The missionary life is, let's face it, luxurious, unreal and a little bit scary. Now I don't doubt that for some missionaries, the word "luxurious" may raise a few hackles. I know many of my brothers and sisters out there are having a really hard time. But at the same time, I imagine that most of them still have the freedom to decide their own schedules, to determine their own workload, and to prioritize spending time with people - rather than having to get up and do whatever someone else tells them, which is most of how their friends back home live.
I was asked recently by the editor of our in-house magazine to come up with something controversial for him to print. Well, he didn’t use those exact words, but the implication was very much there. And he pointed out a phrase I used a while back about church planting, and wondered if I could expand upon it. Here we go. Read more about Plantatio ecclesiae
I've got a load of things to write about tonight, but I'll get this one out of the way because it's quick and snarky.
I'm with some friends in Hokkaido, and I just got passed a copy of Rob Bell's Velvet Elvis. I pretty much sat down and read it in one sitting - at least, as much as I could with two young kids crawling over me. There's some great stuff about the provisional nature of Biblical interpretation and the fluid nature of doctrine. I was going to pull out a bunch of quotes and post them here.
That'd be Tom Wright, in Time magazine. Nothing unusual to anyone who's read anything of Tom Wright's stuff, but the whole interview is superb stuff. And certainly makes a lot more sense of the New Testament texts than the whole clouds-and-angels approach.
And they'd be shorter sermons too.
OK, I said it was coming. Here goes.
There's a big huge rant which occasioned this post which I hope I will write down soon, but for now, here's a solid gold principle:
Argh, so much to do and so little time. I have of course another sermon this weekend to write, and this time - the third Sunday - in Japanese. This takes twice to three times as long as doing a sermon in English. But fear not, I still do do the same kind of preparation for those sermons; here's part of my preparation for this week's:
As a mission, we at WEC say that we go "where the need is". Not where it's easy, or where it's personally convenient, but where the need is. And, well, I could be cynical but for the most part we do that pretty well. I keep forgetting how well we do it.