Are Sermons Destroying Christianity?

26 09 2007

***UPDATE  – While I continue to greatly struggle with the dominant use of weekly sermons as a means of training disciples I don’t like the spirit this post was written in and so I’m removing it from my blog***

Tower Defense Mania

25 09 2007

BloonsI recently challenged some of my friends with these tower defense milestones.

Here are the latest Tower Defense Challenges for those interested –

Bloons = Beat game with only 3 monkeys (no super monkeys) other towers unlimited
Flashcraft = Beat game on hardest level
Desktop = Beat game on medium
Onslaught = Get to wave 149
Antbuster = Get to Level 74

This is the best I’ve been able to do. If you can do any of these and NOT research strategies on the forums or collaborate with others send me the screen shot, post your accomplishment as a comment on this blog and I owe you a drink.

If you come across this post and want to join in feel free and post your results but I’m only going to buy a drink for people I know.

UPDATE *** If you get someone new to join and pass a challenge you’ll earn one drink upgrade (but I won’t buy them a drink if I don’t know them. You can pony up if you so choose.)

UPDATE *** OK, here’s the Benihana challenge.  Anyone who completes all 5 (plus the 2 bonuses below) by the end of 2007 will get a free lunch at Benihana’s.

Bonus 1 – Stalingrad complete German Invasion (this one has nice soothing music)

Bonus 2 –  Budapest Defenders complete on Expert

Assistance – If you give up on a challenge you can email me for strategy help but then you owe ME a drink BUT, if you can beat it, it will still count toward your Benihana Lunch.

Discipleship is the Mission

24 09 2007

DiscipleshipI’ve wrestled with many ideas of what it means to build the Kingdom.  Seeing people “saved”, developing the “new community”, redeeming the city, ministry to the needy, worship and intercession and many others.  I’ve agonized over many of these areas and how I need to grow these values in my life.  But as important as each of these things are, is there a central mission?  What does it really mean to seek the Kingdom?

When Jesus was on the Earth he could have worked to win thousands of converts, to developing communities in every town, to reforming the city or the culture etc.  But what was his central mission?  He longed to make a few truly devoted disciples.  He wanted to see the Kingdom in the hearts of men.  Isn’t this THE mission?  Is not this His Kingdom?

What would happen if every church, every ministry and every disciple on the Earth centered their activity on making disciples.  In doing this one thing would we not see the Kingdom come in its fullness in our lifetime?

“I have brought you glory on earth by COMPLETING the work you gave me to do…I have revealed you to those [disciples] whom you gave me out of the world.” – Jesus

The DiSC Network (Discipling in Simple Churches)

22 09 2007

(sent to friends and fellow church planters)

I’m taking a first shot at branding and creating a defined scope for a church planting network.

DiSC (Discipling in Simple Churches) Network.

I registered

As I’ve struggled through what type of church relationships would bear the most fruit in a networking context I think I’ve narrowed it down to these 3 things –

1. Theology – Conservative, Reformed, HIGH view of Scriptural authority, open and encouraging in the practice of all of the Spiritual Gifts.
2. Mission – Each church would have an INTENTIONAL discipleship process at its center and see this as their central mission.
3. Structure – Simple – Because of the central mission to disciple and because institutional church structures are inherently flawed at disciple-making, churches in the network would adopt a more simple structure to the local body.

Our church is still wrestling through joining Acts 29 but it seems the Mission is not clearly disciple-making and we’re not sure yet if they would even accept let alone support a more simple structure for the local body.

As far as I can tell all that’s needed to create a vibrant network where we can help and encourage each other is –

Communication – Web Portal & regular networking events (maybe quarterly).
Training – This could be annually at first and then more frequently if needed.
Assessment – This could be decided down the road a bit as vision and doctrine are crystallized.

Am I missing anything?  Thoughts?

Rich Mullins: A Prophet before his Time

19 09 2007

10 years ago today Rich Mullins, my favorite Christian musician, died in a tragic car accident. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was living in Jerusalem and felt overcome with sadness. I took my Discman and a stack of Rich’s CDs and went into a beautiful garden to mourn his passing. His hammer dulcimer still rings in my ears.

It’s strange for me to think back on his life primarily because he embodied the struggles and questions of my generation. Jason Boyett wrote a masterful tribute explaining my sentiments exactly in his article Remembering Rich Mullins.

Rich you are missed now more than ever…

How Serious is the Christian Life?

18 09 2007

“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16

Do you take your time very seriously? I often see Christians making very flippant decisions about their time using the same criteria as non-Christians. We have constant activities that demand our time and attention but how serious are you about making decision to hand time and energy over to what may be self-centered pursuits. The non-Christian story is usually a “me first” story where they are the center, and all that is required to justify investing time and energy in an activity is how it will please me. Our story is completely different. Our story centers around a man who died on a bloody cross for our sins, to rescue us from ourselves. Our story is one of a Kingdom advancing in power upon the Earth. Our story is God’s desire to use us to bring about the restoration of all things. Our story demands a completely different way of making decision. Our story requires us to justify our investment in activities through the impact these investments have on our role in God’s Kingdom and how the Spirit is guiding our lives. So when facing simple decisions about where to invest your time, whose story are you living?

“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.” – B. Franklin

Is the Emerging Church Exhausted? Are we Alone?

4 09 2007

I’ve been a bit of a bystander watching the emerging church train from a distance. There’s no lack of blogs and recent books to read but as an observer it seems like a river that has split into a hundred directions and almost all the water has evaporated.

I’m mostly apathetic but a part of me is somewhat sad. The Emerging Church conversation seemed mostly like a vehicle that was supposed to take us somewhere but a river that leads to dry ground simply means we’re more lost than ever.

I have great hope for what God is doing through our little community in Fort Thomas but I feel we’re soooo alone. I once thought the emerging church would join and perhaps prove to be a great companion but that seems not to be. They’re tired and offering little to no direction, no helping hand, no brotherly fellowship. I guess I really want to know, are we really alone?