Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Brethren Aren't Alright

Outside of the word apathetic I don't know how to describe the overall mindset of the brethren in this country. Let me first clarify the word overall before Mike thinks this is a TJ suicidal-melancholy post (does everyone notice the word holy in there?). No, not every last Christian around has mentally checked out, but its safe to say a majority has. For example, a church in Midland Texas decided the church in the Northwest was important to them. They found a way to help, not apathetic. But how many churches are in Texas, and how many of them aren't actively seeking ways to further the kingdom? We don't have to look to another state for that though do we? This is on my mind so much right now because of what I have experienced in the last 6 months, when I was looking for a church to preach at and now in the process of raising support. I don't know how many people have not responded period. I do know that group is the majority. I don't care if the answer is no, at least I have information to go on. The upside to all of this is how it makes me realize how important this thing is. Giving ourselves a chance to do things better. To do away things things such as the 20-80 rule where 20% of the people do 80% percent of the work, which is accepted as standard in most churches. That's outlandish. Right now we are destroying that idea at DuPont, it needs to be kept that way. I hope that when a young man comes looking for support that we'll always at least be curtious enough to speak to him even if finacially we cannot help or doctrinally we shouldn't. Those are just a couple of examples. The point is we need to kill spiritual apathy in addation to all we are setting out to do; because we don't have enough to do right?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Life Comes At You Fast

That was a slogan of Allstate's for a while a few years back. It was best illustrated in a picture I recieved which then became my computer background while working the scheduling desk for my squadron in the Air Force. It was a 3 part picture of former Ohio State running back Marice Clarett. The first was him as a freshman diving over the goaline for a touchdown in Ohio State's upset of Miami to win a national championship. The next was his proud day at the NFL draft following his only college season. The last picture was his mug shot taken only months after the draft day picture and then you read the Allstate slogan.

It seems life never slows down and only speeds up until the sweet release of death. 2009 is coming at all of us fast. We have a P.O. Box, a rough but existing website, and soon the government will ordain us. For the Jones' and Weights' information it is looking very favorably for Michelle and I to get a house from Quadrant Homes and to move in some time in July. We just went browsing on Monday and here we are ready to build a home, it happened fast. We have all prayed and prayed about this church and the things necessary to make it happen. It seems the Lord is throwing it at us faster than any of us thought. But the Lord's plans do not always look like ours. And that is always good. Doing things His way has never let anyone down. I find it refreshing to see swift action as one who spends the majority of his typical day sitting listening to others talk for hours. Combined with this and countless other hours of hearing about what should be done for the church it is great to see and be a part of something which is being done for the church. So as life comes at us fast, when we tired we'll take breaks, but otherwise let us keep planting, watering and growing. Our Savior didn't go to the cross so we could simply wait for Him to come back. He gave us enough work to keep us occupied.

Semper Fi

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pressing On

Hey gang, here's an update on how we're progressing since our last meeting. Several developments I'd like to inform you about and some things to keep in your prayers:

- Besides planting churches, one of the other reasons the Westside congregation in TX wanted to send a missionary to the Northwest was to help some of the struggling congregations in the area. Since moving up in early '08, we've worked with the Moses Lake congregation and the Kibler Ave. congregation. As of this week we'll now be working with the Shelton congregation. There is a two-fold blessing in this. (1) It supplements the Green family's support until we are able to get other brethren to chip in. (2) It provides much need help to a congregation that is struggling.

- Talked to Chris and he is making progress on getting us incorporated, getting us a PO box and opening a bank account. Sounds like it may take a little more time than expected to get some of the incorporation stuff done, but it's moving along.

- Our website should be off the ground and running soon. This will give us a place to funnel people who have questions about our work. Right now it will be equipped with just basic information about our work and ministries. It will be some time before we get the multi-media stuff up and running. Got any ideas about stuff you'd like to see on the website initially? Post it on the blog.

- Keep these things in your prayers: Natalie and Michelle and the babies on the way-TJ and Mike's fund raising-Doors to open to build relationships with people in the community-TJ and I and our work in the community next week-Russ and Tracie and the decisions they have to make regarding building their home and his parents and grandfather moving out-For wisdom and guidance for each of us as we patiently press on with this effort.

THOUGHT: "Of all the people you know, how many of them can say they were the first people to take the gospel into an unchurched community and bring the benefits of pure and simple Christianity to a community of lost souls...To me at least, that's something to be proud of!"

To the glory of God and the strenghtening of Christ's church,

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Welcome to the Internet

One of the aims of this blog is for us to be able to submit ideas for ministry for everyone to see and think about so that we don't take up time in our meetings for more important issues. As you all know I'll be doing our webpage, planning to have it up in June. I know Mike has some ideas of what it should do, but what about everyone else? The internet has become such a second nature thing in people's lives. People want to be able to check out a church before they worship or visit many times. This includes non-Christians who begin to think about becoming involved in a church. I take some time every now and then just to look at other church's webpages. The good ones seem simple but not boring. Informative without being overloading. Of course most have a "what we believe" section, this sometimes however only makes sense to those in the church of Christ. We need something that other congregations can see and know what we teach and at the same time easily communitcating to the lost. Take sometime over the next few weeks if you would and look at some church's websites. What do you like, what do you find useful? If you have already thought about it; what would you like to see on our site that will make it useful in ministry? This thing of course is my responsibility but it represents all of us as we try to make an impact for Christ in DuPont.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


The Jones family and I just got back from Texas visiting the Westside congregation which is heavily involved in our work in the NW. While there we experienced a heavy dose of Christian hospitality, the kind that we will need to show if this church plant is to be successful. Here is some thoughts concerning hospitality:

- Paul lays a foundation for Christian ministry in Romans 12. The fruit of a "living sacrifice" is a grace driven,ministry centered life. He lays the foundation by talking about the necessary attitude (ve. 3), the gifts given to each (v. 4-8), and then describes the lifestyle (9-21). Verse 13 says that one element of the Christian lifestyle is that he/she "practice hospitality." The folks in Texas not only "showed" hospitality but they "practiced" hospitality. In other words, they were good at it!

- Consider my own experience: No detail was over looked. From the cleanliness of the home to the friendliness of the host, they went out of their way to make sure I felt comfortable. Their hospitality in essence said to me, "We love you enough to treat you as if Christ were a guest in our home."

- In a church plant, the leadership core has to "practice hospitality." It opens doors, strengthens bonds and builds up the church.


Church Planting in Post-Modern Culture

Russ passed a book along to me, Church Planting from the Ground
. To this point I have thoroughly enjoyed the read. I decided to pass
along some of the more weighty material for you to think on as well. The
following section is out of the chapter titled Postmodern Issues.

"The challenge for today's church planter is to pay attention to the
shifting seasons: Where are the birds flocking? How do we relate to one another?
How do we understand the world? In a world where people are exposed to different
cultures at an unprecedented level, the church plant has a chance to celebrate
diversity with their building and programming. In a world where truth is
difficult to pin down, the church plant offers truth a place to land - that is,
in lives carefully lived. In a world where people are increasingly isolated from
one another, the church plant has the opportunity to remind people of a call to
live alongside one another. In a world where uncertainty seems to prevail, the
church plant is to redefine what it means to live an abundant life alongside
others in a way that demands and directs the attention of distracted,
disintegrated people towards God. The call to the postmodern church plant is to
be for the birds..."

Friday, January 2, 2009

Marketing Jesus

I just received the recent issue of Christianity Today in the mail and the featured article was entitled "Marketing Jesus." Excellent article. Written by a Baptist Preacher so obviously I do not agree with everything theologically but practically he hits the nail on the head. And, inadvertently, shows why the church of Christ and her message trumps all modern forms of Christianity (Emergent Church, Denominationalism, Catholicism, Evangelicalism). The article is lengthy but a good read. Here is the link so read it when you get the chance and let's maybe get some discussion going on it: