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Archive for Frost

May
03

processing

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Since my time on the recent JetSet with Upstream, I have been reflecting on a number of things. One of those key things is the reign of God (a key theme of the second half of Isaiah) and the ways in which that is demonstrated. Frost shared three ways according to Wright in which the reign of God is visible here on earth and added a fourth. The four were:

  1. Frost facilitating discussion during a group session on '11 JetSet to Central EuropeThe presence of justice
  2. Reconciled relationships
  3. Beauty
  4. Presence of the supernatural

Now what? Because the gospel is Christ-centered, I have been working through the gospels over the last weeks with these four evidences of the reign of God here on earth as a filter. I have been asking the question where did Jesus effect justice; restore relationships; create or call attention to beauty; and/or display the presence of the supernatural?

A reflective exercise, this is something I need to continue. First because it is vital for me. Really! It is the gospel in me. Second, because it is the clearer formulation for me to “be prepared to give the reason for the hope that [I] have” to the world around me. This is the living story that is changing my life. It is the dynamic story I need to tell well to others. It is the story that is written for all time and is unfolding today in my community.

Categories : Bible, story
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Apr
29

mission catalyzing principles

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This was the last talk that Michael Frost gave during our recent JetSet trip to Prague and Budapest. He gives several mission catalyzing principles. Christ focused, highly practical–good stuff. If you haven’t seen this piece yet, I encourage you to carve out 40 minutes and make it happen. Probably best to watch this with someone(s) with whom you are doing life.

Categories : video
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Apr
06

join this conversation

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In one week I’ll be in Prague, Czech Republic with some friends old and new as we JetSet there and in Budapest, Hungary. Together we will be seeking to continue on a journey to learn and live the ways of Christ as we sharpen and encourage each other along with other planters both expat and nationals. One overarching question for our time together will be the hallmark issue of The Upstream Collective–What does it look like for the church to think and act like a missionary?

Throughout our time from April 12-20 we will have as special guests Michael and Caroline Frost. As he has played such a huge role in helping to shape my missiology and ecclessiology, I am confident that they will be a blessing and challenge again to me but also to others.

I would be honored to have you follow along and participate in the conversation that will be happening both in person and online. Feel free to check in here often as Grady Bauer, myself and most likely some other special guests will be sharing their thoughts and responses as the conversation unfolds and at the UC site, the Twitterverse (#js2011) and other blogs and Facebook pages.

Finally, I want to strongly encourage you to consider not just taking this virtual trip with us, but also to consider walking through it with others you are doing life with. It will be, I believe, a very worthwhile investment of your time.  I am including a video of a previous JetSet trip in which I was privileged to participate to help give you a better idea of some of what this virtual experience could be like.

Hope to see you there–virtually.

Categories : communication, video
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Aug
26

prioritization (2 of 4)

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For the person with a normal diet of steak and potatoes with a chaser of chocolate bon bons, life may be viewed as good. If there is a change in income, then something may need to change. Either cut the bon bons or downgrade the protein selection. It may still be feasible to have chopped liver and not let go of the bon bons for the chocolate afficionado. With still further reductions in monies, a minimal diet may consist of beans and rice–bye bye bon bons. Though nice while they are around, one would be hard-pressed to argue that they are essential. In times of difficulty, people will generally move toward what is most important for survival.

As many expressions of church deal with the reality of declines in giving, they will do well to determine what are the bon bons and what is the protein essential. Already, many are asking “where are we going to save money? How do we align our giving and expenses?”

With abundant, due respect to Rick Warren, I disagree with his egalitarian approach to the 5 purposes of the church. Instead, I would suggest that there is a primary, over-riding purpose for the church. Whether expressed as “making disciples” or participating with the One who came “to seek and to save that which was lost, our calling is to mission. Both locally and globally, we are to prioritize mission. (This can be developed further at another time.) As we do mission, we will worship, teach, and fellowship. For more on this see Michael Frost on the topic.

If mission is the purpose of the church out of or because of which other things flow, any rearrangements in financial allocation should, I believe, be directed away from areas that do not directly influence mission. Further on this, we would do well to redouble our efforts at taking the gospel to our communities and the world. This is the essential, non-negotiable that will determine the future health of every group of believers.

As it relates to staffing, those who lead mission may be more indispensable than those that teach or lead worship. The ones making disciple-making disciples are the ones that are making the church be just that–the church. Putting resources to serving the community and beyond may very possibly be a better investment than improving a worship experience. Drilling wells in impoverished places in Africa or drinking coffee in post-Christian urban centers in Europe both for the purpose of taking the gospel may prove more important than cooling a building to a certain temperature.

A serious re-think of what is important and how dollars are spent will be difficult but worthwhile. In the next post in this series (see stating the obvious for the previous post), I’ll share a practical aspect of this in encouraging churches to consider undertaking a new building program….

Categories : church
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Jul
01

Still Partying

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Continuing with celebration and reflection, here are a few more things from the past and a glimpse from the future.

Many have asked over the past year, “Why almost an M?” This is a question I tried to address in the first post of this blog. Not sure it was adequate, but Shakespeare and Missiology was an attempt.

There are two collective bodies of work associated with this blog which I feel contribute something worthwhile to the conversation. Both remain unfinished, but are nearing their completion. The first of these is a non-book entitled Great to Good. This piece will be finished soon. At that time I plan to put it into a more readable .pdf format possibly with some small expansion of some ideas in order to make it more accessible.

The second body of work that I am thankful to have been a part of making available is a series of interviews with Michael Frost. I always appreciate his thoughts and the challenge and encouragement he offers the western church. There will be another installment in this series coming soon. (As for the quality of production, it is not top shelf. However, for the tech gear used and a whole bunch of filters later, the look is at least interesting. What he shares, though, is very worthwhile.)

In the upcoming year, I plan to finish these two projects and start a new one. I have another non-book outline developing. It will be similar to the Great to Good effort in a number of ways. More on this soon….

Thank you for reading and participating in the conversation!!!

Categories : communication
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May
20

Church Metrics and Mustard

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This latest installment in the Michael Frost video series follows along sequentially in the original interview. Here, he draws heavily from his Purpose of the Church segment as he addresses the issue of what metrics would be appropriate for the church.

If you would like to view the previous Frost videos as well as other videos that present ideas important to the church, you may visit or subscribe to the almost an M You Tube channel or feel free to sign up at the top right-hand side of this blog page for email notifications or the RSS feed to add to your reader.

Thank you for being a part of this conversation in some way.

Categories : church, video
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Apr
26

Separate from the world?

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Author Michael Frost shares his view on the North American church’s use of resources and about a skewed theological framework about being “separate” from the world. This is the 7th video posted in this series.

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.

Categories : church, video
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Apr
19

“Am I crazy?”

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“Am I crazy?” she asked with tears filling both eyes.

Following a breakout session this past week at the Sent Conference in Houston, Sandra shared with a friend and me that she had become discontent sitting inside her church when she saw so much lostness in her community. So many that would not come into the church. So many that were not able to find their own way to the Savior. Her disorientation was evident.

Seeking to find her purpose in taking Christ to the community, Sandra has prayed throughout her community, spoken with her pastor, and currently is meeting with a group of university students in her home. The conversation with this beautiful, gray-haired lady was the highlight of my conference experience. She is seeking to find ways that she can make her Savior known to those that need so desperately to know Him.

For her and others that can identify with her, I am thankful to share that “hope has two beautiful daughters” according to St. Augustine and Michael Frost.

Press on Sandra, I am cheering for you, praying for you, and ready to help in any way I can. To others like her, I encourage the same. May we join His purpose “to seek and to save what was lost.”

Categories : Bible, church, story
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Apr
14

Coping through Mission

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Here is the latest video installment with Michael Frost as he gives an example of a way that people can build community by focusing on mission. His answer includes short-term mission trips. This is a follow-on to the previous video Mission Catalyzes Community and Worship.

Having some technical difficulties getting the normal format to upload correctly to YouTube, so this one is a lesser quality look. Hope to get this fixed before future videos go up.

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.

Categories : missiology, video
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Apr
12

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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