Tuesday, July 22, 2008

NWLC Notes: Day 2 (1 of 4)

NWLC General Session - Tuesday morning July 22, 2008 at 9:30am. Fernando Ortega led worship and Dr. Leonard Sweet spoke. These are my notes from Len Sweet:
  • Think of a Biblical example of Jesus singing. "They sang the hymn" just after Passover in Mark 14:26. Also on the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" It is from Psalm 22 - the Hebrew hymnbook. Jesus likely sang it.
  • As a leader of worship, you are in the metaphor business. The primary medium of today's culture is not longer words, but images (or more accurately metaphors).
  • Metaphor is Metamorphosis. It's how you change lives. Image is everything. Jesus is the image of God. Jesus is everything.
  • Metaphors make the familiar strange. Jesus taught in 2-3 minute metaphors to make the familiar strange. "You've heard it said" (familiar), "but I say" (strange). We are fighting against cliche. When things become familiar, we no longer are impacted by them - so we must find the unfamiliar truth that we miss in our familiar things.
Seven Metaphors that will change the future
  1. DESIGN is important.
  2. TRANSFORMATION is change. The story of the oyster and the pearl.
  3. PILGRIMS are followers (but not leaders). We are followers that are sometimes summoned to the front of the line, but still follow behind Jesus.
  4. CONNECTION. The old world saw connection like a ladder (rational, set-by-step). But new image of connection is a web - everything is connected. In 1973 the first cell phone call was made. Now 3.3 billion people (1/2 of the world) have cell phones. Through the internet, 1/2 of the world can have access to all of the world's knowledge in a half of a second.
  5. ORGANIC. The future is an apple world (not referring to Apple computers - Sweet uses a Wintel machine). The old was an orange world. To eat an orange, you need to break it down - peel it, divide it up, organize it. We've done the same thing with the Bible - turned it into an orange. But apples are ready to eat. You just bite into them - You consume them. Don't tell Bible verses, tell Bible stories.
  6. WIND is spirit. This is the biggest problem we have. We've been taught that the trees move the wind - that the biggest forces in nature are material. In turn, we've made our ministries more about trees than wind. Does scripture say "not by power, not by might, but by..." programs? processes? No. It's by the Spirit. Worship is not about mastering and engineering of trees. It is about wind surfing. Ask yourself, are you predictable? Because the wind is NOT predictable. You are an empty space. The only question is "what are you going to allow to fill you?"
  7. HARMONY. Scientists are learning that matter is only vibrating threads of energy. Matter is built by vibrating frequencies. Sweet believes in "sound" theology - that you build a church from the "sound" up. Our job is to tune people's hearts with the tuning fork - Jesus. He is the perfect pitch. Jesus did not live a "balanced life." He did, however, teach a life of harmony. Everyone doesn't have to sing the same notes, or words, or use the same rhythm. But in "harmony," we can all still sing a love song to Jesus together. (We sang "Joy To The World" acapella - real slow to savor every word and harmony. It was awesome.)