Category Archives: Kingdom/church related

we are 3dm

Kairos is partnering with a great organization (3DM)….
They are (mostly) English chaps, who are really passionate about missional churches, and about discipleship.
(plus they love the English Premier League — cant go wrong with that)

…very excited about what they have to offer.
Here is a short video on who they are.

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message length ??

A very good comment below on the length of our messages. (something that I am desperately working on).
I could not agree more with Rob on this one…

BWC: You’ve already explored the “high content, low word count” concept with your book Drops Like Stars, and it’s clearly a big concern to you at the moment. What inspired this “endless evolution” you’re referring to?

Rob Bell: The first century rabbis were not praised for going on and on and on and on. Great rhetoric has never been about how many words one can fill the air with, it’s always been about how clean and uncluttered and lean an idea can be articulated. It’s always been the short, crisp parable that has infinite layers of meaning that knocks around your head for days. The idea that you have to go on and on to prove that you’re smart, it’s relatively new. Mark Twain said, “If I had more time, I would write a shorter letter.”
I was working on a new book this morning, and about whole sections I said, “There’s so much there that can go.”

BWC: Do you think the church as a whole is embracing a more streamlined approach to message delivery?
Bell: I don’t know if the future is in 17-minute worship services, but I think there is so much more clutter in the world: more advertising, just more. One of the ways you honor people’s time is that you get to what you’re saying quickly, and well. Maybe “quickly” isn’t even the word. Maybe just “well”—well intentioned, thoughtfully. Distilling an idea down to what it is, making its access easier.

And there’s this group of churches—thousands and thousands of churches—who are encouraging their members not to be consumed by our wealth and abundance but using it to help others in smart and innovative ways.

HT: JesusCreed


book suggestion & a gospel definition

A book that I am ordering, that I am really excited to read: Deep Church by Jim Belcher.
2009-09 deepchurch1

“The ‘gospel’ is the good news that through Jesus, the Messiah, the power of God’s kingdom has entered history to renew the whole world. Through the Savior, God has established his reign. When we believe and rely on Jesus’ work and record (rather than ours) for our relationship to God, that kingdom power comes upon us and begins to work through us. We witness this radical new way of living by our renewed lives, beautiful community, social justice, and cultural transformation. The good news brings new life. The gospel motivates, guides, and empowers every aspect of our living and worship.”

– Jim Belcher, Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional


new leadership required…

“But back to the 1% superstar church leaders and the 10% creative priesthood. I have noticed a number of younger ministries recently shift from a key-solo-big-hairy-man-on-stage-leader situation to a shared leadership of a much larger group. Jesus Freaks, in Germany, for example, have just decentralized leadership to a much group of leaders who will guide the ministry into the future.”

HT: tall skinny kiwi


great thoughts on a gospel-centered church

from Tullian Tchividjian
2009-08 tullian-tchividjian picture

“Churches often obscure the glory of the gospel by reducing it to something less than it is. Some understand the gospel only as doctrinal content to be believed. Others diminish it to a personal, subjective experience of God’s presence. Still others see it as a social cause to be championed. The gospel is none of these, and yet it is all of these. A truly gospel-centered church understands and embraces the fullness of the gospel as content, community, and cause.”

GOSPEL CONTENT
The Gospel is a message that is to be preached or proclaimed (Mark 1:14; Acts 14:21; Rom 1:15; 1 Peter 1:12). It is the story of God’s redemption of his fallen creation. It is the good news that God has acted in history to conquer evil and reconcile sinners to himself through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor 15:1-12). A gospel-centered church is one where the gospel is proclaimed clearly, consistently, and compellingly (1 Cor 9:16-23).

GOSPEL COMMUNITY
The gospel is not just a message to be believed, but a power to be experienced (Rom 1:16). The gospel shapes a new community as those who were formerly God’s enemies are reconciled to Him (Rom 5:10) and adopted into his family (Gal 4:4-7). The church is not a place, but a people – a community that is continually being reformed and renewed by the transforming power of the gospel (Col. 1:6).

GOSPEL CAUSE
The gospel is a call to action – a declaration that “the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15). God is not just interested in the salvation of humans, but in the restoration of all of creation to its original “good” (Gen 1:31; Rom 8:19-22). A gospel-centered church will be active in the work of mercy, justice, and cultural renewal, praying and working against the effects of sin so that God’s will might be done “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10).


The Myth of the Institution-less Church

Some good thoughts about ‘church’ as an institution, in this ‘anti-institution’ world that we live in.

“These days there seems to be a deep suspicion of all organisations, and in particular any structure, hierarchy and a basic resistance to anything that is an ‘institution’. And I for one, am convinced that institutions are the enemy of good practice (if I may paraphrase Alasdair MacIntyre badly).

By this, I mean that any institution that people form in order to deliver good practice will always wrestle with it becoming so bureaucratic and concerned for itself that it undermines the very thing it seeks to deliver in the first place.

We see this today with hospitals. Places dedicated to providing medical care to human beings can become so caught up in politics and management conflicts that the medical care they are supposed to provide becomes undermined and, in many cases, people suffer. We see the same with the church. The organisation of the church to facilitate the incarnation of the gospel quickly becomes an obstacle to the very nature and purpose of the church in the first place, and people are harmed more than helped.

Often, in reaction, we think that, in having no programmes, no hierarchy, the removal of the institution will solve the problem. After all, if the institution is getting in the way of the purpose, get rid of the institution. This response is increasingly ingrained in us, such that even using the word ‘institution’ is anathema to those seeking new ways of doing and being church. But I think how ever well intentioned, this approach is naive and inadequate to the task of being Church.

What we need is not the absence of institutions, but an articulate institutional imagination, something more than the incapacity of being ‘anti-institutional’. For if we get rid of hospitals, we might remove the problems they produce as institutions, but with it we also remove the provision of medical care from all those who had access to it before, or we restrict it to only a few who are in proximity to those who can provide it with no institutional support, or those who know how to provide to themselves. Which is what much of the ‘institution-less’ church has come to look like.

The question is not whether you can avoid being an institution; the question is what kind of institution can we imagine that will support the purposes of who and what we are trying to bring to others?”

HT: Deep Church


theology Tuesday – viva la city !!!

2009-02-la-2

A great quote from Tim Keller on the need for evangelicals in the city and urban areas. Some of this I think is obvious, but maybe not as much as I assume…

“We have to have Christians and churches everywhere, but the fact is that evangelical churches are the least urban loving churches or religious communities in the land. Jews, Muslims, Catholics are all much more represented in the city than evangelicals. White evangelicals don’t really like the cities and I cant help but feel that we don’t like being around those who are not like us. If evangelicals have a chance they get out of urban areas as fast as they can.”

larson-la-2

“But the city is so strategic because it where the poor are when they 1st come here to this country. It is also where students and young professionals live before they get married and move out to the rest of the country. It is so crucial, that if we do not have really vital Christian communities in the major cities in the world, we simply will not be reaching the world for Christ.”