Monday, August 17, 2015

The Problem of Forgiveness

Here is a four-fold progression I've discovered in working with people around issues of unforgiveness and forgiveness: 1) "I wont."; 2) "I want to but I can't."; 3) "I want to and I've tried, but it didn't work."; 4) "I'm ready to release and let go.  I can't do this anymore.  I want to be free."

That first stage sounds something like, "I won't!  I'll never let them off the hook for this!" Or "I won't forgive them until they repent and make amends!"  The message is PUNISH!!!  Sometimes the pain is so acute and the emotions are overpowering.  "If you ever loved me, don't rob me of my hate, its all I have...."

One of the 4 doors in Sozo Freedom Prayer is hatred.  How do we close the door to hatred?  How do we move past the deep hurt of betrayal?  How do we heal from from that place where we can make the choice to begin the process of forgiveness?  Andy Reese in Freedom Tools delineates this in the chapter on 10 Foundations.  We have to understand "Event and Process".  Father God, I want to close the door of hatred.  How do we do this?

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Hubs, Networks, and Teams

Whether in vocational church or marketplace ministry, our ability to respond quickly and adapt is critical, and it's becoming even more so as technology and disruptive forces increase the pace of change.  We are "surfing the edge of chaos", living in liminal space (the "in-between" but on the threshold), and learning to embrace paradox alongside paradigm.  The challenge of "holding truth in tension" is formidable at times as we shed old wineskins and develop and embrace flexible new ones that will not burst as the New Wine is being poured out.  The world seems to be changing faster and faster, thus requiring our creativity to become a collaborative effort and our innovation a team sport.  We are also being required to reinvent ourselves, which involves breaking down "silos", working across divisions, and mastering the flexible responses that come from true teamwork and collaboration.  The greatest innovations will not come from lone inventors and neither will solving problems come from older conventional models of leadership.  Instead, the greatest victories, successes and accelerated growth will come from teams working together in the pursuit of KINGDOM.  This requires ADAPTABILITY.

The Gathering Fresno is "morphing" into a "purer" model of collaboration and embracing a polycentric model of leadership.  I believe that a rapidly changing world (marked by speed and dense interdependencies) means that ministries everywhere are facing dizzying challenges and disequilibrium, which can only be solved by creating sustained adaptability through the establishment of collaborative teams, where real-time innovation requires integrative and transparent leadership that empowers individual team members.  Entire structures of "how we do business" are morphing and shifting.  Enough said...

The Gathering Fresno is a growing network of church, parachurch, and marketplace ministries who want to collaborate for synergy and catalyze a sustainable move of God in the region.  We believe in a "ring of fire" approach, little fires coming together to create a firestorm that will sweep through the central valley with overwhelming LOVE!!!

As a result, we are adding not subtracting, and increasing not decreasing our influence in the region.  This will be done experimentally and innovatively, and we hope you will jump in!!!  Future blogs from members of our team will outline some of these innovations that have emerged from prophetic dreams and visions.  Stay tuned!!!  One of my favorite words these day is FIRE!!!