Archive for March, 2009

Church Planting, Missional, Spiritual Formation, Understanding Context

Alan Hirsch

Thursday I got to attend a seminar given by Alan Hirsch (co-wrote ReJesus and The Shaping of Things to Come with Michael Frost and wrote The Forgotten Ways) at Valley Forge Christian College. It was an awesome day which again convinced me about God’s call upon our lives, and the kind of church Veritas will become.

Here are some thoughts that he shared that stuck out to me:

1. The problems in the church will not be solved by the same thinking that got the church into the problems in the first place. (I think that is a quote from Albert Einstein with church added in there)

2. Constantine is still exercising our imagination when it comes to the church.

3. Church= lack of imagination. We have lost the sense of imagination.

4. All truth equals subjective change. (Soren Kierkegaard)You are your truth. You must live out your truth.

5. Embodiment is important in the transmission of the gospel. We are the best chance of people seeing Jesus.

6. Discipleship must tackle consumerism.

7. We don’t think our way into a new action, we act our way into new thinking.

8. Action is crucial as part of discipleship.

9. Mission is not something that the church has to dream up. It comes straight from the heart of God. God is a missionary God. God is deeply redemptive. (Missio Dei- the missionary God or the mission of God.)

10. If you are a Christian you are a missionary.

11. Enter into the community. Be a part of the community. Listen to the community. Then we ask two questions: What is Gospel for these people? What is church for these people? Church follows mission.

12. If you can’t imagine it, you can’t do it.

13. What we need are missionally responsive, culturally adaptive, organizationally agile, multiplication movements.

14. Don’t plant churches…plant the gospel.

These thoughts have been running around my head since Thursday. Take time to chew on them. Wrestle with them. I know I am and we at Veritas will be as well.


Where the rubber hits the road part 2

Here are some ways that our congregation is developing teams to work together to bless our community. See Part 1 for more details.

+ Habitat for Humanity Work Group

+ Working with Homeless Ministries

+ Install a new bathroom floor for Stacy

+ Visit Shut-ins and group homes

+ promote “eco-justice” issues

+ help Stacy with mowing, yard work

+ Parents Night Out

+ The Everybody Playspace Walk, Run, Stroller Strut

Change!?!, Community, Missional

The Gospel….

Here is a quote from Scot McKnight’s book “Embracing Grace”… “A local church always performs the gospel it proclaims. This may sound odd, so let me emphasize the world “always”. A church always performs the gospel it proclaims because its performance is its proclamation. If you look at a church and what it does and how it operates you will see the gospel of that church. The important point to make here is that the deepest indicator of that church’s gospel cannot be limited to the pastor’s sermons or the Sunday school teacher’s teaching or the doctrinal statement’s affirmations, or the summer camp offerings, of the aesthetic expressions. The sure indicator of the gospel in a local community is how those Christians live.”

Now here is Scot’s definition of gospel… “The gospel is the work of God to restore humans to union with God and communion with others, in the context of a community, for the good of others and the world.”

Interested in knowing what you think!


Where the rubber hits the road…

For the past few weeks, I have asked participants at Community of Joy to keep their eyes open and take notice of the needs they see in our community; ways we can bless others.

Yesterday in both worship gatherings, we brainstormed a list after a sermon on the call of Jesus to love our neighbors. Here are the results. I am inviting the congregation to do two things with this list. 1. Pray over it asking God where they individually would best make an impact. and 2. Come to the carry-in on Sunday @ 12 noon prepared to share where they feel God leading them to get involved. We will need team leaders and team members. I am aware that we can not do the whole list at once…. but I want us to start moving out into our community to bless them with God’s love.

The list…

+ Get involved with Habitat for Humanity locally (perhaps choose a Saturday a month to send a team to work)
+ Parnter with Pinehurst Elementary School (it’s in our neighborhood) A person who works at the Bd of Ed immediately volunteered to talk to the Principal there to ascertain the needs.
+ visit homeless in their environment
+ Install a new bathroom floor for a handicapped sister – have team members need team leader.
+ Visit Shut ins
+ develop support systems for neighbors or others who are going through illness/ or elderly (run errands)
+ mentor children in public schools
+develop a day center for helping our homeless brothers and sisters break the cycle.
+develop a support network for folks who lost jobs
+ develop a support network for persons about to loose or having lost homes
+develop a SU type “Big Event” where we solicit work projects from our neighbors and participants
+ promote “eco-justice” issues — care of environment
+ help a handicapped sister with mowing, yard work

The list is not complete… it can be added to as they see needs.

Just thought I’d share how we are working at being more missional.

Change!?!, Community, Missional

A conversation on CHURCH… let’s talk!

When we moved into our new building at Community of Joy, I didn’t and still don’t want us calling it a church. We are the church! The building is NOT the church. It is the ministry center. Here is a quote from Reggie McNeal’s book that goes along this line of thinking…

“… we need to change the conversation about the church from “What is it?” to “Who is it?”. As long as we keep the discussion tied to its “Whatness,” we will keep the leadership efforts focused on building better institutions and limit ministry to those individuals who choose or are able to participate in an attractional program. If we can shift the discussion to “who”, we can be free to explore how the church shows up wherever followers of Jesus live, work, and play. Efforts can shift to community and incarnational expressions of Jesus in all sectors of the culture.”

I think Reggie is right on and we desperately need to make this shift. Think of the impact it will have on the world. We are the hands and feet of Jesus and are sent into the world to share his love and life with everyone!

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