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A vida é simples


A vida é simples

What makes a good community?

Another way of putting the question is: What criteria do you use to evaluate your community?

If you look at how most churches evaluate, you'll tend to think that it's all about numbers. The more, the merrier. How many "got saved" this year? What was the mean attendance at Sunday? And at Sunday School? How many are involved in the ministry?

I don't believe in numbers to evaluate the success of a community. There are better ways of evaluating the success of a community. A good christian community is a community where relationships are strong, no mater what may go wrong. Where there is an equilibrium of gifting, and a sense of respect and humility for each other gifting. That makes a difference wherever it is. That has connections with the outside world. It is also a community that is generating (or in he process of generating) other similar (not equal) communities (this last thing being the signal of complete maturity in a community).

What we have to question ourselves is: Is our community doing that? If not, is it taking measures to do it? Those are very important questions.

Melhor Blog Português: Os resultados

E não é que o Fotos da Natureza ficou em 3º lugar na categoria de fotoblogs? Na minha opinião não merecia, mas prontos, parabéns a mim :)

Mas os verdadeiros parabéns vão para o Neo, que ficou em primeiro lugar com o 10-20mm. Ele merece. E vão para mim também, porque se não fosse eu a insistir, ele não tinha criado o fotoblog :D

Update: Reparei agora que fiquei em 2º lugar na categoria Animais, Natureza, e Ambiente. Nada mau. Parabéns ao vencedor, o menos um carro.

Feelings and Intuitions

Yesterday, during a very nice time with Joshua and Laura (we have to do more of this), there were several nice "theological" conversations. One of those kept running in my mind after we left. That normally happens when I feel we didn't get to an answer in the subject. The theme was feelings and intuitions.

I personally use my intuition whenever I have to decide something major in my life (and according to Blink, there may be a logical reason for that after all). And that contrasts a lot with the way I do other decisions, which happens always in a very logical and thoughtful process.

Joshua confronted me with a very good point: If we rule our lives by intuition, how can we be sure we will not choose always the easier / most comfortable way (as in the opposite for the right way). For example, I may not "feel like" helping a certain person, but I should. If I go with my "feelings", I will not do the right thing.

After some thinking (which always happens when we try to verbalize the way we do things that are routine to us), I got to the conclusion that I separate my intuition from my feelings. For me, they are two different things. My intuition is checked by convictions of what I should be and do (love God, love everyone as myself, etc). My feelings are this ethereal thing that changes constantly with the mood. I can say that because when I choose something intuitively, I don't choose the easy way out, but something else based on my convictions. And in my opinion, that's the way it should be.

So, next time you hear the famous phrase "I don't feel led to..." coming out of your mouth, ask yourself what kind of feeling is it :)

I would really love to see comments with your opinion on the subject.

Beating a Dead Horse

Dakota tribal wisdom says that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. However, in business we often try other strategies with dead horses, including the following:

1. Buying a stronger whip.
2. Changing riders.
3. Say things like, "This is the way we have always ridden this horse."
4. Appointing a committee to study the horse.
5. Arranging to visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses.
6. Increasing the standards to ride dead horses.
7. Appointing a tiger team to revive the dead horse.
8. Creating a training session to increase our riding ability.
9. Comparing the state of dead horses in todays environment.
10. Change the requirements declaring that "This horse is not dead."
11. Hire contractors to ride the dead horse.
12. Harnessing several dead horses together for increased speed.
13. Declaring that "No horse is too dead to beat."
14. Providing additional funding to increase the horse's performance.
15. Do a Cost Analysis study to see if contractors can ride it cheaper.
16. Purchase a product to make dead horses run faster.
17. Declare the horse is "better, faster and cheaper" dead.
18. Form a quality circle to find uses for dead horses.
19. Revisit the performance requirements for horses.
20. Say this horse was procured with cost as an independent variable.
21. Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position.

(taken from here)


I spent all day thinking about the following quotes today, applying it to church:

"There was a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile." (Gladiator movie)

"Is Rome worth one good man's life? We believed it once. Make us believe it again." (Gladiator movie)

Someone made me think about them. You know, I've been in this emergent, familiar, simple, communal, missional, apostolical, whatever church thing for the past 4 years. But until today, it's still a dream to come true. A dream I still need to fully comprehend. A dream for which I still pay dearly every day I live. I refuse to give up on this dream, it's too important.

As regras outra vez

Tenho notado uma tendência, na argumentação teológica (e não só), que é pegar num termo (por exemplo regra), e utilizá-lo no sentido mais lacto possível. Isso aconteceu no meu último post sobre regras, que vou usar como exemplo.

Se quisermos esticar a palavra regras ao máximo, podemos fazer com que ela inclua princípios, cordialidade, respeito, leis físicas, e outras coisas mais.

Porque é que isto é negativo? Porque mostra a nossa infeliz tendência de em vez de nos focarmos no tema em questão (existem ou não regras a mais?), discutirmos "pormenores de lei" (até que ponto algo é uma regra).

Eu, pessoalmente, abomino esse tipo de discurso.

update: Eu não estou aqui a dizer que a palavra regra deve abranger todos os significados, estou é a defender que não se deve fazer isso. É negativo para o debate. É um escape do tema principal.

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