Sunday, March 23, 2008

Check it Out.

The evidence is every where. The face of Christianity is changing. Click HERE to read an interesting article from the Indianapolis Star. It can even be seen in our military. Read HERE.

Dispatch #15 - #20

Dispatch #15: Emergents hold to a hope-filled eschatology: it was good news when Jesus came the first time, and it will be good news when he returns.

Dispatch #16: Emergents believe that church should function more like an open-source network and less like a hierarchy or a bureaucracy.

Dispatch #17: Emegrents start new churches to save their own faith, not necessarily as an outreach strategy.

Dispatch #18: Emergents firmly hold that God’s spirit- not their own efforts – is responsible for good in the world. The human task is to cooperate with God in what God is already doing.

Dispatch #19: Emergents downplay – or outright reject- the differences between clergy and laity.

Finial Dispatch #20: Emergents believe that church should be just as beautiful and messy as life.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Obama Speech: 'A More Perfect Union'

I doubt if I for Obama but if he gets into the White House, I fail to see how our countrty will not benfit because of this man's leadership.

Dispatch #12 thru #14

Dispatch #12: Emergents embrace the whole Bible, the glory and the patho.

Dispatch #13: Emergents believe that truth, like God, cannot be definitively articulated by finite human beings.

Dispatch #14: Emergents embrace paradox, especially those that are core component of the Christian story.

Joe & Melissa Wisely

My new friend Joe Wisely and his wife Melissa are starting the Appalachian Trail today. To keep tabs on their hike go HERE on a weekly basis. Help them out by sponsoring their hike by downloading their PDF.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Dispatch #9 thru #11

Dispatch #9: The emergent movement is robustly theological; the conviction is that theology and practice are inextricably related, and each invariably informs the others.

Dispatch #10: Emergents believe that theology is local, conversational, and temporary. To be faithful to the theological giants of the past, emergents endeavor to continue their theological dialogue.

Dispatch #11: Emergents believe that awareness of our relative position – to God, to one another, and relativistic apathy (absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement.)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dispatch #3 thru #8

Dispatch #3: The gospel is like lava; no matter how much crust has formed over it, it will always find a weak point and burst through.

Dispatch #4: The emergent phenomenon began it the late 1990s when a group of Christian leaders began a conversation about how postmodernism was affecting faith.

Dispatch #5: The emergent movement is not exclusively North America; it is growing around the globe.

Dispatch #6: Emergents see God’s activity in all aspects of culture and reject the sacred-secular divide.

Dispatch #7: Emergents believe that an envelope of friendship and reconciliation must surround all debates about doctrine and dogma.

Dispatch #8: Emergents find the biblical call to community more compelling than the democratic call to individual rights. The challenge lies in being faithful to both ideals.

Dispatch #1 & #2

Dispatch #1 – Emergents find little important in the discrete differences between the various flavors of Christianity. Instead, they practice a generous orthodoxy that appreciates the contributions of all Christian movements.

Dispatch #2 – Emergents reject the politics and theologies of left versus right. Seeing both sides as a remnant of modernity, they look forward to a more complex reality.

The New Christians

My copy of The New Christian: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier by Tony Jones came in. I have already read the first chapter online in a free PDF format. I’m unsure how much I should write about my own thoughts and feelings about this book but I do feel it's worth quoting Jones’ dispatches of Emergent Christianity. So I will have a series of post simple titled "Dispatch." I do this for my own sake and for those of you secretly reading (and from what I been told)…secretly talking about the content of this blog. (Leave a comment…share ideas…ask questions…openly talk! What’s the worst that could happen?)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Good Day

A few blog worthy events took place today.

1. E.B. had an indoor track meet today a Purdue University. 35 high schools were represented from nearly every corner of the state, one of which was my home school of Ben Davis. Track & Field is pretty chaotic on a normal day but things ran very smoothly. I have no idea who won or lost but it was enjoyable to watch.

2. As I attended the indoor meet I began to think about how athletics effects youth ministry. This image appeared in my mind.
(ht to Swerve)
This diagram could be true of anything in life. There comes a point when excellences is not worth the time or money.

3. Rae and I had dinner with my parent. We went to the TX Roadhouse. It was our first meal together since Rae and I announced our engagement. I asked Mom to help with a few things with the wedding so she had a few question. I asked Dad to perform the ceremony so he had a few questions of his own. It was a very enjoyable and encouraging time.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Spring Is Come'n

A bird woke me up this morning. I saw my first Robin. Spring is on it's way.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Friends must have been praying for me last night. The kids seemed to take the news of my resignation well at last night’s youth meeting. Actually, it’s probably too soon to know if or what impact it had on the kids. Students are prone to hide pain when first reacting to bad news. This news will impact a few of the students, will be of no consequence to most, and might be welcomed news to some. I am please how I conducted myself. I broke the news in a light hearted manner and was able to hold back a few tears. Your prayers made the difference.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


A Native American man of our community just walked into my office. He had a few questions to ask about the Bible, had a few things to share, and then quoted the whole book of James to me from MEMORY! The Spirit moved and I was blessed.

Big Events

First of all, let me say that God is amazing. The night I read my resignation letter to the board of my church, Marko directed me to a new blog called “Once a Youth Pastor….” It was a great comfort.

Second, anyone involved in youth minister at all should read “Once a Youth Pastor…’s” three part series on big events. Click HERE for part one, HERE for part two, HERE for part three. I’ve been thinking about some of this stuff for years but there are some new ideas I’ve never thought of. Important stuff.

Monday, March 10, 2008

A Resignation, “Who Farted,” and Fish and Chips

As I wrote a few days ago, two major things have recently happened that will alter the direction of my life. I announced my engagement to Rae. Now it is time to share the second major event with the few of my online readers.

The time has come for me to resign from my position as the youth minister of the First Christian Church. There is so much “stuff” for me to mentally process. My future career path is uncertain. But my faith is on Solid Rock, as freshman Austin P. recently preached. I’ll be fine.

But now for the hard part. How to tell my students of this news? As I rehearse this talk in my mind, there is so much I want to say but know I can’t. So I pray that God will provide the right words at our next youth meeting. I want to provide hope for the future and a peace for today.

Growing up, one of my youth ministers resigning from his position. He told us on the floor of his living room during one of our youth meetings that he was leaving to become a Sr. Minister of another church. He started to cry. I thought he was chump. I really wasn’t affected by his move. There is a part of me that hopes my students will react the same way: “No big deal. Life goes on. Who farted?”

My last day on staff will be Sunday June 1. If there is a positive angle to this news it’s that I will remain in this community for a significant amount of time. There are a few things I am looking forward to after June 1.
• I am going to attend a worship service of the Apostolic Christian Church just because I want to.
• I get to preview other expressions of the Christian faith (I get to go to other churches outside of Christian Church/Church of Christ).
• I apologize if this offends you but I’m going up to the town bar and order me a basket of fish and chips (thought I’ve been told the place has taken a dive since I’ve arrived in Francesville and I might die from walking in). Maybe Rae and I should have a wedding reception there. Just kidding.

I wound appreciate your prayers these next few days. Pray extra hard on Wednesday night between 6:00 and 8:00 as I tell the students.

I doubt if I will ever directly write about this event on this blog ever again. If you have any questions, I can’t promise I will be completely honest but I will do my best to bring some understanding to this situation.

Saturday, March 08, 2008


What a week! Two major things have happened that will change the course of my life forever. One of these events, which I consider to be secondary in comparison, will be announced sometime in the future. The BIG news, however, can finally be announced.


After three years of dating Rae Boehning, we have agreed that now is the time to officially start our lives together. Words can not express how thankful and unworthy I feel that this wonderful woman would settle on a chump like me. But I have either fooled her or won her heart over because she will soon be my bride.

The wedding date will be April 26 at my home church of Fleming Garden Christian in Indianapolis. My father will conduct the ceremony. It is my heart’s desire to have a large wedding where all of my wonderful family and great friends could share in this special day. But after looking at our future plans (a step-daughter soon going to college, one of us continuing our education, and perhaps adoption) we realized the best thing to do was to invest in our long term plans and forego a large wedding (which would have been a whole lot of fun). So I hope that my friends and family who read this will understand why we have chosen to have a very small wedding with only our immediate families present.

Here are just a few details about our wedding. First, my sister is flying in from freaking Seattle, WA to attend. I did not expect her to come on such short notice but she has booked a flight and I am very humbled by her great sacrifice to be here. Second, both Rae and I are wearing denim in our wedding. Rae is wearing a blue jean jacket over a white skirt and I am wearing a pair of blue jeans pants with a sports jacket and a tie. Believe or not, I spent more money on my apparel than she did on hers. How do you like that?

Monday, March 03, 2008

A Marko Quote (from a Veteran Youth Worker)

“Let’s be honest: working with teenagers, no matter how much you love them and are called to this ministry, is cause for fear. They’re a messy lot. The work is never done. The needs are never fully met. The demands and expectations of youth ministry pull in every direction, often in opposition with one another. If you live into this calling, sooner or later, you’ll get hurt; you’ll get ignored; you’ll be misunderstood; you’ll be blamed; you’ll be misrepresented; and you’ll screw up. But, be not afraid.”

(ht Marko)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

30 Hour Famine Wrap Up

We are within the last 30 minutes of our 30 Hour Famine. Eight students have stayed for the duration of the lock-in. Others promised to complete the fast at home. Money is still coming in but $1,200 has been collected for World Vision. That makes this whole event worth it. Student’s getting out of their comfort zone by collect money and fasting for 30 hours. It goes to show what students can accomplish when adults give them a little space to do it. At the moment, we are gathered around the youth lounge simply talking about random stuff. I wish you get students to open up like this during 90 minutes of youth meetings but it simply does not happen.