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BAM conversation

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Prior to launching a start-up company, some key questions have to be answered. Chief among these is how the venture will create customers. Toward that end a business plan is drafted, critiqued and revised continually. This helps gather the team around a shared vision that helps them agree and understand how the venture will succeed (or fail) with goals for both the top and bottom lines and everything in between.

For BAM or marketplace ministry ventures, a little more input will prove to be helpful. There are a number of key questions that, when addressed on the front end, will impact outcomes. Included among these issues are:

  • Placement of business and residence
  • Total market impact
  • Planned synergies

On Tuesday, (10/25) I will have the privilege of chatting with several that are involved in or considering pursuing BAM opportunities to facilitate a discussion on these and other key issues with the SkyBridge Community. If you have interest in launching a BAM enterprise or using your marketplace ministry with more intentionality, I invite you to join this conversation.

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flash mobs

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Over the past months I have seen many news pieces on the development of flash mobs in the U.S. Using the twitters, groups have come together for the purpose of stealing merchandise, reeking havoc on places and at events, planning massive fights and  beating unsuspecting bystanders.

The idea of flash mobs is not exactly new. Improv Everywhere has been pulling off innocent flash mob interactions for some time including the famous “No Pants” events in urban centers across the world. I am embedding a couple of my favorite Improv events just to share a laugh.

Normally I am not a fan of taking secular things that have grown successful or highly popular and making a Christian version of YouTube or Facebook, but I would offer that followers consider having a response to those that would bring about chaos, injustice and suffering through flash mobs. As the church is to be the wise ones, those that care and make a positive difference, some action on this would be in order. What if the gatherings of a particular city functioning as the collective bride of Christ in that city were to have flash-blessings to meet a social need that is identified. What if serve-mobs would serve a city, school, community or family that has need?

Believers should be the ones that bring peace, healing, justice and hope. So many are already doing great things in this area, but what if the speed of blessing matched that of destruction? It would be a beautiful thing and a clear example that “God reigns.”

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launch this

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Recently in a conversation with a friend that is in the process of planting a church in the least-reached region of a Bible-belt city in the U.S., we were talking about the upcoming first public gatherings. I have been cheering for them as well honored and blessed to be a small part of helping them to put mission in their DNA from the beginning. As we were discussing this upcoming first, the only common language we had for the event was a “launch.” While the term conveyed an idea we were both familiar with, it troubled us both.

Of course launch refers to all things rocket related. It is the goal. The desired action in rocketry–much of which is explained in Sir Isaac Newton’s laws of motion–is about getting the vehicle off the ground. Newton’s third law is often summarized as: “for every action, there is [always] an equal and opposite reaction.” Ignite thrust downward in order to achieve lift. Rockets are conceived, engineered and built to leap off the ground. This is the goal for which people build them. Whether for recreation, science or weaponry, the goal is the same. Get the thing up in the air to a desired altitude and then you can add to it any functionality that one may desire.

So if launch is the goal in and of itself, then I would offer that it sucks for use in church planting. As this is not the realm of the laws of motion, launching a church does not hold to the confines and realities of physics. I have seen a lot of energy expended in church launches that proved unsuccessful and vice versa. So, because church planting and physics are not bound by the same physical laws, for this reason alone the term is less than adequate. In fact, it is wrong. But it is wrong for an even greater reason….

If launching is the goal, then it is possible that simply holding a religious service is the objective for which we strive. Some may say that it is a little more developed than that. Perhaps the goal is a recurring service which leads to transformation and development of disciples. I will pass on spending a lot of time on that here as I think this has been candidly dismissed by Willow Creek’s reveal. A public meeting, worship gathering, or church service–regardless of what you call it–is not the goal of church. Nor does a recurring service constitute a church.

If the church is conceived and functioning before any public declaration or launch, then what is it that we are kicking off? And with that what would be ideal for this launch thingy to be named? In the particular plant in question–(whether planting a church or planting the gospel is the goal is another topic for another day as well)–disciples are being made. Broken relationships are being restored. Justice is being pursued in the community. What this community of believers is about to do is let it be known to their neighborhood that there is a group seeking to live as the body of Christ, love God and love others so that those not already in community with them may find them more easily.

Now, I say this is not a launch. The pastor participating in this says it is not a launch. But we don’t have an acceptable “what is it?” yet. Wordsmiths / thinkers, what say you? What is about to happen in this community?

PLEASE help us with some input on this topic!

Categories : church, trends, Uncategorized
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a glimpse of the missio Dei

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This image, a glimpse of the missio Dei, comes from a talk I have been giving for some time. Speaking to a group of people recently, several asked for the above image and the notes and other slides. On the resource page, you can find audio, notes and a pdf of the slides.

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road trip

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This week I have the privilege of traveling with some of my favorite guys to participate in the regional RCN meetings throughout the sunny peninsula as we talk about what it can look like for the city church to think and participate globally. For those that will be at these gatherings, I look forward to meeting you. For those that will not be able to participate, I ask for your prayer for God to bless these conversations and would encourage you to learn about the city church through an interview at the Upstream site as well as at the Reproducing Churches Network site.

In Lakeland on Monday, we had a great time of prayer, encouragement, and seeking to learn and meet where possible the needs of others. This group, the start of city church as it is being expressed here in Florida at present, was one of the healthiest groups of leaders living out the New Testament that I have seen in the U.S. It was a blessing to hear some of what the church is doing regarding orphans, the homeless, those living in projects and others.

Several shared with me that God is at work in the I-4 corridor which runs across central Florida. This is evident through what was shared and consistent with the reality that some 20 plus guys were meeting together in one group meeting this month and spread out in smaller groups most other months to pray for their city. These leaders have consistently lead their respective gatherings to be in prayer every week for other churches in their community whether or not they are participating as an active part of the city church group.

It is beautiful.

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be a trader

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Here is a great piece that a friend, Kyle Goen, reminded me of yesterday via his blog. Thanks to Brian Mosly at RightNow for making this available.

While there are numerous ways to live this out, I would like to share one great way is through the Skybridge Community. Check it out.

Categories : trends, Uncategorized
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hatred and hope

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A few days ago I returned from almost two weeks of travel in the beautiful and often rugged Balkan peninsula where I was privileged to meet with many nationals and expats. It was a time for encouragement and challenge as well as being encouraged and challenged. Thank you to each of you who were a blessing to me along the way!

Through my time, explorations and many conversations there, the vast Balkan history that is at times sublime and at other times horrifying, became both clearer and more complex. While a number of things about the area merit discussion, two things stood out to me.

First, there seems to be a pervasive hatred that runs throughout the land and countries that comprise the area. I think it may be possible to find out what country a person is in or what ethnic group one may be communicating with by asking the question, “Who do you hate?” Surprising enough, the question may not even have to be asked. Upon leaving Greece I shared with the national TSA equivalent that I had traveled in Macedonia which seemingly played a part in me being questioned repeatedly by two different agents as well as dual pat downs and triple examination of my baggage.

Second, the need for the hope of Christ is as pervasive as the hatred. While I had the privilege of meeting with many national and expat church planters as well as purposed NGOs, there were so many cities and towns where the Good News is not being proclaimed. At a time when economic, political and ethnic unrest are challenging the stability of the area, there is enormous need for the Kingdom of God to be proclaimed in  the land of the Balkans. I am thankful for those who are about this task now and am praying for you!

May God bless these wonderfully diverse peoples. (BTW – I’ll be posting a few pics from some highlights there soon on my FB account.)

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a new do

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Well after a year of using some design that was hurriedly thrown together by a real hack–yours truly–here is the new look. A new do. This creativity is a little more modern with a lot more post. A little more contemporary with a lot more theme. A little more funk with a lot more meaning.

Creative juices for the new, greatly improved design are the work of the husband and wife team Studio Bennett. Check them out…they do great work.

Thanks so much David & Tara!!! May the Lord bless and keep your family and may He make His face to shine upon you. May He guide you in the path of peace.

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Jet Set in Western Europe

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By the time this posts, I should be in London. Over the next several days, I will be traveling with The Upstream Collective on their JetSet Tour here in the UK and in Paris. You will be able to find a number of interesting posts, video interviews, photos, etc. from the group that will be going. I will be tweeting and posting some links to other blogs where updates may be found in addition to posting some material here.

Following my time with the UC crew, I will be heading on to Spain to spend time with some old and new friends there. I look forward to bringing you some stories, images, and thoughts from western Europe.

Join us virtually on this trip to get a better understanding of what God is doing in this part of the world.

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Mission Catalyzes Community and Worship

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In this, the fourth video interview installment, Frost contends that both community and worship happen through people being on mission. Pursuing something greater than the individual helps catalyze a coming together of people. In the same vein, being about the mission of God “stimulates a desire either to want to praise God or throw yourselves on the mercy of God.”

Let me encourage you to register for email updates or add this site to your reader to learn about future videos and posts. Also, if you would like to view the previous Frost videos as well as other “favorite” videos that present ideas important to the church, you may visit or subscribe to the almost an M YouTube channel.

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