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Looking Forward: Facing the Future of Christian Leadership

Looking Forward: Facing the Future of Christian Leadership

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Looking Forward: Facing the Future of Christian Leadership

Länge:
237 Seiten
3 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Jun 16, 2016
ISBN:
9781533707208
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

What is the most important message you have to share with emerging leaders?

It is this question at the heart of this challenging book, posed to Christian leaders such as Tony Campolo, Tim Elmore and Jamie Arpin-Ricci. It invites readers to discover what it means to serve God and others in the roles of leadership.

With study guides in each chapter, designed for both personal and group study, every page offers opportunity for practical application and growth. Leadership, like the future, is nothing to be afraid of. On the contrary, it is something for which we can truly look forward.

BONUS: Including sample chapters from Arpin-Ricci's other acclaimed books, "Vulnerable Faith" and "The Cost of Community".

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Jun 16, 2016
ISBN:
9781533707208
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor

Jamie Arpin-Ricci is the author of The Cost of Community: Jesus, St. Francis and Life in the Kingdom and the pastor of Little Flowers Community in the inner city of Winnipeg. He has spent two decades serving in ministry among the urban poor, both in North America and abroad.

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Looking Forward - Jamie Arpin-Ricci

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter One: Dressed Like Jesus by Bruce Marciano

Chapter Two: Dare To Be A Daniel by Stuart McAllister

Chapter Three: Knowing God by Joy Dawson

Chapter Four: Going Deeper by Jamie Arpin-Ricci

Chapter Five: Both Sides of the Coin by Tony Campelo

Chapter Six: Knowing the Mission by Dr. Tim Elmore

Chapter Seven: Women Arise by Winnie Bartel

Chapter Eight: The Lost Gospel of the Kingdom by Landa Cope

Chapter Nine: Youth... With A Mission by Tré Sheppard

Chapter Ten: Taking the Lead by George Verwer

Chapter Eleven: Taking it Out by Paul Martinson & Jamie Arpin-Ricci

Appendix: Leaders and Confrontation by Darlene Cunningham

FREE Sample Chapter from Vulnerable Faith

FREE Sample Chapter from The Cost of Community

Introduction

By Jamie Arpin-Ricci

There's a Pastor in our inner-city neighbourhood who's made quite the reputation for himself.  Harry Lehotsky, founding Pastor of New Life Ministries, came to Winnipeg from the U.S. after serving in other urban centres such as New York and Chicago.  In addition to being a local pastor, he is also actively involved in very unique community development, social activism and Christian service to our neighbourhood.  At one of our first meetings with Harry, he told us an interesting story (one of many he could tell you, all worth hearing).  I'll let him tell it in his own words:

"After 14 years of working in the neighbourhood with community issues, trying to help people out, we were getting frustrated that there was still so much crime going on right under our noses.  The problem with the crack houses were right out in the open, obvious to everyone, but no one was really doing anything about it.  We were already praying about it, rallying the neighbours, and feeding information to the police.  In the end, the police told us that we would have to be patient, as it takes a lot of time and resources to mount this kind of investigation.  Even then, the courts wouldn't make convictions easily.  It was extremely frustrating.

"Then the crack houses started 'entertaining' kids.  One group of dealers, who had several houses in the area, began to target kids both as users and as drug runners, dealers and look outs.  Two houses, specifically, were obviously exploiting kids and teens for their own purposes.  When I confronted the dealers, they told me that they 'cut their crack clean' (as if they expected a gold star in heaven for that), they give diapers or formula to their single mother 'customers', and, unlike the church, their doors are open 24 hours a day.  These guys were incredible at rationalizing their actions.

"One morning, while praying and doing my devotions, I came across the passage in the Bible about how the darkness hates the light (John 3:20).  So I asked God, was He saying that the darkness was the crack dealers and the light was... advertizing?  What would happen if we advertized the crack houses for them?  I asked a couple of coworkers what they thought and, after they had a good laugh, they said it would probably bring a lot of attention to the issue.

"So I made a poster ad stating the 'qualities' the dealers claimed their 'business' had.  It read something like this:

Crack Dealers conveniently located in your neighbourhood.  Extended hours of operation.

Superior quality control for our products.  Pride in great customer service.

"The ad had photos of the houses and some crack rocks.  At the bottom of the poster, I put the addresses of the two crack houses, as well as little tear off slips with contact information that said 'Additional Franchises Available'.  I got up very early in the morning and taped up the posters on telephone poles and bus shelters, as well as at a few media outlets.  As often happens when things happen in our neighbourhood, the reporters started calling to find out if I knew anything about 'the posters that some nutcase had put up'.  They told me that the news room wouldn't run the story unless they had a name to put to who did it.  Feigning ignorance at first, telling them I'd get back to them, I finally took credit for the posters.

"When the camera crew arrived at the door of the crack house, the dealer was initially ready for his TV debut.  But when they handed him the poster, you could see his face begin to contort with rage.  He went on denying the poster, demanding to know who would do such a thing and claiming that he was a good guy.  By the end of the day, with most news agencies in the city carrying the story as their lead, I was also receiving threats from dealers in the community.  At one point, I was even threatened while on camera for an interview.  It's kind of hard convincing people you are innocent when you are threatening a pastor and a report on film.

"That evening, while our family was watching the news (and staying clear of the windows), one of my twelve year old sons tearfully asked me why I did it.  He knew that even if they didn't get me, they could try and get him.  I explained to him about my own past with drugs and the streets, and that sometimes you have to make choices about how far your passion will take you, how much are you willing to risk.  Through the years of living in the neighbourhood, our kids have come to understand.

"Sometime later, I was confronted by these dealers on the street.  Figuring I'd rather take a beating in public than be shot in a dark alley, I started arguing with them.  At one point, in the midst of their threats, I challenged them that if I had 10 guys like them in my church, with their knowledge, commitment and creativity, we would be able to turn this city upside down.  In the end, I think they realized that the passion that drives me is not out of hatred, but a real concern for people, including them.  With some of them, it has resulted in a grudging respect.  They also know where to come if they ever need help.

Putting Down Roots

When my wife, Kim and I moved to Winnipeg to pioneer a new inner city ministry for Youth With A Mission (YWAM), it was like stepping into another world.  That is not to say we were complete rookies at urban ministry- we had both spent several year with YWAM Vancouver working in such areas as the Down Town East Side, Canada's poorest and most at-risk neighbourhood.  This time, however, we were going to be doing more than simply working in the inner city.  Our conviction was that in order to truly serve a community, we needed first to become part of that community.  So we rented apartments in the heart of Winnipeg's West End community and began to make it our home.

Since then, we have purchased a building in the community that is both our home and ministry centre.  Formerly one of the more notorious gang houses in the city, our neighbours told us that our home was cursed.  Children in the community warned us of the ghosts that haunted every room.  The local police shock their heads in confusion at why a group of young people would choose to live where we did.  Through time, however, people have begun to see that real change can happen, even in the worst cases.  Our house (and hopefully our lives) stand as a testimony of what God can do in ours lives.  Our house is a blessings- a blessing we would not have was it not for the aptly named ministry that restored and sold it to us, Lazarus Housing.  A program of Pastor Harry's church, New Life Ministries, Lazarus Housing buys derelict buildings (houses, apartments, businesses), restores them and makes them available to people who are committed to our community who would often otherwise not have been able to afford such property.  Going beyond quick fix renovations, this impacting ministry believes that a house can be a home, going the extra mile to make their buildings not only functional, but attractive.  We could not have established our ministry without them.

The Three H's

Perhaps as important as the building they made available to us, the friendship, advice and example Harry and the New Life/Lazarus staff offered (and continues to offer) was essential to the foundations and values of our ministry.  One of the guiding principles of YWAM Urban Ministries Winnipeg has been affectionately known as The 3 H's, which stand for Head, Heart and Hands.  Head represents our Minds- the way we think and our understanding.  Heart represents our Emotions- our passion and our motivations.  And Hands represents our Will- our actions, our deeds.  In all our programs, outreaches and in our lives, we always seek to intentionally reflect on these three aspects, to live them out incarnationally.  It has brought a balance and internal accountability in all that we do.  While these values were important to us, it was seeing them so often modelled in our friend that they became real to us.

Don't get me wrong.  Harry would be the first person to tell you he is far from perfect (and if not him, just ask co-workers Ralph, Mona or Shelley).  He has often come up with ideas that he wished he'd never have started.  His anger can boil to the surface like the rest of us, especially given some of the people and circumstances he sees each day.  He can look back at some of the things he has done with grinning chagrin.  And I am sure that his co-workers (not to mention his family) could come up with their list of stories to prove Harry's normal human failings.  However, beyond those things, we have come to know a man who sincerely seeks to understand God and His Word, share in His heart and passion, and serve His children in the best, most honest way he can.  In fact, it is in the honest way he can admit his own failures and idiosyncrasies that we see this 3-fold commitment most clearly in Harry.

His example, like the example of the dozens of other we see who serve faithful in our cities needy communities, has made our commitment to these three important aspects a fundamental means to approach life, faith and service to Christ.  The more these values become a natural filter in my life, the more I recognize them in Scripture and church history.  Many scholars have even defined the soul as the integrated whole of the mind, the will and the emotions.

How To Read This Book

To that end, I have attempted in this book to gather chapters that will challenge you on each of these levels.  At a casual glance, one might look at these articles as random, unrelated pieces.  However, with closer inspection, I think that you will find that each author brings unique challenges, perspectives and emphasis that come together to help us pursue a solid foundation of Christian leadership for the future.  It is intentionally eclectic in its content, style and focus.  Even the study guides have been designed to challenge you in the 3 H's, so don't skip past those.  Give some real thought and prayer to each chapter and question.

As natural as these 3 H's have become to me, I have also seen how naturally each of us tend to lean more towards one than the others.  For example, I am very much a Head person.  I love complex ideas and systems.  I enjoy to be challenged to research deeper into areas of theology, science, philosophy, history and culture.  My wife, Kim, on the other hand, is much more Heart orientated.  She is much more in touch with the emotional motivation for the things we do in life and leadership.  And yet again, one of our founding team members, Paul, is always itching to get out there, to talk to people, to serve people, to be hands on.  This is not to say that I am all talk and no action, that Kim is shallow and thoughtless or that Paul is a heartless working machine.  On the contrary, each of us reflects all three H's, just with different emphasis.

That being said, you may find yourself naturally drawn to certain chapters more than others.  That's alright.  God created us differently, and while we want to be aware and careful of our weaknesses, I believe He wants us to celebrate and develop our strengths.  The risk we run, however, is that we will miss something important that we might need to learn if we are too exclusive in our focus.  Take the time to read the entire book and do the studies at the end of each.  You don't have to read it in any order, but make sure that you read them all.  I think you will be surprised at what God might teach you.

If I Had A Million Dollars...

Most of you know the song If I Had A Million Dollars.  It lists all the things we’d do, if only we had... One Million Dollars .  The song’s funny because everyone of us has thought about the things we'd do with that kind of cash.  What would I do if I had that money?  What would I accomplish?  Maybe I'd build a deluxe youth drop in centre with a fully equipped skate park.  Or perhaps I'd finance the production of a great film, with a powerful message.  I could even set up a charitable foundation, which draw other donors, drawing even more money to serve the needs of my city.  When I think about the passions of my heart, the list goes on and on.

Think about it.  If you were given a million dollars to accomplish anything for God, what would you do?  Stop reading and write it down in as much detail as you can.  What are you passionate about doing for God?  How would a million dollars help?  The sky’s the limit.  Finished writing?  Keep reading.  Look at all the exciting possibilities.  Did making that list get your passion blazing to do something about it?  Hold on, there’s a catch.  I hate to break it to you, but few of us will ever become over-night millionaires or ever see that kind of cash.  God has always provided for me, but I have yet to see that million-dollar cheque.  Too bad.  It would’ve been so great!

When we dream about what God could do through us with a million dollars, our passion blazes!  Yet, without that money, the reality of our own limitations snuff out that fire in an instant.  We think, IF ONLY I had a million dollars, IF ONLY I was a gifted singer, IF ONLY I was a great athlete, IF ONLY I was better looking, IF ONLY I was a flashy leader.  What does that tell us about our view of God?  By making our success as Christian leaders dependent on our circumstances, we say that God is no bigger than those circumstances.  Rather, let’s declare, I can do ALL things though Christ who strengthens me! (Philippians 4:13, emphasis mine).

Years ago, at the age of 23, my question was, IF ONLY I could write a book... but who would listen?  Who am I to contact other great Christian leaders and writers?  Who am I to think my ideas should go to print?  In the face of that doubt, God challenged me to take a chance.  Was I willing to potentially embarrass myself?  Was I willing to be rejected by authors and publishers?  How could I tell people about the project, then face the shame of never completing it?  Was I willing to spend months and years writing, collecting and editing, never with any promise of success?  Was I willing to stick my neck out, IF that was what God was calling me to do?  Scared, even a bit doubtful, my answer was a yes, and four years later, I am sitting here with a complete manuscript and a publisher awaiting my final pages.

Don't get me wrong, I faced rejection from authors and publishers.  I had many who scoffed at me as months turned to years in the preparation.  I sat for weeks with frustrating writers block, all with no promise of success at the end.  It was a tough journey.  And even now, when all the work is complete and the book is finally going to print, I wonder if anyone will read it.  And if they do, will they like it or will it challenge them?  The reality is that once you start the What If Game, you could go on and on forever.  Yet, despite myself, God had a plan.

So as you read this book, let yourself think and dream big.  Don't assume there are things you cannot do, especially if God seems to be calling you to do it.  You will make mistakes and you will experience failure.  That's okay!  Don't allow the success of your calling be measured in human terms.  Let the level of your success be measured by the degree of your obedience to God.  It is my hope that this book will give some ideas, inspiration and practical tools to do just that.

Contributors Profiles

Jamie Arpin-Ricci, CJ, is a church planter and missionary pastor with his wife, Kim in Winnipeg’s inner city community. He is the co-pastor of Little Flowers Community (www.littleflowers.ca), co-director of YWAM Urban Ministries Winnipeg (www.ywamwinnipeg.com), and is also a third order Franciscan with The Company of Jesus. He is a writer/blogger and you can find him blogging at A Living Alternative (www.missional.ca) and tweet as @missional.

Paul Martinson is the Western Canada Director for Youth With A Mission (YWAM), as well as a member of the YWAM Canadian Liason Team.  In addition to his regional leadership throughout Canada, Paul is a frequent speaker, teacher and mentor.  He and his wife, Sandy, are founders and directors of St. Barnabas Ministries.

Landa Cope is the International Dean for the College of Communication with University of the Nations (UofN) which has campuses in over 100 locations on every continent. As one of the founding principals of UofN, Ms. Cope has lectured and consulted on communication and international media with major corporations, heads of state and thousands of students in over 65 nations. She was the director for the NCC, in Washington DC, and previous to that served as Director of Communications for Mercy Ships International. Ms. Cope holds an undergraduate degree in Education and a graduate degree in Humanities and International Studies, and is the author of the book Clearly Communicating Christ.

Dr. Tim Elmore is Vice President of Leadership Development of Equip.  Although his ministry experience has taken him into a variety of contexts, Tim Elmore is well known for his ministry to young adults.  Tim is a gifted communicator, author, illustrator, and visionary leader. He has traveled extensively in North America, Australia, Europe, England, New Zealand, and Asia-challenging both leaders and laborers to live mission-driven lives.  He has authored several books, including

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