Strategic chaos

// I can’t believe it’s true, but it is: Mosaic is now a year old! Our rag-tag community have experienced so much over the last 12 months, but we are very much still at ‘the beginning’. There is lots to learn and a ton in our community life and mission that I feel still needs nailing down. But, is has been, and is, amazing. I love our community, and the people who make it. I love the friends we’ve gotten to know over the last year. And I love what God is up to in us and through us. A lot of the time I feel like our emerging community is a kite in God’s wind, blown into new things and kept aloft by him. And recently, it’s been quite windy!

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Who wants to be involved in a crash?

// I was sent the excerpt below a couple of days ago from Erwin McManus’ The Barbarian Way. If the following is anything to go by I really want to read that book!

A few years ago I took my kids to a wildlife animal park near San Diego. As we rode on a tram through the open terrain, a guide pointed out the unique features of the different species that we encountered. I suppose I always knew it in part, but I had not come to realise how most groups of animals have unique names of designations when they dwell together.

With insects most of us know that bees are called swarms, and ants are called colonies. Among ocean life, I was aware that whales are pods, and fish are schools. Cattle are herds and birds are flocks, and if you watch the Lion King you know a tribe of lions is a pride. If you grew up in the country, you might know that crows are murders. Maybe the most unnerving one is an ambush of tigers.

I was surprised to learn that a group of buzzards waiting around together to feast on leftover carnage is called a committee. Just this one insight is worth the price of the whole book. That explains so much of what’s going on in our churches – a lot of committees waiting around to live off human carnage.

Groups of flamingos are called flamboyants, which for some reason reminds me of TV evangelists. And groups of the less glamorous owls are known as parliaments. They do seem sort of British.

But my favourite of all is the group designations for rhinos. Continue reading

Third Place Communities

// Where do you enjoy hanging out? What are the places you visit to relax, unwind, spend time with friends, and have fun outside of your home or work settings? Chances are they’ll be places like gyms, pubs, clubs, restaurants or sporting venues and activities. Sociologist Roy Oldenburg called those places ‘Third Places’; places other than home (first) or work (second) settings. They are places of belonging where people let their guard down and are more willing to talk about the big questions of life, letting their friends see the ‘real’ them. Understanding the role of ‘third places’ in people’s lives is key to any mission endeavour that wishes to engage with our culture.

Instead of me waffling the excellent Mike Frost does a much better job in this extract from his book Exiles which unpacks some of the missional implications: Continue reading

Try a bunch of stuff

// The excellent Peter Short has this quote from Tom Peters on the back of his door and I love it! I wish I had penned it as it reflects so much of how I want to live and lead. Too often I hold back from trying a bunch of stuff because of a fear of failure, or worse, looking bad in others people’s eyes (or is that just my problem??).

What’s more, it reflects a much more postmodern style of leadership than the prevailing modern, organised, systematized, (and dare I say institutionalised) style. An excuse for laziness? Maybe. A more effective leadership style in today’s changing culture? Definitely.

A few years ago Eddie Gibbs stated in a lecture that the task of leadership before us is no longer to make 5 or 10 year plans of how to cross the ‘sea’ ahead and strategize accordingly. No. Instead we need more leaders who just get in the boat, head out on an initial bearing and then change course often as the journey dictates. For more of his thoughts and reasoning behind such a statement I can recommend Eddie’s book Leadership Next, despite wishing for a bit more Bible in it!