#STORY11 :: Skye Jethani

Skye Jethani is an ordained pastor, author, editor, and speaker. He serves as the senior editor of Leadership Journal, a publication of Christianity Today International. Leadership equips pastors and church leaders for the challenges of ministry in a complex world. In this role, Skye not only has the opportunity to engage many of Christianity’s most influential leaders, but also translate their thoughts into practical help for those struggling to live faithfully in a rapidly shifting culture.
  • Why is it that with all of our resources in the American church we are lacking influence?
  • When we were children we had dreams of the world full of wonder, and possibilities. that dream for me was shattered at 6 years old when my brother was killed in an accident. I learned we live in a dangerous world.
  • We react to this in fear.
  • The way respond to fear is that we seek control.
  • As I seek control of my world I usually have to take control away from someone else. In order for me to feel safe you have to feel insecure.
  • So ironically control leads back to danger.
  • This is the narrative that drives most of our lives. This is the narrative that drives most forms of religion.
  • What better way to gain control over the universe than to control the god who created it.
  • So we have different postures.
    • Life under God
      • Divine will. God has certain things he wants us to do. If we obey these things then God will bless you. If you violate them then God will curse you.
      • This just leads to fear.
    • Life over God
      • The center of the universe is not divine will but instead natural law.
      • If we can just find out what the laws are that define the universe then we can control our lives.
      • It says if you can have a relationship with the Bible then you don’t need to have a relationship with God.
    • Life from God
      • You are at the center of the universe.
      • Everything exists to fulfill your needs and desires including God.
      • Consumer Christianity.
      • God becomes a means to an end.
    • Life for God
      • We are on a mission.
      • If you really want to get out of this cycle of fear and control then you need to accomplish a lot for God.
      • Do a lot for God then you matter then you can mitigate your fear.
  • Most of our ministries are bouncing between these 4 things. What is the alternative?
  • The one that Jesus taught.
    • Life with God
      • At the center of the universe is relationship.
      • God the Father, with God the Son, God the Spirit.
      • Jesus comes to reveal this God to us perfectly. And invite us into this life with him. When we get into that vision of who God truly is, then God doesn’t become a means to an end. We don’t want to use him, we want him. God is not a means to an end, He is the end.
      • Now we can surrender.
      • When we surrender we see the world differently. We are perfectly safe in the hands of our God.
      • When we know that we are perfectly safe in this world we become free to obey and have faith, which leads us to surrender again. Suddenly it makes sense for me to love my enemy, to give generously.
  • We need a new vision. Not a vision for God, over, or under Him. We need a vision with God.
  • The problem with the American Church today is that we are dreaming the dreams of the world. Dreams of control. What we need is the dream of children. The dream of a world that is safe and secure and full of goodness and wonder. This only comes when we learn to think the thoughts of God.

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