Archive for the ‘Neighborhoods’ category

AND Is About Balance

August 15, 2010

As noted in my August 14 post on AND – The Gathered AND Scattered Church by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay, today I am beginning a series of posts of quotes from and comments on the book.

This first quote is from the Introduction. In it Hugh and Matt give a pretty succinct over-view of what this book on missional-incarnational ministry is all about.

“It’s time for us to stop asking the same old questions about how to do church, and instead ask what every church must be doing to honor God’s biblical mandate. We’d like ot introduce you the subtle power of the AND.

The power of the AND is seen in churches of all sizes where:

  • there is a balance between gathering a community together AND scattering them into the world
  • the right things are centralized AND the right things can be decentralized
  • resources of people and money find a blessed balance between maintenance AND mission, survival AND sending, tradition AND innovation
  • fans are turned into followers, disciples are made into apprentices, AND consumers become missionaries
  • leaders influence according to the design of God instead of the whims of people or the pride associated with production
  • old skills still matter AND new habits of mission take center stage
  • you can have huge vision for thousands of people AND live life in deep community and communal witness
  • your church learns to live a fluid organic Christianity AND has enough structure to provide for any level of growth God wants (remember, it’s God who builds a church.)
  • you’ll have to work hard, give up your life, AND have blast!”

(pp.26-27)

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.

Kids, Hugs, And The Bible

March 20, 2010

Here is a picture of most of the kids and workers who attended the Backyard Bible Club that my family I and ministered with this week.

Backyard Bible Club

Jordan Loop Housing Project

Bryan, Texas

March 15-19, 2010

Quick Notes

March 15, 2010

Here are three quick missional update notes:

  1. Devotion and Prayer Time at school – As of Friday the 12th, the last day of school before spring break, I still had not heard from school administrators about an assigned room in which to meet for a devotion and prayer time. The Lord did raise up a teacher who offered to let us meet in her room the first day back to school after break. Praise the Lord. (Please scroll down on this blog for previous posts on this ministry.)
  2. Backyard Bible Club – My family and I are going to be involved in a Backyard Bible Club in a low-income housing community each day this week (spring break) from 12-3pm. Sack lunches, games, music, Bible teaching, crafts, kids, and hugs. Pray that the Lord will open hearts and homes to the Gospel and that He will bind our family even closer together as a ministry team.
  3. Brunch Club – We are hosting a brunch at our home this coming Sunday morning the 21st. We have invited a number of unbelieving friends and the couple who host and facilitate the missional community that we have recently started attending. It is our desire to create a casual, non-threatening environment where we will do what we all do – eat (an everyday “rhythm”) – and develop meaningful relationships that will give us the opportunity to “Gospel into” people’s lives.

It’s That Simple

March 6, 2010

In a post entitled “Ordinary Life With Gospel Intentionality”,  Tim Chester of The Crowded House in England describes three characteristics of missional life.

The characteristics are ordinary and shared life, lived out with Gospel-intentionality.

Tim says that

“The context for church, mission, community, discipleship, pastoral care, training, growth is ordinary life. Shopping, chores, meals, sports, journeys. This is how Jesus did discipleship and community: walking along the road or around a meal. See also Deuteronomy 6:4-7 and 1 Thessalonians 2:8.

It is also about doing ordinary life together – having our lives intersect. So we’re not talking about house groups or small groups. Home groups are usually a meeting. You have ‘home group night’. It’s an event. We’re talking about a community of people who share life together.

Gospel intentionality is the mentality or habit or culture in which, as you share lives, you look for opportunities to talk about Jesus, to encourage, to challenge, to pray, to praise. Without this all you are doing is ordinary life and everyone does that!”

Profound and to-the-point words of encouragement about how we as Christ-followers were meant to and should be living.

(Tim posted this on March 5, 2010, here)

Keller On The Missional Church

March 2, 2010

Tim Keller is the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. He is also a leading voice in the missional church movement. His life and ministry, and that of Redeemer, are a testimony to his beliefs and convictions about reaching people in today’s world and cultures for Christ.

In June of 2001, Dr. Keller wrote and produced a short, three-page paper entitled, “The Missional Church.” The paper gives a concise overview of the development of the missional church movement.

In the paper, Keller also presents five “elements” of a missional church. The presentation and discussion of the five elements help us to better understand what a missional church may “look like.”

Before Dr. Keller presents the five elements, he writes

We don’t need evangelistic churches, we need missional churches.”

The five elements are:

  1. Discourse in the vernacular
  2. Enter and re-tell the culture’s story with the Gospel
  3. Theologically train lay (“lay”, my edit) people for public life and vocation
  4. Create Christian community which is counter-cultural and counter-intuitive
  5. Practice Christian unity as much as possible on the local level

Keller concludes the paper with a “case study.” In the study he writes that when these the five elements are present in every area of the life and ministry of the church, the church goes from being a program-based church to being one that is truly missional.

Read the paper here.

Life On Purpose

February 19, 2010

Jonathan Dodson is the pastor of of Austin City Life (ACL), a missional congregation in Austin, Texas. Jonathan writes a blog called Creation Project (formerly, churchplantingnovice) and is the author of Fight Clubs, a booklet about Gospel-centered discipleship.

Jonathan is on the leading edge of missional thinking and practice and I have found his blog posts to be very thought provoking.

I was going through some his archives the other day and found a couple of posts that I want to refer you to if you are interested in things missional. I plan to share these with you over the next couple of posts at tangiblethoughts.

The first post is entitled “8 Ways To Be Missional (Without Overloading Your Schedule).” It was originally written and posted by Jonathan in April 2009.

Dodson begins the post by saying that:

Missional is not an event we tack onto our already busy lives. It is our life. Mission should be the way we live, not something we add onto life: ‘As you go, make disciples….’; ‘Walk wisely towards outsiders’; ‘Let your speech always be seasoned with salt’; ‘be prepared to give a defense for your hope’. We can be missional in everyday ways without even overloading our schedules. Here are a few suggestions:”

He continues by listing and elaborating on eight ways that we as Christ-followers can live with Gospel-intentionality every day, every where we go, in every thing we do. 

The eight ways are:

  1. Eat with Non-Christians.
  2. Walk, Don’t Drive
  3. Be a Regular
  4. Hobby with Non-Christians
  5. Talk to Your Co-workers
  6. Volunteer with Non-Profits
  7. Participate in City Events
  8. Serve Your Neighbors

The eight suggestions to being more missional are profound, yet so simple, aren’t they? We need to think about our lives, routines, and relationships at home and work and begin to look at them through the lens of Gospel-intentionally, with a view and commitment to being a Kingdom representative “as we go” about our daily lives.

You can read Dodson’s complete post here.

I have written a couple of posts about missional living. One that I’d like to share with you here is Mission: Neighborhood.