Posts Tagged ‘ evangelism ’

Election Results, Evangelicals, and the Missing Link

Let me just say from the outset that I’m nobody to be trusted when it comes to politics. I watch almost no television news, I read very little political analysis on news websites, and my voting record is out of step with just about everybody I know. However, I, like most people, watched closely as the presidential election results came in on Tuesday, and I have my own set of opinions and emotions about the results. Having been bombarded with other peoples’ opinions and emotions on Facebook like many of you, I’ll leave mine out of this. (You’re welcome). As I watched the tallies pop up on the state-by-state boards, I was very interested that in nearly all of the closely contested “battleground/swing states,” the county maps were predominantly tipping to Mitt Romney, but President Obama ended up winning almost all of the states anyway . . . because he […]

Review: The Outsider Interviews

I just finished a quick read through The Outsider Interviews, by Jim Henderson, Todd Hunter, and Craig Spinks.* It’s billed as a “DVB,” meaning that it’s a book and a DVD together. The DVD has a large number of video clips that are referenced throughout the chapters of the book. I would guess that if this were to be published a year or two from now, the iPad and Kindle versions of the book would integrate the video clips straight into the text. While I read about half of the book away from a TV or computer, I was able to read the other half while sitting next to my computer, and followed the cues to watch the clips. The content of the DVB was largely driven off of the authors’ interaction with material presented in the book unChristian, by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons. That book presents a lot […]

Holistic Mission and Evangelization

Attempting to write about my experiences in the Dominican Republic is a daunting challenge. I got to spend time in a wide range of church ministry environments, and I learned so much that it’s hard to encapsulate it. The pastors and churches of la Red Del Camino that I’ve met are so energetic, creative, and driven to demonstrate visible signs of the in-breaking of the Kingdom of God. They get out into their communities, listen to what’s going on, and what the needs of people are, and they respond. If you looked at the group of churches, you would notice some common threads between them, like low-cost schools for families that wouldn’t normally have access to high-quality education, or clean water treatment facilities. But another common thread is that these churches are bold and unashamed about including a gospel message in what they do with and for the people. They […]

Centered Sets and Orthodoxy

Almost six years ago, Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch published their highly influential book The Shaping of Things to Come.  Among a number of other topics, they discuss the ways churches have handled evangelism and membership for many generations.  They do so using mathematical concepts called bounded sets and centered sets – but they do it in non-math ways, so it will make sense.  Imagine a piece of paper with a bunch of random “x” marks scattered all over it.  A bounded set can be pictured as a circle drawn around a group of those “x” marks, such that some “x” marks are inside the circle and some are outside.  This is how most churches function – there are pretty clearly defined boundaries that tell us who is “in” and who is “out.”  A centered set, however, would include the entire set of “x” marks on the paper, but there […]

What to blog about when you haven't blogged lately

Despite the fact that my paycheck comes from a major Christian denomination, I don’t typically like to blog about them, er, “us.”  Partly because I shudder when using that word – us – because it means I’m complicit in a lot of things I detest.  Partly because it’s embarrassing.  Partly because I think it’s irrelevant to this blog – I’ve been blogging a heckuva lot longer than I’ve worked for the denom, so what’s it to them (er, us)? Once in a while, even when I do mention the denom, I’ll do it without naming the denom.  All the same reasons as above. Yesterday, a classmate tossed up a link on Twitter, to a news story that talked about our mutual denomination, and evangelism programs.  I literally laughed out loud at points.  Laughter was inappropriate, though, because a) it wasn’t supposed to be a funny piece, and b) I should […]

inter::mission rocks on

Normally I like to wait until after an inter::mission teach-in before bragging about how good it was.  But, since I’ll be quite occupied tomorrow and Saturday at the Born Again Church Tour, I won’t have time to blog it.  So I’ll just make an assumption that tonight’s teach-in will be a great experience, and I’ll go ahead and brag ahead of time. We are very excited to welcome our first guest speaker of the year this evening – none other than Mr. Todd Hunter.  Todd is the former President of the National Association of Vineyard Churches and Alpha USA and has been involved in church planting and leadership development for 25 years.  I met Todd at a church planter’s round-table think tank thingy about six and a half years ago.  He was generous enough with his time to give me some church plant coaching when I was in that phase […]

Denominational words on evangelism worth listening to

Nobody ever accused me of having a shortage of negative things to say about my denomination. But in anticipation of the big annual meeting next month, the President of the denom (mostly a figure-head PR position) said the following about evangelism: It is time to emphasize evangelism with integrity. No longer should we use manipulative methods that may bring about larger numbers when those persons’ commitment to Christ is little or none. Evangelism without manipulation? That is a much needed step in the right direction.

How great is the Great Commission . . . really?

Earlier this year, I read David Bosch’s game changing misiology book, Transforming Mission. It’s long, thorough, and so good in so many ways. It’s truly a remarkable work. Not an easy read, mind you, but well worth the work I put into it. I will re-visit that book many times in the years ahead. As I was reviewing some of the notes I made on it this weekend, I came across something that was very curious to me. It goes a little something like this. If you were to take a poll of evangelical pastors in North America, and asked them what the three most important verses/short passages in the Bible are, what do you think they’d say? John 3:16, Romans 10:9-10, Romans 6:23, Hebrews 11:6 . . . what else? I gotta think that Matthew 28:18-20 would be included in the list that many many pastors would give. I […]