Where’s My Tribe? (#539)
Can you provide a podcast without trying to build a community? That's what one listener wants to know and it invites Wayne and Brad into an interesting discussion about this podcast and whether or not they want to build an audience or turn the God Journey into an Internet community. If your Yuck Meter went off, so did ours! Finding our identity in a group of like-minded people seems to be a common human drive. It's as old as tribalism, as ubiquitous as denominations, and as fresh as my-sports-team-is-better-than-yours. What accounts for this constant drive toward tribalism? Is it healthy? Does it have unintended consequences that prove destructive to real community? Or, is there something better God does in us which negates the need to find our security or identity in any group of people?
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“I find my identity in the tribe…”
That is the problem right there. The tribe has become identity. I have made an effort to toss the labels in my life. I want to reserve my identity for my relationships. (I am God’s child, I am my husband’s wife, I am my mother’s daughter) Identity is reserved for the things that won’t change. Everything else is baggage.
Sometimes it is hard to toss the baggage that weighs us down, but at least it possible to toss it once it becomes baggage. It is impossible to toss an identity because it has become part of our being.
Sometimes the things that deserve to be baggage become identity and sometimes those relationships that were designed to be identity… have become baggage and as a result have become disposable.
I trust that God looks us and focuses on our identity… that is what gives him affection for us. The disconnect we have as humans… is to look as a person’s baggage and we loose the affection for them in that process. I know I have experienced more affection when I look at the person through their identity not their baggage.
Thanks Ruby…appreciate your insights re looking at people through their identity (not their baggage). Blessings, Sue
@Ruby Well said…
Identity is what we lost/gave up in the Garden when we believed we could control method to control outcome at the expense of real security while trying to capture our identity, whew! It’s not that the real us is not still here, it’s just that our focus has been altered. Sin isn’t about missing a mark or a line from a list, it’s about not being true to yourself. Was God really seeking to withhold the WHO of what we are from Adam? I don’t think so. Relationship is about discovery/revealing of one’s identity to another, heart to heart, discovering the individual that love has created. Rather than splitting hairs upon who is my neighbor, loving those we come into contact, without any kind of agenda, lets love and life flow organically. Seeking security at the expense of relationship leaves us placing our hearts into outside things – whatever these may be – injury is bound to happen then. When we lose our expectations and let love guide us organically security and relationship become reality. It’s our insecurity which leads us to create touchstones everywhere – even in relationships – like the child who has to hold and direct his mother’s face in order to know she’s listening. Can you imagine a fifty year old man doing the same, yet God loves us just the same doesn’t he? If I don’t get something, I’ve learned to just let it go; And God will make known because my trust remains in Him, unless I try to wrangle it before the time is ready – like a seed – again, organically. Love, live and let God do, as you do from the heart, rest relax and LIVE.
I came across three or four people from my walk of life last night as I strolled into the local store, and the relationships happened automatically without me steering a thing, imagine that… So long as I don’t need these to be what these are not, I can enjoy these in love without an agenda.
Thanks for the talk, no snakes allowed.
The desire for sameness and likeness is deep, it is because it it is the second way in which we attach to one another. The problem isn’t that we attach in this way, the problem is that we aren’t attaching deeper. That we aren’t using all the six roots of attachment.
The six roots of attachment:
Senses ( sight, smell, touch, taste, hearing. Proximity, being in their presence) Newborn
Sameness ( being like, imitating, sharing things in common) Age 1 +
Belonging and loyalty (being part of a group, family and being obedient to them) Age 2 +
Significance (mattering to those we are attached too) Age 3 +
Love (falling deeply in love, attached at the heart) Age 4 +
Being known (psychological intimacy) Age 5 +
I highly recommend reading Rest Play Grow: Making Sense of Preschoolers (Or anyone who acts like one) by Deborah MacNamara, PhD (not a Christian book, though it has a better understanding of our humanness then most Christians out there)
The more we understand our humanness, the more the bible and everything makes sense, behavior makes sense, why people think like they do, makes sense. It all then makes sense. 🙂
I could have done without that little bit of info on spiders in our mouth. 😉
Totally get what you’re saying about not building a God Journey community. I recently made a suggestion for a regular video meetup in a group I’m in and almost immediately regretted it. While I would like to do something like that periodically, if I’m honest, I’m not looking for or really committed to doing it regularly like a Sunday church service.
Have no fear – the spiders in your mouth as you sleep is an “urban legend” and totally false.
I really resonated with what you said about how to view people who are acting immaturely. My wife and I were discussing it, and she brought up some very valid problems she has with people who act immature and cause damage and problems in our life.
With someone who is acting immature, like a child, you can’t treat them like a child, but neither can you treat them as a fully functioning adult in that area, because they just aren’t…
A grownup person who acts like a child just feels a bit yuck, and treating them with love is extremely difficult.
Compassion very easily turns into condescension.
Pity easily turns into ‘I’m better than you’
Mature conversation bounces back all twisted and yuck.
We both have been on the journey for a number of years, and to begin with we just had to cut off toxic people, we just couldn’t interact with them, we were still too broken and mushed up inside.
Now we would love to be free to interact with these people and just love them, but find it incredibly difficult not to go down a bad path very quickly.
Is it just a time thing?
The best book that makes sense of immaturity and gives insights into understanding what immature people need is this one: Rest Play Grow: Making Sense of Preschoolers (Or anyone who acts like one) by Deborah MacNamara, PhD
Immature people can only hurt us, when we take their immaturity personally, they can’t help themselves, they are driven by their emotions, impulses and instincts. If they could behave maturely, they would. They don’t, because they can’t. It’s important if you don’t feel up to the task, to step back and give Papa more time to grow you up. Rest in Papa’s care and let him take care of you, then when you are ready, Papa will invite you to help him support others.
Big hugs, this journey is hard! 🙂
Rules and guidelines here are crazy, Dave, aren’t they. Immature people will grow if they are not loved, and genuinely loved, not pity or condescension. But we can’t love people beyond our ability to love them. If we are wounded or offended by the immaturity of others then it’s best that we don’t do the loving until God does more work in us. I love taking on relationships as real things. If we can love enough and even endure the slings and arrows of those who are still broken, then that’s awesome! If we can’t, Father doesn’t expect us to. And I do think we can think about these things without getting into the arrogance of “I’m more mature than you.” or any such silliness. Anyone who finds God’s kind of maturity, finds a humility with it since they know it is HIS doing and not their own. That’s what Romans 14-15 is about. If you consider yourself stronger in the faith, then use that to lay down your life more, not demand your way more. We have that so mixed up today. We think maturity is about privilege or control, instead of service and love. I love how you’re seeing it though, both recognizing the immaturity in others and the risk to condescension or pride that it can do focus. Loving others where they are–it’s what God does, and as we learn from him we can do it too.
Hi folks…first time comment, long time listener from Australia. I loved this podcast and it really resonated. I understand this thinking in terms of religion and church etc., but I’m curious what your thoughts are for business etc? Should (or can) kingdom business exist or thrive without a ‘tribe’? Because some component of economic success is a requirement for the business to continue to grow. Or is what you discussed in this podcast only appropriate for religious institutions, denominations and christians seeking community. Side thought… for the upcoming Shack movie, is there a hope or intent to promote/advertise/seek out a following of people to go and see it? Surely there is some element of hoping it succeeds and people see it, which would be very hard to do without a tribe. Not sure if my question has been clear, but keen to know what your thoughts are on this tribe building thing within a business context. Travis.
My view is that there’s a significant distinction between how the world works, and how Christ’s kingdom works. While we’re still on this planet we live in both realms. So there are things I’d do in business that would be appropriate that wouldn’t be appropriate for kingdom realities. For instance, I taught my kids that “performance” is the way they’ll get on in this world. If they apply themselves and succeed in school it will set them up to succeed in vocation as well. We just can’t confuse that with the kingdom where transformation comes through affection, not performance. I’m troubled by Christianity’s need to build identity the same way the world does. I think it’s because many have not found their identity in Christ so they seek it in “our-group-is-better-than-your-group dynamics. That said, most businesses do marketing without tribe-building. They may seek to build dependence, but that’s not usually through identity. Move rights for The Shack are now owned by a publicly traded secular studio, they will use whatever means they think is necessary to draw as large an audience as they can draw. I doubt building a Shack tribe will be one of those. God knows we’ve labored hard not to do that with the book.
Thanks Wayne, makes sense. Appreciate your response.
Thanks Hannah and Wayne
I resonate with both of you, about only doing a relationship if it’s real and we are able. Pressing into Father on that one.
Will check the book out Hannah, looks good!
Hi Travis, I love the question about business in a kingdom context. I think that, while businesses and companies etc, all work within the framework of this world and culture, individuals can absolutely ‘bring the kingdom’ to whatever and wherever they work.
Brad talked about this a while ago, and it stuck with me, that if enough Christians just lived out their relationship with Father in their own community and work, got involved etc, that the kingdom would grow like crazy.
Sorry if that’s not what you were meaning….
Your very welcome Dave. 🙂
I am so glad that Ray Edwards sent in this question. It has been mine for a long time as well. I’ll be completely honest … every time I hear Wayne and Brad talk about the “Yuck Meter,” my “Yuck Meter” peaks out. It sounds so condescending and judgmental.
But from listening to the podcast for the past year or so, I think I know enough about both Wayne and Brad to know that they don’t mean it this way, so I extend the benefit of the doubt and try to listen past such language to hear their heart.
I then do the exact same thing when I listen to podcasts or read blog posts from people like Ray Edwards of Jeff Goins (who uses “Tribal language” a lot). I hear and read what they are saying, and I may be somewhat uncomfortable using similar language and ideas myself, but this doesn’t cause my “Yuck Meter” to peak out. I just shrug my shoulders and say, “God bless ’em! I hear their heart and I love what I see there. It’s not for me, but I am not going to judge or condemn them for doing whatever they can to spread the message God has laid on their hearts.”
Who are we to judge another man’s servant? To our own master we stand or fall.
So Wayne and Brad … I love you both! I know you don’t mean the “Yuck Meter” language the way it comes across to me, so I can shrug my shoulders and keep listening. But I wonder if you could extend the same practice toward those who do ministry, follow Jesus, use language, and engage in online practices that you yourselves are not comfortable using.
Greg, thanks for your comment. I still think you may be misunderstanding our Yuck Meter. It’s a playful way to refer to that sense inside that something is wrong, or at least not what God is leading us to. It’s never directed at a person or “a ministry”, but some way they are doing their deal that the Spirit within is warning us away from. It is my contention that religion teaches us to ignore our Yuck Meter to be “submitted” or cooperative. In the end, though, ignoring it only leads us into the weeds of our effort or desire to go along. We want people to see the Spirit of God leading them towards something or away from something. That’s all. And I’m assuming at times things I might do or say sets off someone else’s Yuck Meter. That doesn’t make me a bad guy, I just hope I have enough relationship with them where they will come and tell me so that I can sort out of there’s something of Wayne there that isn’t really about what God’s about. So, yes, we extend that to others and ourselves all the time. No one is flawless. We’re all a bit of a mix of what God is doing in us, and how we respond out of our own anxiety and fears. I just want to lean away from the Yuck, even my own, and more deeply into his life and rest.
Wayne, thanks for the response and creating a safe environment to ask questions…
I agree I may be misunderstanding the conversation. Here is what I heard you and Brad saying: “There are lots of people out there who are trying to monetize their message, build a platform, and create a community. This sets off our Yuck Meter, so we don’t do it. Instead, we just follow Jesus and encourage others to do the same.”
Is that a bad summary? If so, where? If it’s a fine summary, then I would say that while you maybe don’t come right out and say it, the implication is that those who do build a platform or a community are not just following Jesus, but are instead following some sort of self-serving human drive to find their security or identity in a group of people.
I guess my question is this: While neither you nor Brad are comfortable using “tribal” language or doing things which you believe will lead to building an online community, are you perfectly fine with other people like Ray Edwards or Jeff Goins or the Free Believers’ Network (which is one ministry you mentioned in the podcast) doing this through their blogs or podcasts if they believe that this is the way the Spirit of God is leading them?
I don’t think your summary quite captures the spirit of what we’re saying. It really isn’t meant to create a we’re-better-than-you environment. It’s simply our concern that monetizing a message almost always shapes it as does building a platform. When you go after clicks, visibility, and ad revenue, it is difficult for the strongest among us to resist the urge or the cognitive dissonance to shape the message to what’s popular and to use buzz words that position your content in a way that chases the crowd. I’ve seen it happen often to people I love. They started by putting their gift into the world and others recognized it and were blessed by it. Then they quit their job and wanted to go “full time” off the fruit of their Internet presence and their message shifted to accommodate that hope. Monetizing the Gospel or trying to make it popular distorts it a bit. And i’m not referring to the two people you mention, because I don’t know them and don’t have any idea what they are about. But I think people notice when something has the fragrance of a kingdom generosity to it and when something smells like they are being manipulated. We hope people recognize that when they feel manipulated they probably are being manipulated. Trust the sense of the Spirit within.
Building an online community is a bit more nuanced. What’s the purpose? Is it to give people an identity outside of Christ and a “side” to champion? Is it to help create a dependency on the website or its principal contributor? Honestly that’s what many do, even if they don’t admit it. I talk to them behind the scenes so I’m not just jumping to that conclusion on my own. There are training seminars to teach people to do this and then they are just using their readers to build their ministry. But if building a community is genuinely being done to help brothers and sisters connect with each other in more local settings, I’m all for that. So it really isn’t what, it’s why.
We hope people learn that there is a way to put your gifts in the world without having to structure it to breed popularity, dependency or income. No it isn’t easy to learn that and we make lots of mistakes along the way. All of our Yuck Meters have a steep learning curve where things we do today will be seen as pretty yucky by a more mature us in five years. We’re trying to save people some of those mistakes. As far as I know there are no seminars to teach people to give freely and trust God to provide for them. I guess no one will pay $500 to go to that seminar! 🙂 Even if he wants to provide through ad revenue, if they are trusting him doing so they won’t distort their message to get the results they want. Bottom-line living is a scary thing. It makes people do things they wouldn’t otherwise freely choose to do, but they HAVE to to keep the revenue stream active.
Our comments are not so much to judge others as wrong, but to invite people into a kingdom-way of making their gifts available to the body of Christ. Am I “perfectly fine” with people doing it other ways? Sure. I’m all for people learning to follow the Spirit, but do I believe that everyone who claims to be led by the Spirit is being lead by him? I don’t. I’ve seen that excuse used often to justify the most horrible of things. The proof is always in the truth of what they are saying and in the fruit of what they are doing.
Hope that helps. In the end we’re not deciding whose following God and who isn’t. That’s for each of us to discern where the Spirit is drawing us and where he is nudging us away…
This will be my last comment on this … I know you have better things to do than explain yourself to a grumpy former pastor who nitpicks at your terminology….
I guess it just boils down to this: When you and Brad talk about a nameless group of people out there who use language and approaches to teach others which you are not comfortable using yourself, and you speak of your reaction to this with words like “Yuck Meter” and talk about how you don’t do these things because you are only trusting “the sense of the Spirit within,” it makes those of us who DO use monetization methods or “tribal” language feel like we are being judged.
I know you don’t know me and have never visited my website, but when you say that people in my group set off your Yuck Meter, this makes me feel judged and condemned, whether you intended it this way or not. The phrase “Yuck Meter” IS tribal language. It IS the type of language that is often used by groups who have an “us vs. them” mentality.
You want me to not misunderstand you. I want the same from you. If you were to visit my website, or that of Ray Edwards, or that of Jeff Goins, or that of the Free Believer’s Network, or Frank Viola, or whomever, I hope you wouldn’t see some of the things we do on our websites and think “Yuck Meter! Yuck Meter!” Instead, I would hope that you feel the same thing I feel when I visit your website: “Hmmm. This guy approaches online teaching a bit different than I do. Cool! Isn’t the diversity in the Body of Christ awesome? So what can I learn from him today?”
Regardless of how you mean it, “Yuck Meter” terminology in your podcast feels judgmental to those of us who engage in some of the practices that set off your “Yuck Meter.” Even if you don’t mean it this way, it sounds derogatory, accusatory, and critical.
Let’s say I started a podcast and even though I didn’t mention you or Brad specifically, I said something like this: “Every once in a while I hear about ministries that just focus on trusting God to provide their needs. They talk about making their gifts available to the body of Christ without charge and going with God on a journey through life and being led by the Spirit to make decisions and choices. I know this all sounds pious and holy, but I’ve met a lot of people in life who claim these things, and all they really end up doing is taking advantage of others with their self-righteous spirituality. So I don’t do these things. To talk that way would make me feel sort of slimy. It maxes out my Slime Scale. Instead, I am up-front and honest with what I do on my blog. I have a book I have written, and I want to sell it. I have some teachings I have recorded, and I want people to buy them. I know these things will help people connect with God and follow Jesus and operate within Kingdom principles, so I am not ashamed of doing what I can to promote these things so that as many people as possible can benefit from them.”
How does such a statement make you feel? I didn’t mention you by name. I didn’t mention The God Journey. If you were to call me out on this, I could even say I wasn’t speaking about you specifically. That all I am doing is following what God has laid on my heart to do and that I am not judging others but am only trying to help others discern where the Spirit is drawing them and how He is nudging them to teach and encourage others with openness and honesty. Even though I might say something like this, I imagine you would still feel slighted?
Even if not, I do. Maybe I’m just hyper-sensitive. If you think so, disregard this entire thread and keep talking about the Yuck Meter in your podcast.
One last thing though … It could easily be argued that one primary reason for your current “success” in publishing and ministry is because it is built on a very large foundation of stuff you did earlier in your life that would set off your “Yuck Meter” today. You mentioned in previous podcast that a lot of what you did earlier in your career was for the purpose of building a platform and a community. You said you were never satisfied with the results that these activities got you, but you still did them. Right?
But now you don’t do these things. Wonderful! But could it be that one of the reasons you are seeing the “success” you are seeing today is because you engaged in all those “Yuck” practices earlier in your ministry? Your current ministry is built on a giant pile of “Yuck.” If you really wanted to disengage from everything related to your “Yuck Meter” and just have conversations with people and put them out in the world, then maybe you could do this completely apart from everything that the “Wayne Jacobson” of 20 years ago did. Take up a pen name. Don’t tell your vast network of friends around the world about any new books. Don’t send out emails announcing them. Don’t mention it to the thousands of listeners to your podcast. Completely turn your back on all the things that have been built up around your name over the years. Don’t contact anyone at CT, or any of your author or podcasting friends, or anybody who is part of your large platform. Don’t spend money on professional graphic design for your book cover or professional editors for your book (because since you’re a nobody, you cannot afford it). Don’t ask for endorsements or reviews from people you know. Then put a book out there and see what happens.
Do you know what will happen to that book? Nothing.
God doesn’t cause the most spiritual authors to win the book lottery any more than He causes the most spiritual people to win the regular lottery. Books are sold the same way that money is earned: hard work, dedication, creativity, perseverance, relationship building, sweat, blood, tears, and time. These are the things through which the Spirit of God works. He does not work by just putting a book out there and then sitting back to see what happens. He didn’t even work that way with you.
Anyway, this book is long enough. The floor is yours. I will not waste your time with further additional replies. Thanks for putting up with me this long!
We’ve had so many replies here that I can’t tack on to your final statement, so will do it here at least to keep it close to where it appears on this list. So much to process in your last response, I’m sure I can’t do it justice, or even respond to all of it. I’m not trying to be defensive about any of it, but just help you see where I’m coming from.
First, I really love that we’re talking about this and it has caused both of us to really think through some things. I’m sorry that you feel condemned by what I said. I don’t offer condemnation to anyone and see no value in it. I am not afraid, however, of the feeling judged part. I LOVE God’s judgment and pray for it every day in my life. Of course, I don’t mean people playing the accusation or blame game, but people who pray with all honesty, “Come set right what is still twisted in me and the world I live in.” That’s God’s judgment as I see it and love it. Yes, that is being critical in the strictest since, but it is not being accusatory to anyone specifically. Taking an honest look at what we’re doing is important for all of us periodically to make sure we are not slipping into the ways of the world. We have 2000 years of watching how much the life of the Spirit is hijacked by people who cannot handle money or power in a Godly way.
If you’ve thought through all of this and believe you are doing what God has asked then we’re all better for wrestling it through. I make no conclusion about your work personally and I’m sorry that our attempts to talk about a “yuck meter” as a way to help people identify, trust, and follow the Spirit in them when he makes them restless about something feels like an attack on you or an arrogant holier-than-thou approach. And yes I do receive wisdom and insight from people who don’t do it quite the way I do it. None of us are perfect and we all have flaws to be sure. That’s what sets my yuck meter off most days are the flaws and broken places in my own hart.
I loved your hypothetical podcast about the slime scale. If you think we are “pious and holy” (in a negative sense) and only end up taking advantage of others with their self-righteous spirituality,” then go ahead an talk about it. It doesn’t make it true because you do and it may get back to us in a way that makes us contemplate our own hearts and what we’re communicating. But the problem there is not the fact that we trust God to provide our needs, but that we’re lying about it and using it as an end for others. I’d hope that’s what you’d understand about people who seek ways to monetize their ministries. You may be confusing what pegs our yuck meter. It isn’t the monetizing that’s wrong, it’s the distortion of the message that can occur when people seek to monetize ministry. (I wrote a longer article on this a few months ago and you can read it here: https://www.lifestream.org/monetizing-ministry/)
I don’t begrudge people the freedom to put products out to help the body of Christ and charge for them. I do that at Lifestream. My concern is what people are willing to do to the body of Christ in the hope of maximizing their return or their exposure and how it begins to shape their message and what they do to create a dependency on their ministry instead of freeing people to benefit from it and then go on and follow Christ however he leads. One well-known blogger recently talked about the change in his content these days because he couldn’t find enough readers to read what he was really passionate about. His income is controlling his message. He even said he’d come back to his original message some day when there were readers there for it. My heart breaks when our desire to monetize our living makes us less than genuine people. I would think you would too!
There are so many assumptions in your email, Greg, that I would much prefer a conversation to a public email exchange. I have never tried to “sell” or “promote” my books. I’ve only sought to write them and make them available trusting that God would take them as far as he wanted, whether that be twelve or thousands. Of course the difference between promoting or making them available is not a sharp line because it is measured in the heart not by our actions.
The things that set off my yuck meter in the past had a lot to do what what I did as a pastor. As far as I know I’m not building on any of that stuff today. That all went away in a glorious way. When I started on this part of the journey I had no books in print and we even released SO YOU DON’T WANT TO GO TO CHURCH ANYMORE anonymously on line for three years before we owned up to who was writing it, for the very reasons you suggested—to let it find it’s way without carrying a ‘name’ on it. It was free and it found it’s way to a ton of folks. I’m unconvinced that we have to do it the way the world does to get the results we want. Remember, Jesus said what is valued among humanity (celebrity, numbers, notoriety, etc.) is detestable in the eyes of God. We need to sort out what that means and encourage each other to follow our hearts and not our financial needs and our best wisdom to secure them. This is a HUGE conversation and a critical one for his family.
I just don’t want people to assume God can’t provide for those he wants available to the body of Christ “full time.” He can. And does! Watchman Nee said that if God’s worker wouldn’t trust him with his finances, he wouldn’t entrust him with his people. Powerful words. I hated them when I read them and felt accused and judged because I was living differently, but God has won me into a different way of living that is not only so much freer but also allows others to engage more freely in his life.
I want those who are passionate about his bride today to learn this incredibly reality. I see so many young men and women take an incredible message that would touch the body of Christ and wrap it in our economic systems in a way that not only distorts it but limits its reach in the world. I have offered to meet with people like that to explore some of the very things your letter addresses and enjoy it when I do. This isn’t about right or wrong or defending what we are doing, but to ask if we’re following God’s way of thinking, which will only make them more effective in a kingdom way.
Because this has always gone wrong, since the days of the early church. Whether it’s pastor-preunuers trying to grow congregations or pastor-podcasters trying to grow theirs, we trespass on the work of the Spirit when our own needs come first. We create institutions and competitions that exploit the people of God instead of serving them as God cares for us. Please don’t think I’m saying YOU are doing that. I wouldn’t think that you are or we wouldn’t be having this conversation. But I am a voice to help the body of Christ follow him and be blessed by his gifts among the body to encourage them, without being ensnared by the distortion that comes from someone’s need to make a living. I am careful with all of my books to not do what I think needs to be done to make them huge sellers, but to do what he asks and live with the fruit of that.
I want people to trust the Spirit in them when something seems yucky. We all need to be faithful to that, you as well as me. I hear feedback from others that have found that incredibly helpful. This is the first negative exchange I’ve had about it, but it will make me stop and consider how we express all that. Just know that we’ve never asked people to follow my yuck meter, I’ve encouraged them to follow their own. You can walk to mine, and I’d never ask you to. Keep following him as you best perceive him leading you and he will get you wherever he wants you to be…
Fascinating discussion! Thanks for talking more about it.
And if there’s a group who would like to get together and talk about how we put our gifts into the world and trust God’s resource, rather than have to figure out a way to monetize it on our own, I’d be happy to join in! Free of charge, of course! 🙂
I’m sensing what Wayne wrote, really hit a tender place. Aren’t we all contradictions in ourselves. What matters is that your doing what Papa has laid on your heart to do, and yes when people say stuff that invalidates our work and we feel judged, boy does that sting! Ouch 🙁
If you sense that Papa is leading you to share insights and revelations with others and that you are to charge for it, then great. 🙂 Do what Papa is guiding you, Papa knows your heart better then anyone else on the planet. 🙂
I agree Hannah, following what Father puts on our heart is the only way forward in life!
To my way of thinking, there is no problem making money from something Father has put on our heart, or some life experience which will help others.
The only problem comes, if what we share with others or the way we share it doesnt lead people deeper into their own relationship with Father!
If it leads people to get their identity from a group or anything other then Father, or builds a dependence on anything other than Fathers love, then I think there’s a problem.
Maybe also there’s a problem if we earn our income from this message, and Father nudges us deeper in our relationship, and we no longer fully agree with what we have been promoting….. Can we drop it? Will we allow our hearts to change, knowing our income depends on this message?
Thanks for sharing your perspective. From what I’ve been learning, dependence isn’t the issue, it’s immaturity and unbalanced alpha and dependent instincts. The way attachment works, is that it’s hierarchical, one is alpha and one is dependent, we know this in the case of dancing and driving, two people cannot lead at the same time. We are born with two sets of attachment instincts, alpha and dependent. You will see this happen with twins, one will rise up and become alpha and the other dependent, if they have a healthy attachment to one another, then this dance will be fluid and they will take turns. Also that is how a healthy marriage is meant to function, the taking of turns.
Why we see problems in churches, is because the hierarchy isn’t fluid, it’s rigid. And this is due to immaturity, both the alphas and the dependents are immature and thus they cannot truly satiate the attachment needs, so that personhood can emerge. They end up keeping each other very stuck, they are dancing to nowhere or driving to nowhere. Because the attachment remains shallow, it becomes highly addictive, because all the energy goes into pursuing contact and closeness and in the immature alphas, it goes into taking care of the young and vulnerable. Neither can truly be at rest, for that to happen, attachment needs to be deep enough, so that they are fully satiated.
What attachment hungry is filled, then they are free to play and grow. So there must be rest from trying to hold close whom we hold dream. And for that too happen, all emotion must be made room for, to be expressed. Emotion is the engine of maturity. Without emotion, there is no true growth, it is merely pretending.
So like in the NT, I believe what Paul was trying to do, is draw out the alpha energy in the most mature ones and match-make them to the immature who needed to depend. Just like a family is supposed to function. It needs to be the womb of the budding development of personhood.
The alpha instincts are:
Taking care of the young and vulnerable
Responsible for the young and vulnerable
The dependent instincts are:
Taken care of
See that they answer each other, it’s how it’s meant to be.
See, with me. Due to my personality and childhood, I have very strong alpha instincts and very weak dependent instincts, which has created a great imbalance, leading to problems and not being able to fully rest. Because I am always busy taking care of others. I am in charge and responsible. So the last almost 3 weeks, Papa has been talking with me and setting limits, saying that I need to stop. I can’t keep going on like I am. And these limits are set with gentleness and compassion. Papa knows how hard it is for me to depend on others, it’s excruciating. I hate feeling vulnerable and needy. I am driven by my alpha instincts, so Papa gave me this analogy, of needing to put an eye patch on the strong eye, so that the weak eye can become strong too.
What Papa would do with someone who is stuck on the opposite side, would be encouraging and drawing out the alpha instincts within them, so that they too are balanced. Though, Papa can only do this within deep attachment, there is no way that Papa could have done this with me a year or even two years ago. Papa knows that attachment comes first and then He brings the truth. We cannot bear the light without being held warmly within Papa’s arms and on his lap. Relationship always comes first, then the Holy Spirit can truly do His/Her work of untwisting our brokenness.
And when Papa sets limits with us, He fully understands all the emotions that will come up and He embrace them all, He makes room for all the feelings. He empathizes deeply with us, knowing how hard it is. He listens and set the limits, listens, and sets the limits and repeat and repeat and repeat. So tantrum, rage, shake and tremble, weep and scream and fight, for Papa is not offended by this, He understands and embraces us as we release all this energy that is within us, we need to go through this messy process in order to get to the other side and be at rest. This is adaptation, we are transformed by that which we cannot change, for that which we couldn’t be keep safe from and for all the attachment needs that weren’t met as they should have been.
I also want to share very simply how bullies are made. It’s those who have unbalanced and strong alpha instinct, plus immaturity and emotional defendedness(hardened heart). What this does, is it twists the care taking instincts, into instincts that seek out the vulnerable and exploit them. Power doesn’t corrupt, it reveals corruption. Bullies are drawn to high places and power, they seek to be in charge with all things. It’s a spectrum, there are people who are half bullies or only bullies to certain people, psychopaths whether they are chaotic or seekers of order, have more bully within them.
Punishments and sensitivity training does not work on them: because one, punishments tend to harden hearts. And second, teaching emotional awareness to someone whose instincts is to attack, con and exploit vulnerability, only makes them more accurate.
The answer is right relationship, the softening of the heart and maturity. Which sadly is unlikely that many people would be up to the task, it takes great maturity and strength of character, to not become offended and repulsed by their darkness and brokenness. One needs to find their courage (fear and desire), their compassion and grace (sadness and caring), and their patience (frustration and caring), as well as sacrifice (limitations and caring enough to make something work)
Oh, wow, oops I wrote a ton!
If you really enjoyed reading what I wrote here, then you will really love the book I recommended, you will find this information in there. Though it’s more basic. All that I’ve written here is from a lot of reading and learning. 🙂
What attachment hungry is filled, then they are free to play and grow. So there must be rest from trying to hold close whom we hold dream.
Is supposed to be:
When attachment hunger is filled, then they are free to play and grow. So there must be rest from trying to hold close whom we hold dear.
Wow, thanks Hannah.
Lots to take in, I’ll think about that over the next while!
I get what your saying, but how does that work with other brothers and sisters in Jesus, that we are just comfy hanging around, and it’s always a pleasure and uplifting when we spend time together. ( for meals and coffee, never in a formal gathering 😉
I can’t see the alpha – dependant dynamic in that situation…..
You will see the dynamic come out, if a person in the group starts crying, the alpha energy will come out and seek to listen and care for them. When you are just hanging out and having fun, then the instincts take a backseat, if that makes sense. The instincts function is to facilitate care taking, if nobody is in need of care, then they are dormant.
Or they are less obvious, see there are two kinds of listeners and two kinds of speakers. Alpha listener and alpha speaker, dependent listener and dependent speaker. So the dynamic may still be playing out, it is just moving with such a beautiful flow of back and forth, that your not really noticing it.
Another way of saying egalitarian, is fluid(free-flowing) hierarchy. 🙂
I commented on this on Facebook before I had even heard the podcast. I don’t see tribe as being negative. I saw the unifying of Christians around the pure focus on JESUS as a very good and necessary thing…something I hope we all ripple outwards to offer hope and comfort to others. We are the minority. Not god journey…but rather believers that dig deeper…there are many of us sure but the whole world of 6 billion is not mostly Christians…it’s not just rhetoric. People have no concept of God’s love in Jesus… I’m not seeing being supportive of brothers & sisters as creepy. Coercive. Or somehow wanting a t-shirt. . . okay and something I never got was being in the world …playing along by their rules. Maybe that is where my wheels fell off. I think people compromise every day. But it bothers me when I know I compromised. It eats my lunch. Shouldn’t I be the same everywhere. But reality is I am flawed with a capital F!!! Really. It’s impossible to be perfect. Why does no pastor ever acknowledge that reality?
I wanted to give you a more in-depth of reply. Because I feel that your onto something.
“I guess it just boils down to this: When you and Brad talk about a nameless group of people out there who use language and approaches to teach others which you are not comfortable using yourself, and you speak of your reaction to this with words like “Yuck Meter” and talk about how you don’t do these things because you are only trusting “the sense of the Spirit within,” it makes those of us who DO use monetization methods or “tribal” language feel like we are being judged.”
Yes, there is a problem with the form of this podcast, because it’s used to vent and release emotions, it will hurt some and help others. That is just the nature of venting and why it’s normally supposed to be done in private. Is that to say that this podcast should stop? Who knows. I just know that it will hurt people and that can’t be ignored.
“I know you don’t know me and have never visited my website, but when you say that people in my group set off your Yuck Meter, this makes me feel judged and condemned, whether you intended it this way or not. The phrase “Yuck Meter” IS tribal language. It IS the type of language that is often used by groups who have an “us vs. them” mentality.”
If your feeling this, it’s highly possible that your on the right track. I’ve been sensing this too. Yeah, tribal language is used all the time, we can’t help but use it. So is this podcast doing that too, yes it is. Your right. I believe what they mean by the yuck meter, is sensing that something is off. But, does that mean that it should be pointed out, maybe or maybe not. This is the problem of making available private conversations, those that are being talked about, can hear it and thus are wounded by it.
“You want me to not misunderstand you. I want the same from you. If you were to visit my website, or that of Ray Edwards, or that of Jeff Goins, or that of the Free Believer’s Network, or Frank Viola, or whomever, I hope you wouldn’t see some of the things we do on our websites and think “Yuck Meter! Yuck Meter!” Instead, I would hope that you feel the same thing I feel when I visit your website: “Hmmm. This guy approaches online teaching a bit different than I do. Cool! Isn’t the diversity in the Body of Christ awesome? So what can I learn from him today?”
Yeah, just because a person doesn’t agree on the same things, doesn’t mean that those people you mentioned are doing it out of self interest. I believe many are doing it out of very good intentions and they have a very caring heart. And they are following Papa in their own way.
“Regardless of how you mean it, “Yuck Meter” terminology in your podcast feels judgmental to those of us who engage in some of the practices that set off your “Yuck Meter.” Even if you don’t mean it this way, it sounds derogatory, accusatory, and critical.”
Yeah, it can be used as a put down and a way to shut down another person, to invalidate. And thus it feels very hurtful.
“Let’s say I started a podcast and even though I didn’t mention you or Brad specifically, I said something like this: “Every once in a while I hear about ministries that just focus on trusting God to provide their needs. They talk about making their gifts available to the body of Christ without charge and going with God on a journey through life and being led by the Spirit to make decisions and choices. I know this all sounds pious and holy, but I’ve met a lot of people in life who claim these things, and all they really end up doing is taking advantage of others with their self-righteous spirituality. So I don’t do these things. To talk that way would make me feel sort of slimy. It maxes out my Slime Scale. Instead, I am up-front and honest with what I do on my blog. I have a book I have written, and I want to sell it. I have some teachings I have recorded, and I want people to buy them. I know these things will help people connect with God and follow Jesus and operate within Kingdom principles, so I am not ashamed of doing what I can to promote these things so that as many people as possible can benefit from them.”
It does sound pious and holy and self-righteous. That I’m a better because I’m resting in Jesus and your not. Self-righteousness comes in many forms and can be covert or overt. And it can be done without the person realizing that they are doing it. Which makes it all the more interesting. Self-righteousness is perceptual defendednesss, the lacking to see and perceive one’s own actions and how they effect others, it’s a total blindness to one’s mistakes and failures. It’s not that they are aware of it, they can be defending themselves without even knowing it. That’s what makes it so ironic. Because you point that out to someone and they turn around and protest and say, “No, I’m not doing that.” And you just shake your head and go, “What?” Because it’s so confusing, how their words aren’t matching their actions.
For me, I can’t afford to become blind, because that would hinder my ability to take care of others, so I have to always be looking at myself and asking myself if I’m doing the same things as the person I’m pointing out. For every action that I do, I turn around and ask myself, “Am I doing the very same thing they are doing?” And most times I am, so I have to take responsibility for that. Otherwise I fail as a person who takes others under my wing. If I am the one leading the dance, then I am responsible for every misstep and it’s my job to learn from it and get the dance back in rhythm. (sorry kind of going off topic here, Wayne has really got under my skin)
“How does such a statement make you feel? I didn’t mention you by name. I didn’t mention The God Journey. If you were to call me out on this, I could even say I wasn’t speaking about you specifically. That all I am doing is following what God has laid on my heart to do and that I am not judging others but am only trying to help others discern where the Spirit is drawing them and how He is nudging them to teach and encourage others with openness and honesty. Even though I might say something like this, I imagine you would still feel slighted?”
Yeah, it does feel awful to feel like he is the mature one and we aren’t, that we are separated. If someone doesn’t feel hurt by it, doesn’t mean that they aren’t hurt, just means they can’t feel it. And that is very problematic, maturity isn’t that we don’t care about what others say. Maturity is being able to heal from it and understanding why the other person did it. If we lack caring, it means we are defended against caring. Having a thick skin, means defendedness, that we are unaffected because we can’t feel it. A person can get physically hurt and not feel the pain, does that mean that the wound didn’t happen. No, it’s right there, they just can’t feel it right now.
“Even if not, I do. Maybe I’m just hyper-sensitive. If you think so, disregard this entire thread and keep talking about the Yuck Meter in your podcast.”
Being hyper-sensitive is a gift. If your seeing something, don’t let anyone invalid it. And I know it’s hard, because I’m hyper-sensitive too, we feel things on a whole another level and it makes life very difficult, because we live in a world where most people are very defended against feeling and so they point us out and mock us, saying we don’t have thick skin and that we are just making a big deal out of nothing, they say that we are just imaging things. And then we start to doubt ourselves and think that we are going crazy. But, we aren’t crazy. Do we get things wrong? Yes, totally. But, that doesn’t mean that we are wrong in everything, we do see things, we aren’t imaging things.
“Anyway, this book is long enough. The floor is yours. I will not waste your time with further additional replies. Thanks for putting up with me this long!”
I’m sorry that Wayne couldn’t understand and that what he said just confused you more, that his words hurt you. I understand the feeling. Big hugs brother! 🙂
Your comment matches your name. You are full of grace. And I don’t just say this because you seem to agree with what I’m saying. I feel that you heard me. Thank you.