Thursday, August 26, 2004
I felt the call to plant a church about 10 years ago, and have been praying daily about it for the last 6 years or so and feel more clear about it today than ever. Praise God for a group who will mentor new church planters and has thier priorities in the right place.
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Mela was gracious and happy to be with the Nakamura family. She immediately bonded with the children, Dr Nakamura, and his mother Nana (who also filled the role as the family maid). I sensed that the Nakamura children genuinely liked Mela and that she was sincere in her actions toward the family. Mela became a very close to Nana and left her the $50,000. Mela wasn't a talker, she was a doer. She could talk if needed, but preferred to show her love through her actions.
Tammy, on the other hand, made herself look like a fool. She was constantly talking about how much she was bringing to the Biggins family, kept telling the children that they were overweight and needed to eat healthier, expected everyone else to serve her while she slept in in the morning, and wouldn't allow the children to listen to rap music because, "it gives me a headache." She did a good job divvying up the $50,000, but came across as pushy, selfish, insincere, and a real pain in the neck. The Biggins family obviously didn't like Tammy. At one point Mela's husband says about Tammy, "she acts like she wants to save our family, but I don't think our family needs saving."
I think the show provides a lesson to each of us who call on the name of Christ. How many Christians do you know who have gone out to save the world with the attitude of Tammy? They talk a great talk, but coat the gospel in their own cultural biases, and end up tainting the good news. They not only want to save the world, but want the world to be a clone of themselves. I think we would be much more effective if we took the path of Mela. Be a doer, not a talker. Be willing to let others have their own way if possible. Basically we need to learn to play well with others! We're living in an age where being a "missional" Christian is increasingly important. We shouldn't be trying to make clones of ourselves, but of Christ.
He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30 NASB)
Seriously though, only 10 Days, 3 Hours, and 55 Minutes, and 39 Seconds left to the start of the University of Nebraska opening football game against Western Illinois. With the Cornhuskers change to a West Coast offense it should be an interesting year. Probably more exciting than the last few years.
You can check out all the good information on Huskerpedia. Link.
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Man, will I be happy when this election is over and we can get back to living again!
Monday, August 23, 2004
Friday, August 20, 2004
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
The church and its worship are not intended solely for believers, but the true purpose of the church is as broad as the purposes of God. It is the 'missio Dei'- the mission of God. It includes all that God includes...The 'missio Dei' includes worship but evangelism, ministry, encouragement, and pastoral care as well.
Some church attendees are being drawn to Christ and are "called" but have not yet committed to Christ. The Bible refers to the church as the "ekklesia"- those "called out ones" who have made a commitment to follow Christ. When the called are brought together, the planter must present God's message in such a way that it challenges believers and also encourages unbelievers toward commitment.
I think that so many times we see worship and evangelism as two separate things. Worship targets the believers and evangelism targets the unbelievers. But, worship is what links us together. Believers doing what God created us to do, worship, is the greatest source of evangelism for unbelievers. Lets stop separating worship and evangelism and interweave them together in our quest to walk with the Lord.
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
There are two conversions- one temporal and one eternal. The first conversion is the conversion to community. With few exceptions, people come to Christ after they have journeyed with other Christians- examining them and considering their claims. They can come into community at any point....
The journey is not intended to be the same for each people group, worldview, or culture... For each culture, the misperceptions and reasons for rejection are different. The only thing that remains constant is the journey.
I think Stetzer says a lot about the new generations. In the modern world we could persuade unbelievers that Christ is the only way to the Father through empirical evidence. Today it takes our witness, and not just through constantly telling unbelievers about Christ, but leading them to knowledge of Christ through the witness of our lives. Before they understand that God's love is unfailing, they must see the sincerety of it in our lives. We must assure them that God's love means to us exactly what we say it means to us.
Monday, August 16, 2004
Monday, August 09, 2004
Church planting is done properly when leaders make a decision to engage an unchurched world in radical fashion......Today North America needs to be treated as a mission field in the same way that we in the West have approached much of the rest of the world for the past several centuries. (p13)
A missional church is willing and eager to engage the culture with the truths of the gospel. Today, we desperately need persons, churches, and denominations to apply the lens of missiology to the North Ameircan context, not just to international fields. Christendom is dead and missionaries are needed. (p14)
I never thought I would hear a SBC NAMB board member say Christendom is dead! I think we have an admission that we need to change our ways.
Paul did four things in his effort to be culturally relavant:
- He understood the Athenian position on reality.
- He understood an underlying spiritual interest.
- He looked for positive points within their worldview.
- He encouragedd them to find true fulfillment in Christ. (p. 21)
Culturally appropriate evangelism answers the actual questions being asked by a given culture, rather than those questions the church believes the culture should ask. (p. 21)
And my favoriet quote from Stetzer so far:
Indigenous churches look different from culture to culture. Thus, one would expect that a biblically faithful indigenous church would look different in Senegal from an indigenous church in Singapore. One must also expect an indigenous church in Seattle to look different from one in Sellersburg, Indiana. Indigenous churches look different from location to location. Further, they look different from generation to generation. Faithful indigenous churches take their teaching from the unchanging biblical text and apply it to the ever-changing cultural milieu. (p.25)
So far I am impressed with the understanding Stetzer shows of church planting in postmodern times. I will post some quotes here as I work my way through the book. It looks very promising.
Thursday, August 05, 2004
I previewed the first 8 chapters of the DVD and found the video stimulating. I plan on using it to begin a discussion oreinted Bible study at The Gate as we study the Gospel of John for the first half of the school year. It looks like it will be a good tool to use for facilitating small groups to really dig deeper into the gospel.
I'll be previewing the rest of the DVD over the next couple of evenings. I'm excited to see how the rest of it looks.
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Monday, August 02, 2004
Kingdom Treasures has a good weekend concert series, but I am a little alarmed at the lack of stock in their bookstore. They have been in and out of business a couple of times over the last couple of years and from their lack of stock I can only imagine they are on their way out again. They absorbed a couple of the Christian Bookstores on our side of town and claim to be the largest Christian bookstore in the St Louis area, but seem to have trouble keeping their head above water. I hope they make a go of it.