Below is an editorial comment from Freddy Finkelstein about Jeske's friend Ski....
He's (Jeske) not the only one on record saying this, of course. I recently visited Ski's Drive '08 blog, and on his Day_5 entry, he has some very telling comments regarding "Rule Breakers," and the influence they ought to have in directing ministry.
Here's the link: http://web.me.com/pastorski/Site/Day_5.html
The final Main Session with
When Andy began his session. He started by saying that he was not going to follow his notes in the Drive ’08 Journal Book. Instead he was going to do something that he called, “Recent Random Thoughts On Church Leadership.” He shared 5 points and 5 takeaways. I think that he was at his absolute best this afternoon. Here are the 5 point & takeaways:
To reach people no one else is reaching we must do things no one else is doing. (Question: "What is the measure of 'reaching people not yet reached?'" Numeric Growth in the church? Numeric growth from among the unchurched? Who's to say that they haven't already been reached with the Gospel, and that the hasn't been doing His work all along?" Stanley's first point, here, unquestionably arrogates credit for the Holy Spirit's work to Man and his efforts.)
Takeaway - Become preoccupied with those you haven’t reached as opposed to those you keep. This is easier said than done. (Church Growthers are not concerned with back-door losses -- just perpetual growth. It is part of the program. Those who stay for awhile and contribute, but later leave, are nothing but throw-away "scaffolding" anyway, according to Church Growth theories.)
Wow, it seems so simple. And yet so hard.
The next generation product almost never comes from the previous generation. (In other words, every new generation re-invents itself, makes its own mistakes, learns from them etc. In response to this, the single word "catholicity" comes to mind -- a word which a Human nature has not changed over this period, making such wisdom entirely "relevant," especially given that it is primarily the nature common to all men to which the Church must address itself -- not man's culture, whimsical and fleeting as it is.) sectarian like Andy Stanley would never think to utter or contemplate. The has made mistakes and learned from them for 2000 years. What has been handed down to us in terms of public practice is the result of trial and error over this entire period.
Takeaway - Be a student not a critic.
What more can be said? How do we approach things? When things are different & involve change are we scared? Do we criticize or do we look to learn and implement? (What? Critical reception of change is necessary, especially among those publicly confessing catholicity and orthodoxy -- doubly so among those who consider themselves to be Berean!)
What do I believe is impossible to do in my field? But if it could be done it would fundamentally change my business. (Everything we are in Christ is impossible for man to accomplish -- this is the fundamental truth of our "business." Nothing we do can change this fact. The making of a Christian is a miracle from start to finish. It is the Holy Spirit's work, not ours. We employ His Means, according to the command of Christ, and the Holy Spirit does the rest.)
Takeaway - Pay attention to the people who are breaking the rules. (What rules? The "rules" of public practice handed to us in the Western Rite and embraced in the Confessions? The few strictures of public practice placed on us by the Scriptures? The voluntary and brotherly "setting aside of personal preferences" in favor of unity in practice? As if there isn't great enough freedom within these boundaries, now we are to regard them as "rules which need to be broken." The entire Church is called to a mind of adolescence by such statements, called to regard "The System" with disdainful suspicion, and to cast aside the sound wisdom of our fathers. Indeed, Church Growthers make a joke out if it -- "It's not your father's church, anymore!" But we are called upon in the Scriptures to exercise sound wisdom in our freedom. Catholicity offers such wisdom as it has been gathered over two millenia. Will the "unhistorical spirit of our times" cause us to disparage and forget such wisdom? Looks like it...)
Crazy sounding isn’t it? We can fight technology and change, but in the end it will pass us and we will become archaic and irrelevant. Not our Message, but the manner in which we present it. Who would have ever thought texting would be as big as it is? How about multi-site church? Video church? These are all things that have changed how we worship. (The use of "new technology" is not "breaking rules" of any sort. There is, however, great wisdom in exercising caution in our use of it, as certain usages may well carry us outside of acceptable practice. It is also unwise to invest in fads, but only in those aspects of "new technology" which are going to remain a fixture.)
If we got kicked out & the board brought in a new CEO what would they do? Why shouldn’t we walk out the door & then come back in & do it ourselves?
Takeaway - Acknowledge what is NOT working & own up to why you are unwilling to change it. (Again, what is the "measure of what is working?" Numbers? If a given congregation doesn't have what "central command" defines as "positive stats," then the Holy Spirit is not working? Hogwash.)
Some thoughts on this - rarely does the church (in general) get concerned about change until they run out of money. What if we asked some questions before it was too late? (As in, "Why are we spending so much money on needless changes?")
What’s in decline?
(According to whose standards of decline? Why is all decline considered to be evidence of something wrong? At one point, as a result of hard teaching no less, almost all the disciples abandoned Jesus until only the original 12 were left. What a failure He turned out to be...)
Where are we manufacturing energy? In other words pretending something is important. An example would be if I continued to say that Bible Study was important, but never attended. I’m blowing hot air, “manufacturing energy.” I don’t believe that anyone wants to stand behind that or get involved in something like that.
Finally, when are we going to unearth all underlying assumptions? Sometimes, what we assume, is not the reality. Are we willing to dig to find out the truth or are we happy with assuming. ("Underlying assumptions," as in, "If my stats aren't 'good' then the Holy Spirit isn't working, and it's all my fault?")
- When your memories exceed your dreams the end is near.
Takeaway - Don’t let success or momentum overshadow your vision. Keep the out front. (Again, what is success, and how does one know he has momentum? Given that it is "your vision" against which these are compared, I would assume measures of success and momentum are rooted in some aspect of man.)
How quickly can we be satisfied? How often do we look at things and say, “Well, it’s not great but it is better than such and such church.” Scary, but we sometimes fool ourselves into thinking like this. Some questions to ponder:
What the burden on your heart?
What breaks your heart?