Crossing Jordan

As folks progress from institutional podium churches toward organic participatory churches, they often allow themselves to continue being defined by the institutional church (“IC”). This arises not so much because they retain the attitudes and practices of the IC, but because they are still holding onto the disillusionment that emerged when they began to see the IC’s shortcomings and unbiblical traditions.

Organic Church

For many of us, when we finally leave the IC there is a season where we perceive and react to things not out of freedom, but rather out of not wanting to be like the IC. When we remain in a reactive mode, however, we remain in bondage to our past IC experiences.

In that place of reaction, our reality is still shaped by the IC rather than by who God wants us to be and by His promises for us. By reacting to the past, we are not able to grasp the future.

The best analogy is Israel’s journey out of Egypt and slavery, into the wilderness, and finally into the promised land.

Eventually, in my own life, I had to get to the place where I not only was delivered from Egypt, but was willing to let God take Egypt out of me. Like with Israel, that happened in the wilderness. It was hard, and took several years, but it was necessary in order to then cross over the Jordan River into God’s promises – where there is life and freedom and joy.

The resulting fellowships that are emerging in our area, among those who also have made it to the other side of Jordan, are renewing and refreshing and were worth the journey!

For those still in transition, don’t expect to be able to bypass the wilderness. The wilderness is dry and scorching, but God uses it to burn out of us those things from Egypt that otherwise still define us. It is part of God’s plan, because it is not enough to take a person out of Egypt. Rather, we also must allow God to take Egypt out of us!

Starve the Beast


According to a new study by Empty Tomb Inc., a Christian research agency, giving to traditional Protestant and evangelical churches has fallen to the lowest level in decades. The study says this is not due to the poor economy. Rather, it indicates that people are cutting back as they see how their tithes and offerings are typically misused by churches. It seems that folks are fed up with all the money grubbing for ego-buildings, staff who are increasingly detached from real ministry, and life-sucking programs that don’t really advance the Kingdom of God.

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The Church in the New Testament: Its Form, Function and Purpose

Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride! In this PowerPoint presentation, all that you think of as “church” is about to be challenged so God can woo us back to being, once more, the multi-faceted, wonderful, exciting Body of Christ.

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Reboot

God seems to be laying a foundation for yet another of His periodic, history-changing interventions in the affairs of man. Over the last two thousand years there have been many such paradigm shifts, and it’s naive to think that our current, settled status quo will somehow be exempt from the unsettling but progressive advance of His Kingdom.

Paradigm Shifts

This newest paradigm shift is starting with pioneers who realize that God’s primary goal in history is to change not only individuals but also whole cultures and nations — as per the Great Commission.

Likewise, as with all prior interventions in history, His will is being applied to more and more aspects of His creation here on earth, just as it is in heaven — as per the Lord’s Prayer.

We also are coming to realize that the Kingdom of God — His will being done on earth (including all spheres of human endeavor) as it is in heaven — is bigger than the church. Nonetheless, we are beginning to understand that His Kingdom is not going to advance much further unless the church re-discovers her New Testament roots.

Admittedly, there is comfort in the familiar status quo of “church” as we’ve all come to know it. Some, however, are so hungry for God’s Kingdom — as it continues to progressively advance through history — that they’re willing hit to the reboot button and look afresh at God’ s purposes.

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True Ministry

Last night, we had one of our best times of “participatory church” as we seamlessly shared a meal, partook of communion, fellowshipped and ministered one with another — and none of it depended on me!

The last several weeks have been very emotionally and physically exhausting for me. On top of my best friend dying, I’ve been struggling to keep up with my various professional and counseling commitments while concurrently experiencing a particularly bad bout of chronic fatigue from my autoimmune condition.

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Good Christian Satire

I often get a chuckle from Lark News, and their latest spoof definitely rings all-to-true.

It reminds me of a very large (huge, in fact) evangelical church in town — where the pastor preaches his sermons on a vast stage each Sunday while a smoke machine bellows out measured amounts of awe and mystery in the background. For real!

It’s very good theater, plus the sermons aren’t half bad if you’re into that kind of thing.

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Evangelical Prophets or Martyrs?

I vividly recall leafing through World magazine back in 2006 and reading the unsettling but hardly surprising news that Randall Terry – the firebrand evangelical who formerly headed Operation Rescue and was then financially wiped out following a series of lawsuits by pro-abortionists – had joined the Roman Catholic Church.

“Unsettling,” because it provides further evidence of the growing weariness and disillusionment I’m seeing among spiritual “entrepreneurs” who’ve been laboring within evangelical circles to expand the Kingdom of God in all spheres of life and culture.

“Hardly surprising,” however, as those “on point” for the Kingdom increasingly seek refuge from the prevailing pop-theology (or dare I say lack of theology) and me-focused brand of Christianity that pervades evangelicalism (which includes charismatics and Pentecostals), animates many of our local church and national leaders, and cuts believers off from the great historic doctrines and creeds of our faith.

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