Sunday, August 31, 2008

In your mind...

In your mind was Constantine a Hero or a Zero for the cause and spread of Christianity?


How would you like the Church in America to be different?

Hurricanes are not American punishment....

In defense of America I must say that a Hurricane is not God's wrath on America.

Ever since the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden the choice has been made. Adam and Eve sinned thus all of humanity sin. When that happened a perfect universe was launch into chaos.

Hurricanes are mere results of fallen mankind. This was not the perfect will of God. These are the result of our own undoing.

Americans will suffer. But the entire world suffers. All because of sin.

Let's hold steady in our love and devotion for God is God and He alone is God!

Nothing happens in life without first passing by Him. He is God and He alone can take the tragedies of life and use them to bring Glory and honor to His Name.

HE IS GOD AND HE ALONE IS GOD... Can you see this Glory?

Satan meant our sin for destruction and Jesus means for us to have redemption. The choice is ours destruction or redemption.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Feeling Forsaken, but not surprised...

At risk of being to personal and vulnerable, I write. A few years ago Michelle and I sold out, packed up and moved to St. Louis to be involved in something only God could do. We knew the risk! But in search of something more we stepped outside of our comfort zones.

As a denominational employee (only at first) with start up funds from the Midwest District of the Missionary Church we knew we would eventually have to raise our own share support, much like missionaries do. I have no problem with being a missionary because if anyone needs missionaries it is America today. What an honor.

In the end I found myself in a power play by the president and the presidents men. I was chosen by the President but not hired by my boss. Not a good situation if you know what I mean. It proved not to be a good situation. The Presidents dream was not my bosses dream, really. The President hasn't figured that out as of yet. I feel sorry for Him, you know. His dream is being undermined. I'm saddened by that.

So I moved on to the Disciple Driven Church Project to start this new work or as I describe it, old New Testament work. It has been an exciting journey, indeed.

Because I am a Missionary I must raise my own support. Because I serve as coordinator of the Disciple Driven Church Project I must raise support for others as well.

All is well until the church cannot figure out what to do with us, because we do not fit the structures that are now in place. All is well, that is, until donors are pressured to give to their struggling local Church and not to us anymore. All is well, that is until we find ourselves out on a limb or on an island. All is well, that is with few others and All of God. You see, when you have nothing but Jesus, Jesus is all you need. AHAH! What a blessed thot!

Even with the pull out of those who fear that we will shake up status quo. Even with the fear that my donors must give more instead to their struggling church and not to us. Even with no clear path for funding our staff or for fueling the movement, we rest in the hands of God who birthed us. God is forever faithful and we will not be shaken by pull outs and some who refuse to pray out. We are moving forward with or without all that we think we need to survive.

America is a mission field and we are God's servants. We serve faithfully and sacrificially. The fulfillment of God's mission is first, our needs are last. We have no guarantee other than the promises of God. That is enough. Indeed!

The Church in America is in trouble. They need every tithe and every offering to keep up with the pace. It has now become more about local ministry than it is about World Mission, including America.

It is saddening that the Church of America no longer cares (they will argue this) about America as a whole. We have our own local problems, needs, plans, and nothing else matters anymore. Our mission first, in our locale. Nothing matters until this need is met! This mission fulfilled!

Is there anything wrong with this picture? What's right with it?

The Experiment...A success indeed.

A few years ago I became deeply disillusioned with the American Church. I was pastoring a church that grew from 225 to 600 in less than 7 years, following a massive church split.

During that time we averaged around a 12% conversion rate each year. The church family became deeply united around the purpose of reaching lost people.

We built a $3.3 million dollar addition that was totally debt free in 8 years, I believe.

We started a Latino ministry reaching out to thousands of relocated Latinos to our area. While the parents were learning English the kids were learning about Jesus.

Along the way, we encountered a glitch or a skip or a small bump that turned into a massively explosive staff issue. I resigned to save the church. The church leadership threw me under the bus. The Godly men and women I served with did not stand with me in my need to let a staff member go. I left, the staff member stayed for a short season. To this day the church struggles to regroup. I'm the seventh pastor to be thrown under the bus in a row.

It was then that God began to lead me to trust Him more deeply. Trusting God to do something only God could do was the stretch I needed. We moved from northern Indiana to St. Louis. Our denominational President Dr. Hossler, was the one who invited me into this journey. He gave me Garrision's book, speaking of exponential disciple making movements around the world, but not in America.

So the experiment began. We settled into an attempted to launch Disciple Making movements or church planting that was like that of Africa or Asia. I wasn't sure what it would look like and I really wasn't concerned. I longed for a movement of exponential and out of control work. Michelle and I l onged to see God work.

I attended the Keystone training under Richard Greene (a missionary to Africa seeing hundreds of thousands of congregations being birthed) and there I learned that what God was doing in Africa (with exponential conversions) should also be possible in America. I decided to give my life to this cause. I knew that I could not do it, but God certainly could. That was where our faith began to focus. THE QUESTION: Can God birth a Holy Spirit released work of Disciples Making Disciples who all make disciples while living in the Spirit?

After several years now, we have a core of young and mixed adults who are committed to making disciples who make disciples who make disciples. It is a Holy Spirit released work. We are seeing New Testament miracles and captives being set free. In this short time I have seen the Church become the Church with Holy Spirit power and gifting. New Testament miracles have become commonplace. We own no buildings. We have no structures that limit God. We just live each day waiting to see what God will do next through us.

THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION: Yes God can do in America what He is doing in Africa. Even America is hungry for God and ready to see God manifest His presence among us. We long to see that God is God and He alone is God. We live to see the Glory of God made known to all humankind and even to all the demons and principalities and even Satan Himself. God through a movement of Holy Spirit empowered disciple making is sweeping America. And, many young adults are signing on with Him.

Are you in this movement? Have you experienced anything like I describe?

The experiment worked and God is launching disciple making movements through our work now in Texas, Washington, Indiana, Kansas and Indiana. What are your thoughts?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Rick Warren is making news, again!

Rick Warren does it BIG. According to Fox news, they have Rick Warren interviewing Obama and McCain and it airs Saturday night of Labor Day weekend (Tomorrow).

Is this wise for Warren?

Does America really care?

Will anything new come out of this?

Why do you think this is a good move on Warren's part? Or a bad?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

America is a Mission field....

When I think about America I realize that the sending nation has now become the one who needs the sending. We need Missionaries to begin lifesaving stations across America's landscape. Don't you agree? We need missionaries to America.

If people are not going to find Christ in Church than many pastors or churches will never reach them. We need to unleash an army of Missionaries to America. These missionaries will need to discern our culture and figure out how God wants to reach the lost in their search for Him. It is now likely that many people will never come to Christ if they have to find Him in Church. It is now time for the Church to be the Church in the world without the stigma of church in order to live as the Church or body of Christ.

In most denominations they have a Missions Agencies for overseas mission work and then Church Planting agencies for America. I now believe it is time to lift geographical boundaries and let both Agencies coexist in America. I live to see that day when Missions boards begin sending missionaries to America? Why? Because we are in desperate need for apostolic missionaries to begin disciple driven Holy Spirit empowered movements of God.

Do you really think denominations across America would allow their Missional Agencies and also American Church Planting Agencies to coexist in America without geographical boundaries or limitations? If we did you would see a church unleashed and just waiting for God to take us on the ride of our lives. Since when was Paul concerned about geographical boundaries. How about Jesus?

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Future of Denominational Affiliation....

With some time to reflect I have come to believe that denominational churches will become less and less in the future. With a prophetic gifting I see some changes over the next hill and just beyond the horizon. Here are just a few random thoughts:

*Denominations will become less and less needed in the future.
*Churches will become more and more autonomous and independent.

*Larger Churches will see the need to keep their money and ditch their loyalty to the denomination that birthed them. This departure from their birthing denomination will be over money and the desire of the local Church to control it all and not have to gift a percentage to the home office.
*Smaller churches will become smaller and smaller and less and less effective. This is largely in part to the success of the attractional and entertaining larger church. Smaller churches will not be able to compete.

*Denominations that survive a rapidly changing environment must be willing to put the mission of reaching lost people first while also releasing movements of people from their flock for the sake of the spread of the gospel.
*Denominations who fail to release God's redemptive work will cease to be growing and effective. Who needs a controlling God limiting denominational system or structure?

*If the denominational office is to survive these changing times they must hold the church loosely in their grip and be willing to release her for the sake of the spread of the gospel through life transforming Holy Spirit work.
*Denominations who fail to release God's work for the sake of their own existence will seal their fate and die a slow death.

The future of the Church in America will become a less and less controlled and structured work. It must become a releasing Holy Spirit empowered and disciple making driven work. Denominations and Churches who refuse to release this Holy Spirit work will seal their own fate and lead themselves into decline and eventual death. Others may just end up lukewarm with a great show and little glow.

God is birthing a renewed Holy Spirit led disciple making movement that is non-geographical in all aspects. Thus it cannot be controlled or hindered in any way by structures. Any attempts to reel her in will lead to pushing her out.

If denominational systems are to survive these changing times they must release the work of God for the sake of God's mission and not for the sake of self or denominational preservation. We exist for the mission and not for ourselves. Selfless and putting the mission first is the only hope for the church and her denominational affiliation. Anything less that releasing the work of God into a Holy Spirit shaped wine skin is not enough. We are God's Church and it is never my Church.

Do you think denominational systems and structures will survive these changing times? Or will she control herself to death. I'm thinking the latter is inevitable. What think ye?

Can denominations as we know them survive this rapidly changing landscape? I believe if it is to be possible they must release, release and then release the church to do what she was created to do. That is, fulfill the mission of God with the unleashing of the Holy Spirit in all power and messes that may arise.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

It's all about money, you know!

Michelle and I attended her great aunt's funeral visitation this evening. I saw many old friends from various denominational backgrounds. It was interesting and I was very careful not to stir people up too badly. I now know I have a gift for stirring people up.

Anyway, my friend who is a pastor was telling me how he was going to preach on vision and what we should do and why. I told him that was good. Then I told him what was bad. What is bad is that you've preached hundreds of sermons on this subject and people say "amen" but never engage the truth you preach by putting it into practice.

I told my friend the story about an African American pastor who stood in his pulpit and told his congregation that he was tired of telling them week after week what needed to change and no one was doing what they were taught so he was not going to preach that Sunday morning or any other Sunday morning until they started obeying what they already knew to be truth.

My friend, the pastor paused at that story and said, "You know Bob, it's all about money. I could never do what that other pastor did because I have only three years until retirement and they would fire me. You know Bob, it's really all about money, isn't it?"

Is it really ALL ABOUT MONEY? Is that REALLY why we do not insist on obedience to the truth of God's Word? My friends own words condemn him.

What have you to say?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Why do we do this?

My friend Mike used a phrase in one of his comments..."We leave it to the professionals.."

Why do we leave "ministry" to the professionals?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Why do we need to go this way?

the planter writes: THIS IS AN ADD I PICKED UP IN MY INBOX:

A visitors comes to your church.

They walk in, they do not know anyone or what to expect yet, they have come to your congregation wanting to worship.
Sometimes they are looking for a church home, sometimes a place to come into contact with God.

What they really, really want is a friendly face, a warm handshake, and...well...a friend.

Your congregation is probably very friendly, but unless these guests are greeted and helped within the first few seconds in your building, they will not think of your church as a friendly one.

Here is a plan, step-by-step, 'do this, then do this, then do this.' Your plan for greeting guests and maintaining a greeters ministry is here. Ready to go by Sunday.

Don't wait.

Check this out.

In Him,
--Curt Gunz

P.S. There will be visitors at church this Sunday, will you be ready? Summer is when people look for a church home (they want to get settled before school starts)

the planter: the sad thing is that someone will actually read this here and go buy the kit.

Youth programs are failing...

Tell me, someone please tell me. If our children and youth programs are so wonderful why have we and are we losing the younger generations here in America? There is a real disconnection following the youth group (upon graduation) from the church. We are failing to produce what we claim.

Why do we continue to use programs that are not working? Can anyone answer this one for me? A friend of mine called youth ministry a "failed experiment". What do you think?

Still trying to see a move of God in America that will be unlike any move of God we have ever witnessed on American soil. But in order to experience such a thing, we must wake up and face the facts instead of defensively protecting them. It's NOT working...!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Can you imagine a Church who has 700 people who refuse to release 15 -20 people to launch a disciples making disciples move of God? Imagine a church that is more concerned about controlling the people than releasing them.

Imagine a district that refuses to release 15 -20 people and refuses to bless the leader of this group to go lead the group to make disciples who make disciples.

This cannot be a move of God the Pastor and Superintendent say. These people are rebellious and out of line. They are hurting our ministry. But remember, the group only wanted to be released to go and do what God was telling them to do.

Imagine, the group has moved on without the blessing of the church leadership and without the blessing and support of the district and general church.

But what they do have is freedom. They do have the full anointing of the Holy Spirit. They do have the power of God leading them through the Holy Spirit. They are laying a foundation that will make disciples exponentially. The glory of God is being made known to those around them.

Is this a real church scenario. Can it be real? Am I making it up? You tell me. Is this above scenario or story really possible in America? Did this happen? Is this really how the church acts?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


"What matters most is that what God says matters." I said that!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Just two, not really. But two issues are facing us.

What is the Church? How would you define her? The definitions are as numerous as the stars in the sky, almost. I don't know how we'll ever get on the same page.

What is a disciple? How would you define one? Try to get everyone together on this.

If we could ever answer these questions with unity, we might get somewhere.

Back to the basics and on to surrender...

The very forms of the American Church that are now hindering us are the same forms we exported around the world. We have inadvertently exported our problems to others.

I'm involved in dissecting the American Church with a visit back to the basics. You will be interested to see what we are discovering. It's back to the simplicity of the Gospel and back to the simplicity of making disciples who make disciples without diluting the meaning of disciple. "If you want to be a disciple of mine then _______________________________________", Jesus said. You fill in the blank.

We have given our disciples a cause worth living and dying for. This is what younger generations have longed for. You cannot believe what I am seeing as the younger generations commit to this.

We're in trouble, but!

We're in trouble, the American Church is in trouble. But we defend her anyway, even at the expense of a new God ordained - God breathed ministry.

The new doesn't replace the old, it just goes beyond and in a direction with freedom that the old can never and would never allow. As God does His work in both it is in the new that God will do what the old cannot and will not allow. Entire generations will be reached in the new.

It's time to give up the people, the money, the security and release the remnant to join God in doing a new work to reach generations the old wine skin will not and cannot reach in her present form. The new and the old cannot coexist. One demands geographical boundaries and the other demands total freedom with no geographical boundaries.

We are in trouble. We are in greater trouble if we try to grasp or hold tightly to that which God always wants to hold loosely and that is the PEOPLE, the Church. The greatest threat to this God ordained free flowing, Holy Spirit led, disciple making movement, is the American Church, that is unless she will bless and release her.

Try to hold the new back and you lose her and the blessing of what could have been.


Dwight Smith 1998 writes, The most important question being asked by the people of the West today is, “Why the church?” Many in leadership presume to know the answer. Courses in just about every training school purport to cover the topic. Local church pastors preach sermons on the subject. Concerned para-church organizations distribute glossy adverts, coupled with expensive materials, packaged in multi-day seminars, guaranteeing, latently at least, that they have the answer. Megachurch leaders organize show and tell weekends for the lost and hungry from all over the world to come to their patch and see the answer.

But, if we truly understand the role of churches in the world, why all the unhappy
people voting with their feet against organized Christianity? Statistics do more than tell an interesting story to introduce a public presentation. They give us a hint of trends that if they don’t change spell somewhat certain outcomes. And, all of the trends that I see tell me that the future of organized, Christian, local church life in the West, is headed into irrelevancy at best, and extinction at worst. Don’t get me wrong here. I am not saying that the Gospel will die, or that followers of Jesus will cease to be counted in our nations. But, the public and organized forms that we have known for hundreds of years are in deep trouble.

To finish the article read finish.

Monday, August 11, 2008


It seems to me that the issue facing the modern American Church is one of organization versus organism. I have come to conclude the organization to be an enemy of the organism. When we are more concerned with how to control it or contain it we have chosen sides with organization.

One of the greatest challenges faces denominations in the future will revolve around this issue. Will the denomination or local church be able to release organism ministry with their full blessing and support? Or will they hold tightly to the rules of control found in organizations? If they choose the latter they will miss out on the blessings of organism growth and discipleship.

Strong organizations and organisms are not compatible. They must part their ways for a healthy future. God will work in both and has proven that. But together, organizations and organisms will not coexist. Release organisms and watch God bless her with exponential effectiveness.

American Churches and Denominations must release the organism. Just let her go & watch her grow. Try to contain her and she will be forced to leave anyway. She is not a threat to your existence she is an asset.

David Fitch Quote

"When those outside of Christ will not come to our church services no matter how professional they might be, when they will not come to our special out reach events, when they will not come for Sunday school for their kids, or movie night or whatever other crazy fanagled way we dream up to get people into our church, then we must somehow rethink the orientation of just about everything we do in church. This would include worship, community and fellowship, discipleship, preaching (part of worship), children's ministries, leadership, evangelism, justice and of course church-planting."

For more of this article, read.


To be able to see the Ephesians 4 Leadership gifts of Apostle, Prophet, Pastor, Teacher, Evangelist all engaging and working in the Body of Christ and outside of the Body of Christ is awesome.

At our All Church(es) gathering yesterday I was able to walk around and observe the gifts operating in the gathering. I cannot mention everything but I can tell you that all the gifts were operating.

Apostle: Anthony M, shares a passage of Scripture pointing the way for us.
Prophet: Chris G, walks around asking people "How God was at work in their lives".
Teacher: Jason H, shares a historical summary of communion and other traditions. Steve M, shares the meaning of communion and prays. He is also Pastorally gifted.
Pastor: Zachary M & Amy G, offering mercy to those engaged in heavy discussion as if to stick up for the one who is being confronted or challenged. Also Mark S is moving around the group and at times is seen praying over people. One such times not only brought tears to one being prayed for but also to me as I watched this happen.
Evangelist: I'm looking overlooking the park looking for opportunities to share Jesus.

I could make this a really long post identifying the entire Church and their gifts but this makes my point. I enjoy seeing the Body understand their Ephesians 4 leadership gifting and then walking that gift out in life.

Now as God raising up more Apostles among us, we release those Apostles to start a new work. As the new work grows we watch as God brings the leadership gifts into the mix so that the Church can function wholly and Holy. Isn't this exciting? While we do not count those who attend our gatherings, we do track the Leadership gifting of the Churches. For us in the Disciple Driven Church, we value being the Church and operating the way God made us through His gifting. It's amazing to see a Church that operates in the gifts.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I caught this nice fish this afternoon. It was just a hair over 19 inches. As you can see it is a nice large mouth bass. This was caught in our community pond behind our home in Wentzville, Missouri.

Friday, August 08, 2008

YouTube - Kicked Him In The Penith

YouTube - Kicked Him In The Penith

Let's get honest with each other...

It's time for an honest lo down here.

For the 24 years of successful pastoral ministry I have seen trends of all kinds. There have been huge methodology changes. Methods come and go but the Word of God remains the same, was our motto.

I've spoken with district superintendents and denominational leaders who have said and would like to believe that what I am proposing and what they are doing are the same things. Just another method or method or model to accomplish what we are all doing. NOT!!!

They have stated that in the (blank) church we allow for all expressions of church and all models are acceptable and can coexist. Herein is where the fallacy lies. All models are not just other or another model. Some of what they refer to as a model isn't a model at all. It is a philosophy difference. A different philosophy will bring different results.

While God is working in the traditional American Church, God is calling out a remnant of people into something else. As I state in other posts, people do not like to be called into something and then have that calling change. Whatever people signed on for you is what you can hold them to. But people in the American Church were not called personally to making disciples themselves. So when a group comes in a tries to do it as a priority it causes all kinds of problems in the church/denomination.

What I am suggesting is that -what I am involved in is not just another method/style. The thought of another style, model, gimmick makes me nauseated. The Disciple Driven Church (using keystone principles) is a Philosophy shift in what we do and how we do what God has called us all to do. I really don't care what you were called to by man, I am concerned about what WE ALLLLL have been called to by God. Go and make disciples - the go is for all of us personally.

"Take up your cross and follow me..."
"Leave you family and friends..."
"Let the dead bury the dead..."
"Offer your bodies as living sacrifices..."

What we have used to define a disciple isn't in line with how Jesus defines one. This philosophy is not just another style or method, it is radical, and, like gas and water, it will not mix within present and existing structures.

Let's stop using other models to describe the remnant God is calling out to be and do. This is a huge shift in how we live, serve and sacrifice for Jesus. Making disciples who make disciples demands obedience, sacrifice and a surrender uncommon in the American Church. We are not just another style or model. This is a major philosophy change that rocks the boat when forced to live in the old skin.

This philosophy threatens the America Church structure and merging the two threatens the mission of making disciples who must all make disciples. The two are operating under two distinctly different philosophies.

Let's get honest with each other.

New wine needs a new wine skin

As much as I have tried the principles of making disciples who must ALL make disciples will never be realized in the American Church present form. Many attempts across denominational lines to birth a disciple making movement in present structures have failed. These disciple making disciples movements do not and cannot coexist in systems of control such as is evident in the established American Church and or denominations. This move of God must be released from the present American Church or she will release herself. Here I am saying, she has not been released with the blessing of the church - so she must be released to do it without them.

New wine needs a new wine skin. The day for a new free flowing wine skin is now. People in the present American Church were never called to the level of disciple making priority I am suggesting (because God is leading me in this) they never signed on for this and they never will. I should say, some are being called out of the church present to do this work. The remnant is being called out, a new wine skin is being birthed.

Over and over I have witnessed the church clamp down on those who are being called out to make disciples who make disciples. As they express the desire to leave their church they have been labeled "rebellious", "trouble makers", "sowers of discord". But the truth is that God is calling out a remnant to do a new work, a work that requires that we give up everything to be the difference Jesus needs us to be in the world.

The Old wine skin cannot hold us. A new wine skin is needed. The Old and the new cannot coexist in harmony. The old and the new have been called into different things. All are children of God, but these missions collide. You could say in Old Testament terms relevant today, Sarah and Hagar cannot live in the same tent.

What matter to Him - matters to me

I've been out of the local church pastorate since March, 2005. This has been a journey of strong evaluation and reevaluation of my life, ministry and purpose. Through much pain God has done and is doing deepened and refining work in my heart. The only thing that matters now is that I live out the truth that the things that matter to Jesus must be the only things that matter to me.

Declaring the Glory of God - matters to Jesus
Displaying purity and holiness - matters to Jesus
Discovering my purpose of making disciples - matters to Jesus
Decidedly removing any hindrances to the above - matters to Jesus

present church and denominations will miss out...

There is a huge hunger for holiness among our younger generations. You'll find them in their 30's, 20's and teens. They want a cause worth living and dying for. They deeply love Jesus but despise the institution called the church. They love the Body of Christ but they see through much inconsistency, hypocrisy and shallow commitments often evident in the church organization. They love Jesus but despise the church in her institutional forms. They refuse to play church and refuse to settle for anything less than what Jesus would settle for.

God is calling out the remnant, He is raising up these younger and passion filled Christ followers to lead the reformation in America. This army will not fit in established denominational structures. Trying to mix them is like trying to mix water and gas or oil. It doesn't work. They are leaving these structures by the droves. They love Jesus but they just cannot stand what they have seen in the church. They long for purity and holiness and something to live and even die for if necessary.

Because of our attempts to control it, those in church and or denominational structures will miss out on this huge move of God. For a season the leaders in these denominational structures will appear blinded by this truth as God does His work of raising up and releasing an army of holiness that cause the demons to shutter when they speak. It will reveal a holiness and willingness to sacrifice what is uncommon to man and to the spiritual realms. Through these younger generations even the demons will discover that God is God and He alone is God.

We are in this phase. An army is being raised up. And the structures of our day will not hold them in, they have left or are leaving by the droves. Our present American Church forms, structures and denominational strongholds are inadvertently choking this work of God by hanging on so tightly to present forms and wine skins. Because of this tight "strangle hold of control" this God movement must happen outside the church and denominational structures of our day. Radical and fluid Holy Spirit work cannot and will not flourish in our present system. Instead God is birthing something in the hearts of these younger generations that will bring forth a new kind of Christianity - the one found in her early days of purity, sacrifice and holiness.

This God ordained movement of holiness and transformation must be released with our blessing or it will leave us without the blessing of ever having had part in it. We will wake up one day and wonder how we missed out on the reformation.

Denominational leaders must wake up and realize their part in releasing and blessing this move of God without control. You must give us permission to leave you with your blessing. I'm a 50 year old man with a passion for the things our younger generations are passionate about. I'm in this army. I'm going to do everything I can to keep up with these emerging leaders.

If you want to join the army, let's connect.

Facebook | Greg Neumayer's Videos

Facebook | Greg Neumayer's Videos

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Release your hostages...

As I mentioned numerous times in this blog - we do not own the people who attend our Church. God owns us and everything we have, we don't own anything. We are bond servants or "slaves to Jesus". The members of my past churches were NOT my people. They never belonged to me.

Yet the American church is marked by structures that contain and rules that control. It's amazing how quickly the gander goes us when a group of people rise up and want to begin a new work outside of institutional structures and guidelines. Right now I know of a church pastor who refuses to release with his blessing around 15 people from his 6-700 member flock. It has gotten ugly. Instead of blessing them as they leave they are rejecting them as rebellious. How sad. It is a perfect example of control and insecurity.

Here's what I know! Yes I know something. I know that God is raising up a remnant from the American church to begin disciple making movements across America. God is stirring the hearts of those who refuse to stay where they are. They long for something that requires greater commitment and sacrifice so they are leaving the institutional American church. What's worse is that they are leaving without the blessing and support of their home base church.

God is calling out a remnant from among the American Church to begin New Testament Disciples making disciples movements. When God calls, let's release them with our full support and blessing. Whatcha think?

Monday, August 04, 2008

YouTube - Preacher Blooper

YouTube - Preacher Blooper

YouTube - Dan Kimball - They Like Jesus But Not The Church

YouTube - Dan Kimball - They Like Jesus But Not The Church

Little Bo Sheep Without One Peep - the Church

After being out of the local pastorate for about three years now I have new perspectives on ministry. While I gather with the church, the gathering is not my main priority. I do no ministries in the church anymore. I don't preach, or teach, or watch children or lead programs or you name it anymore. I spend all my time in the world living life with people I encounter. It is themost freeing and exciting way to do ministry.

When I gather with my True Vine family I gather with the Church - all of whom are believers. We do not invite pre-Christians to worship - we first invite them to Jesus. When we gather we sing, share, open the Word of God, partake of communion, give our tithes, share a meal together and introduce our new converts. But clearly the worship gathering is not the main thing, sharing Jesus life on life in the world is.

While some have labeled me as down on the church I am really not down on the church I am down on "going to gather" and I'm totally for "gathering to go". Those who oppose me often say they are "gathering to go" and then they do not have any fruit to show for it. As long as we encourage "inviting unbelievers" to worship as the church we will not accomplish believers "inviting unbelievers" to Jesus. Somewhere we went from inviting people to Jesus to now just inviting people to our church.

In America the main thing has become "going to gather" and we just cannot admit that we are not "gathering to go" anymore. Leaders lie to me all the time over this issue and it's like they refuse to face the truth that believers largely are not going into the world to share Jesus anymore. Let me repeat it one more time, "inviting people to church" has largely replaced "inviting people to Jesus".

One of the healthiest things we could do is stop "inviting people to church". The worst thing we ever did was allow the unsaved to worship like saved people. That's one problem and the other is we have replaced Jesus sharing with church sharing. We have become like Little Bo Sheep without one Peep.

Would you please???

There is a growing number of people who have exited the church to preserve their faith.

Would some of you brave ones tell us the particulars that led you to give up on church? How is your life different now that you have left the corporate church?

This discussion is long overdo and needs to be heard.

Quoteable meat...

Shane Claiborne writes: “Being a Christian is about choosing Jesus and deciding to do something incredibly daring with your life.”

Does this describe you? Me?

Sojourner shares a comment from his friend...

My fellow-blogger, Hamo, comments on this:

If Jesus were alive today and his mission was still to seek out and save the lost what might he do?
Would he hire a building, set up a sound system, develop a music team, drama team, and then do local letterbox drops advising people that they could come and be part of his church on Sunday?
Was it ever Jesus’ intention that non Christians should seek us and desire to attend our worship events? Or didn’t he say quite clearly that it was his calling, and now ours to seek out and save the lost; to go to their world and enculturate the gospel there. Little Bo Peep evangelism (leave ‘em alone and they’ll come home) is fast running out of steam…

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Hanging on Mother Theresa's wall


People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Be good anyway.

Honesty and frankness will make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People need help but will attack you if you help them.
Help them anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.

~ Kent Keith, made famous by Mother Teresa*

* Kent Keith originated this poem in 1968, and Mother Teresa placed it on her children’s home in Calcutta in a slightly different version. As a result, many have attributed it to Mother Teresa.

My major gripe...

My major gripe is that we are often more interested as Christ followers in spending time with other Christ followers when we ought to be spending time with those who do not know Jesus.

This gripes me...

We have too many holy huddles and not enough unholy muddles.

Pray for our neighbors...

From plowing out driveways with our snow blower in winter, to our house fire in the spring (a year ago)to helping children with fishing this summer we are positioned to reach our neighbors for Christ. God has given us good favor with our neighbors.

Please pray for them and for us as we continue to reach out to them with the love of Jesus. God has given me a heart to see the ways He is working and to cease those moments of ministry and love. I can only praise Jesus here.

We know them, they know us and God is making creative ways for us to serve them and impact them with a link to Jesus.

Please pray for our neighbors. They are precious to us and even more precious to Jesus. I'm encouraged to serve and see God work His will and miracles on Autumn Bluff Lane and beyond.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Things that matter...

Since we have the community pond behind our home we do have some action every now and again. Yesterday, our Mulherin neighbors had a going back to school hot dog roast for the kids in our neighborhood. Of course we always opt for the free meal and time with our friends. I became the helper of the fisher kids. I baited and fixed and untangled more than my share of lines. What a blessing to see our neighbor children enjoy God's blessings of nature while catching fish. It was huge. C.J. touched a fish for the first time in his life.

Then today, it was Chris and his birthday party. We were among his guests and we also ended up at the lake and I once again found myself the bait-er and un-tangler of lines. It was fun. Some of the children caught the first fish of their lives. I cannot tell you how that blessed me.

What is better is that we are where real people are and we get to invest our lives in those who live near us. They know we love them and they also know we know Jesus. What a great combination. When Chris's wife lost the grandmother who raised her, she came to visit us and we prayed for her.

These are the things that matter most. The people we have living near us are the people who matter to God. Anything we get to do with them is a plus when it comes to serving Jesus. I love living in community so that people who need Jesus can see Him.


Over 12 years ago Michelle and I went to Haiti to make school desks for our Haitian schools. Amazing! We built around 120 desks. Our team leader Ken Thompson was the real hero. Well, Carol did save us by bringing real food to keep us alive.

During that visit we saw Haitian Christians with nothing but also with everything. I learned on that trip that if Jesus is all you have, Jesus is all you need. For the Haitian, Jesus was truly all they had and was also truly all they needed. I saw vibrant Christ followers filled with hope and praise for God and all He had done and was doing in their lives. Having come from America the land of plenty where the plenty often replaced our need for Jesus it was refreshing to see the reliance on Jesus and the fulfillment He brings.

Jesus was all they had...Jesus was all they needed. What a blessed thought. Jesus is all we really have...Jesus is all we really need. Nothing matters but Jesus!

How is it possible, you tell me...

How is it possible for there to be a clash between what Jesus did and what the Church in America is doing.

Well, Jesus made disciples...who made disciples...

Jesus never had a V.B.S. or a Praise Team standing on the platform. He lived with those He ministered too. He never had a budget or a building. The pastor was not the superstar attraction, He was. Jesus sucked allot dusty trails we suck in allot of air conditioning. Jesus never occupied a pew. He never served in a ministry. He never had a position of leadership in the established church.

Anyone see anything wrong with this picture?

What are the differences. Be brave! Be honest!

Friday, August 01, 2008

YouTube - Where is Matt Harding?

YouTube - Where the Hell is Matt? (2008)

My friend J.R. writes

Rediscovering Church: Giving To Jesus Not Man

I was sitting in my office, preparing for an upcoming youth retreat when the phone rang. The man on the other end introduced himself as Ken. "I have left the Jehovah's Witness," he said. "My family has disowned me and I have no money. Can you help?"

I met up with Ken at the local mall where he shared a very convincing story of loneliness and financial need. I drove Ken to my ATM and gave him Two hundred and fifty dollars. It was a huge amount of money, more than Ken was asking of me, but I felt the Lord telling me to give that specific amount.

As I handed the money to Ken I said to him, "I don't know if you are telling the troth," I suspected Ken might be a charlatan.

"It is easy to fool me because I am a very trusting person. But I am not giving you this money because I trust you, but because God asked me to help you and to help those who are in need. If it turns out you are lying, then I want you to know that you are stealing this money from God, not me."

I drove Ken back to the mall and gave my parting words, "Ken, no matter how you use this gift, don't ever forget that I did it out of love and faithfulness to God."

I never saw Ken again. I soon realized that he had called me from a pay-phone in the mall and Ken had been running this scam at different churches all over the state. Seven years have passed since that day, and sometimes I still feel foolish for giving Ken money that could have gone to my family. I was embarrassed and ashamed for a long time by how I was deceived.

If stories like these have made you stop giving, to your church or those in need, then I encourage you to rediscover your motive for giving in the first place. Rediscover the joy of giving based on the teachings of Jesus Himself.

Mark 12:38-44 [Open in Libronix (if available)] In His teaching [Jesus] was saying: “Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and like respectful greetings in the market places, 39 and chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets, 40 who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation.” 41 And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. 42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. 43 Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.”

True, we must be wary of those who would steal our gifts. But did you notice that Jesus does not condemn this women for giving foolishly to the religious leaders. On the contrary, Jesus says she is a model giver. This woman is blessed beyond others because she gave a sacrificial gift of love to God.

It does not matter how money gets used because neither you, nor I, can control it once given. Give freely! God's blessing does not depend upon the amount we give. God's blessing does not depend upon how the money is used, or abused, by the receiver. God will be their judge! But in your life, God's blessing is dependent upon our willingness to give generously with love.

Stop giving to Man and start giving to Jesus and you will receive joy beyond measure!

THE PLANTER: Now we are finally making the point. Thanks J.R. To read more of J.R. visit More than Cake

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