SUBMITTED TO BAKKE GRADUATE UNIVERSITY OF MINISTRY
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE DEGREE REQUIREMENTS OF A
DOCTOR OF MINIST...
ii
ii
CONTENTS
CHAPTER
1
CHAPTER 1
BOOK REVIEWS
I verify that the following list represents all of the books I have read for this course, the
page ...
5
Transforming Power: Biblical Strategies for Making a Difference in Your Community
Robert C. Linthicum
Inter Varsity Pres...
6
Sub-Merge: Living Deep in a Shallow World
John B. Hayes
Regal (2006)
This book is a call to serve God by working with th...
7
A Theology as Big as the City
Ray Bakke
Inter Varsity Press (1997)
The main concept of this book is to present both the ...
8
Orthodox Alaska: A Theology of Mission
Michael Oleska
SVS Press (1992)
The author wrote this book because two centuries ...
9
The Call
Os Guinness
W Publishing Group (1998)
This is a powerful book about the purpose of life and discovering God’s c...
10
Globalizing Theology
Craig Ott and Harold Netland
Baker Academic (2006)
These essays examine the impact of globalizatio...
11
Street Signs: A New Direction in Urban Ministry
Ray Bakke and Jon Sharpe
New Hope Publishers (2006)
Ray Bakke has said ...
12
The Lexus and the Olive Tree
Thomas Friedman
Anchor Books (2000)
This book is about understanding globalization as an i...
13
Transforming Mission
David J. Bosch
Orbis Books (1993)
In this book the author describes a major paradigm shift that is...
14
Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America
Darrell L. Guder
Eerdmans Publishing Company ...
15
Reclaiming our Prodigal Sons and Daughters
Scott Larson and Larry Brendtro
National Education Service (2000)
Scott Lars...
16
Stewardship: Choosing Service Over Self Interest
Peter Block
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. (1993)
Many organizations...
17
Renewing the City: Reflections on Community Development and Urban Renewal
Robert Lupton
Inter Varsity Press (2005)
In t...
CHAPTER 2
JOURNAL
Day 1: January 12, 2009
Wow, today was incredible! I have been looking forward to this day for a long
ti...
19
China and India are the largest English speaking countries in the world. Africa is the
fastest growing urban continent....
20
injustices, mostly to the Native American people who were here before settlers arrived.
We visited Columbia Tower, the ...
21
in London and now serves as a missionary in Houston, Texas. To my right were two
women from Hong Kong who shared their ...
22
occurs when these men see the pastor’s name all over the bulletins and on the sign
entering the church. Urbanism is the...
23
Pike Place Market is a shopping area in Seattle which happens to be the number
one tourist attraction in the area. Ray ...
24
Today we had lectures all day from urban ministry leaders. Randy White talked
about conceptualizing the city, and speci...
25
Christians in each sector. Christian leaders can serve as connectors between institutions.
Christians with an overly in...
26
ourselves from painful places, and we become unable to enter effectively into the pain of
others.
Damian Emetuche, a We...
27
A lot of the information presented today challenged my worldview. The biggest
stretch came for me when Kris Rocke lectu...
28
Day 4: January 15, 2009
This morning I led a devotional time for the whole group with two new African
American friends,...
29
high standards for volunteer outreach workers. This kind of volunteer work is very
demanding, so it is not for everyone...
30
standards for their mentors, which is also a strong point of LAMP. Over the years
Ruthruff had progressed to the point ...
31
Day 5: January 16, 2009
Ray Bakke started the day off with a lecture on reflective leadership. This year
marks his 50th...
32
past two thousand years of Christian history? Both horizontal and vertical aspects of the
great commission are essentia...
33
leaders lead by serving. The hierarchy is turned upside down, and the leader views their
role as equipping others to su...
34
Thankfully, Errika Jones from the Pittsburgh Board of Education was an excellent mentor
and she was very patient with m...
35
share what he has learned with other people. For instance, his library has over 9,000
books from all over the world org...
36
When I return to Pittsburgh I would like to spend some time with my mentees in
places that have historical significance...
37
After the Aquarium I headed up to Pike Place Market where I bumped into four
friends from Overture I. They invited me t...
38
because there is nothing like a city that is involved in a sports championship run. It is an
incredible sense of commun...
39
Christianity. BGU values Biblical theology instead of one particular type of systematic
theology, and consistency with ...
40
of our stewardship. Humans were made for working, being in community, making
decisions, reproducing, and worshiping. Th...
41
called by God to their areas of impact. The church should pay more attention to
equipping people who have a calling for...
42
Day 9: January 20, 2009
This morning Ron Ruthruff spoke to our group. Ruthruff’s life has been to
advocate for troubled...
43
Cognitively, the older a person is, the better they cope. Children become
extremely desensitized to violence and sexual...
44
Pastors can decide to grow a church big rather than grow a big church. This is
done through connections, conversations,...
45
department, nonprofit organizations, and city hall. BGU values diversity and
partnerships, and today I was able to see ...
46
This morning Grace Barnes talked to us about balancing our lives while we are
working on a doctorate degree. Balance is...
47
challenges are facing us today? Given who we are today, what do we see ourselves
becoming in the future? Do we have suf...
48
years. Although it has been a rough road at times, they were not afraid to take risks and
lead the organization in a ne...
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
Bakke Graduate University - Overture I
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Bakke Graduate University - Overture I

  1. 1. SUBMITTED TO BAKKE GRADUATE UNIVERSITY OF MINISTRY IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE DEGREE REQUIREMENTS OF A DOCTOR OF MINISTRY OVI 701/OVERTURE I: SEATTLE – PERSPECTIVES ON LEADERSHIP/SPIRITUAL RESOURCES FOR THE TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADER JANUARY 2009 BY BRYAN MCCABE
  2. 2. ii ii
  3. 3. CONTENTS CHAPTER 1
  4. 4. CHAPTER 1 BOOK REVIEWS I verify that the following list represents all of the books I have read for this course, the page on which you will find my book review, and the number of pages read for each book. BookTitle Page#of book review #ofpages read Transforming Power 6 204 Sub-Merge 7 280 A Theology as Big as the City 8 221 Orthodox Alaska 9 252 The Call 10 249 Globalizing Theology 11 382 Street Signs 12 285 The Lexus and the Olive Tree 13 490 Transforming Mission 14 587 Missional Church 15 280 Reclaiming Our Prodigal Sons and Daughters 16 200 Stewardship 17 264 Renewing the city 18 240 TOTAL PAGES READ 3934 4
  5. 5. 5 Transforming Power: Biblical Strategies for Making a Difference in Your Community Robert C. Linthicum Inter Varsity Press (2003) The main idea of this book is relational power, especially as it relates to the engagement of Christians in urban ministry and community development. The first part of the book provides a foundation for a theology of power through such Biblical examples as the lives of Nehemiah and Jesus. The second part of the book is more practical with strategies clearly outlined for people who want to make a difference in developing their communities. The author argues that Christians must engage in the proper understanding and usage of power through relationships, although many evangelical Christians have tended to shy away from the use of power in the world over the past century. The first couple of chapters present the various dynamics of healthy and dysfunctional communities. The next section focuses on specific ways that Christians utilize relational power to engage broken systems, with Jesus and Paul serving as guides. Linthicum says that Paul was “very sophisticated in his understanding of and use of power, and that use of power was built upon a highly developed theology of public life.” (113) From the material that is presented, the reader gathers that Christians have a crucial role to play in public life in our modern society. In fact, many aspects of a healthy community, or what the author describes as shalom in the city, become broken when Christians fail to engage in the use of power. The remaining chapters in the book focus on the exchange of relational power through individual meetings, which lead to the mobilization of the broader church, or body of Christ, en mass in the engagement of relational power. The author also presents strategies for strengths and weaknesses that can occur when the church becomes powerful. For instance, Linthicum cites accountability, confrontation, civil disobedience, negotiation, and agitation as five biblically-based strategies that the church can use to take on corrupt systems. Of all of these actions, the author argues that confrontation is the most difficult for the church to utilize because they “believe it to be inconsistent with a loving, Christ-like faith. But… you can’t hope to bring about change – in a church or in a Christian organization or the world – and avoid confrontation.” (171) Linthicum’s main points are very timely in a modern climate in America where Christians are disengaging from systematic power issues in order to pursue a more individualized brand of spirituality apart from the inconveniences and messiness of power struggles. I believe that this generates a huge void that many government and social service agencies are more than willing to fill. Unfortunately, a healthy society will never be fully restored if the church disengages. However, one common misconception that I hear from people is that the church, defined by some as the people located in a building on Sunday mornings, must be the only source of power to rise up in order for communities to be transformed. I’m learning about the power of a theology of work, which outlines the need to build relational power with Christians who are leaders in the business world, politics, and other “secular” systems in society. These leaders also must be considered in the mobilization of the church toward issues of systemic change.
  6. 6. 6 Sub-Merge: Living Deep in a Shallow World John B. Hayes Regal (2006) This book is a call to serve God by working with the poor, vulnerable, and marginalized people of society. The author goes into detail about several missions strategies that are currently being utilized throughout the urban world, with a special emphasis on incarnational living as a key to transformational leadership. He points out that “nearly 1 in 10 verses in the Bible speaks of the poor in some way.” (101) The author does a good job describing the needs of the poor around the world, but that is not really the major theme of the book. The focus is on mobilizing people to join in community with other incarnational leaders in order to connect more effectively with people in need. Great joy can be found in discovering shared experiences within a missional community. The author suggests that the Western church is obsessed with process, and not necessarily solutions. We are also driven to succeed according to Western norms. This modern culture of performance and outcomes presents an enormous obstacle for those that choose to sub-merge into inner city ministry. Innovative and creative strategies are outlined in the book to equip leaders who are interested in moving counter-culturally to work amongst the poor. At first impression, an observer might think that the author is advocating for everyone to move to inner cities around the world in order to become effective Christians by living incarnationally among the poor. Actually, while the author presents a good case for living purposefully as a Christian among the poor, he also presents a unique perspective on the advantages and disadvantages of this aspect of purposeful living. The stories in the book are very inspirational, and good stories move people to action. The author throws out a tremendous challenge to the body of Christ in the first part of the book, but then he seems to let up toward the end by describing in detail all of the many challenges and difficulties associated with sub-merging. So, the strategies about incarnational living are a strong point of the book, but the difficulties outlined can be perceived by the reader as discouraging. I must admit that I have considered living incarnationally prior to reading this book. Ray Bakke and Robert Linthicum introduced this idea in books I had previously read on urban ministry. After reading this book, I really took a step back from everything to consider incarnational ministry as a calling. I have been equally torn between developing the property I live on as a mentoring center for LAMP, or moving to the east end of Pittsburgh to live incarnationally with the children and families that I am mentoring. I have actually delayed making a decision on this matter because I wanted to read books like this and spend time in Seattle for Overture I to gain a broader perspective on God’s calling for my life. The incarnational strategies really resonated with me, and I can see myself living in the city. On the other hand, I am now more interested in developing relationships with others who might want to sub-merge with me instead of obsessing over real estate. This book taught me that community is the key to incarnational ministry, although the actual location needs to be we well thought out.
  7. 7. 7 A Theology as Big as the City Ray Bakke Inter Varsity Press (1997) The main concept of this book is to present both the need for an urban theology and also Ray Bakke’s search for a theology of the city based on his life experiences. God values cities, although most systematic theologies are developed through a rural lens. After an overview of the need for an urban theology, the author addresses urban theology from Genesis all of the way through the Bible to Revelation. The author argues that the primary challenge to effective urban ministry in the 21st century is theological, although other challenges are demographic, missiological, ecclesiastical, and financial. Christian leaders will not be effective in addressing global urban issues unless they are solidly grounded and equipped with an urban theological base. An important aspect of urban theology is a sense of place, a concept that has been lost on many Protestant churches in recent years. Power is also a theme often addressed by the author. The chapters of this book actually present the information along the lines of the chapters in the Bible. For instance, the second chapter entitled “God’s Hands Are in the Mud” presents an overview of the urban theological concepts found in the book of Genesis. God demonstrates in Genesis that He values His creation, and that He partners with us to steward its resources. From an urban perspective, many Christians “throw away” deteriorated city neighborhoods even though God values their redemption. Bakke identifies Philippians and Colossians as two different and unique perspectives on community development and spiritual transformation. He presents insight into the public spirituality of Colossians and the personal spirituality of Philippians. The author argues that both forms of spirituality are crucial to the fabric of a healthy urban community. He writes, “Of this I am sure: we will never have healthy ministry in our largest cities until we can affirm both Philippian and Colossian Christologies and the spiritualities they embody and then bring them together in the ministry of the church.” (162) This concept is great, but one limitation of this book is that much more could have been written about each of the concepts covered in the chapters. A great foundation has been put in place by this book, and perhaps future authors will expand on Bakke’s arguments which would expand the field of urban theology. This book was most valuable to my work in the area of urban and suburban partnerships. The ideas also carried over very well to the LAMP partnerships between churches and schools. Although the social gospel concepts were emphasized, I also gleaned a great deal of practical application toward my personal spirituality. I was forced to ask myself, “What biases do I have toward reading and understanding the Bible?” Because of my life experiences, I would definitely say that I have always read the Bible through a rural, white, middle class, American lens. Reading this book encouraged me to expand my view of scripture.
  8. 8. 8 Orthodox Alaska: A Theology of Mission Michael Oleska SVS Press (1992) The author wrote this book because two centuries of Christian mission in Alaska have produced unique truths and principles that are significant, not only locally in relation to Alaskan societal issues, but also globally for the universal body of Christ. He presents a unique historical overview of issues that have many distinctive applications to contemporary missional contexts. Oleska says about the book, “There is much history in this volume, however its focus is not the past but the future. Its primary purpose is to remind the Church that her mission extends beyond human concerns and issues, beyond politics, economics and even beyond “religion,” as the subject is popularly understood.” (12) Context is an important theme in this book. In the Alaskan history of mission efforts, early Orthodox mission leaders understood that the Holy Spirit was moving in the region before they arrived. They were careful to maintain the integrity of local values, traditions, and symbols in seeking a common understanding through valuable relationships with the indigenous population. In more years, the author argues, Protestant missionaries and the U.S. government have caused tremendous harm to the people in the Alaskan region through their lack of cultural sensitivity and overbearing impositions of religion and law. Many programs and missionary efforts in recent years have been well intentioned, but they have actually created a cycle of oppression for many Alaskan people. As Oleska puts it, “Indigenous peoples whose cultures have been disrupted and denigrated by technologically superior societies inevitably suffer traumatic demoralization and almost irreparable spiritual damage.” (194) Other chapters in this book focus on the value of creation and relationships. The indigenous Alaskan population has traditionally valued these things as inseparable from their spirituality. However, the author argues that the rise of modernism and its secular fragmentation or compartmentalization have proven to be detrimental to their spirituality which places such a high value on creation and relationships. Thus, assimilation to the mainstream American modern society (and many Western religious norms) is counterintuitive to native Alaskan spirituality. The church has a crucial role to play in the world. The body of Christ “must condemn and renounce all cultural imperialism, within itself first of all, and then in society.” (214) This book really gets to the heart of many things that are wrong in the Church today. People all over the world with good intentions are causing great harm, both in the church and in broader societies, through what Oleska describes very well in this book as cultural imperialism. Sometimes when I am in church or having discussions with other Christians, I get a check in my spirit about certain ideas or suggestions that are culturally insensitive. I operate in a world of urban/suburban partnerships. I also operate in a world of racial tension and misunderstandings related to class perspectives. A great deal of my time is spent helping well-meaning Christians navigate through these issues. On a personal level, an important aspect of this program at BGU is the focus on equipping me to understand context in engaging culture as a Christian leader.
  9. 9. 9 The Call Os Guinness W Publishing Group (1998) This is a powerful book about the purpose of life and discovering God’s call. The author first gives a foundation of the reason for pursuing meaning to life through a relationship with God. He gives an overview of the many different aspects of calling which are often confused or misrepresented in modern society. The author argues that we can only find our purpose in life by responding to the call of Jesus Christ. This is the only way that we will ever find our true selves. He argues that most of everything that our modern, Western culture directs us to in the area of life purpose is false. He also argues that this is true amongst secular and Christian movements in our modern culture such as the prosperity gospel that is being preached in many American churches. He also goes into great detail about what he calls the Catholic distortion and the Protestant distortion. He asserts that both of these distortions are crippling followers of Christ from fulfilling the roles that they were meant to fill in a society. Followers of Christ must first and foremost be called into life purpose for the Audience of One (God). Most of the chapters in the body of the book cover the aspects of calling such as listening to God, giftedness, passion, heroism, morality, personal calling, corporate calling, journeying, vision, embracing the ordinary, gratitude, suffering, rejection, timing, and finishing well as a follower of Christ. Also, the chapters cover the various pitfalls of the pursuit of calling such as the temptations of conceit, envy, greed, sloth, secularization, privatization, and pluralization. This book is strong in the deep insights that the author gives to the subject of calling. The stories at the beginning of each chapter are very interesting, and they provide a solid foundation for the main points. I honestly found no limitations in the content. Many profound points are clearly presented on each topic in each chapter, and seemingly in each paragraph. I actually had to reread much of this book over and over again. It seems at the first read as though the author is presenting fundamental information that should be relatively basic. However, the fundamental information is presented in such a profound way, and with such unique anecdotes, that I was forced to wrestle with my own calling and worldview during the reading of each chapter. It took me a long time to read this book because I really slowed down to process everything that the author was trying to say. My favorite chapter was about how calling impacts vision. Guinness provided a quote from T. E. Lawrence that I will never forget. Lawrence wrote about vision, “All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did.” (175) I would absolutely love to life a life with that kind of vision and purpose!
  10. 10. 10 Globalizing Theology Craig Ott and Harold Netland Baker Academic (2006) These essays examine the impact of globalization on Christianity, and more specifically, various aspects of Christian theology. The editors of this book argue that “globalization and the emergence of world Christianity have profound implications on how we do theology.” (15) The essays were written to develop an understanding of the fusion between local trends in Christianity and universal perspectives that may transcend cultural norms. The chapters in the book are grouped into three sections. The first section outlines the significant challenges to theology brought about by the process of globalization and a new, worldwide Christianity. The second section focuses on several key methods utilized to understand globalizing theology. The third section presents more comprehensive viewpoints into a range of issues connected to the church, theology, and globalization. All of the sections work well together in the construction of a foundation in which to examine global theological concepts, from both a historical and a modern perspective. Andrew Walls argued that the “Christian life and thought, taking as its norm the incarnation of the divine Word, requires incarnation, embodiment in the cultural specifics of a particular time and place. Generations may be utterly diverse, therefore, in their understanding and experience of the grace of God and yet belong together in the ultimate purpose of God.” (76) This was great insight into the seemingly complicated realm of context in the spread of worldwide Christianity. I thought Kevin Vanhoozer made some great points when he described in depth the importance of embracing context during the process of theological study. He argued that “the most insidious effect of globalization is homogenization – of culture, of religion.” (101) Many forms of Christianity in America are a homogenous blend of culture and religion, or beliefism. Christian theologians must be careful to avoid the negative factors associated with globalization. In the section on methodology, Lois McKinney Douglas argued that “in doing global theologizing, it is important for committed Christian theologians from around the world to develop a metatheological framework that enables them to understand, compare, and evaluate local theologies, the questions each is seeking to answer, and the sociocultural contexts in which each must define the gospel.” (302) Christians can be easily led astray as a result of globalization if they are unable or unwilling to develop a solid framework with which to study scripture. This book had some major impact on the perspectives I take into my work on a daily basis. I often feel terribly ill-equipped to navigate through cross-cultural issues related to LAMP’s suburban/urban relationships, church/state partnerships, and racial reconciliation. The material presented in these essays has helped me to build a foundation to be confident in understanding globalization and cross-cultural issues related to Christianity. Many of the authors provided historical overviews of the nature of the relationship between theology and many differing global worldviews. A major takeaway for me was the importance of understanding context as I work with LAMP families and their mentees.
  11. 11. 11 Street Signs: A New Direction in Urban Ministry Ray Bakke and Jon Sharpe New Hope Publishers (2006) Ray Bakke has said that people seem to be more interested in how he learns than in what he has actually learned over a lifetime of urban ministry involvement. In this book, the authors present many of the tangible strategies they have utilized in city consultations all over the world so that modern Christian leaders might be more equipped to lead in a global environment that is rapidly urbanizing and globalizing. The authors break this book up into two sections. In the first section, Ray Bakke gives an overview of his journey in urban ministry over the past fifty years. He also provides some basic urban ministry concepts that will surely guide contemporary Christian leaders in areas such as the processes of urbanization, embracing the city as a parish, the importance of searching for signs of hope in modern cities, and a basic overview of the urban consultation process in community development. Jon Sharpe briefly describes his journey of involvement in urban ministry, followed by an overview of the leadership style of Barnabas and the process of completing effective consultations applicable to urban environments all over the world. Ray Bakke argues that “fundamentally, for Christians, especially for church and mission leaders, we need a new way of thinking about missions, a new worldview or paradigm, if you please.” (83) He goes on to state that “missions is no longer across the ocean and geographically distant: it is across the street and is culturally distant, in our cities and in cities on all six continents.” (83) Christian leaders need to adjust their worldview to “incorporate thinking globally while living locally.” (83) Jon Sharpe describes a powerful process of city consultations, in which “the best consultations come as a result of a long-term networking effort by trusted facilitators and the input of an outsider. The outsider brings a listening ear, a desire to learn from the city, and his or her power to convene the leadership of a city – social, political, and religious.” (216) In essence, Christian leaders in cities all over the world need to understand who needs to be at the table, what will be consulted upon, and how will the strategies be implemented. The whole process is very clearly articulated. I was very encouraged by this book. One of the things I have learned about urban ministry in Pittsburgh is that many leaders are willing to partner for the betterment of the city. Organizations from all over the city, including the Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation, the Pittsburgh Board of Education, nonprofit organizations, and churches have displayed a willingness to work together for positive outcomes on the overall development of the city. With so many people willing to partner, including organizations that are non- Christian, there are many opportunities for city consultations. I have been intimidated by this process at times, in which I often find myself in the position of building relationships in order to partner more effectively for the common good of the city. Inevitably, this process from which I often shy away is actually the process which might end up having the most impact in terms of community development and empowerment of the folks who are benefiting from services and support.
  12. 12. 12 The Lexus and the Olive Tree Thomas Friedman Anchor Books (2000) This book is about understanding globalization as an international system that is shaping the modern world. Although globalization is not new to humanity, this modern version is much more essential to understand than in the past because technology has accelerated it at a pace never before witnessed in human history. Friedman argues that globalization also has a wider societal impact now than ever before in the major facets of life such as economics, geography, politics, and the environment. The early chapters of the book focus on introducing globalization as the major global system replacing the Cold War system. The remaining sections of the book focus on the major systems in society and how they have been impacted, for better or worse, by globalization. One of the key arguments of the author is that nobody is in charge of the globalization system, so accountability and influence over the system are difficult to achieve. For instance, Friedman gives examples of economic collapses in remote, third world countries that now send huge shock waves throughout the entire global economic community via the connectedness of what he calls the Electronic Herd. The complexities of globalization generate many questions, which are clearly outlined by the author. However, concrete solutions are presented to many of the questions. Friedman asserts that countries can compete in the modern globalization by implementing what he calls the Golden Straitjacket, which has many different pieces that are clearly outlined in the content of this book. In basic terms, when a country “puts on the Golden Straitjacket, two things tend to happen: your economy grows and your politics shrinks.” (105) Countries need to see the globalization system, plug into the system, and continually deal with the backlash of the system. Friedman argues that “if there is a common denominator that runs through this book it is the notion that globalization is everything and its opposite. It can be incredibly empowering and incredibly coercive.” (406) Globalization as a system has the power to destroy itself or do great good for humanity. He published this book about ten years ago, but the concepts are remarkably applicable to the global economic crisis that is plaguing the world today. The globalization system has caused great economic harm recently, but it may also be just the thing that lifts the world out of the current troubles. Leaders in all sectors of life must seek to understand globalization. That is the only way that we will recover. I was appreciative of the understanding that I gained from reading this book on globalization. I believe it has profound implications for the local and universal church, in particular mission efforts. Church leaders must learn to understand systems, but unfortunately many Christian leaders today are shying away from systematic justice issues. When the church fails to fulfill her societal role, the world suffers. When Christians sink back from involvement in the complex issues, it creates a huge void in any society. I have conversations with Christians all of the time who throw their hands up in the air and say things like, “This whole world is going down the drain, I’ve lost all hope, and I’m just biding my time until Jesus comes back.” Although I hope for Jesus to come back just as much as the next person, I am amazed at how people disengage at complex systematic injustices. Our society needs Christian leaders to engage!
  13. 13. 13 Transforming Mission David J. Bosch Orbis Books (1993) In this book the author describes a major paradigm shift that is needed in the context of the current state of Christian missionary efforts. He argues that the Christian church is experiencing a major crisis that is not reversible, and it is one that is also reflective of the challenges of postmodern society. This book examines the contemporary missional crisis through the lens of two thousand years of missionary history in the church. The author of the book is David Bosch, an expert on Christian missionary efforts from South Africa who died tragically in an automobile accident in 1992. He broke the thirteen chapters of the book up into three sections. In the first section he clearly outlines the mission models found in the New Testament. Churches in the New Testament era are often held up as model versions of effective church activity, but the churches from that time period did not employ one specific type of missional model. They utilized a wide variety of models based on the context of the geographic regions and the movements of the Holy Spirit. In this sense, the author argues that “the New Testament witnesses to a fundamental shift when compared with the Old Testament. In surveying the paradigm shifts in missionary thinking I wish to suggest that the first and cardinal paradigm change took place with the advent of Jesus of Nazareth and what followed after that.” (15) In the second section, Bosch describes several historical paradigms of mission. He describes many reasons for Christian leaders to be creative in bringing the message of the gospel to the modern context. He says that “one of the basic reasons for having to do this, lies in the fact that the Christian faith is a historical faith. God communicates his revelation to people through human beings and through events, not by means of abstract propositions. This is another way of saying that the biblical faith, both Old and New Testament, is ‘incarnational’, the reality of God entering into human affairs.” (181) In the third section the author presents various aspects of relevant missiology including the paradigms of postmodernism, ecumenical missions, and the contemporary diversity in missional approaches within the church. Most importantly, all previous attempts at Christian missiology, especially those attempted during the Enlightenment period of human history, will not be influential anymore. The modern pitfalls such as purposeless individualism and overconfidence in one’s self have given way to what Bosch describes as the need to “reaffirm the indispensableness of conviction and commitment.” (362) We need to connect with other humans relationally for survival. God is moving anew in today’s modern society, and I feel that He has placed me uniquely in this situation at North Way Christian Community for the purpose that He has called me to. In many ways, the externally focused efforts at North Way are not understood as anything new in terms of the historical context of the church and the body of Christ. However, this book has taught me that while God may have moved in many different forms missionally in the past, He is up to something new in the postmodern context of history. This new form of missiology will require me to be multifaceted and multidimensional in my leadership approaches. The postmodern era is complex, and as Bosch put it, “our mission has to be multidimensional in order to be credible and faithful to its origins and character.” (512) As I see it, I need to lead with diverse strategies because I live and lead in a diverse world.
  14. 14. 14 Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America Darrell L. Guder Eerdmans Publishing Company (1998) This book examines problems within the North American church from a spiritual and theological perspective. Central to this focus is mission, or sending, which the authors describe as “the central biblical theme describing the purpose of God’s action in human history.” (4) The authors argue that the Western church has lost sight of this missional focus, and the only way it can be rediscovered is through reshaping our theology. While the first chapter gives a general overview of the main thesis, chapters two and three give an absolutely amazing historical portrait of the North American church and Western culture since the Enlightenment period. I would highly recommend this book to any person because these two chapters alone are so significant to understanding the nuances of the make-up of the modern, and now postmodern, church. The authors point out that “the churches in both the United States and Canada have developed a type of functional Christendom in the form of a churched culture… Therefore today we find churches seeking a public voice but finding that they are no longer taken seriously. Their voice in the United States has been marginalized into a highly personalized and privatized practice of faith.” (60) Since the second and third chapters provide such a great context, chapters four through six focus on how the church should express itself in terms of evangelization and missional efforts. The remaining chapters focus on framing this vocation of the church in tangible terms. As such, leadership and structures are listed as important components of a modern missional church. The section on contextual leadership was of particular importance to me. The authors describe how Christendom and modernity have shaped current leadership efforts in the church, and they argue that “the shape of leadership in any particular location is a matter of historical antecedents and deep cultural values.” (190) I feel as though I am unable to describe in words the powerful impact of this book on my worldview. Modern Christian leaders really need to have a solid understanding of historical perspective and a grasp of the modern context. God is always moving, and He really desires for His church to be fully immersed in a missional vocation. The great surprise for many North Americans is that due to the influences of modernism and postmodernism, massive missional efforts are now needed in our own areas. This is a shift away from the sending model of previous generations, which focused on sustaining church health at home while sending missionaries overseas. As a person who is involved in mobilizing a large North American church out into the local community through efforts aimed at impacting troubled youth, orphans, seniors, and the homeless population in Pittsburgh, this book helped me to grasp that the problems faced in these mobilization efforts might have less to due with strategic program planning or implementation and more to do with the spiritual and theological base of our congregation. This is due in part to the larger cultural phenomenon known as postmodernism which has a grip on contemporary culture, but church leaders should be aware and ready to meet this challenge within an effective theological framework.
  15. 15. 15 Reclaiming our Prodigal Sons and Daughters Scott Larson and Larry Brendtro National Education Service (2000) Scott Larson and Larry Brendtro present a case for moving away from traditional ineffective approaches used in connecting with at-risk youth in order to implement more appropriate strategies with a particular focus on the spiritual, or heart, level of young people. This book is timely because many books written about programs and philosophies designed to impact troubled youth often bypass the importance of the spiritual development of adolescents. These authors clearly articulate strategies that are appropriately designed to address the multitude of complex youth development issues in our modern society. The book is divided into two sections. The first section focuses on the problem, or what has gone wrong with wayward youth in modern society. The first chapter presents a new type of adolescent. According to the authors, “teenagers of the twenty- first century are worlds apart from the youth of a century earlier or from those being raised in more traditional cultures.” (5) This is because of three major shifts in our modern society: adolescents have become segregated from adults, they are being raised in a spiritual vacuum, and they are being nurtured by the media. In the second chapter the authors turn to the parable of the prodigal son, which “provides us with a fresh understanding of how we can reclaim wayward youth, regardless of the cause of their dilemma.” (11) The third, fourth, and fifth chapters focus on the brokenness in troubled adolescents, and the causes present in families, communities, and broader society which contribute to the brokenness. The second section of the book focuses on fresh strategies that are needed to support the development of adolescents. The authors clearly outline the basic concepts of reclaiming troubled adolescents through reparenting, redirecting, reconciling, and redeeming. The reparenting concept was very strong, defined as “providing a youth who is not closely attached to adults with bonds to a positive adult.” (99) This represents the heart of mentoring, and the authors demonstrate the huge need for this type of mentoring because “contemporary society is faced with scores of underparented kids.” (99) This was probably the most applicable book of any of the assigned readings for Overture I to my work with LAMP. I am a strong advocate for mentoring because I understand the unique power of individual relationships in supporting a wide variety of problems experienced by young people today. The authors outlined the need to develop courage in young people in order for them to thrive in society, and they said that “disadvantaged youths may actually have an advantage when it comes to developing the attribute of courage – as long as they have access to someone who can instill in them some of the essential building blocks for healthy development.” (72) The principles presented by these authors are easily transferable, and I have already begun implementing these solid concepts in mentor training sessions, leadership team meetings, and monthly mentor meetings. I have experienced an overwhelming response to the need for these types of resources in providing ongoing support for mentors involved in working with all types of adolescents.
  16. 16. 16 Stewardship: Choosing Service Over Self Interest Peter Block Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. (1993) Many organizations, as well as the people working within them, are struggling from a lack of purpose and fragmentation. This book presents stewardship as the means to moving past these issues. The author argues that individuals within an organization should learn how to be stewards of resources for the common good of society. Stewardship combats the compartmentalization process that is so rampant in American culture by moving individuals toward reconciliation, and the distribution of power that naturally follows. Through the application of stewardship principles, the leaders in an organization are strengthened and the organization itself is strengthened. The author presents the concepts of this book in three sections. In the first section, the author describes the process by which leadership is replaced by stewardship, patriarchy is replaced by partnership, safety is replaced by adventure and risk-taking, and self-interest is replaced by service. Block argues that “the principles of stewardship bring accountability into each act of governance, while partnership balances responsibility.” (27) In the second section of the book, the author describes the process of redistribution of power, purpose, and wealth. Block opens this section with the concept that “stewardship is a way to use power to serve through the practice of partnership and empowerment. This is the alternative to the conventional notions of ‘strong leadership’ for implementing changes.” (63) A stewardship contract is clearly outlined, and the ramifications for the organizational structure including management, staff, accounting, human resources, compensation, and evaluation are described in detail. This is the logistical part of the author’s ideas for stewardship principles. Part three presents the triumph of hope over experience. One of the major obstacles to stewardship is cosmetic reform. Patriarchy tends to regenerate itself when stewardship principles are implemented in an organization at a surface level. Through cosmetic change, “in a shifting, customer-driven environment, improvement efforts that produce no redistribution of power, purpose, or privilege will produce no real improvement.” (189) Stewardship principles provide an alternative to this approach. Instead of patriarchy, each step in the change process “needs to foster ownership and responsibility with all who touch it.” (204) Each person must own the vision of the organization. In the end, Block views true democracy as the means to implementing stewardship principles in order to change organizations more effectively. This book applies to my current context in that I need to view myself as a steward of the resources God has entrusted to me. A transformational leader is able to build relationships up to the powerful and down to the powerless, in order to give themselves away through the redistribution of resources. A major part of my role in LAMP involves the redistribution of power and resources, whether they involve people, money, or leadership, on behalf of the students and the families who live in the Homewood and East Hills section of the city of Pittsburgh. From this book, I learned it is important for leaders of initiatives to take care that the principles and changes being implemented in a project move beyond the programmatic level.
  17. 17. 17 Renewing the City: Reflections on Community Development and Urban Renewal Robert Lupton Inter Varsity Press (2005) In this book Robert Lupton retells the story of Nehemiah through a process called midrash, which is an ancient Jewish teaching method using imagination and imagery to add context to Scriptures. The first part of the book focuses on adding depth to the study of the Biblical book of Nehemiah. The second part of the book draws parallels between Nehemiah’s community development work in Jerusalem and modern day development efforts in American inner cities. Contemporary urban ministry principles are compared to ancient urban ministry principles. The author argues that the dilemmas facing urban ministry leaders long ago are relevant in resolving similar dilemmas today. One highlight of the book was a chapter about gentrification with justice, which argued that what is needed in cities is gentry “who will use their competencies and connections to ensure that their lower-income neighbors have a stake in their revitalizing neighborhood.” (124) Christians are called to care for the poor, and those who move back into the city from the suburbs need to think strategically about also caring for justice for their new neighbors. The book has another great chapter about vision and risk taking. Lupton speaks clearly and with credibility about need for strong visionary leadership from urban leaders. He argues that “Vision that is divinely authored – the kind that extends me far beyond my own abilities – requires a frightful level of risk taking. It is fundamentally different from strategy planning and goal setting. It requires me to let go of the security of predictable outcomes and venture into uncharted waters with little more than an inaudible internal voice as a guide. Such vision is not a product of human creativity; it is divinely conceived and implanted in the spirits of those who are willing to trust miracle over plan.” (151) Nehemiah was a visionary risk taker, and this is what is needed for all urban ministry leaders today. This is one of the author’s strongest points. The final chapters focus on different aspects of incarnational living. Cities may have a romantic appeal on people from an outside perspective (with their violence, noise, and drama), but everything becomes much more meaningful once the inner cities issues begin impacting one’s family and home. Programs are important, but good neighbors are much more important to the renewing of the city. I had been wrestling with many questions directly related to the content in this book before I started reading it. How can I be more effective as an urban ministry leader? Robert Lupton ministered in inner cities without living there for about ten years prior to moving incarnationally to the city. In this book he describes the process of how his ministry became much more effective once he moved to where he was serving. I have been wondering how much more effective I would be as a leader if I moved to inner city Pittsburgh. I also have had many questions about how this would impact my family, and Lupton gives some very unique perspectives on this subject in this book. I am grateful for the principles and stories he outlines in this book, which are in many ways timeless due to the midrash process he utilized to pull out applicable information from events that happened thousands of years ago. The most important principle I learned was that it matters where the people of God choose to locate themselves.
  18. 18. CHAPTER 2 JOURNAL Day 1: January 12, 2009 Wow, today was incredible! I have been looking forward to this day for a long time, and it was such a great experience. My first class started this morning, and I am writing this at night from my hotel room in downtown Seattle. About twenty students from around the world are at this class, representing places such as America, India, China, the Philippines, Amsterdam, Kenya, and Nigeria. This morning the academic dean at BGU, Grace Barnes, gave a lecture about being strangers since we are all meeting each other for the first time. She described the nature of transition because this program is a major life transition for all students. She also provided a helpful overview of the Transformational Leadership for the Global City degree. Then, Ray Bakke lectured for about an hour. This was a real treat for me as this was the first time I have heard this amazing urban ministry leader speak. He talked about how God is urbanizing the world. In 1900, only 8 percent of the world’s population lived in cities. Now, over 50 percent of the world’s population lives in cities. Five hundred eight cities in the world have over a million people. Bakke also discussed the need for Christians to plunge into global urban ministry. In 1900, 80 percent of the world’s Christians were white and Western. Now, 80 percent of Christians are outside the West. 18
  19. 19. 19 China and India are the largest English speaking countries in the world. Africa is the fastest growing urban continent. Brad Smith, the president of BGU, then lectured about the unique learning environment at BGU. He described it as structured, but also designed to incorporate creativity, stories, and experiences into the learning model. Cities are the labs, and students serve as the practitioners. The faculty will ask tough questions instead of simply providing information. Sometimes even professors disagree on viewpoints, and they see that as a good thing. This program is a pioneering environment for advanced learners. It has an intentionally lower structure and higher dissonance. I had lunch with Ronnie McCowan, an African American pastor from Kansas City. He has a great life story, and it was fun meeting someone new. I am looking forward to meeting many new and interesting people. Brad Smith then lectured about his perspective on the world, and how it has changed over the past century. Technology and a global economy have significantly impacted the world, and especially ministry. Christians need to understand what is going on in the world in order to engage effectively. He also gave an overview of urban ministry 101: relief, development, and advocacy, or justice. He said that in urban ministry while it is important to give someone a fish, it is also important to teach someone how to fish. But, what happens when the lake is contaminated, or there is a fence around the lake that keeps the person from fishing? Christians must also be involved in advocacy and justice. Ray Bakke then led us on a tour of downtown Seattle. Seattle is beautiful, and it has experienced many collective accomplishments. However, it has also been built on
  20. 20. 20 injustices, mostly to the Native American people who were here before settlers arrived. We visited Columbia Tower, the tallest building in Seattle. Then, we walked across the city to have dinner at a pizza restaurant in a huge mall. Bakke lectured as we walked, explaining that Seattle is a Pacific Rim city now. It faces west across the Pacific to China and Japan instead of east as it has typically in the past. When the freeway systems were built in America, they were not neutral. Many people were discriminated against when highways were built after World War II. He also discussed the analogy of Colossians and Philippians in relation to urban ministry. Colossians tends to lead the reader to see how Jesus is involved socially and in systems. Philippians tends to lead the reader to see how Jesus is personal. What is needed most is a balance between the social and personal perspectives of Christianity in order for leaders to be effective. I must admit this first day was exciting and overwhelming. This was just the beginning of my learning here, and I can already sense that my urban ministry paradigm is being shifted. This hands-on learning model is a fit for me. Also, I am learning from some amazing leaders. Everyone who lectures here leads from a base of credibility in urban ministry developed over a number of years. All of the leaders were impressive, but I was probably most impacted by the time with Ray Bakke. Having read books about his unique perspectives on Christianity, it was a real pleasure to interact with him for a whole day. I love the diversity represented in my classmates who have traveled here from all over the world. The table I sat at for dinner was representative of this. To my left was a man who directs a mission organization in Kazakhstan. Beside him were two Africans, one who pastors a church in Kenya and another man from Nigeria who attended seminary
  21. 21. 21 in London and now serves as a missionary in Houston, Texas. To my right were two women from Hong Kong who shared their experiences in training pastors in rural China. This entire program ties in so well with LAMP and other outreach efforts at North Way Christian Community. The information is practical, and I am so blessed to be mentored by people who are on the cutting edge of innovation in the church and urban ministry. I am very encouraged that the ministry efforts in Pittsburgh are on the right track. Furthermore, I am being resourced and equipped for issues related to mentoring, church and state partnerships, urban and suburban partnerships, cross-cultural relationships, and much more. Day 2: January 13, 2009 Today I spent most of the day in the lab, which is the city of Seattle. Before we left this morning, a geographer named Ron Boyce gave a lecture about the nature of cities. The special emphasis of his talk was on Seattle. He described the importance of avoiding distractions while investigating a city. I should also try to understand the importance of the shaping forces in history while discovering the present. Next, Ray Bakke lectured about the difference between urbanization and urbanism. Urbanization is the city described as a gigantic magnet. It sucks all of the resources out of entire regions. Bakke said that urban people are identified by what they do. Often when an urban man loses his job, it is devastating because he also loses his identity. This is why many urban males do not go to church, and 70 percent of most inner city church members are women. Many urban men do not want to go to a church with a male pastor whose job, or identity, is stable when theirs is not. Emasculation
  22. 22. 22 occurs when these men see the pastor’s name all over the bulletins and on the sign entering the church. Urbanism is the city described as a magnifier, or the woofer and tweeter of society. It is the city as a stage prop, a process by which urban ideas and culture are spread throughout the world. Many cities now are building up into airspace trying to draw rich people and young professionals back in from the suburbs. So, taller buildings are being built, which include condos to buy instead of apartments to rent. It is working, and these people are moving back into cities which is forcing poor people out into the suburbs. This trend will be important for the church to understand over the coming years. He also shared about the importance of pastors being for their communities, not just of their communities. It is important for pastors to partner with the police, clergy, school administrators, hospitals, and other organizations that are a part of the fabric of the community. Most of the rest of the day we explored Seattle. We went to First Presbyterian Church, St. James Cathedral, Harborview Medical Center, Skid Row, World Relief, the International District, Waterfall Garden, Occidental Park, Pioneer Square, and Pike Place Market. The two highlights of this tour were World Relief and Pike Place Market. At World Relief we learned about the difference between immigrants and refugees. The organization is a Christian ministry helping to place refugees from around the world in homes and communities in Seattle. Refugees are different from immigrants in that they do not come to America out of choice. They come here because they are forced to come, often as a result of conditions involving intense persecution, rape, violence, or war. Their needs are great, but this is also an amazing opportunity to minister to people in need.
  23. 23. 23 Pike Place Market is a shopping area in Seattle which happens to be the number one tourist attraction in the area. Ray Bakke challenged us to tour this facility for an hour, and then come back to the group to discuss why a place like this could be so successful and diverse. Most shopping malls are homogenous, just like most churches in America. This area has managed to transcend any class or racial boundaries. What can the church learn from Pike Place Market? How can churches become more multicultural and multigenerational? The biggest question posed for this day was by Randy White. He asked, “Do you love your city as much as Ray Bakke loves Seattle?” I was challenged to really get to know Pittsburgh. I generally know some things about Pittsburgh, but I have not intentionally tried to develop a deep love and understanding of all of its people and places. I am really looking forward to going through this process on my own, or perhaps with some friends, when I return to Pittsburgh. I will now be viewing the city through a new lens. I also need to continue to be intentional about building relationships in Pittsburgh. This applies to relationships that go up to the powerful and down to the powerless. If I am ever going to be an effective leader in LAMP over the coming years, my most important role will be to invest in relationships. Day 3: January 14, 2009
  24. 24. 24 Today we had lectures all day from urban ministry leaders. Randy White talked about conceptualizing the city, and specifically, how this applies to transformational leadership. He asked us to imagine, see, hear, and sense what is going on in cities in order to transform them. He presented the apostle Paul as a model of conceptualization. When Paul arrived in Athens he took the time to observe the objects of worship in the city. The city impacted him and he was deeply disturbed. Paul chose to engage in the key sectors of the city, such as markets, synagogues, and political arenas, in order to communicate the gospel. A physical exploration of cities is crucial in order to formulate strategies. Urban leaders should seek to understand to trinity of a city. The Urbs are the infrastructure of systems in the city, Anima is shared knowledge of the residents and their unconscious beliefs and assumptions, and Civitas are the behaviors for which cities are known for. Another type of trinity describes the city as religion, politics, and economics. All cities are products of collective sin, and when things go wrong a religion of control, an economics of exploitation, and a politics of oppression results. H. Spees from Leadership Foundations of America then lectured about connecting the city, or operationalizing unity. He gave a great overview of systems in cities, and pointed out that great transformational leaders seek to understand systems so that they can impact them. Cities are composed of institutions. Public schools, government, and law enforcement make up the public sector. Media, business, and labor make up the private sector. Religious groups, non-profits, and churches make up the social sector. A healthy community sector involves all of these institutions working together for the common good. A major breakdown occurs when these institutions do not work together. The church can engage these institutions by understanding that there are hidden
  25. 25. 25 Christians in each sector. Christian leaders can serve as connectors between institutions. Christians with an overly individualized view of the gospel neglect the social aspects of the gospel. Engaging in the city is complex, and it requires leaders who understand the importance of building relationships. Christians seeking an easy or simple answer to city issues are setting themselves up for failure in the long run. David Hillis from Leadership Foundations of America then lectured about concretizing organizations. He believes the way you do something is as important, if not more important, than the thing being done. Many Christians are activity rich and relationally poor. We have a high theology and low anthropology. He said the best organizational leaders are trinitarian, which means they understand that the fundamental truth is relational as represented in the triune Godhead. The trinitarian leader is also incarnational by valuing relationships. Desire is an important aspect of this leadership model, and leaders should also be transparent and give power away freely. Kris Rocke from the Center for Transforming Leaders lectured on contextualizing leadership. He said Jesus listened and reflected well, so good leaders should do likewise. Many of us are conditioned to read scriptures from a position of power, but it is important to learn to understand the Bible from the position of the powerless. Rocke believes scripture is an invitation to a conversation. It is not a blueprint. God is big enough to protect the integrity of the scriptures. He suggests prayer, praise, and pain are the three gateways to transformation. Pain is the widest gateway to transformation, and we can read scripture from the perspective of pain. Most of us have set up our lives to avoid pain, and the greatest disability in the church today is the inability to suffer. We divorce
  26. 26. 26 ourselves from painful places, and we become unable to enter effectively into the pain of others. Damian Emetuche, a West African missionary to Seattle, lectured about multicultural interactions and worldviews. He said that the West values time orientation, dichotomistic thinking, crisis orientation, and task orientation. Many other cultures in the world value event orientation, holistic thinking, noncrisis orientation, and person orientation. It is important for American Christians to understand the worldviews, or life philosophies, of other cultures. Relationships are vital, language is critical, a holistic ministry approach is necessary, and people of a different culture can be viewed as a potential ministry force. Skip Li, an influential lawyer from Seattle who is Chinese, defined incarnational leadership as leadership that transforms communities through personal relationships. Jesus chose to come to earth to be one of us, and he transformed the world by the way he did this. Jesus taught us all how to live incarnationally. Good leaders live intelligently. Our culture is powerful, and it makes us conform to its way of thinking. Christians are called to be countercultural. Actions are needed more than words in proclaiming the gospel in this culture. Incarnational leadership tears down stereotypes in culture. Brad Smith then lectured about the body of Christ around the world. He talked about the concept of convergence. For Doctor of Ministry students, three things come together: career, calling, and spirituality. Every 500 years something big happens in the church, and we are due at about this time. Our earth is changing, and Christians need to respond. Leaders understand history in order to be good stewards. Studying church history requires discipline.
  27. 27. 27 A lot of the information presented today challenged my worldview. The biggest stretch came for me when Kris Rocke lectured on the topic of pain. Pain is very intimate, and it drives a countercultural perspective on the gospel. As a leader with LAMP, this has been a tough subject for me to try to implement. I do not know if I want to understand the pain that my mentees experience every day. I do not know what it is like to be fatherless, or to live in fear all of the time that someone might do something bad to me, or what it is like to live in poverty all of the time. I feel much more comfortable if I think that I am able to lead the kids that I work with out of pain and generational poverty, a process that is itself painful and complex. I was challenged when Brad Smith lectured on the geography of the world, and how the world is changing in the global culture. I seem to like my place in the world, even if I do not admit it. I am uncomfortable when I am required to wrestle with global and urban perspectives from around the world that are shaping Christian ministry in this century. So how does all of this apply to my ministry context? How does it apply to North Way, or LAMP, or Pittsburgh, or America, or the world? I was presented with many different viewpoints today, and many different perspectives on the world and the importance of God in it. It seems to me that all of it is applicable. Every time I hear a new perspective on the gospel, or how it applies to someone else’s context, I gain a new perspective on how it applies to my context.
  28. 28. 28 Day 4: January 15, 2009 This morning I led a devotional time for the whole group with two new African American friends, Richard and Ronnie. We sang an old hymn followed by a good time of reflection. After the devotion, Randy White divided us into three groups for a visual debriefing of what we learned on the previous day. I was in the artistic group, and we drew symbols that represented the collision of cities with the kingdom of God. After this brief exercise we visited an organization called New Horizons. This is a faith-based youth facility that provides services to over 1,500 street children each year. Our tour guide was Ron Ruthruff, who Ray Bakke introduced as the most gifted youth leader in the country. We toured the facility, examining the fellowship spaces such as the waiting room, cafeteria, and chapel. This holistic ministry model to street kids involves outreach, relationships, a place to belong, food, life discovery, and a mentoring program called Adoptive Life Skills Mentorships. This was a career-based mentoring program where adolescents shadow a mentor for eight to ten hours per week for a minimum of one year. Over 2 million children in America run away from home each year. Areas like Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco have a large amount of street children because of the climate and culture. Ron said that 80 percent of the street kids have suffered from some type of physical or sexual abuse from their families. New Horizons has an intentionally diverse staff that includes about a 50 percent black or Hispanic population. Although alcohol and drugs are prominent in street children, the biggest problem for street kids is prostitution. Over 50 percent of street children are involved in prostitution. New Horizons also utilizes an effective volunteer management system, and they have very
  29. 29. 29 high standards for volunteer outreach workers. This kind of volunteer work is very demanding, so it is not for everyone. We left New Horizons and went to the Church on the Hill, led by a young man named Jason Hubbard. He planted a church that now meets in an old building that is used as an underground theater. This church intentionally ministers to people on the margins of society. The churchgoers are a very diverse group of people. Our group discussed the first chapter of Daniel, which describes how Daniel was an adolescent growing up in Babylonian captivity. We examined this chapter of the Bible with context, a summary, theological application, and anthropology. Hubbard said that many churches today rush to the anthropology of scripture, but there is much to be learned and applied by examining scripture through other areas. The simple purpose of Church on the Hill is to connect life with Jesus. The church values relationships, not growth figures. After lunch each of us had about ten minutes to share our testimonies, and it was an amazing experience hearing all of the life stories of people from all over the world. I shared about the move Julie and I made to California, then to Ohio, and on to Pittsburgh. There were many amazing positive and painful situations along that journey! I was really impacted by the presentation at New Horizons. I was confirmed in my interest to pursue urban youth ministry as my specialization at BGU. I love planning new ways to reach young people. I was impressed by the way New Horizons had thought out specific details of their ministry. Ruthruff is really living out God’s calling on his life. I hope that I can develop such an understanding of the needs of troubled youth in America as him. I love to meet people who are passionate about their callings. I also picked up a great deal of insight into New Horizons’ mentoring program. They have high
  30. 30. 30 standards for their mentors, which is also a strong point of LAMP. Over the years Ruthruff had progressed to the point that he did not let anyone work directly with kids unless they committed to serve at least once a week for at least one year. This is very similar to LAMP! Relationships do matter to children, and we as leaders do not need to introduce any additional harmful or short term adult relationships into their already tumultuous lives. The Church on the Hill was a new experience for me. I have heard of these types of churches in Pittsburgh, but I have not visited any of them to try to learn how God is moving in these types of congregations. I was fortunate to see a great picture of a church that is reaching people on the margins, the type of people that many Christians try to avoid. Many churches are more concerned with sending missions groups overseas than in reaching out to people in troubled parts of their own cities. I learned a lot about urban youth ministry today. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by LAMP in Pittsburgh because of the nature of the children that we serve. After experiencing this organization in Seattle, I do not feel as overwhelmed. I only hope that I am able to demonstrate the kind of leadership that is necessary to sustain a mentoring partnership over time. I did sense the affirmation for continuing to hold high standards for the mentors who want to get involved in LAMP. It is much better to have them commit for a year than it is to push an uncommitted volunteer through the system just because we need more mentors. I also better understood the role of a leader today. I need to be vigilant in equipping and connecting with the volunteers who participate in LAMP and the other urban ministries at North Way. Relationships are the key to LAMP’s mission.
  31. 31. 31 Day 5: January 16, 2009 Ray Bakke started the day off with a lecture on reflective leadership. This year marks his 50th year in ministry, so he gave us an overview of his life experiences over the years. People have accused Bakke of being anti-rural, but he told us that was not true. He values all environments, including urban, suburban, or rural. If we are all made by God, there is no reason to hate or dislike people based on where they choose to live. Bakke’s experiences as a young pastor propelled him into a lifelong journey to explore a theology of the city. Many Christians view cities as evil places, believing that God is only found in the wilderness. However, the word city is found 1,250 times in the Bible. Over 140 cities are mentioned in the Bible. In urban theology, cities are all connected. Urban and suburban areas are connected to one another. Suburbs are the sisters of cities, and we need to love them just like we would our own family member. He said James Dobson fails to consider the community as a part of the family, and he disagrees with Dobson’s view of the family as only a nuclear unit. Bakke challenged us to read Genesis 41 and 47 to determine if Joseph was a capitalist or a socialist. Actually, he was both. Daniel is another fascinating case study in urban ministry. The New Testament is an urban book. Paul’s missionary strategies focused on cities in order to spread the Gospel. Theology should be shaped by scripture, history, context, and the church. Western theology is viewed in lateral, or horizontal, terms. For instance, how far can we send missionaries around the world? Eastern theology is viewed vertically. For instance, will the next generation embrace Christ in light of the
  32. 32. 32 past two thousand years of Christian history? Both horizontal and vertical aspects of the great commission are essential to an effective missiology. Bakke gave an overview of urban theology from the Old Testament through such examples as Esther, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Ruth, each of whom God used differently to transform cities. The book of Matthew opens by presenting grandmothers of the faith from the Old Testament. They are Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheeba. Each woman was a foreigner where she lived, and God uses this as a reminder that foreigners and people who are different than us should never be left out of missions work. Mary and Joseph were both descendants of these women. God chose scandalous blood lines to incorporate into His own body. By doing this, Jesus smashed racism! He was the mixed- racial Savior of the world! He was also an Asian-born baby who became an African refugee, as noted in the story of the flight to Egypt. In knowing how God values all of these things, how should this shape our current views in America on race and immigration? Janet Morrow, founder of the TRUST organization in Chicago, lectured about engaging stakeholders in cities in working toward transformation of cities. She really believes that all Christian leaders need to be able to understand and influence systems. Many Christians, especially those with an overly individualized view of the Gospel, tend to shy away from systems because they think they are all evil or corrupt. Actually, God calls us to engage systems. There are many examples of this throughout the Bible. Systematic change works best because we are all connected. Grace Barnes then lectured on servant leadership. This was an interesting topic in a group as diverse as this class. Servant leadership is a bottom up approach in which
  33. 33. 33 leaders lead by serving. The hierarchy is turned upside down, and the leader views their role as equipping others to succeed. It is a leadership style that is focused on other people. Although servant leadership is important, it cannot and should not be the only type of leadership style used by a good leader. Leadership is a paradox. For instance, personal development in a leader is also important. Today’s content was very interesting. Christianity is a countercultural way of life, and servant leadership is countercultural. I know plenty of leaders who I would not consider to be servant leaders. They lead authoritatively. Many of these leaders are not reflective, and they are not very interested in personal development. I enjoy serving others, but it is not something I do when I get overcommitted. I really need to make sure I remain in the mode of servant leadership as much as possible. I would love to learn to be more reflective. As an example, moving to California to teach was a great cross-cultural experience for me. I remember the very first class I taught. It was about 110 degrees outside, and four teachers brought their first grade students to me for a physical education class. As these children sat and listened to my instructions, I suddenly realized that about 50 percent of them had no idea what I was saying because they only spoke Spanish! Also, 80 percent of my students were Hispanic. It became very obvious that I would need to change my approach. I was really stretched through this experience to try to understand the struggles of immigrants in America. I wish I would have understood reflective and contextual leadership better during that time. Moving back to Pittsburgh to work with LAMP was another similar learning curve for me. As a leader, I had to navigate through many cross-cultural issues as a result of serving children in the Homewood and East Hills neighborhoods of Pittsburgh.
  34. 34. 34 Thankfully, Errika Jones from the Pittsburgh Board of Education was an excellent mentor and she was very patient with me. She continues to model effective cross cultural relationships, and systematic thinking, for many people in Pittsburgh. Joanne Galinowski, one of our LAMP partners from Family Guidance, Inc., is also very effective at cross-cultural relationships. I continue to be grateful for her servant leadership style as well. I share these personal stories because they are a part of my journey toward hopefully becoming a better follower of Jesus. I am enrolled in this DMin program at BGU to broaden my worldview and strengthen my leadership abilities. I am trying to develop an understanding of the whole body of Christ, not just a white American view of God. Only 13 percent of the world’s population is white. Less than 5 percent of the world’s population is American, yet American Christians seem to have an ingrained imperialistic mindset. My journey in life definitely involves a process of changing my own paradigms. Day 6: January 17, 2009 We traveled to Ray Bakke’s home, called Bakken, today. This was quite an experience. He lives about two hours away from Seattle, and his home is gorgeous! He lives on twelve acres, and his property includes a trail of twenty different locations called the mission trail. Each stop, or stake in the ground, represented a century of the Christian church. The trail was a unique experience because Bakke is such a student of Christian history. His mind is like an encyclopedia. He is a life long learner. Also, he loves to
  35. 35. 35 share what he has learned with other people. For instance, his library has over 9,000 books from all over the world organized by time and topic. After a lunch of Chinese food, Corean Bakke played a concert on her piano from the main room of their home. She has an amazing gift, and she must have performed fifteen songs from memory on her piano. I was amazed by her abilities. After the concert we toured the house and property for a while. Then, we went to Ray and Lowell Bakke’s childhood home a few miles away. The property is currently being utilized as a retreat center. It was also quite an amazing place. I loved every minute of this day! This was an amazing experience to learn from a leader who has led so many people around the world over the past fifty years. Ray Bakke is truly serving as a mentor to me, and I am so privileged to be experiencing this program. I have considered living incarnationally in Homewood as a possible next step, but the thought of continuing to live on the LAMP Post property is also very appealing. The LAMP Post is six acres of property that I currently live on which I use for ministry purposes. Bakken is a great example of the concept of utilizing a rural property for ministry purposes. The cabin is available for people to stay for a while to write their dissertations. The library is available for students. The concert piano is available to people for concerts. In many ways, the Bakkes continue to give themselves away as transformational leaders even though they are no longer in an urban environment. I hope that I am always able to be transformational as well, regardless of whether I stay on the LAMP Post property or move to the inner city.
  36. 36. 36 When I return to Pittsburgh I would like to spend some time with my mentees in places that have historical significance. Many of the young people I work with are caught up in the distractions of modern life, such as television, video games, and music. Many of them lack an understanding of a vertical reality, so it will be important to introduce them to experiences rooted in history. This time spent at Bakken has helped me to find my place within the broader context of God’s redemptive plan for the ages. The young people in my life also need to find their unique place in God’s plan. It is important for all people to find their purpose, and it is much easier to find with a healthy understanding of where the church has been and where the church is going. I am looking forward to having a day off. We have really been pushing over this past week, and it will be good to have a chance to reflect on what I have learned. In my ministry context, I push very hard and then I do my best to make sure that I get time away from everything to rest. That principle applies to this course as well. I pushed very hard this week, so I need to make sure I rest so that I can be refreshed for next week. My goal is to spend some time with my Lord and Savior on this adventure in Seattle. Day 7: January 18, 2009 Today I had a day off from studying, so I decided to explore some more of the city before watching the Steelers game this afternoon. I walked about ten blocks downhill from my hotel to the Seattle waterfront. The weather was perfect! I spent some time in the Seattle Aquarium. A friend of mine once told me that there is nothing more relaxing in life that looking at fish. I think there is some truth to that! My favorite fish was one that glowed in the dark in order to attract prey.
  37. 37. 37 After the Aquarium I headed up to Pike Place Market where I bumped into four friends from Overture I. They invited me to have lunch with them at a seafood buffet, so of course I had to join them. I can never pass up a buffet! This informal time together was actually a great time to get to know one another. The had gone to Rob Bell’s church that morning, and I thought it was interesting that I never thought to go to church on my day off while I was in Seattle. It made me think about the concept of having church on Sunday morning, versus the church experience I had gained throughout the week during my conversations with others and field experiences in the city. I went on a boat tour of Puget Sound after lunch. The tour guide said that Seattle has 220 cloudy days each year, but today I was blessed with perfect sunshine. I could see for miles in all directions. I love exploring the west coast. It is such an adventure. Seattle is set against a dramatic backdrop of hills, islands, and snow capped mountains on all sides. Also, most of the skyscrapers were built after the World Fair in the 1960s so the skyline is very modern. The most interesting part of the tour was the huge boats, cranes, and locks in the shipyard areas. As was the case with most of this trip, it was a lot to take in! I reflected on God’s amazing natural creation all around me, and I reflected on the amazing vocational gifts God has blessed people with related to the building of ships, bridges, and buildings. Even the tour guide on the boat was passionate about his job. I think I am starting to understand the concept of common grace in society. God is everywhere even though we live in a fallen world. His beauty can be found everywhere, and I am enjoying it here in this area. I rested in my hotel room and watched the Steelers game after the boat ride. Go Steelers! They are going to the Super Bowl! I cannot wait to get back to Pittsburgh
  38. 38. 38 because there is nothing like a city that is involved in a sports championship run. It is an incredible sense of community. I also cannot wait to get back to Pittsburgh because I miss my wife and kids so much. Two weeks is a long time to be away. I am glad many of the trips I will be taking over the next few years will be only one week in length. I have a goal to travel internationally once I have graduated from this program. I am encouraged that I will be able to build up a solid network of global relationships through BGU over time. I wonder what adventures God has in store for me and my family. Will my ministry experience in Pittsburgh translate over into other cultures? Will my experiences in other cultures translate back into my ministry context in Pittsburgh? This time in Seattle is a great way to see if takeaways will be applicable in Pittsburgh. I am so thankful for everyone who is praying for me! This whole experience is causing me to depend on God in a way that I never have before. It is amazing how God meets us when we take risks. Day 8: January 19, 2009 This morning Brad Smith lectured about theology, which he defined as the scientific study of God. People can study God from a detached perspective, so the term has lost much of its meaning. BGU is interested in submitting to God, and trying to understand Him in relevant ways. The intent of the author is very important when studying the Bible. The understanding of God is superintended by the Holy Spirit. God wants to know us by incarnation, the Bible, tradition, and general revelation. Systematic theology is important, but it has also produced many varying forms of cultural
  39. 39. 39 Christianity. BGU values Biblical theology instead of one particular type of systematic theology, and consistency with scripture is important. Other cultures and major religions are becoming more open to Christianity. This is true, in part, because of some of the impact of globalization. When other world religions become more Christian over time and people are searching for answers, will the church have trained leaders who are prepared to take this on? Global theology urges Christians to search for common language with other religions while maintaining certain concepts, such as Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, as nonnegotiable. Through this missional lens, Christians will need to bring back the first commission with the Great Commission. The key to all of this is stewardship, which is taking care of something that belongs to someone else. Smith pointed out that we were created to work as stewards of the Earth. God’s creation is now corrupt and we have reduced power and purity as stewards, a concept called futility. Three of the most difficult areas of our stewardship are power, money, and human sexuality, yet Christians are the only ones who can ultimately steward these areas as intended by God. Four ways to approach power, money, and human sexuality are through piety, consumerism, pragmatism, or stewardship. According to Smith, we are created to be in business. Business for stewardship and mission sees its purpose is to serve the needs of society, both locally and cross- culturally, in a way that transforms economies, societies, cultures and people’s connections to God. When Christians detach themselves from the business of the world, it creates much pain and confusion. Reclaiming the original purpose of business is part
  40. 40. 40 of our stewardship. Humans were made for working, being in community, making decisions, reproducing, and worshiping. The world becomes dysfunctional if we fail to do even one of these things. We are supposed to have a stewardship theology. It is not complicated, just reorienting. Neal Johnson, the dean of the business school at BGU, then spoke more about a theology of work. Christians should not detach from the business world. There needs to be a dialogue between the pew and the pulpit, and a clear connection between Sunday and Monday. Transformation in communities will not begin without involving the business world. A secular/sacred divide has been perpetuated by the church. Decision making in business should be informed by scripture. God wants us to come alongside people in business. Living the gospel throughout the week is important to God, and pastors should see themselves as equippers of people living out their callings in the business world. Jack Van Hartsfelt, a BGU board member and businessman, then lectured about the role of the business world in partnering with churches for community projects. He showed a video of a church renovation project he led as a businessman that took two weekends and involved over 800 volunteers. He stressed the importance of coming alongside people who are already out there doing big things, with the mindset of equipping them with resources and visionary leadership. Lowell Bakke spoke about the local church and a theology of work. He defined theology of work as the calling of God in the lives of people. He shared about his brothers, Ray and Dennis, and the difference in their callings. Ray has been successful in missions in life, and Dennis has been successful in business. Both have felt equally
  41. 41. 41 called by God to their areas of impact. The church should pay more attention to equipping people who have a calling for business. Is the church’s role to attract people from the community to the church, or is it to send people from the church to invest in the community? Is Sunday more important for churches than the other six days of the week? Sometimes church programs actually lead people away from their callings in the world. Maybe when 20 percent of the people are doing 80 percent of the work in church programs, it is because the other 80 percent of the people are out in the world potentially making a difference where the people in need are. After lunch Brad Smith showed us a feature film called Power Trip. The story was about Dennis Bakke’s company, AES, who tried to solve the electricity problem in the country of Georgia. It was an amazing story about how corporations can make a very positive or negative impact in the world. It emphasized the need for Christians to empower and equip people in business for the sake of gains in the kingdom. My first analysis of all of this is that it seems to make sense, but it is going to take me a while to process through it all. I hope to develop more of a theology of work, but that is difficult to do working in a full time ministry environment. One of the most tangible things I can do when I get back to Pittsburgh is to start valuing business and government leaders more in light of the unique position to which God has called them. In fact, over time I would hope that I will be able to encourage people more effectively to understand their worth and influence in the world as it relates to God’s purposes. As a mentor I would like to help my mentees to develop their callings.
  42. 42. 42 Day 9: January 20, 2009 This morning Ron Ruthruff spoke to our group. Ruthruff’s life has been to advocate for troubled adolescents at the government and policy level. Adolescents are just children, but most policies impacting them are formed for adults. Adolescents are stuck in the middle between childhood and adulthood, rural and urban, and between being kids of color and being white. Because of the way cities are set up, children all over the country are listening to hip hop music and playing violent video games. For the first time, young people are living in a world where the future is more fascinating to them than the past. This comes as a result of modern culture. Young people are more cross- cultural than adults, and they often know more than we do in areas such as technology. We need to provide culturally appropriate services for children, biologically, psychologically, socially, developmentally, and physically. Also, ministry models for at- risk youth need to leave room for failure. Young people have been asked to grow up even though they are not really developmentally prepared for adulthood. If young people are obsessed with the future, they know more than we do in many areas, and they are obsessed with individuality, then the question stands: How do we set up mentoring relationships for these young people that takes these issues into consideration? Many children are victims of abuse, and they are only able to become functional adults if they have anchors in their lives. Anchors provide a support network to guide adolescents through difficult years and traumatic experiences. Anchors are relatives, schools, churches, programs, and mentors. When children do not have enough anchors in their lives, they become troubled adults.
  43. 43. 43 Cognitively, the older a person is, the better they cope. Children become extremely desensitized to violence and sexuality if they experience it commonly at a young age. Morally, children begin to develop discrepancies between those who have power and those who do not if they are subjected to trauma at a young age. This often leads to rebellion against authority in adolescents who have experienced trauma. Children develop identities from what is right and what is. Adolescents form identities from what is wrong and what is not. This is a gateway to rebellion. Adolescents form identity based on person fable and imaginary audience. Young people can navigate through all kinds of troubles when they are given the right kind of anchors. This is why mentoring is so crucial! In the late morning several people lectured about the missional and practicing approaches to church. Our role as a church is to announce, demonstrate, and embody the good news of Jesus Christ. Many churches seem to have different callings within the body of Christ. Relationships are the key, and in many cases, people feel like they need to belong before they believe. Churches love to create bounded sets, where people know who is in and who is out. By contrast, in churches with a centered set everybody is welcome and considered to be moving toward a relationship with Jesus. When people belong to a faith community before they believe, it creates a mess. What do you do with a gay couple, people who are living together, or Muslims who are seeking? Some pastors prefer to have the mess of the centered set because the mess of the bounded set is even more difficult to navigate through. In the bounded set, people take their struggles and problems underground so that nobody talks about them and they are eventually manifested in a major way at a later date.
  44. 44. 44 Pastors can decide to grow a church big rather than grow a big church. This is done through connections, conversations, and collaborations. Followers of Jesus serve in three realms: personal, local, and global. The goal for Christians is spiritual transformation into Christ’s likeness for the sake of the world. Our spiritual disciplines empower us to go out into the world with what God gives us. If you depend on the offering plate to grow missional dreams, it may not happen. Churches should also seek partnership. Many pastors are more concerned about the view of insiders than outsiders. This is wrong! People rate their pastors just like movies or restaurants. This is wrong! In many churches, over 80 percent of the resources go toward creating a show, or program, that draws people to the church. This is wrong! When people get bored with a church, they just leave and go to another competing church with a better show. This is wrong! Churches are becoming a business, or professional religion. They are developing beliefism, which is the worship of right beliefs also known as our beliefs. In America, we have generated a culture of professional Christians. There is really not much of a foundation of professional ministry in the Bible. It is just something we have created. The truth business leads to the morality business. Churches should be practicing churches: personally, locally, and globally. In the afternoon we toured a Four Square Church that has several different multicultural churches operating within it, including English, Iranian, Spanish, and Korean. It was an interesting glimpse into a model of diversity in the kingdom of God that is not usually implemented in homogenous churches around the country. We also discovered how this church is partnering with their local community through the police
  45. 45. 45 department, nonprofit organizations, and city hall. BGU values diversity and partnerships, and today I was able to see examples of these ideals in progress. LAMP and the externally focused church movement at North Way stood out as practical applications in my ministry context based on my experiences today. LAMP is critical because we are working as mentors to so many troubled young people in the city of Pittsburgh. The externally focused church initiative is critical because it provides a framework for mobilizing the body of Christ in a strategic manner in areas all over Pittsburgh and around the world. Christians are called by God to engage culture, and influence the world. I am also interested in learning how North Way can become a more diverse community. I would like to be able to do this intentionally, perhaps through future multi- site efforts in Pittsburgh. Even if we are unable to utilize our multi-site strategies to become a more diverse congregation, would it be possible for us to use our new space for other international communities to hold services in our facilities at different times of the day on Saturday or Sunday? Day 10: January 21, 2009 Two weeks is a long time to be away from my family! I am so thankful that my wife has been so supportive of this time away, and I am also thankful for the prayers and support that I have felt from my friends. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Despite the difficulties involved in life away from home, this Overture I class in Seattle has been a life changing experience.
  46. 46. 46 This morning Grace Barnes talked to us about balancing our lives while we are working on a doctorate degree. Balance is not really a good word to use, because it makes it seem that we have to make room in our lives to juggle another major commitment. Instead, she asked us to integrate. Achieving balance is not possible, but we can integrate. As an example of this, I should connect what I am learning, researching, and writing into everything I am doing with LAMP and North Way. This way it just integrates into what I am already doing, and my work will benefit as well. I also need to find good mentors in Pittsburgh who will help me along the way. Mind mapping is another helpful tool in staying on top of this amount of work. It is a process where I take the time to focus on using my right brain to think creatively about my work. Finally, I could try different reading and scanning styles to process through all of the information I will be reading. Judi Melton then talked to us about the importance of our personal learning community. All of my assignments, including these journal entries, should be written to people who know me. BGU requires students to involve their family members, friends, and colleagues so that the innovative work can have a broader impact in the kingdom of God. Ken Fong then lectured about organizational leadership. He believes that all organizations are constantly changing. Static organizations are actually dying a slow death. All organizations are either experiencing a slow death or deep change. He then shared a seven step process that all organizations can apply to help deal with deep change. The process involved questions that organizations should ask themselves. When navigating change, is there enough leadership in place? What opportunities and
  47. 47. 47 challenges are facing us today? Given who we are today, what do we see ourselves becoming in the future? Do we have sufficient energy or motivation to take advantage of our challenges and opportunities, while moving toward our future? How will we develop goal oriented strategies on both organizational and individual levels that will most effectively enable us to realize our future? With whom do we need to partner organizationally and individually in order to effectively carry out our strategy and how should we best develop those partnerships? Is there sufficient leadership to sustain desired organizational change? In the afternoon, Dave Pollard and Wes Johnson talked about spiritual formation. Pollard described spiritual formation in terms of longing, listening, knowing, and celebrating. He referred to Dallas Willard’s argument that spiritual formation is character formation. Johnson led us through a process of transformational prayer and biblical meditation. We basically studied some scriptures and spent some time in them to apply their meaning to our hearts. It required a certain level of silence, which is not something that comes natural to me. I am more of an active learner, so silence and meditation on scripture are not practices that I spend a whole lot of time doing. I am hoping to learn how to rest quietly in the Lord more often. As I reflect on this day, I learned that I need to take more time to focus on the spiritual discipline of being quiet and resting in God. Also, I can work with LAMP kids to focus on being more contemplative when much of their lives are based on distractions. I was able to connect the organizational leadership principles to both North Way and LAMP. With North Way, I gained a new appreciation for the way that Pastor Jay Passavant and the executive team have navigated through change over the past couple of
  48. 48. 48 years. Although it has been a rough road at times, they were not afraid to take risks and lead the organization in a new direction to overcome the forces of change in Pittsburgh. With LAMP, I am learning that I need to continue to lead and cast vision well to navigate through the various changes that we have encountered and will continue to encounter as we move forward. We can never land in a place where we are comfortable with the status quo, especially since we have children waiting for a mentor. Day 11: January 22, 2009 The end is in sight! I really love this course work at BGU, but I am ready to be home in Pittsburgh with my family and friends. I am sensing that everyone here is feeling this same way. This has been a once in a lifetime experience, but we are ready to begin implementing all that we have learned. I was talking to Randy White today, explaining that I feel like I now have a tool kit for urban ministry in Pittsburgh. Throughout the course of these past two weeks I have learned about many different ministry models for urban and complex environments. So much of what I have learned is directly applicable to LAMP and North Way. This morning, we were asked to pick out three main ideas that we are taking back with us to our ministry contexts. My three were: live intelligently, love Pittsburgh, and embrace change. I think all of these ideas will help me tremendously when I return to Pittsburgh. Our morning lecturer was Tim Svoboda, who served as a missionary in India for almost thirty years, and who more recently has served as the director of YWAM outreach efforts in San Francisco. He gave us a great history of missions work in India since the

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