Living Outside the Bubble Pt. 1

Bubbles are fun.  I recently watched a video clip of a woman who entertains people all over the world with bubbles.  She does amazing things with various size tools that help form massive and then tiny bubbles, fill them with smoke, split them, build with them and utterly mesmerize her audience with her beautiful artistry set to compelling music.  Her finale ends with putting herself inside a bubble only to pop it from inside with an expressive gesture of freedom.  It really was mesmerizing and incredible.

It made me think of the church and something that I have found to be unhealthy and dangerous to the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Many good church going Christians live in what I and others call the Christian Bubble.  The bubble is the place where many Christians prefer to live surrounded by like-minded, caring people, consistent and predictable worship services, programs for the kids and some for the adults, outreach projects now and again and an all-around comfortableness.  Everyone by and large thinks the same, sends their kids to the same school, expect the same things, patronize one another’s’ places of business… you get the picture.  Everything is kept “in house” as close as possible. It feels safe and predictable.

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Ministry of Place Pt. 2: Living in “Place”

This is Part 2 of reflections on the Ministry of Place or more aptly, a Theology of Place. Starting a new church community is not an easy task. While some denominations and church planting organizations begin with a model they all ascent to, there is no fail safe method. We discovered that when we planted previously. As I alluded to in the last post on this topic, we can get so caught up in our methodology that we miss the mission of the church. We can so easily miss loving and serving the community we’re in and, in turn, arrogantly think ourselves superior expecting people from the neighbourhood and from hither and yon to come to our “programs”. I don’t know how often I’ve heard, “Well, they should just come to church.” To some people reading this, you’re thinking, what’s wrong with that?

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#Ferguson: A Gospel Issue

This is an incredible piece that I need to save for posterity, read and reread, that people need to come back to this site to read and reread and be reminded again and again of the living Gospel of Jesus Christ.


I am so tired of waiting,
Aren’t you,
For the world to become good
And beautiful and kind?
-Langston Hughes

It was in my college Liberation Theology class back in 1990 that I first discovered different ‘Gospel’ perspectives – perspectives from those steeped in death and persecution, suffering and scarcity.  We spent evenings at my professors house reading and discussing Gustavo Gutiérrez, Juan Luis Segundo, Leonardo Boff, Jon Sobrino, and a host of African and Asian liberation theologians.  It may have been the first ‘aha’ moment for me, the first realization that the Gospel wasn’t just about getting saved and voting pro-life.

A next significant time came during the year I lived with Tom in the hood in Chicago.  Though I grew up on Long Island with great diversity, I was a suburban kid, mostly protected from the issues Tom grew up with.  Tom was black, and he showed me and told…

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Ministry of Place Pt. 1

Before moving to Niagara Falls, Ontario my wife and I considered and pondered and prayed whether we were being called back into church planting. We were driven to go deep within ourselves, our passions and overall concern for the church.  Something unsettling, that had been lingering for quite some time, came to the surface.  Both my wife and I realized that we hurt that many many churches had lost a “sense of place” and some perhaps never had it to begin with.

What do I mean by a “Sense of Place”?

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Living the Kingdom

I think that Christians can fall into two ruts in their understanding of the kingdom of God.  First, it can become easy to take God’s kingdom goodness for granted and forget the integral  part we play in it. Second, I think we only understand bits and pieces of what it means to be part of God’s kingdom plan.  In both situations we will find ourselves less intentional or even aware of kingdom work.  It seems that in many Christian circles our part in the kingdom of God boils down to “saving souls” and our acts of service are only for the sake of that purpose.

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Ponderings on God's inertia