Storytelling for the health of the church

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[Adapted from a script I wrote for a video that IVP made for the Inhabit conference.  My segment didn't get used in the IVP video, but these thoughts are worth sharing here on the blog] My friends at the Parish Collective often speak of the importance of parishes being rooted and linked. These two virtues show us two different ways that storytelling works in our local churches.Storytelling is absolutely essential to the health and flourishing of local parishes. As we seek to be rooted, stories serve to shape our identity—they remind us who we are and how God is at work tr … [Read more...]

Be Strong in the Lord’s Power

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Continuing the series on “Slow Church and the Urgency of Justice” today.  This is the sixth post. (Link goes to the initial post in the series).  Previous post: “God Tabernacling in Our Weakness"  Continuing the theme of our last post in this series (linked above), Marva Dawn in her important book Powers, Weakness and the Tabernacling of God, begins her exploration of the Ephesians 6 text by noting that because God tabernacles in our weakness, we can be strong in the Lord's power.  The we here is important, Dawn emphasizes, for it is the the whole Body of Christ -- and not the individua … [Read more...]

“I know something worse than hate…”

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Continuing the series on “Slow Church and the Urgency of Justice" today.  This is the fifth post. (Link goes to the initial post in the series).  Previous post: Engaged with our Neighbors’ Struggles Against Injustice.In our last post in this series, I emphasized that working toward justice begins in our local neighborhoods.  There is a great danger in trying to address injustices in the abstract. Our efforts to address injustice in the abstract often (unintentionally) results in great damage in real situations.This truth is one that Mexican poet Javier Sicilia knows all too well.   In 2011, … [Read more...]

Lent 2013 – Two Slow Church-related Articles

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Fasting toward the Common Good Chris recently wrote an article for The Good Men Project, which begins:Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent for Christians around the globe. Based on the example of Jesus, who fasted for 40 days in the wilderness, Lent is the season leading up to Easter that has traditionally been understood as a time of fasting. Today, many Christians have reduced the practice of fasting during Lent to giving up some luxury — chocolate, alcohol, coffee, or television — for the duration of the season. Although such sacrifices are fasts of sorts, it is par … [Read more...]

The Gospel of the Coffee Bean

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[ I'm taking a break today from the "Slow Church and the Urgency of Justice" series, which should return in the next couple of days]There's a chapter in the forthcoming book that John and I are calling "Taste and See that the Lord is Good."  Here's a snapshot of the basic theme of the chapter: God created us to flourish and to know the joy of life.  Just as something is lost in the taste and experience of a fast food meal, so too a key part of what is lost in the industrialization of Christianity is the joy of being together, of knowing and being known in community.  Industrialized Ch … [Read more...]

Favor: Growing Deeper in Our Church Communities

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My ebook Growing Deeper in Our Church Communities: 50 Ideas for Connection in a Disconnected Age is FREE for Kindle this weekend (through 11:59PM PT on Sunday).First of all, download a copy if you don't have one already:  http://amzn.to/GrowingDeeperGrowing Deeper (written in early 2010), was one of my first attempts to explore the practices that contribute to a deeper and richer life together in our church communities, and in that way contains some of the seeds of Slow Church.  Until the Slow Church book is released later this year (Lord willing!), there are two little books that t … [Read more...]

The Cross and the AK-47?

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Debates about gun control are raging in the wake of yet another mass shooting.  The issues surrounding these recent shootings are complex, mental illness, a culture shaped by recreational violence and yes, of  course, access to guns. I don't really want to debate gun control right now; in fact, I'm not opposed to all guns.  What I am opposed to, however, is the fear that drives people to own (and defend the ownership of) guns that are intended for nothing other than the taking of human life.  And this fear is a theological issue that must be addressed among Christians... I'm laying down a cha … [Read more...]


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