Showing posts from October, 2010

Keys for Church Planting?

Here's a little sarcastic look at the "model" for planting a new church. A "coach" for church-planters forwarded this to me, so I'd say it's a bit of in-house humor rather than a sideswipe by someone opposed to new churches.

Why Math Is Important

Let's say your kid comes up to you one day and tells you this little nugget: "I don't need math, Dad. I can always use a calculator." Hm. Bad choice.
If your child seriously decides to stop learning mathematics, you had better hope they never end up working at the deli. I can personally testify to the disaster that awaits your child if they work behind the deli counter without a mind for math.

Sunday evening, I dropped off Jacob at the teen group devo. On the way home, I stopped by our local Vons grocery store to pick up some french bread and sandwich meat for a light supper with Julie. I didn't want a lot of meat, but I wanted to have enough extra for a sandwich later in the week. The following conversation with the deli clerk ensued. I jest not.

Me: "I'd like some of this black forest ham."

Deli-Man (DM): "Okay, how much?"

Me: "Let's see. I'll take four tenths of a pound."

DM: "Four tenths? How much is that?"


Crafting a Congregational Narrative, part 2

This narrative project finds resonance in the writing of many church consultants and church renewal experts. A number of leading individuals write about the need for something similar to our project here at the College Church. Here's a sampling:

Robert Dale speaks about tapping into the “theological roots” of a congregation in order to restore the church’s dream for the future (To Dream Again: How to Help Your Church Come Alive, Nashville: Broadman, 1981).

James Hopewell writes that “narrative can be a means by which a congregation apprehends its vocation” (Congregations: Stories and Structures, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1987).

Diana Butler Bass builds on Hopewell’s work by stating that congregations can embody the stories they tell (The Practicing Congregation: Imagining a New Old Church, Herndon, VA: Alban Institute, 2004).

Gil Rendle discusses the need to move a congregation out of the safe, weak stories in which many are allowed to operate. The goal is to move from shared…

Crafting a Congregational Narrative

People keep asking me, "Why are you so busy?" Truth is, I'm not THAT busy. Yes, life is hectic and stressful at the moment. But I have time for life's little pleasures -- like watching a few football games, riding my bike to the store with a son, or having dinner with friends. How can I complain? Answer: I don't.

But this is a busy season. Why? My doctoral work is coming to a close. My project is nearing completion. My thesis is due in early December. (By the way, this is a Doctor of Ministry or DMin degree, NOT a PhD -- hence the "thesis" rather than a dissertation.)

What is my project? The joy and blessing of a DMin is that it helps the researcher (me) go deeper into ministry rather than being pulled away from ministry. I am being forced/helped into a becoming a better minister -- though I'll let my congregation be the true judge of that! =) At any rate, the DMin helps me ask questions about my church, and the project helps us improve an area that…

David Bosch & Christian Mission in North America, revisited

I've been rereading David Bosch's little tome, Believing in the Future. His book is one in a series on Christian Mission and Modern Culture. Bosch was the South African missiologist who died tragically in the early '90s. At the time of his death, he was starting to think through the implications of postmodernism and how the gospel might reach the postmodern world.

I wrote a number of posts on this subject a year or so ago, but I'm beginning to have second thoughts about some of what I wrote. Bosch's little book is about a missiology for the Western world. In layman's terms, he wants to point church leaders toward a construct that will help them become missionaries in their own contexts -- at home, not just abroad. Certainly that is a great exercise.

I have serious doubts, however, about the pursuit of A SINGLE missiological construct for the Western world or even just for North America or even for Fresno. I don't think it's possible. No one really knows…