All posts by The Reverend

I've recently moved back to Canada to Niagara Falls, Ontario after being an expat for 15 years in ministry in the USA. It's nice to be home again. We've been called to Niagara Falls to begin a new church. Our heart is to see the mission of God alive in Niagara Falls and for people to see and be drawn to Jesus through a missional community of his disciples. I'm married to Freda and we have three awesome boys; Josh is 28, Nate is 27 and Jeremy is 24 and a wonderful daughter-in-law, Olivia. All toll I have been in full-time ministry for over 25 years. I have done it all from youth ministry to worship and church planting. God has shown me and taught me many things. I praise him for it all... even the tough stuff. My passion is to see people's lives transformed by the grace of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. I love Christ's church and am driven to be a catalyst for healthy and dynamic change where it is necessary. I'm an avid musician; worship, blues, jazz and bluegrass. I play guitar, bass and harmonica gigging whenever and with whomever I can. :-) Sadly I left the Colorado-based band, Reverend and the Blues Pushers to embark on this new kingdom project. You'll find here a place of my processing. I hope you enjoy and take the time to comment. Blessings!! AKD

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.

Continue reading Living Outside the Bubble Pt. 1

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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?

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

#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.

the NEW EXODUS

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”?

Continue reading Ministry of Place Pt. 1

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.

Continue reading Living the Kingdom