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Category Archives: Articles

Christianity Today has just posted an online article featuring Mark Driscoll.

Speaking of Driscoll…The blog world is already ablaze, apparently Driscoll has gone public at Convergent Conference with his belief that Brian Mclaren and Doug Pagitt are heretics, which is old news. But apparently he has now added Rob Bell to that list. Not sure where to go with that. My initial thought is this: I hope Driscoll has discussed his issues with Bell before he went public. That would be pretty immature to slam a guy in public without first speaking to him in private. Of course I was not there, so I’m not exactly sure what Driscoll said.

I’m sure we shall hear more soon.

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I just read Donal Miller article A Better Storyteller. Really good stuff.

I love the statement below.

“The chief role of a Christian,” he says, “is to tell a better story.”

I just posted a quick article on culture over at Vista Leadership Blog.

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I sometimes wonder what the world was like years ago. Sometimes life seems so hectic and complicated in the 21 century. I long for the days of “Leave It To Beaver.” Days that seem full of peace and wholeness. Days when we knew our neighbors, parents stayed together and life seemed fun and fulfilling.

I know I’m dreaming. I also know since Adam ate the apple, (Um, was there not a Banana or something?) sin has dominated our world. But never has life changed as much as in the past 50 years. We can now go to space, fly in the air, inhale global news in the click of a mouse and pay bills on online.

Reality is this-Life has changed, we will never go back to the way that it was. Yes, there is a sense of sadness. But also I’m filled with hope.

A big question is this, How does the church respond to ever-changing culture? Big question right? I have good news friends; The Church has always been responding to change. That is the beauty of the gospel. It’s timeless. It’s like water; the church is fluid, but the truth is evident.

Truth does not change, but how we communicate truth must change. And where we communicate that truth is vital. Jesus came for the sick, not those who are whole. It’s messy dealing with sick folks.

This current generation of church leadership in America has experienced a unique shift. In the past the church stood at the center of culture. Most folks thought the Bible was true even if they did not follow Jesus. In many cities the church steeple was the most recognisable building. Times have changed haven’t they? Churches now meet in schools, movie theater’s, clubs, art galleries and many more convenient locations. Remember we are fluid. We change as culture changes, so we can help transform culture for the glory of God!

We now live in a global village that has multiple influences on our culture. We live in an age of relativism and tolerance. We live in the age what most would consider the first Post-Christian age. Christ no longer stands at the center of humanity. Now he is just one of many religious figures and cultural icons.

So how do we respond to this change?

First of all, we can’t run and hide and create our own safe sub-cultures. As Christ-followers we must stand together in the midst of dominate culture. It’s hard to have influence in the world if you only spend time with those who already believe what you believe. Life change happens when we are with those who need to change their lives. Love can only win when we act and “be” the church.

We need to do cultural exegesis. We need to become learners. We need to adapt. Of course we must proclaim the gospel, we must proclaim truth. We must live “different” lives. But we also have to contextualize truth to connect with culture. Think about Jesus, he was a masterful story-teller. He used 1st century cultural metaphors to engage his audience and to lead them into truth.

Therefore we must use 21st century metaphors to connect the gospel to our culture, to help create the future and not always be late arrivals. How do we redeem technology, movies, music and community? How do we spend time in 3rd places (cafes, pubs, sporting events, etc…) and build natural relationships?

It’s vital for the average American Christian to understand that they are now missionaries to their own culture. Therefore we must learn the land, the language and the people. We must seek God for wisdom and understanding so we can clearly communicate the gospel in ways that are effective, yet natural.

So work no longer is “just” work. It’s now a mission field of possibilities. School is not just a time to learn, but a time to see life change. Your neighborhood is no longer a place to just live, but it becomes a place of community and missional opportunities.

I wish I had more time to develop these thoughts. But the bottom line is this, God has called us to become missionaries sent back into our culture to partner with Jesus and to bring life change to those around us.

That’s what makes a good leader, and that will help us redeemn culute for the glory of God!

As I think through church planting, missional living and the broader Christian movement. Sometimes I struggle with how to embody the Kingdom and see the Christ-story become real in the hearts of those who claim they believe. Including myself!

Articles like this one gets me fired up.

Somehow I hope to help Christ-followers “be” & “live” the story. We are “sent” people. We are called to transform culture, love, give and serve our generation.

I think church planting can change the world. BUT, only if we plant churches and build a missional DNA. God has called His people to love this world. Not just show up and attend gatherings or small groups. Those aspects can and should be launching points to a greater mission. A mission that is radical, extreme, and revolutionary. The Jesus message is revolutionary…How can it not be? We follow a murdered Rabbi. Folks died and continue to die for the cause and message of Jesus.

How do we Americans deal with this reality? How has the Bible become a little “devotional” book? How has the height of Western Christianity become Sunday mornings gatherings? Those things are good only if they help fuel incarnational missional living from the larger body of Christ.

Which this leads to greater questions and difficult answers. But for now, I’ll chew on these questions and step down from my soap box!

HT: Zach

So my buddy Ken, who is an amazing writer has a great book review on Relevant Magazine website here. It’s based on the book “A Long Way Gone.” Check it out.

of John Burke and fellow unchurched Austinites. My friend and fellow Austin pastor Tom emailed me this article and I thought I would pass it along. Enjoy.

‘A Starbucks Conversation.

I just read a great article by Earl Creps via Monday Morning Insight called How Canadians Can Save the American Church. Good stuff, check it out.

Also, I just listened to the MP3 of Ed Stetzer talk “toward a missional convention.” Lot’s of yummy information, check it out here.

Man I wish I was as smart as these cats.  I love the church, I love culture and I really love when church and culture collide and gospel transformation takes place.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran an article called Beer & The Bible. The article focuses on Darrin Patrick (Lead Pastor and Acts 29 leader) & The Journey Church. I have a feeling this article will be drawing a lot of future ‘attenders” to The Journey. And I wonder how much criticism Darrin and The Journey will face from fellow Christians? Anyhow, interesting article that I’m sure will stir up some commotion, good and bad.

I for one think it’s cool that they (Journey) are going to the community and connecting  on a natural level and this is the biggest reason I will stay away from denominations when I plant another church.

HT: Steve McCoy

Here’s a great article by Scot McKnight on Five Streams of the Emerging Church .

There are so many misconceptions of the emerging church and articles like this one help clarify some common myths that keep floating around. (Like all we do is smoke cigars, drink beer and talk theology) That is such a disgrace to the movement that really helped bring words like “missional” and “incarnational” to the forefront of the American church culture. (IMHO)

Sure we have our downsides, sure many have gone over the edge in the theological pursuits…But most love God, are faithful to scripture and they are reaching some hardcore area’s with the gospel…So please let’s celebrate what’s taking place in ALL  the movements that God has called, anointed and ordained to be salt and light to our generation.

Shalom

My friend Tim Condor has a new article out dealing with the issue of being missional. It’s strange that this word is now the “buzz” of the evangelical world. Tim left the comforts of the mega church to start Emmaus Way in Durham, NC. He is also the author of The Church in Transition: The Journey of Existing Churches into the Emerging Culture.

Check out his article here.

Quick thoughts from the article:

“In essence, missional churches seek to align their identity, activities, and hopes with God’s redemptive mission on earth. This is a tall order for churches that brim with cultural and programming expectations, resource abundance, iconic labels (like “evangelical” or “mainline” or “Pentecostal”), and visions of grand ambitions. The temptation is always to have a grand scheme to which we incessantly try to woo or invoke God’s presence rather see ourselves fitting into God’s agenda. “