Archive for December, 2006
December 31st, 2006 | 8 Comments | Posted in » In the News..., KC Chiefs, My Life / Family
I must admit, I have rarely written about my beloved Kansas City Chiefs here… but I have rarely had so much to be excited about. But today… well, today is a different story… the most unlikely of circumstances came together and my favorite NFL team is playoff bound!!!
What a day… a victory eked out over Jacksonville at the best football venue in the NFL (I was there, and it was GREAT)… then news that the Bengals lost in overtime to Pittsburg… then hearing that the Titans were trounced by the Patriots… then listening to the Denver broadcast of their game with the 49′ers to hear those wonderful words… “The kick is on the way… and the Broncos season is officially over!”
I’m still finding it hard to believe that they were so fortunate, and that next Saturday, they’ll actually still be playing football.Â For now?Â Excitement rules… what a great way to wrap up 2006!
December 28th, 2006 | Comments Off | Posted in » In the News...
Hey… check it out… CHARISSHALOM, the blog home of Bryan and Tara Riley, has a brand new locale.
Don’t miss it, they’ve got some great things to share about following God’s calling to missionary service!
Be sure to update those links!
December 28th, 2006 | 2 Comments | Posted in » My Life / Family
Anyone remember that little website I started back in March? You know… missionsconneXion.com? Oh yeah, that site… the one I had to shut down due to administration difficulties… the one in which I placed such big dreams… the one in which I apparently missed the mark completely.
Well, after reconsiderinig how to go about structuring the site to achieve its intended purpose, I’m pleased to announce that, as of yesterday, missionsconneXion.com is back in business!
Check it out and tell me what you think. A big thanks to Micah Fries for his help with the banner design!
December 22nd, 2006 | 2 Comments | Posted in » In the News..., Just For Fun..., Pictures
Check it out… Pac-Man’s back, with a vengeance, gobbling up dots on a Minnesota highway…
December 21st, 2006 | 4 Comments | Posted in » Baptist Issues
While I appreciate much of what Don Hinkle has to say in his recent Pathway editorial entitled, “Accountability: I need it, we all need it”, I think there are a few things left unsaid that should be added. (So it’s clear, what I say here is NOT intended to criticize Don or to imply anything about his beliefs regarding accountability… it’s simply intended to add a few things that I think go hand-in-hand with the theme of his editorial.)
Anyway, maybe these are no-brainers, but here are a few thoughts on what I see as keys to effective accountability:
1. Effective accountability requires mutual trust and transparency.
In any form of accountability relationship, trust and transparency are paramount. Why? The nature of accountability demands it. Accountability, at least in our Christian faith, exists as a means of encouraging godly behavior (or conversely, discouraging ungodly behavior). To do this, we have to be aware of those things our accountability partners struggle with. We have to be open about our own struggles. This kind of transparency simply cannot exist without complete trust in our accountability partners.
Now I realize this is really most applicable to one-on-one accountability relationships (which exist for mutual accountability), but as evidenced by recent events in Baptist life, trust and transparency are also important when it comes to corporate accountability… whether we’re talking about an individual to an executive committee, or a committee or board to its convention. Transparency in business dealings fosters trust in those to whom an individual, committee, or board is accountable. Of course, in order to do this, that same individual, committee, or board must trust those to whom they are accountable. It’s somewhat of a catch-22, but the cycle of trust and transparency must start somewhere. Grace must be exhibited by both sides to help that accountability relationship grow.
2. Effective accountability is fostered by friendship.
If effective accountability is to exist, the cycle of trust and transparency must be established. The problem is where to start… it’s a scary thing to step out on a limb, be vulnerable, and hope that your trust and transparency is reciprocated. One side of the accountability relationship has to budge.
Friendship is the lubricant that allows that rusted machine to start turning. Friendship establishes a baseline for trust… and allows us to open up.
Of course, that’s obvious when we’re talking about one on one accountability partners… are we really going to try to establish that kind of relationship with a complete stranger? It’s almost ludicrous to think so. But when it comes to corporate accountability… we’re often forced into an accountability relationship with those we don’t know. A focus on relationship building is critical in this case. I wonder if that’s not one of the main problems with some of the boards and committees we have in Baptist life?
3. Effective accountability is impossible without mutual commitment.
The bottom line? Trust, transparency, and relationship building are not easy. It requires commitment, dedication… hard work. But it can’t be one-sided… it has to go both ways.
Again, that’s obvious in a one-on-one accountability partner relationship. The accountability partnership just wouldn’t exist if it were one-sided. You’d have one person doing all the soul-baring… one person feeling vulnerable all the time… one person making all the effort… one person receiving benefit from the relationship. It simply doesn’t work without strong mutual commitment.
I wonder if we, as Baptists, don’t often expect accountability to be a one-sided relationship though? We often seem so committed to ensuring our leadership (be it pastors, ministry executives, boards, committees,e tc.) fall in line with certain theological, methodological, or yes, even political stances… to ensure that they are “accountable to us”. I wonder if we aren’t missing the “mutual” part of accountability? We expect openness and transparency, but how do we reward it? With investigations… accusations… meddling… labeling… ostracizing…
What about our commitment to that person or board? There has to be mutual commitment for effective accountability.
Anyway, as I look back over this, I see a three-point sermon, minus Scripture. Scary, given I really don’t feel called to preach! What do you think, though? Am I on target here? What do we need to do as Baptists to see effective accountability amongst our brothers and sisters, in our churches, in our associations, in our convention, in our missions organizations?
December 17th, 2006 | 3 Comments | Posted in » Pictures
Okay, I’m gonna be the trend-setter this year…
Here’s our tree.
Of course, most of you are probably more excited about pictures of my kids though (well, at least I am), so here’s one of each of them in front of our tree.
As you can see, Jeffrey is rather fond of his “Cars” pajamas…
Here’s Jenna, in one of her Christmas dresses…
December 17th, 2006 | 5 Comments | Posted in » Baptist Issues
Well, it appears the Missouri Baptist Convention is in the news again, this time because it has formed a committee to investigate the “theological soundness” of the organizations with which the MBC has relationships. The Missouri Baptist Pathway coverage is found here. Additional coverage from Baptist Press News is found here.
Now, I’m not an MBC insider by any means… but this looks like a theological witch hunt to me, especially given some of the nonsense I’ve seen on the Missouri Baptist Discussion List. The Pathway’s coverage is pretty benign (as one might expect), but Baptist Press gets into a few more details. The bottom line? A thriving (albeit non-traditional) new church from St. Louis (The Journey) chooses to host a weekly outreach in a pub, and all of a sudden we have a good portion of our executive board members in an outrage (BTW, the “grab a brew, share your view” quote is NOT from the church, but from the website of the brewery the outreach is held in). It appears they’re even going so far as to threaten to pull the church’s convention-funded loan.
Crazy stuff, if you ask me. It looks like the MBC is getting ready to beat the crap out of a church that’s added over a thousand members in four years for reaching out to the lost where they’re at… yet it freely and proudly partners with political entities that roll around in the mud all the time. Oh, and lest I forget… we’re spending millions of dollars on a lawsuit with five former MBC entities over who controls the makeup of their boards (how many missionaries could we have funded?!?). Are we really this dysfunctional?
I’m SO frustrated over this ongoing nonsense.