Sunday, July 30, 2006

Corrie


I am ready for my Corrie to come home. Come home Cor-O-badoro.

jmarkbertrand.com - the Internet site of J. Mark Bertrand

jmarkbertrand.com - the Internet site of J. Mark Bertrand: "If you want to learn more about the ESV Journaling Bible and you don't want to wait for my re-cap, head over to Gareth Russell's blog and check out his excellent, well-illustrated review. (Thanks, Gary, for pointing it out in the comments on the last post.) Also, check out the mention of Gareth's post on Moleskinerie, the all-things-Moleskine blog. "

Check out this nifty blog.

TheIrvins: Home from the Hospital

TheIrvins: Home from the Hospital: "Home from the Hospital"

Rebecca Writes mentioned that Tim Irving needs prayer. You might venture over to Tim's blog and read his story and say a prayer for him.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

del.icio.us/pruittcommunications

del.icio.us/pruittcommunications: "del.icio.us / pruittcommunications /

I have been using del.icio.us for a couple of months now. It is a way of making a set of bookmarks public. So here is my del.icio.us page.

WikiMapia

To fight insomnia I played around with WikiMapia. I added a couple of my childhood places to the list of places, and a couple of churches I attended. It is fun way to share your knowledge.




Tags: wiki

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Markets without Marketing | Linux Journal

I thought this article by Doc Searls was excellent.

Markets without Marketing | Linux Journal: "As I prepare for that, I thought I'd share some of the curriculum I've come up with. I'm looking for constructive feedback, suggestions and Stories From the Real World that might be useful to the tutorial. Here we go...

I. The Matrix is a metaphor for marketing
II. As Markets become truly free, we don't have much, if any, need for marketing.
III. Advertising is going to die. PR is already dead.
IV. The operative word is Relate.
V. There's no substitute for a good product. Or the only people who can improve it.
VI. Work the Because Effect. You'll make more money that way.

Pearls of Wisdom from the Gadfly's Muse

I met with the Gadfly's Muse and the Jollyblogger for breakfast on Thursday. We talked about church planting in the Ann Arundel County area. Bits of wisdom I gleaned from the breakfast time talk.



The essential element for a pastor is a love for the people. Preaching is important, but people will endure imperfect preaching if they discern a heart of love.

The essential element for a church planter is vision to see something come to fruition.

Formal qualifications are less important than actually doing the ministry.

Doing the work of the ministry is analogous to scientist forming a hypothesis and then testing it, then adjusting the hypothesis, and continuing the cycle. A scientist starts with an initial hypothesis and it is not so important that he have the exact right hypothesis, just that he has a starting point and make adjustments afterwards. As long as he has a process by which he continually adjusts his knowledge, he is on the path toward truth. It is not so important that I have the perfect plan for ministry, only that I do ministry.
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Technorati Tags: Church Planting, Ministry, Christianity, Science, Education

Saturday, July 15, 2006

No Missions Without Evangelism


What is the difference between evangelism and missions? Often when we speak of missions, we mean reaching across cultural barriers to speak the good news of God's forgiveness. Some people would define missions in terms of mercy ministry, but I would have to quibble with this definition. My own definition for missions is evangelism that takes the message of the grace of God to every nation tribe and tongue. Every tribe and tongue means those both near and far. Missions means taking seriously the cultural dynamics of the hearers of the message of God's grace. It means respecting the hearers of the message and taking their needs seriously.

For most people, evangelism is an unobtainable duty, something that they just don't know how to do. To explain the good news of God's grace in a winsome way is just not within their natural skill set. This is why the work of evangelism must be done in community. So evangelism must take place in a multi-layered fashion. The individual Christian must know the basics of what the good news is and be able to tell their story. Then the congregation must make it a priority to make it welcoming to those who are not believers. This means in part, planning special times when the individual can invite their friends and neighbors trusting they will hear the good news but not be embarrassed. Finally, denominations, parachurch organizations and mission societies must help churches band together for this task. The individual must have a infrastructure that they can depend upon if they are going reach out to others. It is sort of like a soldier going into battle, they can take risk of well-being and life, knowing their buddy will help them out, there is a communications channel call for help, there is a medivac unit and hospital if they get hurt, there is a supply company bring to the front lines food, ammo and other necessities. (I'm not saying those we would tell about the grace of God are our enemies.) The individual risks rejection and failure when they explain the good news. The message is precious and so is the relationship. If the message is rejected by this person that they care about, there is a risk the relationship may sour. It is necessary that a person who is willing to take the risks involved with evangelism be given training, motivation, purpose, and aid.

Evangelism means tellings the story of Jesus. The most common issue in evangelism that I encounter in discussing who Jesus is and what his grace means is the issue of power. To most of the people who I know who do not trust in the work of Christ as a means of forgiveness of sin, they do not do so because of power issues. If they acknowledge that something is a sin, then they are concerned this issue can be held over them. Those who define the problems are those who hold sway in a debate. These power issues are complex and are not easy to overcome. An essential element evangelism takes humility.

Without healthy evangelism, there is no missions.

Statistically, the activity that most successful in evangelizing is church planting. Please take my survey on church planting.

Technoratic Tags: church planting, evangelism, Christianity, humility, missions

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Church Planter as Guest Blogger


My wife and I went to Bethel College in McKenzie, TN. This is the Cumberland Presbyterian denominational college. We met many good friends there. Cindy Maddux is one of our friends from college days. She is our guest blogger today. She responded to the poll and sent me some of her comments which I am including here.

By the way, if you have not taken my poll on church planting, please do so. It is the post prior to this one.



Thoughts of church planter Cindy Maddux who is a part of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church

As to voting whether SUNDAY worship is essential to a church plant then I will say no. WORHSIP is essential but with today's society it's more like Saturday night or Friday night and then if you have those that are tradition bound you could say AND a Sunday service. The needs of the initial group drive when and where you meet.

I am in a church plant now. It's been two years and we are just now getting to where we need to be for spiritual growth in numbers.

Ultimately what you do as a church plant will depend on who you are trying to reach?

Are you trying to reach people who have lost touch with the church and bring them back to the fold, are you trying to reach people who have never heard the Gospel before (literally)?

Are you trying to get through to those who are disillusioned with the Church as they have seen it at work in the world today? (We all know that the organized church has many issues.)

Are you trying to be homogenous or are your really willing to accept people from all different backgrounds?

Are you only willing to allow those who believe EXACTLY like you do or will you allow there to be differences of opinion on varying theological issues?

Are you going to wait for people to come to you or are you ready to make the effort to go where the people are and interact with them as you find them?

Over the years I come down to one statement over and over again; (paraphrasing) "to love the Lord God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself".

Also having a few extroverts in your church plant early on will help, introverts have a difficult time reaching out, but ultimately you work with what you have.

Whatever game plan you start with you have to be vigilant in prayer & intentional fellowship with one another to get some real bonding, if meeting in homes to start out recognizing the gift of hospitality and not taking it for granted. It is very important. The role of children and their truly being welcome is another issue. If child care is NOT a priority then families will not feel safe and will not stay. Not everyone understands a child's needs, nor are many people really ok with children in worship settings. This is unfortunate. I much prefer the children present if at all possible, they are part of the community now not later.

Ok, these are just initial things to throw out. Whatever you know, know that this is hard work. Being in relationship and connected to people takes time and isn't convenient to everyone's schedule. Tithing has to be tackled early on. We have been using Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University as a ministry to our community. It is open to everyone regardless of religious affiliation.

Technorati Tages: ChurchPlanting, Christianity

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Essentials For Church Planting

Some of you may have been a part of a church plant. Some of you might be qualified because you have actually been a part of a church at some point in your life. I would like to hear what you think. Please take my poll.




Technoratic Tags:poll, church planting, Christianity, ministry, new, church.