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Brian McLaren

April 10, 2008

Today I had a chance to hear Brian speak at the SHIFT conference at Willow Creek. McLaren is a very controversial speaker and seems to provoke many opinions ranging anywhere from, “He is great and gets me thinking” to “Heretic”. I know one thing, he has new ideas and he is very thought provoking.  In this session he talked out of his book “Everything Must Change”. I haven’t had the chance to read the book yet, but it looks good. Brian asked the questions like “what are the biggest issues we face in our world?” He told a story about when he was 27 and working with youth. (in the 70’s) He asked the students to name off a list of issues that are being discussed at their churches. Answers were rattled off like: free will vs. predestination, speaking in tongues, guitars in church (70’s), drums in church, jeans in church, and other “silly” stuff. Then Brian asked the students what issues kept them up at night. Interesting!! Think about that. What keeps you up at night?

I can tell you what I think about. I think about how I spend my money and how I have such a distorted view of the word “need”. I think about how I have so much, but there are so many with so few.  How can we help kids in Africa that lost their parents to HIV/AIDS.  I think about students that are so lost in the lies of this world. The lies about sex, self-worth, money, and many other issues. I worry about what kind of a husband I am.

I can tell you one thing, I don’t know anyone that loses sleep over what color the foyer walls are, or the songs that were played in church on Sunday morning. If they do lose sleep over that then they need to find something to do with their life. Why is it that the issues that consume our church meetings, services, and conversations have nothing to do with what really matters? I challenge you to think about what is discussed in your church, the conversations that you have, then ask see if they align with what really matters to you. If they don’t line-up then we have a problem. This is something that I struggle with.

Also, McLaren made a point about a total different issue that I have never thought of. It has to do with immigration (yeah Nick). Think about the life expectancy in third world countries and think about the life expectancy here in the states. Imagine this, just by crossing a border you are adding 20 to 30 years to your babies life. A mother’s instinct is to give her child the best possible life. Why would you not try and come to  a country that would offer your child a better life? You Would. Just a thought

McLaren was good, I enjoyed him. The funny thing is that I was just as challenged by Mark Yaconelli and Shane Claibourne, but I will have to hit on them later, not hit on them, comment on them.


One Comment leave one →
  1. Chris Barton permalink
    April 11, 2008 3:14 pm

    Interesting topic. I have heard these discussions, but I don’t hear them as much anymore. I think that’s a big benefit to a church plant. We are worried about how we are going to reach the lost. I know that’s a goal for every church, but that is truly what we worry about. How are we “Being” the church? Are we loving on people in our neighborhoods? Where are we sending missionaries? How can we help those who are hurting? These are the questions that I hear constantly in our church. I know it seems like the “christian” answer. I think not having an actual “Church Building” gives us a little less petty things to discuss. I tell you what, I’m pretty jealous that you have a job where they send you to conferences and to listen to these kind of people speak. That’s truly a blessing.

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