Tuesday, April 30, 2002
Beer drinking Christians, dogs walking around, sitting around, tongues hanging out of windows eating bugs. What is all this? What are we seeing? It's not all tidy and neet and quantifyable is it. I don't even totally know what I'm saying. This is our life - going around trying to see what we can see, as clearly as possible - to hear rightly - and still not totally knowing. That's fine though.
We're finding out that we're "in process" and don't have to "be there" yet. We're being on a journey and we're finding partners to travel with. We're starting not to say "come on in the church, this is the end of the line, we're all perfect here, and if you're not we don't really want to fool with you too much." We are learning that a thought process like that is total crap and we're casting the crap aside. Didn't the Catholics figure out long ago that you can have a beer and be a follower of Jesus at the same time? Do they even think twice about it? Or is it just American evangelical Christians who have gotten hung up like that?
Am I rambling? Yes. The newest wave of emerging church leaders, apostolic planters, etc. are breaking those old molds. They don't (we don't) even recognize the molds any more. "Oh, we were supposed to be poured into some freakin' mold and be like you guys - I'm sorry." We're sorry, but we won't be poured. We won't be molded - not by that. We will get those molds, those shells out of the way so God can get His hands on us and make us into something that possibly even the "church" won't be able to fully recognize. Let's become unrecognizable - Jesus did.
Monday, April 29, 2002
one day as the dog was sitting on his butt contemplating the world around him, his master called him for a trip to the beach - the dog had never gone to the beach, and he was excited about seeing all that he had heard about. as he lay on the back set of the car he was happy - the world was good; his life had meaning and he was off to the beach. as the car approached a light and stopped the dog picked up his head and looked around - all was good, the world was centered; he laid back down to sleep. the ride was long, and as the car was driving down the freeway the dog looked out the window - and his world fell apart before him. his butt was down, but the trees were moving - this was impossible, and against all he knew - how could this be? the dogs world needed to be redefined.
did you ever notice that some dogs riding in the back seat of a car just can't sit still as the car is moving? that's because, as long as they keep moving they do not need to redefine the world around them.
modern people are dogs living a complete life, some are pacing around the back seats of cars, ignoring the change that is taking place around them - postmodern people are riding in the back of the car. some are walking around, trying to keep their world in a logical order, like moderns - while a great many of us are riding with our faces out the windows and our tongues hanging out in the wind. yea, it can get sloppy, and on occasion we get a bug in the mouth - but it's fun and we are loving it. punk monkey
just a little something i felt i needed to share from your friends at http://www.ginkworld.net
Sunday, April 28, 2002
We JesusFreaks also have good connections to Vineyard, to Manhattan Vineyard. Mike Turrigiano, his wife Char and others often visited us last years. They are kind of spiritual parents for us. Last visit has been at Easter, at our annual leader meeting. Very nice and caring people!
At our meeting Taade (one of the guys who has been in Chile, see below) told us from these guys in Chile. He said, it's exactly the same we have in Germany - it's just another language. And it was very funny to hear of their festival, and to hear they called it Christock - similar to Freakstock. (BTW: From 1999 to 2000 we've had Froststock, a small festival, or should I better say freezetival, at the same place where Freakstock happens.) God bless these guys there! I hope some day I can meet them, see what happens there...
Last March, a group of young leaders met by the beachside to discuss the things the Lord is doing among the youth in their nation. They looked at some of the ways people are doing church in new ways. One of the most significant developments is led by Fernando Gallegos who started a church named "Rejected and Despised". They have planted two and are now serving a vision which seeks to reach all the subcultures of their nation.
The event was attended by people from various other nations including two guys from the Jesus Freaks in Germany. They were of great encouragement as they shared the ways they are making disciples.
After this event, they all had a three day party. They called it Cristock and it was attended by over 2,000 people.
The youth in Latin America is owning the vision to reach the emerging generations in the continent.
For more in Spanish, visit Qvo.
Saturday, April 27, 2002
I've actually never used Blogger before. My blog (there's that funky word again - is next week the due date for a new term?) ...as I was saying, my "blaaahhhg" is independent - meaning it's not "powered by blogger." It's powered my me. I'm a web designer so it was easier for me that way.
Here I am though - part of the team. I'm glad to be here. Thanks, Andrew, for asking me to be part of this thing. I'm in the ongoing process of planting a new faith community in Lexington - it's called Vine & Branches Christian Community. Some kind of hybrid between cells and house churches - relational ministry - integrating ancient liturgical "stuff" with new freeform "stuff" - et cetera. We're a small group that meets in my home. We go to bars and coffee houses - we drink beer and coffee. We wait for God to connect us with people here.
I'm married to Liz, for 14 years next month - yeee haw! I'm 35 years old. We have 4 great kids from 12 to 6 - busy life. I also know that Kevin character down there and the folks at Vineyard Central. God brought us together a year ago and we love these guys. We're learning from them. The way God has been connecting me with so many people around the states and world who are doing/seeing/thinking similar things is amazing. I look forward to much more of this. God's Grace be with you!
My name is Abigail, and I'm in Sheffield, UK. God's shaking everything up for me at the moment, but I'm mainly involved in a group called Home, which is one of the clusters of small groups at St Thomas Church, Crookes. We're a group of 50 or so young adults trying to work out how to be church with integrity, in a way true to who we are, and also seeking to release the creatives. I'm also personally interested in releasing the prophetic in the cluster, and having a safe space for us baby prophets to be free to have a go (and quite often mess up!).
There's quite a lot of exciting stuff happening here in Sheffield at the moment- feels like a fresh wave is coming imminently- and so I'll try and be brief in what I write (though that does tend to be a problem!) Anyhow, enough waffle, I'm going to sit back and listen now. Man, it's so good to be part of something! I love it!
ps. if you're interested, I'm currently pulling together a website at www.cedarlily.com which contains my blogs- I'm teaching myself html so it might be a bit ropey, but feel free to have a nose round. God bless!
Friday, April 26, 2002
here's an interesting site note - when you do a spell check on this blog, the world "blog" goes up as a miss-spelling. just my little punk monkey mind working - blessings, punk monkey
The following is a report from Reinhold Scharnowski, European Coordinator of the Dawn Movement, from the third national Dawn Conference in Kristiansand,
Norway in January 2002:
"Since 1993, a Norwegian team has been working to encourage a national evangelistic process through saturation church planting. During the 1996
conference, younger, radical leaders were reconciled with the more traditional part of Norway's Christians. Around 800 visitors, almost half of whom were under
30, joined the over 230 participants at this year's conference for the plenary sessions. In November 1996, Christian leaders set the target of planting 500 new
churches by 2005; this year, church growth researcher Ommund Rolfsen reported that 146 of these have been planted so far, and that a national process of
church planting has begun - though the target date may need to be put back. The number of new churches each year is growing constantly: between 1983 and 1993,
14 new churches were planted each year; the number is now 23 per year. According to Scharnowski, the most important developments visible at the
The Norwegian State Church is planting new churches
Around one quarter of the new churches are being planted by the Norwegian Lutheran State Church. This is surprising for many, because most European state
churches still work with a strict parish system.
The baton is being passed on
The baton is being passed on to the new generation. Stefan Christiansen
reported that the first "Jesus Revolution Church" had been planted in Oslo, with
plans for new churches in Marseille, Barcelona, Milan and Munich as well as more
'New Generation Churches' throughout Norway. Leo Bigger, Swiss church planter
and leader of the ICF Zurich, also spoke about planting churches for the new
generation. In Norway, such new generation churches are no longer viewed as an
unwelcome intruder, but as necessary new forms of church - new wineskins, but
with respect for the old. "During the conference, I regularly saw young leaders
being hugged and blessed by their elders," says Scharnowski.
There is a strategic unity and growing excitement about reaching the nation through planting all forms of church, from Lutheran through Pentecostal to
completely new forms. Stefan Christiansen, who was viewed as a rebel only a few years ago, today preaches beside a Lutheran Bishop and the leader of the
Pentecostals. Theology and structure gave rise to few discussions; the aim of achieving the unfulfilled missionary task brings great unity. Sten Sörensen,
leader of the Norwegian Dawn team, believes that in 20 years, there will be 1,000 new churches in Norway
Kevin Rains here from Cincinnati, Ohio, USA ... is this thing on? Can you hear me in the back?
More to come when I iron out my technical difficulties....
It's becoming clear that most non-Christians will be no more attracted to a genre called 'Christian Music' than Christians would be attracted to a genre called 'Buddhist Music.' By ditching the label Buddhist Music, prominent Buddhists like Duncan Sheik have won a hearing among non-Buddhists for their music and their ideas. Christians who won't abandon the label 'Christian music,' even when doing so will bring this music and its lyrical content to more non-believers, are making a serious and critical mistake.
And then I saw some relevant links on Karen Ward's blog.
An invite. I'd like to pass along an invitation to all to subscribe to an email newsletter I send out on the topic of evangelism on the Internet. You can read more about it here. I'm about to upload the latest issue.
from east and west,
and north and south
to sit with abraham, isaac and jacob
at the amazing party in the
kingdom of heaven.
those who think the
kingdom of god
belongs to them will be thrown out
into the darkness
where they will cry tears of bitter regret.
jesus speaks of a kingdom without ownership.
when we begin to attempt to broker this kingdom
we join those weeping with regret.
we do not sell this thing called the kingdom...
WE ENACT IT!
peace and love from dallas, tx, usa.
Okay, now that the formalities are over, let the fun begin. It seems to me that one of the common pieces to the "where do we go from here" puzzle seems to be a theological and practical (those should bleed into each other, right?) understanding that "the Kingdom of God is among us." Two of my heroes (and literary mentors) at this stage in my life are N.T. Wright and Dallas Willard. They have been valuable friends on our journey this past year. I believe, unless we grapple with the implications that the Gospel of Jesus is "The Kingdom is here and available for real life," we will simply be repackaging the consumer spiritualities the modern church helped to create. That's what I'm thinking about most days...well, that and changing dirty diapers.
Thursday, April 25, 2002
What I want to say is that I really don't know if I have to tell you anything. I am actually not really involved in any network. Well, I am a JesusFreak, and there I am part of WorldWidePizzaService, which is our mission section - but it is just small, there doesn't really happen big things. (I mean in WWPS, not at JesusFreaks. JesusFreaks: We have a very nice festival in summer: Freakstock. Ask Andrew...)
I sent Andrew a mail and said, sorry, but I am not the right man. Like Moses, in Ex 4,13: "O Lord, please send someone else to do it." What should I have to share with you? Later I thought about it, and I remembered my prayer: "...enlarge my territory." (you know it, Jabez, 1 Chr 4,10) May this invitation to blog here be an answer? O Lord, it is too big! But Jabez' prayer continues: "Let your hand be with me." And I also remembered Moses, who had to hear answer an angry God, who wanted Moses and not someone else to go. Just trust and go when God calls you.
So, that's why I am here at all. I will try to blog here, guessing it is Gods will.
I hope we get to know us better. See you!
(Hi Andrew - this is my revocation!)
all of this jives with this book (from a non church vantage point) that i recently read called "emergence- the connected lives of ants, brains, cities and software" by steven johnson. it is not an "easy read," but is a quirky, fascinating and hugely relevant foray into the science of complexity and the rising theory of emergence (as the "bottom up" organizational paradigm that is increasingly guiding research across a myriad of disciplines). emergence theory already underlies the internet, and will increasingly inform the patterning of the 21st century church (as this akingdom space blog is a prime example).
about the title of this post. when i got the blog invite, i also thought of those catchy global aide songs that were popular back in the 80's (when i was in college), where people swayed and sang "we are the world, we are the children..." well, in many ways, kingdomspace blogging is a making a reality of something that was formerly and mostly swayed. we are the world. we are god's children. we are helping to connect what god is doing all over the globe.
I never thought I'd say this, but it's an exciting time to be a Mennonite. Churchwide the question of raising up young leaders and reaching unchurched young adults has reached a fever pitch. I'm pretty convinced this time of transition from the modern world means creating new spaces for young leaders and young adults. A hearty welcome into existing churches may work for some, but the vast majority of the emerging culture simply will not connect to existing congregations in my denomination (big news flash to most of you, right?)
Pray that God will strengthen my voice on this subject, and that those with ears will hear.
Today I have to do the same thing. There are about 20 bloggers that are in tune with what God is doing in their world and I will be asking them to put their voices together on one blog page. It will eventually be released on akingdomspace.org (not there yet so dont go there, uh uh, dont go there, girlfriend). I expect there to be 100 bloggers soon and having them speak from all over the world will be a great way of making known what God is doing.
BTW - the word "praise" means to publically acknowledge. Praise is not praise unless it is shared or made public. It is also something that we do to each other, not to God. The word "Hallelujah" means 'Hey you, go ahead and publically acknowlege Yahweh.' I think Blogging will become a great way to do that.
Tuesday, April 23, 2002
Sunday, April 21, 2002
Saturday, April 20, 2002
Friday, April 19, 2002
where the leadership of KidsGames is meeting. Hengky from Indonesia reports that next July they will host a games event with local kids.
They are expecting 484 teams that will bring their yet-to-be believer friends. After the games, they are aiming to have 484 new nurturing communities for those who are interested in more!
This is the kingdom at work "Indonesian style".