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I appreciate the idea of simplifying one’s life. Simple Life offers practical steps to moving forward. However, I experienced the content as a bit fluffy. The meat of the content could have been produced in a book half the length. This book would have been more effective if the authors would have taken on the challenge of editing to a more concise length.
The connection to the successful book, Simple Church, seems contrived and a mechanism to market a nominally effective book. I recommend http://unclutterer.com over Simple Life for simplifying one’s life.
While I believe that it is important to get ministry done right the first time, I am increasingly becoming a fan of iteration (or repetition) and learning by doing.
I recognize that some genius idea that I have may certainly turn out to only be genius in my head and not actually be helpful in helping people build relationships with God and with other people. I try to head these ideas off at the pass and keep them from consuming a great deal of my time or afflicting others with them.
But sometimes, I will go ahead and put an idea out there and see where it lands. Quick adaptation and repetition of the idea with a slightly different angle can quickly lead to an idea that is moving closer to perfection, that is, actually effective.
What do you think? Would you develop something before or after letting it out to the public?
The final quote from Bishop Jones for this week is striking in its simplicity and profundity.
United Methodist clergy live in their conference.
I have heard this many times from Bishop Jones and each time he makes sure that the audience takes time to let it sink in. It has implications for ministry, relationships with other clergy, the atmosphere of the annual conference, serving beyond the local church, seeking revival in different places and many others.
I reassert that it is crucial to share my life with colleagues in ministry because the community of the annual conference is one of the most important, perhaps the most important, community of which I am a part as a United Methodist pastor. I have found that the relationships that I have built with other clergy are important for my own soul and for my leadership in ministry. Does it take effort? Absolutely. It is important and worth it. Not being able to form real relationships is a myth of the annual conference.
This morning I am headed with the team of senior staff at Resurrection to a retreat center in Missouri about 90 minutes away. I love to get away with other members of the staff to spend time together and dream about the future of the church. According to the last email update, here is the plan…
By consensus, the thrust of our time together will be to step away from the demands of our usual work to do three things:
We will breathe, pray, reflect and be spiritually refreshed.
We will form tighter, lasting, deeper relationships with one another.
We will sharpen ourselves as leaders in God’s church.
This will be more of a retreat, in every sense of the word. There will be less time on future planning and more about just being together. I am looking forward to it.