Monday, May 16, 2011

David Sedaris on his Church Background

David SedarisI admit it...I love National Public Radio.  And I've laughed so hard at stories I've heard on there by humorist David Sedaris that I've cried.

And here, just one answer in an interview with Sedaris reminds us of why we should, like Jesus, take kids and their relationship with God seriously.
Q: You were raised in the Greek Orthodox church. How did that upbringing shape you, and how do you feel about God today?
A: I never got the idea of a punishing God, just a really boring one.  To see people growing up in the Carolinas who were Baptist, I knew there were others who felt God was going to send them to hell for any little thing, but not me.  I didn't feel like it, or like it influenced my writing style.
Imagine if this author of books selling over 7 million copies had be introduced to the true vibrant Jesus!

Only the Spirit knows what lies in the future for the young lives you and your church are shaping right now.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

"Have Christians Gotten Evangelism Wrong?"

sharing your faith 
Last night over a long spring evening dinner on our patio, Kristi and I got to hear from a couple who have been missionaries in Cameroon for years.  They are back in the States, at least for a while, now.  And they are having to rediscover what "evangelism" means in this, their homeland!  The husband is visiting in a  neighborhood where he shared the Gospel 20 years ago, but finding a different neighbor, a different response and the need to understand our new context.

Here's an online article I ran across that offers some thoughts about: 
  • Come v Go
  • Consumer v Disciple, and
  • Do v Be

What do you think? 

How do these apply to your setting, maybe the new church you're working with?  

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bible Storying

I had a great weekend at Hillcrest Baptist Church’s Global Impact Celebration.  This mission fair-type event gave the church a chance to meet and learn from about 20 missionaries from the global, national and local mission field.  The church is actively involved on all these levels.  I was privileged to represent the work of DBA.

Great elements of the weekend were the two opportunities to talk personally with a couple of Bible Fellowships (i.e., Sunday Schools).  The groups were interested in the diversity of our mission field and the variety of ways that God is reaching them through new churches.  That includes Bible “storying.”

One lady there is working with ESL at Hillcrest.  She was interested in how they might use storying in what they do.  I just passed on to her the same couple of websites that I just put on our DBA webpage.

Interestingly, storying has come up with two or three of our new church plants just in the last month!  It seems this might be a direction the Spirit is guiding us to lean into.  Check out the several items about storying and “T4T” on DBA’s church planting webpage,

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Reaching 20-somethings/Millenials

Millenials are Americans born between 1980-1991.  Likely they are missing from your church plant.

This study looks at why.

For example, "When looking for information or advice about two-thirds of American 'Millennials' prefer to talk with a variety of people who have personal experience rather than one individual considered to be an 'expert.'"

The researcher, Lifeway's Ed Stetzer asks, "Does this change in the way a new generation seeks advice and sees influence make an even greater argument for small groups and missional communities in the church?"

Check out the whole thing and see what you think.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Alan Hirsch: Church Growth Model Reaching Only 40 Percent of Americans

"This is a problem because 95 percent of American churches are using a model that even if successful will reach less than half the population, said Alan Hirsch, an internationally recognized missiologist and founding director of Forge Mission Training Network."

Here's the whole article.

My wife Kristi and I got to spend the day with a group of ten others and Alan Hirsch last November.  He has some interesting and challenging things for all kinds of churches to consider.  What I like most about him, though, is his frequent references to following the Holy Spirit in finding the way to best express the Good News to various types.  Some expressions might be really different from what we're used to.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Follow the "Risky" Spirit

One Sheet to the Wind
A church that pitches its tents without constantly looking out for new horizons, which does not continually strike camp, is being untrue to is calling...[We must] play down our longing for certainty, accept what is risky, and live by improvisation and experiment. - Hans Kung, The Church as the People of God

Only God's Spirit gives new life. The Spirit is like the wind that blows wherever it wants to. You can hear the wind, but you don't know where it comes from or where it is going. - John 3:8 (CEV)

Much more than following any growth plan that promises "success," we need new church plants that boldly, obediently follow God's unpredictable Spirit to new horizons! 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

All Became Missionaries!

"Forced to leave home base, the Christians all became missionaries.  Wherever they were scattered, they preached, they preached the Message about Jesus."
Then, after describing what just one of these Christians did, the Bible says,
"And what joy in that city!"  (Acts 8:4 and 8, The Message Bible)