why we do what we do

February 3, 2009

A new friend recently contacted me via the Austin Mustard Seed website. What he read about our church community resonated with his own hopes, so he asked to hear more of our story. It was meaningful and motivating for me to recapture it. While pieces of my story have been shared on this blog, I’m […]

inaugurated eschatology

October 23, 2008

And this means, as is well known, that his theology has the character of inaugurated eschatology, that is, of a sense that God’s ultimate future has come forwards into the middle of history, so that the church is living within — indeed, is constituted precisely by simultaneously within! — God’s new world and the present […]

a local, worshiping community (a missiology for the west)

October 21, 2008

(This is the final post in a series reflecting on David Bosch’s six distinctives for a missiology of Western culture. See the introductory post for a little background.) in the context of the secularized, post-Chrsitian West our witness will be credible only if it flows from a local, worshiping community. Of all of Bosch’s six […]

laity (a missiology for the west)

October 10, 2008

(This post is part of a series reflecting on David Bosch’s six distinctives for a missiology of Western culture. See the introductory post for a little background.) A missionary encounter with the West will have to be, primarily, a ministry of the laity. I suppose one might argue that the laity are being given more […]

contextual (a missiology for the west)

September 30, 2008

(This post is part of a series reflecting on David Bosch’s six distinctives for a missiology of Western culture. See the introductory post for a little background.) We have, at long last, come to the conviction that mission in the Third World must be contextual. We do not have an equally clear conviction about the […]

breathe in, breathe out

September 29, 2008

Gathering and sending are related to one another like breathing in and breathing out. The important thing is therefore to view life in the everyday world as just as important as the gathering of the congregation in the feast of worship.” — Jurgen Moltmann (Lovely thought. I think I’ll steal it for our church gatherings […]

countercultural (a missiology for the west)

September 22, 2008

(This post is part of a series reflecting on David Bosch’s six distinctives for a missiology of Western culture. See the introductory post for a little background.) a mission to the West must be countercultural, though not in an escapist way I wasn’t planning on spreading the posts in this series a week apart. But, […]

the nothing church

September 17, 2008

The church now seems to stand in the same place as God stood in some 2,500 years ago: misrepresented, accused of bigotry, portrayed as narrow-minded and in love with power, only interested in buildings, ready to smite the dirty and sinful, over-occupied with sex, and ready to lend support for unjust wars … And so […]

September 11, 2008

We have to create, and sustain, communities where this life is being lived in such a way that when we speak of it we are obviously telling the truth. That is the hard part. As long as our churches are places where we struggle to sustain an hour or two’s public worship per week, with […]

believing in the future

September 9, 2008

(This post is the introduction to a series reflecting on David Bosch’s six distinctives for a missiology of Western culture. See the end of the post for links to the rest of the series.) David Bosch was a missiologist in South Africa who died in 1992. A car accident took his life only a year […]

of parking lots and presence

September 9, 2008

A year or two after we moved into our home in Washington, I noticed they were starting to move some dirt around on a vacant street corner. It was within walking distance of our house, and I was excited to see what new, and walkable, convenience we might have. It turned out to be a […]

of blackholes and sling shots

September 5, 2008

Many of my conversations with other church planters of late have centered around worship services/gatherings. I am usually the one raising the topic as I have been curious to learn from the experiences of others as we shape our strategy for Austin Mustard Seed. One thing has been significant in these conversations. I’ve talked to […]

crazy loves company

September 3, 2008

“You should really connect with Kester Smith.” I’m not sure how many times I heard that phrase in the last few months as we have transitioned to Austin. Kester and I have a number of mutual friends (but maybe that is because Kester has about 340973 friends on Facebook). I can think of at least […]

what do we have to become christians for?

September 2, 2008

As we call people (back) to faith in God through Jesus Christ, we must help them to articulate an answer to the question ‘What do we have to become Christians for?’ At least part of the answer to this question will have to be: ‘In order to be enlisted into God’s ministry of reconciliation, peace, […]

pagan christianity

September 2, 2008

After hearing about some of our dreams for a unique church community in Austin, a friend sent me a copy of Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and George Barna. Talk about a book that has left me with mixed feelings… Viola and Barna make a case that much of what we see as critical elements […]

mission

August 28, 2008

‘Mission’ is a word that spans the total distance between God and the world’s salvation. The whole dynamic of the church’s life may be conveyed by this single verb.” — Paul S. Minear in Images of the Church in the New Testament

austin mustard seed

August 27, 2008

I spent much of the last week putting together the website for Austin Mustard Seed, the new church community we are part of in Austin. I love this creative part of the process — taking ideas that have been developing for years and shaping them into words within a layout. There is a part of […]

clusters

August 12, 2008

“Ah yeah, clusters … … … What are those?” That was my response to my friend Doug’s email earlier this summer. He had read the strategy document I was developing for our church start up. After reading it, he thought that it was similar to a movement of churches in the UK that are shaping […]

being life together

July 30, 2008

A catchphrase for the idea of community in Christian circles has been doing life together. I remember how appealing that phrase sounded to me the first time I heard it. I loved the idea of being so safe and intimate with a group of people. I recalled the days of living in the dorms in […]

ted

July 22, 2008

TED is a conference on Technology, Entertainment and Design. I’ve had several friends recommend the TED website over the past few years. I’ve even watched bits of some of the talks that are posted there, but I never really dug into what was available until a few weeks ago. Oops. I’ve been missing out. I […]