Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rob Bell resources

Hey guys,

I stumbled across this resource a few years ago and just remembered it so I figured I'd share it with you all. This guy has been compiling online Rob Bell resource for awhile and regularly edits this post (the post says 2006, but was updated only a few weeks ago) so I check back regularly.It's got pretty much every interview Rob has ever done and some extra goodies.

I highly recommend the videos of Rob's guest messages at Willow Creek (about halfway down, right underneath the big video of his face in the Video section). Every one of them is mindblowingly awesome. These are some of his best messages, and a lot of ideas for the Noomas (and The Gods Aren't Angry) have come out of them. I think my two favorites are Between the Trees and A Day of Atonement. Watch them when you can and let me know which ones you liked best!

And before I forget to copy the link:
Rob Bell - Solar Crash

For those of you who have already stumbled across this, I apologize =)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Recap - 1.25.09

I'm going to try and recap each Sunday discussion as best I can, for those people who cannot make it.  This will certainly be easier when we get back into a more framed discussion (by the way, see our book link on the main page - there's still time to get it, read, and be ready with colorful commentary come Feb. 8th). 

Please comment on these sections with additions, subtractions, or rephrasing that might help capture the essence of our conversation.  I'm going to try and put it as succinctly as possible without missing the spirit of the night.   

Our freeform discussion has ranged through many topics, spiritual and not so spiritual (depending on who you ask).  This week we picked up where we last left off on the discussion of prayer.  Some of our questions included -

*why do we pray the way we do (in terms of formalities)?
*do we believe God will always answer every prayer?
*does the quantity of people praying for something change God's response, in either content or timing?

With respect to the experiences of the community, a few have shared events that have shaped our lives to which we can attributes God's intervention, movement or presence. 

In general, many of us are moving away from "the way we used to pray", or at least examining the ways in which we were taught to pray.  These habits (some good, some bad, and some neither) undoubtedly affect our view of the relationship we have with God.

It was brought up that our culture has a huge influence on our prayer patterns.  As trained consumers, it's difficult to shed the habit of constantly asking and recieving.  Contemplative prayer and meditation were discussed, though we did not delve too deeply into these subjects.

We then discussed a bit about tithing.  There was some agreement that we've enjoyed being able to free up our finances to give to those in our community who are in real need.  There is a great amount of efficiency in this as there is little to no overhead.  **An additional thought to this (Jim mentioned his brewing) - if we were to tithe to a church, nobody would raise an eyebrow at the purchase of donuts, coffee, etc.  And, how much more genuine is someone that creates something with his own hands to share with the group?  There is something truly beautiful about what we share amongst all.  But I digress into editorial..

Okay, that'll do it for now.  I know I missed some nuances, (specific ones that I really enjoyed) but I'm trying to keep this in the short sweetness.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Shane Claiborne Preaching at Duke Chapel

Someone shared with me that Shane Claiborne is Preaching at Duke Chapel, Sunday, Jan 25th at 9AM MST ...

They stream live video of their services here:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ethos of the Gathering

I have something I would like to share with everyone. It is part of a "manifesto" of a group called The Gathering written 1/18/2006 by David "Trigger" Steinbrenner. As I understand it, it was an attempt by David to explain who The Gathering was as a community. When I read this, I see alot of things that I currently hold as greivances against the church (at least through my experiences with church). Purhaps, these should be nailed to a church door somewhere.
And, not unlike the "What Could Be" posts by Kathy Escobar ( these statements put into words what I can't. I read them and I think...That's what I feel...That's what I believe...That's what I'm looking for...When/Where??? What I also find encouraging is that they are a very good description of the Emergent Desert. Thank you David for writing and sharing:
  1. Honesty and transparency—We believe in the necessity of honesty and transparency on the individual and corporate level of how we function as people and as a body. We do not believe it is healthy to cover up issues or to spin problems so as to make them appear positive simply for the sake of image. The Body of Christ is not a corporation and the church ministries are not consumer products to be pitched. We are a family and all families have problems. Openness to these problems is arguably the best way to bring reconciliation and healing.

  2. Church as Counterculture—We do not see the Church as a refuge from the world, but rather as a different cultural way of living that is counter to and an alternative of the world’s. This means that our faith in Christ should not be one aspect of our lives. Instead it should be the means through which we live our lives and the lens through which we see every aspect of our world.

  3. Embodiment of the Kingdom—We are not an organization that exists to meet needs. We exist to embody the Resurrection power and life of Jesus Christ which will inherently result in needs being met.

  4. Priesthood of all believers—Clergy and laity are equals in Christ’s mission and are to work together in ministry. We believe that the clergy and laity should be united in common ministry and that in some sense that one of clergy’s main roles is to encourage, equip, and support the ministries of the laity.

  5. Community driven ministry—We believe that the ministry of the Gathering should greatly be community driven rather than leader driven. This means that rather than ministries primarily reflecting the vision of a charismatic leader, they should primarily reflect the community’s sense of vision and direction as guided by the Holy Spirit and recognized through general consensus.

  6. Broad understanding of leadership and authority—We believe that leadership and authority in many cases should not be limited to paid staff and paid clergy.

  7. Importance of narrative—We believe that life and theology should be understood not only through propositional truths, but greatly through stories. At the Gathering we focus on communicating God’s story and asking where we fit into it as opposed to asking where He fits into ours.

  8. Relationships over quantification—While we recognize that quantification of many ministry outcomes can at times be important for the sake of accountability in managing time and resources, we do not believe that quantity is always the most important thing in ministry. We do not believe that numeric and monetary growth are intrinsically signs of a healthy church. Numbers and budgets may reflect health at times and at other times not. Fruit in the lives of the clergy and laity determine the answer. We believe that the quality of relationships in our community is more important than the quantification of ministry projects and programs.

  9. Nature of Success—When picking lay people to lead and help make decisions, we do not believe that success should be defined or confined to people that have been successful in the consumer marketplace. We believe that in looking for successful responsible people to lead, we believe that wisdom and consistency of heart and character are extremely important.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


January 6th marks the beginning of Epiphany in the Liturgical Year. Advent marks the beginning of the Liturgical year and starts on the 4th Sunday before Christmas. Christmas day marks the beginning of Christmastide or the 12 days of Christmas which concludes January 5th. Epiphany lasts until Ash Wednesday. This is the way I've learned it but if you click on The Epiphany Season to find a more complete discussion and the many variations that exist.
Usually on Epiphany we look to how Christ is revealing himself in our lives. I know for me Christ is being revealed through all of you, but I would be interested to hear what others say. So pull up a chair, grab your favorite beverage and a piece of King Cake and share how He is being revealed in your life.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

for the northerners

Hey folks,
I know some of you live on the north side, but would like to participate in feeding the hungry on Sundays. A couple years ago, I attended some networking meetings for people like us around the valley, and I met some cool people doing something called Taco Church. Basically, they are doing what we are doing but out of a Mexican restaurant. The Lord works in mysterious ways. And awesome ways. Mmmm...Mexican food...
Anyway, I wanted to provide the link to their site--fancy, I know--we don't even seem to know how to give proper directions to smoking church most of the time. So here you and attend at your own risk.