Archive for November, 2007

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The Fermi Project…a book I finally got to.

November 30, 2007

If your book reading list is too long these days I fully sympathize.   I finally got to UnChristian by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons.   A couple keen sociologist 20 something guys with an eye for the impact of perceptions and energy for culture shaping.  I like.   The thesis is fairly simple…a major chunk of people…mosaics aging from 16-29 are majorly turned off to church in north america.   Not a big suprise.   What is helpful is the areas they sketch out as contributing to the problem and the proposal….shared by a who’s who list of leader types….of what to do about it.   You can key into the culture shaping conversation online at www.fermiproject.org     I can’t imagine planters totally ignoring this stuff.     

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SIMPLE CHURCH GREENHOUSE RESCHEDULED FOR FEB.29-MAR.2

November 24, 2007

By now you know a “perfect storm” of illness took Neil Cole and Brad Fieldhouse out forcing a reschedule of GREENHOUSE.    Perhaps this will help some folks who were unable to come and give time for further promo.    Pass the word! 

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Plodding……………………………..how missional work gets done.

November 24, 2007

carey.jpg    Willaim Carey is often pointed out as the founder of a modern era of world mission.   In the late 1700’s Carey had a vision for the wider world when many did not so he tacked a map over his cobblers bench and let his dreams and prayers wash over tedious days.    Later, after he had sailed for south east Asia, he put his hand to translating the Greek New Testament into Bengali.   Slow work.   Strategic, but painstakingly slow.   At one point Carey was asked about the key to his effectivness.   “I am a plodder”, was his reply.    Carey was not very sexy but he was persistant!

This last week I spent time with a planter who after 4 years of “plodding” is beginning to see some significant fruit.   We celebrated but with a sober sense of how hard this can be.  Planting is the way of missional work.   Rarely will stony ground give up precious fruit without slow preparation of the soil and careful sowing of seed.  Some days you come home and want to sit down and be sick.   Some nights we don’t sleep for disappointment.  Will there ever be the results we long for?    There are times to quit, but our nature is to choose that option too soon…too easily.   Plod on.  Better days are coming.  In the end we reap if we faint not. 

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Sally Morgenthaler w/ Joe Myers – Live Webcast

November 17, 2007

Sally Morganthaler and Joe Myers (author of “Organic Community”) will have a live webcast Nov. 19th, 2007 at http://www.shapevine.com

Join us!

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Intuitave Leadership

November 12, 2007

To celebrate the release of his new book, “Intuitave Leadership,” Tim Keel is interviewed by Tony Jones. It’s a great interview! Check it out here.

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Simple Church Greenhouse Friday through Sunday…

November 12, 2007

plants1.jpg   Just a reminder we are “go” for Greenhouse this week!   The schedule is as follows…

Friday 6 pm til 10 pm  Saturday 8:30 am til 4:30 pm and Sunday 1: 30 til 5:00 pm.   We are the Prince Conference Center and you can register with adeboer@rcagl.org  We do have a few scholarships remaining!

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STOB LECTURES AT CALVIN….the jesus quest Nov.7-8

November 8, 2007

Every year about this time Calvin hosts the Stob lectures in honor of the venerable professor.   This year Marianne Meye Thompson, the George Eldon Ladd Professor of New Testament at Fuller, is speaking on the quest for the historical Jesus.   Wed. eve. she mapped “the quest” from Sweitzer (sp?) through Bultman and the Jesus seminar.    The lesson…if you want to find out about a certain person’s presuppositions just ask them how they would describe Jesus.   Everyone wants Jesus on their side so the various attempts to deconstruct the gospels are more a reconstruction of Jesus according to prior convictions.    Thompson advances her conviction that the only way we know Jesus is through the witness of the early church and attempts to “get behind that witness” with historical critical studies and present a new Jesus (aka Marcus Borg etc.) are misguided.   

After the lecture I asked her if she noticed a trend in new churches to position their ministries as Jesus communities over against being a church.   She got a big smile on her face.   Yup (hey, Fuller is in So.Cal).   And in the apologetic endeavor of planting this is understandable.  However she expressed reservations if that pattern is coming from a perspective that assumes we can deconstruct Jesus from the text and not fall into the same trap of the past.  The witness to Jesus in the gospels sprang up from communities that were baptizing and preaching and evangelizing.   The Gospels message is deeply shaped by the church.   Tomorrow night she goes after “the quest” from the perspective of faith.    Thats at the Calvin Seminary chapel at 7:30 pm.