Listening Government

Originally posted on MICHAEL WELCHERT:

Jesus-and-his-ApostlesThe Church is governed under Jesus Christ as the Head of the Church, the Chief Shepherd and Bishop of our Souls and the Apostle of our Faith who through the teaching, leading, counsel and abiding presence of the Holy Spirit grants men who are called to ministry, the power and apostolic anointing to continue the work of the local and global church on earth.

The process by which men carry out this governing work is identified as Consensus Government. At times it has been referred to as Plurality of Elders, Shared Leadership, Listening Government, Episcopal (Bishops rule) or the “First Among Equals”.

Defining Government by Consensus

Consensus is a destination arrived at by men, who willingly set aside their personal round tableagenda, in order to discover what the will of God is. In consensus the leadership of the church can together claim an authority which individually none of them possess.


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God’s Hiding Place

body-and-blood-james-thomasThe Incarnation Mystery is being repeated and represented in the Eucharist. Here we have material reality, in the form of these universal foods of bread and wine, as the hiding place and the revelation place for God. We are reminded that God is always perfectly hidden and perfectly revealed in the material world. If we deny that the spiritual can enter the material world, then we are in trouble, since we hope to be just that—spiritual and fully material human beings.

The 16th question in the Baltimore Catechism, “Where is God?” is answered straightforwardly: “God is everywhere.” The summit of Christian prayer is accomplished when you can trust that you are constantly in the presence of God. You cannot NOT be in the presence of God! Where would you go? As the psalmist says (Psalm 139:7-9), if you go up to the heavens or underneath the earth, you still can’t get away from God.

In the Eucharist, we slowly learn how to surrender to the Presence in one place, in one missionalthing, in one focused moment. The priest holds up the Host and says, “See it here, believe it here, get it here, trust it here.” Many people say they believe it here, but they don’t make the transference to everywhere—which is the whole point! They don’t seem to know how to recognize the Presence when they leave the church.  Jesus spent a great deal of his ministry trying to break down the false distinctions between “God’s here” and “God’s not there.” Usually, early stage religion is not yet capable of that, but fortunately God is patient.

Adapted from Eucharist as Touchstone by Fr Richard Rohr

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The Encore of the Gospels – the book of Revelation


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Contemplation: Unlocking Attachments

contemplationContemplation is the key to unlocking the attachments and addictions of the mind so that we can see clearly. I think some form of contemplative practice is necessary to be able to detach from your own agenda, your own anger, your own ego, and your own fear.

I find most people operate not out of “consciousness,” but out of their level of practiced brain function, which relies on early-life conditioning and has little to do with God encounter or grace or mercy or freedom or love. We primarily operate from habituated patterns based on what Mom told me, what went wrong when I was young, and the defense mechanisms I learned that helped me to be right and good, to be first and famous, or whatever I may want to be. These are not all bad but they are not all good either.

All of that old and practiced thinking has to be recognized and accounted for, which is the work of contemplation. Without contemplation, you don’t see clearly. Everything is all MuseumSelfie #21about you, and you just keep seeing everything through your own agenda, anger, and wounds. Isn’t that most people you know?  Few ever achieve much inner freedom. Contemplation, sadly, helps you see your woundedness! That’s why most people do not stay long with contemplative prayer, because it’s not very glorious. It’s a continual humiliation, realizing, “Oh my God, I did it again. I still don’t know how to love!”

We need some form of contemplative practice that touches our unconscious conditioning, where all our wounds lie, where all our defense mechanisms are operative secretly. Once these are not taken so seriously, there is finally room for the inrushing of God and grace!

Adapted from Hierarchy of Truths: Jesus’ Use of Scripture by Father Richard Rohr

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Yi…?  (Why I…)church blueprint

Didn’t become the denominational parson with the 9-5 job, benefit package and a middle class, middle of the road membership of people who go to church as a duty every week?

Didn’t become the prosperity preacher who made his living off of everybody else’s prosperity and built an empire only to change his mind when other people wanted their prosperity from the gospel?

Didn’t just use my demanding, bullying, assertive will to make disciples and build churches and buy my way to the top of the popular but polarizing preacher poll?

Didn’t invent some methodology to help people simplify their churchesChristianity and just walk them through my systematic-cookie cutter process and build a large industrial sized church?

Didn’t use the gadgets and technologies of a crazed consumerism and the self-help talks of how to have a three point sermon life and to build an entertainment driven “bounce house” church that idolizes their “framily” of faith?

Didn’t just spout off about how I was a radical and we’ll be a new kind of church only to become tied to a church planting organization that “qualified” me through analysis, gave me standardized practices for giving and gaining people and a generic doctrine that wouldn’t offend anybody.

Yi didn’t, I don’t know.  Yi struggle, I don’t know.


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Notes from a Mentor…

It was a joy to spend time under the fountain of grace that is Bishop Malcolm Smith.

Malcolm Smith

Malcolm Smith

He cleaned out my junk drawer of so many church, ministry and religious distractions that I have allowed to build up. He re-established the virtue of the One message for All men…the Gospel!

Our gathering was a small band of ministry leaders from across the country who have been infected with the virus of covenant love.

Malcolm shared endlessly for 2 days on what is sure to be a trilogy of retreats on the things he has learned in 60 years of ministry (1954-2014).

The retreat was centered around one phrase that was shared with him as a teenage preacher desiring to be a better messenger…


cork of wineHis mastery of the message made me yearn to become a better follower, listener and minister of Christ in me.

The following will be a few brief notes from this Sage of Scripture.

The Bible is not a book about or for full-time ministers, unless we define full-time as a manner of everyday life.

We need to continually be gently, but powerfully invaded by the Presence through (living) silence.

I can’t put my subject on the shelf and just go to bed.  It is my whole life.  I am presenting myself as a part of the gospel…according to “my” gospel.  The word of the Lord came to “me”.  I have to describe the gospel through me.

COEXISTSatan today has taken on a beautiful mask.  It all sounds so good until they show their hand.  Their “god” is not a “Who”, it is best understood as God is the universe.  The lie is that you shall be as god.  They speak of love as an impersonal force.  Christian preachers join their programs and it sounds like they are all saying the same thing, but there is a glaring absence of the person, work, word and name of Jesus.  It is the seduction of the woman of Proverbs and Revelation.  She says and gets “us” to say that love is god, but the truth is that God is love and his name is Jesus.

Spend your life meditating on the holy Trinity and all your questions will be answered.

If you believe that Jesus came to die then the gospels are very long introductions.  He came to be and live as one of us.  Jesus is not he way to heaven, he is the way to the Father.

Once you get the worldview of God’s kingdom, then you will begin to see it and start to look for it in all things.

the-passion-of-the-christ crucifiedJesus lived our lives, but he refused to be Adam, but to be his Father’s son.  He lived among us for 30 years and all he was to them was a carpenter.  He gets his parables as life unfolds all around him as he is growing up as one of us.  Jesus goes into the OT scriptures and reads about the servant of the Lord and sees himself (they speak to him what the Father speaks) and then he goes forth to confess and live out what he sees and hears.

You can only pray for what is yours.

Joy is the outcome of seeing the mystery of Christ.

Eucharistic faith has no past history, but only a ever present vibrating now.

The gospel is the whole message for the whole man.

See yourself the way the enemy knows and sees you and you will be bold.

Texting is taking away from us our unique ability to be able to speak (humans are the only God creature on earth who can talk).

Compassion is the fermentation of God’s love.


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Global Leadership Summit 2014

If Christ is at the center of it, then anyone can sit at the Table.

God’s vision is people so that people’s vision becomes God.

Don’t get addicted to vision accomplishment to the point that your people feel like machines.

GLSThe kindest form of management is the truth.

Your peers know if you are more of a giver or taker.

What drives oneness in the company?

When people leave your organization treat them like alumni.

The Bible is the transcript of God’s heart.

Leave room in the budget like the corners of a field and give to the poor as they came to work among you.

How much is enough…house, things, gadgets, shoes, watches, money, etc

When you grow up in poverty you never believe that it will be a benefit to your children.

Tell your leader the kind truth, be humble but take the risk.

What are the moments of disproportionate influence in your life?

You can tell the health of the team by the number of untalkable issues.

A human is a hero with a thousand faces.

Scientific brain scans discovered that our minds are more like an orchestra than a soloist.

GLS 14Is there a dream in me that I have left behind?

The worst thing that can happen is that fear settles in around my heart.

Re-awaken our imagination for the gospel, global, godly vision of plenty in every place.

Once the problem has been revealed in your city you are responsible.  How is your Jerusalem?

This canvas (your body) is his image.

Serve people indiscriminately.

There is life that is truly life.

Walk toward need.

People are afflicted with affluence.

Power is the potential to move reality.  Leaders manage power with humility.

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