A Shift In Church is Now Here

A shift in church world is now here. People have been talking about it happening for a while now. But it’s here. The pandemic ushered it in.

NOTE: I’m using CHANCE THE RAPPER as an example of someone who is incarnating this model of living. He recently produced a movie and bypassed all the regular norms, going straight to the movie theaters. No media company needed. No distribution needed. Others who are doing this include Kendrick Lamar, Snarky Puppy, and the late Nipsey Hussle. All created their record labels and did things are their terms.

Here are a few things I’ve noted:

**women will be pastoring and leading movements. They already are and they’re thriving!!

1) people of color will no longer give blind allegiance to predominantly white churches. They will speak peace (respect) and if it’s not returned, they will take their peace (respect) back and move on.

2) the multi-ethnic/cultural (race reconciliation) issue will not go away. it’s here to stay. And it’s messy. A book series won’t cut it. A few dinners won’t fix it. There will need to be some deep hearing from God, listening, and voluntary displacement.

3) The gospel message will need to address the idolatry of nationalism within the four walls. Politics will not go away within the church walls.

4) Mission and justice locally will need to be a primary discipleship task. The gospel shapes both.

5) People who are seeking the Kingdom of God will do it Monday – Friday. Sundays will be more about a healthy liturgy where the people do the work of organizing themselves around rituals and relationships in small pockets. It will be a small blip compared to the discipleship, spiritual formation, and relational work being done in the workplace, neighborhood, city, and family.

6) we will need more spiritual director pastors and less “WORK HARD/PRAY HARD/LET’S CRUSH IT” charismatic leaders. These spiritual director pastors will connect with business leaders, social justice leaders, congregants in their spaces more than in church spaces. These spiritual director pastors will be deeply entrenched in prayer, hearing from God, and helping others discern what the Lord is saying to them.

7) Jesus followers will form more spiritual/social networks within their range of living, making it easier to support each other, pray together, and seek justice and peace in their local communities. They understand that the real work of faith is done locally, not in the church service.
😎 The Sunday church service is still needed. But not as much as an embodied faith is needed Monday – Friday.

The Church and Healthy Leadership


In doing research for a paper on the mission of God and the marketplace, I came across Patrick Lencioni’s works on organizational health and management.

He’s been consulting with companies for years and recently, he’s been working with parishes (he’s deeply committed Catholic Christian).

In this short interview, he explains how church staff and leadership are the primary agents of health in the parish.

He says,

“They have to learn how to trust each other, argue well, make commitments, hold each other accountable, and focus on getting results for God. When they settle for mediocrity, it’s so sad, and that idea of settling for mediocrity because ‘it’s just church stuff so it’s good enough’ has often pervaded our Church.”

Patrick Lencioni

Like companies, the Church has a mission. But its mission has deeper implications than a company (not that it’s “better” than a company). So it requires deeper vulnerability, courage, resilience. Deeper accountability to one another and the work. A deeper commitment to practice leadership health and stay focused on the mission of God…to the world renewed by the love of God. that’s the aim. That’s the focus!!!

Lebron James and Home Building

Home is still the primary place where we shape and form the future. It’s a great reminder for me to be (and live out) what I want my kids to become in this world (what a tall order!).

And it’s also a reminder that the Church is called to be a social communal reality of God’s presence as family. It’s why there are more and more people who don’t care to show up to a church service on Sunday, but will share a meal during the week, spend time with others in other settings for the sake of having honest, loving, truthful relationships.

“You can have all the support in the world while you’re at school or while you’re at basketball and while you’re playing sports or anything, but if you go home and it’s not stable and you don’t have any stability there, you can resort back to the negative things or the bad habits that you might have.”

Lebron James, https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/28007714/lebron-james-help-build-housing-promise-school-families

Taking the Reality of the Church for Granted

As I’ve been working on church planting, one thing I’ve realized is that the concept of church has to start with God’s heart (mission) for humanity and this world.

If you’ve grown up in church, then sometimes the language of what church is about seems familiar and “known”.

But I’ve noticed that I’ve taken the reality of Church for granted.

What is the purpose of a church?
Why would someone make a decision to be a part of one?
What is God’s heart towards the Church at large and local church?
What is our role in God’s mission for our local city and the world?
What is the work of the church?

I’m not interested in planting another Sunday service in Oceanside. I’d just really like to worship with others, be reminded of who God is and how I might respond in faithfulness.

I’m interested in partnering with others to grow up to be like Christ in life, words, actions, and relationships.

And I’m interested in doing the work of Jesus via the church with others, learning from each other as we submit to the Lordship of Christ.

I don’t have the darnest clue of how to gather folks to figure this out. But I’m praying that the Holy Spirit is at work in the small seed of desire to be an incarnational presence in our city.