When people are new to a blog, they usually just pick up reading with new posts. But it is my hope that new readers will connect to some of the archived material. I am posting this as an end-of-2009 marker of what has gone before. This "highlight" page attempts to pull together and list some of my favorite posts and series of posts.
Favorite single posts, missional:
God's Refrigerator Door - perspective over worship and worship styles
Don't Waste Your Time - on the primacy of worship as the foundation for mission
Website Outreach Philosophy - the missional vision behind our website design (note: since this post, we have moved to a new site, but the philosophy and major "sections" of the site are the same)
VBS on the Road - story of taking our Vacation Bible School outside the walls
Searchlight-in-Training - a missional look at parenting my young daughter
More than Cookies - narrative of two memorable days in ministry that highlight our growing missional mindset along with the mess and the "glory" of being a lighthouse and searchlight church
Significant single posts, denominational:
God on the Move - description of how God used one small-church pastor commissioner to "move" the 2008 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
Ichabod or Scribbling on the Wall - one description of my calling to serve in the Presbyterian Church (USA); for those who are struggling...
Frost Defines Missional - part 1, part 2, part 3 - blogged through Michael Frost's presentation on missional church at the 2007 PGF conference
Missional Identity in the Small Church - this is a seven-part series chronicling the visioning, communication, implementation, etc... of a missional identity at Good Shepherd. This material was compiled for a workshop I taught, but comes from an officer retreat in 2006. This initial link has links to the successive posts.
The Talent Challenge - a real-life missional "parable of the Talents" exercise I gave the congregation while I was on Sabbatical. Links below are to two follow-up reports.
Sabbatical - I wrote a summary of what I learned each week of a twelve-week sabbatical; some wonderful lessons.
Wednesdays Night Experiment - initial description and follow-up reports of our "Wednesday night experiment" of pushing the Wednesday night church meeting outside the walls into the neighborhood. Some exciting results!
The virtually-connected church now has on-line access to the finest teaching and preaching imaginable, accessible at their convenience, 7 x 24 x 365. Of what value is physically proximate information (e.g., stage-centric pastor) when the average person can now access the best sermons, preaching, teaching, and cross-referenced commentary on-line?Anderson responds:
...Fundamentally, there is no reason why any local church should continue to listen to Pastor Bob drone on and on when they can get the video of John Piper instead. What’s more, why simply have John Piper when you can alternate with Mark Driscoll? The use of video among multi-site churches (and, full disclosure, I attend one, though not for this reason) destroys any in principle reason why such an ‘all star’ conglomeration of video sermons shouldn’t be employed.
It has been my hypothesis of late that the rapid development and adoption of new technologies is exposing our anemic ecclesiologies and misguided understanding of the role and nature of the proclomation of the Word. Until evangelicals properly articulate why the Church gathers and hear’s the Word of God, and then shapes its churches accordingly, we will continue to be co-opted by technologism.
And that is probably the strongest statement I’ve ever made publicly on the matter.
...John [Lagrou’s rejection of ‘comparatively mediocre religious talk’ is instructive. Most local churches are comparatively mediocre. But they are not ‘talk.’ They, even the least skilled among them, are charged with proclaiming the Word of God, and in no way is that comparable with a lecture or a transmission of information. It is on a different plane, for it is a plane where God speaks through His word.
All of this amounts to a defense of mediocre pastors and the recognition that even in their proclamation they are not alone. It is the duty of the congregation to seek, to listen, to ask the God who speaks to speak through His humble servant’s lips.