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Category: Sermon (page 1 of 5)

The World: Media & Culture

My latest sermon at Kaleo Church, The World: Media & Culture

C.J. Mahaney writes in the book Worldliness Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World.

Today, the greatest challenge facing American evangelicals is not persecution from the world, but seduction by the world.

One of the dominant shapers of what we believe is the continuous seduction of the media. From the moment we wake up to the radio, to spending our day online and ending it in front of the TV, our affections are being shaped. In our world, 100’s of billions of dollars have been spent on media infrastructure. We are bombarded with thousands of ads daily. Can we honestly say that our affection is not being drawn to the world by the influence of media?

Read/Listen to the sermon at Kaleo’s website.


Creating a Philosophy of Ministry

Tim Cain is part of the Kaleo Movement. This last year he and his wife journeyed to Bethlehem Baptist to be the church planting intern at John Piper’s church. While he was there he has had the opportunity to plan a church plant and lay out what that will look like when he returns to San Diego. A lot of this writing includes material from Total Church, our conversations, Tim’s convictions and what Kaleo envisions for new church plants.

Tim’s Philosophy of Ministry document includes items such as:

– Building a ministry that reflects three expressions of being the church.
– Core theological convictions that shape the people.
– The practices and life behaviors of the community.
– Mission, Gospel & Community interactions.

Philosophy of Ministry (pdf)

Aside: If you’d like to connect with Tim drop a comment with your email and I’ll forward it on to him.

Total Church Conference Audio

The Audio for The Total Church North America Conference 2008 have now been uploaded. Total church is a way of thinking about church and mission in the 21st century which sees the local Christian community as integral to Christian living and Christian mission. The Christian life is ‘total church’ – our identity is communal. View all at the Session Archive or browse the Main & Breakout sessions below:

Main Sessions

A Community-centered Gospel – Steve Timmis
The gospel is about a King who died to rescue a people who would reveal his character by their shared lives. In keeping with who I am ‘in Adam’, I individualize and privatize the gospel so that church is reduced to a necessary but often intrusive addendum. The gospel calls us to live ‘in Christ’ corporately and so show the power of the cross to reconcile and create community. (A Community-Centered Gospel Q&A)

A Gospel-centered Community – Steve Timmis
The gospel is that which creates, sustains, nurtures and perfects the church. To achieve this, the gospel needs to be at the center of all we are and do as the people of God. The gospel needs to be taken out of our pulpits and meetings and applied into the mundane and routine of our corporate and personal lives. (A Gospel-Centered Community Q&A)

Rethinking Attractional Church – Tim Chester
Attractional church (‘come to us’) and missional church (‘go to them’) are often set up as alternatives, yet throughout the Scriptures God calls his people to a life that attracts the nations. We can bring attractional and missional approaches together by re-conceiving church as a community rather than an event. (Rethinking Q&A Session)

Remodeling Attractional Church – Steve Timmis
As we focus more on the quality of our lives together rather than the slick performance of our Sunday meetings we will see how a gospel community is an integral and indispensable piece of the evangelism jigsaw. In fact, people won’t be able to fully understand the magnitude of what God has done in Christ without it. (Remodeling Q&A Session)

Making Disciples for Missional Church – Tim Chester
‘I’m free and belong to no man’ could be the slogan of our age. But Paul continues: ‘I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.’ What kind of people are going to sustain a church planting movement? This session explores how the cross and resurrection should shape our lives. (Making Disciples Q&A)

Making Disciples in Missional Church – Tim Chester
This session looks at how we train and pastor one another in the context of ordinary life and the context of Christian community.

Breakout Sessions

Being Neighbors: a Gospel Strategy (Steve Timmis)
When so much emphasis is placed on being missional and incarnational, contextual and radical it’s easy to forget the simplicity and significance of the truth that gospel makes us into lovers, of both God and others. Instead of trying to send out edgy, hardcore dudes with body piercing and tattoos, we should be satisfied with sending people who will be the neighbors everyone wants to have as a neighbor.

Forming a Gospel Community (Jeff Vanderstelt)
Now that many are aware of the need to form gospel communities, how do we move from theology and theory to actual forming and leading them? This session will explore the process and the specifics of moving an individualistic group of people toward a gospel-centered community on mission.

One-Anothering: A Communal Gospel (David Fairchild)
Why are so many Christians detached and isolated from one another? How can we experience a radically reshaped community? What kind of social ethic does the Gospel produce? What would it look like if we lived lives together as if the Gospel were true? Join us as we unpack the various “one another” passages in a quest to answer these questions together.

Evangelising the Urban Poor (Tim Chester)
We have endless resources on reaching postmoderns, most of which in fact address student and professional culture. In comparison there’s very little on understanding and reaching the urban poor. Drawing on insights from biblical counselling, this session suggests some ways forward for evangelizing and discipling the urban poor. Join the work-in-progress!

Story & Rhythm of Soma Community (Caesar Kalinowski)

Reading Cultural Texts (Mike Gunn)
This is a missional gaze at pop culture. We will be taking a look at the “Other” gospels in our culture (Media, film, books, etc.), and how to read them in a way that can help propel you to a better understanding of them for the sake of the gospel. We will look at the reason why this is important to our mission, as well as, some help for understanding and engaging pop culture in authentic ways.

Out of the Frying Pan… (David Fairchild & Mark Moore)
Is God calling your church out of Ur? How do you get your church to move from traditional to missional? Both Mark Moore and David Fairchild are practicing church planters that initially planted relatively traditional churches built around the Sunday gathering. As they labored to develop deep community as a gospel display people for their cities, they realized things needed to change. Come and hear their stories and insights as they share what pitfalls to avoid and what challenges to accept as missional leaders. This breakout is intended for anyone looking to turn the corner missionwards!

Beyond Total Church – Sowing the Seeds of a Movement (Tim Chester)
How can we plant churches that plant churches? What can we learn from church planting movements? How can we build in reproducibility?

Communication in a Post-Christian World
(Drew Goodmanson & Caesar Kalinowski)
The culture is changing and it requires new thought in communication. This session will help you learn how to effectively minister in a post-Christian context. Come learn the 1) five values of this Post-Christian generation, the 2) ten idols that enslave them and 3) effective ways to communicate the eternal and unchanging gospel message.

The Everyday Rhythms of a Gospel Display People (Jeff Vanderstelt)
The gospel community is called to be a display of the gospel in everyday ways of life so that others might see what their life would look like in the gospel. In order to do this, the church needs to lead their people to identify everyday practices and then lead them to live out their identity in Christ within them. This session will identify some of those everyday rhythms and and then explore how we can display the gospel through them.

True Gospel Community in a Truly Big Metroplex (Mark Moore)
Being a gospel community that does life and mission together is sometimes easier said than done. This is especially the case in large cities that are characterized by sprawl as well as population. This session will concentrate on leading your people to make missionary decisions in their everyday lives in response to the gospel. Specific challenges to this way of life in a metroplex setting will be examined.

Reaching the Domains of Society (Drew Goodmanson & Caesar Kalinowski)
How do we bring gospel renewal to our cities in the 7 pillars of society… Business, Education, Healthcare, Government, Media, Social Services [including other churches] & Marginalized? We believe the gospel informs all of life and this good news helps shape how we view the world and our involvement in it. How do we equip Christians to engage in redemptive work in science, politics, art, culture, business, economics, education, local concerns, mercy ministries, social justice, environmentalism, law, media, social concerns and spirituality.

Panel Q/A Session

Wrapping up Total Church (Tim Chester)
This session will be built around the questions of those attending, especially concerning the application and implications for the issues Tim raised during his main sessions.

Developing Missional Leaders (Jeff Vanderstelt)
There is plenty of opportunity to hear and learn about being a gospel-centered church on mission. And, after a few days at a conference, the tendency of teachers and preachers is to go home and tell our people to get going. If we are going to lead a gospel-centered church on mission we must do more than that. During this session we will explore some ways to identify, equip and support a group of gospel-centered leaders to share in leading the mission with us.

Urban Discipleship (Mike Gunn)
The city holds more than 50% of of the world’s population, and is growing rapidly toward a world-wide megalopolis, while the church continues to migrate to the suburbs. The city also holds both the keys to the culture, and abyss of brokenness. In America our cities are becoming multi-ethnic/racial posing unique challenges and opportunities for our churches. In this session we will take a look at the role of the church (Make disciples), what it looks like to make disciples, and why we should be doing it in the cities of West and the world!

Update on Total Church Session Recordings

Our team is working on the 12 videos (6 main sessions and 6 main breakouts) and 10 audio sessions (breakouts) from the Total Church Conference. In the next few days I should be posting the first two main sessions for people to enjoy.

Shapevine Interview: Missional Communities, Total Church, Triperspectivalism & Renovo

One last reminder prior to tomorrow for you to join us on Shapevine June 24 at 4 PM EST (1pm PST) for an interview on Missional Communities, Total Church, Triperspectivalism & the Renovo Network. 

There will be a time to ask questions and interact with David & I regarding what we've learned, where we've failed and what we see God doing at Kaleo as we've transitioned to missional communities.

Contextualizing the Story

mug-shot-c.jpgI've been able to enjoy a few days with Caesar Kalinowski from Soma Communities a movement that is led through people living missionally together to reach their cities (South Puget Sound).  Of all the churches we (Kaleo Church) have come across, we are finding we share the most in common with Soma.  Caesar has spent years studying communication as it applies to mission.  In these years of training, they have created a story-based dialogical approach to developing disciples, which has led to far better results than just telling people information.

Did you know that in the USA…

  • Researchers believe that 70% or more of the people in North America prefer non-literate means of communication.
  • Over 50% of people over age 16 are functionally illiterate*.
  • 58% of the U.S. adult population never reads another book after high school.
  • 42% of college graduates never read another book.
  • 80% of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
  • 57% of new books are not read to completion. Most readers do not get past page 18 in a book they have purchased.
  • Each day, people in the US spend four hours watching TV, three hours listening to the radio and 14 minutes reading magazines.
  • It is estimated that people spend as much as 80% of their non-working, non-sleeping time in front of a screen – TV or computer.

You can learn more about story & these statistics at Echo the Story.

Jesus’ disciples came and asked him, "Why do you always tell stories when you talk to people?”

Matthew 13:10

To see some of the stories & the questions that implicate people (meaning it's more than trying to throw application in the mix) into God's story and disciple them (I've done a couple with my kids and it's been GREAT.  Gideon is 4 and his answers have been excellent in thinking this stuff through) download these Gospel Story Narratives

UPDATE: Caesar sent the following, "in Soma we are also using narrative and dialogical forms of preaching that hold to a very high view of Scripture and the Gospel."  This is important because many who attack story/dialogical often dismiss this because they believe it diminishes the Bible as the authority.

QUESTIONS?  Ask away, Caesar has promised to answer any questions as to why current forms of preaching are not as effective and betray our missional endeavors and why he believes story/dialogical is critical to the future of the church. 

Triperspectival Benedictions

Each week I (or an elder @ Kaleo) end our worship service with a benediction.  I used to do these benedictions based on verses in the bible.  In the last 6-months I have transitioned to Triperspectival Benedictions that follow the sermon.  The three elements of the benediction are:

Normative/Information: What was the passage, topic or emphasis we examined from the Bible.

Existential/Transformation: How, as Christians, are we changed by God in this area?  What is God's grace doing in our lives?

Situational/Sending: What is our call to now live in response to this new reality.  How are we a sent people to be on mission and proclaim/live this reality?

This was today's benediction based on a sermon in Acts chapter 9 that dealt with Paul's conversion and his radical life of faith through the gospel.

Kaleo, may you grow in faith in the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ, 

May you see yourself as the children of God.  That you are forgiven, that you are more loved, accepted and approved than you dare imagine.

May you go and live as the children of God, rejoicing and telling everyone the good news of what God has done.

Go in peace. 

Just another crazy triperspectival idea from the Kaleo guys. 

Triperspectival Hermeneutics

triperspectival-pic.jpg David Fairchild and I spoke yesterday about a triperspectival hermeneutics.  He has posted some great insight into how to use a triperspectival hermeneutic .  Here is a snapshot, but I encourage you to read the whole post.

Our Triune God is omniperspectival and sees all perspectives simultaneously. This should humble us and cause us to seek other perspectives to gain a richer understanding of His truth since it shows us that we have a very limited view of things.

Prophet Perspective:

If we tend towards a prophet perspective, meaning that we are normatively and theologically inclined, we will often look at the text with a grid of systematic theology. This means that we read a passage of Scripture and almost instinctively think of the passage under its neatly categorized theological heading. We see the text as support for the bigger theological topics in an almost apologetic way.

Priest Perspective:

If we tend towards a priestly perspective, meaning that we are more often emotionally in touch and engaged, we may come to the text to see how this affects my heart, my emotions. We look at the text to “sense” what is happening within it. We may say things like “this is how it makes me feel,” or “I know it’s right intuitively, I just can’t explain it.”

King Perspective:

If we tend more towards kingly perspective, meaning that we are situationally oriented, we may come to the text with a concern for how this text applies to real life. How it is worked out practically. We look at the text to “see” what it looks like. The strength of the king is found in the ability to apply a truth to real life situations. A king will often come to the text and instinctively understand how it should look. A king may prefer discussion oriented learning rather that book learning. A king needs to get his hands on the idea and grapple with it in conversation. Kings are great at organizing structures and systems to work out the vision of the text. Kings are very creative when thinking through how to build bridges missionally to others as a church/corporation.

These are quick summaries, read the whole post at David's site including DIAGRAMS!  Our brother is getting creative over there.  Article: Triperspectival Hermeneutics

Telling Gospel Stories

gospelstories.gif We speak in stories.  Stories are the way people share what they really think and express who they are. Stories are the web that holds together a person's true beliefs. It is through these stories that we interact and communicate.   They are the currency to exchange ideas and as such are more important than 'facts'.  In an age of informational overload, Daniel Pink writes in A Whole New Mind:

"When facts become so widely available and instantly accessible, each one becomes less valuable. What begins to matter more is the ability to place these facts in context…"

It is through these stories that we interact and beliefs are challenged. God reveals Himself primarily in story and Jesus often teaches through story.  Christians need to understand the importance of this, including a greater understanding of their own story.

Here are three aspects of story that every Christian ought to know:

The Worldview story (Normative) : The worldview story is the driving story of a person's life. It is the story that shapes their interpretation of all things. This may be the humanist story or a postmodern story but none-the-less it interprets all other stories and life experiences. A Christian can recall when they became a Christian. Their whole life changed. This is because their worldview story changed. Christians not only have the greatest story ever told, but also each of our individual stories only make sense connected to the grand story as revealed in scripture. (Read: STORY AND BIBLICAL THEOLOGY PDF by Craig G. Bartholomew and Michael W. Goheen)

Our Person Story (Existential) : Often Christians assume their 'testimony' is simply a resume like collection of facts about their 'conversion'. This is because many Christians have a wrong view of the gospel. If we see the gospel simply as the entry into the Christian faith, our testimony is reduced to this. As we grow as Christians, our personal story includes the continual grace renewal that the gospel brings. It is the idols that, by grace, lose their grip on our lives. It is the suffering that softens our hearts to love others. It is God using circumstances to sanctify us. It is our identity being changed and conformed to the image of Christ. This is the story we speak to others daily in both word & deed.  (Read: To Be Told…Know Your Story. – Dr. Dan B. Allender)

Mission & Story (Situational) : When your worldview changes and your very values and identity change, how you live will change.  Loving others and sharing your story will be a natural result of your understanding of the gospel story.  Anything less than this is a rejection of the Biblical story.  This is because in your worldview, you will see God as a missionary god and you as a missionary too.  Christians ought become great listeners as well as story tellers. We must re-think evangelism to be the sharing of our story, God's story and listening to others stories.

Listen to the Sermon: Telling Gospel Stories (MP3 & PowerPoint)

Expository Preaching Series

Here is a series some of you preachers may be interested in, Colin Adams (Unashamed Workman) started a series, "Ten Questions for Expositors"  with his first interview with Tim Keller.  [HT: Reformissionary]

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