In this video, I interview Mike Clarensau about his new book, From Belonging to Becoming: The Power of Loving People Like Jesus Did. Mike is senior director of the Healthy Church Network. Prior to that, he was senior pastor of Maranatha Worship Center in Wichita, Kansas. From Belonging to Becoming charts a new pathway of discipleship. Instead of believing-belonging-becoming, Mike argues that Jesus practiced belonging-believing-becoming, putting relationship before the call to faith or the commitment to a new lifestyle. Indeed, the relationship with Jesus made both faith and holiness possible in the lives of Jesus’ followers. This is the model of discipleship we too should follow.
I reviewed Mike’s book here.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Here are the questions Mike answered with timecodes:
- 00:03 Introduction
- 00:28 The “assimilation process” at most churches looks like this: believing-becoming-belonging. In this book, you argue that belonging comes first: belonging-believing-becoming. How did you come to the realization that most churches’ “assimilation process” has things backward?
- 05:39 Throughout the book, you use the story in Luke 7 about the sinful woman anointing Jesus’ feet at the home of Simon the Pharisee. There are three main characters in the story. There are also two ways of responding to the sinful woman and two ways of responding to Jesus. What are those ways?
- 08:45 Why is so hard for pastors and church members to realize that their ways of responding to “sinners” are often more like the Pharisees’ than like Jesus’? What are the rationalizations we offer for our ways of responding, and why are they wrong?
- 12:28 What do you mean by “belonging”? Does it involve putting nonbelievers in positions of leadership at the church?
- 15:16 John Maxwell says that people don’t care what you know until they know that you care. Is that true? What do you mean when you say, “Once that people know that you care, they care what you know”?
- 18:00 Throughout the book, you share your own personal journey of discovery on this matter. How did your specific context in Wichita, Kansas, help you make this discovery?
- 22:02 Are you really saying that there aren’t moral absolutes or things that the church should be known for?
- 25:12 Isn’t it a lot more easy (and fun) to denounce sin than to redeem the individual sinner?
- 26:50 Is belonging-believing-becoming a methodological approach to helping people experience the wholeness of life Jesus offers?
- 28:36 All of this sounds like that “seeker sensitive” stuff. Doesn’t the Bible describe the gospel as an offense?
- 31:10 The book complexifies our thinking by forcing us to realize that much of what we do at church is more Pharisaical than Jesus-like. It forces us to ask, “What kind of Christianity am I actually practicing?” What’s the difference between becoming like Jesus as opposed to becoming like other church people.
- 33:31 Part 2 of the book describes the shift of thinking church leaders must experience to begin to welcome the “sinful woman” into their community as Jesus did. What does that shift look?
- 36:46 What can pastors do to begin to forming friendships with people outside of church?
- 39:19 What about the objection: |”We don’t want ‘those people’ around our kids”?
- 41:22 What can we do to be more friendly to people who begin to attend our church?
- 43:45 What should church leaders take into account in their “assimilation process”?
- 46:31 What is “congregational astigmatism”? How do we overcome it?
- 49:00 What is the Healthy Church Network? Where can people get more information about it?
- 50:32 Concluding remarks