Church Planting: An Interview With Ed Stetzer

Church Planting: An Interview With Ed Stetzer

Ed Stetzer has a long and very impressive resume full of planting, revitalizing and pastoring churches across the USA. He has also taught and mentored tons of pastors over the years as well as spend many a hour researching and surveying in state of the local church. Currently he is the President of LifeWay Research and a member of the International Mission Board’s Church Services Team. Accordingly, his comments on church planting in North America have some weight… as in, they are worth listening too and thinking about. Which is why I recommend reading this article detailing a recent interview with Vineyard USA. To help spur you on in reading the interview, I have posted some quotes from Ed along with some of my thoughts below. Reflections on the Church Planting Scene in North America “I think church planting is exploding. But I think it’s also important to note that the focus of many of these movements, and even the methods that they have used, have been influenced by the gifts that the Vineyard gave us all: a heart for church planting, new network approaches and strategies, and a passion for reaching the lost.” Yeah…I couldn’t pass up quoting this piece as it is nice to see such favorable press for one’s tribe. Granted, Ed is talking to the Vineyard USA so it could be a simple ‘don’t bite the hand that is feeding you’ statement…but I seriously doubt that as Ed, who is not part of the Vineyard, doesn’t have a motivation to suck up to the Vineyard. If he didn’t like us, he could simply say so...
When God Talks Back

When God Talks Back

National Public Radio (NPR) “Fresh Air” program just ran an interview with anthropologist T.M. Luhrmann about her new book “When God Talks Back.” The cool thing about this is that the book is based upon Luhrmann’s research at various Vineyard Christian Fellowship churches on folks personal relationship with God and how this relationship is cemented through prayer. I highly recommend everyone listen to this interview as it the study has some awesome ramification for the church in general. Note that there are some squirming comment in the talk as both the interviewer, Terry Gross, and Luhrmann have a different worldview then followers of Jesus (“squirming” in that they ask some good questions that sometimes we tend to overlook..) 😛 Regardless, I personally cannot wait to get a hold of her book so I can drill into things a bit more. 😀 I should also mention that I had the pleasure of hearing part of this study at 2011 Society of Vineyard Scholars conference where Luhrmann was a keynote...
2012 Society of Vineyard Scholars Annual Conference

2012 Society of Vineyard Scholars Annual Conference

The 2012 Society of Vineyard Scholars (SVS) Annual Conference is coming up next month, April 26-28th. The focus this year is going to be on “The Kingdom And Ecclesiology: Learning From, Learning With, Learning As The Church.” While I will not be able to attend this year due to scheduling conflicts, I am really excited about the topics to be presented and cannot wait for the papers to be released!!! 😀 If you are wondering what topics/papers/workshops have me excited, well keep on reading as I have listed out the ones that caught my eye. 😛 The full 2012 SVS schedule can be found here. Thinking Theologoically About “Blue Ocean” Papers “Towards a Post-Foundationalist Theology of the Kingdom: A Proposal for Blue Ocean Churches” by Doug Erickson, Marquette University, Duluth Vineyard, MN “Centered Set Sexuality: Can We Navigate the Sexual Challenges of Our Time by Turning to Jesus?” by Peter Benedict, River Heights Vineyard, MN Ontology and Ecclesiology Papers “Rereading Radical Orthodoxy: A Vineyard Perspective on Semantics, Ontology, and Participation” by Bethany Joy Floch, University of Notre Dame, Mishawake Vineyard, IN “The People of God and the Narrative of the Good: A Narrative Ecclesiology of Virtue For Those Who Belong Imperfectly” by Brian Hohmeier, Fuller Theological Seminary, Oasis, Pasadena, CA Exegeting Vineyard Practices Papers “Healing on the Streets” by Katie Stum, International Council of Christians and Jews “Developing a Radical Middle Ecclesiology of Baptism” by Liz Miller, Fuller Theological Seminary, Palo Alto Vinyeard, CA “Towards a Centered-Set Ecclesiology: Is Church Discipline Appropriate?” by Luke Geraty, Trinity Christian Fellowship, Stanley, WI Inclusion and Difference in Reconciling Communities Papers “’Everybody Gets...

The Kingdom in Columbus (Ohio)

Christianity Today recently published an article about the Vineyard Columbus’ (VC) heart to love people of all ethnicity and backgrounds: “…(senior pastor Rich Nathan) has pushed to make sure VC’s ethnic makeup matches that of Columbus: currently 64 percent white, 28 percent African American, and 4 percent Latino. Since 2001, VC has gone from 10 percent to 28 percent non-majority persons, and each Sunday attracts people from 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties. “There’s been a serious tipping point,” says Andy Saperstein, VC’s small groups pastor, noting that for over a decade now the church has prioritized reaching international communities and modeling racial diversity. Pastor (Bill) Christensen says outreach to African Americans began in 2000, and to immigrants and refugees in 2006. Now people from 104 of the world’s 196 nations attend weekend services, whose total attendance tops 9,000.” The cool part about the article was the recognition of the tensions that exists whenever two or more cultures overlap: “Is there tension? Absolutely,” says Christensen. “What do you do when a subcommittee has a highly organized American, a very organized Kenyan woman, and a Hispanic woman from Colombia who says, ‘I want to make sure we just feel really loose and let this thing happen’?” A lot of times churches tend to either ignore these culture tensions or, sadly more common, force those of the minority culture to either leave or conform to the majority. From what I can tell (having never visited the church personally), it seems that the VC is doing what it can to try to blend multiple cultures and ethnic groups into one body of Christ....