Discipleship, Assimilation, and Relationship

Matthew 28:18-20 is a bedrock concept for every church planter. We all can grasp what it means to make disciples of all the nations. It’s simple to understand, yet one of the hardest components of any church community to put into replicating practice. However, through a western theological lens, this activity often takes on a specific approach. Usually, it means …

It’s Time to Re-imagine Worship and How We Gather

(Note: This article was originally written before COVID-19. The ideas contained are now applicable to a time, whenever that may be, when we all can gather again.) In my previous post, I introduced my church plant Cypher Church, and discussed how we’ve intentionally shifted our community away from a worship event. Not only have we removed weekly services, we’ve also …

Is it Time to Cancel the Church Service?

There’s a story from American folklore that Henry Ford, after launching the Model T, declared consumers could pick any color they wanted…so long as it was black. To me this sounds like the same approach Christian worship has taken. It comes in basically one color. There are two main versions: sing songs and listen to a preacher, or follow some …

Unlocking Neighborhood Presence

In a previous post I discussed why new plants (or any church for that matter) should have neighborhood presence as a central identity piece. Easier said than done. There are challenges to make this reality including: leaders who are figuring it out themselves, no active connection to the neighborhood, superficial relationships, or unrecognized activity. Sometimes we need help to turn …

No Mission Without Incarnation

John 1:14 from the Message reads:“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.” There’s something significant, inspiring, and mysterious that the Creator of all things dwelt in a neighborhood.  Accessible God That God would care to be known in a simple and tangible way to humanity is a powerful reflection of the incarnation. It makes God from “way out there” …

Leadership in a Post-Christian World

What does pastoral leadership look like in a post-Christian world? What changes should be made? Should development be revamped? Or perhaps things should stay the same? One thing is for certain. We live in an age where “pastor” means little to non-churchgoers. The vocation is often deemed archaic and perhaps even nefarious. For good reason too. The shift in cultural …

Building Church Diversity

Building diverse spaces that span ethnicity, gender, age, and sexuality requires intentional design. In a previous post I discussed the importance for churches to embody diversity. It reflects unity in diversity demonstrated first in the Trinity. Yet in practice our churches are some of the most segregated spaces in the country. This is also a product of intentional design which …

The Pursuit of Excellence

Leadership in a post-Christian culture demands alterations to common conceptions of ministry. One “rule” I’m encountering more often is the methodology to grow churches. There seems to be two predominant ways to build resilient or growing communities. The first is to build excellence in the service and programs. The second is to use the same effort of excellence, but in the direction …