I went to the Antioch History Book Club tonight and had a ball…
I even got a chance to share my “Antioch Monasteries” idea with the group and they loved it!! It’ll be amazing to watch as God continues to work in and through the group of people called Antioch.
All around, a great night~
God has been doing a lot the last couple of days to remind me about benevolence.
There are always people in the community who are struggling terribly with life, finances, stress and time. The Christian community must earn its stripes in how it responds and deals with the real life needs of its members.
This is exactly what made the church in Acts chapter 2 so special. It is also what caused problems with the same church in Acts chapter 6. The day to day needs of Christ Followers will always ebb and flow. As a result, the church must position itself so that it doesn’t overlook these needs in the zeal to rush forward. Rather, it must be able to live in the tension between meeting needs and moving forward.
May we learn to do unto others as we would have them do unto us with the basic needs of real life (benevolence). May we show each other love and patience even if it means sacrifice and the prolonging of vision.
I was reading recently about the role the church played throughout the Middle Ages in the formation of law, the development of science, the advent of the University system, the formalization of compassion ministries and orphanages, the propagation of learning and literacy and also the promotion of art and architecture.
Central to much of what the church did wasn’t the cathedral or the regular week to week religious services. Rather, the seemingly dominant feature was the monasteries. It was the places that single people (monks, nuns, friars, priests etc.) gathered, lived, studied and practiced their faith that the innovations and fruit seemed to develop and grow.
I began thinking…
Maybe it’s not the Sunday morning gathering or meeting places that house the greatest potential for change in Bend, Oregon. Maybe it’s the intern houses and other designated places we could establish where singles, college students, interns and the like can gather, live, study and practice their faith that have the greatest potential.
What we need are Antioch Monasteries. We need the places that can become the hub for community, conversation, ideas and art. We need to gather the hot coals together and see what happens…
Churches in America have long taken the analogy of being “A City on a Hill…” as the picture for their future and growth. As a result, they seek to obtain a large plot of land and build a literal city or megaplex for ministry.
I’m not against having our own building, but what if we change the metaphor to that of yeast… What if we sprinkled dozens of little gathering points and residences throughout Bend… What if we developed some modern day monasteries and filled them with college students or artists or church planters or year long interns?? What if we had a bunch of places where we could put combustible elements together and see what new innovations and new opportunities would be ignited??
Maybe the part of Jesus’ ministry that we overlook is that he spent more than one day a week with his disciples. He lived with them and they with each other. Maybe, just maybe, one of the reasons that there is a lack of fire and passion in the belly of the American church is because nobody is living in community? Maybe we need to make some creative uses out of rental houses, lofts and apartments?
Anyway, I’m all for tweaking the monastery idea and seeing what we can come up with!!
Doesn’t that sound exciting?? :)
There were 276 people at Antioch yesterday on Easter Sunday… which is amazing since the theatre only holds 296!! There wasn’t an empty seat in the theatre other than the front row!
We also had the new drums going… and nobody complained!
Good day all around!
I’m going back over the book Tipping Point. It usually takes quite a bit for me to go back to a book, but I really enjoyed this one!! Besides, this time I’m doing it on audio CD (the lazy man’s way to take in a book).
P.S. Since this Sunday is Easter… I’ve started looking at the Resurrection through the lenses of Gladwell’s “Tipping Point” description. It’ll work itself into this Sunday’s message, “The Gospel According to Ricky Bobby” for sure!!
We’re buying plane tickets today for the five people going to Uganda in June and the four people going to Georgia for a conference in May.
That’s a lot of frequent flyer miles on our United Miles Credit Card!!
It’s fun to see things moving forward :)
Well, getting the drums in Portland on Monday threw off my week, and my girls have thrown off my sleep :)
Here is a great article on Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., who is the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute.
Collins believes in God and says, “As a believer, I see DNA, the information molecule of all living things, as God’s language, and the elegance and complexity of our own bodies and the rest of nature as a reflection of God’s plan.”
If you are interested in reasons and evidence for belief (or if you’re up late and have nothing good to read), check out the article below…
Sometimes I wish that people could hear a sermon a day!!
Of course, I have no desire to preach a sermon a day (and nobody would be able to stand me if I did), but if there was a way to get a stellar message into heads and hearts daily I think it would have a profound impact.
So to that end I’ll give you my favorite speakers and web links (if you’re crazy enough to spend time listening to sermons instead of the radio :)
I talked about money at Antioch last Sunday. Money is a topic where we get a lot of “pushback” as Christians because it seems self serving and contrary to the purpose of service and love.
I tried hard to communicate that this is not the way it’s supposed to be. Money is a blessing from God that we get to use to help fuel the work He is doing.
Unfortunately, there are many people out there who play on people’s emotions to rob them of money for their own gain…
I found this video that someone sent me after church on Sunday to be humorous, sad, informative and educational.
Here is a great example of “not the way it’s supposed to be.”
Do you know how you never really miss people till they’re gone?? Well, half of the Antioch staff is down in Mexico on a humanitarian trip and it’s pretty tough manning the fort alone.
I’m not a Lone Ranger… it’s much more fun (and easy) when everyone is here :)
Below is a link to Alvin Plantinga’s review of Richard Dawkins’ new book, The God Delusion.
Dawkins is an outspoken atheist who is spearheading a new generation of militant atheists bent on rooting out religious belief.
Alvin Plantinga is John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He is one of the leading Christian thinkers in the country. I read several of his works when I was getting my masters in philosophy and benefited greatly from his little article, “Advice to Christian Philosophers.”
Here is Plantinga’s response to Dawkins:
The concept of encouragement is interesting. We all know what it means and we usually equate it with people flattering us every now and then (which can feel pretty good.)
Real encouragement, however, is never what you were thinking of and usually not when you were thinking of it. Real encouragement is creative and authentic. It springs out of the heart of someone who genuinely cares about and is thinking of you. What they bring to the table is better than flattery. It is something thoughtful with the best part being the intangible fact that someone else was thinking of you.
Our friends Chris & Kristi encouraged us this week by offering to watch the kids and send us out on a date night. It was just what was needed… both the time away and the realization that we have friends who care.
As the writer of Hebrews says, “encourage one another daily!”
Ever since Tamara and I were out hiking last Sunday with our friends Conor and Michelle, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about summer BBQ’s.
There’s nothing like firing up the Weber on a warm summer day when the sun never seems to set.
I can’t wait for some good music, good friends and some tri tip…. yummmm!
Just signed up our Student and Children’s Ministry leaders for “The Orange Conference” in Atlanta yesterday.
I’ve known for quite a while that vision… big ideas and big dreams, is what gets me excited.
No matter how tired I am, if I get to brainstorm and think of what could be and should be it immediately energizes me.
Currently, I’m caught in that tension – tired, but fueled with some fun ideas.
I don’t know what God is up to, but either way it’s fun to dream!!
If you’ve ever wanted to read a good overview and position paper on the subject of Christians and alcohol, here it is.
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