Hey everybody, sorry for the long time between posts...but before you accuse me of being blogging lazy, I am working on some new blog projects.
First, I'm really excited about the new Small Group Leader blog that I'm running at 2|42 Community Church. You can check it out at groups.242community.com and join in the discussion of all things small groups! You can even see my first video blog here.
I've also been blogging weekly devotionals as a part of what we call the SOAP blog. It uses a YouVersion reading plan to take our community through the bible in a year and every Monday I post some thoughts on one of the daily reading. Feel free to check it out at soap.242community.com.
So it's only been 6 months since I last blogged...no big deal...right? Man...
So much has been happening in my life that blogging has taken a back seat. It's weird because for so long blogging on here was not only really important to me but had became very meaningful. Not to mention the many new friends I've made.
So in the past 6 months, not only have we had another child, but I've started a new job too. Little Elijah was born on August 10, weighing in at 7 lbs and a handful of ounces. He is a perfect little man and amazing addition to our family.
His two older brothers could not be more proud or more involved in his life - they love him to death.
And the new job...o' it is awesome. So after 4 years of working in boring corporate America, I am now the full time director of small groups in my community at 2|42! My 60 mile commute became 3 miles and I get to work with a great bunch of friends. I feel like I'm doing the job I was literally created to do - it is surreal.
I have a blessed life.
Finally finished the last chapter of this book - I had slacked off on it along with my blogging endeavors.
This was a great book, packed full of challenging and thought provoking concepts. The biggest take away for me was that we often enter spiritual conversations trying to convince people they're wrong and sinful by sharing with them an abbreviated version of the gospel. One of the main challenges of the book is to start the narrative of the bible where God starts it, not in Genesis 3 (the fall), but rather with creation and the wholeness God created all of us for. Ron Martoia suggests that instead of trying to convince people they are sinful and therefore need Jesus, we should start spiritual conversations where there is no argument - the innate things God built into all of us. He calls these core yearnings. The yearning to believe in something greater than yourself, the yearning to hope for a better tomorrow, the yearning to have purpose in life, etc - things that regardless of time, language and culture these yearnings are a part of every person. He suggested, and I believe he is right, that we can better point people to Jesus through relationship and spiritual conversations that allow for process and time.
He also spent a lot of time focusing in on what being created in the image of God really means and what being kicked out of Eden has done to that image. I highly recomend the read.
I also did an interview with Ron a few months back, you can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.
[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5] [Part 6] [Part 7] [Part 8]
I'm sorry but this is the dumbest thing I've ever seen - I can't even believe someone would attempt to write down "Tongues," let alone brand and market it. I seem to remember Paul saying something about not speaking in tongues around non-believers as it has no merit for them - but I guess putting it on a "designer" shirt is cool? This is well deserving of a "You've gotta be kidding me" post!
But if you want to buy one, check their site out - HolyGhostTees.com
Thanks to Ryan Joy for tweeting this.
5. So, as a recruiter for Mission Year, what are you up to?
Life as a recruiter is exciting and never-ending! I basically travel to campuses, conferences and festivals all over the country talking with young folks about the amazing opportunity that is Mission Year. Sometimes I travel with people like Leroy Barber (our president), Tony Campolo or Shane Claiborne, other times I just go from campus to campus setting up tables on my own. Last month Mission Year hosted an alternative Spring Break called The Original Event in Galveston, Texas where we had college students from all over the country come out to do repair work on damage caused by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. It was incredible to see how many students gave up their spring break to give back to people they don't even know. That's what I love about my job, everywhere I go I am meeting young people who are feeling called to really dig deeper into what it truly means to follow Jesus and live out a life servanthood. It's so rewarding and I'm honored to be a part of an organization that helps them process through that.
6. When I was perusing the Mission Year website I came across the PRoP experience and I was captivated. Explain what it is for those that don't know and unfold how a weekend like that plays out.
PRoP is designed to raise awareness about the issues poor and homeless people face on a daily basis. The end goal is to awaken compassion in the participants to join in God’s concern for “the poor” and to make the lifestyle decisions reflecting that concern. For our participants we like to keep the weekend activities somewhat unclear as part of the experience. But mainly, during the weekend we offer chances for participants to experience some of the struggles that our homeless friends often have to endure as well as time to connect with and learn from folks who have experienced homelessness firsthand.
7. What I love about the strategy of Mission Year is that it is all about action - about doing. It's not set up to try and just 'evangelize' in the modern sense, it is about embodying and being the Way of Jesus, not just talking about it. As someone whose done it, how did you find that to be true?
Oh my goodness, yes, this is the heart and soul of Mission Year and that's what I love about it too! I learned that the power of just simply being present to one another is a ministry in itself. All too often in our society, we are moving towards individualism, private property and picket fences. With that, we are losing the value of community, true community which is spending time with one another, sharing resources with one another, carrying each other's burdens. Like the church of Acts, that is how I learned to live out my faith during Mission Year. We learned to be intentional about being a good neighbor. Now the question that is raised, and I hope is raised to everyone reading this article, is WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR? Another aspect of Mission Year is challenging us to really think about who our neighbors are, or who SHOULD be our neighbors. Are we called to live in neighborhoods where we all look alike, or fall into the same income bracket or even share the same values? Or are we called to reach beyond those social boundaries to create a radical sense of community and to be a light in a dark place just by simply being present and being a good neighbor?
8. How can people find out more, support you guys or get involved?
Our website is a great resource, everything you could want to know about Mission Year is there- like how to apply, how to work towards a Master's degree with Mission Year, what events we might be putting on, current team members blogs and even how to donate! Visit us at http://missionyear.org
We are always in need of supporters in many different facets- prayer warriors for our teams, financial supporters to make it possible for our team members to serve, and even super-friends to help us set up events, spread the word and recruit more folks to come out and serve. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get involved in any one of those opportunities.