Prologue

ufosummerMy friend Tony once challenged me to only speak of spirituality that you can attach a story to.  It was a calling to not merely be a theorist, but a practitioner of faith.  It was an invitation to get brutally honest about where I am on my spiritual journey.  After all, you can’t figure out where you’re going until you know where you are.  I guess, these next bit of ramblings are a sort of landmark.  It’s where I am now, for better or worse, but I most likely will not stay there long.  Hell, there’s a good chance I’ll disagree with myself in a few years.  I am not aiming to articulate some exhaustive and exact idea of faith.  Instead, I offer a messy, incomplete story open to misinterpretation.

I think faith is like an old tapestry constantly being handed down over thousands of years.  Some people spend a lifetime pulling the loose threads on the outskirts of faith until the whole tapestry unravels.  They boast of their complex examination but sadly have nothing more than a pile of thread to offer another.  Others spend their time excusing and even apologizing for the tattered piece of art.  Instead, they offer shallow answers to comfort their crowd but the tapestry was never meant to be a blanket.

I’ve decided to allow the tapestry to speak for itself.  I think faith makes the most sense with loose ends.  I’m not afraid to say, “I don’t know”.  I think doubt makes a great dance partner with faith.  After all, I’ve noticed any good piece of art leaves us with more questions than answers.

Also, I think I’m in good company.  See, I’ve found that most of the people that listened to Jesus talk about faith walked away with doubt, questions, and uncertainty. However, many of those same people would worship him as God.  What if a prerequisite for worship is we don’t completely know what’s going on?  What if Jesus is more interested in trust than certainty?  What if the old tapestry was meant to have loose ends? 

This is a story of 14 years as a vocational pastor.  This is about the good, bad, and ugly of the church.  This is about studying the original languages of the Bible while not caring about others.  This is about hypocrisy and grace.  This is two steps forward and one step back.   Most importantly, this is about the beautiful tapestry that is Jesus.  This is my landmark.  Seems like a good enough place to start.

1. Why Love Makes Us Nervous

1280--Are-You-Sort-Of-A-Loser-Dont-Worry,-It-Means-Youre-Probably-Really-CreativeI was talking to a Christian pastor a few months ago and he was asking about my theology.  Which, just a side note, anytime someone asks about your “theology” usually means they think you’re wrong and want to show you how they’re right.  Doesn’t that sound like a fun conversation to be a part of?  Anywho, I began with sharing that I think God is love, at which point he quickly interrupted me by saying, “But God is also just, and holy, and…”  Well you get the picture.  Sigh.

I’ve noticed for some reason, many religious people are nervous with the idea that God is love.  It’s like they assume you’re not saying something else or they want to add on a bunch of other amendments of their own or something.  However, here it is in black and white in the Bible.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. -1 John 4:8

Notice it doesn’t say “God is loving”.  That would mean it’s a part of who he is and he can be loving just as easily as he can be hungry.  God is more.  He is the entire definition of love.  His whole being and character demonstrate the completeness of love.  If he were to not love, he would not be God.

This is important because it helps me trust him.  Honestly, I wouldn’t trust any other kind of God.  I can’t trust the God that’s out to get me, or the God that’s just putting up with me, or the religious one with all the amendments.  If we’re really talking about meaning, faith, and eternity here, then I’m sorry, God has to be love.

That’s why he makes us nervous.

A few years back, Laura and I were in counseling.  The church I was pastoring was circling the drain and her career was taking off.  She is ferociously independent and ambitious and I was feeling insecure and like a failure.  You could see why we needed some help.  One particular counseling session we started arguing about dishes and the kids and finances.  It was starting to get heated and the counselor looked at me and gently asked, “What’s the real question Kyle?”

I quickly fired back, “Well, she’s not being supportive.”  Then I launched back into the dishes / kids / finances argument.  We went on for a few more minutes until our wise counselor asked again quietly.  “Kyle, what’s the real question you have for Laura?”

It was then I blurted out, “I’m scared you’re going to leave me!  Okay!  Because you’re better than me!”  I then turned to her with tears in my eyes and asked,  “Are you going to leave me?!”

The room fell silent as we all sat staring at the bomb I dropped in the middle of the room.  I remember feeling naked and horribly vulnerable.  I had handed Laura the power to destroy me.

You know that’s why God being love makes us nervous right?  If he were anything else, we could remain in control.  If he were out to get us we could hate him.  If he were just putting up with us we could resent him.  If he were the religious one with all the amendments we could work the system.  It’s terrifying really, if you think about it,  God being love.  It moves us closer and closer to the real questions of life that we work so hard to avoid.  It’s a nightmare to lose control.  No wonder some people prop themselves up on being right.  That’s far less risky than the alternative.  No wonder religious people stick to denominational distinctives and culture wars.  After all, if we put ourselves out there and ask the real question, God could, well, leave the room.

I wanted to start here because while there are some that get nervous and cling to control at hearing God is love, there are also some with a different reaction.  Just like there are some that get invited to a party but never come, there are others that don’t deserve to be there in the first place.(1)  See, there are some, at hearing God is love, stop what they’re doing and look you dead in the eye.  Emotion floods their eyes, and hope rattles their voice as they ask, “Really?!  I had always hoped that he was!  Are you serious?  He really is love?  Please, please, can you tell me more?”

This is written to those kind of people.  I hope you don’t deserve to be at the party either.

Now we’re getting to some real questions.

1.  Luke 14:15-24

2. Taking It Personally

breakup-quotes-hd-wallpaper-18I used to think sin was all that fun stuff God is keeping from us.  He was like the cosmic killjoy just dangling things in front of us, wondering how we’ll respond.  After all, he’s out to get me and waiting for me to screw up.  I kept having trouble reconciling that thinking with Jesus who had a reputation for being a drunk and glutton.(1)  You don’t get that kind of rep being the prudish, judgy guy with your arms crossed in the corner of a party.

Eventually, I started seeing sin as that stuff that makes me awful and evil and ugly.  His son acted as a sort of cosmic Purel allowing God to get within vicinity of me.  God was merely putting up with me while I bumbled through this life.  I could almost see him rolling his eyes and sigh every time I’d mess up like a tired babysitter cleaning up spilled spaghettios for the fifth time that night.  But again, I had trouble reconciling that picture of God with Jesus who enjoyed, liked, and even preferred spending time with the worst of sinners.  It was one of the main reasons he got himself killed.  The religious hated that this “holy man” felt at home with sinners.

My view of sin started to shift again after I cheated on Laura.  Her and I were dating toward the end of college.  I didn’t know a thing about boundaries or what a healthy relationship with a girl looked like.  My life was like a city whose walls were reduced to rubble.(2)  Honestly, it was just a matter of time.

I remember the night Laura came over to my apartment and I told her what happened.  I was sitting on the carpet and weeping at her feet.  I remember the embarrassment of answering her questions and the pain of realizing I wasn’t this “Godly man” I was trying to impress her by these past few months.  Most of all, I’ll never forget the look on her face.  It was a look of deep excruciating loss and betrayal.  In her eyes was a tremendous sorrow and even mourning.

Trust had died.

Since that day, I look at sin much more personally.  I believe it effects God in a visceral and intimate way.  I think he experiences the hurt of betrayal and the effects of trust broken.  With the cosmic killjoy God, he becomes a cop on the side of the road that I slow down for while passing and then go back to speeding the moment I’m at a safe distance.  Some people keep God at a safe distance their whole life for this reason.  With the cosmic Purel God, I can keep this arrangement to a contractual agreement.  God becomes a vending machine I insert a prayer to and out pops forgiveness.  Some people go to church their whole lives for this very reason.

My favorite story in the Bible is about the time Peter and Jesus go on a walk along the beach.(3)  Peter had just sinned royally and Jesus’ response is intriguing.  He gently asks Peter during that walk, “Do you love me?”  Of all the things to say as a response to sin.  I would have expected, “I told you so!” from the cosmic killjoy or “How are you going to fix this?” from the cosmic Purel.  But “Do you love me?”  Talk about the real question.  The humility and vulnerability of that question.  I can almost see the pain and betrayal in his eyes.  I’m sure everything in Peter wanted to run back to the cop or vending machine images.  This is getting scary close.  Yet, Jesus leans in closer and whispers again, “Do you love me?”

And that is the question, isn’t it?  It’s the question of every human being that has ever lived, including Jesus himself.  It’s the cry of humanity.  God dared to make things terrifyingly personal.  In his eyes was the same loss and betrayal as Laura and countless others.  God refuses to keep us at a safe distance or reduce things to some impersonal agreement.  He shoves aside our cop and vending machine images and is willing to make himself vulnerable and open to an even worse rejection.

Perhaps now would be a good time to pause.  I’d like to spend a few moments on the carpet and at his feet.  I want to allow that question to wash over me.  I want to resist the other images I try to make him into. I want to look him in his eyes.  I’d like to finally get honest no matter how painful.  Most of all, I want to answer him.

What will be your answer today?

1.  Luke 7:34.  Also, take a look at all the times the rejected, marginalized, and oppressed felt at liberty to interrupt and approach Jesus.  You don’t act that way around someone unless they were radically approachable, gentle, and even whimsical.
2.  Proverbs 25:28  Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.
3.  John 21

Incarnate Leadership – A Philosophy Of Ministry

A few years ago Washington State passed a law that made it illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving.  This forced all of us to go out and buy Bluetooth headsets so we can continue our conversations legally while driving.  I, however, did not want to conform.  Instead, if I saw a cop while driving, I would quickly throw my phone on the floor of my car forcing the person on the other side of the phone to think I had just gotten into a horrific accident.  I admit, this wasn’t the best solution, but I just couldn’t bring myself to gluing one of those things to my ear.

It’s not like I’m against technology.  I love technology.  I religiously follow the latest Mac rumors and subscribe to Engadget.  I think the reason why I was so afraid of strapping a headset to my ear was because I was afraid of becoming, that guy.

You know who I’m talking about?  That guy with the slicked back hair and expensive suit that comes strolling into Starbucks talking loudly on his Bluetooth.  He’s really important and wants all of us to know it.  He’ll order his drink and the pour barista can’t figure out if he’s talking to her or the Bluetooth.  He doesn’t even bother looking her in the eye.  He gets impatient when his quad shot, skim, no foam, 184 degree caramel latte takes longer than five seconds to prepare.  That guy is rude, arrogant, loud, and obnoxious.   In short, that guy is a real tool.  I know it doesn’t make sense but fears rarely do and I was afraid of becoming that guy.

Unfortunately, I had a similar feeling creep into my brain when I began investigating Jesus.  I was interested in Christ but nervous about becoming a Christian.  I was so scared that if I trusted Jesus with my life, I would turn into that guy.  You know what I mean?  That guy who pickets abortion clinics and hates gay people.  That guy who thinks Bush is the fourth member of the trinity.  That guy who loves to debate, has no sense of humor, and loves bringing up theology while everyone else is just trying to watch the game.  That guy who is rude, arrogant, combatant, and elitist.  Now stick with me, this will become redemptive.  (I hope)

What I needed was more than information about God.  I had a Bible and understood the gospel but I was still unwilling to give him my life.  I needed to see how it worked.  I needed to watch theology with skin on.  I needed to see this lived out.  I am realizing that I am not alone.  In fact, God realized this long before I did.

 “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.  We saw the glory with our own eyes,”  -John 1:14 (Msg)

 We have always been a people that need more than just information about God.  We need to see how faith is lived out and makes a difference.  Now, more than ever, people are desperate to see how we treat our wives, what’s saved on our DVR, and what we spend our money on much more than what we believe.  This is why the Bible is filled with stories instead of bullet points.  This is why God sent his son instead of a pamphlet.  This is why God wants a relationship from us more than our allegiance.  This is why Jesus didn’t wait to arrive after the printing press or mass media.  This is the need for incarnate leadership.

 More Than Moral

This incarnate way of leading others is more than just following a set of rules for others to see.  Our goal is not to place our selves on a moral pedestal for others to admire.  We all know the neighbor that keeps his grass mowed and takes his family to church but we wouldn’t want to spend much time with.  Incarnate leadership is the ability to share not only our success stories but our failures as well.  In fact, don’t we learn far more from stories of failure anyway?  The apostle Paul (a fairly significant leader in the Bible) puts it this way:

 “so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe”  -1 Tim. 1:16 (emphasis mine)

 Paul was a tremendous leader and yet realized the power of leading from weakness.  Earlier, he lists all of the embarrassing, ugly things he had done in the past.  He then says how God will use this as a sort of “rough draft” for others to follow.  Paul is of course, not asking his followers to repeat his mistakes, nor is he condoning his actions.  The great leader is simply sharing himself- bumps, bruises, and all.  It is within this messy, mistake-ridden faith the gospel is understood.  Paul displays a faith with warts on it.

As incarnate leaders, we must have the courage to share what following Jesus really looks like to those around us.  I worry about the polished and perfect presentations we create behind big screen TV’s on Sunday morning.  Are we unintentionally communicating a faith that is unrealistic and unapproachable?  Do people walk away disenchanted and defeated because their insides don’t look like the Pastor’s outsides?  When we communicate a flawed faith, it sparks hope in those around and ultimately points to the grace of Jesus.

People Are Not Projects

Sometimes I miss the days I was in sales.  Life seemed simple and quantifiable.  At the end of each workday I could easily look up how much I sold and how much money I made.  I’d drive home every day either proud of my accomplishments or disappointed by my failure.  Either way, there was a sense of completeness after a long workday.

Unfortunately, we don’t get this luxury with people.

People are not projects we just solve and then move on to the next.  We all know life is messier than that.  See, the problem with treating people like projects from a spiritual perspective is that we reduce them to a list of problems to be solved.  If people are projects, we care more about results than relationship.  It’s simpler that way.  Less messy.  After all, compassion takes its toll.  That’s why we go oversees on a mission trip for a week to evangelize but don’t know our neighbor’s name.  It’s why we give people a Christian book to read rather than open our lives up so they may see Christ.  It’s why that cheapskate customer leaves a spiritual laws tract instead of a tip for the hard working waitress.

People are not projects.
And neither are you.

When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”  At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.  -John 5:6-9

At first glance, this story seems typical.  Jesus heals yet another one in need.  A grand miracle occurs and it looks like the only prerequisite was willingness.  Project complete.  Or so I thought.  See, after the healed paralytic is walking around, he is questioned by some religious types:

So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?” The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.  -John 5:12,13

Did you catch that?  The healed man doesn’t have a clue who Jesus was.  He doesn’t even know Jesus’ name and he certainly doesn’t know He is God.  But that’s not the crazy part.  The crazy part of the story is that Jesus is okay with that.  Jesus heals the man for the sake of healing him.  He addresses the need and that was enough for now.  Perhaps the man wasn’t quite ready for a leap of faith.  Maybe a jog down the street was on the forefront of his mind for now.  Faith is left incomplete. God is patient with the process.

I am always struck by how long it took the disciples to grasp the gospel.  Just when you think Peter has it figured out, he asks the most elementary of questions, and Jesus walked alongside him the entire way.  If God is not in a hurry to move onto the next “project”, why are we?  Incarnate leadership means that a “successful” day of outreach could simply be learning someone’s name.  It means we are free to laugh, and enjoy each other, because the “project” doesn’t need to be completed today.  It means being less hung up on the end goal and allowing God to be a part of the journey.  It means faith looks more like a direction than a destination.  Simply put, incarnate leadership takes time because it cannot be quickly understood.  What changes us is often what is caught rather than taught.  Incarnate leadership always leans toward quality over quantity.  Oh, and it has a way of sticking as well.  That’s why Jesus spent three long years with a mere twelve men and the world was turned upside down.

 A “Yes” Face

I read a fun story about Thomas Jefferson a few months ago.  The story goes that President Jefferson was riding with a group horseback when they came upon a flooded river.  There at the rivers edge was a wayfarer.  The wayfarer watched as some of Jefferson’s company rode by forging the river on their horses until the President came along.  The wayfarer asked the President for a ride across and Jefferson agreed.  On the other side of the river, one of Jefferson’s men asked the wayfarer why he chose the President for a ride across the river to which he responded,  “The President?  I didn’t know he was the President.  I just know that on certain men’s faces is written the word, ‘No.’ and on others is the word, ‘Yes.’  His was a Yes face.”

Isn’t that so true?  Have you ever wondered why you tell certain people your junk and others you just smile and nod?  I’m not talking about the safe, politically correct mistakes like swearing after stubbing our toe.  I’m speaking of those dark, ugly, “it’s all my fault” kind of mistakes. What specifically do we see in those that cause us to feel safe, accepted, and understood?  What does a “Yes face” look like?  Incarnate leadership means we must learn to be approachable.

The Mundane Matters

I’m realizing every human interaction I have moves me closer to or further from becoming an approachable person.  What you think is just a meaningless interaction could be the very thing that sticks out in the mind of a friend that is considering sharing with you.  Even the jokes we make about homosexuals, Mormons, and the mentally handicapped are subtle ways we communicate our level of acceptance.

This is why I first approached Jesus.  His reputation is irrefutable.  I kept reading story after beautiful story of how he touched a leper or forgave a prostitute.  These stories began building hope in my young search.  I particularly enjoy these words from Jesus:

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  -Matt. 9:12,13

So what’s your reputation?  How do you treat the woman who made your coffee or the friend that cheated on his wife?  What’s your response to the young man who bagged your groceries or the woman that’s coming out of the closet?  Because, like it or not, you’re building a reputation.  Since incarnate leadership means we lead from our lives, we don’t ever clock out.  It’s our character people follow rather than our title.  Perhaps this is what Paul was getting at when he said:

Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. -1 Thess. 2:8

 

Validating Virtues

A few years ago, my wife and I lead a couples group that met at our house.  It was a diverse group of couples with a variety of different spiritual beliefs and backgrounds.  My favorite couple was the Baxter’s.  The husband, Tom was an agnostic / Buddhist that remained very skeptical to Christianity.  Throughout the months we met, I was continually inspired and encouraged by the Baxter’s marriage.  They are really good at creating hobbies and friend groups they both enjoy.  This happened to be the very same thing my wife and I have always struggled with so we were able to learn from them.  Looking back, I think this humility to point out the good in their lives rather than slapping the “non-Christian” label on them was paramount to the Baxter’s coming to a faith in Jesus.  It tore down the “me vs. you” dynamic and leveled the playing field.  Instead of being disregarded, they were validated.  The dividing line between pastor and parishioner was blurred.  We became just people with our own individual weaknesses and strengths discovering God together.

I notice this same humility in the story Jesus tells of the Good Samaritan.  Three people pass by an injured man but only the Samaritan stops to help.  Jesus purposely chose the Samaritan because in that culture this kind of person represented the outcast, marginalized, and even evil.  Yet, we know this story as the “Good Samaritan”.  Jesus does not seem bothered to point out the good in others different from us.  Jesus was unthreatened by the differences in others. Instead, he encouraged that which was true and right in the people around him.  It was stories just like this that spread grace to those uncertain seekers listening in.  A “yes face” broke through loud and clear.  Who are those around you with different beliefs or lifestyles you can point out the good in?  Perhaps the gay couple you disagree with has elements of their relationship healthier than yours?  What if the Muslim coworker in your life can teach you a stronger work ethic?  Recognizing the good takes humility.  It requires we stop staring at the line dividing our beliefs from theirs and put to rest our religious territorialism.

 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. -Eph. 4:3

Divine Distractions

We wear busyness like a badge of honor so I realize this might be a tough one.  Making margin in our lives can be a constant struggle.  However, I just can’t get past the fact that most of Jesus’ miracles did not come in the form of prearranged appointments, or strategically planned events.  Most of Jesus’ miracles came from distractions, interruptions, and even annoyances.  Instead of looking for those in need, most of them came running to His feet.  The needy must have known he wasn’t too busy for them.  They must have heard a rumor that this man would make time for even me.

As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him.  Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”  The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”  Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.  “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”  Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.  –Matt. 20:29-34

Listen, I know we all desperately want to be important and needed but what if our ambition has accidentally communicated the message, “I’m too busy for you.”  Who have you sent that message to lately?  When we talk to people, do they get our undivided attention or are we looking over their shoulder?  Do we get annoyed easily?  Are their people in our lives we treat like inconveniences?  We become more approachable as we allow God to divinely distract us.  Incarnate leadership means we consistently allow God to be a part of our everyday life.  It’s the discipline to wake up every morning and say, “God, I know you’re doing things today, can I be a part of it?”

Shift & Sent

Finally, incarnate leadership means we are sent.  Just as God sent his son we are sent into the culture.  If mere information does not work then it is our responsibility to go.  Often where He sends us can be uncomfortable and unsafe but Jesus’ command still stands.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  –Matt. 28:19,20

However, before we go, we must make four mental shifts:

  1. How to – Want to Shift

We know enough.  We’ve heard enough sermons.  We must repent and realize the reason we don’t reach our culture is because we don’t really feel like it.  We must no longer be distracted by the latest Christian conference or debate and become distracted by our friends that do not know Jesus.

2.  Protection – Proclamation Shift

We must lay down our need to continually defend the faith and lovingly share it.  We must be willing to get our hands dirty, be confronted with temptation and come home smelling like smoke because God came down from heaven for us.

3.  Coming – Going Shift

We must shift our budget, perspective, and focus from a “come and see” model to a “go and serve” one.  Lets face it, the culture isn’t exactly knocking down the church’s door to meet Jesus no matter how many Easter eggs we drop from the sky.  We must go to them.  We must enter their turf on their terms and look for ways to love.

4.  Relevance – Influence Shift1

We can condemn, critique, and even copy culture all we want but the only way to actually change anything is to create culture.  We are made in the image of the Creator and have received his Spirit within us.  Lets lay down the posture of battling culture and begin constructing something new. 2 Only then will we regain the influence in our city that has been lost.

I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.  I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. -1 Cor. 9:22,23

 Final Thoughts

I know we all want to seem important and impressive.  I know we want to feel accomplished and successful.  I know we want things done efficiently and quickly.

But that is not Jesus.

He is wonderfully approachable.  He opened his life up.  He entered our world and He walked with friends for years.  He developed inside jokes and had dirt under his nails.  They watched him cry, get lonely, and lose his temper.  God didn’t just communicate the truth to this world, His Son became the truth and lived among us.  Finally, he spread his arms wide on a cross so that you and I could approach God and receive grace.  Jesus lived as a model of what an incarnate life really looks like.  And I want that.  I want to live a full, rich life of meaningful relationships.  I want friends to see an active, under construction kind of faith.  I want to enter conversations teachable.  I want a reputation of grace.  I want to share a God that allowed even me to approach Him and be loved.  Care to join me?

Your Story Is Important

Last week I had a coworker, Susan, ask for some book suggestions for a non-Christian friend she knows.  I offered her a few suggestions and then challenged her by saying, “Susan, I think you’re the book.”

She looked at me puzzled and I explained.

“All of these books are great and full of very wise stuff but there is not a book in the world better for your friend to read than your life.  Give her that instead.  Show her what following Jesus looks like.”

You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.  – 2 Cor. 3:2,3

May you become an incarnate leader and be the book many are looking for.

 

1.  These four shifts were blatantly stolen from my Biblical Leadership class taught by Dr. Rick McKinley at Multnomah Seminary.

2.  Far more on this in Culture Making by Andy Crouch