Archive for April 2010

On Evangelism And Social Involvement: TC Quotes

April 23, 2010

I have been re-reading Total Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis but have failed to do much posting as I have read.

So, I want to take a moment and share a couple of posts of some of the quotes from different chapters of the book that have caught my attention this time through.

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  … evangelism is best done out of the context of gospel community whose corporate life demonstrates the reality of the word that gave her life.” (p.58)

People need to encounter the church as a network of relationships rather than a meeting you attend or a place you enter. Mission must involve not only contact between unbelievers and individual Christians, but between unbelievers and the Christian community … so they can see Christian community in action.” (p.59)

Major events have a role to play in church life, but the bedrock of gospel ministry is low-key, ordinary, day-to-day work that often goes unseen. Most gospel ministry involves ordinary people doing ordinary things with gospel intentionality.” (p.63)

Jesus has come for outsiders … God is the God who eats with His enemies. That is the staggering nature of God’s gracious character … We can go to join the party, to accept a kingdom of grace and so associate with sinners, or we can stay outside, cling to a system of merit, and associate only with respectable people.” (pp.71,72)

 … we are failing to reach the working class with the gospel. Evangelicalism has become a largely middle-class, professional phenomenon.” (p.76)

When we look at the church throughout the world, God is choosing the weak and lowly to shame the power and wealth of the West. It seems that God’s response to the imperialism of global capitalism is to raise up a mighty church in the very places this new empire marginalizes and exploits. Let the Western church take note.” (p.84)

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These quotes have been taken from Chapter 3, Evangelism, and Chapter 4, Social Involvement, of Total Church by Chester and Timmis.

 You can purchase Total Church at Westminster Books, here.

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And – The Promo Video

April 20, 2010

Earlier this afternoon I posted an article about And: The Gathered And Scattered Church, the new book by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay.

Here is their promotional video for the book.

See the promotional video for their first book, The Tangible Kingdom, here.

And

April 20, 2010

In 2008, Hugh Halter and Matt Smay, co-pastors of Adullam church in Denver, wrote and published The Tangible Kingdom – Creating Incarnational Community. The book was soon followed-up with a study guide, The TK Primer. Both publications have proven to be major contributions to the missional conversation and have greatly influenced the thinking and ministries of Christ-followers and churches who are committed to reaching a post-Christendom, 21st Century world for Christ.

In February I attended the Verge 2010 conference in Austin and met a man who ministers with Hugh and Matt’s missional ministry organization, Missio. Missio exists to apprentice “people and communities of mission”. When I shared with the gentleman that I had read and posted on The Tangible Kingdom and The TK Primer, he told me that Hugh and Matt had recently written a new book that was due to be published in April. He graciously offered me a complimentary copy when the book was released. The book arrived in my mail-box yesterday.

The new book is entitled And: The Gathered And Scattered Church. A brief overview statement that introduces us to the book is found on its back cover.

Transcending forms and models, AND reveals the beautiful balance of a biblical church, one that scatters its people through incarnational communities while providing gathered structures that hold it together. No matter your present church experience, AND will inspire and equip you to find and create a church you’ve always hoped for and one that the world has been waiting for.”

Today’s churches are praying and seeking how to best reach their communities for Christ and His Kingdom. Many are struggling with the tension that exists between the institutional, attractional model of church with its traditions, programs, and structures and a more missional, organic approach to ministry.

And promises to “bring fresh encouragement to mega and micro church leaders – and everything in between – by inviting them to move beyond the attractional-missional divide.”

I look forward to reading, being encouraged by, and posting on this latest work by church practitioners, ministry mentors, and authors Hugh Halter and Matt Smay.

Read my posts on The Tangible Kingdom and The TK Primer here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Students Yesterday, World Leaders Today

April 17, 2010

One of the things we emphasize when talking about ministry to international students is the fact that the men and women who study at our universities and colleges are the future leaders of their nations. They are the individuals who will influence their nations and peoples in the fields of politics and government, education, science, society, and, yes, even in matters of religion and faith.

What if these men and women were reached and discipled for the Lord Jesus Christ while they are students in our communities? Instilled with a vision for evangelizing people, discipling believers, and planting reproducing churches in their home countries? We can only imagine and dream of how the Lord might use them for His glory when they return to their homelands, families, and relationship networks and professions.

Some years ago I read that 40% of the world’s heads of state at that time had studied in the United States at some point in their lives, and that an estimated 40% of the world’s future heads-of-state were currently pursuing academic degrees at US universities and colleges.

This morning I came across a list of some of those individuals who have either served or are currently serving their nations in some capacity of leadership. The list is found on the website of the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and can be viewed here.

Two of the men on the list studied and received their degrees at Texas A&M University, the university where my family and I are involved in home-based ministry to international students. One is Jorge Q. Ramirez, a former president of Bolvia. The second is Martin Torrijos,  current president of Panama. I do not know when either of these two men lived and studied at A&M, but I wonder: “Did anyone ever befriend and share Christ with them while they were in College Station?”

When we befriend, serve, and share Christ with international students, it is right to see them as individuals for whom Christ died. But, let us also see the people and nations the Lord will reach and impact for His Kingdom through them as they come to faith and return to their nations as the influencers of their people.

A Pauline Model For Mentoring

April 14, 2010

Some time ago I posted an article on a paper entitled “A Fresh Perspective Of Paul’s Missionary Strategies – The Mentoring for Multiplication Model”. The paper was written by Neil Cole, author of books such as Organic Church, Organic Leadership, and Church 3.0.

If you are involved in a mentoring relationship, either as a mentor or one being mentored, I believe that you will find Neil’s paper both encouraging and edifying.

The original post was written and posted on taethnenetwork , another blog I have written, on December 2, 2009 . I thought that I would bring the post over to tangiblethoughts and share it here. The post and the link to the paper is below.

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Neil Cole wrote a very interesting and insightful paper on the missionary strategy of the Apostle Paul that I have just discovered and read. The paper was written in 1998 and is entitled “A Fresh Perspective Of Paul’s Missionary Strategies.” The sub-title really speaks to the content of the paper. It is “The Mentoring for Multiplication Model.”

In the introductory section of the paper, Cole writes,

This article will examine Paul’s missionary methods, and demonstrate that he improved upon their effectiveness and fruitfulness with each journey as he focused more concerted energy in mentoring and multiplying leadership.”

Cole then walks us through the missionary journeys of Paul, showing us from Scripture how the Apostle’s strategy for ministry and leadership development matured with each journey.

The first missionary enterprise was carried out by a two-man team – Paul and Barnabas. By the time of the third missionary journey, Paul understood the need for the multiplication of leaders for the work of the ministry and the spreading of the Gospel. He then established a teaching and training ministry at the School of Tyrannus in Ephesus which, in essence, was a “regional church planting saturation strategy” training school. From this school, according to Cole, church planters were sent into Asia Minor and churches, such as the one at Colosse, were started and established. The men who had been trained in the school and served as the Asia Minor church planters are, per Cole, the elders that Paul addresses in Acts 20.

Neal then shows us how Paul, years later while under house arrest in Rome, continued to minister the Gospel, mentor believers and multiply ministry leadership.

The thrust of Neal’s paper, based on the ministry of The Apostle, is that if we are going to effectively reach our world for Christ, we must place an emphasis on the raising up, mentoring, and multiplication of leaders for the work of the Kingdom.

“Out of the harvest … For the harvest”

Read the paper in its entirety here.

Saturday In The Park

April 13, 2010

The local Mandarin congregation that we are associated with conducts two picnic outings each school year. One during the fall semester and the another during the spring semester. The picnics are held at local lakes in our immediate area and serve as a great outreach to unsaved and unchurched Chinese students.

The spring picnic was held this past Saturday, April 10, at Lake Bryan just outside of Bryan, Texas. My family and I attended and had a tremendous time. There was a lot of visiting, soccer, water play in the lake, kite flying, and plenty of food. You have to love the lamb-on-a-stick covered with chili power that’s served after lunch! “La!”

We met some new friends, exchanged contact emails, and discovered some students who are interested in attending the pot-luck meal and English language Bible study that we have at our home every Saturday evening.

It was a great day.

Here are some pictures from Saturday’s fun-in-the-sun.

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Photos to remember you by.

A visiting “Granny” with her grandchild.

Lunch is served!

Afternoon music and preaching service.

Children, water, and sand … lots of sand!

Run For Compassion

April 8, 2010

Every day an estimated 24,000 children under the age of 5 die from preventable diseases.

Compassion International is a Christian organization that exists as a “child advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults.”

Every year a Run for Compassion event is conducted in College Station, Texas to help raise funds to support the ministry and work of Compassion International.

This year’s Run for Compassion will take place on Saturday April 10, 2010 at 8am.

100% of all registration fees will go to Compassion’s Child Survival Programs in both Ethiopia and Haiti. These fees will help provide food, medical care, and other necessities required for children to live, grow, and develop during their critical early childhood years!

Please consider participating in this weekend’s Run.

Walk or run as if a child’s life depended on you.

(Click on the logo for information about the Run for Compassion and how you can participate.)