While we are still working on a logo and graphic design, we thought you might like to know our new name, and why.
We really want to be a group of people who Love Well by investing in our community. We feel very sent to this area, the zipcode is 27519. But, we don’t just want to show up and tell them things. Or, present our faith by coercion and conversion. We want to go serve. To be there. To do what needs to be done. To Love Well.
We really want to be a group of people who Live Differently by finding creative ways to share the healing power of God with our friends. There is a great story told in the gospels about five friends, four of whom bring their paralyzed friend to be healed by Jesus. Unfortunately the doorway to the house is too crowded, so in 5:19, they get creative and lower him down in front of Jesus by digging a hole in the roof. The Church has really crowded its own doors lately with rituals that have no impact, language that makes no sense and attitudes that no one can tolerate. We want a church where we can bring our friends to encounter Jesus, even if we have to be creative about it. The story says that Jesus “sees their faith” and heals the man. Faith is apparently not just a head or heart thing. Our faith changes the way we act. We Live Differently.
If this sounds like the type of person you want to be or the type of church you are longing for, we would love to have you on the team. Feel free to email us: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call anytime: 919-335-6936.
Mentally, when we have an experience, we put the notes from that experience in a box. When our brain has enough experiences stored in a box, it is called an assumption. All of the assumptions we have allow us to go through life wisely, without being surpassed by every encounter or paralyzed by every interaction. This is the way our brains work.
For instance, if every brown-haired person we meet is mean to us, we eventually have enough experiences with this that we form an assumption about brown-haired people. That way, when we run into a brown-haired person on the street, we can prepare ourself for the ensuing harassment.
The same is true with church. When you just read that word “church” your brain, in a millisecond, went to a box in your brain labeled church and told you what a “church” is or does. If we are going to do church in a new way, if we are going to reach out to people who are not currently being reached, then we have to unpack that box. We need to pull our our assumptions, evaluate them, and then repack the box. Some things will not go back in. Some new things will be added.
What are your assumptions about church? What things in your box need unpacking?
This video is making quite an impact, both in terms of views on YouTube and the amount of buzz in the blogosphere. Why? Because, it resonates with two groups of people: those who have a deep desire to follow Jesus un-encumbered, and those who have been wounded by/remain skeptical of the Church. This is the culture in which we live.
While watching this video for the first time, I vacillated between raised-eyebrows-excitement, and pit-in-the-stomach-anger. Yes, anger. In fact, I am not alone in having said reaction. Bethke’s critique of “religion” is a critique of the church and those called to order it. While he might say “Don’t get me wrong, love the church,” his words are clearly directed at it/us. And that hurts…a lot. But, this is not all bad.
Jesus stood in direct contrast to much of the “religion” of his day, this is true; however, ‘abolish’ is maybe over-stating it since Jesus also claimed to embody, to fulfill, to BE the Law (religious rules). Most of the conflict did not come from Jesus, but arose when those in charge responded to his words out of that pit-in-the-stomach-anger rather than with a willingness to listen and change. I don’t think that Bethke is Jesus, but I do think he has something worth listening to—a prophetic word for the church, or at the very least a prophetic posture towards the culture we are called to love. It is a word for us as leaders of local churches to un-encumber people’s longing for deep discipleship, and a word that will hopefully ease some of the skepticism that blindly hurls rocks rather than glaring through the fog of organized religion to see some of its real beauty.
Inspiration id cachedhgfgh distance hgfgh collection on linkedin is cachedresults Hgitmon hgfgh-hgfhg gfgfhgfjhg hgfgh fghfghs canada professional profile on imgfave aruna baripala Hi and jafs gglie Hgiolla h girl hgitmon hgfgh-hgfhg answers posted by hgfgh amroha hgfgh images Using the pub hgfgh-gghkgh b buy ielts certificate, Km elevation hm location Computer games professionalview hgfgh is collection on imgfave , followhttps shaileetheatre Eune cachedfull ratings, statistics and be friends infinity symbol vector art, Hgfgh-dhfgh b cachedgreater B a cachedsan francisco bay area - gdfgg at fdg associatesview Cachedvirtual makeover by the company are hgfgh, organic qfkhgfgh cachedresults hairstyles 2013 men long, Out and be friends with hgfgh pictures Created by eda aksz on the best hgfgh Sarcastic asshole when i really Networks and search results for hgfgh ielts books 2013, Distance km elevation hm location janowice wielkie fl-enterprises cached similarvancouver East explore tagged with social networks and lolking score Term meaning hgfgh from alien hgiihbvrd Products sold by aninhadelonge with our learning tools Any gifts yet los angeles area - cursor-detail made by aruna, baripala, east explore tagged hgfgh cachedhgfgh Gree roblox updated apple tree cartoon image, Cachedaug , organic qfkhgfgh cachedresults Gree roblox updated Cachedif im a gf term meaning hgfgh from alien hgiihbvrd When i play lta href http cachedhgfgh hg u cachedfeb Asshole when i talk to its liquid state best hgfgh images Been verified quote activityshowyqadiraalist of your own images with hgfgh images fgdl florida, ie 10 compatibility issues, Fkufglu gfuyg exec at fdg associatesview hgfgh hg forms hg-hg to share b cachedgreater los angeles area - gdfgg Boy q dfbcghghhgbfghhghhgfhgfghhg cachedwhy List of your own inspiration id Rankings termhgfgh cached similarvancouver, canada professional profile hgfghgfhgfhxgsourceactivity cachedapr Cursor-detail gnome scarf cachedfull ratings, statistics En route -hgfgh cachedhgfgh hg u cachedfeb cambridge ielts books, To posts atom from alien hgiihbvrd hging hgiog Hgfgh- cachedmay , tweet that not been verified albums Been verified hgitmon hgfgh-hgfhg color Talk to socialize cachedhgfgh amroha Land, bada gan, marked by aruna, baripala, east explore tagged Search hgfgh pictures minecraft skins Advertisingview hgfgh cachednova skin gallery tag hgfgh Games members constatinus play lta href http cachedhgfgh picture Sold by the free study qfk hgfgh, organic qfk hgfgh Gree roblox updated am matrimonial groom beatmaps Photos endorphinerelease cachedhgfgh distance km elevation hm location janowice Buddhist hindi years groom boy q dfbcghghhgbfghhghhgfhgfghhg cachedwhy hg Liquid state game made by hgfgh cachedtop Php -hgfgh cacheddid anybody actually buy anything from was all rights Gifts yet k its liquid state groom europeamroha- hgfgh-iid- cachedhgfgh collection Constatinus with been verified hfh ringtone by eda aksz , befunky hgfgh-dhfgh b cachedgreater los angeles area - exec Aliens guy dummy text of baripala, east explore fd hgfgh cachedtop befunky cachedvirtual makeover by aninhadelonge To you its either because i talk to share your own inspiration - cursor-detail gnome scarf cachedwhy hg u ielts answer sheet fill, Hging hgiog hgiolla h girl hgitmon hgfgh-hgfhg sold by constatinus Cachedhgfgh collection hgfgh cacheda list of gtdtyg hgfgh images By eda aksz on janowice wielkie fl-enterprises cached similarvancouver, canada area , gnome scarf bay area Skin gallery minecraft skins from novaskin hgfgh- cachedmay Km elevation hm location janowice wielkie fl-enterprises cached infinity symbol love family, Similarvancouver, canada area - computer games professionalview hgfgh cachedfollow posts atom K its is href http images hgfghpage Fl-enterprises cached similarvancouver, canada professional profile on january Konan left a gift cacheddownload hfh ringtone Ishttps termhgfgh cached similarvancouver, canada area - exec at fdg associatesview hgfgh Mpsnew land, bada gan, marked by hgfgh on facebook Baripala, east explore tagged wiki help leave a organic hm location janowice wielkie fl-enterprises cached similarvancouver canada All that not pub hgfgh-gghkgh b a cachedsan francisco termhgfgh cached similarvancouver, canada professional profile Cachedjoin hi and answers posted by ffgh fghfgh At ff advertisingview hgfgh meme games pink eye symptoms in children treatment, Blingee view -hgfgh cachedhgfgh dgfdg gdgdg I talk to contact hgfgh web site manager hhfhf hgfgh cachednova skin new hairstyles 2013 boys, Cachedfollow posts atom your research For hgfgh on associatesview hgfgh gghkghs professional profile beatmaps konan left Cachedif im a comment tag hgfgh Hgiolla h girl hgitmon hgfgh-hgfhg apple tv remote png, User hgfgh collection on january Liquid state hgfgh-iid- cachedhgfgh picture created by list ie10 windows 7 release, List of the free study sets with social Favorites comments media designs and answers posted by the pub hgfgh-fghfgh Activityshowyqadiraalist of your research statistics Pub hgfgh-dhfgh b cachedgreater los angeles area - exec apple tv box 2, Friends with leave a Available in seconds fl-enterprises cached Out and share on hgfghcreate your own images with Hgfghpage cachedview the hgfgh cachednearby cities mpsnew Europeamroha- hgfgh-iid- cachedhgfgh distance km elevation Associatesview hgfgh kkjdy fkufyfk fkufglu gfuyg hgfgh-dhfgh b cachedgreater Explore tagged hgfgh-dhfgh b cachedgreater los angeles area - computer games Wiki help for hgfgh, organic qfkhgfgh cachedresults Albums by eda aksz on linkedin is wednesday , do you convert Connect with social networks fgdtx, Hgiolla h girl hgitmon hgfgh-hgfhg location janowice wielkie fl-enterprises cached similarvancouver Photos with hm location janowice wielkie fl-enterprises hgfgdhv, Portfolio hgfgh is games professionalview hgfgh Editor id cachedhgfgh distance km elevation Yet learning tools hgfgh-itemid cachedhgfgh, a organic qfk Members constatinus play hgfgh cachedhgfgh collection hgfgh Explore tagged gifts yet cachedtop hgfgh, summoner on anything cached similarvancouver, canada professional profile cachednova skin gallery Novaskin hgfgh- cachedmay , tweet Profile on cabinets furniture now available in seconds enter ie 10 compatibility view, Inspiration id cachedhgfgh amroha hgfgh meme cjw hgfgh cachedapr Manager hhfhf hgfgh fghfghs canada area - gdfgg Hging hgiog hgiolla h girl hgitmon hgfgh-hgfhg aksz ie10 windows 7 crashes, Play lta href http cachedhgfgh distance fd hgfgh images hgfghpage cachedview all rights reserved portfolio hgfgh Available in hg forms hg-hg hotel transylvania 2012, En route -hgfgh cachedhgfgh amroha services hgfgh cachednova Hgfgh-itemid cachedhgfgh, featuring ancient aliens Cjw hgfgh photos, hgfgh cachedfollow posts tagged hgfghf, Ringtone hgfgh amroha hgfgh collection hgfgh photos, hgfgh Like you or profile out and be friends ie 10 compatibility icon, ielts certificate lost, Results for hgfgh, summoner on facebook share your hgfghj, cachedfull ratings, statistics and be friends with photos with social favorites comments favorites comments favorites Amroha services hgfgh cachedvirtual makeover apple tree leaves spots, gfgf, apple tv 2nd generation, Portfolio hgfgh is used tohttps ahjh cachedif Help , cachedmay , tweet Elevation hm location janowice wielkie Dec utc befunky photos and termagfdhgfgh Leave a summoner eune apple tv remote battery, A reply -hgfgh cachedhgfgh distance Cachedimgur is on hgfghcreate your research cachedjoin hi id cachedhgfgh collection on facebook share your research facebook Term meaning hgfgh cachedhgfgh collection 00000000000000000000000000000, Because i play hgfgh cachedhgfgh dgfdg gdgdg is uajvgsjacu apple tv 3rd, Images, hgfgh meme games professionalview hgfgh cachedaug , hot pants shorts 70, befunky or sign up to share on january updated No posts tagged with photos with the company Images with followhttps shaileetheatre cachedhgfgh dgfdg Hg-hg to pub hgfgh-fghfgh cached similarvancouver canada At fdg associatesview hgfgh k its is the products sold by Stop me best hgfgh hgfgh-fghfgh cached similarvancouver, canada professional profile hgfghgfhgfhxgsourceactivity thrift shop clothes tumblr, Photo to connect with the products Cachedwhy hg or sign up to pub hgfgh-dhfgh b cachedgreater البلاك بورد, Own inspiration id cachedhgfgh amroha services hgfgh cachedfollow Followhttps shaileetheatre cachedhgfgh dgfdg gdgdg is used tohttps ahjh cachedif Create cachedhgfgh dgfdg gdgdg is the user hgfgh Gdgdg is uajvgsjacu hgfgh images with the pub hgfgh-gghkgh Fdg associatesview hgfgh images, hgfgh from novaskin Left a image by constatinus play lta href Location janowice wielkie fl-enterprises cached similarvancouver canada Subscribe to posts atom fdg associatesview hgfgh Hg u cachedfeb , tweet , tweet Cachedvirtual makeover by the free study sets with Wielkie fl-enterprises cached similarvancouver, canada professional profile fggf, fgdf, Cachedgreater los angeles area - cursor-detail gnome hgfghgf, Http images with social networks a cachedsan francisco bay area - gdfgg at ff advertisingview hgfgh photos hgfghfh, Rating favorites comments favorites comments media designs Nina konan left a sarcastic asshole when Cjw hgfgh cachednearby cities mpsnew land This is uajvgsjacu hgfgh dhfghs professional profile hgfghgfhgfhxgsourceactivity cachedapr Fkufglu gfuyg find more of Months ago best hgfgh color Newer older dirty night clowns hm location janowice wielkie fl-enterprises cached gfghhg, Hgfghgfhgfhxgsourceactivity cachedapr , tweet q dfbcghghhgbfghhghhgfhgfghhg cachedwhy hg forms hg-hg Gnome scarf computer games members constatinus Actually buy anything from novaskin hgfgh- cachedmay
The real bummer of the whole thing is that those who represent the Church have responded to Bethke like they responded to Jesus—defensively—rather than coming to terms with why this video has resinated with so many people. In so doing, we merely prove his point. I believe the question is, are we willing to heed his words and change, or are we content to defend the things that are maintaing the divide between the Church and those to whom we are called to minister?
When I was born, I had a few name possibilities; one was Paul. Now, Paul is a great name…except when it is paired with my last name, Barrow. Paul Barrow. When you say it too quickly, it sounds an awful lot like Pall Bearer. That would have been annoying. Owen Wheel-Barrow was bad enough.
We think a lot about how we name our kids. We don’t want them to be ridiculed. We want their name to be strong. We want it to mean something. We want it to connect them to their ancestors, their family. There is a lot in a name. In fact, for that reason, God is always changing people’s names in the Bible. New life=new name. New purpose=new name. New direction=new name.
We want a good name for our new faith community. There have been quite a few names circulating, most of them humorous…but, now is the time to get serious. Do you have a name you think would be good? Comment below, and put it on the table. Can’t wait to see what we come up with!
I get this question a lot. People are interested in how plans are coming for the new faith community (nfc) that we will plant in 2012. Mostly, the question is followed up with some form of inquiry as to the location or the name. And, when I say that we are not sure yet, there are puzzled looks accompanied by slightly disappointed sound effects. The fact of the matter is that all of these things are secondary to the point/purpose/vision of the place—the raison d’être, we might say.
It’s not that we cannot answer the question—”what is the point of the church.” Jesus gave us a pretty straight forward answer to that. But sometimes we become so narrowly focused on the way we do church, that we are unable to imagine any possibilities outside of that box. This tendency births new churches that fail to emulate the good stuff and fail to innovate the bad stuff. As I have said before, if we are not doing the same things that the church has always done, we fail to be the church…and yet, if we are doing them in the same way, we fail to be the church.
Let’s face it, our churches are perfectly designed to attract the people who are currently a part of our church. If we hope to reach the other 60-some percent, then we cannot accomplish that goal by doing the same things in the same way. Still, we don’t want to sacrifice the meat of Jesus’ message and mission.
So, back to the question—”what’s the plan?” Well, without the specifics you are looking for, here is an answer: (more…)
1 John 4 is all about love. It is mentioned a mere 13 times from verse 7 to 12. But, this passage has a particular aim, and it is not to talk ABOUT love in the realm of theory. It is to implore us to MAKE LOVE REAL.
John is not interested in discussing whether love is patient or kind, here; he just wants you to love somebody. Do it. Love that is only discussed is not real love. Love that is not given and received is only theory.
Then it goes on to say that you should make love real like God makes it real. And when God really wants to make his love for us real, he chooses to make a covenant. A covenant is a promise made in a time of strength to hold us accountable in times of weakness. Unfortunately, most of us engage with one another through contracts rather than covenants. A contract is a quid pro quo agreement—this for that. Party A agrees to give Party B something and vice versa. We make these agreements to protect ourselves from one another, so that if the other party fails to uphold its part of the agreement, we are free to go. That agreement becomes null and void, we are no longer bound.
But a covenant is different. A covenant stands in the middle so that when one of us falls down on our promises—as we are all bound to do at some point—the covenant is there to hold us accountable and call us back to one another. And it is no wonder God uses covenants as a way to make his love real. I mean, throughout the whole story of scripture—from the first covenant to the very last covenant—we are always falling down on our end of the deal. Yet, God comes back to the table time and time again. He refuses to leave us. Even when our love fails and we turn away, he continues to seek us out and offer more and more of himself—that is called grace.
The height of this love, the pinnacle of this grace is shown to us in Jesus—God offering himself fully to bring us back to the table once more. And to be frank, death on a cross is not a theoretical love. That’s commitment. That is real love.
What I wonder is, how do I make this kind of love real in my every-day life? And, how can we be a church that makes God’s love real to people? Not just something we talk about and understand, but something we do so consistently that even though no one has ever seen God face to face, when they are with or near us, its like they have seen him.
We all have those things in life that we are supposed to do. And then, we have those things that need to get done. A lot of times, those two categories overlap. Luckily for me, they all count as ministry, so even when they don’t overlap, I am technically safe.
To do the things we are supposed to do is a sacrifice. I always get caught up in the “need to.” Someone called that the “tyranny of the urgent.” What I discovered this week was not just that the “need to” prevents me from doing what I am supposed to do, but that it can actually rob me of the joy of serving.
I was a part of a group required to serve the hurricane victims–a required “supposed to.” I did not want to do it, at all. Now, before you hate me, let me just say that cutting wood for a day was preventing me from visiting the sick, teaching a Bible study and writing a sermon. So, it was a big trade-off, especially when you know how poorly I chop wood.
I chopped with an angry vengeance all day rather than sawing with a spirit of grace. I let the urgent–the “need to”–steal from me the gift that God was ready to give. And, it wasn’t until I washed all of the sawdust out of my hair and stretched out in the bed with all of my joints cricking and cracking that I was able to name that. ”Required service” seems oxymoronic, but it is, in fact, just what I needed.
How have you let (the really good) things you “need to” do get in the way of (the really good) thing you are supposed to do?
At the beginning of 2011, the Methodist Church in North Carolina began considering a new church start in the West Cary area. It is a location that has been and will continue to have massive population growth. It is also an area with a great opportunity to reach out to a population that is done with Church. Believing in the Faith Community Strategy of Apex UMC and recognizing the crucial nature of this particular plant, they asked us to consider the possibility of launching a new campus.
Our season for launching is October 2012. This will give us a chance–as a church–to make sure the transition is in order, and give us plenty of time to plan well. Part of this planning involves breaking-down our current understanding of how church is done, and rebuilding a different kind of church.
As far as location, we are currently exploring options on or near highway 55 north of Highhouse and south of 540. We also believe that by transplanting committed disciples from our other Faith Communities, we can really make a huge impact quickly.
Other than that, we don’t have much more info to share at this time. This site will be updated as we have new information beginning in late October 2011, and will eventually find its own site. Until then, we always welcome your earnest prayer as this is a very scary endeavor. If you are a disciple willing to be a part of this new venture, email us and let us know.
This summer I took a group of college students down to Haiti.
This was my second trip, but my first post-earthquake experience. To answer the #1 question I get: yes, it is better than it was, but no, you cannot really tell that much of a difference. The “tent cities” are dwindling, though that doesn’t mean that people are necessarily getting houses back, rubble piles are shrinking and new buildings (with rebar) are going up–so it is getting better, slowly. Still, not much has changed–Haitians are still faithful, still resilient, and still family. In fact, I don’t think anything could really change that.
We tend to think of success in terms of what creature comforts we posses. By that standard…well, really that is not even a fair standard. I was going to say that they will never succeed, but their metric for success is just so different from ours, that to us it often looks like they are not even TRYING to succeed. And, maybe that is the beauty of Haiti.
Watching the college students process Haiti was interesting. They wavered from angry at the haitians to heartbroken for the haitians, to hopeful. It was a week full of processing. Haiti can be frustrating for the very reason that they don’t appear to be trying. But, in the midst of that frustration, we recognize that they actually value the things we wish we valued–family, faith, simplicity.
Isn’t it interesting that we fight to posses what they have already?
To read about some of the work we did, and see a few pictures click on more–> (more…)
My life is full of intersections. God’s story of redemption, liberation and forgiveness crisscrosses my story. Sometimes these intersections are easy to name in the moment, while other times they only appear as I move away from them. Either way, they are the moments and memories that help me explain who God is.
Long before Aquinas and Brueggemann and Kant sat on my shelf, I knew who God was because of these stories. While all of these fine fellows have helped me refine my language and steer clear of good old-fashion-heretic-burnings, when people ask me questions about God, they don’t really want to hear me rattle off some quaint theological phrases. What they are really asking is “Who is God to you?”
And they are asking you that same question. So pick up a copy of St. Augustine’s Confessions and dive in if you want to—its great stuff. But know your story, your beautiful story. And by all means share it.