i'm in paducah, kt, right now spending some time with my friend brad [a pastor here of a cool church]. brad and i met in college and have spent a good amount of time over the years woodshopping ideas over the phone and keeping one another fresh and innovative.
one of the things that being with brad affirms most for me
is how much energy/vitality/freshness i get from being with my friends in ministry
whether that's jvo or randy
vince, mark, steve, glen
cam, brad, ryan, ryan, stephan, dan
or any of the other million friends i have loved serving jesus with [perhaps most especially my dad]
i always find that it's my friends who keep me honest
keep me sharp
and keep me pure
i don't think i've ever experienced sharpness, purity, or a challenge to integrity from my denomination
this isn't to say that the denom is anti-sharp, etc...
just that a group like that is a particularly impotent motivator
which is the primary reason why i've always tried to lead as a friend
instead of as a boss, or "pastor", or "leader"
because i think bosses are dumb
pastors are [far too often]fake
and leaders are dumb [except, of course, for their keen ability to use a goofy language all it's own, complete with words like "paradigm-shift" or "vision-cast"]
jesus was a friend
"no longer do i call you servants, but friends...the friends of god"
and provides a pretty healthy example for another way to lead
to be in ministry
to be in relationship
this "friend" thing was brilliantly exemplified by the quakers [though they did get enough other stuff so weird as to make their "friendship" seem spooky], who lived and served together in a profoundly spiritual capacity
and [minus the spooky bits] this is really how i'm hoping to model my own "leadership" and set of associations
by having friends
now, i've been told that i can really only make this work up to a point
that - if i'm serious about "being the leader god has called me to be" - i'll have to accept that my friendships will be few
but that perspective, of course, falls victim to the way the world actually works
and i - together with my friends - am trying to fix this world
to put the pieces back together again
so the world will be more like the way god intended it
full of friends