Today is Caryn's 30th birthday! If you know her, or see her, be sure to wish her a happy birthday! I think we're going to go see the new Batman movie and have dinner at Harrigan's.
On a spiritual note, we have a meeting early next week with a missional church leader from Houston named Roy. We'll be discussing being involved in an emerging church network here in West Texas. I'm excited about being involved with this group, as we examine church life for this new generation. In preparation for this discussion, I've been reading "The Shaping of Things to Come"
It has really challenged the way I envision church. I am most challenged by the new paradigms that are out there, and trying to transfer the principles to West Texas/Bible belt ministry. As Roy, Caryn, and myself explore some of these things on Tuesday, I hope to really pick his brain on some of these issues. I've enjoyed the dialogue that I've had about these new paradigms. One of my close friends, Barry Bridges, has been out on the frontlines exploring these things for about 5 years now. He has been kind enough to keep me involved in the dialogue, as well as allowing me to be a part of his organic plant in San Antonio, Tx. He is putting together a network of like-minded followers in hopes of expanding our discussion, and providing a resource for those out there who long for the same things we do in relationship with the local body and meaningful ministry. I say all of this to say that there are some exciting things taking shape in the church, and in our ministry. I never realized what God would begin to do with me when he moved me out of my "comfortable" ministry niche. I have really sensed a calling to pastoring a church based upon the new paradigm of ministry. The "new" paradigm isn't really new, though. It is more grass-roots and organic than the modern ministry model. At the same time, it resembles the New Testament Church more closely than the corperate model of the modern church. We're talking about organic models of ministry based upon small group ministry that emphasizes relationship over attendance. Plugging people into relationship becomes a primary goal, replacing the drive for having people attend on Sunday morning. By utilizing personal relationships, believers get the opportunity to share their faith, and plug their friends into Jesus in personal relationship with Him. Good Stuff! For more about ministry like this, you can check out these ministries:
www.theheightsfellowship.org , www.ecclesiahouston.org , www.thevillagechurch.net , www.commongroundsa.com , www.journeylubbock.org , www.maybe.uk.org
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