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4 Reasons Suburban churches should stay out of the city

I’ve heard that several prominent suburban churches in Minnesota announcing plans to open locations downtown. As an urban dweller – who is also a missionary and student of the church – I thought I’d share some major reservations about this development. At the core this is an issue of culture and world view.

A mentor taught me about the natural reach every minister has. Someone needs to be able to identify with the Pastor and/or staff of a church. It’s that identification that helps them enter into a transformative pastoral relationship. He spoke of the limit of age, and I believe this extends to culture & world view. Few foreign language churches impact outside of their linguistic group. Each of those churches is an important part of Gods work in the world. Yet, it would be unrealistic to expect a non-native church to impact beyond those who are within its cultural purview. We can express frustration about this, but there are only a few examples to the contrary. Even Jesus was intentional about limiting the scope of his ministry – with only a few exceptions.

We have many biblical examples of people leading their own (David, Jesus, Peter, and more). We also have examples of people leaving their culture to lead others (Moses, Paul, and countless missionaries over the millennium). Underlying these 4 issues is my concern that this cultural divide is all too easily overlooked.

I believe there are 4 major issues separating urban from suburban.

[Read more…]

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Help me Tell Others About the Church Software Guide

Church Software Guide for DummiesThere have been pastors I’ve spoken with who have felt a bit lost when considering software for their church. With so many options out there that it’s overwhelming. It is with that in mind that we created the Church Software Guide: Everything you Need to Know.

The goal is not to dig in deep, but to explain for you the types of church software you should consider. There are nine categories that will have some benefit for your church. Check out the guide, and please pass the link along to your friends in ministry.

If you have a blog please consider writing a short post to encourage people to check it out. If you’re on twitter/facebook/google+ post something encouraging people to check it out.

Thank you so much! We’re really proud of the hard work that went into that guide.

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Preparing for Paris – Spiritually comparing Minneapolis to Paris

Minneapolis_and_Paris

We’ve been preparing for our upcoming move to Paris with Christian Associates. A part of this we thought it would be interesting to compare Minneapolis (where we currently live) to Paris (where we’ll be moving to).

Over the last week we’ve been preparing some materials to help us share about our upcoming move to Paris to start a church with Christian Associates. A key part of any sharing about your ministry is to communicate the need that you will play a part in filling. After brain storming a bit we thought it would be interesting to pretend that Minneapolis were Paris, well at least spiritually speaking.

Read the rest of the post over at our ministry site.

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Very astute observations about how we can manipulate the Bible by asking questions that are assumed today, that the authors of the text weren’t addressing. This is part of the reason why many fundamentalists assume Evolution to be untrue, and why they mis-understand the beginning and end of time (in my opinion – obviously since this is my blog).

As always, if you are unfamiliar with N.T. Wright I would highly suggest you familiarize yourself. He is a fantastic biblical scholar and is one of the best of our age.