Sunday, April 26, 2015

Why Do I Want to Plant a Church?

I got a message from an old friend the other day who is a passionate leader and church planter.   He saw a post of mine about wanting to plant a church and wrote to encourage me. He also wrote to challenge me,  to check myself.   As a facilitator of church planting,  he saw lots of guys who planted out of a bad motive. Often guys who have been hurt in a church go and plant a church with an attitude of "I can do it better"  and he wanted to ensure I wasn't motivated by bitterness.   He knows that I have had some difficult times in the past in local church work,  and it was a fair challenge he gave me. I wanted to check my heart and part of the reason I have been out of ministry for a few years without jumping in and starting a new ministry is to check my heart and heal from some hurts.

It's been a few years,  and my heart continues to yearn to plant a church.   This desire started long before I knew anything about church planting.   In high school I was part of a small group of about 5 students who worked with a student teacher to start an FCA Huddle at our school.   As I went on to Junior College,  I worked with our Director of Missions to start a Baptist Student Union or BSU.   (They have some some name changes,  BSU in some places,  Baptist Collegiate Ministries or BCM in some places,  and Christian Challenge in other places).   When I got to the University,  I worked with our local BSU,  but got to know my first church planter.

When in Arizona,  I met a number of church planters and was introduced more to the house church model and some material by Charles Brock on house church planting. It was a great time of learning and I had the opportunity to help out with some house church plants. I started one of the first junior college BSUs in the state,  and I hoped to plant a church on that college campus,  but God had other plans.

While in Seminary,  a good friend and I started a coffee house church service,  it met on Saturday nights at first and later Sunday Nights.   It wasn't a church plant, it was a "church service plant"  I suppose.  We were able to reach new and different people,  and do some fun and exciting things in that atmosphere. I became a staff member at a very young church,  and it was exciting to be in the early stages.  

Once I got to Iowa,  I served again in a young church and saw the need and desire to plant churches grow.   I was blessed to go to the Exponental Conference in 07, and it added fuel to the fire of my desire to church plant.

God has put in me a desire to see new things,  new ideas and fresh starts.  A church plant is a dream I've had for many years,  and I get excited every time I think about the idea. It hasn't been the right time,  but it seems that doors are opening and I may have an opportunity.   I am not sure what the shape will be,  how it will work. It may be a church plant,  it may be a service,  God may lead me to start a ministry instead of a church. I would love if God called me to work with Church planters,  I don't know what is in the future. I am excited about the future and what God is going to call me to do.

I have shared some of my vision for what my church plant would look like, using house church models and some other ideas I've had.  I hope to share more in the future,  and I invite your input and ideas.   Thanks for your prayers and encouragement.

What About the Kids, A Review of Their Name is Today

While I didn't 100% agree with everything, the main premises are right on. Great book, great read. I would recommend it.  I have agreed with the premise that we have found ways to abandon children without actually physically leaving.   We have outsourced our children,  asking the school,  the church,  the daycare and society to raise them,  teach them and lead them.

It's a travesty that children have become so busy that they no longer have time to be kids.   We have filled every moment with activities and stuff.   Jo-Ann Christoph is right on the money in many areas.   I read this book in one sitting,  it was a great read.   Check it out!

Quack Quack, a Review of the Duck Commander Faith and Family Bible

Unless you've been under a rock for the last few years,  you have heard about Duck Dynasty,  the family who began a company making duck calls,  have a reality TV show and are outspoken about their faith.   They are a fun family,  the men having beards,  wearing camo,  hunting and fishing.   Sounds like I would fit right in.   They are also very outspoken about their faith.

The Faith and Family Bible is a resource created by Phil,  the father of the family and his son Al,  who isn't on the show and Pastors a church. Together they have written devotional material that is down to earth and great for individual or family devotions.

If you are looking for something to use for Family devotion time around the dinner table,  this is a great resource.  If you are looking for some material to use in a small group,  this would probably make a good ice breaker type devotion.   It's very practical and real life. It's not a study Bible,  it doesn't have deep and heavy theology or study material.   It's exactly what is says it is,  a family Bible.   If you are looking for something to use around the dinner table,  I would recommend it.   A solid resource.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Writer's Block and Theology

If you read my blog, you know that after 10 years of vocational ministry, I now work a production job.  During the day I often have great thoughts for blogs, but on my days off and my time home, my brain has a tendency to go blank.  I spend the day thinking about God, talking to others about God and in prayer, by the time I get home my brain is toast.  My lack of blogging has come from a lack of ability to get my thoughts written down.  I'm asking for your prayers that God will help me in this way.

I have recently invited some people to join a theology discussion group.  The purpose of this group is to civilly discuss different topics like the rapture, speaking in tongues, predestination, Elder rule, and many other topics.  My hope and prayer is these discussions will help me expand my thinking and really dig into God's word.

There are a few other things I am working on, but I'm going to keep them a secret for now.  I am sorry that my writing has been so. . . lacking lately.  Thank you for those who read and continue to keep up with my writings.  It's been a desert time lately, but my hope is there will be a feast after the famine.  I'll keep writing if you'll keep reading and we can all keep praying.