Tuesday, March 02, 2010

switching blog platforms today...

I am in transition today...switching my blog and writing...if you want to continue to follow my writing and thinking see here: http://joshkerkhoff.wordpress.com/

Friday, January 29, 2010

internal tension

This past week, I was in a Doctor of Ministry class called Leading and Managing Your Ministry taught by Leith Anderson, the Senior Pastor of Wooddale Church and the National Association of Evangelicals.

I really appreciated the practicality of this class but one word kept coming up that when I hear it, I have an internal reaction.

When I hear the word organization used in reference to the church, there is something inside of me that shirks. I'm not sure where this emotion comes from but it is internal, it is strong and I can't control it.

I am torn in two when the church is described this way, not because I don't think the church should be organized but because this step toward organization moves one step closer to institution. I don't believe the church is an institution and it definitely is not a building, which I hear in conversations all the time.

Are there words that you find create internal tension for you?

BTW, I would prefer to use the word organism in place of organization; this word is more meaningful for me and I don't have a guttural response when its said in relation to the church.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

merry christmas

We are grateful to you, our friends and family, and want you to know how you bring joy to our lives.

With these pictures from the past year, we hope you catch a glimpse of our family.

Josh, Amy, and our Boys

Monday, November 30, 2009

from bog wader to drink server

Two visions three years apart.

Three years ago when we moved to San Diego so that I could work on staff with our church, I had a vision prayed over me. It was by a faithful young man in our church and he asked if he could share with me a vision. This was his vision: I was wearing hip waders (the ones you would wear if you were fishing in a body of water) and found myself moving toward the middle of a bog of trash that came up over my knees. The trash got deeper the further I walked toward the middle and the trash was threatening to rise above my hip waders. He said the trash represented the sin and brokenness of the history of our church and the hip waders represented Jesus protecting me from the trash of our past. His prayer for me was that I would trust Jesus and know his protection as I faced the darker and dirtier trash of our history.

There have certainly been times in the last three years where this vision has grown in clarity for me.

Last night, I had another vision prayed over me and it was drastically different than that first. A woman who heard me speak in our evening community gathering came up to me after service and she asked if she could share with me a vision. This was her vision: she saw me in a refreshing location, drinking a mixed drink with a small colorful drink umbrella in it. She explained that the drink represented a refreshing time or season that I was about to enter and she encouraged me to drink up and realize that it will not end. She explained that God wants to refresh me from his abundant resources. She also said in my refreshment, I would become "the fun party guy" in our church...you know, the one who serves the drinks to everyone at the party. What a great picture!

Maybe God is turning a corner for me? (From wading in a bog to serving mixed drinks. I wonder what Jesus will have me mix and who I will serve.)

What sort of visions have you experienced?

Monday, November 23, 2009

crying in the library...

Okay, so I'm man enough to share this with you. I found myself crying in the library or at least holding back tears and choking on my adam's apple as I read a post by Pete Wilson.

Yesterday, he baptized his oldest son Jett and then wrote a letter to him through the blogosphere. You can read it here and see the video as well. What an amazing experience!

I can only hope for the day when I have the honor to baptize our two boys and invite them into an adventure of a lifetime like Pete did yesterday.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

wonder woman versus batgirl

(posted by my wife Amy)

Our boys are obsessed with Superheroes. Most days they are several different incarnations – Mr. Incredible, Superman, Batman, and Luke Skywalker are perennial favorites. Recently, they received matching Wolverine costumes from their Nana and Gramps, which they are wild about, even though they have never seen X-Men (and won’t for a long time). We spend time discussing at length Syndrome, the bad guy from the Incredibles, who likes to create gadgets that make him seem like a Superhero, even though he is not. The main problem with Syndrome, of course, is that if gadgets make everyone super, no one really is.

As the only woman in our household, I always get to be the girl Super (as we call them) in our stories – Elastigirl, Wonder Woman, Batgirl, or even Princess Leia – and I love it. Last weekend, however, I had my eyes opened to a new perspective. I’ve been blessed to spend this weekend at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Convention in Nashville with three friends from our church, along with 4,000 moms from around the country.

In a general session today, we had the great gift of hearing from Efrem Smith, a leader and speaker who can bring it like few others I’ve heard. After he shared with us from the gospel of Matthew about Tamar, a descendant of cursed people who was also in the bloodline of Jesus, he challenged the moms in the room to love the unlovable mom – to find them, love them, connect them, and show them Christ’s love.

How in the world can we – who are possibly very busy with crazy situations inside walls of our own homes – do that? Luckily we have Jesus living on the inside of those crazy situations with us, giving us special powers. But like Syndrome, Batgirl is not a real Superhero. She is simply mimicking a guy, Batman, who is also not a real Super. Batman is a very rich man who spends his life creating gadgets that make him seem like he has super powers, and even though he uses the powers for good and not evil – he is hiding behind the mask and gadgets. And instead of living into her own identity, Batgirl assumes a false mask.

On the other hand, Wonder Woman was born with real power – it is her true identity. If you get close to her, you know where her power comes from. She can go higher than the average human woman, and does not hide behind a mask. She lives in her true identity – and if we do this, live in our true identity in Christ, we also have real power from the one who created us in his image.
As you think about your life, is there a super that you relate to?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

one beautiful mess

Yesterday, I was in a conversation with some friends and local pastors that I have been journeying with for the past year and I realized something new about myself.

In the last few weeks, there are two books that I have found myself frequently carrying around with me. The first is a book called The Practice of Adaptive Leadership by Ronald Heifetz, Marty Linsky, and Alexander Grashow.

The second is a book that the leadership of our church will be reading together during the last part of 2009 called Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation by Robert Mulholland.

In one hand a business book about "the practice of mobilizing people to tackle tough challenges and thrive." And in the other hand a book about our spiritual journey with God and how God transforms us to his image of his Son Jesus in order that we would lay down our lives for others. My question is, how can anybody in their right mind carry around these two books and be reading them at the same time?

My genius answer, "Me." I love this stuff and more and more so see how a business book and a spiritual journey book relate to one another in God's Kingdom or God's Economy. When we see and hear the world with the perspective of God's Kingdom, we begin to realize that "everything is spiritual" as Rob Bell says. We begin to see how God wants to make all things new, whole and right; a place and experience of the world that is centered in God and is encompassed by God.

As I read and reflect more on these two books, there are surprising similarities because as I have discovered leadership comes from the core of who we are. As God transforms my identity so that I lay down my life for others, leading people through difficult challenges becomes more natural to who I am and more rooted in my inward life that no one else sees on the outside.

So, I guess I can walk around proudly with both books, set them on my table in Starbuck's, pick up my coffee and not wonder what the person across from me is thinking as they see the jacket covers of my two intriguing books.