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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.

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Preparing for Paris – Spiritually comparing Minneapolis to Paris

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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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Your Church can’t become Missional

why-your-church-cannot-become-missional

Missional is not another word for outreach, it is not a program you add, and it is not something you choose people to do. It is the ethos of a community.

A driving force of a missional church is the belief that God has gone before them, is present, active, and inviting the church into what He is already doing. God doesn’t follow us. Instead our attentiveness leads us into what He is doing and prepares us to be present in what He is doing the lives of others.

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The 3 Biggest Challenges to Evangelicalism

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A lot of very interesting things are happening right now in the evangelical movement in the western world. As far as I am able to tell, this movement has enjoyed a level of prominence over the last several decades as the growing voice of the non-Catholic church in the eyes of the media and public. Watching the unfolding drama at my alma mater – Bethel Seminary – has been revealing and insightful. The gap between the present and the future seems larger to me now than ever before. These three issues I believe will prove the hardest points during this period.

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