Church-Leaving Forum & Help Request

Questionnaire Today we’re thinking and/or talking about The Great Church Exodus (more below)…. Barb started it. Barb Orlowski is in the D.Min. program at A.C.T.S. Seminary at TWU in Langley, B.C.. Speaking of Christians who have experienced the emotional and spiritual effects of authoritarian or controlling church leaders, Barb writes,

There are many Christians who have faced the untimely distress of this particular yet widespread phenomenon. Many have simply left the church, while others have made an effort to reintegrate into a local church setting. It has taken courage for them to desire to reconnect with a pastor and seek their assistance in processing their grief and disillusionment with previous church leaders.

She is looking for research participants to complete her dissertation on this subject — specifically, she needs people who have at one time or another left church (i.e., you have a CLB) following very negative experiences. She describes it this way:

Random Acts of Linkage #27

Full Gas Gauge I’ve got a lot of catch-up to do… and I’m still about a week behind in my blog reading, having spent too much time this past week wrestling with blog upgrades, updates, migrations, and fixes. Should all be a thing of the past soon, then back onto “normal.” Interesting occurrence of the week — we spent a half-hour on a Skype call, video-to-video with family friends in China. Our two girls and their two girls were tickled to see each other on the computer as we talked, and they took us on a virtual narrated tour of their flat. Cool. I remarked to my buddy later that in all the movies and television I’d seen where video telephony was commonplace, there seemed to be a lot less giggling and waving than what my own personal experience suggested. He explained that it wouldn’t look right for James Bond to be talking to M with both of them waving and giggling into the camera. I had to agree of course — thought I stipulated it may have been more in character for Lazenby or Dalton perhaps, but not Connery, Moore, or Brosnan. Alright, on to the linkage, which this week is followed by a fine selection of quotations found around the Interweb:

Random Acts of Linkage #27

So it continues. As I keep windows open for reading, reflecting, and interacting I sometimes end up with several windows on a related theme that I want to blog about, or else I begin to leave a link for this list and in starting to compose a brief comment, I end up with something that deserves a post of its own. And once again this week, I’ve had a browser crash that lost me a slough of open tabs and windows of stuff I’d considered important enough to keep open and ponder… but I can’t recall what they all were, and I don’t keep a very long tail on my browser history. Sigh.

Advocating Business Principles for Churches: On Leadership

Boardroom Ed Brenegar tackles The Intellectual Gulf between church thinking and business thinking:

There is an intellectual gulf that exists between the church and the business world. It is deep and wide, and has served to ghettoize the church and marginalize the business world’s contribution to God’s mission in the world. Complaints that churches are too consumerist or too business-like is not an argument against the church applying business ideas, but about the poor way that business ideas are applied. That is a leadership character issue along with the intellectual one.

Bill Kinnon noticed as well, and says it relates to one of my posts from this past summer, Church Structure & Leadership Smackdown: The Academy vs The Business Model, which led to some good discussion. I was enjoying Ed’s post, and when I came to his mention of Tom Peters, I was especially pleased.

Random Acts of Linkage #24

Yesterday evening we took off to the Morden Corn & Apple Festival where we ran into some friends from way back that we haven’t seen in years. Back in the pre-children days, they were part of one of the best small groups we were privileged to lead in the ol’ CLB. He resonated when I used the phrase “ecclesiastical vagrant.” There are so many out there.

And… on with the linkage, noting that I’m dedicating item #11 to my good friend Robbymac.

  1. Former Leader offered a personal post that shows the pain of having relationships cut off after you pass over the church threshold for the last time.
  2. Jason Clark gets personal as well; identification for those who struggle with depression.

Random Acts of Linkage #23

Everybody’s doing this personality thing, so…

I came back INTP again, which is no surprise because I’m not exactly a “borderline” INTP, as you can see from the graph. Add linguistic/logical to the mix… note that the “linguistic” level isn’t exactly marginal either, and take away some understanding of why I’ve gotten so deep into the definition of “missional” as of late! Some of the profiles are pretty good. The career matches aren’t bad — most of them look good to me, and I’ve actually done several of them. Other INTPs include 5 US presidents, Einstein, Pascal, Socrates, Descartes, and Jung himself. Oh, and Bob Newhart. Fictionally, they include all the weird but near-perfect Star Trek characters: Spock, Data, and Seven of Nine. Hhmmm.

Writing Beyond What I Know

writing on parchment I wanted to make one thing perfectly clear: not everything I write around here is based on my “mastery” of the subject matter at hand, nor of some exhaustive set of experiences. Some may think me hypocritical to write beyond what I can prove intellectually or experientially. But I’m not going to change what I write… I’m going to keep right on writing about things beyond my knowledge and experience. Arranged so that each reason builds upon the previous one, here’s why.