Month: March 2007

See you at NOC07 in San Diego!

noc2007-header.gif

Outreach, Inc. has invited me to lead a workshop on the missional small-church at their annual National Outreach ConventionNOC07 November 7-10, in San Diego.   The workshop is Small Church, Big Impact:  Creating Missional Partnerships in Your Community. 

In addition to sharing the story of our church’s missional journey, I’ll be talking about :

  • The 6 Pros and Cons of Partnering in Community Ministry
  • The 5 Sources for Funding Missional Projects
  • The 4 New Ways to Measure Missional Ministry

If you haven’t been to NOC, I hope you’ll consider attending this year.  San Diego can’t be beat for climate and stuff to do, plus the NOC07 promises to be the best ever.  Check out the website for more info.  Registration is limited to the first 2,500, so sign up, and I’ll see you in San Diego in November!

“If you never see me, again”

Several years ago, I pastored a church in a suburb of Atlanta.  We had been there four years, when I accepted the call of a church in North Carolina.  I resigned from the Atlanta church, giving them notice, and during the following weeks, we said our goodbyes to some of the finest folks we had ever met.

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Worship: Your finest hour

I just realized that in almost 70 posts so far, we haven’t talked about worship, which is a pretty big oversight on my part.  Why?  Because I think worship is the most important hour of the week for the small church.  Here’s why:

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Photos by the homeless

The Homeless Camera Adventure, photo by Troy 

The Homeless Camera Adventure, photo by Troy.

Isn’t the internet wonderful?  I’m surfing Technorati for missional stuff, and I find my friend Jerry’s blog, Becoming Missional.  His latest post is about The Homeless Camera Adventure.  These folks give homeless people disposable cameras, then post their view of their world in both black-and-white, and color photographs.  The photos range from beautiful, to amusing, to sad.  But someone is doing what I’m advocating — coming alongside the “street community” and giving them a creative venue.  While the scope of Homeless Nation.org might be beyond the small church, The Homeless Camera Adventure fits a small church perfectly.   Anybody doing anything similar in your small church?

Random stuff you’ll like

CELEBRATE:  We’re over 10,000 page-views, so thanks to each of you for tuning in on a regular basis.  Keep telling your friends about this blog, because I think we’re on to something here!

REVIEWS:  I’ve posted reviews of two books on my missional church blog, Amicus Dei.  Michael Frost’s new book, Exiles; and, Rodney Stark’s new book, Cities of God.  Check them out if you’re looking for two good books to read.

STORIES:  My wife, Debbie, has lots of new stuff up on her blog, Goodthoughts.  You’ll find some great stories (think: sermon illustration), quotes, and photos.  Plus, she just posted her children’s book, Your Mind Has Wings, in the photo album section.  You can also see our backyard labyrinth, and photos of our town, house, and gardens.  Check it out!

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We’re going over 10,000!

party balloons Sometime between now and 34 more page views, Confessions of a Small-Church Pastor will pass the 10,000 page view milestone!  Break out the funny hats and noisemakers, cause we’re celebrating!  In only three short months, our little chats have become “a gathering place for the small church community.” 

And YOU made it possible.  You told your friends and fellow small-church lovers about this blog.  You commented, a lot at times, and kept the conversation going.  You suggested ideas, and chimed in on the discussion.  So from me to you, Thank You! 

Of course, this is like High Attendance Day at your church.  Once you hit one milestone, you raise the bar.  On to 20,000!

“God, why am I here?”

Ever wonder why God put you in a small church when your old seminary pals are at First Big Church?  And when you see them at a convention or seminar, they ask you, “How’s the church going?” in their sympathetic, funeral-home voice, like someone just died.  On those days when you have on your sackcloth-and-ashes, and are asking God, “Why?” — here are some things to ponder:

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What is truth?

“Jesus did not say, ‘I will speak true worlds to you’ or ‘I will tell you about the truth;’ he claimed to embody truth in his person.  To those who wished to know the truth,  Jesus did not offer propositions to be tested by logic or data to be tested in the laboratory.  He offered himself and his life.  Those who sought truth were invited into relationship with him, and through him with the whole community….”

“Because primitive Christianity revolves around personal, not propositional, truth, its richest insights come down to us in stories about people.” 

To Know As We Are Known, Parker J. Palmer, pg 47.