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09 January, 2008 / theexpositor

Goals in 2008

Here are some thoughts on 2008 and goals or hopes I have for the new year.

Family-In 2007, I came to understand more than ever that the most important thing I can do, for all areas of my life, is that I be the best husband and father I can be. I always knew this, but the Lord really drove the point home to me. Voddie Baucham’s book Family Driven Faith made a big impression on me and instilled in me again that the most important ministry I have been blessed with is that of my family, and no longer will I sacrifice my family on the altar of ministry.

Ministry– The radio program continues to expand and take directions that surprise me. We have done a lot of traveling in the last three months and that will continue during 2008. The book project on the Emergent Church is progressing and I anticipate its conclusion this year (pray it will all come together and a publishing arrangement will come together). Our relationship with Salem Communications has been a very positive thing and while the syndication project has been slow in developing, our association with OnePlace.com has been tremendously positive. The thousands of emails we have received from listeners around the world has been so wonderful.

Relationships– One of the greatest blessings has been the relationships the Lord has placed us in. I won’t name people because it sounds too much like name-dropping, but we have been blessed with the opportunity to know and work with many people and ministries who are so wonderfully committed to the Gospel and it is an honor to serve with them. I look forward to what the Lord has in store for 2008.

Blogging-While our blog has gotten a lot of attention and has proven to be a very valuable tool with everything else we do, it has also become a distraction of sorts. One of the regrets that I have about my blog, and blogging in general, is that many times they are used as tools of attack and conjecture, used many times to go for people throats rather than ministry. I have been guilty of jumping to conclusions, making accusations before knowing the facts, and worse yet, drawing more attention to myself than to the Gospel and that is not what we as Christians should be about. Plus many times I have found myself feeling pressured to post something, anything, on the blog, just because I haven’t written anything lately. Blogging is a wonderful tool and should be used wisely. As Christians who use this medium as a tool of ministry, we should always keep that first and foremost in our hearts and minds. We should be assertive, bold and clear, but if we lack love, compassion and mercy, then something is wrong. Supper with a friend in Dallas not long ago helped me to really understand this.

Personally-I am thankful to our Lord for taking me to the woodshed on many occasions. I am confident in my motives and intentions, but sometimes I lack compassion for the very ones I say I am taking the Gospel too. During my trip to an emergent church conference in Texas last year, I came to understand that many times I have been harsh and unloving, especially when it came to those involved in that movement. While I strongly disagree with many of the views of some of those promoting the emergent doctrines, and I will contend for the faith with fervor and without fear, I am still mandated by my Lord to love those folks and to show it and act it. This is difficult at times, but we must speak the truth in love.

These are just a few reflections, and there is so much more to share. I am very hopeful about the days and weeks to come. I will admit that at times I am so overwhelmed with the tasks at hand, that sometimes I have to just step away and breath. But what a glorious honor it is to be even a small part of what God is doing. Praise His Name.

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3 Comments

  1. cbgrace / Jan 9 2008 20 24

    I’ve been reading through your past post on the Emergent Church and I’ve yet to come across a clear definition.

    Would you mind posting a defination/characteristics of an Emergent Church?

    Thanks.

  2. theexpositor / Jan 10 2008 3 45

    Hi cbgrace and thanks for your comment.

    Defining the emergent church is probably one of the greatest challenges and frsutrations of the movement. But I would say that the EC is basically an informal association of Christian fellowships, or communities as they many would describe it, who seek the redefine the church and the way their church concept relates to the culture. There are many differences of opinion and even theology within the emergent church, but one of the other hallmarks of this movement which seeks to relate to the postmodern mindset, is its foundational belief that truth is subjective, and not absolute and can be restated to fit a particular culture or demographic.

    There are many resources I can recommend; one is that I suugest you read some of the many article we have written or linked to here. Just click on the Emergent Church listing to the right. We have recently produced several programs ddelaing with conferences and interviews we have done Click on the OnePlace.com link here to listen to these.

    Another great resource is the book The Truth War by John MacArthur. This is a tremendously thorough work on the subject, and in fact I have done an interview with Dr. MacArthur on this book. You can get the book at bookstores anywhere or at http://www.gty.org.

    Thirdly, Darrin Patrick is lead pastor of a church in St. Louis, MO called The Journey. He recently delivered a series of lectures on the ECM that I think are superb. Pastor Patrick’s lectures are available as MP3 online at http://www.acts29network.org/acts-29-blog/discerning-a-missional-milieu/.

    I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions or thoughts.

    Lord bless.

  3. Brett S / Jan 10 2008 22 55

    Wow, very humble thoughts Mike. Thanks for reminding those of us struggling to lead our families in this crazy world out here that we are not alone.
    Your post reminds me of what the old spiritual writers refer to as the virtue of “pure intention”. I picked up a book over the holidays I’ve not read in years, that reminds me of your reflections:

    [ Wherever we have some sign of God’s will, we are obliged to conform to what the sign tells us. We should do so with a pure intention, obeying God’s will because it is good in itself as well as good for us. It takes more than an occasional act of faith to have such pure intentions. It takes a whole life of faith, a total consecration to hidden values. It takes sustained moral courage and heroic confidence in the help of Divine Grace. But above all it takes the humility and spiritual poverty to travel in darkness and uncertainty, where so often we have no light and see no sign at all.
    ….it would be a false idea of perfection for an imperfect person suddenly to try to act with a perfection he does not possess. It is not the will of God that we should obey Him while at the same time telling Him lies about our interior dispositions. If our dispositions are bad, let us ask Him to make them better, but let us not tell him that they are really very good. Still less is it enough to say “Thy will be done” and then do the opposite. It is better to be like the son in the parable, who said, “I will not” (Matthew 21:28), but afterward went to work in the vineyard, than to be like the other one who said, “I go, sir,” and then did not obey.
    If, in trying to do the will of God, we always seek the highest standard of perfection, we show that there is still much we need to learn about the will of God. For God does not demand that every man attain to what is theoretically highest and best. It is better to be a good street sweeper than a bad writer, better to be a good bartender than a bad doctor, and the repentant thief who died with Jesus on Calvary was far more perfect that the holy ones who had Him nailed to the cross.] – Thomas Merton (No Man Is An Island)

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