Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Best Spiritual Formation

The UNDERGROUND is not a cell strategy, where we quickly reproduce the same thing or mobilize all our leaders in the same ministry. Our microchurches are unique expressions of the church that are as different as the people who start them. For that reason, each of them represents a new entity - breaking into new space with mission - as well as the formation of a new disciple (at the very least) in the form of the person who leads. Starting and leading churches is what disciples do, and they are formed in doing so. We want people to start unique microchurches because it ushers in the kingdom, not only in the world, but increasingly in them too. You see, microchurches are how we make disciples, in part because that is the core work of the microchurch and in part because we think that nothing forms a person spiritually like taking the step to start and sustain a church. The best discipleship comes through trying to plant, lead, and grow the church. That is kingdom expansion at its finest, God taking more and more ground, even in our own lives.
- Underground Church, Brian Sanders

Monday, February 25, 2019

In Homage

Em - wrist. Katie - upper arm. Cherry blossoms, in honor of my mother in law, who was known to family and friends as Cherry. Remember, parenting is contextual.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Friday Burn

::: Three Hopeful Signs in Ending Poverty

::: Five Tips for Better Fundraising

::: The Weekly Email

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Happy D

A few weeks ago, Deanna told Emily, our 18 year old, "Hey, you are 18. You can do whatever you want!" This has been the spirit around our house this year as Emily has weighed options for next year, and more and more these past few years with both our kids - freedom, responsibility, flying further and farther. That ethos has been led by Deanna, modeled in both word and deed.

Happy birthday Deanna! May this year bring a closer walk with Jesus and helping those around you fly further and farther! Let's you and I doing some flying too.


Monday, February 18, 2019

A Hospital for Sinners and a School for Students

The prevailing framework for the North American church today is almost entirely focused on the health and development of the people who attend it. Even attractional churches, which make evangelism central to their ministry, still see the visitor as a sinner to be rehabilitated or as a mind whose ignorance needs to be dispelled. We have perhaps overemphasized the idea that the church is a hospital for sinners. Because we have overestimated the power of the intellectual to do spiritual rehabilitation, we also operate a lot like a school, operating under the assumption that everything that is wrong with us can be taught out of us. Under these assumptions, the church is made up of its people, who are sick and unhealthy. Its leaders are the experts who offer a treatment plan, followed by helpful advice, educating us on how to stay healthy. The infrastructure is centripetal, drawing people inward. The leaders - the experts - are primarily focused on gathering, educating, and meeting the needs of those who are wounded and unwell so they can be healthy again.
- Brian Sanders, Underground Church

Friday, February 15, 2019

Friday Burn

::: The Hard Truth About Innovative Cultures

::: The Gates Annual Letter
Required reading. This year includes education, toilets, young people, and mobile phones.

::: Instagram for Prisons

Monday, February 11, 2019

Ember February Dinner

Once a month, The Ember Cast hosts a dinner with a select group of students and a special guest who are some of the most creative and innovative in the global missions/nonprofit space. The intention of this dinner is for our students to learn, interact and be inspired by these amazing individuals who have created something incredible from nothing.

Our guest this weekend was Dave Shive, who taught at Washington Bible College for over 15 years and also taught Perspectives for over 30 years, probably over 1200 classes and countless students. He is one of the missions patriarchs of the DMV.
+ Background:
Insight from taking Perspectives:
God did not become a missionary God He was a missionary god.
God is missional by nature

Usually a trip a year but slowing down now.
Last five years - SE Asia doing leadership development

A few years ago, visited friend doing work among the Roma, Roma Bible Union.

+ Most interesting right now:
Movements of people. Spawned by discovery bible studies
653 right now
Disciple someone before they start to follow Jesus.

Bible translation
1500 languages still lack NT

+ Execution from dream:
This kind of thing all through Church and missions history
Moravians - Zizendorf
Cameroon Townsend
Donald McGavern
Ralph winter
Recent former student example - Malaysian guy started by being a food critic - sky is the limit in missions right now - any career path, then started a trivia game

+ Advice for young people:
1 - Develop people skills, ability to deal with conflict - most missionaries can't deal with their team

2 - Learn how to really pray
The two are tied together

3 - Read Missionary biographies

Don't doubt what God can do with one person.

Friday, February 08, 2019

Friday Burn

::: Four Models of Church that are Thriving

::: Is this a deep water problem or a big wave problem?
Classic Seth Godin. So good.

::: The Michael J. Fox Foundation Gets Results

Thursday, February 07, 2019

The Souls Conference at Bay Area Comm Church

Bay Area Community Church is hosting the Souls missions conference on March 2 and I would love for you to join me there. BACC has been a global missions powerhouse for many years: they send hundreds of people to around 9 global partners every year, they've executed church plants and campuses through spinning off the Sent Network, their former missions pastor grew up in the developing world, and they've put together some of the best leadership training material for team leaders.

It will be a great day of equipping and connecting and Ember will be there with a small team of students. Would love to see you if you are interested in this kind of thing. Ping for more details or register here.

Monday, February 04, 2019

Front Stabbing

"A good team does a lot of friendly front stabbing instead of backstabbing. Issues are resolved by knowing what they are." - John Maeda quoted in The Messy Middle by Scott Belsky

Friday, February 01, 2019

Friday Burn

::: Scaling Systems Up and Down

::: First Child Vaccine Delivered by Drone

::: Cal Newport on Why We'll Look Back at Our Smartphones Like Cigarettes
I don't fear missing out. I fear not giving enough attention to the things that I already know for sure are important.