Eastbrook Leadership Forum presentation – October 28, 2013

Last night at Eastbrook Church, we gathered for our quarterly Leadership Forum. The Leadership Forum gives us the chance to share new ideas, learn together, and pray for the ministry of our church.

We looked at one of our six priorities last night that focuses on multiplying at every level: disciples, ministry leaders, and churches. I’m including the brief slide presentation that we utilized last night for those who were not able to join us. It will at least give you some idea of what we discussed.

I would love to interact further with the thoughts contained here.

Eastbrook Leadership Forum – May 20, 2013

Last night we had our quarterly Leadership Forum at Eastbrook Church. The Leadership Forum gives us the chance to share new ideas, learn together, and pray for the ministries of Eastbrook Church. Last night, we talked about some new ideas related to the upcoming ministry year, beginning August 1, 2013. I’m including the brief slide presentation that we utilized last night below. If you have any feedback on the discussion questions near the end of the presentation, feel free to post your thoughts here on the blog.

<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/merickson/leadership-forum-slides-5-20-2013&#8243; title=”Leadership forum slides 5 20 2013″ target=”_blank”>Leadership forum slides 5 20 2013</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/merickson&#8221; target=”_blank”>Matt Erickson</a></strong> </div>

Comprehensive Praise: some notes from Psalm 150

Psalm 150 is a fitting, yet fascinating, conclusion to the book of psalms. The psalms are prayer-songs that were often used within the corporate, and private, worship of the people of Israel. Psalm 150 concludes the entire psalter with a comprehensive picture of worship. Here are some thoughts that leap out to me about worship from this psalm.

Worship is God-Centered
The beginning word of the psalm is simple: ‘Hallelujah’, which means, ‘Praise the Lord.’ The theme and tone of this psalm, something which sums up the entire book of psalms, is God-directed praise. This word, ‘hallelujah’, sets our compass to true north. Here at the beginning of this psalm, yet at the end of the entire psalter, we remember that God is the center-point and anchor for our lives and worship. As the often-used phrase says, we remember that worship is not about me but about God.

The Intersection of the Mundane and the Holy
Next, we are told to center our worship of God in God’s sanctuary or tabernacle and the heavens or the firmament of the sky. The psalmist reminds us that worship is simultaneously about us drawing near in a Read More »

Remembering Dallas Willard: 1935-2013

Photography by Dieter Zander
Photography by Dieter Zander

I heard the news yesterday that Dallas Willard, a great writer on life with God and spiritual formation, passed away after battling pancreatic cancer. Willard was a professor of philosophy at the University of Southern California while also writing and speaking as a Christian on issues of cultivating life with God. He is perhaps best known for his work, The Divine Conspiracy, and his influence on many well-known evangelical Christians, such as John Ortberg (who sometimes refers to himself as “Dallas for Dummies”). You can read John Ortberg’s fine reflections on Dallas Willard’s life and legacy, “Dallas Willard, a man from another ‘Time Zone'”, here.

I first encountered Dallas Willard’s work through a professor of mine, Jim Wilhoit, who introduced me to Willard’s seminal work, The Spirit of the Disciplines. In that work, Willard opens up the concept of discipleship in a way that is much larger than many normally think. Discipleship is not just about imitating Jesus at certain moments (like WWJD) but is rather approaching all of life in the way that Jesus approached life. This is what Willard calls “the secret of the easy yoke,” referencing Matthew 11:29-30. He writes: “the secret of the easy yoke…involves living as Jesus lived in the entirety of his life – adopting his overall life-style” (5). That book is a profound – and dense! – exploration of spiritual practices that enable us to live like Jesus in “his overall lifestyle.”Read More »