In Search of Deep Faith

I had the joy of meeting Dr. Jim Belcher some years ago when he pastored Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, California. I cultivated a growing relationship with Jim, and his family, and spoke several times to his congregation. I was loved and honored and thus retain great memories of those days where Jim and I shared ministry together. Jim … Read More

My Ministry in Charlotte – The ACT3/CityONE Partnership

Charlotte, North Carolina, has been rightly called the “City of Churches.” I was surprised to learn that there are more churches in Charlotte, as least per capita, than in any other city in the U.S. However, despite the religious influence in this great Southern city, young adults in their 20′s & 30′s are mostly absent from local faith communities. This … Read More

A Modest Post-Denominational Proposal

Rev. George Byron Koch (Coke) is my friend. In fact, he is my very good friend. As my lead blog post for this week I am publishing a document that George recently sent to me to get my feedback. I now share it with you to get your feedback and to show you how two missional-ecumenists think about the church … Read More

Ethnography – Developing the Pastoral Skill of Mission

Yesterday, I noted that Dr. Robert Price, associate professor of evangelism and urban ministry at Northern Seminary in Lombard (IL), says, “Ethnography is the pastoral skill of mission. Leaders need to be ‘participant observers,’ to get inside the story of the context, from whence we proclaim the gospel.” When I read this quote it grabbed my interest and then made … Read More

Why Ecumenism Matters to Missional Church

The difficulties in the Methodist-Roman Catholic International Dialogue lie in the area of “instrumentality.” Catholics maintain that elements of teaching and ecclesial practice must be held in common before there can be “full communion.” Sister Lorelei Fuchs examines the central idea of church as koinonia from the perspective of both Methodism and the Catholic Church. She follows the line of … Read More

The Rise of Ecumenism and Why It Matters

A little over 100 years ago the World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh (1910) was a prophetic foretaste of a century-plus renewal of Christian ecumenism, a renewal that has proved to be quite substantial on many different levels. If the truth is told I believe we have made more progress than the participants at the famous Edinburgh Conference imagined at the … Read More

The "god of American belief" Has Failed Us – Now What?

America did not need an established church (i.e., a state church wedded to public practice) because the everyday habits of Americans assumed the establishment of the Christian church. This assumption has become our biggest problem since the Millennials have come of age. This new generation no longer assumes the church or the public role of religion. They are spiritual questers … Read More

The Missional Perspective and Its Meaning for the Church in North America

A theology of the church that confesses the Christian community to be missio Dei (mission of God) means that the church is much more than a voluntary association of members joined by various means and methods. It is – “the household of God” – the place where Christ dwells by the Spirit with his people upon the earth. When this understanding … Read More

Theology and Missional Church: How Shall We Respond to Our Seismic Culture Shifts?

Theology is vitally important. To listen to many progressively oriented voices these days you’d  think that theology really doesn’t really matter, only love for our neighbors. Christians who are serious about the once-for-all revealed faith must understand that this is a false contrast. Both theology and love matter. Indeed, they matter profoundly. Good theology will actually help you to understand … Read More