Thought Leaders Series: 2017

Unlearning to Learn Anew – putting on the Veil of Ignorance.

Building on the work of Emmanuel Kant and other leading minds in discussions on Social Contract, John Rawls applies the concept in his seminal book: A Theory of Justice.

For Rawls, our personal biases and prejudices often affect our political position. Therefore, for true freedom and justice to prevail, we need to actively minimise them by assuming a position of ignorance (the Veil of Ignorance).

This discipline is important in Christianity, especially in leadership. Every aspect of the faith should be revisited with the “Veil of Ignorance” in order for the faith to breathe and revitalise.

To Veil of Ignorance is similar to the term being “Born Again” which sadly has been largely misunderstood. Jesus was in fact asking Nicodemus to unlearn all he had learnt, to put on the “Veil of Ignorance” in order to be a part of the new movement. The knowledge he had accrued through years of active participation in the religious system was suddenly an hindrance to his spiritual growth. What Jesus was advancing needed an open mind, if you may, a blank canvas.

Jesus highlights this position on many occasions, perhaps most notably when he challenged the actions of the leaders stating,

“… thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this.” – (Mark 7:13)

The Judeo-Christian faith was never, and has never been concrete, hence we see the plea for Reformation at various points in history through the prophets and much later Jesus Christ.

The Born Again experience is therefore a state of mind and a way of life, not an event. It is an attitude of re-evaluation, critical thinking, rethinking, unlearning, learning; and dare I say, being humble enough to learn from other disciplines and faith. Thus Galloway notes:

“The question of God – the basic question of theology – is not the special concern of the ‘religious’ or those who happen to like that sort of thing. It arises out of the structure of human existence and is thus the most fundamental and universal concern of all mankind. Theology, therefore, is as public a discipline as philosophy or natural science. It belongs, in the first instance, in the university rather than the seminary” – (1973, p. 16)

This is what we see in the life of Jesus as he questioned the very foundations of the Jewish faith: Temple rituals, Sabbath, moral and legal codes, culture, and traditions.

Dear friends, if there has ever been a time when the World is willing to listen again to what we have to offer – it is now! When these Jephthah[s] arrive and after the goosebumps they feel when they encounter the Holy Spirit, they will still need to be taught.

My question to you – what are we teaching them? We have inherited lots of stuff that are now having detrimental effects on our psyche and faith.

We have to unlearn, to learn anew.

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

HEAVEN’S ECONOMY

A Christ-inspired business is not one that begins with prayers.

Neither is it one that only employs Christians, or one that preaches conversion to customers, or one that pays a tenth to a church or parachurch organisation….

Dear friends, we are all involved in commerce. We buy products and services we want or need, and we provide products and services of some sort to customers.

Questions…

How do we use our purchasing power to influence the kinds of products and services that are available in the market?

How do we create, develop, and sell products or services that are inspired by love and kindness.

How do we realign the power relationship between developed, emerging and underdeveloped economies?

How can we make the world a much better and equal place for all of humanity?

Join us as we explore the building blocks for a Christ-centred commerce.

Saturday 25th November 2017, 10:30 – 1pm

Order tickets below, spaces are limited.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/heavens-economy-tickets-39013175458?ref=estw

The Challenge of Our Times

Like the current Brexit debate which hinges on 3 core positions: hard Brexit, soft Brexit and no Brexit; the disciples were faced with similar challenges after the death of our Lord. 

By way of background, Judaism was not originally a missional faith. Converts were meant to be attracted to the faith through the actions of the Jews, and God’s glory in their midst. But during the time of our Lord there was already a missional drive by the Rabbis, hence Jesus’ rebuke to the Pharisees (Matthew 23:15), for the negative impact of their efforts.

It is also important to note that Jesus was a prophet of his time. In otherwords, he addressed issues of his time, challenged the ‘ideals’, and reinterpreted scriptures. Jesus didn’t come to set-up Christianity (as many would love to believe), but rather to reform the Jewish faith, and to open its doors for mission to the wider-world. In fact, most of what we know today as Paul’s teaching or insight are from Jewish commentaries on the Old Testament (the Talmud and Mishnah). 

Equipped with the Holy Spirit, the apostles (who had the mandate to ‘go’ and tell the world about the messiah) were still caught between: hard Judaism, soft Judaism or no Judaism. But they were never shy of these debates. The sharp end of their arguments are evident in most of the letters in the New Testament. 

As we know through history, Judaism has always moved with the times. From the invisible God who communed with the patriarchs, the Tabernacle, the temple, destruction of the temple, the exile, the second temple; the faith has always been resilient, adapting to the forces of change and pace of human advancement.

These changes were led by people with inspired vision, people with strong convictions, radicals – willing to go against popular opinion. 

In the same vein, the faith we know today as Christianity needs to keep evolving dear friends. We need to challenge the status quo. Ask the difficult questions. Revisit scriptures, and interpret them in light of the speed of change in our world. The reformation was not meant to stop after the efforts of the reformers, rather, it should be part of our DNA.

Are you willing to stand up and be counted? 

Leadership: And of You. (Ex. 32:10)

Simply put, ministry is the out working of our regeneration (new birth) to humanity, in other words our vocation. With this in mind, our vision is our unique contribution to humanity, in light of our personality, natural gifts, and spiritual gifts. 

To this end, people (this includes workers) are beneficiaries and shapers (in the sense that they help align and realign our impact) of our ministry, and God remains the inspiration (the breathe or life) behind our vision. 
This wisdom is particularly important for leaders who suffer from what I call ‘people dependency syndrome’, especially in a church setting.

So back to our scripture focus. God said to Moses after the people had created and worshipped a golden calf, not long after he delivered them with his mighty hands from Egypt:

Now let me alone, so that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; and of you I will make a great nation. – (Exodus 32:10)

And of You, glory to God!

You, and no one else. You are on His majesty’s mission. You are God’s emissary, his agent, his delegate. 
You matter dear friend, and your ministry and vision matters. 

Stay focused,
Pastor Clem

On His Majesty’s Secret Service

Leadership Qualities part 2

 ‘… For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” – (Mark 10:45).

Last week we looked at our first set of Leadership qualities, building on the series on Leadership, under the title: On His Majesty’s Secret Service. 
Developing these ideas further, tomorrow I will be treating another set of Leadership Qualities, with a view to empower us for effectiveness in ministry, business, scholarship and career.

Come and be inspired!
(3:00 – 4:30)pm

The Drama Room

Ground floor,

Bexleyheath Academy, Woolwich Road, Bexleyheath, DA6 7DA

This Sunday @ Healingsprings fellowship!

Leadership: On His Majesty’s Secret Service

In recent studies on leadership, I was a surprised to notice the arguments the disciples had on the subject. 

As always, Jesus’ response was quite radical. He said to them:

“But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” – (Mark 10:43-45).

To this end, I will be embarking on a series on leadership, entitled: On His Majesty’s Secret Service.

Drawing from Scriptures, biographies and contemporary Christian thinkers, we will be exploring biblical leadership principles for effectiveness in ministry, business, scholarship and career.

Come and be inspired!

(3:00 – 4:30)pm
The English Room

Ground floor,

Bexleyheath Academy, Woolwich Road, Bexleyheath, 

DA6 7DA

(Free parking and access via Goals, next to the Asda car park)

The Words of Our Elders: Dr Myles Munroe (1954-2014)

Communication is the ability to ensure that people understand not only what you say but also what you mean. It is also the ability to listen to and understand others. Developing both of these aspects of communication takes a lot of time, patience, and hard work.

~ Dr Myles Munroe

The words of our elders, are words of wisdom.