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The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.
As a pastor, I always felt that the holy grail of church leadership was to develop a staff-led church. (I give a full analysis and review of the model here.) In this model, the pastor is essentially a CEO. I’ve heard of churches that have changed huge systems in their church as a result of an edict from their CEO-type pastor. No oversight. No discussion. Only implementation. I’ve done quite a bit of research on this model and was convinced that this was the way to go.
I also assumed that any large church used this model. I thought this was the only way to lead a large church.
As I accepted the call to come to Pioneer Memorial Church in 2011, a church with over 3,800 members, I was keenly interested to learn how things work at this level.
So how are decisions made at PMC?
Spiritual benefits are often touted as the most important reasons to be in a small group.
Being in a small group consistently for the last two years has taught me that there may be an even larger benefit: community.
I know that may sound a little heretical coming from a pastor, but think through this with me. Not everyone has an interest in studying the Bible. Not everyone wants to be involved in discipleship. But one of the biggest needs in society these days is community. Real community. Friendships. Family.
Here’s how this plays out in a large church like Pioneer Memorial.
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed or not, but I haven’t written much on Modern Ekklesia lately.
I’ve been finishing this e-book, which has taken up a large amount of my extra time. Much more than I expected. In the process, though, I feel like I’ve learned a few lessons on writing that I’d like to share with you. Some of these lessons came as the results of hiring an editor and seeing my e-book marked up.
(This is a guest post by Tiago Arrais. He is currently finishing his PhD in Old Testament from Andrews University. After this post about JaRule going to church received so many comments, I asked him to give a response. While every denomination has had debates on this issue, this response takes into account issues and history directly related to the Seventh-day Adventist Church)
The question I want to address in this post is: where do conceptions of formal dress-codes in church come from?
This post is a reflection upon some of the reactions that came from an earlier post in this blog about the relevance of dress-codes in the church. I have found that there are at least two positions concerning this issue:
A. Those who understand that formal dress-codes are necessary to maintain a level of reverence, of respect, to the God that we as a church worship together and to represent Him well by the way we dress to the world.
B. Those that understand that in order for the church to be a place that welcomes all, it must not create any barriers (such as formal dress-codes) that would hinder anyone from entering through its doors.
Before I begin my ramblings here I must say that I do not believe there is one clear answer concerning what we are to do concerning dress-codes. This is naturally what people would like. But, unfortunately, we need to embrace the fact that some issues/problems we have today are of no concern to the writers of Scripture. These issues are sort of a holy version of the “first world problems” we have today. Example: we get “upset” when our phone battery dies while we are sending an email. You get the picture.
There are two schools of thought regarding personal development and getting “good” at something. At one end is the perfectionist. That’s someone who is looking to produce the masterpiece. This person will spend a lot of time studying and learning and even crafting that one perfect thing. On the other end is someone, who at face value, is not as talented, but who produces a lot.
Who will end up becoming better at something?
There’s been a decent amount of study and analysis devoted to this question. Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Outliers, devoted a whole book to the matter. He found that people who succeed and become experts are those who have devoted 10,000 hours of practice and development in a certain field.
I’ve recently become inspired anew in this arena after reading a few articles that deal with the same principle.
I’d like to make my blog better and more relevant to your needs and interests. To do that, I’d love to know more about you, the reader. As a result, I have created my 2014 Reader Survey.
Thanks for lending your voice. To take the survey click here.
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