Church and the Fellowship of the Ring – part 2

Church and the Fellowship of the Ring – part 2

In my last post I talked a bit about how the church is akin to Tolkien’s Fellowship of the Ring. Both groups include folks of different races and cultures that do not always get along. Yet throughout it all, we need each other. Today I would like to explore a bit more about the message the Fellowship spread why engaged on their journey. In the books, the nine members of the Fellowship at the same mission: take the One Ring to the Mountain of Doom and destroy it. Along the way, they experienced betrayal, pain and death in addition to love, honor, self-sacrifice and companionship. At one point in the journey, the Fellowship is split into three smaller groups with two others members having died before the split. While painful, it is noteworthy that each of the smaller groups retained a focus on the original mission. Just because they weren’t together in one big group didn’t mean that they didn’t care about the other groups or that they had given up on their goal. Rather the act of split up into smaller groups, why originally a horrible things, helped accomplish something that wouldn’t have been possible had they stayed together. What was it, you may ask, that was accomplished by splitting up? Multiplication. In splitting up, each group was able to connect with different people in Middle Earth and spread the vision of destroying the One Ring. Some groups were able to recruit entire nations with thousands of people to the cause while others were only able to recruit a few people. Yet each act of multiplication, when seen...
Two church planting related posts by some Vineyard bloggers

Two church planting related posts by some Vineyard bloggers

Thought I would share a few church planting related blog posts by some Vineyard folks: Post #1: “Leading and managing change: lessons from a church planter #1”  by Jason Clark Author bio: Jason is the pastor of the Sutton Vineyard in London, UK (planted in 1997) and serve as Area Leader. He holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in theology and leadership, and is currently completing PhD research on the church and culture. Post summary: Jason outlines the five key leadership areas that he realizes that he has to face up to and grow in if his church is to move forward with God. The five areas are: Vision, Skills, Character, Counting the Cost, and Change. My thoughts: I love Jason’s honesty and openness about having to change and grow as a leader in order to take the church to the place that God wants it to go. His statement, “what had gotten me here wouldn’t get me there”, is very telling and resonates with me as I transition out of the senior pastorship and into a new currently-undefined role within the local church. To always be growing, always going deeper with Jesus…that is life and it is hard. Post #2: “If I Planted A Church Again, I Would… Pt. 1” by Dave Jacobs Author Bio: Dave is a church coach and consultant based in Southwest Oregon. Before that he was a church planter and Vineyard area leader in California. (Personal note: Dave coached me for six weeks a few years ago and was very, very helpful!) Post summary: Over the years Dave came up with a list of...
A Whirlwind Week

A Whirlwind Week

This past week has been a flurry of meetings, emails, phone calls and reports. With the weekend at hand, I’m looking forward to some downtime hanging out with the family and relaxing… granted, Sunday is just around the corner, meaning that I better figure out what shape this week’s sermon is going to take… In the meantime, I wanted to post some pictures of my recent trip last weekend to New Jersey and Manhattan. While the goal and focus of the trip was to discuss ways to help churches engage in cross-cultural church planting (both domestically and international), my host, Craig Simonian, was kind enough to take me into Manhattan for a trip of a life...
Colossians: Introduction

Colossians: Introduction

Sermon notes for PRV’s new study through Colossians. Audio file can be found here. Introduction Today (originally taught on January 5, 2014) we are starting a new series Working through the book of Colossians This book has popped up several times over the past month or so, Looks to be in line where God is taken us Theme The theme, or overall message, of the book is “Christ is Lord over all creation, including the invisible realm. He has secured redemption for his people, enabling them to participate with him in his death, resurrection, and fullness.” Colossians is one of the most Jesus centered books of Paul’s Focused on teaching the believers at Colossae that Jesus is the King and ruler of every area of their lives Paul was also encouraging them to participate with Jesus Embracing the good news that we have died with Jesus and been resurrected into a new life through Him Now we can join with Jesus in changing the world for His sake This, to me, fits with us in our journey with  Jesus It is easy to forget that we are new beings through the power of Jesus’  blood When we  bowed our knees to Jesus and gave our lives to  Him, the old stuff of the past was wiped away  We are now new With a new mind, heart, passion and mission With a new year upon us, we need to stand  strong in this reality We also need to embrace the part in Jesus’ mission that each of us have We were not saved – set free from the evil one’s...