Space and Place: In the Aftermath of Notre Dame

notre dame cathedral

This past week the world learned of the fires that burst aflame in the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris. There have been a lot of responses across the spectrum, both amongst religious and non-religious folk.

I myself have been interested in the response of religious folk, Christians especially. In particular, I came across a social media post in which, on the day of the fire, someone responded with a paraphrase of Acts 17:24: God does not dwell in temples made with hands.

From this post, and my subsequent interaction with the person, what he was basically saying was this: “God doesn’t care about buildings. There are more important things, spiritual things, things of the Spirit.”

Something of that effect, as far as I can make out. Continue reading

Advertisements

When the Persecuted Become Persecutors

martin luther

Since that legendary day in 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door’s of the Wittenberg church building, the last 500 years have been filled with movements amongst God’s people that have brought change, reformation and transformation amidst churches, cities and nations never to be forgotten. It’s not that great stirrings never happened prior to the great Protestant Reformation. It’s just that, for the better part of half a millennium, following the breaking away from the state-institutionalized church of Rome, God’s people have been perpetually prompted towards reformation and transformation.

The unfortunate thing is that, when such movements of reformation have stirred over the past 500 years, at times, there has been an extreme amount of persecution against such groups. And much of it has been offered by religious leaders within the ranks of the church. Perhaps that is part of the nature concerning persecution – the establishment of the day will always persecute. Such was the reality as Jesus walked the dusty roads of Judea, Samaria and Galilee.

Continue reading

Is It Time to Rethink the Church Website? (Part 2)

church website sample

I recently re-posted a link to an article I wrote a couple of years back entitled, Is It Time to Rethink the Church Website?

What I have suggested is that church websites may be geared more toward the already initiated, meaning those who are a) already a part of the church or b) those who are looking for a new church (what we may call “church transfers” due to being displeased with a previous church, moving cities, etc). However, the unchurched and de-churched are not really looking for what we might usually find on church websites: statement of faith, sermon series, upcoming activities, leadership team, or donate button – if they are looking at all.

So, my question is: How can we consider being more “missional” with our church websites, engaging the non-Christian landscape.

The re-post has caused some good interaction through social media channels – both agreement and disagreement. But a bigger question has arisen as well (and the same question came up two years ago): What alternatives would I suggest to the current church website model? Continue reading

Evangelicalism’s World of Worship

worship

I work at a modern music and ministry college – Visible Music College. We’re focused on training musicians, producers and managers in their musical field and faithful character to effectively impact the church and music industry. Because of this setting, I’m constantly thinking about worship, especially through the avenue of music within the collective church setting (yes, I’m happy that worship is bigger than music). Continue reading

Reading for the Common Good

Reading-for-the-Common-Good-Banner

Recently I began reading the newest release of Christopher Smith, Reading for the Common Good: How Books Help our Neighborhoods and Churches Flourish. Thanks to IVP for a review copy! Smith is also the co-author of Slow Church.

The book, and its somewhat unique thesis, flows from the practice of Smith’s own church in Indianapolis. What’s the main premise? Continue reading