Two trends are emerging in North America: the call for people to be self feeders and the move away from the church on the part of "mature" beleivers
“The ‘As You Are Initiative’ is mobilizing thousands of willing Christ-followers just like you to start, growing and multiplying ‘come as you are’ leaders to lead ‘come as you are' churches. Is the CRC ready to be part of such a movement?
More Books for under the Tree . Perhaps it is an occupational hazard of being a minister, but around this time of year a lot of family and friends decide to give books as the perfect Christmas present. In the spirit of that giving and perhaps to enhance your asking here are seven more books that I’ve found helpful from a number of different genres.
Premise: the vast majority of our church planting resources need to be invested in planting churches in Alpha Cities. If this premise is true then we need a way in the CRC to come together and discern how to create a church planting movement that focuses on Alpha Cities.
In the face of changing demographics in America, many African Americans find themselves becoming a minority-minority, or shrinking minority. For instance, in the west where I live, Asian and Latino populations are increasing dramatically as a result of immigration and soaring birth rates. The U.S. black population has shrunk from about 17% to 12% as we enter the second decade of the third millennium. The white population has shrunk to 72% while the Latino/Hispanic population has risen to over 16%.
African American theology had its earliest roots in an experience of pain and suffering. Mourning freedom and agonizing over loss of identity and opportunity were a huge part of the Southern African American experience. But, with civil rights and a more socially engaged African American population in the North and the West, black theology has evolved into more of a need for empowerment and survival.
One African American Church planter in Atlanta has an interesting expansion strategy for church planting in African American communities. He envisions planting “bubble churches” in well educated and well resourced corners of the community and then hiving off need based churches that are highly subsidized by the parent church in order to create a sustainable church planting movement.
As of 2013, no one could simply say, “I am going to plant an African American church” with the implied presumption that one size fits all. The dream of freedom, employment, opportunities, education and mobility has created many strong sub cultures within the overall African American community.
A couple of years ago in an article entitled, To The Praise of his Glory” in the Review and Expositor the author wrote, “Paul mentions ‘redemption,’ the great metaphor of emancipation taken from the slave market in Ephesians 1. The costliness of this act is spelled out in the term "through his (Jesus') blood," a reference to his life poured out.
And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. —Luke 5
"[T]he Bible is a masterpiece. The Bible is one of the greatest works produced in the world. Those people who only have the Bible actually are set up for life. Not only do they have a spiritual vision given to them but artistic fulfillment. They don't even recognize just the pleasure of dealing with this epic poetry and drama. Everything is in the Bible." — Atheist, Camille Paglia
Tim Keller and Planting More Churches in the CRC -- Recently Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian in NYC spoke with a number of reporters at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Today’s blog post lifts out one part of his talk on the place of church planting.