Tuesday, September 19, 2006

My Personal Mission in Life

I feel like God has called me to love Him with passion & devotion, to love & shepherd my family, and to advance His Kingdom on earth through personal disciple-making and church planting. I believe that God is calling individuals into relationship with Himself and onto mission with Him. This calling is both individual and collective.

I believe the church was the NT strategy, the vehicle for the continuing mission of Jesus. Definition: The church is a community of Christ-followers who are continuing the mission of Jesus. However, new churches may not fit our institutional mental models of church.

The church is a lighthouse in a dark world. The church is an outpost or beachhead for the Kingdom in the midst of a cultural struggle. God's Kingdom is not a political or governmental or military kingdom. Instead it is a grassroots movement of the love and grace of Jesus Christ, fueled by the Holy Spirit, transforming its followers, their faith community, and the world.

However, the world/culture is always going to decay and deteriorate faster than transformation will come. But where sin abounds, grace does much more. As the culture deteriorates we will see greater and greater expressions of God's transforming grace.

We must be faithful to be the "salt" and "light" of the world even though we see more darkness, knowing that one day Jesus will return, sin will be ultimately defeated, and He will create a new heaven and new earth - He will make all things right. (Remember the power and promise of the resurrection!)

My responsibility is not to turn the world into a utopia - that will never happen. My responsibility is to faithfully express His love and grace in a darkening world, to be a faithful messenger of the good news of the Kingdom among people whose lives are being ravished by this increasing darkness, and (with other Christ-followers) be an agent of hope and transformation in a dark place. Every church we plant must become this kind of outpost for the Kingdom by making transforming, missional disciples.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Meet Sydnie Rae!

This is Sydnie, our first grandchild. She is now 10 months old and she occupies much of our attention. As I think about planting churches, I want to see more churches that will be relevant to my kids and grandchildren. Western society is moving further away from Christ. We desperately need more churches to reach the emerging generations.