

A spin off this metaphor is that every community has certain instruments in it. It is the task of an apostolic leader to make music with the instruments available in the community. You work with the DNA in the community to cultivate a masterpiece. This involves creativity, innovation and thinking outside the box. It also means you respect the make up of the community, allowing it to develop into its own sound and feel. Asking a 14 member orchestra to play Beethoven is ludicrous, but how many people lead under the impression that they have to s0me how sound like Beethoven when the DNA of the community is equipped to play Rae Gae, or Indy music. The goal is not to cut a record label, the goal is to make music! Check it out.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

70. The Nations

This being the 70th post I think it only right to do something about the Nations. As early as Genesis 10, the nations have been on Gods mind. Living in a global village like we are today, it is still astounding that some parts of the world are still insulated form the technological advances that sweep across and entire nation like America but can somehow not make it into the places that need it the most. In his book about poverty, .... says that it is an anomaly that we can get the book "Harry Potter" half way across the world and released on the same day but we can not get mosquito masks to Africa to prevent people from dying from malaria.

Jesus commanded us to penetrate the nations in Matthew 28. In the old testament, the nations would flow into Jerusalem. The holy city was the mecca of the Jews and as such the Jews constructed an ethnocentric view of themselves. Jesus shatters this ethnocentric identity and pointed the church towards a boundary crossing adventure. The disciples were to bring a great reversal and flow into the nations with the good news of the Kingdom. God has always had a heart for the nations.

However, we should not get confused about this word "nations." In the Greek it is ethnos, which is where we get our word ethnicity. There is a difference between culture and ethnicity, but they do share some common space. Jesus was not just referring to geographic boundaries on maps. There are multiple ethnicity's and cultures shoved up against each other in urban centers and the outlying regions of the megalopolis'. Jesus points us towards these ethnic groups, subcultures, races and says "MAKE DISCIPLES"!!!!!.

In order to live into this calling, we need a specific form of leadership. A boundary crossing, multi-cultural, ethnically equipped leadership. Jesus knew it would take a specific category of people to carry out this task of infiltrating the different ethnic centers with the god news. he called the people apostles. Apostolic leadership is at the enter of God's heart for the nations.

70 has always been the representation of the Nations and finds its origins in the table of nations in Genesis 1. It is interesting that the 2nd Temple period was characterized by a form of leadership that had as its characterizing number ...70. The Sanhedrin was a doctrinal and moral council in the matters of the law. How ironic that the group who was formed around the symbolic table of nations had not intentions on being a light to the nations. They morphed into an exclusive style of leadership that narrowed its focus to the concerns of its own people. It is very analogous to the Shepherd-Teacher system of leadership in the church today cant help but have its eyes on the flock.

We need to recapture this vision for the nations and re-activate a missional posture towards the world. There are more ethnic groups than 70 in the world right now, and this is true probably true in Yuri own city!

May apostles flood the nations with the good news!

Friday, November 20, 2009

69. The Ten Faces of Innovation

Been reading a really cool book on Innovation by one of the founders of IDEO, a cutting edge design company. They list ten persona's of innovation. Here are they are in readers digest version. I especially like the first 2 sections.

The first 3 are Learning Persona's

1. The Anthropologist - brings new insight by observing human behavior - i.e. your insightful incarnationalist
2. The Experimenter - Prototypes new ideas by trial and error
3. The Cross-Pollinator - Explores other organizations and cultures and translates into unique revelations that fit their context

The next 3 are Organizing Persona's - savvy about the counter intuitive process of how organizations move ideas forward.

4. The Hurdler - develops a knack for outsmarting the road blocks to innovation
5. The Collaborator - helps bring eclectic groups together and often leads from the middle of the pack to create new combination's of multidisciplinary solutions
6. The Director - gathers together a talented cast and crew and sparks their creative talents.

The next 4 are the Building Persona's

7. The Experience Architect - designs compelling experiences that go beyond mere functionality to connect at a deeper level
8. The Set Designer - creates an environment/stage on which innovation team members can do their best work
9. The Caregiver - builds on the metaphor of a health care professional. They anticipate needs and create solutions before there is a problem
10. The Storyteller - builds internal morale and external awareness through stories

My favorite quote so far is:

"The devils advocate may never go away, but on a good day, the innovative types can keep him in his place. Or tell him to go to hell."

68. Dunbars Number and Intimacy in Community

Ever thought to take a step back and look at your social network from a numerical stand point? The diagram below groups people into various numerical segments. With the technology of facebook, twitter, and all the social networking tools out there, the number of friends eventually blends into the number of acquaintances. The question is, just how many friends can you have? I know for myself I love having a lot of friends. y wife on the other hand is more of a smaller cluster of friends type person. I am an extrovert and she is an introvert.

Seth Godin in his blog highlights the curious, but intuitively accurate concept of Dunbars Number. I think there is something to be said for larger gatherings. However, we must ask our selves, Whats the Point? If we are supposed to be making disciples, and this involves cultivating authentic relationships, why would we want to go any higher than 150 people?

It is a proven fact that any larger than this leads to the breakdown of the collective interpersonal capacities of the people in the tribe. I think a lot of churches settle for ambient intimacy and try to cultivate true intimacy in their small group ministries. I think the idea of Missional Orders being at the 5-15 level, Missional Villages at 15-35 and Missional Tribes being at the 35-150 mark is a good place to start on how to organize an organic simple church network. I would personally love to have a group of 150 people to hang out with once a month and synergize for the Kingdom. God willing, we will multiply our small missional band/order into a group this size. But the goal is transformation of people into the image of God and mission.

Monday, November 16, 2009

67. Back Yard Theater

Being a missional-incarnational community requires creativity and outside the box thinking. Once you see yourself as someone who is sent into your neighborhood, it forces you into a whole new set of questions like: How do we get to know our neighbors? How do we cultivate menaingful relationships with those in our context?

I came across this cool site today that helps you turn your back yard, or front yard for that matter, into a theater. What a great idea! Need to get to know your neighbors? Want to meet some kids from the down the street? Put on a free movie night in your front or back yard. Check out this site: Backyard Theater

A few more ideas to facilitate relationships with those in your immediate geographic community:

1. Buy a bottle of wine and leave it on your neighbors door step with a note attached saying: Would love to get to know you. Give us a call and we will do it over this bottle of wine. (Ripped from Hugh Halter:-)

2. Facilitate a neighborhood wide yard sale.

3. Conduct a door to door survey about how well people know their neighbors in your neighborhood.

4. If you are into gardening, pass out a flyer letting people know you will help them grow a garden or plant a few flowers or veggies in their yard...for free of course!

5. We have found that Prayer Walking your neighborhood before doing any of these things is crucial to God helping you find ways to engage your neighborhood.

6. Anyone else out there have any ideas about facilitating community and relationships in your neighborhood? Please leave a comment. I will add them to the list.

There are multiple spheres to connect with people on. Neighborhood, Workplace, social networks etc. I am all about connecting with people in a 3rd place like Starbucks. But what about our own neighborhoods? These kinds of ideas I listed can go over in an urban or sub-urban neighborhood. Take a stab at it.

Monday, November 09, 2009

66. Prophesying

You know, I have always been creeped out by this word because it has always been used in a context that was spooky or full of drama. I have only within the past few years been embracing this gifting within the body. The problem has of course been abuse. Last night someone operated in the gift of prophesy towards one of the people in our group and it was a beautiful picture of how the gift of prophecy is to be used to build up the body. I had to stop the group after it was done and say "This is what prophesy looks like by the way." There was a revealing of God intelligence, there was building up of someone in the body, and there was a sense of Gods presence there in the room. No shock and awe, no flashy drama, but it was definitely a God thing. So thankful for this gift in the body! A really cool book I have read lately on prophecy is The Prophetic Imagination by Walter Bruegemann.