Last year, I attended a Verge Regional conference in Chicago. When Alan Hirsch took the stage, one of my friends put away his notebook and whispered to me, “I think I’ll just sit back and listen during this session.” By the end of Alan’s talk, my friend had retrieved his notebook, filled several pages with … Continue reading 5Q and the Future of the Church
Shortly after I became a Christian, I invited a gay friend of mine to youth group. To my surprise, he seemed interested. He asked about the location and starting time and I promised to meet him at the door when he arrived. Then he asked an odd question, “Will they make me sit in the … Continue reading The Circle of Judgment – How the Church Keeps Outsiders Out
I’ve been struggling to produce a blog every week. I used to sit down and hammer out a month’s worth of material, but lately I’ve written each post a day or two in advance. Some weeks I’ve written two or three rough drafts and scrapped them after realizing my half-hearted, half-baked opinions aren’t interesting. There’s … Continue reading What is Leadership?
The mission of God makes me angry. Every time I read a book by a missional author or sit down and chat with a missionary, I get angry. I’m really excited at first, but the lingering emotion is almost always anger. Let me explain. I know a family who spent three years living in a … Continue reading Why I Get Angry
Simon Sinek says that, in order to motivate people to act, we have to start with the why. We can tirelessly explain exactly what we want a person to do, and that might work temporarily. But if we really want to call someone to action, that person must be motivated by deep rooted belief rather … Continue reading Why Minister to the Poor?
While I was at work the other day, I pulled out a giant flip chart, grabbed a Sharpie, and started writing down questions. A smart guy once said, “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.” In a neighborhood like mine, defining reality involves asking a lot of questions. I wrote things like … Continue reading What Is Church?
If you’ve read anything I’ve written, you know that I work with the poor. And up until recently, I was employed by a local church to minister to a specific neighborhood in New Albany, Indiana. Then, because of some upcoming life changes, I left that job. You can read about it here if you want. I spent … Continue reading Introducing Nomad
In ministry to the poor, I often feel lonely. I’m guessing others in this ministry feel the same way. We come to Christ at some point in our lives, read the gospels, and draw the conclusion: I think Jesus wants me to care for the poor. Then we show up in a poor neighborhood and … Continue reading Can We Have a Conversation?
A sinful woman once knelt before Jesus and anointed him with a jar of expensive perfume. The apostles saw the act as wasteful, because the woman could have sold the perfume and given the money to the poor. Jesus tells his disciples to shut up, because the woman had done a beautiful thing. He also … Continue reading Should We Try to End Poverty?
After years of working with the poor, one of the things that has infuriated me the most is the untruth being propagated by people claiming the authority of God. Bad news proclaimed to the poor. John is a man I have known since Rachel and I moved to New Albany. He is 87 years old … Continue reading Good News to the Poor – No Condemnation