Tuesday, February 28, 2006

More on the Church

I read Rob Bell's "refreshing" first book, "Velvet Elvis" on the plane out to Portland yesterday. It was a refreshing and quick read. Refreshing and quick but not easy. I found myself being challenged by the freshness of the Gospel in a way I had not yet been exposed. I'm challenged but also encouraged greatly. What a refreshing approach to ministry. Whew!

Rob Bell writes, "The Church will live on. She's indestructible. When she dies in one part of the world, she explodes in another. She's global. She's universal. She's everywhere. And while she is fragile, she's going to endure. In every generation there will be those who see her beauty and give their lives to see her shine. Jesus said, the gates of hell will not prevail against her. That's strong language, and it's true. She will continue to roll across the ages, serving and giving and connecting people with God and each other. And people will abuse her and manipulate her and try to control her, but they'll pass on. And she will keep going."

For me this is what I mean by "refreshing."

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The other extreme

Last Sunday a week ago we had the worst church experience of our lives. The best thing about it was that it was over.

Well, today we had one of our best experiences. We went to a church considering joing the Missionary Church. It is in southern St. Louis metro and is was great. I cannot think of anything I didn't enjoy. We were warmly greeted, it was neat and clean, they had diverse age groups, the music and worship was awesome, we felt right at home, they had lots of children and enthusiastic children's workers, they had coffee, the message was exceptionally delivered-excellent and well prepared truth--and he had us right with him. The people made us feel right at home- like we want to come back next week. Praise the Lord for places like this that are truly doing it right. Jesus was honored and lfted up and he was the one who got the praise from everyone today.

So it was a great Sunday for us. Also, did I tell you the pastor of this church is an avid and very successful deer hunter? Just another added bonus that comes with my new job.

We shot this after church today

More Indian Finds

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Does Anyone Read This?

Michelle and I have moved by faith that we would be able to raise our financial support. (We are hovering around half way.) You could say we are Missionaries to the metro regions of Kansas City & St. Louis where close to 5 million people live. The dream is for God to give us the leadership teams and finances to start a disciplemaking system that gives birth to 30 new churches in the next 6 years. We cannot do it alone! We need your prayers and financial contributions (consistent monthly or yearly gifts)to make it happen. Is God leading you to help us?

All gifts are tax deductible...

Please make checks payable to: Midwest District Missionary Church. Please mark the memo KC or SL.

Send to: Midwest District Missionary Church
Attention: Rick Yaussi
23157 W. 117th Street N.
Burrton, Kansas 67020

Friday, February 24, 2006

One Year ago this month 2005

I'm Excited About This!

Yesterday I had the privilege of meeting with a godly leader who is pastor of a church of about 90 or so. The church is relatively new after 1 1/2 years and they are basically independent looking for a like minded people and denomination to join. The pastor and I resonated with passion and vision for the southern part of St. Louis metro.

Please pray that God works out the details...This church could be the hub of a dozen or so churches. This pastor is a leader of leaders and would definitely be a plus and whom would add value to our dream and the kingdom of God. This pastor could help our new church planters avold the pitfalls of planting by sharing his experiences in a mentoring and coaching way.

I'm excited that through the grace of God and ther power of His Holy Spirit we got connected and were able to spend 2+ hours together.

I can only dream with faith about the possibilities of this new family becoming Missionary!

Pray with me -this is urgent!

Which Jesus Do You Follow?

My friend came across a song by Todd Agnew entitled, "My Jesus." This is how it starts:

Which Jesus do you follow?
Which Jesus do you serve?
If Ephesians tell you to imitate Christ
Why do you look so much like the world?

Because my Jesus bled and died
And spent his time with thieves and liars
He loved the poor and accosted the arrogant
So which one do you want to be?

Here's more:

Cause my Jesus would never be accepted in my church
The blood and dirt on His feet might stain the carpet
But he reaches for the hurting and despises the proud
I think He'd prefer Beale St. to the stained glass crowd
And I know that he can hear me if I cry out loud.

I Must Ask...Which Jesus Do You Follow?
Tell me will you...?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Cracking DaVinci's Code

I have admittedly read "The DaVinci Code" by Dan Brown. With this book being on the best sellers list and with the movie coming out in May on the book it is very important that we help people separate Truth from Fiction. Two of my bloggers mentioned "Cracking DaVinci's Code" by James Garlow and Pete Jones. I personally know James Garlow and he is solid to the core. I'm going to pick up the book and read it.

Please do me and yourself a huge favor and visit my blog links and go to Dr. James Garlow & see his resources on the DaVinci Code! He has 10 excellent resources available for helping people separate Truth from Fiction.

We must be informed and prepared to give an answer when called upon. Our pew people need to know the truth and be prepared to give an answer when called upon.

These are critical days and we must seize this huge evangelistic opportunity.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I'm On A Roll

For the past week I have spoken to at least one pastor a day who is disillusioned with the church in America. They are sometimes discouraged, sometimes battered and bruised, but clearly fed up with the Church in America. I keep hearing these guys say things like, "I am hungry to serve a missional church that wants to have an impact in this world. I'm tired of playing the traditional game of working for people and never having them satisfied. I long for a church that is different, a church that is not about me or them or us. I long to be part of a new wineskin that gives freedom to break the man made rules and do ministry that actually reaches people for Christ instead of just taking care of ourselves and having the pastor wear himself out for the already reached.

I believe we will see many more pastors leave the pastorate in the near future. The mold pastors are forced to serve in is pasturized, homogonized and "Americanized" and it is not what Jesus had in mind. The church should be exciting and freeing and transparent and honest and vulnerable and real and constantly confessing our sins to one another. Not so in America (at least) in many places in America. Instead we have a self proclaimed "holy vessel" with already made perfect Christians who stay in their holy huddle and who look down on the unholy world. Sound familiar? I think Jesus confronted those Pharisees along time ago. Did they not hear His rebuke? Did we not hear His rebuke? Are we even listening to Him?

Am I too honest or too negative or too hard? You think I'm tough, re-read the words of Jesus!

I'll take all the pastors in America who are sick of status quo Americanized Christianity and I invite you to join with me in creating a new movement that will set you free to do ministry the Jesus way. If the established Church doesn't want the Jesus way -let me lead to the water to drink and taste and see that there is a better way. A new wineskin is waiting to be filled with the harvest and we need leaders who carry the Jesus passion to fill it up.

Can the Church in America Get Healthy?

That's a good question I continue to ponder. Of course I believe she can. I wouldn't be working with churches in the Oregon and South Dakota if I didn't believe it was possible. However, at the same time we must create new wineskins to hold the harvest God wants to give us through new church plants. It is a both and deal! We must work hard to redeem the established Church while planting new Churches. Neither should be sacrificed for the other.

Now for the question. If the church in America would just get back to the basics of living the way Jesus taught us to live and lead we would have health. But no, we have to recreate newfangled ministries and approaches that serve us instead of serving the mission and Messiah.

Jesus taught us to pray! So we should pray. Jesus taught us to love! So we should love others. Jesus gave us a mission! So we should serve that mission! Jesus gave us the vision and values! So we should live out that vision and live by those values.

If the church in America is to survive it will do so because newer churches with younger leaders sometimes very young leaders are doing it right. Also because there are success stories in America where the established church is letting go of dysfunctional systems, confessing and repenting of sin and they are rediscovering the simple stratey of Jesus to change the world.

Those churches who love status-quo and doing church their way will eventually become more ineffective and will cease. Those who become desperate and disillusioned with business as usual and who pick up the strategy of Jesus will succeed. When we do church the Jesus way there is always a fruitful harvest.

The Church! Whose house is it? Mine or His? If it is His -get out of His way. If we think it is ours -you better keep an eye on your backside -God will not tolerate it for a second.

Yes we can get healthy if we want to let go and let God do it His way.

I Confess

I read "The DaVinci Code" by Dan Brown. I am glad I read the book as painful as it was at times. Painful in the sense that truth was undermined so cleverly. However, Dan Brown is one of the best writers I have ever read from a literary standpoint. I was pulled into the storyline and read the book in about three or four days. If you are willing to have your faith challenged, read the book -it was well worth the ride. But be prepared for sacreligious mumbo jumbo. At times I found myself speechless and gasping for breath.

With the movie coming out in May we must pray for opportunities to seize the moment as people will be talking about Jesus and Mary and the truth of God's Word.

Dan Brown was extremly crafty as he rewrote the Bible at various points. I found myself saying, "It's a good thing I have a strong foundation because without it one could buy his arguments however subtle and sometimes bold heresy and distortion." At times I feared for Dan Brown and the day he will stand before God and give an account for his words. He was more than convincing and many unbelievers and weak believers could easily be affected negatively. How much will be included in the movie I do not know, but I will be prepared to give some responses to those who ask.

There you go -- "I Confessed It All"

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Prayer Letter Week of February 21, 2006

Dear Faith Partners, District Leaders and other friends,

It has been an exciting last 7 days with some really good propects in our sights. A good and wise friend of mine told me before I took this job that the most difficult part of my job (more difficult than raising money) will be recruiting good leaders. I never knew how right those words would prove to be and how hard fundraising for my support would be. So you can see I am very challenged these days - Maybe even over-stretched!

I'm praying for God to keep the partners we have encouraged and for God to send forth workers and resources to the harvest fields of Kansas City & St. Louis. This is our most urgent prayer request for now. The most important thing God told us to do is pray for workers in the harvest fields. We need for God to answer that prayer as well as resources for the harvest. We are trusting God for at least (4) church planting teams on the ground and working the harvest by early summer. Please pray.

Tonight we are having dinner with one of our neighbors and their children. I'm also networking our connections in the city, as well as following up on leads I have for 2 additional church planters in Kansas City as well as a few other people who are interested in our work here in St. Louis. It is crunch time! Finding team members who are Missionary Church in faith and practice isn't as easy as it may look. So the screening process is very time consuming to say the least.

I daily feel the pressure; of raising my own support through my friend networks, of finding the needle in a haystack called church planters, and creating a system where disciples can be made. I'm still hanging out by faith and with that comes some incredible challenges that drive me to my knees. I'm trusting God to pull us safely through.

Thank you for your prayers and financial sacrifice on behalf of this great mission and dream to plant 30 churches in the next 6 years.

If you need giving information please visit: theplanter.blogspot.com and follow the simple steps under Giving on the right of the page.

I love you,


Rev. Robert D. Carder
Mission District Leader (Midwest Region)
Missionary Church, Inc
636.698.4708 & 636.332.9311

Monday, February 20, 2006

I wish I had taken a donut to my seat.

Michelle and I attended a new church plant here in Wentzville yesterday. As we entered we were greetedby one person handing out bulletins and they had coffee and krispy kreme donuts available. I took a cup of coffee to our seat, since I noticed others were doing the same. We intentionally arrived 15 minutes early so we could meet people. It became almost a joke as we watched people look at us and then turn the other way and not one person came by to say anything to us. They would look at us and then keep walking by us. During that entire time not one other person spoke to us before the service, during the service, after the service.

It was a small church of about 60 or so adults. You could tell the people had friendships and were happy to be there. But being the guest that morning we definitely felt out of place and unwanted. So we worshipped as best we could. As the visitor, I could feel the pain of the unchurched -should they ever enter a place like that. They were one big happy family and you were happy as long as you were in. But we were not in -and there was no way we were going to be in at all. We just sat there looking in from the outside where we were clearly going to stay.

We are not going back! All the rules were broken. We were not welcome! We could not follow the service because things were done without any information. The pastor was very reclusive -He had to know we were guests but made no attempt to meet us.

The pastor preached about the church and the value of the family of God. I found myself being hyper critical since the stuff he was saying about other churches was not being done by his own church family.

I felt sad for the unchurched who may visit in the future. You may ask why I didn't go out of my way to get to know people? Clearly to do so would have required that I interupt the wonderful fellowship they were engaged in. We were not uplifted, God's presence was not flowing freely through the place. In all my years of ministry this is the worst church experience of my life.

I asked Michelle if I was hyper negative - but she felt the same. I asked her what she liked about the service and she said, "that it was over."

I had one regret upon leaving the service - I wish I had eaten a krispy kreme donut so I could at the very least say something was good.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day

It's that wonderful Valentine's Day and I'm working. Chel and I just had lunch and it has already been a good day. I have two guys coming to district conference and hopefully they will be joining the team for Kansas City this spring or early summer. God is so good.

The weather on the Valentine's here in metro St. Louis is in the mid 60's with a steady sunshine. Who would have thought? It encourages me so much.

Later today we are heading out for dinner at an authentic Thai Restaurant called The Blue Elephant, sounds interesting.

Anyway, to all my blogging friends have a wonderful Valentine's Day and be sure to express your love to God for His grace and goodness.

I love you all,

PS If you love me it wouldn't hurt for me to hear you say it.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Prayer Letter for February 10, 2006

Dear friends, faith partners & district leadership,

Thanks for all of your prayers over these past days and monthes. God is hearing you and He is answering your prayers. God is moving hearts and we are seeing some progress in finding leaders. I recently had the opportunity to speak with several who show great possibilities for us. God is speaking to people about financial partnerships and several are prayerfully considering what they should do. My faith is strong but I live with a constant reminder that I cannot do it alone! We moved here and hanging out here by faith that God will provide the people and resources that are desperately needed. We are believing for God to do His part and we trusting God for partnerships with people who will do their part. Together we will reach these metro regions for Christ. Your prayers and sacrifical support is appreciated so very much.

My meeting with the church board of Freeman Missionary Church went really well in South Dakota last Tuesday. They have unanimously agreed to invite me to make a Healthy Church presentation to their leaders & congregation. I will likely coach them in the principles Jesus gave us for becoming more and more healthy and effective. Thanks for praying! I have also been invited to work with the Dever Conner Missionary Church in Albany, Oregon sharing the Healthy Church principles as well. While out there I will also be leading a monthly cluster of four pastors in the southern part of Oregon. I firmly believe that we need to help existing churches become more healthy while also starting new churches in metro regions to reach the masses of lost people. I love the fact that I have opportunities to work with both established and new churches.

Please pray:
*That God will connect us to leaders who share our heart for disciple-making & church planting.
*That God will protect us and give us the wisdom we need to do what we need to do.
*That God will encourage and bless more people to become financial partners with us.
*That God will give me the grace and faith I need for the long haul.
*That God will bless the Dever Conner & Freeman Churches with fruit and greater health.

MY GREATEST STRUGGLE is in the raising of my own financial support department. While it is easy for me to ask for money for others -it is increasingly hard and humbling for me to ask for my own support. Please pray for me in this area. I love you all very much and am deeply moved by your prayer partnership and financial sacrifice on our behalf. You are making it possible for us to be here as Missionaries to Kansas City & St. Louis. Thanks!

Love you, Bob

If you would like to contribute please make
checks out to Midwest District Missionary
Church with (KC or SL in memo.)

send to: Midwest District Missionary Ch
Attention: Rick Yaussi
23157 W. 117th Street N
Burrton, Kansas 67020

How Can I Invest in Reaching the Lost?

Michelle and I have moved by faith that we would be able to raise our financial support. (We are hovering around half way.) You could say we are Missionaries to the metro regions of Kansas City & St. Louis where close to 5 million people live. The dream is for God to give us the leadership teams and finances to start a disciplemaking system that gives birth to 30 new churches in the next 6 years. We cannot do it alone! We need your prayers and financial contributions (consistent monthly or yearly gifts)to make it happen. Is God leading you to help us?

All gifts are tax deductible...

Please make checks payable to: Midwest District Missionary Church. Please mark the memo KC or SL.

Send to: Midwest District Missionary Church
Attention: Rick Yaussi
23157 W. 117th Street N.
Burrton, Kansas 67020

Monday, February 06, 2006

My Cherokee Indian finds

My latest find - Missouri Indian relics

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Church Planter's Welcome!

I am looking for leaders who want to make the message of Jesus applicable to all ages and all people groups of the world. We have opportunities for you to serve in the Kansas City and St. Louis metro regions encompassing nearly 5 million people, most of whom are unreached.

We invest friendship, training and funds into planters who are willing to sacrifice whatever God calls you to sacrifice for the kingdom. We are looking for authenticity and relevance very much like what the world is searching for these days. If you read and are challenged by the writings of Brian McLaren we want to speak with you.

Let's not just talk about reaching our metro regions for Christ --let's actually reach them for Jesus! If you find yourself dissatified with what you see in the church --we need to talk. It is time for a fresh wind and a fresh fire to fall upon the church of Jesus Christ. It's time we create a new wineskin to hold the fruit of the harvest God wants to give.

Are you interested? We need movement makers for the kingdom who give all the glory to God.

Healthy Churches vs. New Churches

On Tuesday I am off to Freeman, South Dakota to meet with a church board. I will be challenging them to engage a process that follows in the steps of Jesus. We call this Healthy Church Initative. We simply do what Jesus did and coach churches to do what Jesus did.

Here's my question for you? I have my answer, I just want to see what you think. Can a traditional church see a turnaround and can they become more healthy? Do we need to plant churches or help established churches become healthy. Is it either or or both?
What do you think?

I cannot wait to see your answer.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

I Did Celebrate

After enduring my birthday like I have for 47 birthdays I decided to celebrate the day after. For my entire life, birthdays were less than desirable. I cannot remember a birthday cake when I was growing up. I may be feeling sorry for myself. I cannot figure out why everything that can go wrong will go wrong on my birthday. We beat it though, this year we still celebrated the day after. We went to Texas Roadhouse my favorite restaurant and had a great time, just Michelle and I. Praise the Lord!

Today, I carried over my birthday celebration and took Michelle to the Apple Antigue Place 1 hour west of Wentzville late this afternoon and we got some stuff. I found a steal of a deal and purchased three Indiana relics for $20.00. These are my finest arrowhead/axe heads to my collection. These are by far my largest pieces. Chel got some stuff for the house. A great time togehter indeed! You know what they say about all work and no play!

I'm reminded of God's wonderful grace and even in a fallen world -He is still God. I do live Him very much.

So I ask, what do the rest of you do on your birthday? How is your birthday usually? Do you really have a good time? Give me your thoughts.

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