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:


Church Plant Literature

I have ordered the following books from Amazon and will pass them on to the group after I read them. Although they are written by denominational folks, we must admit that conservative churches of Christ are lacking in our knowledge in this category. As always, eat the watermelon and spit out the seeds. I thought it would be good for members of the group to post their thoughts on these books--good and bad--if you decide to read them. If you find any other literature worthy of a read, I encourage you to use this blog to share with the group.

Beyond the Box: Innovative Churches That Work
Permission Marketing : Turning Strangers Into Friends
Planting Missional Churches
Simple Church: Returning to God's Process for Making Disciples
Church Planting From the Ground Up

Thursday, January 1, 2009

About the Links Tool

I wanted everyone to know my criteria for the links I have included on this blog using the link tool. I am including all websites that I believe are pertinent to our work in DuPont and not just those whom I agree with. Think of them as resource sites that provide a broad base of information from church plant movements to area congregations to city information. Also, if you have a link you'd like to see included, then post it on the blog or e-mail it to me and I'll make sure it gets added.