Category Archives: community

Map of the Emergent World

I found this google map of people, churches and communities associated with Emergent Village via the Glocal Christianity blog. The great thing about this map is that it is open source and any one can add themselves.

According to Mike Clawson the goal with this map will be to create a resource to help network folks with what is going on in their own local area, or help them start something new if there isn’t anything already. I think this is a great idea. I think it can end up being a great way for people who are interested in connecting with other people who are asking the same questions but just don’t know where to start.

I’m not officially connected to Emergent Village, but I do consider my self a part of the broader emerging church conversation. I went ahead and added my self to the map.

That’s me all by myself in Fort Wayne, IN



Eucharist at the Airport

Here is a beautiful story I found at Sarcastic Lutheran about  a community of believers bringing the Eucharist to a sister who had been denied the opportunity to participate in communion at her parents church.

Simple Steps We Can All Take

Jonathan Dodson gives some tips over at his blog on 8 Ways to Easily be Missional. We don’t necessarily have to become part of some big program or organization to have a positive impact on our community.

We just need to become a part of the local community in which we live.

New City, New House, New Neighborhood & A Fresh Start

It’s been just a few weeks shy of a year since I have posted anything. I took a much needed break from the blogosphere. One of the reasons I quit is that I took a look at my life and realized there was a lot of talk and very little action. Basically I felt like a hypocrite. I talked a lot about how the Church was dropping the ball on so many things, while at the same time refusing to even pick up the ball and get in the game.

Last week our family just moved out of an apartment complex in a fairly small town into a three bedroom house in an older working class neighborhood just north of downtown Fort Wayne. The last year has been full of many struggles for our family. We have allowed every area of our lives to become unhealthy. We are looking at this move as an opportunity for us to make a fresh start.

God has given me a heart for the lost, a burning anger at injustice, and a growing dissatisfaction with consumerism and materialism. At times I almost cry when I drive through a once thriving neighborhood and see empty lots where houses once stood, or abandoned houses where families once lived. I feel guilty when I choose Wal-mart over the local market. He has given me a burning desire to stop just talking and start acting.

After a year away from blogging I decided to start up again. This time I hope to do a lot less ranting. (I’ll try any away) I plan to be more constructive in my posts, and plan to post updates and insights along the way as I start living out my faith on a daily basis. As I seek to have a positive impact on our neighborhood and our city.

A Manifesto for the Church

7catz over at I Don’t Know Yet tagged me with this Meme.

1. Post to your blog on the subject “A Manifesto for Church”, outlining your thoughts on what an ideal church would/should be like. Posts can be as detailed or as short as you like.
2. Include a copy of these rules.
4. Put a link to your post in the comments to this post.
5. Tag at least 4 other people.
6. What happened to rule 3?
3. Ah, here it is
When I was tagged for this meme, a rush of things came to mind about what I think an “ideal” church should be. I even started writing them out. As I read over some of the other posts on the topic, I was struck by how similar many of the posts were. There seems to be a growing number of people who are tired of “church as usual” and long for something deeper yet simpler. Church with out the programs, with out the masks, A church were we can be active participants, not just spectators. A Church where we all have a voice, not just the few deemed “spiritual” enough by the leadership or the people who are clean enough on the outside to project the desired image.

Should is a big word, and I don’t even want to attempt to say what an “Ideal” church should be. What a church should or shouldn’t be will vary greatly depending on the make up of the members, the community the church is in, and an endless list of other factors. I decided to post what the Ideal church for my family and me looks like at this moment.

Sunday Mornings at the local State Park
A time of family prayer
A couple devotions with the boys, and good discussion afterwards. It amazes me how much they get it
A short time of Bible Study or discussion with Jenny.
Maybe some hotdogs or brats on the grill and a nice hike.
Extreme teeter tottering with my boys

Tuesdays with another couple God placed in our lives
My wife and I have been going through some tough times in our relationship, and God has blessed us by giving us some great friends who have jumped at the chance to come up under Jenny and I and disciple us and help us to strengthen our marriage.
Wednesday mornings with my Friend Rob
Good conversation. Good coffee & Great Bagels.
A place were I can be open, Where I can challenge and be challenged.
Friday Night Bible Study.
Good Friends, Relaxed atmosphere, Laughter, Openness.
Active engagement with The Word of God.

I’m supposed to tag some people, but the people I had in mind have already been tagged. So I tag anyone who might be interested in responding.

Fishers of Men Part 3 (Mending the Nets)

Matthew 4:19

“Come follow me” Jesus said “and I will make you fishers of men”

In Part one I dealt with the fact that fishing involved a whole community, and in part two I looked at the training and preparation (discipleship) that was needed to become a professional fisherman.

In this post I just wanted to touch briefly on the need to occasionally mend the nets.

After repeated use nets would wear out. From time to time the nets needed to be unfolded and examined thoroughly, they needed to be inspected for holes, and weaknesses that had developed, and mended accordingly.

I believe that is what the questions being asked by those who consider themselves part of the Emerging Church (or conversation) is all about. Many people (myself included) see that the church has gone to long with out inspecting the nets. We see that a good thorough re-evaluation of what it means to follow Christ and share the Gospel is overdue.

For the critics of the Emerging Church who say that many within the movement are going to far and abandoning the true Christian faith I just ask that you vave some patience and wait and see if God is behind it all

Acts 5:34-39

34But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. 35Then he addressed them: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. 36Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. 37After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

Fishers of Men Part 2 (Discipleship)

Mat. 4:19

“Come follow me” Jesus said “and I will make you fishers of men”

Part One was subtitled “Community” I wrote about that when Jesus said that he would make Simon and Andrew fishers of men, he wasn’t talking about a weekend fishing trip, but rather about a full time endeavor that took a whole community working together with a common purpose, and that God transforms communities through communities of Christians living transformed lives in the community.


“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”

Matthew 28:19

Most men in Jesus’ day learned their trade from their father. It would have taken years of preparation to become a skilled fisherman. They would have had to learn many things before they were ready to venture out on their own, How to tie knots, what knot to use when and why, how to use the fishing nets, what nets to use in what situation, how to identify different species of fish, etc. They would even have to learn to predict the weather.

None of these things could be learned over night, they were learned over time. An apprentice fisherman would have spent years learning from his father, or another experienced fisherman. The apprentice wasn’t simply handed a net or a pole and left to their own devices, they were shown how to use them.

Yet that is what happens to many new believers. They are told that they are sinners and that they need a savior, they are told they need to repent of their sins, they are told that they need to put their faith in Christ. Then they are handed a fishing pole or a net (The Bible, prayer, church, etc.) and left to figure out how to use them by themselves.

Discipleship is important, It is important for new believers to be taught the doctrines of the Christian faith. But in addition to being taught the truths of Scripture, new believers need some one to come along side of them to teach them how to live those truths out, and it can’t happen only on Sunday morning, it must happen in the context of day to day life

I will end with an excerpt from “definition of discipleship” over at St. George the Dragon Slayer that touches on this point.

  • Discipleship is learning. Its an educational process. That means that disciple-making involves teaching.
  • But this is not learning/teaching in the conventional sense. Jesus made disciples while walking, boating, and eating. It happened in the homes of sinners, in grave yards, and in gardens. He made disciples by telling stories, healing the sick, and casting out demons. Discipleship is intentional and strategic, but happens in the context of real life – including, but not limited to, a classroom.