Archive for the 'Community' Category

Change!?!, Community, Missional

A conversation on CHURCH… let’s talk!

When we moved into our new building at Community of Joy, I didn’t and still don’t want us calling it a church. We are the church! The building is NOT the church. It is the ministry center. Here is a quote from Reggie McNeal’s book that goes along this line of thinking…

“… we need to change the conversation about the church from “What is it?” to “Who is it?”. As long as we keep the discussion tied to its “Whatness,” we will keep the leadership efforts focused on building better institutions and limit ministry to those individuals who choose or are able to participate in an attractional program. If we can shift the discussion to “who”, we can be free to explore how the church shows up wherever followers of Jesus live, work, and play. Efforts can shift to community and incarnational expressions of Jesus in all sectors of the culture.”

I think Reggie is right on and we desperately need to make this shift. Think of the impact it will have on the world. We are the hands and feet of Jesus and are sent into the world to share his love and life with everyone!

Community, Missional, Understanding Context

Veritas- A Missional Community of Authentic Worshippers- Part 3

For the past two days I have shared two out of the three core values/visions/dreams of Veritas and why we are planting a church in September of 2009. We have focused on the core values of Community and Missional and now we are going to take a look at the last core value, that of Authentic Worship.

Our Third Core Value is An Authentic Worship Expression: A community where people create relevant worship experiences. We see Jesus at the multi-sensory Last Supper—the smell of bread, wine, and disciple’s feet, the taste of the meal, the touch of the disciple’s feet, hearing the words of Jesus gathered around the table. We see the “sinful woman” anointing Jesus’ feet with her tears and perfume, responding in devotion and worship. So we picture creating regular opportunities of relevant worship experiences, not as consumers but participating in and creating the worship that is taking place. We envision people connecting worship on Sunday with their worship on Monday through Saturday. For this to happen, we will create multi-sensory worship experiences at a rented facility (Marietta?) that use creative arts (painting, drawing, poetry, sculpting), and media of all kinds (popular music, movies, cultural references, and videos). Worship/Prayer Stations, Creative Art Stations, Offering Stations, and Sacred Space will allow for people to be actively and creatively involved in the worship experience. A worship planning team (artists, musicians, leaders, etc..) will make the worship time as creative and relevant as possible. Every 6-8 weeks, we will gather around a table and partake in food, community and communion and several times each year, a “Love Feast.”

These three things are what drive us, what pushes us forward, and what we are striving to be as a community of Christ Followers.

Community, Missional, Understanding Context

Veritas- A Missional Community of Authentic Worshippers Part 2

Veritas aims to be a Missional Community of Authentic Worshippers. That is our dream, vision, and the core of what drives us to plant a church in September of ’09. Yesterday I focused on the core value of Community. Today I will focus on the core value of Missional.

Our Second Core Value is A Missional Kingdom Life: A community where people are blessing others in practical ways. We see Jesus serving and blessing people in real and practical ways, healing people of all kinds of illness. “The Word became flesh and moved into our neighborhood.” Jesus took on human flesh, spent time in homes, marketplaces, and in villages and towns. So we picture people spending lots of time in the neighborhoods and places where people are, hanging out at coffeehouses in order to get to know people. We picture the team having meet-up groups (Board Games, BMX, etc.) to be with those who Jesus misses the most. We envision random acts of kindness, service and social justice, some that will be shared projects with local organizations (some Christian-based, and some not). For this to happen, service, social justice and blessing will be evident throughout. Our Missional Communities (House Churches) will each adopt a regular missional “project” involvement. Every 6-8 weeks our worship gathering will include participation in a “service event.” Random acts of kindness can include giving out water at Elizabethtown College and cleaning up roads and parks. Blessing others may include tutoring, after-school program, financial “seminars”, creation care, and disaster relief trips through the district.

Tomorrow I will post the third core value of Veritas, that of authentic worship.

Community, Missional, Understanding Context

Veritas- A Missional Community of Authentic Worshippers

Some of you may know that in September of ’09 my wife and I will be taking our Veritas ministry from a ministry of Hempfield COB to a Church Plant. We currently have 8 total people on our core group and are still looking for some more. If you know of someone in the Lancaster area who might be interested, let me know. Also if you would like to be on our prayer team, let me know.

The title line above is our vision, mission, and core values statement. Over the next 2 days I will share with you the driving force behind Veritas as we move forward into Church Planting. Today I will focus on the first core value that is describe in the word community.

Our First Core Value is A Safe Spiritual Search: A Community where people experience genuine love and care. We see Jesus with the woman at the well, showing her love, grace and acceptance. Despite what society said about this woman, he cared for her in a very real and profound way, which changed her life for all of eternity. So we picture Christ-followers loving each other and the world around them. We picture safe places to seek truth where questions, doubts and struggles are okay and something to be shared, not hidden. We picture Christ-followers and those who are yet to be Christ-followers in close relationship with each other. We picture a community full of love, grace, compassion, and mercy, following in Jesus’ footsteps. For this to happen, we see people gathered in homes in the Marietta, Elizabethtown and Columbia area on a weekly basis. We see gathering around tables during these gatherings to eat together, pray together, share together, and be in relationship with each other. We see open and honest dialogue centered around the Scriptures. We see people gathering together not just once a week but throughout the entire week. We see people exercising together, going out to movies and dinner together, hanging out with each other, and spending time together.

Tomorrow I will focus on another word in our vision statement, the word missional.

Community, Ministry Formation, Missional

The Way I See It. . .

Sometimes I really love the “Way I See It” comments on the sides of Starbuck’s cups. Today, I had the following comment on the side of my cup:

The Way I See It #299

There is a subtle difference between a mission and a promise. A mission is something you strive to accomplish– a promise is something you are compelled to keep. One is individual, the other is shared. When a mission and a promise are one and the same. . . that’s when mountains are moved and races are won. Hala Moddelmog, President and CEO, Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

I was struck by how Hala separates mission and promise, declaring that mission is an individual activity. Certainly, someone can be on a personal mission. But in the church, we think of mission as a collective activity, both in terms of the “Great Commission” and your local church mission.

However, I really love the last sentence that when mission and promise are one and the same. . . What does it take for mission and promise to be one and the same for your congregation? Do we sometimes develop mission statements in our local congregations without promises?

What do you think? What’s your experience? What do you see that works?


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