Just wanted to pop in today and share a few things I've been reading, thinking about, and praying through. Consider this my definitely-not-exhaustive resource list for living into your faith, loving your neighbours, and dreaming of what the church could be.
- Books I'm reading:
Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist - a beautiful, refreshing read about letting go of the "hustle" of life and recognizing God's presence in our own presence with one another
The Art of Neighboring by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon - an easy-to-read and inspirational book about how to love our actual, literal neighbours and live out our salvation right on our own streets
Incarnate by Michael Frost - I love, love, loved this book, in which Michael Frost digs into how so many forces of our life and culture have caused us to disengage with faith and life, and how God's word and the example of the incarnate Jesus call us into a new kind of engagement with our lives, relationships, experiences, and those around us.
Text over Context by Leonard Hjalmarson & Green Shoots Out of Dry Ground ed. by John P. Bowen - I haven't actually read these books yet, but I'll be digging in soon. They're both books specifically about church planting experiences, statistics, and culture in Canada, and I'm SO excited to learn from these resources!
- I love this idea of "dinner church," and re-thinking church space and how we do church together.
- I very much enjoyed and was inspired by Willow Creek's Global Leadership Summit this past week. I learned so much about the importance of information-gathering when leading the church, I was challenged to let go of my fear of taking risks, and encouraged to lean into my own specific gifts that God has given me. If you have a chance to go - you should!
- I've been so appreciating my friend Ben Katt's podcast, RePlacing Church - especially episodes 36-41 where he discusses the spiritual gifts categories of APEST (Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Shepherd, and Teacher) and how they can help us be better pastors in our neighbourhoods and communities. If you're not a podcast person, you can read some of his thoughts on this here.
- I resonated so much with this article from the V3 Church Planting Movement that I actually yelled out loud the words, "Oh my goodness, this is my life!" after I read it. As someone who constantly feels the need to "make things happen," it was exactly what I needed to hear.
- This article had a similar effect on me. I'm an old Millennial - with my birthday just falling into the parameters of the generational category - but I get so, so, so sick of reading articles telling me what I think or who I am or why I'm killing the napkin industry. But this one put vocabulary to so much of what I've been thinking and feeling. It's so important to my heart that we see and know and love each other as individual children of God - and I think that such an attitude would create some major shifts in how we do church as usual.