Archive for December, 2007

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MERRY CHRISTMAS PLANTERS….they’re coming for Jesus this weekend.

December 19, 2007

nativity.jpg 

If youre ready or not……Merry Christmas

If your plant is growing like a weed or dying on the vine….Merry Christmas

If you are attractional or organic…..Merry Christmas

If you are organized or chotic…..Merry Christmas

If you are pumped or feeling like heck…..Merry Christmas

If your are surrounded by people who love you or feeling very alone….Merry Christmas

Know this….the people at the Great Lakes Region are aware of all the stuff planting leaders carry in a day’s work.   We appreciate the character and persistance and hard work you bring to planting.   Now……Rest a little….Jesus is the one they are coming for this weekend. 

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GREENHOUSE UPDATE….

December 17, 2007

Those of you still interested in the simple church training “greenhouse” know the event has been rescheduled to Feb.29 – Mar. 1 at the Prince Center.  What you may not know is the event now has a website….  www.greenhousemichigan.com  .   Also,  if you are registering as an existing church planter with the RCA please do so through Alison Deboer and you go for free. 

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Work Search Round Table…an idea to remember.

December 13, 2007

meeting.jpg  Randy Weener shared with me today that Spring Valley Church is receiving the Allendale Community Service Award for 2007.   Way cool.    I asked him why and he clicked off several efforts they have made and the employment support group stuck in my mind.

Here is the idea….offer a support group for anyone in career transition.   Randy reports the group will turn over every few months as people move in and out of employment.    No need for a workbook or the like.   Just lay out on a card some of the typical issues as discussion starters and then train a leader.

Here are some of the topics the group at Spring Valley covers…..

How to write a resume….How to “get over” the emotional bump of being laid off….Networking new opportunities…..Self care in stressful times…..Interviewing techniques…..Dealing with stress in the family…..and you can imagine more.     It’s easy to find plenty of books on this subject to sharpen up your grasp of the issues.    Best has been Richard Bowles “What Color is Your Parachute?”.

It’s easy to get into a planting rut…..going through the motions of doing church.   Here is an idea to make way for new relationships and conversations!    THanks Randy.

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Tex Mex Dinner January 26th at 5:30

December 8, 2007

San Antonio…by now you have received an itinerary for One Thing. Alan Hirsch and Reggie McNeal under one roof. Yup!

So Saturday 26th afternoon is open for whatever. San Antonio has a way cool string of old Spanish missions that lace the city. Five I think. Could be fun to tour. Church planting retro. Then plan on complimentary dinner for Great Lakes planters at 5:30. We’ll find a place with a very big table, order up and catch up with our friends!

I nice thought on a cold December day.

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Ideas on Gardening

December 6, 2007

So, here’s a question from the perspective of a missional, simple-church, organic community pastor in Michigan.

The more I hear about this buzz word “community” the more I get concerned if we are reaching for something intangible. In his book, “The Forgotten Ways” Alan Hirsch makes a good point when talking about the difference between “community” and “communitas.” Hirsch basically argues that if we are merely  seeking to create a group of people (no matter the size) that have affinity, are connected to God and one another and come together for worship, then we are missing the point of being the Church. Without a missional focal point, we won’t achieve “communitas.”

I like the image statement that a friend gave me a few years ago which compares our work to an organic gardener. He would say that our role is not the “creator” of community, but rather the one that helps keep the soil rich and able to produce community within it. We must re-learn that God is the only being capable of drawing, and connecting people, and we as pastors are merely to act with God’s movement, and tend to the garden so that it may grow fertile and vibrant.

So I ask, is community something we really should be striving for? Is it really something we can plan for? Or, should we learn to step back, listen for God’s movement around us and work to create organic spaces for community to blossom?