Archive for the 'Finding Your Way …' Category

Independently wealthy …?

Monday, October 13th, 2008

While I’m at it about the absurdity of “retirement,” I have some energy on another related topic.  Might as well spit it all out.

Frequently I encounter people (particularly those who are successful in business, or younger men and women who want to be successful) who are contemplating what God would have them do with the latter half of their lives, and the line I hear runs something like this:

“I would love to serve God with more of my time and talent in the coming years.  But I want to have made enough money to be independently wealthy.  I really don’t think it is right to ask other people to support me when I could pay my own way.   So I want to wait until my nest egg is secure and then Jesus can have all my time and attention.”

I have rarely seen it work out this way, where independent wealth becomes an essential stepping stone for future ministry.  Rather, it can become a curse for several reasons:

1.  Behind such a desire can be an unwillingness to live a life of dependency, either dependency on God or other people.  The need for financial security trumps one’s ability to step out and trust God for the most basic of economic necessities.

2.  There is a subtle, unhealthy independence that such wealth can engender.  I’ve seen it several times when we’ve accepted folks to minister with CRM who didn’t need to raise money.  They had it all.  Inevitably, when times got tough in the crucible of ministry, or there was conflict, or things didn’t go their way, they could pack it up and leave.  Having one’s own resources makes it a lot easier to cut and run.

3.  When I’m independently wealthy, it can put me at odds with those in the apostolic community or team with whom I minister.  I have options they do not have.  I have resources they do not have.  No wonder historically in the missionary orders of the Catholic and Orthodox tradition, one would divest themselves of such material attachments so that all would be laboring together on level ground.

4.  Unfortunately, needing to make my fortune can become an excuse for never responding to what may be God’s clear calling on my life.  It’s a smoke screen.  It’s a way to rationalize away the voice of God.  Movement toward that calling can be inhibited because the nest egg is never considered by the individual to be sufficient enough.

Let me be clear.  I’m not dissing anyone who is doing well financially and particularly those who have learned the grace of giving and sacrificial stewardship and are called to the marketplace.  Rather, I am calling into question when the drive to attain such financial “freedom” is used as the justification for delayed obedience to God’s leading.

When I look for people who are grappling with the calling of God toward ministry that is apostolic in nature, one of the true tests of that calling is that money and financial security are the last and least issues to be considered.  What’s healthy is when these issues are the stubby little tail and not the dog.  When it is the other way around, it’s a portent for trouble.

Divine Contacts

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

Divine Contact

One of the ways God exercises his sovereign leading in a person’s life is through what J. Robert Clinton and others refer to as “divine contacts.”

While the concept may seem embarrassingly obvious, it is the simplicity itself that makes it easy to overlook and consequently miss the powerful and intentional way God often leads through such a relationship.

Clinton defines a divine contact as:

A person whom God brings in contact with a leader at a crucial moment in a developmental phase in order to accomplish one or more of the following:

1. to affirm and encourage leadership potential
2. to give guidance on a special issue
3. to provide insights which may give guidance indirectly and broaden the leader
4. to challenge the leader God-ward
5. to open a door to a ministry opportunity
6. to help an emerging leader make guidance decisions
7. to move the leader toward greater commitment


Without being alert to divine contacts, I can miss out both when God has placed such a person in my life or when I serve as such a person for others. Recently, Bobby wrote about how this works personally for him.
“I know from past experience that God will bring me in contact with people for whom something I say will make a significant difference in their lives—in other words, I may precipitate a pivotal point in their life. Because this has been true in the past, I am alert to it and actually pray God would make me a divine contact. Usually I will ask for a specific number (in a particular setting or event).”

God, make me alert to those you send into my life and for those to whom I am sent.

Leadership In Hungary

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

Heisers Heisers Metcalfs

Tamas and Zsofia Heiser are with Barnabas Csoport, CRM’s ministry in Hungary, and are moving toward the role of leading that team.

This comes after a church planting experience over the past decade where God used them to birth and give leadership to a healthy group of believers in Zalaegerszeg in the southern part of the country.

While a highly respected pastor and leader in his community, denomination and throughout the country, Tamas is making the move to Barnabas Csoport because he sees the acute need for leadership in the church that is and the church that needs to be in Hungary and beyond. His situation is also another vivid example of an apostolic leader that needs an apostolic structure to accomplish all that God intends for his life. Tamas’ sense of vision and calling has moved beyond the boundaries of one local context. A gifted musician, teacher and great mom, Zsofia plays an integral role in all that has transpired and how God will use them in the future. She fully shares this step into the turbulent world of the missionary.

While Tamas may not be as “frustrated” in the same sense as Eric (February 7, 2006 post in Apostolic Ecclesiology), he’s cut out of the same cloth. He, Zsofia, and their three children are in the process of selling their home and moving to Budapest. They are taking some bold, sacrificial steps to follow God’s leading in their lives, steps that God will bless and through which the Church and God’s kingdom purposes will be enriched throughout this region of the world.

The 20s and 30s

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

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Some of the most exhilarating and stimulating relationships I enjoy are with men and women in their 20s and 30s.

They are passionate. They haven’t been jaded by all the reasons why something “can’t be done” or why dreams have to be detached from reality. Many exhibit a wonderful holy discontent with forms of religiosity that have little to do with Jesus and kingdom realities. They crave authenticity and to be listened to and believed in. In my sphere of relationships, I find these men and women hungry to grow and remarkably responsive for anyone who genuinely engages in their lives.

What they don’t need is the dismissive patronization of existing institutional leaders and those committed to the things as they are in the church world. Consistent with the changing postmodern cultural ethos in which they have been nurtured, few younger leaders are concerned about “truth” as an abstract concept. Rather they are drawn to truth lived out with authenticity and integrity. It’s orthopraxy that trumps orthodoxy or should I say, demonstrates it.

What I find sad, at times, is the reactions of my over-50 peers. Rather than “being there” for the emerging generation, too often they resort to being critics. Alan Roxburgh in The Sky is Falling describes it this way:

“In one’s twenties and thirties, change is a like a drug—it energizes and excites because the world is there for the remaking. It’s not difficult to navigate change—our baggage is light, so we can pick up and move on quickly. All of life lies ahead of them and they can’t wait to get there.

But is it that simple? A majority of young leaders I’ve encountered feel adrift with a sense that they have few, if any, mentors who have gone ahead and can guide them along a safe path. This creates its own kind of anxieties, because so many of their experiments fail, resulting in all kinds of personal and relational uncertainties.

Lots of Emergent leaders are trying their experiments without the wisdom and maturity of others who have been down the same path and who understand the implications of what they are doing and who have the skills needed. Experimentation and not being prejudiced by the past can be wonderfully serendipitous values in the abstract, but in the hard reality of working with real people in real organizations, the results can be that they are like ships without earth anchors or compasses.”

New Missional Leaders

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

1-07 New Staff-1

One of the exhilarating privileges I have several times yearly is to meet and interact with people joining CRM staff in our New Staff Orientation.

This week, it has been with the group above. They are headed to incredible ministry venues such as Scotland, Cambodia, Russia, and Italy. One person is on their way to life among Muslims in South Asia. One couple has just come from New Zealand. Another person is of Chinese descent and another spent many of her growing up years in Indonesia.

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” —Isaiah 52:7

When All Hell Breaks Loose

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

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I’ve seen it happen over and over again.

In the relationships I encounter, it occurs most often with two groups of people to a degree far too often to be mere coincidence:

1. First are those who have stepped up and begun to use their resources in a strategic and sacrificial way. This is much more than the obligatory “tithing.” I’m talking about folks who really get it and begin to give and invest in the things of the Kingdom until it hurts.

Yesterday, I got a call from one such person. Last year, they gave almost ALL of their disposable income away. He was reeling. Everything that could go wrong was going wrong …agony in his family, vocational set-backs, betrayal from close associates, and physical things happening that could resemble a contemporary Job. Why? Could it be because of his significant financial and material involvement in the things of God, he now wears a big read bull’s eye on his life?

OR:

2. Secondly are those who have made the decision to make the jump and serve Jesus in some form of vocational ministry. Invariably, the bottom falls out in one way or another, discouraging them to pursue such a calling and making them question whether they have indeed heard from God about the future.

These folks catch it a variety of ways. Sometimes, simultaneous with their decision, they get an incredibly lucrative job offer which rocks them. Just think what that extra income would mean ...what they could do for their kids ...the things they could have they previously could never afford …the security, comfort and prosperity. Or, they get clobbered from extended family who consider such a vocational decision sheer madness. How could they possibly throw away all that education? How could they walk away from careers and pay checks and then “beg” from others to pay the bills?

And in both scenarios, there are inexplicable and invariable physical maladies that hit out of nowhere. It is as if they have hung out a shingle that reads “Hit Me!”

Both scenarios force intense reflection and introspection. “Did we really hear from God?” “Have we counted the cost?” “Is this really what we should be doing with our lives?”

One simple, but profound piece of advice I heard early in my days in ministry has been a lifeline during such times of doubt and despair, when all hell breaks loose and you wonder where God went: “Do not doubt in the dark what God has already shown you in the light.” It’s true. It works.

At the same time, such circumstances illuminate the reality of living and ministering in a profoundly supernatural world, a truth that is too often dismissed and ignored because of our western bias against what anthropologist Paul Heibert so accurately describes as the “excluded middle,” that realm where the demonic and angelic operate. When in such circumstances, our survival may depend upon knowing how to effectively engage in warfare in the supernatural realm. As Martin Luther wrote in the crucible of the Reformation:

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

Unsung Heroes

Saturday, October 7th, 2006

Moldova

Argentine and Shawni are missionaries in Moldova.

He’s Moldovan and she’s from Ukraine. They met in university in Romania and returned to his native Moldova after graduation. She is a medical doctor but prohibited from practicing since they moved. Together, they are part of a team that gives leadership to a nascent church planting movement in this region of the country. Three new churches have emerged from the efforts of this team.

They are quality leaders. Quiet, deep, tenacious, servants committed to multiplying a new generation of leaders and churches in this former Soviet republic and beyond.

Wherever I come across fruitful movements such as this, inevitably at their core are people like Argentine and Shawni. They don’t write books. They don’t spout theory. They don’t blog. They simply do it.

Missio Intensive

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006

Missio Intensive-4

CRM’s Missio Team, in partnership with Forge, Australia will be sponsoring a unique conference in October. Hosted by Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, this two day conversation will feature Alan Hirsch, Hugh Halter, Michael Frost, Matt Smay and others. It will focus on the nature of a missional/incarnational church in the North American context as it engages the culture around it.

Also being introduced at this gathering will be Missio’s MCAP (Mission Church Apprenticeship Process) for those looking for a relational distance-learning community of like-minded church planters.

Apostolic Community in Vancouver

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

Vancouver City Scape[1] Vancouver Team-1

Last week I spent with CRM’s NieuCommunities team in Vancouver, Canada.

Along with four interns, this new team is pioneering life and ministry together as an apostolic community in a highly secular, urban context. And they are are doing it wonderfully. Makes me want to move north!!

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What Would It Take to “Lean In”?

Monday, August 7th, 2006

Beirut5 Beirut4

What would happen if Christians—particularly those in the comfortable, complacent West—genuinely leaned into those areas of the world rocked by war, religious persecution, poverty, institutional evil, famine, totalitarianism, etc …  For example, what would it take to send communities of men and women who could be, in word and deed, the presence of Jesus into an area like southern Lebanon as the fighting wanes in the days to come? (photos above)

Where are some of these places where those committed to Jesus would find most inhospitable in today’s world?

North Korea, South Lebanon, Somalia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Timor, Yemen, Sudan/Dafur, Libya, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Cuba, Afghanistan, and more ….

Let’s be clear.  In all these places, the church does exist.  There are courageous followers of Jesus who as nationals in their own lands are harassed, destitute, persecuted and sometimes martyred.  But who is there to minister among and alongside them?

What would it take?  How do we get teams of skilled, well-trained, deeply committed individuals into such places?  We know it would require people who understand the realities of spiritual warfare and how God uses signs, wonders and the supernatural for his kingdom purposes.  I suspect they would be mostly single men and women, prepared for hardship, physical suffering and even death.  It would necessitate a neo-monastic commitment and a clear sense of apostolic calling. And it would take the appropriate apostolic structures without which such undertakings would be foolish and cavalier.

The fact is there are no “closed” countries to the gospel of Jesus in today’s world. There are only “creative access” countries.  There is no nation on the face of the planet where committed followers of Jesus cannot go to live and minister as representatives of the living Christ.  We can get into any place as long as we are willing not to have any assurance we could ever come out.

So where are such people?  Where are those in the Christian movement with the same zeal that we see demonstrated daily by those in the Islamic world willing to blow themselves up in suicide forays?  Perhaps Greg Livingstone is correct when he says that Christians will never be taken seriously until we are willing to populate Muslim jails.

It can be done. With CRM, we can get access to the places. We’ve got the capablities. We have the apostolic structure to facilitate such ministry in any nation.  All that’s lacking are the people.

“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” – Jesus

Summary Thoughts on Business and Ministry

Saturday, July 1st, 2006

Exponential Functions
A few clarifications:

Because the businesses created by CRM Enterprise are actually owned by the CRM entity in the respective nations, profit distribution is a decision that entity makes, i.e. ministry perspective dictates use of money earned.
The profit stays in the country/region where it has been made. These businesses do not suck resources out of the local scene. They are not exploitive.
While CRM entities own the businesses, there are a variety of ways individuals – nationals and ex-pats – can participate as equity partners in the ventures.

Business integrated for ministry purposes is part of the future. It is one of many practical means of dismantling the unhealthy modern wall between sacred and secular.

For more information on how CRM is doing this through Enterprise, check out the stories on the link or connect with Colin Crawley at colin.crawley@crmleaders.org

Business Leverage

Friday, June 30th, 2006

Lever
When business people get a chance to see, touch, feel and experience CRM Enterprise, they get it.

First, they understand the concept of leverage. A dollar invested in such a way earns a significant return because, as Stephen Covey puts it, that dollar is invested in “production capacity,” not just “production.” It keeps on earning.

Secondly, these business oriented individuals usually begin to salivate because finally they have discovered a way whereby they can put their own expertise and business skills directly to work for ministry purposes. Their abilities are valued.

Involvement with Enterprise is a real life illustration of the old adage about giving a person a fish or a fishing pole. What results from the fishing pole is exponentially more effective.

Objections to Business for Ministry

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

Washingmachine
I can already hear some of the back room comments on my last post (June 27):

“Profit? How mercenary?”
“This just smacks of western capitalistic opportunism.”
“Make money? What’s that got to do with ministry? Why can’t they just trust God?”
“I can’t believe they are mixing business and ministry …God’s work will be the loser in such an unholy alliance!”

Please spare me the hate mail. I’ve heard it all before.

I’ve heard all the arguments from my friends on the left about the inherent evils of capitalism and likewise, know all the arguments from my friends on the theological right who frown on such “worldly” attention to lucre which they believe can only corrupt the purity of the gospel.

The sad fact is, when it comes to money and the wise even shrewd use of resources, Jesus’ admonition that “...the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves …” seems strangely applicable.

To our detriment, others have historically done a better job at this than those who have been followers of Jesus. For example, the Mormans have done it for years while most of those committed to historic orthodoxy have sat on our sanctimonious hands.

There is no biblical, historical or missiological reasons why business, wisely operated, cannot be utilized for Kingdom purposes.

Business With a Purpose

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

Money-1

The Christian movement is littered with the intentions of well meaning visionaries who either would not or could not find the resources to make their dreams become reality.

The primary purpose of the businesses created through CRM Enterprise is to quite simply make money. Profit is the bottom line.

There are certainly other worthwhile byproducts of these businesses. For example they

Provide jobs, often in economies where employment can mean survival;
Model good business ethics and mores;
Contribute to the overall welfare and development of the local and regional economy;
Develop nationals as entrepreneurs and business leaders;
Can provide a platform to legitimize ministry, particularly in limited access nations;
In word and deed, function as authentic expressions of the presence of Jesus in the marketplace

While these are all important and worthy ancillary benefits, the primary purpose of these businesses is not job creation, evangelism, tent-making, or enriching nationals so they will eventually give or tithe to their churches.

In reality, and by design, all of these side benefit have happened and are happening. But just because they happen does not insure that profit flows as a result. At the end of the day, we have deliberately chosen for these entities to turn a profit that can in turn be invested in ministry. These businesses are to be an economic wellhead to help vision, given by God, become reality.

Missionaries = Bad Business

Monday, June 26th, 2006

Empty Pockets
What is one of the best ways to screw up a business? Let the ministry types run it.

Of course there are some exceptions, but on the whole, those in vocational ministry are not good business people. In CRM’s Enterprise Division, we do our best to keep the ministry folks away from the operational aspects of the businesses because they rarely have the skills or the experience to know what to do.

Enterprise offers business men and women a unique opportunity to really go for it using all that God has entrusted to them. For some, this may mean taking a one or two-week trip a year where their unique abilities can be applied in the developing world. For others, it may mean packing it up and spending months or even years in locations around the globe pioneering such ventures.

And for many, it means being part of a Business Development Group which gathers other like minded and committed business people together to anchor such projects without leaving home, contributing advice, expertise, and even investment capital.

Missional Entrepreneurs

Sunday, June 25th, 2006

Filmmidworthitall
Money can be corrupting, particularly when it crosses cultures and creates crippling dependency. Such misuse in ministry and missions is legendary.

At the same time, deploying missionaries from the majority world (also called the “developing world”) across cultural, linguistic and socio-economic barriers can be a daunting challenges when resources are limited.

One of the solutions …and there are multiple …is to create income streams within the localized economy dedicated to the support of nationals in ministry. It means creating profitable businesses to undergird their efforts and particularly to help those who incur the substantial expense of leaving their own culture to move elsewhere for the sake of the gospel.

Such an approach to alternative means of funding never excuses the local church or local followers of Jesus from giving with joy and sacrifice. But it does provide additional resources that can accelerate the participation of those in these nations as partners with dignity in the global Christian movement.

Over the past decade and a half, CRM has undertaken the creation of these types of businesses – owned by the CRM ministry entity in those nations – and they are proving very successful.

Called CRM Enterprise, this division of CRM starts and multiplies profit-making businesses for the support of ministry. The short film above, Worth It All, describes one such scenario in Ukraine.

Business as Calling

Saturday, June 24th, 2006

Let’s get it straight.

Working in a business or a profession should demand just as much a divine sense of “calling” as being a pastor or crossing a cultural divide as a missionary.

Os Guinness in his volume, The Call, does as good a job of theologically unpacking this as anyone. At its core, the issue is overcoming the sacred/secular split of modernity and engaging a “whole life” spirituality. It means abandoning the artificial gap between the traditional church and contemporary culture.

Being the hands and feet of Jesus, in word and deed, in the marketplace is ministry. It is just as sacred …and in many instances, more sacred …than what may happen on Sunday mornings. It requires equipping, empowering and releasing this vast multitude of men and women to be the presence of Jesus in and through their business venues and relationships.

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Business People and Ministry

Friday, June 23rd, 2006

Pic-Business-People
Historically, the Christian movement has pretty much said four things to business people:

1. “Give us your money.”
2. “Get involved with the local church. But all too often in the modern era that may mean work as an usher, serve on a board, teach fifth grade Sunday School, or undertake some other task usually unrelated to your vocation.”
3. “If you really love Jesus, give up your business/professional career, go to seminary, and become a real person of the cloth.”
4. “We have this business manager’s job at the church or this CFO’s role in the organization and we really need someone to deal with the filthy lucre. Of course realize, that if you ever take such a role, you’re really not in ‘ministry’ and those duly ordained are doing the real stuff.”

How sad.

But there much better ways – when our messed up theology about vocation gets fixed- whereby those called as business men and women in the marketplace can make a huge kingdom contribution through the use of their gifts and business acumen. More to come.

New Sent Ones …

Friday, May 26th, 2006

Three times a year, I have the privilege of meeting with those men and women who have come on board with CRM as new staff. I spend a couple of days with them during our New Staff Orientation helping pass on the essentials of organizational culture.

This is a a great group. It consists of people heading to life and ministry all over the world: in Cambodia, the inner-city of San Francisco, Venezuela, Romania, Vancouver, Guatemala, and various CRM ministry locales throughout the States.

May God graciously bless them with the presence and power of the Spirit as they begin this grand adventure!
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Apostolic Passion

Friday, May 19th, 2006

In this brief article, Floyd McClung presents one of the best treatments I know of regarding the nature of what it means to live “apostolically.” McClung is the founder and director of All Nations Institute in Trinidad, Colorado. For many years, he served as International Director of YWAM. He began his international ministry in Afghanistan.

This is well worth the read.

Apostolic Passion.pdf

The Honor of a Missionary Calling

Wednesday, May 10th, 2006

Calling Of Paul

“The Christian ministry is the worst of all trades, but the best of all professions.”- Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)

“A person should only enter the Christian ministry if they cannot stay out of it.” – D. Martin Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981)


There were several distinct turning points over the years when it became very clear that God’s calling was to life as a missionary. Unlike some other forms of ministry, inherent in this calling (and sometimes unarticulated) are some unique features: raising funds and living on support, social and geographical mobility, a lifestyle of simplicity, living flexibly in environments of ambiguity (sometimes cross-culturally), stress and risk, and the likelihood of considerable sacrifice both emotionally and physically.

Patty and I made that jump in 1976. While I’ve never had a doubt or a serious regret, I have had my moments wondering, “What did I get myself and my family into??”

It’s been costly by some of the world’s criteria. But the returns continue to amaze and astound me. Some of God’s payback in the here and now, which make ministry “the best of all professions” has been:

• Freedom and flexibility with my time to respond to those in need
• The privilege of seeing parts of the world others only dream of (or run from)
• My children being exposed to cultures, ethnic diversity, and the worldwide Christian movement in contexts unavailable to their peers
• Being able to trust God for money and physical things in a different dimension than if I had a 40 hr/wk job.
• Watching God invade people’s lives and move in ways that will affect the history of our times.
• The freedom to learn, to study, and to grow.
• Relationships of depth and like commitment that are rare to unavailable across the breadth of the Christian movement,

And the list could go on and on…..

In the pressures and crucible of everyday life and ministry, I regret how little I pause to consider the great privilege God has given us in being set aside for such a glorious pursuit. It is a marvelous privilege to give one’s life to issues of ultimate significance. It’s so easy for those in missions to moan and complain about what we lack and how tough it can be and what we are “giving up.” But when the scales are honestly examined, what a wonderful trade-off. What an incredible honor.
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Painting is Carvaggio’s famous work depicting the calling of the Apostle Paul, circa 1600.

From Phoenix to the Barrio

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

Ryan Mathis
Ryan Mathis is from Phoenix, Arizona. He’s 23.

He spent last year in Pretoria, South Africa as a NieuCommunities participant. That experience in missional living and spiritual formation was a great foundation for what he believes God wants to do with his life. This year, he began an apprenticeship with CRM’s InnerCHANGE team in the barrios of Caracas where he is committed to a life of incarnational service among the poor of Latin America.

Ryan is a example of where missional rhetoric has been turned into missional reality. May God’s presence and blessing rest on Ryan and may his life be an example of Isaiah 58:10-12

“...and if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become like the noonday.”

Emerging church interest in Singapore

Sunday, March 12th, 2006

Emerging Leaders-Singapore.jpg

Along with Tom Middleton (back row center) I spent an afternoon with this remarkable group of people in Singapore. They wanted to interact about the “emerging church.”

I had no idea I would find such understanding or interest in Asia. Among the questions we delved into together were:

1.What are emerging churches? What are the characteristics and commonalities?

2. To what extent is it a western/urban phenomena with western values and does it look differently in Asia and in their culture?

3. What’s are the consequences and the reach of globalization and the secular, postmodern elements of such?

4. How do fresh expressions of “church” occur in their context? Will these expressions be within existing evangelical instititutions or something new?

5. What price may they have to pay as they cooperate with God to engage their own generation with the Gospel, living it out in forms of community that are authentic, creative and missional?

6. What is apostolic giftedness and calling? How does that affect each of them as they discover God’s kingdom purposes, particularly as it relates to finding their niche in some form of the church local as well as some form of the church missionary or apostolic?


These men and women have the ability to be and to influence the next generation of leadership for the Christian movement in their nation and beyond. May God give them the courage to live out their growing convictions. May they be in our day the missional pioneers not unlike some of their ancestors who were key, formative leaders of the Singaporean church in decades past.

Experiencing missional community

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

NieuCommunities is a superb opportunity for those intereseted in exploring, in community, God’s plans and kingdom purposes for their lives.

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Pretoria, South Africa.
Glasgow, Scotland.
Vancouver, B.C.

Check it out. www.nieucommunities.org

Leaders and friends

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

Pictured here are three of the men who work closely with me: Tom Middleton (the tall one with the shaggy hair) is my ministry assistant, my personal assistant and Colin Crawley (the Brit on the far right in both pictures) who gives leadership to Enterprise International, CRM’s economic development arm that creates for-profit businesses to support ministry around the world.

Tom, Sam, Colin, Ryan in Bucharest.jpg Tom, Sam, Colin, Ryan in Budapest.jpg
On the left, we are on the main balcony of Ceausescu’s palace in Bucharest, Romania and on the right overlooking the Danube in Budapest at night.

These three men, in their late 20s and early 30s, are a great source of joy and encouragement! I couldn’t do what I do without them.

Each carries significant responsibility. And in the future, each – with their very able spouses – will bear even greater responsiblities in leading CRM. Relating to them, and others like them, brings me great joy.