Archive | September, 2014

Mark Driscoll: I Made The Mistake Of Trying To Be Under the Authority Of My Elders

30 Sep

Mark Driscoll recently stepped down for a short term leave of absence from his mega church.  Driscoll is often credited for creating a more “man friendly” church.  He co-founded the Acts 29 network for church planters, but that organization has since separated themselves from him.

Warren Throckmorton is a psychology professor who has been writing and following the story.  The title of this article comes from his most recent post concerning the situation.  The post includes a video of the Driscolls sharing about the struggles that they faced during their years of ministry.  The article does not state when this video was taken, and I wish that I knew.  Some of the statements are shocking in my opinion.

Mark Driscol and Wife

Mark’s statement that surprised me the most was…

“…but I knew as a big personality and pretty intense so I wanted to be under authority, but I made a mistake of, how do I say this carefully; trying to be under the authority of my elders, but the truth is all my elders were new and young and green, and they would want to help, but they really didn’t know what they were talking about. And so what I should’ve had was a team of pastors outside of the church who were older and more seasoned who could, you know, help Grace and I put life together and also give me counsel on how to work on the church with the elders I had early on. They could work in the church but they couldn’t work on the church.”

A couple of notes:

1.  Reconciliation is hard work.  

Mark said that he shouldn’t have elders because the problems were on the elder board, and that would be too hard.  It would apparently be too awkward for him to bring up the troubles that they were facing within the leadership team.  Reconciliation takes both parties who are willing to come to the table with humility – something which seems to be lacking among many church leadership teams.

Have we as Christians lost the beauty of reconciliation?  Do we even know what it means?  In today’s world of church-hopping, it is often just easier to start over.

2.  Are mega churches even churches?

Many mega churches are not about the local people, but about the personalities that run them.  When the center of the church is the stage, and what goes each week during that one hour, there is no need for an elder board who are connected to the actual community.  If a church could be uprooted and moved to any other geographical location at any time, then it isn’t really a church.

I believe that what Mark Driscoll wants to be is the “OPRAH” of the evangelical world.  He can have a weekly show where he shows his intelligence, discernment, and gives advice for his listeners.   It would be a show disconnected from a physical location and community.  It would be a show where he can be the producer, speaker, and all-powerful potentate.

What makes your church connected to your actual community?  Is your church rooted and grounded in your physical location?

3.  Churches are ideal places for abusive leadership.  

Churches are easy places for individuals to gain power, and build kingdoms.  One reason is that we as humans are frail, and fragile, and we long for something that is bigger and stronger than we are.  However, that desire in our lives should be filled by God, and by God alone.  I don’t think that there is anything more dangerous than a type A personality, backed by the “power of God.”

Another reason that churches (especially big ones) are notorious for not dealing with problems is because many Christians have unhealthy views of church unity and leadership.  Many people feel as if something is wrong, but respond by saying, “Well, it wouldn’t be right (or godly) for me to question.”

I personally pray that the leadership (that is left) at Mars Hill will find the strength to do the right thing.

I pray that the people who are hurt will find healing.

I pray for those pastors who gave, and found themselves burned.

I pray that Mark and his family (who are very real) will do what they need to do to become healthy.

I look forward to seeing how God’s Kingdom will press on in the midst of human chaos.

What are your thoughts as you read and watch what is happening at Mars Hill?  What can we learn from this situation?  What do you think that mega church culture is doing to the Western Church?

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources.

Naming Your Men’s Ministry – 35 Names for Men’s Ministries

25 Sep

I have a confession to make.  The reason I am doing this post is because I know that more people will google “names for men’s ministry” than actually read about spiritual formation among men.

Group of men - church

© 2010 The Walk Church, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

In a media-driven society, image has become essential.  We have forgotten that, “A rose by any other name is still a rose.”  We believe (or hope) that a fancy name and graphic will cause people to show up.  This fact is proven by how many churches now have one (or more) graphic designers on their staff.

So I have included some potential names for your men’s group; however, I hope that you will look deeper than a name, and understand what your ministry does is more important that what it is called.

Here are 35 possible names for your men’s ministry (over half of the churches I found are using the first two names).

IronMen                                                            Ignite

Band of Brothers                                          Resolve

Lead                                                                     Man-up

Driven                                                                 The Core

Resonate                                                            Men of Action

Iron Works                                                        Man2Man

Real Life                                                            Funda-MEN-tals

Excel                                                                  The Forge

The Herd                                                          Real

Mighty Men                                                     The King’s Men

Men of Faith                                                    Momentum

The Pursuit                                                     Fight Club

Frontline                                                         Men of Honor

The Brotherhood                                          Platoon

Gate Keepers                                                 Covenant Keepers

Point men                                                      Equip

Catalyst                                                          Sealed

Iron Faith

MTAB – or MoreThanABeard

(Some men groups have even asked to use our name for their men’s ministry (MorethanABeard).  You may use it with permission.  Please contact me at gdavid@earesources.org.)

If these don’t work, do this…  Combine 1) a manly word, 2) a type of metal, and 3) something men like to eat.  My result was… Tough Steel Bacon.  Hey, don’t count it out!  The marketing possibilities are endless. 

Alright, so the last one didn’t quite work.

Maybe we should be focusing not as much on what it is called, but what we do (Read More).

Maybe we should rely on grabbing attention because of lives that have been changed.

Maybe a strong name is not the source of our power.

Maybe a trendy name is not a replacement for being relevant.

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources.

10 Lies Men Believe About Pornography

23 Sep

When talking to emerging adults and their fathers, they often express that the major issue that they are facing as men is pornography.  If you are looking for a fresh perspective of finding freedom, Stephen Kuhn has just released a new book called 10 Lies Men Believe about Porn. The book is designed to help those who struggle with an addiction to pornography.

I heard about the book on Frank Viola’s blog.  I wanted to share the article.

 

Nomination for the 2014 – Worst Displays of Manhood

18 Sep

rob fordI saw this interesting article, and thought that I would pass it along.

Leave a comment on who you would like to nominate for 2014 List.

 

 

Why do you love me?

16 Sep

As I sit, I wonder why.

Why me? I am smaller than I realize. I am more fragile than I confess. I am weaker than I seem. I am more scared than I appear.  I am more broken than I care to admit.

I am more weakness than strengths.  I am more holes than bucket.  I am more needy than needed.

In light of this, I feel that it is appropriate to ask why.

I used to ask why God are you not using me in a great and mighty way, but now I am wondering why even love me at all?  This is not a question asked in fake humility, but born out of deep soul-searching.

I know the things in life that I love. They are strong. They are helpful. They are beautiful.

I tend to run from other things that don’t fit my criteria. Things that are weak. Things that are needy.  Things that are unlovely.  For an item’s worth is often the basis of love.  I will admit that it is often the basis of my love.  I walk away from things that are too hard… from things that have hurt me… from things that disappoint me.

Romans 5:8So why would you want me? Why do you love me still?

I have walked away. Sometimes unaware of my actions, while at other times they are quite intentional.  In those moments, I feel as if these other pursuits of my affection will give me something – something that I am desperate to find.

I hate to call myself desperate, but it best describes my wild pursuits.

Doesn’t it hurt you when I choose these things over you?  My disloyalty is obvious.  It is not sly or hidden, but abrasive and in-your-face.  Nor are my days of wandering over.  I may be present today, and absent tomorrow.  Even I am confused by the fickleness of my life.

I have disappointed you. I know it. Once so full of passion energy and vibrancy, I would have followed you to the ends of earth. I could have been… but I am not.  I am a living example of “if only,” “but then,” and “except that.”  Often I even surprise myself at who and where I am.

These are the reasons that cause me to wonder why. They are valid.  In view of these things, I am not sure how love could endure.

If you do still love me, and if this type of love does exist, I am not sure that I am not capable of returning it. I am not sure that I will ever be. I am not even sure it is possible.

And if I am not able to return this love in equal proportion back, then once again I ask,

Why?

Romans 5:8

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

 

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources.

Real Men Ask for Directions

11 Sep

 

Real Men don’t ask for directions.  It must be true, you can even buy it on a t-shirt.

I remember getting lost on my first date.  We were headed to Chili’s on the west side of Indianapolis.  Instead of turning north on I-465, I decided to go south.  We circled the entire city of Indianapolis before I even realized that I had made a mistake.

The invention of the smart phone has saved countless men from the humiliation of stopping and asking for directions; however, you often still hear forms of this joke stating clearly that men do not ask for directions.  We would rather rely on our own instincts that ask for help.  We keep going, believing we can do it.  With each passing minute (or mile marker), we become more determined which sometimes leads us even farther in the wrong direction.

I still remember the Christmas that I got the GI Joe Night Raven.  This was no ordinary toy jet – the Backbird was awesome.  It was a massive jet with movable wings and lots of missiles.  What more I could I ask for?  The blackbird even had a drop down cock pit that was totally awesome.  However, it was a little tricky to put together, and in the process of trying to figure it out on my own – I broke it.  I tried to force it to do something that it wasn’t intended to do.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t a little broken, but completely broken.  My refusal to follow the directions caused me to break my Christmas gift.

While my stubbornness cost me my Cobra Night Raven, sometimes refusing to stop and ask for help has a much bigger price tag.  Many men struggle along for years only adding to their pain because of a stubborn will to admit that they need help.

Often our refusal to ask for help is rooted in a sense of personal pride.  This is another reason that pride is so deadly to faith, and our walk with God.  Humility and the ability to ask for help will empower us to live lives of integrity much more than pride and a stubborn sense of independence.

Healing can begin when we turn to the source of our help.

The Psalmist writes, “I lift up my eyes to the hills.  From where does my help come?  It comes from the Lord.  The Maker of Heaven and Earth.”  God is the source of our help, and He has given us several other sources of directions including:  friends, family, the Word, and other forms of revelation.

What are you facing right now that you need help in addressing?  Is it as simple as fixing your sink?  For others, it is complex – like fixing their marriage, or a relationship with a child.  Regardless of how big or how small –

Stop and ask for directions.

 

david in hatDr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources.  He does own a smartphone, but is often not smart enough to get it to work.

 

Why Courtship is Fundamentally Flawed

9 Sep

Lonely Woman on a Bench - Why Courtship is Fundamentally FlawedI find it amusing whenever a person starts talking about the “Right” or “Biblical” way to find a mate.  If you look through the pages of the Bible,several methods of getting a mate might get you in trouble these days.   Continue reading

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