WORSHIP - why is it always music? why the same songs? why only pretty people on stage? why all the lights? why do people have to audition to worship God? why is there no creativity in your times of worship? do not tell me what to do (raise hands, turn to the person on my left, etc.) why is everyone wearing the same color clothes?
TEACHING - why is it always the same teacher, with the same linear style, for the same length of time, at the same time in the service? can’t we have multiple teachers with multiple styles? and please don’t think the teaching is the most important part of the service. don’t get me “ready” for the message. scripture always noted the message from the Lord came first, then came the response of worship. oh yeah, and please do not give me all the answers. I’d like to do some self discovery and also some discovery with my small community. just put me on a path toward truth.
FELLOWSHIP - do not have sign-ups or organized times to hangout. do not have assigned topics for these times. fellowship will happen naturally - why? because I value it immensely.
EVANGELISM - please do not have organized outreach events. also stop with all your programs to attract the world to come to the church. the church is supposed to go into the world. stop “commissiong” missionaries and parading them across the stage as “special”. we are all special, and are all missionaries. my entire life is evangelism, it’s not an event.
LEARNING - please do not make a “system” for all of us to go through to become “spiritually mature”. don’t make me “run the bases”, or put me in a 101, 201, 301, 401 process. allow me the freedom to learn what I need to learn according to my life’s situations.
CHURCH FACILITIES - why do you spend so much money on your building? I don’t care about the place we meet. It is so unimportant. I’d rather you spend the money on impacting the community, not new carpet, or a building campaign. please do not spend $5 million dollars on dirt (land) that you won’t use for at least 5 years. do you know where I’ll be in 5 years?
CHURCH CULTURE - please get out of the “ghetto” you have created of christian everything. (schools, music, clothes, video games, fortune cookies, etc. - it is ridiculous - you are addicted to the culture you created) please join society. I am the church all week in my neighborhoods, work, school, etc, then I get together with my community once a week for encouragment.
SERVICES - stop trying to provide something for everyone. it is ridiculous. all you do is provide goods and services to a bunch of people. church shouldn’t be safe, or comfortable. don’t advertise you have coffee and krispy kreme donuts. don’t you see how desperate that looks. take a stand, be bold, and stop people pleasing. it’s sad and sickening.OTHER STUFF - I’d like depth, community, and creativity in the church. I can’t get that in your “mega church” desires. give me small communities to do life with people. oh yeah, and don’t charge me for truth, hope, and love. (would you charge your mother for your latest sermon series?) let’s share information because we are the same family. stop trying to profit in the name of Jesus.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
[It is God's will] through his wonderful grace, that the prayers of his saints should be one great and principal means of carrying on the designs of Christ's kingdom in the world. When God has something very great to accomplish for his church, it is his will that there should precede it the extraordinary prayers of his people; as is manifest by Ezek. xxvi. 37, 'I will yet, for this, be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them.' And it is revealed that, when God is about to accomplish great things for his church, he will begin by remarkably pouring out the spirit of grace and supplications, Zech. x11. 10.
Praying constantly, faithfully, regularly - I'm convinced that is the great need of our day (and not more methods, programs, etc.) if we're going to impact our nation with the light of the good news of Christ. But I also know that we are too easily distracted from such a slow, patient, disciplined approach. For sure, we need the Spirit of grace to empower us to pray!
Sunday, September 25, 2005
1. What is an externally focused church?
Externally focused churches are convinced that good deeds and good news can't and shouldn't be separated. Just as it takes two wings to lift an airplane off the ground, so externally focused churches couple good news with good deeds to make an impact on their communities. The good deeds, expressed in service and ministry to others, validate the good news. The good news explains the purpose of the good deeds (p. 24).
2. A quote from somebody named Sam Williams:
"In serving others, salvation is our ultimate motive but not our ulterior motive" (p. 122).
3. The difference between mercy and justice:
Jack Jezreel, founder of JustFaith, illustrates the difference between mercy and justice this way:
Suppose one morning I wake up, look out my window, and in the stream that runs behind my house I see a man who is unconscious, wet, and bleeding? Of course, I'd rush to his aid and give him medical attention and get him to the hospital. What if the next day I find another man in the stream in the same condition? Well, I'd also take care of him. But if on the third day I found another person, after getting that person to the hospital, I'd better walk upriver and find out how and why those bodies are getting into the stream!
To take care of the wounded is charity. To walk up the river to see why the person is wounded is to begin the search for justice (p. 136).
Thursday, September 22, 2005
SEMBEQ is the theological training arm of The Fellowship French Mission in Quebec, Canada. BILD is partnered with SEMBEQ:
SEMBEQ, a very creative, nonformal, French-speaking seminary in Montreal, Canada, has been involved with BILD for a decade. The seminary has moved more and more towards a church-based strategy under the leadership of Jacques Alexanian, one of the its founders. Under the leadership of François Picard, the new president, and François Turcotte, a key pastor and chairman of the board, SEMBEQ made a commitment to take this church-based journey to a new level by committing to becoming a BILD Resource Partner (link here)..
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Let worship be the fuel for mission’s flame
We’re going with a passion for Your name
We’re going for we care about Your praise
Send us out
Let worship be the heart of mission’s aim
To see the nations recognize Your fame
‘Til every tribe and tongue voices Your praise
Send us out
You should be the praise of every tongue, Jesus
You should be the joy of every heart
But until the fullness of Your kingdom comes
Until that final revelation dawns
Send us out
Every tribe, every tongue
Every creature in the heavens and the earth
Every heart, every soul
Will sing Your praise, will sing Your praise
Every note, every strain
Every melody will be for You alone
Every harmony that flows from every tongue
We’ll sing Your praise, we’ll sing Your praise
We’ll sing Your praise, we’ll sing Your praise
Monday, September 19, 2005
- Randy Alcorn offers a comprehensive answer at Eternal Perspective Ministries.
- RBC Ministries has 10 Reasons to Believe in a God Who Allows Suffering.
- Greg Koukl offers a Sixty Second Theodicy among other articles.
- John Piper has several messages on the the problem of evil.
- John Frame looks at The Bible on the Problem of Evil (.pdf format).
Thursday, September 15, 2005
First, we cannot abdicate our responsibilities as parents to take responsibility for educating our children. We must ensure that our children know their own faith. We have to talk with our kids regularly to know what they are learning and if they are being indoctrinated into ideologies that are opposed to what we believe. Incidentally, when it came to learning evolution, my daughter thought it was hilarious that anyone believes that we are descended from monkeys. She chose not to take this up in class as an issue (she was only in grade 5 at the time) but let me know that she does not believe everything her teacher tells her.
Second, we can be involved in the schools themselves. My experience has taught me that parents that are actively involved with parent councils, or their equivalent, have a much stronger voice in the schools. Those who are seen to participate in the life of the school are given access to principals and teachers that others do not enjoy. I realize that not everyone has time to do this but it sure does help if an issue comes up.
Third, we have to be prepared to negotiate around difficult issues. My husband and I had an opportunity to present the message of Jesus at Christmas because the principal was prepared to have a multi-religious assembly at that time. The principal called this the "festival of lights" and let a Jewish parent, a Hindu parent, a Muslim parent and us share what our religious observance means. It was the only way that we could present a Christian message in the school.
Let's not bury our heads in the sand but be proactive with both our children and their teachers.
Lastly, with new issues in schools around marriage and sexuality, we would do well to try to address issues before they happen. Take advantage of the "meet the teacher" night to open dialogue with your children's teachers. Let them know you are Christians, that you pray for the teacher, that you take an active role in your child's education and that you have religious views that you would like respected.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
He also diagrams the Traditional Church:
I found these diagrams helpful, but I especially appreciated this comment left by Doug Hill at Adam's site:
i've seen these model diagrams and i have been a part of both models. the traditional and missional (or organic) models both have some positives and negatives to them. both models believe that "they" are the "right" model, however i believe they are both right.
bare with me as i ride this fence. we would agree that we are to be relevant, or salt and light to this world. i believe, especially in the midwest and bible belt regions, that in order to be a relevant force in our culture we need that weekend celebration that the traditional model holds sacred. this is where we engage our culture on a level that they relate to most often. this is where myself and you as a worship leader can make an impact on "quantity".
however, what the traditional church model often fails, is when the "church" stops being the church after the weekend celebration. the traditional church often falls into the snare of "only being the church" on the weekends and not being visiable in their community throughout the week.
the missional (or often called organic) model church is relevant in the ordinary moments of life. this is where we engage our culture and our community at Starbucks, in line at the grocery store, working in our cubicles, or eating dinner among friends. relational evangelism and discipleship flourishes in this model. this is where you and i as christians, not just worship leaders, impact our culture and our community in "quality". this is where we grow some deeper areas of our spiritual life with others. however a church that only encourages this as "the model" fails at engaging our culture and community in other ways.
i've worked and still work with both models. i believe a church that embraces both models and creates a hybird model that doesnt look like either diagram is a wholistic Kingdom model for the church.
See also a previous post I had on Large and Small Gatherings.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
To learn more about what the person believes, ask: What do you mean by that?
• It clarifies the claims the person is making.
• It elicits what the person thinks.
• It provides a good conversation starter.
To make them defend their own views ask: How did you come to that conclusion?
• It clarifies the reasons for the person’s ideas.
• It tells how the person thinks.
• It makes him bear the “burden of proof” for his own claims.
To uncover a flaw, begin your question with: Can you clear this up for me?
• Use this when reasons don’t properly support the person’s claim.
• It challenges a weakness or contradiction in their view.
• It uncovers a flaw with a question rather than a statement, and encourages them to think through what they believe.
We should unmask the controlling presupposition at work here—functional rationalism. The idea is to create products that can be efficiently reproduced according to a standard model in multiple locations. This works well for mass-market behemoths such as McDonald's, but should we then embrace McChurch, McPastor, or (heaven help us) McGod?
Go to his site and enter the discussion. I briefly mentioned multi-site churches in a previous post.