June 2016

Vision: It Takes a Community to Craft One

Vision Casting and Vision Collecting: A Big Difference!

Peter Senge vision, vision casting, vision collecting

Visions that are truly shared take time to emerge. They grow as a by-product of interactions of individual visions. Experience suggests that visions that are genuinely shared require ongoing conversation where individuals not only feel free to express their dreams, but learn how to listen to each other's dreams.  Peter Senge

Three Beautiful Thoughts on Reading

From Merton, Foster and LeClercq

I am just going to provide the quotes with the images I found, without commenting on any of the quotes.

My only encouragement is to read, read a lot, read a lot of really good books, reflect on what you read, have conversations about what you read, and put into practice what you read and learn. May God hover over your heart and mind as you do this.

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International



Thomas Merton on reading

What is the Church?

C.S. Lewis on the church, diversity in the church, church

It takes all sorts to make a world; or a church. This may be even truer of a church. If grace perfects nature it must expand all our natures into the full richness of the diversity which God intended when He made them, and Heaven will display for more variety than Hell. C.S. Lewis

During my Sabbatical, I am doing all kinds of reading and reflecting on the church and its mission. The other day I had three books as conversation partners.

A Man Named Jesus Once Stood in Our Midst

who do you say that I am, reJesus, missional Christ

"The great English philosopher, John Stuart Mill, once commented that mankind can hardly be too often reminded that there was once a man named Socrates. That is correct, but it is even more important to remind mankind that a man named Jesus Christ once stood in their midst." (Adolf von Harnack, What is Christianity?)

We so easily forget the profound, mysterious, and transformative reality of Jesus Christ. Of Him, the authors of Holy Scripture cannot speak too highly...

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . . And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory... (John 1:1, 14)

A Missional Church

the church is the mission of God in the world

I came across this description of a missional church in an older book, The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating the Missional Church by Alan Hirsch.

A missional church is a church that defines itself, and organizes its life around its real purpose as an agent of God's mission to the world. In other words, the church's true and authentic organizing principle is mission. Therefore when the church is in mission, it is the true church. The church itself is not only a product of that mission but is obligated and destined to extend it by whatever means possible. The mission of God flows directly through every believer and every community of faith that adheres to Jesus.

A Wild Ride With Jesus

Many of you may already know that on June 19, Living Word Community Church voted to call me to be the second senior pastor of the church. I have the great privilege (as well as somewhat daunting task) of following the founding-legacy pastor, Steve Almquist.

LWCC has been my home church since 1978 when I was just out of college, jogging through a neighborhood, and found a church meeting in an old school building. I went that next Sunday and knew I had found a place to call my spiritual home, and a group of people with whom I could do life. 

Change the World - Enjoy the World

I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world, E.B. White

I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it difficult to plan the day. E.B. White

This was a final quote that brought an extraordinarily fine book to a satisfying finish. The book is Originals by Adam Grant. It is his second book. His first book, Give and Take, was one of the most outstanding books I have ever read on leadership. If you have not yet read Give and Take, go get it now and start reading it yesterday. Then, when you are finished soaking in the brilliantly presented wisdom of that book, start in on Originals. It is so hard for a second book to equal outstanding first publications. But Grant did it. 

The Beach and a Bag of Books (With a Few More on Kindle)

While I am always reading, the vacations at the beach are a time to take a bag of books along. This is what was in my bag this past week.


These three quotes on happiness gave me some things to consider.

life is way to short

dont' put the key to your happiness in someone elses pocket

How are you doing with your own experience of happiness, contentment, being at peace, enjoying well-being, and what I like to call FLOURISHING. Augustine uses the old fashioned rarely heard word - BLISS.

Grace to you,

Rock Star Pastors

Jesus Was Not a Rock Star

Saving Leonardo, by Nancy Pearcey was a great book. I took about a month to go through it. Near the very end, she shared a perspective from TV producer Mark Joseph on the problem of the celebrity pastor. Here are her words:

"If you go to a pastor's church where he's a star, you're really there as a member to uphold his arms and help him make a bigger impact for the world (Mark Joseph)." A more biblical model is the reverse, where the leader's role is teaching and equipping lay people to go out and work on the front lines. As Joseph put it, the pastor should be "holding up the arms of the people of his congregation who are then empowered to go and do good things for the world..."

Ideas Need Embodied in People

Eric Fromm, no great radical idea can survive

No great radical idea can survive unless it is embodied in individuals whose lives are the message. Eric Fromm

There are so many thoughts that stir in me as I consider Fromm's words.

What great radical ideas are embodied in my life? What are those great radical ideas of which my life is the message? I am not asking what are the great radical ideas I believe. I am asking - what are the great radical ideas I believe so deeply, so powerfully, so profoundly, that they have become a living presence in my life. Then, they radiate forth from my life since my life has become the message?