church planting as movement

I say to people all the time, “The church is born with a Womb.” That is maybe a strange way to put it, but in my experience, churches rarely conceptualize themselves as church planting movements. Church plants and planters are courageous types, forging new territory for mission, reaching people that more historical churches cannot. That said, church planting usually is seen as a single act, planting a single church, rather than preparing from the very beginning to be a missionary movement. I have always believed that we don’t see movement because we fail to see ourselves rightly. When we planted Immanuel 3 ½ years ago, we framed into the very DNA of our being not only the need but also the priority to multiply. And, not just disciples, but discipling communities (btw – IMHO, this is a critically significant aspect of discipleship). Discipling is a communal venture. Our hope and intention, at Immanuel (the plant that I help lead) is to not only be a presence of shalom in the West Central neighborhood of Spokane but that that shalom would be extended to other neighborhoods in our city, regions and even countries. We are purposely shaping our priorities to live into God’s dream of multiplication. read more

Church Planting in Context – Incarnating the Gospel

Incarnating the Gospel

What does it mean to incarnate the Gospel? Observing God’s love toward humanity best captures the idea of incarnation. It is actualized by God taking on human flesh and lovingly drawing near to His creation. As a matter of fact, in John 1 it is articulated by verse 14, which says, “The Word became flesh and
made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and
only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Literally, it means God came near, even moving into the neighborhood. read more

A New Kinda Church Planting – Bronzeville, Chicago

I was in the great city of Chicago this last week. While I got the chance to see a large swath of the city, I spenta good share of my time in a region called Bronzeville (southside of the city). When the Great Migration brought African Americans from the South to jobs in the North early in the last century, many found their way to this area of Chicago. It was the greenhouse for greats like Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Nat King Cole, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Lou Rawls, Jesse Owens, Joe Louis and countless others.  It is crazy how many cultural greats have emerged from this area. Today, at least in part, Bronzeville can be described by terms like high unemployment and poverty, urban violence, and population density. read more

To Haiti and Back

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Last week I had the distinct honor of visiting Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The later I have been to many times and love, the former…never.  The reason was to pay a visit to Julio and Suzette
Volcy.  They are church planters with Christian Associates.  His intention is to start a church in Petionville, a part of the massive city of Port au Prince. I believe the official numbers for residents of the city are around the 5 million mark.  Most say it is about the size of Chicago – an immense city (some estimate many more). read more