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Satisfying the Hunger... is a blog written by the ministry staff of Evangelism & Church Growth

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September 25, 2012

Simple Church?

I've been rereading Brothers Karamozov and reading Eugene Peterson's book, The Pastor. And I've been struck again by the overwhelming grace of God and God's call to us to be a people of grace on mission. In Brothers Karamozov, there is a poignant scene in which a woman is struggling with losing her faith. The advice she receives is to love and serve others. It is in reaching beyond self to one's neighbor that faith has the opportunity to take root and grow.


            As I travel across our church, I continue to meet wonderful people. They want to follow Jesus. Yet there is a huge sense of being stuck and waiting for someone to come help bring assistance and direction. The focus of the church has become survival. The activity of the church is centered on budgets, buildings, staff, and programs.  And there is a pervasive sense of hopelessness because people are not showing up inside the church walls.

            

            Eugene Peterson writes about starting a new church. As he started this new church, he was helping people come to terms with their own faith stories as they encountered the birth and development of the early church in Acts. As we see our stories as a part of what God is doing to rescue a broken world, we begin to claim our place in God’s redemptive mission.

 

            So what if we started again with these stories: our story and God’s story of being on mission through the church. Would we realize again that our call is to share with others the story of what has changed our lives? And would we take more risks in venturing beyond our homes and churches into the lives of people around us?

 

            As I continue to grow up more and more into Jesus, I realize that my faith grows and deepens every time I have the opportunity to either serve another person or share my faith. Maybe, just maybe, being church is this simple: we serve and share God’s grace with the people around us.

 


August 14, 2012

One of the Challenges for Missional Church Planting in Urban North America

The following is an excerpt from an article, “Top Challenges for Missional Church Planting in Urban America” by my friend Dan Steigerwald, President of Christian Associates North America – a non-affiliated church planting organization.

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July 24, 2012

The Prayer of the Troubled Heart

Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.  From the end of the earth I call to you, when my heart is faint.  Lead me to the rock that is higher than I; for you are my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.  Let me abide in your tent forever, find refuge under the shelter of your wings. 

                                    Psalm 61:1-4              The Prayer of the Troubled Heart

 

When pushed to its limits physically the body needs care.  It needs water, shelter from the elements beating down on it, a place to recline, and replenishing nourishment. This “body” includes ...

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July 17, 2012

The dog days of summer

 

The dog days of summer got here early this year.  We hit records a number of days running where I live (in Nashville, TN)– one day is was 109 degrees!  On those kinds of days, the desire and need isfor relief and respite from heat and even more importantly, water for a parched land.  The past two days have brought a series of summer thunderstorms and you can almost hear the land breathe a sigh of relief for the rain.  The most recent news stories are now telling us this may be our new normal.  If that is the case ...

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June 12, 2012

Discipleship, learning to value what the Lord values....

Recently I was meeting with our elders and one of them said, “We know what we need to do, we need to make disciples.  We know how to do that!”  I confessed to our elders that right now, at this time, in this place, I was not sure how to make a disciple.  I asked the elders for some help, “How do we make a disciple today?”  The answers ranged from actions like feed the poor and volunteer in the community to study scripture and worship in Spirit and Truth.  It became clear to us the possible things we could ...

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