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Church Planting

Transplant Ourselves

October 25, 2011 | By | No Comments

While reading Total Church, I found this section to be particularly interesting. While talking about living missionally, the authors talk about the gap between rhetoric and reality in our practice: the struggle of thinking practically about how we actually live missionally. They offered a short exercise to help people to think a bit more critically about their context:

We sometimes ask people to imagine they are part of a church planting team in a cross-cultural situation in some other part of the world:

  • What criteria would you use to decide where to live?
  • How would you approach secular employment?
  • What standard of living would you expect as pioneer missionaries?
  • What would you spend your time doing?
  • What opportunities would you be looking for?
  • What would your prayers be like?
  • What would you be trying to do with your new friends?
  • What kind of team would you want around you?
  • How would you conduct your meetings together?

We find it easier to be radical in our thinking when we transplant ourselves outside our current situation. But we are as much missionaries here and now as we would be if we were part of a cross-cultural team in another part of the world. Mission is central to us wherever we are. These are the kind of questions we should be asking wherever we are?

How would you answer those questions?

Top 10 Reasons Not to Join a Church Plant

July 11, 2011 | By | No Comments

As a church planter, I gotta love a list of reasons for people not to join in with my efforts! But seriously, this is a great list, and a fair warning. And I love the recruitment quote at the end that was written for an expedition to Antarctica:

Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.

Visit the list from The Resurgence here.

Why the City Needs the Gospel

November 4, 2010 | By | No Comments

Over at the ReSurgence, Jonathan Dodson wrote a great article about why reaching the city (as opposed to the suburbs and rural areas) matters!

I encourage you to go ahead and read it, but love this last paragraph in relation to Resonate:

We either give life to cities or we take life from cities. What kind of life are you giving to the city? Are you giving or taking, consuming or renewing, using or strengthening the city? To love a city we have to love more than its stuff, its entertainment, its dining, and its landscape. We have to love its people. To renew a city we must love its souls. We should renew the city because it is a growing, socially dense, and diverse community of people—eternal souls.

How To Plant a Church

October 29, 2010 | By | 2 Comments

Ok, this video just hits it out of the park. Had me laughing! I think it hits on just about every typical area of a lot of church plants in the past 5 years.

What’s Your Experience?

October 18, 2010 | By | No Comments

On any given Sunday in America, over half of those ages 18-29 do not attend any regular worship service. Of those that do attend, only about 30% say they have any kind of God ‘experience’ or feel his presence at their place of worship.

How is it for you? Do you regularly feel, experience, taste and see that the Lord is good where you worship? Do you even involved in the localized body of Christ? Leave a comment below.

Ready to Disrupt Atlanta?

October 13, 2010 | By | No Comments

Saw a quote by Perry Noble today that said, “Today’s church prays for safety…the church in Acts prayed for boldness!” It is interesting to see Pentecost happen when they prayed for ‘boldness.’ Even more interesting is that 1 Thess 5 says that those concerning themselves with ‘peace and safety’ will face destruction, like labor pains.

Paul tell the Romans that he is obligated to the people, eager to preach the gospel, and not ashamed. He had no fear. Chandler talks about how Paul must have been one of the most frustrating cats in the ancient world. “We’ll kill you, Paul!” “To die is gain!” “Fine, Paul, we’ll let you live.” “To live is Christ!” “Ok, Paul, we’ll throw you in prison!” “Give me a hymnbook.” There’s no fear in his words… because he knew the one greater than himself.

Today’s church prays for safety…the church in Acts prayed for boldness

If we are true to the gospel and people’s lives are being transformed by the Word and the Spirit, then we will create many enemies. But we must still have boldness and not fear for our safety. If we are truly missional, drug dealers and prostitutes will lose their clients, the homosexual community might lose practitioners, the governmental powers that be may be disrupted by our efforts. There’s a holy disruption that happens in the early church, and it seems the church in America has lost that. The only disrupters are people who do not disrupt with love, but with hate. We will disrupt by loving the people around us so much, that we want them to know Christ, both through our words and our deeds, so that we are known by our love.

So, do you want to be a disrupter with us?

A Fashionista, A Crazy Slave, and an Ex-GI

September 23, 2010 | By | No Comments

This past Monday, my small group started into the Hub’s Philippians small group study. Although naturally cynical about a lot of preset small group curriculum, this series has started with a bang. First off, Chandler does a great job of just biblical teaching. Secondly, the initial session really fed into church planting.

Chandler starts his study on Philippians but not starting in Philippians. We looked at the initial start of the church in Philippi in Acts 16. Although I know Jesus is our model, Paul certainly comes close! First he talks to Lydia: an ethnically Asian women with property in large cities and involved in the garment trade… a stable, intelligent, strong women to say the least. She’s the New York fashionista designer of her time. Paul walks right into her prayer group, and appeals to her intellect and she responds to Paul’s message.

Next you have this crazy slave girl, who wanders the streets shouting at Paul and his entourage. She’s no under control, she is not stable, and she has been used and oppressed her whole life. Paul, instead of communicating the Gospel in a rational clear way, instead just “gets annoyed” (love that about Paul!) and drives out the demon in her.

Lastly, you have this blue-collar, ex-GI prison guard whose deeply devoted to honor and his job. When the prison get destroyed, he is ready to kill himself because of his commitment to his duty and pride in his job. Paul just shows great compassion and humility through his actions, and the guy then wants to know how he can be saved.

So this is the start of the church in Philippi: a foreign fashionista, an unstable stave girl, and a blue-collar ex-GI. Yet this ends up being the one church that Paul does not write a letter trying to correct them, but simply longs to be with them and loves them.

And this is the same kind of church I am longing to build. The gospel can transcend race, status, role, nationality, and intelligence. It is for ALL people, and a church can be so ‘moving rhythmically’ (Eph 4:13, Message) with ALL people, like Philippi. So, come join us to transform the city with the gospel… and we can be that kind of place!