Jon Pyle Profile picture
11 Sep, 12 tweets, 2 min read
I call this “The Explosive Expert Principle”.

And I’ve seen this principle play out over and over and over again among followers of Jesus.
The name comes from a war story my Dad told me. He was drafted into the Army and served in Vietnam as an Explosives Expert. He has some absolutely horrifying stories, but this one is actually a great illustration.
One day I asked him how he became an explosives expert. As a kid, that seemed like a really cool job. He didn’t explain the process, just told the story.
My Dad is in this big room with a bunch of other folks when a high ranking official walks in and asks: “who wants to be an explosives expert?”

Hands shot up. Apparently, it wasn’t just cool to a kid. All but one of these young soldiers were excited to blow stuff up too.
Every hand went up... except for my Dad’s.

The officer surveys the room and says “you”, pointing at my Dad, “you’re now the Explosives Expert”.

The room was confused. He didn’t volunteer.
I don’t know if he figured it out himself or the officer shared it with him, but my Dad understood the principle.

The person you CHOOSE to blow stuff up shouldn’t be the one who WANTS to blow stuff up.
Explosions are powerful, dangerous and potentially catastrophic. They cannot be frivolously employed. When you get it right, sometimes things still go wrong. When you get it wrong, you get it really wrong. Explosions are serious work and they require a posture of sobriety.
I don’t mean sobriety like “not drinking or doing drugs”, I mean seeing things clearly and understanding their magnitude.
The Explosives Expert principle works with any sense of significant power or high-stakes leadership.

Giving power (leadership, authority) to the people who crave it, often has disastrous consequences.
And that is why God often calls the least likely person. Or the unqualified person. Or the skeptical person. He doesn’t want us to underestimate His power or use it indiscriminately. Because there are often significant and deeply painful consequences.
This is why Peter was a much better leader after his denial of Jesus. He was broken. And sober. He knew what it meant to lead. And why he advises elders in 1 Peter 5 the way He does.
As followers of Jesus, sometimes He’s going to pick you to do something you wouldn’t volunteer for. Or something you would actively avoid.

But when you listen and obey, it’s better for everyone.

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More from @jonpyle

5 Sep
I used to read the Prophets & the Old Testament narratives slightly confused about how faithful people could so quickly and deeply turn to idols.

Watching the American church in 2020... Now I get it.
People that have seen God’s power first-hand, witnessed and experienced His faithful love, can still turn to idols on a dime. Why? I think it’s because idols are easier.
All people are on a trajectory toward pride that must be resisted constantly, lest they fall victim to the original sin. Comfort is the enemy of Christ-likeness.

So... deeply good, kind and devoted people create gods in their own image to worship.
Read 10 tweets
27 Aug
We are conditioned as evangelical/mega church pastors that we “can’t be political”. Or that when we support anything controversial that we’re compromising our ability to reach people for Jesus.

That’s flat out wrong.
The only thing we’re protecting by “not being political” are the oppressive systems. (Systems that we largely benefit from by the way.) Political isn’t bad, it’s necessary, because politics are about people. Jesus was political.
I think we should avoid being partisan. But there is no option where you teach what Jesus said and did without upsetting the powers that be. Grace is radical. Humility is countercultural. Love is provocative.
Read 9 tweets
25 Aug
“Micro-churches” are not a trend. They are the primary avenue of spiritual growth for all followers of Jesus since Peter preached at Pentecost.
Andy Stanley nails it (paraphrased): people grow most in circles, not rows.

Every believer I’ve ever talked to experienced their most significant spiritual growth in the context of intimate community and close relationships. Often facilitated by a mentor/guide.
But here’s where we get it wrong: successful megachurches aren’t some shallow spiritual wasteland. They are just a church of churches. Collections of communities that gather for a type of service once per week.
Read 6 tweets
18 Jul
Just watched #CivilWar. This is a linchpin story in the #MCU. So many good things that payoff later. But, what I saw with absolute clarity was the arc of #BlackPanther and Justice.
In Civil War, T'Challa is driven by vengeance masquerading as justice. He wants to get justice for his father and he thinks killing the culprit (Bucky) would be just. However...
T'Challa comes to realize that revenge isn't justice, as he watches the Avengers tear themselves apart. Revenge is reductive "justice" (which isn't justice, but reciprocity) that leaves everyone worse off. "You took from me, so I take from you" makes everyone LESS.
Read 28 tweets

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