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Dwelling in the Bowery

Every church planter has a story and mine started in 2004. God used family relationships to open doors for us in New York and to teach us much about the culture and context from the very beginning.

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Come AsUR, But Don’t Stay as You Are

“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?

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What Counts?

The attendance and membership of some CRC churches grew by more than 20% in a recent five year period. But, if we dig a little bit deeper into the statistics, maybe we’ll find that we’re missing something important.

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Growing Churches Part 2

Today’s entry continues with the factors that led to growth in CRC and RCA churches.The church was at a point where it was ready to take risks and to make changes.

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Growing Churches

Though this five-year span has not been easy in North America, with the downturn of the economy directly affecting our churches and their members, there were 42 CRC churches and over 30 RCA churches who showed significant growth.

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It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...Books Part 2

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. 

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Alpha Cities: How Willing Are We to Work Together?

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.

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Only the Lonely

What did it feel like? It felt like being hungry, I suppose, in a place where being hungry is shameful, and where one has no money and everyone else is full. It felt, at least sometimes, difficult and embarrassing and important to conceal.

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What Money Can't Buy

Advertising encourages people to want things and to satisfy their desires. Education encourages people to reflect critically on their desires, to restrain or to elevate them.

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Changing Realities

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%.

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Theology in the African American Church

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.

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Bubble Churches

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.

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The 50th Summer Since "I have a dream"...

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. 

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Heal What?

As I study the book of Luke there are continuing moments of surprise. Some of the surprises come from words that I have read many times before, but failed to catch their meaning or nuance. 

Church Planting

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