Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Blogging From Florida

Well, I am on leg 2 of my current travels. I am in Panama City, Florida at Tyndall Air Force Base. Man, its hot and humid (93 degrees, 83% humidity). When I talked to my wife today she said St Louis was in the 70s and dry. She also mentioned that the weather back home is perfect and you're not here to enjoy it (a direct hit to the heart).

I've been observing an Air Force exercise called SILVER FLAG where we learn how to deploy to overseas locations we haven't been to before. As you can imagine computer mapping and visualization can be a great help when trying to plan to beddown troops, equipment, and aircraft in new places. There is lots of opportunity for us to build our business for us in this area.

Panama City seems to be a fairly nice town, but it is too hot and humid for me. The beaches are nice, the traffic doesn't seem too bad, and tonight I had the best Burrito I have ever had at Moe's Southwestern Grill.

Tomorrow I'm off to Ft Walton Beach, Florida to do some relationship building with my counterparts at Air Force Special Operations Command.

I'll be home on Friday and stay around for a week and then off on leg three to Norfolk, Virginia for the Air Force's Installation Mapping and Visualization Council Meeting.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

As Many Claim No Religion As Claim Protestant

Borrowed from the Ivy Jungle Campus Ministry Update:

As Many Claim No Religion as Claim Protestant: Results from the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA show that and equal number of incoming freshman in the fall of 2004 checked "None" as claimed "Protestant" on the question religious identity. In total 28% identify themselves as Catholic. 17% say Protestant, 17% say "none", 11% say "other Christian," 4% Mormon, 4% 7th Day Adventist, 4% Unitarian, 3% Church of Christ, 3% "other religions", 2% Jewish, 1% each for Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic and Eastern Orthodox. (Spirituality Report, as reported in CPYU e - update #76)

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

God, Inc?

This Yahoo article seems to counterdict what I said in the last post about the misisonal-incarnational church being the model the church shcould be headed to. I guess it all matters whether or not you want numbers or depth. Good article, poor subject. Link.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Missional-Incarnational and Evangelistic-Attractional Church, So What's the Difference And Why Is It Important?

Adam Feldman has a super post on the difference between the Evangelistic-Attractional Church and the Missional-Incarnational Church. Seems as though we have been stuck in the Evangelistic-Attractional model for most of modernity and it is time to head back to the Missional-Incarnational model we find in the New Testament.

Adam's post is located here. Link.

Please let me knokw your thoughts.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Good to Be Back Home

Well, I got back home this afternoon. It is good to be back with my family. I'll spend a couple of days in the office this week answering the 300 or so E-Mails I have and then off to Panama City, Florida for another exercise. I don't like to be gone this much, but it pays the bills!

Friday, May 13, 2005

Blogging From New Jersey

It is starting again. My travel is getting out of hand. Over the next 2 months I will be on a rotating schedule of being home for a week and traveling for a week.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning I attended the Acts 29 church Planters Bootcamp in my hometown of St Louis. Then after the bootcamp I hopped on an airplane and flew to Philadelphia and drove across the river to New Jersey. I got to New Jersey on Wednesday evening and have been spending time at McGuire Air Force Base and Lakehurst Naval Air Engineering Site. I have been observing and offering technical solutions as a consultant to an Air Force exercise called EAGLE FLAG and analyzing how they use geospatial informaton to help them plan where to locate operations. It has been an eye opening experience.

I come home on Sunday and then a week later I'll be off to Panama City, Florida to observe and do more consulting at another similar Air Force exercise called SILVER FLAG.

Then home for another week and finally off to Norfolk, Virginia for the Air Force's Installation Mapping and Visualization Council Meeting the first week in June. I am a council member and help steer the Air Force's Expeditionary GeoBase program. The program uses Geographic Information Systems and highly trained personnel to get a bigger bang for the buck for Air Force deployments.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Napoleon Dynamite Sound Clips

KaleoBill has a post about Napoleon Dynamite sound bites. This is Sweet! Thanks Bill, I can't let this one go by. Here's a link to the sound bites. Link. Napoleon is sool cool!

My favorite: Do chickens have large talons?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Acts 29 Church Planter Bootcamp Thoughts

Wow! What an experience!

I am completely exhausted. The Acts 29 Church Planters Bootcamp was that good! Plus right after the morning session I hopped on a plane and I am in the middle of a business trip to New Jersey. It is only Wednesday, but already it feels like a long week.

I'm so tired that all I have right now are random thoughts:

Darrin Patrick from The Journey in St Louis, Paul Westbrook of Metro C0mmunity Church in Edwardsville, Illinois, and Larry Richmond of the Gateway Baptist Association (St Louis Metro East Area), Illinois sponsored the conference. Darrin and Paul both spoke and were excellent. they are both very gifted men that have a deep passion for reaching the unchurched through new church plants. Larry (my personal mentor) didn't speak at the conference, but did hold a pastors luncheon for the 51 pastors in his association and raised over $60,000 for church planting from his pastors.

The keynote speaker was Ed Stetzer, the author of Planting New Churches in a Postmodern Age, and director of the Southern Baptist Convention North American Mission Board's Nehemiah Project. Wow, was he good. Ed has to be one of the most gifted speakers I have heard in a long time. Ed has a great website full of resources and doesn't mind sharing what he has found. It is located here. Link.

Acts 29 helps church planters in the following ways:

1) Acts 29 has a strenuous screening process to ensure the church planters they support are gifted leaders that can cast their vision for the church.

2) The network links aspiring church planters with current church planting pastors as mentors. The current pastor knows what the aspiring planter is thinking and is there to help and advise.

3) Acts 29 churches pledge to donate 10% of their income to church planting efforts. This money is controlled by the local church, not Acts 29.

4) Acts 29 is not a denomination, but supports both denominational and nondenominational church planters. Their concern is that the unchurched are led to Christ and develop into fully functioning disciples of the Lord.

Amazing Statistic: New church plants have a failure rate of about 80% over the first 3 years. Acts 29 has come along to help support 60 church plants and after 5 years 59 of them are still alive!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

New SBC Emerging Leader Blog

Charles Campbell from the Illinois Baptist State Association (IBSA) showed us a new blog that gives emerging church leaders a voice. The blog is called emerging and is located here. Link. It is written by Steve McCoy, a SBC emerging church pastor in northern Illinois, and at first glance it looks like a great place to start building community among emerging church pastors and others that minister to the emerging community. I plan to keep my eyes on Steve's blog and will let you all know what is going on.

I am excited that the SBC is beginning to take notice of the emerging church. In many ways it is hard to get a monster as large as the Southern Baptist Conference to begin thinking in new ways; there is a lot of inertia to overcome. But the SBC is slowly starting to come around and there are a lot of wonderful, hard working, and dedicated people in the SBC and the resources they have to help bring God's kingdom to the unchurched are incredible.

The Acts 29 Church Planters Boot Camp is Here!

Tomorrow the Acts 29 Church Planting Bootcamp starts at Metro Community Church in Edwardsville. I am so looking forward to it. Ed Stetzer of Planting New Churches in a Postmodern World fame, and a SBC North American Mission Board leader, will be one of the speakers. The schedule looks very interesting and informative. It looks like this:

May 9, 2005
9-10:15am Session 1 Theology: Knowing God's Mission (Darrin Patrick)
10:30-12 Session 2 Planting: Resources and Timeline (Steve Tompkins)
12-1:30pm Lunch
Option 1: Informal
Option 2: Legal Issues in a Church Plant (Jim Beckemeier)
1:30-2:45 Session 3 Values: Sharing God's Values (Paul Westbrook)
3-4:30pm Session 4 The Leader: Living God's Commands (Darrin Patrick)
4:30-6:30 Dinner break
6:30-8:30 Workshop: Building Systems and Structures (Steve Miller)
6:30-8:30 Workshop: Evangelism and Discipleship (John Ryan)
6:30-8:30 Workshop: Starting a Church from Scratch (Trey Smith)

May 10, 2005
9-10:15am Session 5: Vision: Seeing the Mission Complete (Ed Stetzer)
10:30-12pm Session 6: Core Development (Ed Stetzer)
12-1:30 Lunch
Option 1: Informal
Option 2: Becoming a Church Planting Church (Ed Stetzer)
1:30-3:00 Session 7 Planning: The Strategy of the Missionary (Darrin Patrick)
3-6:30pm Dinner break
6:30-8:30pm Workshop: Building an Internship Program (Rich Budwell)
6:30-8:30 Workshop: Children's Ministry (?)
6:30-8:30 Workshop: Leadership Development (Lynn and Jaime Beckemeier)

May 11, 2005
9-10:30am Session 8 Missional Ministry in a Postmodern Age (Ed Stetzer)
10:45-12 Session 9 Perseverance: Growing the Mission (Darrin Patrick)

Special Wives Track
Monday: Noon - 3pm
Tuesday: Noon - 3pm

The people I have met that are associated with the Acts 29 Network are all top notch. Darin Patrick, John Ryan, Jonathan McIntosh, Paul Westbrook, Steve Tompkins, and Larry Richmond all have their collective acts together when it comes to a heart ripe for serving the Lord coupled with a love for church planting. This will be Acts 29's largest church planters bootcamp ever, with over 50 new church planters attending. I am very excited! I'll keep you updated.