Welcome to Provocative Church

As you browse, read and share the many articles, our hope is that you may find this site an encouragement to your faith and Christian life.

Worship

We were created to worship. And we are to worship God with every aspect and area of our lives - presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.

The Church

The bride of Christ can often times be difficult and messy - but it is Christ's beautiful mess - to which He is the head and chief cornerstone.

Ancient Future

Our faith comes out from a rich heritage and history. It was during the formative years of our faith that creeds, confessions, traditions, and liturgies were developed. These practices and traditions recaptured will not only anchor us but move us forward in our faith.

Freedom

There is freedom in the gospel as it proclaims that in Christ we are sons and daughters of the King. The importance is learning to preach those truths to our heart and life everyday.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

McLaren on Hell

I've been reading through McLaren's book entitled "Generous Orthodoxy". Like most of McLaren's books, I love the winsome, thoughtful spirit that accompanies his writings. But, there are many times that McLaren frustrates me. This has happened again in his discussion on the issue of Hell. I felt that McLaren's views were muddied and almost as if he was unwilling to make a clear statement on the issue. And although I often appreciate the fact that McLaren comes across with a sense of intellectual humility, I get the sense that he purposefully doesn't want to be clear on this issue. And that kind of avoidance, makes me uneasy.
I haven't read his latest book in the "New Kind of Christian" trilogy, but I understand that a big part of the dialogue addresses this issue.
Any help out there on further reading in nailing this down concerning McLaren?

Monday, June 27, 2005

New Member and the Missional model from ALLELON Ministries

I have, over the past years, absorbed reading books from the Gospel in Our Culture Network, and they, along with others, have influenced my thinking of the missional church (Tim Keller from Redeemer in New York has helped as well). This article from Allelon Ministries has some provoking thoughts of how to connect the missional vision and purpose of the church to the assimilation of new members. The commissioning service idea made me go "hmmmm". Not sure what to do about it yet, since I haven't yet begun my work at Big Creek. But it is interesting food for thought.

ALLELON Ministries

Saturday, June 25, 2005

I like Star Wars like anyone, but...

My daughter and I love the Star Wars films. But our love for the films only prompted us to buy a couple of movie tickets. But these guys went a little too far.
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SITH SENSE: Inspired by the Star Wars film "Revenge Of The Sith", Mark Webb, 20, and Shelley Mandiville, 17, decided to get a video of their own "light saber" duel. Not having access to Hollywood special effects, the couple from Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England, filled two fluorescent light tubes with gasoline and lit them on fire. Burn unit doctors say they have a 50 percent chance of survival, and police are trying to find the cameraman to learn more about what happened. (London Evening Standard) ...Seeing as he was the only one smart enough to
leave.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Christianity Today Book Awards 2005 - Christianity Today Magazine

Here are some books to put on my reading list, but they will have to wait until I finish my ordination exams..... (although I am interested in Scot McKnight's book entitled The Jesus Creed, that I might have to fit it into my summer reading).
Christianity Today Book Awards 2005 - Christianity Today Magazine

Building a church at the cost of community

I was reading from "The Dying Church" blog today, and check out this provocative entry:
http://www.dyingchurch.com/archives/000386.htm

I found pastor Walt Kallestad's struggle with the tension of "maintenance" and "missional" an interesting dilemma. I am not sure if a large mega-church means that the church becomes ineffective in it's missional calling and thrust. I just finished The Church of Irresistible Influence by Robert Lewis and after reading the book I begin to wonder, can't both be true. If we are being missional, the church should grow. But as the church grows, can't it still be missional? Lewis talks about the constant call for tweaking, readjustments and creativity as his church adapts to it's growth and impact to the community.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Can our churches grow and still be faithful?


I read this article summary this morning...

True Success For A Preacher Is Not Measured By Church Attendance -Agape Press
A well-known evangelist says true success for a preacher is not measured by church attendance. Speaking at the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors' Conference in Nashville, evangelist Junior Hill encouraged ministers to be a faithful soldier for Christ, as the Apostle Paul said to Timothy. Hill says pastors should be driven by obedience to God's Word -- not by the latest church growth method. "The truth of the matter is, there are some churches that wouldn't grow if Moses was the pastor and Elijah [was] the educational director," Hill stated. "My dear brothers, I think it's high time that those of us who have enough sense to know better say to these so-called 'church growth experts' who have never pastored a church and wouldn't know one if they met it in the middle of the road: 'We don't judge our men of God on the size of their buildings. We judge them on their faithfulness to stand up as a good soldier.'" Hill said methodology should never contradict or violate scriptural principles.

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I would agree that our goal should be obedience and faithfulness to God and His Word, and our methodologies should reflect that. But I think that it is a false dichotomy to think that if we are faithful that we should be content or justified if our churches don't grow. If our church isn't growing we should in fact be asking very tough questions. My understanding of the kingdom is that God's Kingdom is dynamic, not static. As God builds His Kingdom through His church, it will grow like yeast in bread. We should anticipate growth. How we measure that and what that looks like is another question for another blog entry....

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Some first thoughts

Now that I have the blog design is where I want it (although I know I will go back and change it - I am a recovering perfectionist) I will begin to post thoughts, comments, reflections and real life experiences concerning "evangelism". That is my title. I am a Pastor of Evangelism at Big Creek Church. I haven't started yet. We move from Orlando to Atlanta in 30 days. I have been working with Campus Crusade for Christ for the past 17 years and now I will be moving into a entirely new ministry experience and opportunity. I have been reaching out to college students for most of my time on staff with CCC. And during that time I have seen the shifts take place in the hearts and minds of the students. The strategies and methodologies that our ministry used 40, 30 or even 20 years ago were proving to be ineffective. During my time on campus, it became a laboratory, to experience and understand the emerging postmodern worldview. But the campus is only a precursor to what eventually flows into the general population. Now I will be working within a church context. A bigger and more diverse target audience than a college campus. The challenges are similar and yet categorically different. My purpose for this blog is to interact and communicate with our community of faith called Big Creek Church about these issues and challenges. But I trust others outside our community will interact with me, offer opinion, advice and challenge as we think through being a Provocative Church to a watching community around us.
I am not a writer. So writing with any consistency is a step of faith for me. I am both lazy and such a perfectionist that I dare not put anything in writing that isn't "perfect".
I will give myself the freedom (and I hope you will give me the grace) of bad grammar, horrible spelleng, incoherent thoughts and possibly irrelevant blog entries.
Take care for now, only 30 days until the move and I have a lot of packing to do.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Introduction

The purpose of this blog is to interact with the Christian community about reaching our culture for Christ.

More posts to follow....