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Archive for February, 2007

Re:action – Globetrotting

Merideth in the shade

Globetrotting 

One of the most attractive things that I saw in this missionary assignment in Fresno that I’m currently in was the opportunity to learn and travel pretty freely. I understood that I would probably no longer be able to take long trips to Europe or out of state like I used to do in college, whether for study abroad or just to play hooky for the chance to see Chicago at its coldest, but the great state of California has much to offer. Especially for a young single guy that’s often lead by his curiosity and desire to experience more. So, I’ve been able to go places and meet people in California that have enriched my life with their insights, and stories. Well, just as I was getting comfortable with the reality that I might not get to explore outside of California until the year 2009, I was given the opportunity to take a week and a half’s vacation to the country of Oman located in the Persian Gulf region of the Middle East. (more…)

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Yosemite Bridge

Love One Another 

 We talk a lot about generations and values and how different ages, genders, and people groups are doing things differently in a new era. We even split demographics up and can effectively, thoughtfully, carefully make strategic plans and directions based on trend following and number crunching. With all of this change in the air I need to be reminded occasionally of the reality that God is still the same, and His command will always be the same: “Love one another.” John says it over and over again, “This is my commandment that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” It’s like John doesn’t think we get it. Do we get it? (more…)

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Connect 4

The Leaving Generation 

What this guy has to say about 18-34 year old Christians is right on. Jim Johnson, Director of Young Adult Ministry at Lifeway gives four important things that churches are struggling with in reaching young people. This discussion will help you get a grasp on what you may need to do to connect with “the Leaving Generation.” The Inside Lifeway podcast is an excellent resource for thoughts on Ministry and Evangelism in the 21st century. Check it out:

The Leaving Generation: http://www.podcastdirectory.com/podshows/988828

Index: http://www.podcastdirectory.com/podcasts/23279 

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Yosemite Falls Feb. 10th, 2007

What’s happening to Church 

I have been in a heavy pursuit of understanding of some of the cultural paradigm shifts that are coming and have come to society today. I have read several books so far and have had many conversations about what we’ve deemed “Post-modernism.” In one conversation I brought up the point that we don’t like to be pinned by some corporate identity. The very label “postmodernism” is in itself a defining category that is meant to identify us as a group generally characterized by a specific behavior. I think this is the very thing that we are not. The next generation is so all over the board that it’s almost impossible to correctly label it with blanket statements. So, attempting to predict which direction a postmodern movement is going to follow is very challenging and requires much risk. The only thing I can think of is to examine what we’re doing now, look into the recent past at what we’ve been doing and look at the fundamental motivation for the activities that we’re a part of.  One of the scariest conversations I had about postmodernism is about the frustration with the “American Consumerist culture.” (more…)

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Microphone

A report of great news.

As a missionary for the North American Mission Board I want to report some very amazing news that is merely part of the work that God is doing in the State of California. Some of you may know that I work in the Evangelism department of the California Southern Baptist Convention. It is my job to work with churches and especially youth groups to encourage leaders to reach their communities for Christ, formulate creative plans for sharing the Gospel, and then carry out those plans to hopefully impact the student population of California by sharing with them the good news of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection that allows us to be saved.

            Fortunately, this endeavor is not just my responsibility, many other missionaries, pastors and evangelists are also on board and sharing their faith with others and spreading the name of Jesus within their communities and outside their church walls. Here are some numbers reported to the Healthy Church Group for 2006 by the department of Ministry Evangelism. Fourteen missionaries partnered up with Southern Baptist Churches and Missions to serve 2,577,261 meals, distribute 400,546 Bibles and evangelistic material, and start 30 new churches. Collectively in 2006 they report 20,795 professions of faith and witnessed 5,506 Baptisms. (more…)

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Greek Monestary

ChurchNext: Quantum Changes in How We Do Ministry                   By: Eddie Gibbs

 

Gibbs presents a concept that the direction of the church is no longer predictable by the typical traditional strategies of growth. Instead he gives insight into the culture of change that has represented the generation rising into influence. Radical perspective changes and constructive critical thinking must be used to examine the old way(s) of doing ministry to become relevant in an age of reaction and “discontinuous change.” Gibbs describes the post-modern culture as one that is constantly morphing and taking new shapes, he argues that very little is naturally continual and structurally stable in this society. This provides an unpredictable environment for which strategic planning is a risk, but with regard to the future of the church, risk is more than just necessary it is dire.

Each chapter in Gibbs’ book ChurchNext presents an old framework either practiced or realized by traditional or modern church “doers” and contrasts them with a fresh way of “doing” ministry. The focus is often on the shortcomings of a “market driven”, “seeker-sensitive”, and “welcome evangelism” strategies and challenges the church to examine the motivation behind the way things have been done in the past and how missional thinking, authentic relationship building, and mentoring leadership are better understandings of the way church was done in the Acts church and more effective ways of doing ministry today. (more…)

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