Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Do you really want to know?

Check out for Pastor Terry's teaching on the differences from the American Model for doing church verses the Disciple Purpose Driven model (Great Commission "supremeacy") our new True Vine Church plant has engaged.

This is a life changing teaching/picture, so don't go there without being willing to be stretched!

"Making Disciples who are Making Disciples" the priority for the western church will save her! It'S not our idea -It came from Jesus!


What a Whopper....

I'm finally heading home from my final 2006 Oregon/Washington coaching time with Pastors and church leaders regarding Healthy Disciple-making. It was a great time.

Last night I was a bad boy. My wife never lets me have fast food burgers, but after no lunch or supper (and no wife nearby) I gave in and stopped at a local Burger King! It's been a while since I've been in a Burger King. I never realized how many different Whoppers you can get. I ordered the double Texas Whopper with cheese and fries. Please don't breathe a word of this to Michelle. Please? It was a something wonderful - the bag was even heavy and it was truly the best burger I have indulged for a very long time.

There was something that caught my attention more than my cravings for a burger. Don't get me wrong I actually enjoyed getting away with something. What caught my eye will follow.

Posted all over the "tempting, calorie killing, fat loading, sweet smelling" restaurant was something that so describes something I've experience before. I asked for a piece of paper and the cashier watched as I stood and jotted down these words.

No onions. Extra pickles. Go for it. Tons of ice. No ice. Do your thing. One napkin or two. Whatever you need. No wrongs. Just rights. The right to have things just how you like them." I immediately thought - "Another teachable moment."

I listened to an interview yesterday on with Jay Kelly interviewing Rob Bell. (check it out in the free ipod section) Rob Bell said this, "The church is supposed to give herself away. It is never about having our needs met."

Why would Rob Bell say that? Does he really think that is a problem in the church? Did I hear him correctly. You know what I think and what I have thought for a very long time. Consumerism in church - Jesus would empty the church and turn over tables and kick butts out of the church if he present in the flesh and many pastors would be the first butt to go out the door.

You know church has become a buffet of options and when people don't like what's on the buffet or even the service there is always another Burger King church.

How in the world have we ever "whoppered" ourselves into thinking that just because we look good, smell good, taste good, feel good, serve people good - that we are good for people and the mission of God for the church? The church in America and most likely your church in your city is more like Burger King than the Church Jesus died for. Can't you see it?

Another nugget: Rob Bell also said, "It's amazing how quickly we label someone "heretic/heresy" when we have a healthy debate in and about the church." God help us.

The church isn't getting better.

Have a Whopper of a Day!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Constantine Messed With Us - Part 2 "what fun"

My friend said in light of my post down the line, "You have a follow-up I suppose? This is a bit light on evidence and a bit full of assertions as well as undefined terms (institutionalized).

As requested - I love follow ups! Michael Frost writes from a different perspective than some. Sometimes people write to prove a point and support their position and others write with the big picture in mind. Frost is a big picture person and he lays it out in a way that reveals in part why the church in America has become and "institution" instead of continuing to be a movement. Inward focused "take care of us" churches without being mobilized "out and into" the world as the main thing become institutions.

Michael Frost in "Exiles" page 4 writes, "'Christendom' is the name given to the religious culture that has dominated Western society since the fourth century. Awakened by the Roman emperor Constantine, it was the cultural phenomenon that resulted when Christianity was established as the official imperial religion, moving it from being a marginalized, subversive, and persecuted movement to being the only official religion in the empire. Whereas followers of Jesus at one time had met secretly in homes and underground catacombs, now they were given some of the greatest temples and meeting places in the empire. They were, in quite a literal sense, handed the keys of the Roman kingdom. As C.K. Chesterton is noted to have said, 'The coziness between church and state is good for the state and bad for the church.'"

Contantine messed with the Expansion of pure "Organic" Christianity. What can be referred to as an out of control disciple making movement before the 4th century soon turned into a hierarchically controlled and diminishing movement. God help us! It's too late for Constantine who is presumed to have had no personal relationship with Jesus. He made Christianity the official imperial religion for peace purposes and not because he himself believed in it.

We thank Constantine and others who followed him and his institutional methods for Christianity's slumber in America. But we will not let Constantine and others win. The Church of Jesus Christ will survive and a movement has begun that will leave the institution of control behind in her wake.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Wanna know what BUGS me?

I'm bugged by...Chicken living people (am I being mean here?) who put up blogsites and refuse to publish comments from those who write stuff that they disagree with or cannot handle themselves. I don't mind the screening but I do mind being deleted for all the wrong reasons.

This is grouch day and while no one denied my comments in a while, I just thought I would grouch alittle.

Does anyone agree with me that it is a sign of "insecurity" for blogsters to delete "G" rated comments about a blogpost? Why allow comments if some comments are not allowed?

If you rip me -I will let your comments stand! I'm often ripped and I often deserve it. If you disagree or whatever -you're in man (generically speaking).

Since it is Grouch Day what bugs you? I can only pray it is not me!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Churchianity versus Christianity

I glean some from Reggie McNeal filtered through my own grid to answer the question from a previous post. How is Christianity and Churchianity defined?

Wonderful question, so wonderful that I post here instead of down the line.

Churchianity = In order to become a Christ follower we need to convert to the Church. Anyone interested in being a Christian must live their lives around the church, channel giving to the purposes of the church, serve in the ministries of and inside of the the church, order their schedules around the church schedule, find Jesus at church, become good members of the church etc. It's focus is on maintaining the church as she is and not fulfilling the mission of God for all of us. The main thing is: Let's keep the institution of the church alive at the expense of the Mission of Jesus for all of us. We don't readily admit this but it is reality.

Christianity = Reggie McNeal says it better than I can, "The movement Jesus initiated had power because it had at its core a personal life-transforming experience. People undergoing this conversion could not keep quiet about it. They had discovered meaning for their life and wanted other people to experience the same thing. They had a much more spiritual tool at their disposal than coercion or legalism. They had grace and love. This is the dynamic of genuine Christianity. This is what turned the world upside down at the beginning of the Christian era."

Best quote of the day by Reggie McNeal, "We don't need a methodological fix - we need a missional fix." That is what describes what Churchianity isn't and what Christianity is.

Of course as usual -I can say a whole lot more!

I met Tom (not his real name).

Coming out to Portland I sat with Tom on the plane. We spent a long time in great discussion. As a fellow Philosopher we engaged each other with a sense of commonality. I was privileged (really, really blessed) to engage this young collegiate who attends a Christian College.

He was very excited about Jesus in that he is a farely new Christ follower. He was extremely excited about his church so much so that he drives one hour to be present there on Sunday morning. Many students at the college (maybe half) have disconnected from church and we discussed the reasons. I always think I have the right answers so I gave them -but I admit I am not always right (that hurts to say that).

At first Tom responded to me like we were on the same page. It is hard to talk about living the Great Commission with "supremacy" and have people understand because often people think about how the church is corporately doing the Great Commission and giving out and planning outreach events to bring the unreached in. But for that brief time to Mineapolis for my connection I begin to watch Tom go into the wringer of deconstruction as he began to feel the burden of his personal part (responsibility) in fulfilling the Great Commission outside of church.

We departed our plane and soon Tom caught up with me and asked a very important question. He asked, "How do you engage people you don't know in conversation?" My answer was brief, "Let God open the doors for conversation, don't try to do it yourself, don't plan what you will say, let God's Holy Spirit give you the words and lead you at just the right time." It's easier than you think!

I hope Tom (not his real name) will connect with us in blogland as we continue the deprogramming and reprogramming process in becoming the Church in the world instead of just going to church. I assured him that going to church was a good thing as long as being the Church outside of the church is most important and the first thing on our minds. Don't argue with people about why they should go to your church or a church - share Jesus with them. Never in my life have people been so turned off with going to church and so open to Jesus as they are today.

Tom is on the verge of being so transformed by God so much so that he is about to experience what it means to lead others to Jesus who will do the same themselves. Let's introduce people to our Jesus before introducing them to our church! Gathering with the Church is a by-product of coming to know Jesus! Tom is going to lead someone who will also lead someone who will lead someome.

I welcome Tom into the world of being a missionary in America for Jesus.

The Planter's quotes of the day.

We must stop defending the way we do church in America in order to see God's way for us to "be" the Church in America.

We must view the Great Commission with "supremacy" as a personal mandate for all believers in order to avoid the way of the Pharisee.

Success in missional living is never measured in buildings, budgets and more butts! Success is measured in being so transformed by God that we care about what God cares about so much that we help others find Jesus so they will help others find Jesus.

Release new Christ followers immediately to reach others who will become Christ followers who will also reach others who will become Christ followers who will and who will do the same.

Isn't this great preaching?

I still have a glimmering of hope

I still have hope although it is a glimmering of hope that the American Church will release people to become Missionaries in their communities in "America".

If only the church would release all of their people out into the world and if only they would become obedient to move out of comfort in order to live out their gifts and passions to fulfil the Great Commission rather than expecting them to give all they have to the designated ministries of the church.

If only the control of the church would become celebrated freedom to serve the mission of Christ as mandated for all of us.

If only we would release the church to spend more time in outside missionary ministry that giving what little energy left to serve in the local church.

If only the church leadership would stop programming inside and release people to follow God's program outside.

If only and instead of having our people follow our own established mission and vision for our local church we would release all believers fulfill the already established mission of God for us.

If only we would give up the "show" on Sunday and be present in our communities.

If only we would quit spending all of our time planning for Sunday and other programs we would let God lead us out into the world and into lives everyday.

If only what little time we have left after work and....? we would use those energies to fulfill the Great Commission with supremacy in our world.

If only we would quit inviting people to church as the main thing and make inviting people to Jesus through our relationships the main thing.

If only we would disciple people to Jesus who would immediately disciple their friends to Jesus themselves instead of just haphazardly discipling people to be good church members who lead others to be good church members.

If only we were all Great Commission purposed missionaries- we would see America changed because Americans are hungry for Jesus despite our arguments that they are not. Instead of being excited about what happened at church we would be bursting with excitement about Jesus. When we are excited about Jesus -- Jesus oozes out of us.

Our New Reformation in America

Reggie McNeal in "The Present Future" writes about something I have believed for some time. It has to do with the landscape of the church in America. If we are to become Missionaries in America we will be met with resistance and the old and the new cannot coexist together. The American Church is at a crossroads and the direction we turn will resut in outcomes with huge implications.

Reggie writes, "This new reformation, turning members into missionaries, will precipitate a crisis, both in individuals and in a congregation. Member values class with missionary values. Member values are all about real estate, church programming, who's in and who's out, member services, member issues (translated: am I getting what I want out of this church?). Missionary values are about the street, people's needs, breaking down barriers, community issues (translated: am I partnering with God's work in people?). One of these sets will triumph over the other. They do not coexist peacefully. Anyone who has tired to lead a church through this transition from club to missionary congregation can tell you this." He goes on to explain why and you will have to buy and read the book to see the answer.

Reggie offers some really good help for a church who wants to transition towards Missionary and out of the Club mentality for ministry. Although at times I find myself wanting Reggie to take stuff further outside the box, I am pleased with the direction he has led us here. I predict Reggie will write another book that will sequel "The Present Future" with an even larger leap outside of the "Club" Church mentality. I long for Reggie (later in the future/present) to put more emphasis on being Holy Spirit driven than trying to fit Missionary inside a structure that will often and even likely to revert back to original DNA dysfunctions over time. Maybe not!

So I conclude that in order to become Missional Churches and away from Club churches we also need a "structure" overhaul as well as a Missionary reformation. Let's take the Club Church and new Missionary Church far from what we already have. And the answer is "NO" I do not know what that looks like. But, I do trust God to show me.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

No Thanksgiving for Darfur refugees

I'm sad this morning as I think about those who are hurting in the world. Today I am praying for Darfur refugees. Some of the Darfur refugees are watching Sudanese refugees stand in line to register to leave (at great risk) the camp to head home to Sudan's south as their civil war has ended in that part of the country. But Darfur has an estimated 2.5 million who fled the country and are living in refugee camps. It still amazes me that the U.S. has done very little to offer assistance to stabilize this area. No thanksgiving for Darfur refugees.

Why aren't we responding to this humanitarian crises? We give millions of aide to countries and then we hear little or nothing about Darfur. What a missed opportunity to show the world the compassion of Christ through us. While the world misunderstands the heart of the American people and Christianity - the world is not seeing the Jesus we serve and love. Why did I let this happen? What didn't or don't I do something to show our world the heart and brokeness of our Savior through my concern to carry on His compassion and love?

To close I am wondering what the people of Darfur think about the Jesus we serve as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We have the "Greatest" within us and the world does not see Him. Do they wonder where Jesus is in their sufferings?

My prayers as I gather with my family will also be for Darfur refugees and for peace in the troubled part of the world, and for families in America and in Irag who suffer the pains of instability and war. I'm thankful for so many blessings -but being thankful also means we think about why we should be thankful.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Churchianity or Christianity. I'm optimistic

While some of my posts reflect a discouraging reality there is reason for optimism. The Church of Jesus Christ is alive and well in the world. Lives are being transformed as disciples are making disciples and God-birthed Churches are started.

We are seeing Christianity come alive as devoted Christ followers are mobilizing as a passionate army engaging the purposes of God in complete obedience to the Great Commission. As a result Christ followers are being released and unburdened from shackles of Churchianity. Christianity around the world is taking on a whole new meaning as Christ followers are bursting away from forms, traditions, methods, structures, and institutions when and where these things are hindering the purposes and mission of God. The future of the Church of Jesus Christ has never been brighter since the days of the early Church. This Christianity I'm describing cannot be held in boxes of limitation or controlled by man as God leads us.

We are beginning to see Churchianity in America being replaced with authentic biblical Christianity. I'm seeing biblical Christ followers making the main thing the main thing. The main thing is lived out as the purposes of God are owned and lived in complete obedience. Christianity is best represented by an authentic "world impacting" Body of Christ mobilized to personally change the world one life at a time. Christianity cannot be programmed because it is out of control as lives are being changed and then released to make disciples themselves as commanded for all.

Optimism fills my heart as Churchianity is seen for what she really is and is being replaced by a pure - organic Christianity in America. I'm not talking about a structure or style but I am describing a New Testament modern day movement as Christ followers are moving out the binding of Churchianity and into the freedom of Christianity. Many caught up in Churchianity as the main thing will need to change, deprogram, and open their eyes and hearts in order to see past Americanized Christianity or Churchianity if they are to experience what God is doing. Many are longing for it, others are seeing it and a growing number are experiencing it. For many, I fear they will hang on tightly to something that looks and feels good but in time will find themselves left behind in an unsettling dust.

Christianity in the purest biblical description is sweeping America! This is cause for rejoicing! God is stirring up the church to become the Church in a Reformation the world has never seen.

We have a window of opportunity!!

The holidays give us a window of opportunity to make a difference. Can we? Yes we can! Will we? I sure do hope so! BUT - I must also do my part! How about you?

In just a few short days many will celebrate Thanksgiving with families and friends. And then just around the corner is Christmas as you well know. What a great time for many. While we will celebrate over these holidays -others will not have such an opportunity. For many in America and around the world they will do without on Thanksgiving day and on the days before and after. Christmas is much the same -the Jesus we celebrate is a Jesus that needs to feed the poor through us. I'm saddened today by the needs of the poor, orphans and widows who cannot provide for themselves and their families.

What can we do to ease the suffering in our world. Oh there was a time in my life when I thought people are poor because they choose to be. But I now know that is not true. There are so many things that could cause all of us to fall into this very situation. What can I do?

In this post I would like to hear from you. What can I do or what are you doing to ease the suffering in the world this thanksgiving season. We still have Christmas just around the corner, is there someone in my reach who needs help? Is there someone God has placed in your life who needs help?

God does call us to care about the poor, the orphans and the widows. As the body of Christ, that is the very least we can do. But as well, God is concerned about struggling families and those in adverse situations. There are even those families who have parents that could make a difference but choose some addiction over the children. We should help those children anyway.

Can you give some thoughts and or ideas to make a difference this Thanksgiving and Christmas Season?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Constantine Messed with us

Boy did Constantine mess with us. I can remember in church membership classes giving honor to Constantine for his part (all his) in making Christianity the official state religion. And persecution resulted to those who did not following that edict. I now have come to believe that Constantine's motives were less than pure as I look at recorded history on how he really felt about Christianity. He wanted unity not Christianity.

For an honest majority Constantine remains the hero. The institutional church was born through his edict and that has caused harm to the mission of Jesus Christ. History has proven that when you institutionalize movements we stop the movement in leage part. Jesus handed us a movement and we decided to create our own box for it. And now today, thousands are leaving the institution because we put Jesus in a box that is too small for the Jesus many long for!

Let's just consider the fact that Constantine forced us away from the mission of Jesus! Then movement after movement of denominational structures erupted and the model we adopted for the American church is European. We left the missional movement of disciples making disciples and instead of new believers fueled by mission we are now serving in church ministries that keep us at arms length from the world. That is unless the church has a programmed outreach event and even then Constantine shows his controlling colors.

Again Satan disguises his demise of the movement of God with something that looks and feels right but is clearly trickery. While the institution has done well and has impacted lives for eternity we are far behindwhat we should be missionally. We are now seeing our culture reject the church and if we are to turn the ship we need to go back to the days before Constantine and his edict which made Christianity the state religion.

Constantine really messed us up! I invite you comments but let's try to be clear positionally.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Warning, Warning

"The Present Future" by Reggie McNeal (Leadership Network) has me stirred me up all over again (in a good way).

Reggie writes about the collapse of the church culture in America. While he does not give up on the Church of Jesus Christ - he does distinquish between a church cuture that has become confused with biblical Christianity. Church culture will lose -Christianity will survive.

"The current church culture in North America is on life support. It is living off the work, money, and energy of previous generations from a previous world order. The plug will be pulled either when the money runs out (80 percent of money given to congregations comes from people aged 55 and older) or when the remaining three-fourths of a generation who are institutional loyalists die off or both." Page 1

"This new reformation, turning members into missionaries, will precipitate a crisis, both in individuals and a congregation. Member values clash with missionary values. Member values are about church real estate, church programming, who's in and who's out, member services, member issues ( translated: am I getting what I want out of this church?) Missionary values are about the street, people's needs, breaking down barriers, community issues (translated: am I partnering with God's work in people?).

One of these value sets will triumph over the other. They do not coexisit peacefully. Anyone who has tried to lead a church transition from a club to missional congregation can tell you this. They can show you their stigma received at the hands of club members. Resistance to missionary values often occurs even in churches that are reaching people. The reason is simple. If their growth is occuring because they offer the best church game in town, club member values usually predominate". (He goes on to say if missional values prevail then time & money etc at church is reduced and that causes problems for the club members).

"Who is this for? may be a good way for you to begin your own journey from member to missionary."

This is a refreshing read reminding us that God is doing a fresh new thing in America for the cause of His Mission purposes -which is the reason we were created and redeemed by the shed blood of Jesus who now lives and is with us as we "go" also.

Now what do you think...?

George Barna really did hit a homerun in "The Revolution" a couple years back (if that long). Who would have thought that since Revolution and many attacks by the religious, criticisms by the church and editorials later - time is redeeming him.

My wife and I moved to St. Louis by faith to begin redefining church and engaging a disciple-making movement where more transparency, authenticity and cultural relevance. The dream and opportunity to join with God in creating a Church that lives as the Church in America was appealing to say the least. I thought -if this can happen in other countries than it can happen here as well.

Last spring I attended the Missionary Church keystone project and teaching of Richard Greene. My life was turned upside down. Richard, a career missionary to Africa saw a Disciples-making disciples movement rise up and spread like wildfire as believers accepted the Supremacy of the Great Commission. My peers outside of keystone told me it was impossible for this to occur in America because of our culture. I knew then that nothing is impossible for God. But when I left Keystone training I made the commitment to spend the rest of my life living the supremacy of the Great Commission and also training leaders to live it and helping all believers understand and live it also. Jesus gave the Great Commission for all of us to obey.

And now since August of 2006, we have our first group of committed disciplemakers here in our new True Vine Church in St. Louis metro. Our congregation (everyone) has owned the main thing as the main thing and are now living under the supremacy of the Great Commission. Everyday, Pastor Terry calls me with another miraculous story from his group of disciple-makers who are seeing the Great Commission coming alive and being fulfilled as personally engaged.

While many authors including Barna identify a problem - I still haven't seen anyone other than Richard Greene reveal the cause of the problem. We don't need another man conjured up way of doing ministry, nor another style, form or gimmik for ministry! We need to rediscover the leading of the Holy Spirit and engage "every believer" ownership of the Supremacy of the Great Commission. We need to become the Church that lives incarnationally in the world by making disciples who themselves make disciples who also do the same. Then and only then will we experience in America what God is doing around the world.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Is Worship more important than the Great Commission?

The dialogue continues....

See: Article: "Where are you fulfilling Jesus Mission?" scroll down to comment 26 or 27 and hear what Richard has to say. It's more than powerful!

But -you must fasten your seat belts for the ride

It's Friday, but (Sunday/Jesus) is coming


Just think in a few short hours -I mean time is moving way to fast to suit me, thousands (a decreasing number) will go to church on Sunday morning. People of all walks of life will continue the tradition of "going to church". Those thousands who "go to church" do so for a variety of reasons, "I go to church to worship God" or "I go to church to be fed" or "I go to church because that's what good people do" or "I love the programming for my family" or "worship is awesome". Why do you go? Are you being honest with yourself?

Few would admit that they have fallen into the trap of American consumerism that has resulted in "going to church" as a self-consuming and selfish act for many. As a Pastor all these years I've heard enough complaints to prove my point. When the spiritual buffet doesn't have what we want or think we need-we go and find another buffet that looks and tastes better.

Just think, in a few seconds Jesus could break the eastern sky with the trumpet sound of God and all if not most or many will be surprised. Some will have heart attacks -some will think we are under a terrorist attack, others will start praying (seconds too late), others will be caught up in the air with Jesus! Sadly, most will be senslessly lost forever.

While most or many make the spiritual Sunday buffet the main thing (and won't admit it) sadly, America is lost, but searching for the real deal. It's Friday - Jesus is coming and thousands are searching for Jesus but are "turned off" by the "going to church" and the "product" it has produced in part? Because we make the wrong thing the main thing thousands are filling the spiritual vacuum in their lives by turning to cults and religions that lead them away from the Savior.

It's Friday, but Jesus is coming! It's not a question of "if" -it is "when"! It's not a question of "are you ready" it is "since you are ready will you help others get ready". It's Friday, but Jesus is coming! The sheep have strayed from the Shepherd - will you help them find their way back home? Too many are "copping out" by inviting people to church instead of "stepping out" and inviting people to Jesus through time and sacrifice that builds deep relational trust.

Did you know? The fasting growing religion in America is Wica (satanic origins) and they double every month. It is predicated at the present growth rate that Wica will be the largest religion in America by the year 2012. (Steve Ortmann)

The truth is....(shoot me) if "going to church" is keeping you from "being the church" then it would be better for you to stop "going to church" until you can start "being the Church" and begin living the Great Commission as your primary and all inclusive act of obedience.

Let's "take up our crosses" and follow Jesus by obeying the "supreme" act of obedience (Great Commission) for every believer (no exceptions). Let's get the main thing right and let the other stuff fall in line.

If you label me a heretic -remember that's what the religious community did to Jesus!

Do you?

Do you know the definition of Lunacy?

Lunacy as defined by Webster is: "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result".

Now how does that apply in the church today? Most if not many would say they (we) are not doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. But I see a different picture. We really are doing the same things in the American church but those same things are disquised as different styles, methods, programs all geared for same thing and we still expect different results.

John Maxwell used to say, "If we always do what we've always done we'll always get what we've always gotten." This is a picture of the American church!

Am I on to something here?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

WOW! WOW! WOW! And you think I'm bold...

Leading the Disciple-making movement in our first plant here in St. Louis are Terry & Suzette Goodwin. I do believe in the Supremacy of the Great Commission and most neglected command in the church of America. Check out his blogsite as He shares what happens when others believe in the Supremacy of the Great Commission.

In response to my post: Fooey on it (two articles down)-Terry made these comments.

I love your boldness - NO COMPROMISE - The line must be drawn here. While you take the pot shots Bob, my whole group is embracing this concept and lives are being radically changed.

People are prayerfully seeking God led encounters with the lost on a daily basis. God is a consuming fire and this Great Commission teaching fans the flames.

While the various leaders from around the country will now post lengthy debates with you on this subject, I will continue to march with the orders Christ gave me. Ivory Towers make poor evangelists.

Before anyone posts a response they should look around them and see the lack of passion for the lost that permeates American Christians. Is it any wonder why there is no passion for the lost? The Great Commission is hung on lighted signs and included in church mission statements but then we consume all of our time, talent and treasure serving the function of the church event in the name of the Great Commission.

According to most research I have ever seen, somewhere around 95% of all Christians in America have never led someone to the Lord! Shocking? Not for me. You reap what you sow. We sow the priorities of worship events and community and we get Christians that go to worship events and attend small groups calling it community. We tell people that serving as an usher or parking lot attendant fulfills their service to God. HOGWASH!

****Attention All Christians****

Seeking and saving the lost is a Holy Spirit led mission. Once a person embraces the mission the Holy Spirit works through them to reach the lost. Do you want to feel the presence of God working through your life? Embrace the Great Commission. Surrender your life to it. Then submit yourself to the Holy Spirit's leading each day. It will change your life. I promise you that everything else a Christian should be and do will flow naturally as a result.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The most rediculous item of the day

I cannot resist a pot shot here. The most rediculous item of the day! I'm still -well you see for yourself.

Yesterday I received a promotional copy of the magazine called "Your Church" and before tossing it I decided to take a glance. I got through it pretty fast since I don't need buildings, budgets or more butts in pews. Before doing what I always do, I glanced at the back cover and something caught my eye. It was amazing!

Let me set it up for you.

A full color picture of a pastor in a suit standing in front of His new church sign!

The add reads:

Ready for a quality sign?
How one church grew from 200 to 800 in just 6 months. Living Water church grew from 200 to just 6 months! How? They used a quality sign from RobSon to tell their community about their quality ministries.

"To date, we're up over 300 percent. The RobSon sign is by far the number one reason." -Pastor Terry Howell

(My brief comments)
Doesn't everyone wish they had one of these quality church signs?
Don't you wish you could have all the excitement a quality church sign brings?
Your answer to bringing in more people - a new quality church sign.
Let's all get a new quality church sign and advance the cause of Christ.
Finally my answer to getting more people in church, a new quality church sign.

Now the signs are nice (check em out If you check out the site click on testimonials.

Remember they say, "It is a proven fact that a high-quality church sign will typically increase your church attendance over 10% a year."

Quality church signs are going fast -get yours while there is still time!

Fooey on it...

I have been thinking and praying alott. We got hung up in blogland over the word "Supremacy" of the Great Commission. I dropped the word "supremacy" and agreed that Love for God, Living the Great Commission and enfolding believers are three priorities. You all liked that!

I hate to blow out your bubbbles - but I continue to believe that the Great Commission is the supreme act of Obedience for every Christ follower. Those who do not take the Great Commission this way will stand before Jesus and look Him into the eye and tell Him why you think it is not a supreme act of obedience. Let's see if I am wrong!

The Great Commission was given with the authority of a resurrected Savior who was totally Divine and with power as God and truly the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The Great Commission is God's answer to a failing American Church and necessary for us to become Missional and world changers. Without the Great Commission priority owned by every believer we continue with one attempt after another for new programming hoping for new results. It doesn't work!

Fooey on those of you who cannot have the scales removed from your eyes and cannot see that the Great Commission as our first "supreme" act of obedience. And please show me why you believe this is not true. And please prove to me that the Great Commission isn't all inclusive of all Jesus taught us to obey. I remember Jesus saying, "Make disciples and teach them to obey all things I have commanded you." The Great Commission is ALL INCLUSIVE of all commands in Scripture. If you take the Great Commission seriously you have to take everything Jesus taught seriously.

Fooey on those who argue this point. The Truth is clear. May God help us all!

Now go for it and show me in Scripture why the Great Commission is not our first "Supreme" act of Obedience. If you think worship is the supreme thing -it's covered in the Great Commission. If you think servanthood is the supreme thing -it is covered in the Great Commission. It's all covered by the Great Commission, yet a majority of the Church in America neglect her and devalue her importance. (Let's forget Jesus said this and when He said it and why). If you get this right -alott of right will follow -not to mention out of control fruit.

I'm listening!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Christianity Today editorial nails it...

Look at All the Lonely People
A radically old way to reach out to a friendless culture.

In Norman Rockwell's classic 1943 painting, "Freedom from Want," an extended family is gathered around the table to celebrate a holiday feast. Fast-forward 63 years to Thanksgiving 2006 and—while lack of food is still a problem for too many in this land of plenty—you are much more likely to find want of a different kind. More and more Americans are starving for significant relationships.

Earlier this year, the American Sociological Review published a disturbing study, "Social Isolation in America: Changes in Core Discussion Networks over Two Decades." Researchers Miller McPherson, Lynn Smith-Lovin, and Matthew E. Brashears reported a "remarkable drop" in the size of people's core network of confidants—those with whom they could talk about important matters.

As of 2004, the average American had just two close friends, compared with three in 1985. Those reporting no confidants at all jumped from 10 percent to 25 percent. Even the share of Americans reporting a healthy circle of four or five friends had plunged from 33 percent to just over 15 percent.

Increasingly, those whom we consider close friends—if we have any—are household members, not people who "bind us to community and neighborhood." Our wider social connections seem to be shriveling like a turkey left too long in the oven.

"You usually don't expect major features of social life to change very much from year to year or even decade to decade," Smith-Lovin, a sociologist at Duke University, told the news media.

Some may contend that the trend is no big deal, because the population is growing older and more racially diverse, and these demographic groups usually have smaller networks where friendships form. However, the nation's increasing level of education, the study says, should more than offset those factors (because, it argues, education often brings more social contacts). Yet our isolation has increased, leaving us at higher risk for a host of physical, social, and psychological ailments.

Certainly, the pressure to isolate ourselves is longstanding in our increasingly fragmented society based on the radical autonomy of the individual. Perhaps the same thing that is sabotaging marriage is undermining friendship: our increasing unwillingness to commit to relationships that require sacrifice, mutual accountability, and a generous share of humility. That refusal is often not so much willful as fearful. Back in the '60s, cultural critics Simon and Garfunkel noted the temptation to what is now innocuously called cocooning: "I've built walls, a fortress deep and mighty, that none may penetrate. I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain. It's laughter and it's loving I disdain."

Well, yes and no. People may fear the commitment friendship entails, but they remain fascinated with it. The long-standing popularity of TV programs such as Cheers, Friends, and now Grey's Anatomy—which portray the lives of people in multilayered friendships—signals that fascination.

One wonders what it would take for the church, the new community, the friends of Jesus (John 15), to hold equal fascination for our lonely culture. To draw our culture to Christ, evangelical churches spend enormous amounts of money on slick marketing materials, enormous amounts of creative energy crafting "authentic" worship, and enormous amounts of intellectual capital on postmodernizing the faith. We're not convinced these strategies get to the heart of our cultural malaise.

Perhaps another "strategy" is in order. What if church leaders mounted a campaign to encourage each of their members to become friends, good friends, with one unchurched person this year?

Oh, but that would require so much commitment, sacrifice, and humility! Exactly.

The Planter says: Please visit the Christianity Today website so I won't go to jail for copying this editorial to my blog:

Monday, November 13, 2006

Disciples Making Disciples Training

Both St. Louis and Kansas City leaders (mostly laity) met in Kansas City this week for training on how to effectively create a Disciple-making movement where the Great Commission is our supreme act of obedience as Christ followers in love with Jesus.

This group is committed to making disciples the "main thing we do" as disciples who love Jesus enough to honor His life and message. This was incredible and the future is bright as more and more people with a heart for God and His purpose join together to complete the work God gave us to complete. When Christ followers finish that work He will return for us.

Pray for these people. Join with us as God calls you to this mission priority.

Several "teachable" discipleship moments!

At the risk of being seen as horn-tooting I will share these two real life events and I pray will become teachable moments in your lives. While these encounters were brief I believe God will use them for His glory.

Teachable moment #1: On my way to our Disciples-Making Disciples training for our Kansas City and St. Louis group I had to stop for gas at a gas station/Rally's burger joint. I got gas (not from the burger) but for my car. (Not one of those "Eat here and Get Gas" places). As I walked into the Burger joint to get a burger (something Michelle will not let me do) a man and I made eye contact. As I order my meal that rough looking guy was looking at me, so I approached him and asked him if he had lunch and since he hadn't. He declined my offer twice. As I finished paying for my order I felt burdened to try one more time. I walked up and told Him that I was buying his lunch and I would be saddened if he didn't eat it. He quickly agreed! I BOUGHT HIS LUNCH AND HE GOT WHAT HE ORDERED.

As I was leaving I knew I should say something about Jesus but my mind was blank. I walked up and these words came to my mind and I spoke them, "I bought your lunch because God impressed me to do it and I always try (I'm not always listening) to obey God when he speaks in my heart. The only thing I can think of is that God must wants to bless you today and let you know how much He loves you." I wish you could have seen his countenance lift and his face light up. Jesus touched Him and will use this for great glory and redemption.

Teachable moment #2: Our group had reservations at a restaurant in Kansas City before we went home yesterday. I gave the restaurant a reservation number and half of our group at the last minute had to skip lunch. Jaime our server seemed to understand but when I learned she came into work just for us, my heart sank. (less money and less time off kept going through my mind.)

Jaime was great and had a wonderful and joyful attitude as she knew she was serving a church group. God spoke to me, "tip her well". At the end of the meal I took my signed bill and tip and asked her if this tip would be enough! He eyes filled with tears and graciousness and I said this unplanned speech to her, "Our group wants represent Jesus by blessing you. It seems like a God-thing that our total group was not here so God could show how much He loves you in this manner."

Jaime replied, with tear filled eyes, "I have goose bumps! Your group is so kind and you are not like most church groups who leave small tips and tracts. Thank you!" I shared this with our group and it was a teachable moment from God and encouragement for me to listen more and obey when Jesus speaks.

How would the Mega-Church be, IF?

How would the Mega Church, IF?

What would the Mega Church look like, IF?

What would the Mega-Church (or any church) be like if no one brought anyone to church as the first step to Christ?

How would the Mega-Church (or any church) function if every Christ follower brought new believers (they discipled) to Jesus and with Jesus, and then to church as a second step?

How would we look if all believers made the Great Commission a supreme act of obedience?

What would the mega church (or any other church) look like if Christ followers assembled as the family of God -in communion with God as the main reason for gathering?

When did we ever buy into the lie of Satan that we could reach our world through events and programs better than one on one?

When and how did we ever buy into the lie of Satan that we should give our tithes and offerings so that we could fund the church mission -so that the church corporately could be the main way of making disciples out of the not-yet reached? (Don't get riled up-some do both/and).

What makes us think we are off the hook and not responsible to personally disciple people to Jesus and with Him to disciple others to Him and with Him and on and on?

Large doesn't work!

Large never works (at least I never saw it work) in the disciple-making process. Furthermore, Jesus never discipled that way. There are events that are intended to peak the curiosity of the not-yet-reached and there are events or programs geared to show Christ followers how to live for Jesus. But discipleship never works (the way Jesus taught) in large settings.

When we meet "one on one" it always resulted in huge kingdom impact. Jesus started with a few and He invested His life in the few and the few invested in the few and all (who will be honest) do see the results of Christ-followers reaching another not-yet-reached for Jesus - and on and on.

So I do think it is silly to only "bring" people to church when we ought to be "more importantly" (I'm not saying either/or) bringing people to Jesus!

Discipleship "one on one" begins before a person comes to Christ. It continues with them finding Christ and throughout their lives in "one on one" settings. Discipleship is not successful until your new Christ-follower also disciples someone to Jesus and with Jesus and then continuing in others as every new Christ follower does the same. It really looks like the movement Jesus started over 2,000 years ago. And, as we disciple we lead them to Jesus -to love Him supremely and to Obey the mission of the Great Commission (which covers all issues of obedience) every moment of our lives and then we enfold into the Christ family "community."

Is it happening in America? Of course it is! Are there many churches thinking they are a disciple-making movement when they are not making disciples -of course there are. We must open our eyes and see that Jesus taught us a better way -one we have predominatly left with the influence of Constantine and many others up to 2006.

I love the Church -but I want to shake her up and wake her up to realize her potential for the harvest and renewed awareness of our need to obey the Great Commission. (And, not just corporately and in the church) through her ministries and programs. Disciple-making is personally everyone's responsibility and doing it the Jesus way always works best.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and even shots with loaded guns! My vest is on and I'm ready to be slapped around.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

My friend & a mega church????

My very good friend "George" (not her real name) attended a mega church of around 6,000 people this last weekend.

Here is what she said, and what she said she shared was something she thought was wonderful if not excellent. 1. The service was more like going to a movie than anything else. 2. It was professional and of the quality of something right out of a big city, like Chicago. 3. She said, "They added more screens up front to add to the stimulation and excitement of the event." 4. It was more like a rock concert with exceptional music. 5. I asked, "How many of the 6,000 people who attended last weeked at (?) came from other churches?" My friend answered, "Probably most are from other churches." 6. My friend reminded me that they are seeker sensitive and exist for those who never attend church.

In a "Come & See" attraction model like (?) church --are new Christ followers reached and are they quixkly released to make other disciples a common practice?

I asked, "Do you think all of that is good? She said, "Of course it was good, it was excellent."

I'm not church bashing! But, I am revealing a sin! (is this bashing)? How can this be good? Are we measuring the wrong stuff? Is this church effective? In my last x number of years of pastoral ministry I measured the wrong things. I thought buildings, budgets and more butts in the pew were success indicators. Guess what? They are not indicators of spiritual success.

What is a success indicator? It is simply - "Believers loving God enough to obey Him by living out the mandate of the Great Commission and then enfolding all Christ followers into community." As we love Jesus and obey Him we will obey and enfold new Christ followers who do the same.

It is freeing not to feel the pressure of being a mega church pastor. I don't want to measure my life success by measuring more: Buildings, Budgets and Butts! These things do not impress God. But...?

What does impress Him? Really, what is spiritual success in the body of Christ? Let me guess: It is not what you think it is!

I hope to hear from you on this..

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Trends - fewer and fewer full time ministers.

I suspect that in the future there will be more bi-vocational pastors/leaders/disciplemakers. I remember Paul refering to this as as "tent makers." More and more I see the committed being trained to be at work in the world with jobs that support them and ministries of leadership in the Church equipping Christ followers to live and serve in the world.

I heard (through another prson) of a young adult in our St. Louis project, a man of God preparing for the ministry, respond to his friend. His friend asked him , "Are you preparing for the ministry so that you can get a job in the ministry? He answered "No"! Then He said to his friend, "I'm not preparing for a job in the ministry -I am preparing to do ministry in the world."

I see this trend developing as young people prepare for the ministry and being willing to work in a "tent-making" job in the world.

I would love to have 12 young aduts who would make this commitment.

Anthony is in our Kansas City project and he moved all the way from Elkhart, Indiana to work in a coffee shop so he would be where the people are, the peopl he feels called to reach. Anthony has a Master's degree and yet he moved with nothing and until other believers in our new St. Louis family gave him furniture he barely had a place to sit. The thing that impressed me most was that he was content with nothing so He could serve God in this ministry with minimal salary from his coffee shop earnings.

I can hardly wait to see what God does through those who expect nothing in return but to honor Jesus regardless of the cost.

I find this refreshing. How about you?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Do I have it right, yet?

Let's assume that our most important "Supreme" action as Christ followers is to lift up Jesus as the King of Kings and Lord or Lord's and ultimate authority in our lives. He is first!

There are three important circles or "priorities" that intersect with Jesus!

Frost and Hirsch help me with three words: Communion, Commission and Community. Let me define them as I see these words playing out in Scripture.

Communion- We are in relationship with Jesus and live with a since of love, awe and wonder with Him as we commune daily and not just Sunday.

Commission - Since we have given ourselves to Him -we serve and give to those He loves. And, He loves all people. As we love those in the world and build relationships with them weengage those Holy Spirit led opportunities to reveal Christ in words and actions. As we do -people come to Him!

Community - We are in relationship with other Christ followers for support, encouragement and accountablility in loving God and serving His mission in the world.

Transformation occurs when all three are present in the life of a Christ-follower. It is never either or -it is all three.

What am I missing here?

Thank God for those Great Commissional Followers

If it hadn't been for those God-loving people who were committed to fulfilling the Great Commission -I would not be in the Christ family today.

I now love Jesus "true worship" and because I have intimacy with Him I love what He loves and He loves people and left me here to reach as many as I can for Him -so more will love Him and obey Him so more can love Him and obey Him.

I'm glad those who reached me didn't just sit around going through "worship" motions while I was doomed for hell. Their love for Jesus propelled them to reach me by living Great Commissionally.

Now you know why I hold to the value of living out the Great Commission with supremacy over all other things. By the way, if one is committed to living Great Commissionally all the other stuff and I mean all the other stuff will happen naturally. As I live Great Commissionally I must pray, I must die to self, I must sit at the feet of Jesus, I must give sacrificially, I must reach out to the poor and needy, care for widows and orphans, I must serve & love. And if I don't naturally do these things - I won't be living Great Commissionally.

Richard Greene -Understanding the Great Commission

Understanding the Great Commission

One Verb and Three Participles

“Make Disciples” = the verb

“Go”, “Baptize”, “Teach” = the participles

The verb tells us what to do. The participles tell us how to do it. We make disciples by going, baptizing, and teaching.

Understanding the Great Commission

  1. Make disciples – The Main Verb
  2. Go – Bring People to Christ
  3. Baptize – Bring them into the Church
  4. Teach – Bring them to Spiritual Maturity

“Make Disciples”

  1. An imperative – non-optional, unconditional.
  2. Implies intentionality.
  3. Action, not being, oriented.
  4. Matheteusate (Greek) – a follower, a learner.
  5. “Making” indicates a process involving:
    • Transformation
    • Character development
    • Behavioral change

      What is a disciple?

      A disciple is a Spirit-transformed follower of Jesus Christ.

      Three essential steps (Mark 8:34):

      1. Deny yourself.

      · A process of daily discipline.

      1. Take up your cross.

      · A surrender of your whole life.

      1. Follow Jesus.

      · A lifestyle of obedience.

      The Planter: What do you think about this?

Richard Greene -something to think about...

Seeing What God Sees

What does God see?

· He sees the whole earth.

· He sees the nations.

· He sees His provision.

· He sees a multitude that cannot be counted.

What do we see?

· We see our own church.

· We see ourselves.

· We see our poverty.

· We count the few that we can see.

True vision is seeing what God sees!

Richard Greene speaks out...

· The Supremacy of the Great Commission.

Three authoritative contexts:

1. The resurrection of Christ.

2. Christ’s supreme authority.

3. Its apostolic designation.

· It is the preeminent task of the church.

· It is the highest priority of the church.

· It is the defining visionary statement of the church.

· It is the supreme directive under which your church exists and operates.

· The great Commission is the preeminent work of God in this age.

· It’s what God is doing right now!

· If you are intentionally fulfilling the Great Commission by making disciples, you are working in harmony with God.

· If you are not intentionally fulfilling the Great Commission by making disciples, you are doing something other than the work of God!

· The supremacy of the Great Commission demands that we give it our attention, obedience and resolve.

· It is not another program, method, strategy, formula or idea to add to our ministry. It is the heart of your ministry!

· It is the supreme, defining, authoritative and specific mission to which we have been called by the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Planter speaks -Is there any reason not to believe that this is true? Check out the Scriptures before posting.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

I'm really sad for Ted H. and his family...

I find myself feeling really sad for Ted Haggard and his family. To be guilty of this sin or to be innocent and accused of this sin will reap similiar results in the church. His ministry is over in all likelihood. He and his family are devastated.

I'm sad because in the Christian community we categorize sin and act like some outward sins are worse than those private sins we all have and struggle with. Are their categories for sin, some small and acceptable and others so large we condemn? Isn't all sin a sin and all sins on the same level? Can all people be forgiven and all people be able to be restored like the rest of us?

I really don't want to say anthing in judgement- even if Ted Haggard is guilty of these things -because we all are guilty of things.

We must not throw Ted and his family away. We must not throw him into the unpardonable sin barrell. We must not act like the world acts. We must not act like the church acts. We need to treat Ted H and all others who sin privately and publicly the way Jesus does. If the world wants to bring condemnation let them. But let's not let the world see the church community throwing stones and hurling words Jesus would never hurl. God's heart breaks when we all sin when we sin. And we do!

This is a moment in time when we in the Christian community can show the world who Jesus is. We have no right to condemn or judge or criticize or include Ted H in a sermon or Sunday school class as a bad example. Who do we think we are? Exempt from sin? Without sin? Not in need of forgiveness?

Imagine a church - standing with Ted H. - and before cameras in a news conference. We look directly into his eyes with compassion and love. "Ted we all have fallen into sin -we have all been in need of Jesus. We embrace you and your family and forgive you and refused to throw stones and hurl accusations at you. Because we are Christ followers we are silent before you and your accusers. Because we are Christ followers we live to do what Jesus does -we will never stop loving you and we will never look down on you or treat you differently. Because we all have sin in our lives -we have nothing to say and no one in the world is qualified (not even us) none are so pure that they have anything to say. We stand behind you -our brother and we will love you and help you to rise above this in retoration and healing from Jesus and all of us. We do this because this is what Jesus would do.

I don't know how Ted H. can keep living - He and his family have more pain than most of us will experience in a lifetime. He would have less pain if he cut his own head off.

Picture Jesus standing before Ted H. What do you see happening and what do you see Jesus doing as he looks Ted H. in the eye (guilty or not)? Will you join with me in trying to do what we know Jesus is doing?

Let's show the world who Jesus really is!

Worship? What and How?

There's alott of talk these days about worship and what it means and how we practice it. No doubt about it - if you have been in the church for any length of time you have had people engage you in positive and negative ways with reference to worship and what it means and how it is to be practiced.

Would someone please take a few minutes to tell me what you believe worship is? Would you also tell me how it should be practiced? Would you be willing to go a step further and share the priorities that flow out of your worship experience?

This should be good, I cannot wait for your response.


Friday, November 03, 2006

A growing theory by Dan Kimball

My growing theory of most churches is that when churches become so inwardly focused, we can produce the fruit of knowledgeable but usually negative and critical people always pointing out the wrongs in everything. Or when we become so outwardly focused, we can become shallow theologically and produce Christians who barely know the Bible. Or when we become so felt-needs and methodology focused , we can produce consumer Christians who end up depending on which church best meets their needs which produces a bigger and better cycle for the church leaders to deal with. All of these things can produce a people who aren't seeing themselves as missional Christians being the church throughout the week - but people who have faulty (in my opinion) definitions of church and then they "go to church" for meeting the faulty expectations we have set up for them to define "church" by.

For entire article see:

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A different way to look at things...

In the "Shape of Things to Come" we find Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost bringing more clarification to our discussions. They contend that the early church recognized the equal importance of three commitments: Christ (Communion), Commission (World) and Community (One Another).

"Any emphasis on one at the expense of others is folly. For a church to claim that it "specializes" in worship or teaching is to ignore the whole counsel of the New Testament. Worship that is in some way divorced from mission is counterfeit worship. And likewise, a missioning community that is not informed, inspired, and renewed through godly worship is a pale shadow of what church should be."

My thoughts: The church in America has done a great job specializing and divorcing ourselves from God's original plan while also changing terminology to prove us right. Because the western church has failed in the balance and priorities area -we are in serious decline and we are no longer in the emergency room patching up a thing or two - we are on life support.

WORSHIP/COMMUNION is not just a planned event or a regular Sunday worship service. In fact, many (if not most) worship services are for us and not God. Far too many lazy worshippers consider going to Sunday worship as the main act of service to God. Many believe they must go to "worship" and when they don't like the show or the music or the sermon they gripe over a chicken dinner following the service while spreading their crankiness into the world upon those who serve them coffee. If we have to chuck Sunday worship to get people back or even into intimacy with Jesus -let's do it now. True worship is a love relationship with Jesus that happens everyday as a natural expression of our intense love Him and without reservation. When we truly love Him - we obey Him we are incarnational Christ representatives on mission with His mission. The more we love Him -the more we love the things He loves.

COMMISSION/WORLD is not just a planned church program to draw people in so we can have more buildings, budgets and more bodies to brag about. While some are reached this way many more will never be reached. While the world longs for intimacy, transparency, authenticity, acceptance, love of others, no more you are in and you are out separations, and no more manipulation from us -the western church continues to do it in church and not in the world. We have divorced ourselves from personal responsibility to relationally connect with the unreached. The most common attitude is simply - those in need of Jesus can find Him if they want, we are here at 9th and Chestnut every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. If you don't come here then it is your fault if you go to hell.

COMMUNITY/ONE ANOTHER is a not just a gathering with friends for superfiscial encounters. True Community occurs when we can say anything we want, we can share our pain, we can admit sin, we can be vulnerable while not being judged, criticized, gossipped about by the very people we thought were "family" brothers and sisters in Christ. When the world sees the way we treat each other they have no desire to be treated that way themselves.

When we are not passionately in love with Jesus we will become self-serving people who care less about His Mission and more about ourselves. When we care little about Jesus and only about ourselves there are fewer and fewer new Christ followers added to the body. This always results in more exclusivity and counterfeit forms of community that foster more and more pharisaical attitudes.

I long for New Testament Jesus Love/Communion; Real Commission/World concern; and true authentic Community/One another authentic transparency and love.

When we don't love Jesus we don't love the lost, and when we don't love the lost, we will never have true community, and when we don't love other believers -we can never fully love God.

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