I remember mentioning about the book and the articles before , here. It’s a useful way of looking at the present scenario of cultural shifts and ongoing changes in our world. MPH 1 Utamahas copies .. I got mine there yesterday (and made my confession to May Chin later…)
Here’s some quotes for tasting after a quick glance through its pages (Miller’s words in bold, my immediate bite-size reactions in italics):
Most people sense that something is different or even wrong, and everyone seems to have a theory as to why. Few of these theories, however, offer a real framework for navigating change.” p. ix
Any “framework” won’t be perfect, but some are more useful and others or helps us see reality better. I was thinking of a particular solution someone passionately is advocating which is build on some interesting observations but faulty analysis because of a less-than-helpful “framework.” So, even though the solution project to the problem is a start but needs severe revision and tweaking.
“… Many churches and denominations are isolated from the realities of their community and the larger culture. In fact, they have moved to build support services and a culture cut off from the larger community.” p.xii
This is so so true … and even though we might be using the most modern techniques or tools or even trendy ideas … we might look similar on the surface but are actually miles apart from the realities and thinking of those we are trying to reach. And worse, is when we just pump in more energy (with some guilt) doing the same old thing, thinking the same old thoughts … when it;s not really touching lives in a deeper level …
“… Many churches are so fragmented and activity-driven that they have little opportunity to develop strong relational bonds.” p. xii
This is one thing that I’ve been hyper-sensitive about coming from the kind of background mentioned in this quote. Of course, the danger of over-reacting and being totally clueless, lazy and no direction is there too. But, we in Malaysia need to seriously get our act together … and STOP! Learn to “love” and develop strong relational bonds again before we charge into another project.
“The church is not losing ground. On the contrary, we’re simply awakening to our true condition.” p.12
So often, I wonder whether we as leaders really know what is our true condition … are we folloing our own illusions or chasing human-made dreams which sound grandiose but are actually distracting us from REALLY putting our full resources and gifts into proper use. Time to Wake up folks!
“We have a rising hunger not only for leaders we trust but for leaders who lead by trust rather than by fear or coercion.” p. 149
This is part of the reason I felt drawn to the conversation catalysed by Emergent (or the emerging church). Looking back the past years, and especially the last 4, I’ve seen this kind of leadership by trust being modeled excellently and seen the opposite leadership by fear and coercion rampant in our setting (lord have mercy!). I guess, this is why I’m pretty excited to see where our “little” learning community that’s somehow forming (or already in existence) can blossom in due time. We need to be aggressively patient 🙂 in our learning of a kind of leadership that will truly benefit those who are following and further God’s agenda on earth in the church, in families, in educaitonal insitutions, in the marketplace, and beyond!