Archive for February, 2007

Crafting Community

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

I really like reading Bob Hyatt’s blog. Bob is a new church start pastor in Portland, Oregon. So, I enjoy reading his thoughts first and foremost because I think a church plant might be something I would consider in the future. More importantly, though, I keep up with Bob because he is so transparent about the struggles we all deal with in ministry. Like most people, I really appreciate knowing that someone else is working through many of the same emotions that I deal with on a regular basis. One of his latest post, Pressure, is a great example of Bob sharing something that really hit home with me as well… I recommend checking out the entire post, but I want to highlight one section where he says:

“We had a real (over) emphasis on the actual gathering. I honestly thought at the time that if we had a cool gathering, a great community would be formed around it. I now know that the opposite is true- gather a good community and the time you gather as a whole community will largely take care of itself, flowing out of the goodness of the community itself.”

As I’ve processed through the development of our Mosaic community, I’ve really experienced some of these same feelings, i.e… the pressure to craft a great community experience at (sometimes) the expense of developing community. The problem is developing community takes time, energy, resources, and most importantly, it takes the investment of all of those who seek to participate in the community. Finding time in my own schedule, much less inspiring everyone else to do so, is enough of an issue to make this community development project extremely difficult. Of course, the irony is that for most of us, we’d exchange a great gathering for the experience of being a part of a real community.

So, maybe I’ve got it backwards… Maybe I’m investing myself in the wrong way. I appreciate Bob’s honesty because it invites me to ask myself questions that I probably wouldn’t have the courage to do otherwise…

Special Announcement

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

Departed PosterI watched The Departed on Sunday night after the Oscars.

And after much prayer and reflection…

I have decided to forgive Leonardo DiCaprio for making Titanic.

I can now publicly confess.

I like Leo.

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When it’s time to stop laughing

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

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Casual Friday Video

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

Remain calm

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

Today, the 3rd today of the meatless marathon, I almost panicked. I left my wonderfully crafted PB&J sandwich at home. Stuck in Fort Worth at lunch, needing to find something fast, I had no idea what I was going to eat. Luckily, I remembered the greatness of Central Market, grabbed a salad, and even squeezed in some organic foods shopping.

Crisis averted. Marathon intact.

Why we do what we do

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

“More people act their way into a new way of thinking than they think their way into a new way of acting.”

I knew there was a good reason to come to class today.

One more thing

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007


While we are on the subject of Mars Hill, I thought I would also share something the Mars Hill community is calling the XYZ. Again, you may have heard Rob talk about this if you regularly listen to their podcast, but the leadership of Mars Hill decided to put their heads together and dream about ways in which their community, in partnership with local agencies and officials, could bless their community. When I was at Church of the Resurrection last fall they also talked about trying to do something similar in the Kansas City. Basically, two large churches seeing that they have the resources to implement major social change in their communities and deciding to do something about it.

Mars Hill has set these audacious goals.

  • Every Kid in West Michigan Should Have Food and Shelter.
  • The poorest of Grand Rapids who are willing and able should be given a chance to earn a living.
  • The poorest people in the world should be given a chance to help themselves.

Here’s what they say about why they are doing this…

“When we start to make a big, noticeable difference among kids in West Michigan who need food and shelter and when we can actually start pulling loads of poor people out of poverty in Grand Rapids and beyond through micro finance… a whole new conversation will start about what the church is and who Jesus is.”


Read more.

Worship CD Recommendation

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

Videostill1I have been curious to hear what worship is like at Mars Hill. Like many of you, I have been familiar with Rob’s teachings for a while, but never knew quite what the rest of worship was like. From listening to Rob each week, you could tell that there was a different vibe (also coming from the fact that they meet in a old mall!) A few days ago, I got their new worship CD in the mail, and I have been listening to it non-stop. It’s a great mix (and I do mean mix) of songs and anthems from lots of different genres and generations of sacred music.

The title of the album comes from the series of messages that Rob did about the directions of the church. Throughout the album, you get to hear some of the central statements of belief that grew out of that series.

Click here to get your copy.

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Let the meatless marathon begin

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007


Attention all beef!

I am giving you a 40 day head start.

Run while you can.

Beginning today, Johnny, Kyle, and I begin our 40 day meatless marathon throughout the season of Lent. I don’t think any of us have any idea what we are getting ourselves into, but we’re all looking forward to walking through this together. If you have any “vegetarian” meal suggestions, feel free to leave a comment.

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Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

For Stewardship class, I am reading Walter Brueggemann’s book, The Land. So far a pretty interesting read. Here’s a quote from chapter one.

“Exile is being cut off with no way back. But strangely, this “null” point also became the context for Israel’s most remarkable expression of faith, the lyrical celebration of God’s faithfulness to exiles. Landlessness becomes the setting for the boldest gospel of newness. Israel had a hint of the possibility of newness that perhaps could only happen there. Precisely in the context of landlessness do the promises loom large. It is in the emptiness of Israel, exposed and without resources, that promises are received with power, that risks are run and hope is energizing.”

I have spent a considerable amount of time over the past year studying about the exile and trying to more clearly understand how this culture upheaval affected the social, political and religious landscape at the time of Jesus. The more I’ve read, the more I’ve come to understand that the exile and the loss of the promised land cannot be overlooked if one wants to understand the trajectory of Jesus’ teaching. You have to tap into that sense of loss to grasp the full potential of the Gospel message that Jesus brings. If you don’t know what it means to be in exile… If you don’t know what it’s like to be lost..

Paul says that it is in our weakness that we find strength. Jesus says we discover life when we give away our life. It is when we find ourselves empty that hope’s full potential can begin to be realized in our lives.

During the lenten season, I hope to spend some time thinking about the empty spaces in my life.

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