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You are emerging, but your church is not July 12, 2006

Posted by fajita in Christianity, Church Planting, emerging church/emergent, Philosophy/Religion, Post-restoration/Restoration Movement.

What happens when a person begins to expand his or her faith search outside the acceptable or normal boundaries of the church they attend?

The emerging church is really a phenomenon occuring in the hearts of people in various locations. It is not a denomination or institution, but rather it is a move, a desire to move into something more in line with what Jesus seemed to be trying to do when He walked the earth.

So, let’s say you are “emerging” from a limiting set of beliefs, whether liberal or conservative, but your church or denomination is not emerging from the systems, theologies, and institutional structures that perpetuate non-growth. What happens when you are emerging but your church is not?

Has anyone had this experience? If so, what are you doing about it?

Where is your safety zone?

What complicates this experience?

What pressures are there to get back to “normal?”

How do you do friendships and relationships when suddenly you are out of line? Are these relationships taxed?

What’s your experience?


And, if just thinking about this stuff depresses you, click here for a good laugh.


Emerging Church Getting Some Good Press June 2, 2006

Posted by fajita in Christianity, Church Planting, emerging church/emergent, Philosophy/Religion.
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Check out this article.

A Little Something June 1, 2006

Posted by fajita in Christianity, Church Planting, emerging church/emergent, Media, Philosophy/Religion.
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Here are the most influential churches in America.

Charlie Wear weighs in the Colson and Jones debate.Tall SKinny Kiwi adds some humor.

Mark Driscoll gives us a little something on noise addiction.

A little Asian American Youth Ministry.

Preacher reality show? Come on!

My dog is turning into this dog.

Get more people to your blog this way.

40 Days of Fat: Day 30 May 30, 2006

Posted by fajita in 40 Days of Fat, Church Planting, Exercise, Health, Weight Loss.
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Current Stats:

Weight Lost: 8.0 pounds = $80

Miles Run: 64 miles = $64

Totals for my church planting friend = $144

Solomon’s Porch : A Review May 29, 2006

Posted by fajita in Christianity, Church Planting, emerging church/emergent, Philosophy/Religion, Post-restoration/Restoration Movement.

A couple of Sundays ago my wife and I visited Solomon's Porch, a new kind of church located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This church is often referenced when people speak of "the emerging church." My wife and I have this church on our short list of churches to visit and consider for when we move to Minnesota. Doug Pagitt is the pastor there and is often included in the handful of people mentioned when people ask who knows anything about the emerging church. What follows is my experience there.

We got there right on time, fearing we might arrive a touch late. Well, not to worry, 5:00 PM is more of a generalized show up time. Things didn't get moving in any sense of a corporate manner util 5:21 PM accoridng to my watch. That was fine with me. My usual church experience is that things start right on time and people still wander in for 20 minutes.

When things did get moving, it was the band that kind of eased into song and got everyone's attention – kind of. People were very much into their conversations, their coffee, and their comfy couches.

Oh yes, the appearance of the building they meet in was classic. They meet in an older church building, maybe Methodist at one time, and have cleared out all the pews, pulpit, and other clutter (except some pretty tall pipes that go to an organ I never did see or hear). Rather than pews in a row, there were couches, easy chairs, and occasional bistro tables and chairs. Candles here and there, with dim, but not annoyingly dim lighting. These furniture pieces were arranged in a circle around a stool – a stool you would never have noticed had you not known to look for it. Compare that to the pulpit in most churches.

As the music got going, Doug Pagitt made the rounds, shaking hands, conversing with people he knew, meeting people he didn't know. He was amazingly accessible before and after the worship time. I liked that.

There was not a coat or tie in the entire place. Believe me, I would have noticed. Lots of cargo and denim with loose fitting clothes, T-shirts, and the people who wore glasses wore cool glasses. The guy on the Mac commercial in which he holds hands with the PC guy would have fit right in here. The PC guy would have felt a bit uneasy.  

The music was home grown, real, unashamedly Christian, and actually pretty decent. Typically when I think of home grown music I think that "It means a lot to those people, but it really sucks to anyone else." This was pretty good msuic. Some people sang along with the music while other listened. The band did not invite people to sing with them nor did they seem to care if anyone did or didn't. They were just putting it out there for the gathering to do with what they wanted. Frankly, I like a little more participation than was happening, but coming from an all acappella congregational singing tradition, I am always going to be left wanting when I go somewhere else.  

Images and lyrics were available on two large screens on either side of the "auditorium." It was good. They were accessible, but not intrusive. I sat with my wife at a bistro table a couple steps up where the pulpit area used to be once upoon a time in this building and could see just fine.

After the singing, but before the sermon, there was considerable time given to a mother with her 9 year old daughter talking about children and families at Solomon's Porch. This scored big points with us because we have an 8 and 6 year old who are really hoping for friends when we move to Minnesota.

The sermon was kind of like a report of a conversation that had occurred the Tuesday prior. It was quite engaging. On Tuesday a group group (anyone can come I think) gathers to discuss the sermon topic, scripture or whatever will be addressed on the next Sunday. Doug gathers the conversation into an outline (kind of) and presents it to the folks there Sunday evening (which is the main gathering time). So, he presented some interesting and challenging concepts about politics and Christianity. Then, in what has been tried in other settings and always failed badly, he asked us all to gether into little groups and address a couple of questions or anything related to the topic. He set us free for about 10-12 minutes. Do you realize how long that is? The thing is, it worked. My group was pretty conversational, which is something since most of us didn't know each other. This could never have worked with pews.

We took communion. A woman got up and presented a mini message about her work as a massage therapist and how she touches bodies and tied it into the Lord's Supper. That was novel in many ways for me. I am most pleased with the fact that a woman is allowed to do that. Even having to write that last sentence gives me shivers, but I don't know how else to say it. I guess it is the word, "allowed" that really gets to me. She was terrific. It was normal. I want my daughter to see women doing those kinds of things.

There were about half a dozen communion stations scattered around the room. My bread had this surprising and delicious lemon flavor to it. That was a first. There was a wine option and a one cup option available to anyone who wanted to take sommunion that way.

OK, options during communion. Have you ever had options at a communion? I loved it.

But most of all, the communion did justice to the purpose of communion. We, as the body of CHrist, took the body of Christ and broke it and remembered Jesus int he presence of each other. Beautiful.

There was scripture and prayer. They have a few traditions that they do at Solomon's Porch that are theirs, but I never got the feel that these were the right traditions, but rather that they were their traditions. Big difference.

Pretty early on in the order of things, several minutes before the sermon, the littlest kids were relased to go do something. Then, just before the sermon, elementary kids up to Middle School (I think) were then released to go do their own thing. High schoolers are adults in this church, I guess, as they remained in the main gethering. I think that, too.

There were pieces of paper and pens scattered here and there on table. Before the thing got going, I asked someone what these were for and she said, "There are a lot of artsy people here and they need this." Later on we were invited from the pulpit stool to write or drama something about Pentecost, if we wanted to, and put it in a basket after the gathering. It might be used in a couple weeks for their special Pentecost art worship thingy (not sure what to call it).

All in all, we really liked the visit. We are interested, of course, what the "missional" means in everyday life these people. We want to be part of a church where something overtly missional is normal, not just for the ministry staff or "Super-Christians. "

When we move to Minnesota, we'll keep Solomon's Porch in mind.

Looking for a New Church? May 3, 2006

Posted by fajita in Church Planting, emerging church/emergent, Philosophy/Religion.

Go here and learn how one family found their new church home.

A Little Something May 1, 2006

Posted by fajita in A Little Something, Church Planting, emerging church/emergent.
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I’m not against homeschool or privtate schools, but it seems the Southern Baptists are saying Missional Shmissional.

Not getting enough Emerging Church stuff? Get an MA in emerging church.

Phil Wilson gives you a little something from Reggie McNeal.

Mark Elrod is insane. He has boycotted his own blog and invites you to do the same. Go there and boycott now.

Radical Congruency gets radically congruent with a little something from the 1980’s anti-drug movement.

Are you a postmodernophobe? Here’s your cure.

And finally, future church planter Greg Brooks shows what he’s made of running 69,168 feet in a row.  

40 Days of Fat May 1, 2006

Posted by fajita in 40 Days of Fat, Church Planting, Health, Philosophy/Religion, Weight Loss.
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Today is day #1 of this round of 40 Days of Fat.

I will run. I will eat better. I will lose weight. I will do this not because I am vain and want to be on the next cover of Men's Health. Cripes! That cannot, should not, and will not ever happen. NO, I will do this and it will cost me money.

For every pound I lose I will dontate $10 to Greg and Carolyn Brooks to help fund their trip to a church planting Discovery Lab. Furthermore, I'm going to pony up a buck a mile I run.

I'd love it if you'd join me.

So, whether you're a tubby who wants to knock off a few pounds or a someone who just wants to keep their shape as it is, then come on! Why not put that energy to a good cause?

You don't have to donate your money to the same place I am, but you're invited to. Or, if you just want a little blog encouragement over the next 40 days, stay right here and you'll get 3-5 posts per weeks on 40 Days of Fat.

A Little Something April 20, 2006

Posted by fajita in A Little Something, Church Planting, emerging church/emergent.
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If you are a regular here, you have noticed that in the past two weeks I have bumped up the number of posts on this blog and have begun linking more. There are linkers and ther are thinkers. I want to be both.

So, from now on, my posts that include lots of links, often times unrelated to each other, these posts will be entitled, "A Little Something."
Dan Kimball recalls, back inthe day, that the term "emerging church" started here.

YSMarko ponders the meaning of "emergent" here.

Wikipedia will give you a little something about the "emerging" "emergent" church here.
I guess me and John Alan Turner are not the only one debating the meaning of the term "evangelical. Look what the New York Times is talking about.
One stop shopping (not really shopping since it is all free) for Gospel of Judas information.
Attention church planters, here is a little something for you.

Emerging right before our very eyes April 19, 2006

Posted by fajita in Church Planting, emerging church/emergent.
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Check out Communion of the Arts and the report of a new church emerging, and here and here. This is yet another exciting new chapter in the story of God.

Want to get a good definition/metaphor for emergent? Of come on, I know you do. Go here and get it. You reall y ought to read the post and then go back and read the above report about the new church emerging.
And, my uncle is blogging and has a good idea for what to do with the Enron dudes.