The 41st Day Syndrome
By Jim Henderson
Jim is co-founder and Executive Director of Off The Map and the author of a.k.a. lost
– connecting with the people Jesus misses most, published in Spring 2005 by Waterbrook Press. Jim and his wife Barb have been involved in church planting and leadership development for the past 25 years. They have spent time in India and Hong Kong working with young leaders and new church plants. Jim formerly worked at the Vineyard Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio as the Director of Leadership Development and Director of Outreach.
Jim is an innovative thinker and passionately committed to normalizing evangelism for ordinary Christians. In 2000, Jim co-founded Off the Map to help move that idea forward. Off The Map puts on numerous events each year and publishes a monthly ezine called Idealab. Jim and his wife, Barb, have three children and live in Seattle.
The 41st Day Syndrome
In the earliest days of World War II the Japanese military made incredible progress in taking over one asian nation after another. They looked unstoppable. We know how it ended but the people living through the terror of those days did not have that luxury and were not so sure that this army could be stopped. But their reach eventually exceeded their grasp. They expanded so far so fast that their supply lines could not sustain their accomplishments and eventually this weakness was exploited by the Allied forces and Japan was defeated.
Evangelical Christianity has had incredible reach over the past 100 years culminating in many developing nations adopting the good and bad church practices, beliefs and folklore we westerners have created. Out of our need to compete with other religions and ideologies we began to make promises we couldn’t keep. It can basically be boiled down to the “healthy- wealthy and wise” program. Basically we are saying our religion is better than your religion or at least it doesn’t suck as bad as yours does so come and try us out. Consumers love this stuff, have tried us out and have often come way with buyer’s remorse. Our reach has exceeded our grasp.
What happens after 40 days is over and you get to the 41st day and you don’t know what to do? Like another fad diet Evangelicalism has over-promised and under delivered. We got into the religion business but people want reality.
Groups like Porpoise Diving Life explore what it looks like if we were more interested in being real than in being religious. Human beings want to know two things
1) That I am not alone
2) That I am not stupid (well not the only stupid person)
The Porpoise Diving Life provides a place for you to meet people who understand these feelings and fears and have resigned from religion and are exploring new ways of following Jesus that are real.