Category Archives: emerging church

my current blog roll

i spent some time the other day cleaning up my blog reader. i removed blogs that haven’t had a new post in months, and changed the names to the name of the person (if there is one), as i often forget who’s blog i’m reading when i only see the blog name!

so here’s what i’ve got in my blog reader these days. i try to keep it paired down — i just don’t have time to read hundreds of blogs every day. but these are the ones i look at at least once a day. there are dozens of others – particularly youth ministry blogs – that i check in on from time to time, but aren’t listed here.

the categories are somewhat arbitrary – they’re just what work for me!

scot mcknight
seth barnes
tash mcgill
david hayward
asbo jesus
andy marin
jonny baker
andrew jones
tony jones
dan kimball

youth ministry (this is a tough category for me, because there are SO many wonderful youth ministry blogs. i read dozens and dozens more than this on an occasional basis. but these are the handful i find the most thoughtful and challenging, or, frankly, are just friends of mine in youth ministry that i want to stay current with.)
chris folmsbee
mark riddle
mike king
fuller youth institute blog
josh griffin
ypulse (ypulse isn’t a youth ministry blog, actually. it’s a youth culture blog, focused on publishing, advertising and for teenagers.)
kurt johnston
lars rood
johnny scott
brooklyn lindsey
adam mclane

ymcp (these youth ministry bloggers are in my youth ministry coaching program)
robb gossen
paul martin
luke macdonald
zack weingartner
marty estes
andy sahl
chuck hilman
joel mayward
andrew sale
jeff goins

journey (my church)
brian berry (generations and high school pastor, close friend)
josh treece (the former middle school guy)
todd tolson (former discipleship guy, and long-ago middle school pastor, now a church planter)
christina robertson (christina is our middle school pastor, and i’m one of her volunteers)
riptide blog (the middle school ministry)
ed noble (lead pastor, and friend of over 20 years)

humor and oddities
passive aggressive notes
fail blog
mcsweeney’s lists
new math
exploding dog

david crowder
zach lind

mark dowds
indexed (the pithy little 3×5 thoughts of jessica hagy)
mark aardsma (fellow participant with me in townsend’s coaching program; super-smart young business mind)
dave palmer (buddy, former ys marketing dude, freelance marketing genius)
donavon roberson (culture evangelist at, former youth worker, and a guy i’m dreaming some stuff up with)
max (max, my son, isn’t posting often, but they’re fun when he does.)

an odd conglomeration of diverse bits, part 2 (of 2)

three more bits that i wanted to post, but hadn’t gotten around to…

adam mclane, my good friend and former ys co-worker, went along with my on our late february trip to haiti (the youth ministry advance team: haiti). adam was so deeply moved that even before we flew home, he was saying, “i don’t know how or when, but i know i’m coming back.” well, adam’s keeping that promise. and he’s opened up the trip to other youth workers, or, really, anyone who would like to go. the trip is limited to 20 people.

some details, from adam’s blog post about this trip:

* July 19-25, 2010
* Cost is $390 + travel to Port-au-Prince (seems like the flight is about $800 from San Diego, maybe more or less where you live.)
* The maximum size of the team is 20. I’d like to know who is going by mid-May.
* The team is open to anyone 21+… whether you know me from church, my work at Youth Specialties, or are a blog reader.
* This is an adult trip– which means we’ll be a team when we’re together, but it’s not quite the same as a youth group trip!
* Just like my first trip, this is being put together by Adventures in Missions. I know the team there and some of the people we’ll be working alongside.
* Kristen is going with me. Though it’s not a “couples” trip this may be an amazing opportunity for a ministry couple to go and do ministry together.
* Ideally, you have a heart for serving the Haitian church and have been praying for God to open an opportunity for you to go.
* If you are thinking of leading a team in 2011 and want to go on a preview trip, this is perfect for that.
* I don’t know 100% what we’ll be doing every day of our trip. (That will become more clear later) At this point I can only guarantee you that we’ll be doing some type of earthquake relief and working through a local Haitian pastor.

here’s adam offering the invitation to join him:

years ago, a handful of us who had been to the amazing british festival, greenbelt (SO much more than a music festival!), started dreaming about creating an american version. our conversations took many forms and turns, at one point thinking of the event as a mash-up of an americanized greenbelt and an americanized taize (i even had a terse email dialogue with a monk from taize in france, who informed me that, while he wished us well, did not think that trying to replicate taize merited any consideration at all). ys was part of this discussion for a while, and we were in serious chats with youth front camps, in the kansas city area. but we never really got anywhere with the idea. others got involved and ys stepped back (but karla yaconelli continued on as a part of what has become the board of the new festival).

i was starting to think the idea would never really come to life. so i was really pleased to see that the festival — now called the “wild goose festival” (wild goose is a celtic reference to the holy spirit, btw) — looks to be real. they’ve just hired an executive director (a guy with great greenbelt experience), have a blog up, and a date (june 2011). pay attention to this one.


my jaw literally dropped while watching this dude. damien walters takes parkour and flips and trampolines and gymnastics to a truly hard-to-believe place:

(ht to neatorama)

dan kimball reviews ym3.0

so stoked to have my friend dan kimball review youth ministry 3.0, and call it out as a book all church leaders should read. dan is a great and unique mind, and has a quirky way of thinking and writing that i have often found almost as valuable as his friendship. here’s dan’s wonderful review:

Youth Ministry 3.0 = Church 3.0

Youth ministry 3.0 I just reread Youth Ministry 3.0 today for the second time. It is a book that is short, but it is not a book that is shallow. It’s written by my friend Mark Oestreicher from Youth Specialties. I met Marko in Colorado around 10 years ago at a retreat think-tank sort of thing we both were at. He was not yet on staff with Youth Specialties but was soon to be going there. I found an instant admiration of his unique hair style that he had at the time. I will say that his hair changes seasonally in ways that I am in awe of. It feels like every year at the Apple Convention the excitement builds for the unveiling of the new Mac products – and I feel that way about his hair. It feels like an annual event. You can sense it coming… the anticipation builds – and then there is the revealing of a new style.

I have had many fun days through the years with Marko and we went to Singapore together a couple of years ago (where he saw me with my hair drenched and flattened after a downpour).

But, this post isn’t about hair… I am writing about his latest book, Youth Ministry 3.0. I had an entirely different review written at first – and then changed it because there are many great reviews posted already looking at the content of the book you can read here. I wanted to write a different kind of review focusing on why I think this book is critically important not just to youth leaders but to church leaders in general. It really could be called “Church 3.0”.

When I read the book I had the strong “aha!” experience of when someone explores and discovers the underlying cause of a problem.That’s very different than just trying to fix the surface or exterior of a problem while the real problem still remains below. Marko addresses why we need to change, not just suggesting change for change sake, or change to keep up with youth trends. He makes a case that our assumptions may be wrong about how we go about youth ministry today. If we are entering into ministry with wrong assumptions, then we can go on and on and on in ministry building on incorrect assumptions. So this is a very, very big thing to consider and why this book is important and makes it very different from others.

Marko then does what a good historian and cultural anthropologist would do and goes back into time to trace the roots of where what we do comes from. I cannot overstate the importance of doing this. If we don’t go back to our origins to see when and why and how things developed, we then may be building on incorrect assumptions if the original reason we started doing something is now different. So he looks at the growth of youth culture first. Where did “teenagers” come from? When and how did youth ministry as we know it start? He goes through all this so we have a framework of understanding how we got to where we are today. He does it in a relatively short amount of pages which is amazing for the amount of content he covers.

From this Marko builds a sequence of phases uses a chart to track through time how we first had Youth MIinistry 1.0, then 2.0 and now entering 3.0. he breaks it down by Youth Culture Fixation, Cultural Influence on Youth Ministry, Key Themes, what drives the ministry and even a theme verse which was fun to see what he would select. As I mentioned, there are great reviews on Marko’s blog already which explore these three themes more. So I won’t repeat them – but I wanted to explore something else about this book.

Youth Ministry sets the path for the whole church to follow

I have a theory that perhaps what Marko is saying here is not just regarding youth ministry. These 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 phases definitely apply to youth – however, I am pretty convinced that they really speak of “Church 3.0” as well. That is why I think that this book should be read not just by youth leaders, but by anyone in vocational ministry as it effects every aspect of every church we are in.

When Marko talks about what influenced youth during these phases, I would make a case that these same shifts influenced the church at large, not only youth. If I am looking at what he says about “Cultural Influences on Youth Ministry” being in 1.0 we had “Language and Topics” and in 2.0 we had “Models and Success” and in 3.0 we have “Contextualization” – the description of the shift from 2.0 to 3.0 is exactly what I find myself thinking as a church planter of a church entering year 5 of our existence. Yes, there are applications of these changes that apply to specific ages such as youth. But as I am reading what he is writing, I am thinking “This book could be titled “Church 3.0”

Something I have been wondering about and this book stirred this up in my thinking again, is how influential youth ministry is to the church at large. What I mean by that is wondering if what youth ministries do now will become what churches are like in the future. I have been interested in looking at in particular the rise of some “adult” churches in the Bible belt. This may just be my perspective and incorrect – but some of the very large ones, look almost identical to youth ministries of the 1990’s. The lights, the bands, the smoke machines, the whole shebang in what the worship gatherings are like. God sure seems to be using them in their contexts and am thrilled reading about how God is using these churches. As I read Marko’s book, I wondered if what is happening in these areas is that the adult churches are to some degree to the 2.0 approach of what youth ministry was doing. Maybe California and the west coast is more moving into 3.0 earlier? I don’t know, but as I have been a youth leader for many years and then young adult leader – Marko is writing down the shifts that I saw with youth and young adults with the 2.0 to 3.0. So maybe some of the youth ministries pave the way for what the adult church does and some areas of the country accelerate faster than others or slower than others in this latest phase.

Out in California and some other places, I have seen some “adult” churches now adopt what young adult ministries were doing 10 years ago. You could take what a young adult worship gathering looked like in 1999 and the main gatherings of the church now look like that in 2009. So maybe the youth ministry paves the way for young adult ministry who paves the way for the whole church to some degree. I am drifting here, but when you read Youth Ministry 3.0, it gets you thinking about these very types of things. That is why it is such a great book. It doesn’t wrap up the ending with conclusions of what to specifically do – but it leaves you with optimism and makes you think.

I would get this book even if you aren’t a youth leader and be looking at your church through the lens of what Marko raises. I believe we should always be watching what is happening in youth minstries, as to be out of touch with them – to me, means we will lose touch in our churches as they progress to the future. I have always felt that youth pastors and leaders are the pioneers of creating the future church. They take a lot of risks and experiment with things and deal with cultural change first – and then the rest of the church seems to catch up later. So when Youth Ministry moves from 1.0 to 2.0, the church is just becoming 1.0. Then as Youth Ministry moves from 2.0 to 3.0, the church is moving from 1.0 to 2.0.

OK. Long review and thoughts. But that’s what the book does and why I think it is really “Church 3.0” in addition to Youth Ministry 3.0. It is one of those books which makes you think about a lot of things as you read it.

I would like to end this post with some Marko photos highlighting three of the various phases of hair styles that he has had since I have known him.


Marko 1.0 ………………….. Marko 2.0 ………………….. Marko 3.0

deep church

deepchurch1Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional, by Jim Belcher

15 years ago, i started working at lake avenue church in pasadena. and after a few years there, i was part of a team of people (including kara powell and jim belcher) who started an alternative worship service called “the warehouse“, which is — amazingly — still happening at that church. jim was the pastor of the young adult ministry at the church. man, we used to have the best arguments. i mean (at least in hindsight), the kind of arguments where both people are better for having had them. jim played a big role in shaping my thinking about preaching, and my practice. and we went at it on various theological issues also (jim was certainly the token calvinist on that team).

now, all these years later, jim is the senior pastor of a presbyterian church in newport beach, california. we’ve gotten together a few times in the past few years, and i’ve really enjoyed the connection. he really is an interesting guy (and deeply thoughtful, with a seminary degree from fuller, and a ph.d. in politics from georgetown). and now that he’s a senior pastor in the presby world, he often finds he’s “too emerging” for the presbys, and “too reformed” for many in the emerging church world.

in that space, jim set out to write a book that would be a “third way” between emerging and reformed (he says between emerging and traditional). i had a chance to read the manuscript — the book is scheduled to come out this fall — and was skeptical, as much as i like jim and know how smart he is, that it was going to be another unfair slam on the emerging church.

but i was wrong. jim has written the most fair and affectionate critique of the emerging church yet published (especially from someone with a reformed theological perspective). he’s honest about how he approaches his inquiry; he really did his homework (including conversations — it’s frustrating how many critical authors never even speak to those they’re critiquing); and he really does like many of the values and practices of the emerging church. so, with one foot in reformed history, and one foot in emerging church world, deep church is a great read. it’s a great read for non-reformed types in the emerging church, because it’s a fair and thoughtful critique. and it’s a great read for more traditional or reformed types, because it doesn’t construct straw men to make its case.

here’s the official endorsement i wrote for the book:

Many have written critiques of the emerging church; and some have attempted “third way” books that have attempted to describe a possible best-of-both path between traditional and emerging mindsets and practices. But I think Jim Belcher’s book is the first to be truly gracious to both of these oft contentious perspectives, suggesting a fair and honest critique of both. Belcher has clearly done his homework, and lives — as a lead pastor of a church plant — with one foot in the reformed, traditional camp, and one foot in the emerging church. This is a great read for any who are tired of straw man arguments and polarization.

my current blogroll

i try to re-post my blogroll about every six months, but it’s been more than that since the last time; so here we go!

here’s what i’ve got in my bloglines these days. i try to keep it paired down — i just don’t have time to read hundreds of blogs every day. but these are the ones i look at at least once a day. there are dozens of others – particularly youth ministry blogs – that i check in on from time to time, but aren’t listed here.

the categories are somewhat arbitrary – they’re just what work for me!

Youth ministry (this is a tough category for me, because there are SO many wonderful youth ministry blogs. i read dozens and dozens more than this on an occasional basis. but these are the handful i find the most thoughtful and challenging, or, frankly, are just friends of mine in youth ministry that i want to stay current with.)
chris folmsbee
mark riddle
mike king
fuller youth institute blog
fuller youth institute articles
josh griffin
ypulse (ypulse isn’t a youth ministry blog, actually. it’s the blog of anastasia goodstein, who has her finger on the pulse of youth culture and marketing like no other. i have this in my ‘youth ministry’ category because i always find things that make me think about youth ministry.)

junior high summit (these are the peeps i meet with once a year for the ‘jh pastors summit’ – they’re buddies of mine, and i welcome their thinking about young teen ministry to push and pull my own thoughts.)
jason raitz
kurt johnston
johnny scott
sean meade
brooklyn lindsey

scot mcknight
seth barnes
tash mcgill
think christian
naked pastor
asbo jesus
cathleen falsani
lanny donoho
dave gibbons

emerging church
zach lind
jonny baker
lilly lewin
emergent village
steven shields / faithmaps
mark scandrette
doug pagitt
andrew jones
tony jones
dan kimball

Journey (my church)
brian berry (the high school pastor, and ys one day team member)
josh treece (the former middle school guy)
todd tolson (the discipleship guy, and long-ago middle school pastor)
ian and christina robertson (christina is our middle school pastor, ian is a co-worker of mine at ys)
riptide blog (the middle school ministry, of which i am a volunteer)
ed noble (teaching pastor, and friend of 20 years)
rod kaya (worship dude)
encounter blog (high school ministry blog, more important to me now that my daughter is in the group)

ys staff (current and former)
renee altson (former ys staffer — but still part of the ys staff family)
mindi godfrey (former ys staffer, but still a good friend)
12 films in 12 months (ian robertson’s short film experiment)
alex roller (alex hasn’t actually worked at ys for a while — but i still think of him as part of us.)
adam mclane
ys blog
carrie clausen (carrie’s blog, pic this day, is a photo blog)
mark matlock

humor and oddities
the wittenburg blog
stuff christians like
passive aggressive notes
fail blog
mcsweeney’s lists
new math
dwight schrute

david crowder
matt maher

bob carlton
mark dowds
paul chambers
indexed (the pithy little 3×5 thoughts of jessica hagy)
max (max, my son, isn’t posting often, but they’re fun when he does.)

the monkey and the fish

monkeyandthefish1The Monkey and the Fish: Liquid Leadership for a Third-Culture Church, by Dave Gibbons

here’s a little back story before i get to the actual book review: i’d known about this dave gibbons guy for a while, but mostly because i’m friends with the youth pastor at his church (april diaz). i spend enough time with enough youth pastors to have an internal divining rod for when there’s a rare, exceptional senior pastor (especially when it comes to believing in and supporting the youth worker). and from my interactions with april, dave gibbons is clearly one of those rare, exceptional senior pastors.

when i finished the rough draft of my book, youth ministry 3.0, i gave an unedited copy to april. she sent me the single most encouraging email i received from my early readers; and it was loaded with stuff about how the book put into words stuff their church was trying to do. she’d had others on the church leadership team read it, and she was the first to challenge me with the idea that there might need to be a “church 3.0” version of the book developed. then, dave gibbons spoke at our youth workers convention in toronto last fall, and i pre-arranged for he and i to spend some time together. i’m sure many have this feeling when they meet dave, but it was one of those meetings where i felt i was talking with someone on the same journey as me, in terms of thinking about the church (and, really, i felt like dave was a few steps in front of me, to say the least). in that meeting, i decided to mention the idea of dave co-authoring a church leader version of ym3.0 with me, and we’ve had a couple more discussions about it since. who knows if that will happen or not, but i came to dave’s new book with all of that in mind.

also, dave is the “special guest” at an invitation-only gathering of seasoned middle school ministry pastors i bring together every year, when we meet a little over a week from now. so those of us attending that event all agreed to read this book.

it’s funny: april had written me, a year ago, saying that she found herself saying “yes!” through much of my book; and that’s exactly how i felt while reading dave’s. in fact, it was an almost surreal experience. as i wrote in a post the other day, there were so many moments, while reading it, that i felt like i was reading a parallel book to youth ministry 3.0. i had that sense (and i told dave this, in an email) that i was driving down a city street and, at the intersections, noticing another vehicle on a parallel streets traveling the same direction and speed.

the book is about church leadership in a global culture, on the surface. but, really, it’s about living christianly, in any cultural context, and in any time. because, at its core, the monkey and the fish is about the values of jesus, and how we can embody them (specifically as churches, and more broadly as “the church”). it’s a quick read, and very accessible. full of great stories from real-life attempts, successes and failures. it’s an honest book, revealing some of the author’s own failures and short-comings. parts of it are almost a spiritual memoir, as dave shares intimate struggles and personal context.

but what i liked most about the book is that the very form of the flow was reflective of the book’s points. in other words: it wasn’t linear and full of how-to’s. dave refers a few times to bruce lee’s suggestion that we become like water; and this book itself is fluid. this will likely frustrate some readers. it actually started to frustrate me, until i realized what was going on — then i sat back and enjoyed the ride!

i had a few minor gripes with the book:
– i think it’s a sexy but weak title, and the opening illustration it refers to doesn’t play a significant role in the book
– i wished dave would give us a clearer explanation of “third culture” from the start (and, while i think i “got it” as i read on, i wasn’t sure about the earliest definition)
– there were times when i wasn’t sure if dave was writing to church leaders (as the subtitle and “leadership network series” would imply) or a general christian audience.

but those were minor, as i said. and overall, i think this is a stellar book, by a brilliant outside-the-box pastor who is doing seriously innovative stuff around the world. i’m stoked about more interactions with him, and about whatever books he’ll write in the future.

ym3.0 in the words of dave gibbons

dave gibbons’ new book, the monkey and the fish, is a great look at the kind of perspective and leadership we need in the global church today. i’ll post a longer review of it soon.

but there were so many moments, while reading it, that i felt like i was reading a parallel book to youth ministry 3.0. i had that sense (and i told dave this, in an email) that i was driving down a city street and, at the intersections, noticing another vehicle on a parallel streets traveling the same direction and speed.

i’m starting to sense that some of the stuff i wrote about in ym3.0 isn’t merely epochal, but broader and more fluid than that. one of the places i really sensed this was in a little chart gibbons included deep into the book. the sentences leading up to the chart say:

some of us thought it would be a helpful exercise to list the attributes of jesus — especially those that people through the centuries have been so captivated by — and then list what the church at large is known for. here is what came up with:


don’t misread me here: i’m not saying i have it all figured out, or that youth ministry 3.0 is clearly a reflection of everything about jesus. but i so resonated with the words on this chart, and felt they reflected much of the shift i wrote about us needing. not in every case, but in many of the rows, it would be easy to swap out “youth ministry 3.0” for the left column heading and “youth ministry 2.0” for the right column heading.


i don’t know if i’d ever heard the word “liminal” until the last several years. if i had, i wasn’t familiar with it. in fact, when i noticed quite a few of my friends in the emerging church using the word, i had to look it up! since then, it’s become an important word and idea to me., and particularly the online etymology dictionary, showed me that “liminal” is latin for threshold.

i often hear “liminal” used in terms of “thin places.” and, particularly, those thin places where god’s presence seems more palpable.

now, in one sense, i believe that god is present at all times, and in all places. all that omni stuff. but, i certainly experience times and even places that seem more ripe with spiritual potential, or having the residue of the spirit’s regular presence, or something like that. for me, a few of those places have been:
– a quiet cabin in the desert i went to once (need to go back to that place)
– the monet waterlily rooms in the musee l’orangerie, in paris
mission san luis rey, in north county san diego
– several cathedrals around the world (though they do not all have this liminal sense to the same extent)

some of this is more “time” than “place for me, like:
– a general session at the national youth workers convention when thousands of youth workers are singing to god
– the baptismal celebrations my church hosts at mission bay, in san diego, twice a year
– worship experiences that are foreign to me (like a couple experiences at world youth day in sydney last summer, or my occasional experiences worshiping in an african american church)

but here’s the funny thing. after a few years of enjoying the notion of liminal spaces, and even a seeking out of these places and times, i was recently struck by something. i was in a dcla content development meeting with my friend jim hancock, and i’d said something about liminal spaces. a few minutes later, jim said something in response, intentionally saying “sub… liminal” (he put a beat after “sub”). so, yeah, i’m a simple-minded dork at times, but i’d NEVER actually noticed that liminal is the second half of the word subliminal. certainly psychology peeps would all know this, since “limin” is latin for “the edge of consciousness” (connected to that idea that “liminal” is “threshold”). which means that “subliminal” means “below the threshold of consciousness”.

ok. makes sense. but this got me thinking about what spiritual significance could exist in the word sub-liminal, if the liminal part of that word is referring to those thin places where god is either tangibly present, or a spiritual sense exists that god has been here a lot, or might just pop by at any moment. what are “sub-thin-places”?

what’s the “below the threshold of consciousness” place where god’s presence is felt, or close?

i would love hear your thoughts on this. maybe i’m just playing a semantic game; but i feel like there’s something in this for me. i really need to get away on one of my silent retreats and meditate on this. i need to ask god to reveal something to me on this, and just wait for a half day in silence.

leading from values vs. goals

not long ago, i started a discussion thread on the youth ministry 3.0 facebook group about how leading from values is “better” (not sure that’s the right word) than leading from goals. the response was discussion was fantastic, at least for me. so i thought i would bring a bit of it over here for the rest of you. feel free to comment here, or go over to the facebook group and add to it there.

here’s what i wrote to start the discussion (and i’m adding some illustrations here that i couldn’t figure out how to post in the facebook group!):

i was chatting with chris cummings, a young youth worker who’s been active in this group, at the nashville nywc, about ym3.0. i can’t remember what his actual question was (chris, do you remember?) that got me thinking about the difference between leading change from a set of values rather than leading change from a “strategic planning” path, with goal setting and “plans”.

i’ve been meaning to post on my blog about this for a while, and will eventually get around to it are more length than i will here. but i think it could be a good discussion for us.

when ys needed to go through some significant re-engineering a few years back, i took a group of “can do” ys staff on a retreat to palm springs. my “goal” was to ideate — to come up with a list of “actionable” new ideas (this flowed out of my reading of seth godin’s book, purple cow, which i’d had them all read in prep for the retreat). while on the retreat, the conversation turned to values (not by my doing). and making the courageous choice to speak honestly, the staff starting talking about ys’ values, stated and unstated.

we rolled with it, and created a big list of all the organizational values we could think of. some of them were “positive” — but more of them were “negative” (like, “we value control” and “we value compliance”). we spent another two days creating two new lists:
– those existing values that we wanted to particularly re-affirm
– “new values” that we wanted to embody (most of which were positively stated variations on negative values from the list).

then, we used these lists to make decisions, and have for years (though the lists have continued to evolve).

i think the notion of ‘strategic planning’ and ‘goal setting’ are 2.0 practices. they call for these leadership roles and metaphors:
– statistician
– financier
– manager
– police

but leading from values (and decision-making from values, and considering change from values) calls for a different set of leadership roles and metaphors:
– horticulturalist
– environmentalist
– curator
– anthropologist

what do you think?

how do we re-conceive our roles as youth workers in this way?

and (as i’m sure some will ask), how do we live into these roles and metaphors if our church context is enmeshed in and mesmerized by the first set?

joel mayward wrote:

The metaphor of a factory and a garden has been in the back of my mind for awhile. YM 2.0 feels more like a factory, an assembly line faith focused on doing more to reach the next step and accomplish the next goal. YM 3.0 may be more like tending a garden, creating a healthy environment for growth to occur, where maturity happens a bit more spontaneously. Factories look and feel homogenous; gardens are unique to their environment. I hope that makes sense.

mark maines pushed back a bit with:

Strategy and goal setting are not in conflict with value-based leadership. Both are essential and both must be defined in order for the organization to be effective. Its not that one is good and the other is bad. They address entirely different issues. One answers the question, what is important and how will we behave? The other, “how will we get to where we want to go and do what we believe God wants us to do? Effective leaders answer both questions for their organization.

chris cummings wrote a little poem!

Based on goals, there is success and failure
Based on values, there are stories to share

Based on goals, there is a final end point
Based on values, there is an exciting journey

Based on goals, change must take place
Based on values, change might take place (but usually happens naturally and without being purposed to do so)

Based on goals, there is an individual achievement focus
Based on values, there is a communal heart

Based on goals, accomplishing the mission is of utmost importance
Based on values, loving as we are loved is the only focus

then a few of us slugged it out over whether values change or not, whether goals are good or evil (or just distraction), and a variety of other subjects. really great discussion here that is worth plowing through.