Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Lunch with My Hero

So I had lunch with Mike Erre today - the teaching pastor of ROCKharbor. That guy is a complete stud. We are meeting about four times a year in a sort-of-mentoring relationship. He has helped me with teaching preparation and thinking creatively about teaching and church strategy issues in the environment I am in where I teach a lot but I'm not the Senior/Lead Pastor. He helped me today to be thinking more about replicating preacher/teachers in the church, training them up, and using them in situations like College and Young Adults - especially when myself and our College and Young Adult Pastors are teaching a lot in Elevation. He gave me a CD set of a series that he did with a group of people he was training.

He also talked to me about a guy named Peck's stages of faith that are roughly described as:
1. Chaos - don't know God, all over the place mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
2. Order - come to know God and love structure and a form of legalism that feels really good to them for the time. One Year Bible reading, etc.
3. Breakdown - Dark Night of the Soul, daily devotional reading feels horrible, straying from organized religion or religiosity
4. Return - a return to God in some sense, but also a redefining of what spending time with God looks like, etc.

This is a rough description from our 10 minute conversation on the topic. I want to read more about it, but the main thing Mike talked about was to be intentional about considering that we have people from all four groups in our congregations when we are teaching. We need to connect with all of them in some way.

Finally, we talked about some cool things they are doing at ROCKharbor with reducing Mike's teaching to about 20 times per year so that they aren't based on his personality alone. They have some interesting plans for the future around this reduction that I don't know if I should say yet. We also had some good personal conversation. The guy is really good with remembering things about you. I felt bad because he remembered Bea's name and knew that we were having a girl and I didn't even remember how many kids he has.

Update: Here are Peck's Stages from a Wiki - a bit of an ultra-long post. Sorry.
* Stage I is chaotic, disordered, and reckless. Very young children are in Stage I. They tend to defy and disobey, and are unwilling to accept a will greater than their own. Many criminals are people who have never grown out of Stage I.
* Stage II is the stage at which a person has blind faith. Once children learn to obey their parents, they reach Stage II. Many so-called religious people are essentially Stage II people, in the sense that they have blind faith in God, and do not question His existence. With blind faith comes humility and a willingness to obey and serve. The majority of good law-abiding citizens never move out of Stage II.
* Stage III is the stage of scientific skepticism and inquisitivity. A Stage III person does not accept things on faith but only accepts them if convinced logically. Many people working in scientific and technological research are in Stage III.
* Stage IV is the stage where an individual starts enjoying the mystery and beauty of nature. While retaining skepticism, he starts perceiving grand patterns in nature. His religiousness and spirituality differ significantly from that of a Stage II person, in the sense that he does not accept things through blind faith but does so because of genuine belief. Stage IV people are labelled as mystics.

Scott Peck argues that while transitions from Stage I to Stage II are sharp, transitions from Stage III to Stage IV are gradual. Nonetheless, these changes are very noticeable and mark a significant difference in the personality of the individual.

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