Loving CHURCH! (Reprise)

After our break for Mother’s Day we’re jumping back into our study on “Discovering Authentic Church” this Sunday at the Crossings.  Over the next two weeks we’ll be looking at the two major Churches highlighted in the book of Acts.  The first one is the original Church in Jerusalem that is described primarily in chapters 2:42-47 and 4:32-37.  The second Church in consideration is the Antioch fellowship found in Acts 11:19-30 and 13:1-4.  Both of these Churches leave a lot that we can learn from today.  However, the goal is not to legalistically or mindlessly follow each point in detail, but rather to look and learn from the overall picture of what God did and how they responded to Him in the first century.  As we begin to wind down this series, I really believe that the authenticity of the first century Church really can be a reality in the 21st century today.  So for everyone who lives in the Northwest Houston area, be sure to grab a friend and come by one of our services.  For everyone; how are you going to “BE CHURCH” this week?  In the mean time, check out this guy whose life was changed by “Discovering Authentic Church.”

Loving CHURCH!

At The Crossings this past Sunday we started a new series called Discovering Authentic Church.  I love the Church and so do many of you.  But I also know that some of you really don’t resonate with the whole idea of Church.  Some of you have been burnt or jaded because of something someone did while wearing the name Christian.  Others have experienced things in the name of Church that don’t feel too much like Jesus.  I get that.  It reminds me of a book that Dan Kimball wrote in 2007 entitled They Like Jesus, but not The Church.   I’ve met Dan before and have heard him speak, so I know where he’s at on the issue.  He loves Jesus and the true Church.  He just points out that a lot of folks have simply been presented with a counterfeit model of the Church.  I get that and have probably felt some of that pain in my own pilgrimage.  I know I have.  But my hope is that in this study we can see a picture of what the authentic Church really looks like.  I hope we can clean up the mess of misunderstanding.

The true CHURCH is seen in scripture as a beautiful creation of God.  She is loved by God.  No, the Church is not perfect, at least not now.  That’s because it’s made up of imperfect people.  But she is still the “Bride of Christ.”  Because of that significance, I hope everyone can take a second look at this mystery called the Church.  As we continue through this series I hope you’ll ask questions and open up to what it means to experience Authentic Church.  Yes, I love the Church and hope you will too.

What are some of your stories of experiencing the counterfeit?  What are some of your stories of finding the authentic?

Church on Mission.

Have you seen this clip?  It was made a couple of years ago.  But I came across it again the other day while researching a church planting organization.  Though the clip is not new, I believe it’s worth checking out again.  Jeff Maguire did a fun job describing the authentic Kingdom life which he refers to as Missional living.  The point being that authentic Christ followers are all called to live out the Kingdom of God in their own daily lives.  Sharing the message and love of Christ is the call of every Christian and not merely the domain of the decorated.  Remember, the CHURCH is not a building; but the people.  So whatever your niche in the Kingdom, be sure to be “missional” about it today.  Enjoy and implement!

 

The “Pastor’s Page” follow up!

Today we are hearing from our second main author on “Healthy Pastors.”  Todd Owen has had a wide verity of ministry experience and can easily speak to the need for spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical health for long term and full-time Christian Service.  My partnership in the work with Todd goes back to the early 90s when I think he went by “Spike” at Ozark Christian College.  Todd works with New Mission Systems International and also blogs here.  So for now, enjoy, comment, and look for more to come.

White Space

I’ve been writing newsletters for over twenty years, mostly as a missionary but also the church newsletter when I was a pastor. One consistent piece of advice I’ve had over the years is that every newsletter should have wide margins and lots of white space. When the page is uncluttered it is easier for the reader to follow what’s being written rather than being distracted by the noise and visual dissonance on the page. As often as possible, even when I was tempted to write too many words and cram too much into a given space, I cut the verbiage down, simplified, and kept the message straightforward. (more…)

The Pastor’s Page!

Welcome to our new page for ministers.  I’ve been in some form of professional ministry for quite a while now and I’d be the first to tell you that it’s a hard gig at times.  By professional ministry, I’m not talking about a mere career path that one takes, but a calling on one’s life.  For me it means that I am called to what I do the same way a surgeon is called to Medicine.  I don’t do it for a pay check, though it’s nice when I get one, I do it because it is who I am. There are many joys in this calling.  But there are many heart aches and trials as well.  So the purpose of this page on Kingdomology is to support those with a full-time ministry calling in their lives.  Our main author for Healthy Pastors is a guy named Tom Salter from California.  I met Tom when we did a church plant in the Nor Cal a few years ago.  Tom has a huge heart for pastors and he is actually the brain child for this page.  Another author is a very good friend of mine going all the way back to my college days.  Todd Owen has had experience on the foreign mission field, the located church ministry, and is presently directing discipleship and care for missionaries with New Mission Systems International.  Our first post on this page is coming from Tom.  So if you’re involved in full-time Christian ministry; be encouraged.  If you’re not a “Pastor” or “Missionary” you can still feel free to enter into discussion and learn more about ministry in the 21st century.  For now . . . Here’s Tom: (more…)

“Share Fair” Success!

I was blessed to be part of the Crossings “Share Fair” 2010 event this past Saturday.  To me it was just another wonderful example of a local body of Christ putting their faith into practice by coming up with creative ways to serve their extended community.  The “Fair” was a great success this year as we gathered donations and gifts and networking with a local school, were able to get them into the lives of families in our area who are struggling.  A HUGE thanks goes out to Larry Foster who handled the goliath share of the details which made everything come together.  I also want say thanks to everyone who helped with the setup, teardown, and serving throughout the day.  In all, “Share Fair” was just another reason why you rock Cypress Crossings.  So keep up the good work and have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!