Wearing Masks

Masks were worn in the Greek theatre for a variety of reasons. One was to enable a single individual to play multiple roles simply by changing a mask.

Masks were also used as a sort of portable microphone system, with its built-in megaphone. It was quite an effective “technology” for the huge amphitheaters before which the actors played. Actors in the Greek theatre were also men only, so they could change their gender simply with the change of a mask.

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Leading versus “lording”

Bad bossJesus was talking to his disciples and he said this.  “You’ve observed how….rulers throw their weight around and how quickly a little power goes to their heads.  It’s not going to be that way with you.”  Matthew 20:25, The Message.

Jesus’ statement came directly after one of his disciples asked for appointment to a seat of power for her sons in what she thought the Kingdom was going to be.  Sound familiar? Continue reading →

Five Reasons for Integrity

new-york-times-best-seller-list-imageThe internet lit up recently with story after story about a Seattle pastor who used over $200,000 of his megachurch’s money to buy his way on to the New York Times best seller list. It’s bad enough for any author to attempt such a deceit, but it’s more painful when it’s a person making claims about representing Jesus. The criticisms of such behaviors get “enhanced” much like the prison sentence of a person using a gun for a crime or belonging to a criminal street gang. Continue reading →

We want to sit at the head table.

Power 03“You let people walk all over you.”  A friend recounted how an advice-giver told him to “get a spine.”  Seemed like good advice.  Being everyone’s doormat is not a good thing.

Although…  Power is funny because it doesn’t always give what it promises to its possessor.   Continue reading →

My Top Five Reasons for Public Service

Public Service 01A friend of mine recently asked me to speak to a local civic club about the value of public service.  It’s a topic I feel particularly passionate about, so I said yes.  Here are my top 5 reasons that everyone should find ways to serve his/her community.

Public Service (hereafter PS) is a small attempt to return some of the benefits of living in a village, town, or city.  Regular garbage pickup, potable water, relatively crime free environments, orderly traffic, public schools, places to purchase items needed for life such as food or medical care, and entertainment venues are just a few of the many benefits of life in a community.  The greater the involvement of the citizenry, the greater these benefits become. Continue reading →

Letting People Down

down or depressedThe president began the meeting with, “We can’t do any business because we don’t have a quorum.”

It has happened before.  A carefully constructed agenda and set of to-do’s was turned into just an interesting conversation.  The meeting ended with nothing getting done in spite of the fact that the organizational clock was ticking.

Those who didn’t attend had lots of reasons.  Worked spilled over into the meeting time.  School called to ask a parent to attend to a sick child.  Second thoughts about belonging to our group.  Too many commitments and not enough time.  All legitimate reasons.  But all shutting down the actions of the group. Continue reading →

The Top Five Reasons for Getting Rid of Your Office

OfficeI don’t have an office.

Necessity required that I give up my bookshelf-lined office and half of my library in order to move to a new town as a church planter. A church “planter” does just that – plants or begins a new church. Church planting requires a change of context, new skills, and a new “audience.”

It also requires a new place to “office.” My new office happens to be coffee shops. One business writer calls this “going bedouin” as in moving from one place to another.

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