The astute among you will notice that it has been six months since I started this series – six months of silence on the topic.
The idea of upgrading our corporate values for the new season sounded simple and logical. Trade in your old car for a newer model.
When I started the project, I discovered I did not have a grid for measuring what was needed in order to be effective in the new season of eldering. Hence the delay.
But I have wrestled that alligator to the ground, so let’s jump in and assess the old values to see what makes the cut for the next season. If you want to read the background to each of these values and how they were vital for the last season, you can read about it here.
1. Failure is normative and highly valued.
This was vital for the research season. In the eldering season, it will be important to fail less, but this risk oriented drive is so baked into our DNA that we don’t need it on a piece of paper anymore. It will run in the background without maintenance.
2. Big, dirty people are a good investment.
Actually, we need to move away from this. Big people are STILL a good investment, regardless of how dirty they are, but we are entering a season of building, not investing. We have to move discretionary resources away from repairing people, into transformation with strategic people.
3. Never, never, never trade in legitimacy.
Now more than ever, that is a vital part of our lifestyle. Legitimacy is at an all time low. The purveyors of false legitimacy are hawking their wares on every corner. People’s craving for secondhand legitimacy through association is at epidemic levels.
But, like #1, this one is baked in. No need to do maintenance on it. We can smell a legitimacy peddler and a legitimacy moocher clear across the state line.
4. Empower people; don’t enable them.
Ah, the daily battle. Make that hourly.
Vital for the new season, but will need to be packaged a bit differently, and that one is not baked in like the others. The relentless demand for enabling in the name of God, and the sophisticated guilt manipulation used to get that from us, means we need to keep an eye on this issue.
5. We are called to be transformational, not informational.
Also baked in, but needs to be revamped for the new season as we are called to be transformational to the culture, not so much to individuals. We are so wired for individuals; it will require some fiercely focused leadership to make the shift.
This value needs to be reworded for the new season.
6. Let history be our judge.
Now THIS one is a challenge. What that means is that we don’t bother to defend ourselves from our detractors. We have this down pretty well. Just keep going forward.
BUT in this eldering season, the things we will be doing will be far more offensive to the culture and will result in a withering blast of fury from other sectors than we have tangled with in the past.
This one needs to be honed because hate hurts. I will repackage it in different language, but it will not only carry over to the new season, but need a massive upgrade.
Copyright August 2019 by Arthur Burk
I feel like I resonate with this whole concept deeply but I pretty much don't understand why. My spirit senses the bigness but I can't appropriate it... Yet. Inviting the Lord's wisdom and understanding. And I add my "Amen" to this discussion.
I love the choices you've made. I relate to so many of them. I like that you are moving towards a transformation of culture, vs. individuals. My spirit leaped at each statement, thanks for sharing them!
A most excellent share - thank you!
"BUT in this eldering season, the things we will be doing will be far more offensive to the culture and will result in a Withering Blast Of Fury From Other Sectors Than we have tangled with in the past."
This seems to be the current culture.
I will be circling back to this it resonates with me. I've felt some of these without understanding or having the language, thank you.
Arthur, I so appreciate your supple, legerity to what God is indicating for now. You call it eldering, I see it as Fathering. In the natural we are witnessing the dying off of many beneficial service philanthropies because of their failure to reproduce. May it never be so for SLG! Press on dear brother who has taught me so much!
Replied by : Arthur Burk
Yes! Thanks for putting words to empowering vs enabling and transformational vs informative... the shoes will take some time to break in, but good stuff. I have seen the term “vocational suffering” used for the pushback from culture, friends and darkness for doing right. Looking forward to seeing this built out further... one of those things that seems so wrong yet is so right at the same time.
I agree with this. I have temporarily stepped away from doing any ministry for a few months now. Partly because the Lord said to, partly because we made a big physical move, partly because John and I had some preparatory work to do in ourselves before we moved, and partly because I was so tired and burned out from wrestling with the people who wanted someone else to do all their work for them. No. My job is to teach you to go to Jesus and I will assist you. I am not your saviour, He is. We have become lazy people who want someone else to do the zap and whap thing and all is well. I decided a few things about who I will work with and how so my time and energy will be invested in the foot soldiers who are on their way to becoming great warriors.
Number 5 and 6 are tough. I have been living 1 through 4 principles my entire life: married for 49 years, 3 biological sons, 3 adopted daughters, 20 years of foster care and exchange students from around the world, and now I have a ministry TEAM of 20,30,40 somethings in the Pacific N. W. I raised my kids in church, did the youth group thing, and realized that church isn't for the "Elders." We now have a home group where we disciple: we don't preach at or try and control. The transformational, not informational, thing is huge and forces us to FULLY lean on the Father: the ultimate leadership skill and respected by very few in our present day culture. I think the last one, #6, is going to "happen to us" whether we want it or not. Not "defending ourselves" is about Godly integrity, and will get more and more difficult to walk in as the pressure to "conform" to "man-made grace" increases. So, my comment is, I am incredibly interested in where you go with #5 and #6. All of us "Elders" out here need some help in moving from individual to societal shifting as we move forward in transforming the generations following us, AND we need to be supported by those on similar journeys, with will help sustain us during the flaming darts of those who have been attacking us from 20 plus years, and are ramping up to finally take us out completely. Thanks for ALL you do. BTW: I LOVE your fractal of two teaching/prayers!!!! It has been HUGELY impactful for me and many on my TEAM!!
Great, let's be transformational!
love the challenge of "fiercely focused leadership to make the shift" a call to go deeper and higher.
Thank you Arthur for the perspective. This sets the bar and provides a great template for developing our individual values. This will give a few of us local tribe members some framework to link arms and build into our locals together. Running on the cutting edge without a value set such as this is just flaky. Taking risks from a well thought out framework such as this allows us to be dangerous. Thanks much for the elegant language that paints such a powerful picture.
Replied by : Arthur Burk
Thank you so much for being so responsible with the previous seasons and following through where you were directed. Its so cool that you revisit the SLG values to keep up with the way God transitions the seasons.
Blessings on this next season! May the transformation flow as easily as words from God's heart to yours and may we as a tribe synchronize with the transformations God wants to bring and take the garden to the non-garden part of the world with joy regardless of the pain that may come. May your heart be full and overflowing with awe of the God Who Does Big Cultural Transformation with Panache!
Yay, I get to be considered “astute,” because I’ve definitely noticed the silence on this topic (understanding, of course, the delay)! “Failure… is highly valued” are still, even in the shift, words like water to my soul, in the simple validation of the “okay-ness” of it (if as a learning experience), and juxtaposed against your forward-looking statement for the new season that “it will be important to fail less,” is something to chew on while navigating the course, especially in the current culture, of the subsequent five points you make. I’m also marinating in, “The relentless demand for enabling in the name of God, and the sophisticated guilt manipulation used to get that from us, means we need to keep an eye on this issue.” Again, especially in light of the current culture that seem to violently war in newer ways against true empowerment vs. false “empowerment,” this challenge has seemed to take on a new flavor. Plenty of substance to digest here, and I’m so grateful for it. And your word in the title, “Weighing,” even affects my spirit in a way I can’t describe, like having multiple meanings. Question: Could you clarify the difference(s) between building and investing? I like the distinction you make for the new season but would like to know your perspective on the nuanced and/or clear-cut differences between those two actions. Thank you for this, and for taking the necessary time to let it come forward – Janis
Replied by : Arthur Burk
I can't believe I forgot to comment on #6. That one is the glaring highlight, because "hate hurts." VERY much looking forward to your repacking it in different language and the progress towards the massive upgrade.....