I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately, much of it online. A lot of online pieces have been set aside for a post with a response or further thought, but instead of getting to composing it, I just keep adding to the list. It’ll start to get out of hand when I’ve got 7 Firefox windows open on 3 different virtual desktops, each containing up to 18 or 20 tabs totaling 30 or 40 open web pages. When that happens, i either start writing blog posts to clear them off, or more frequently, I save the links in an external document and set them aside to revisit later. Some of these items are for future reading, to spend more time with them or to compose a blog post based on them. But since I follow my RSS feeds daily, I keep having fresh reading material and instead of finishing them, I just keep adding to the list. In total, I follow around 200 RSS feeds (not all at the foregoing link, some are other topics)… I guess I’m a bit of a junkie, or as a friend pointed out recently, an “information farmer.” So in the interest of purging my list just a little, here’s some of what’s been growing in the information garden. To start, just the missional-themed ones.

  • Church planter and student Sang Lee’s Missional Church Transformation Paper (rough 01 – 500 words), which opens opens up the subject of an ethnic community (Korean) in Long Beach grappling with some challenges, including social justice and the idea of integration, or some measure of ethnic diversity. This post is part of a series of reflections. Student Andrew Defusco also has a Short Draft of Missional Transformation Paper, this one focusing on the youth community of St. Luke’s Anglican Church in La Crescenta (wherever that is, exactly). Again, it’s part of Reflections on Church in Mission. Two similar blogs that came up on my radar at the same time (probably due to the two post titles in this case), both part of a similar series of posts, one using the suspicious tag MC500. Something tells me there’s a class at Fuller producing this stuff (remember the in|famous MC510 class taught by John Wimber in the early 80’s?), and the most likely culprit, I suspect, would be Ryan Bolger… and it doesn’t take long to confirm the suspicion and locate an entire blogroll for this and other courses he’s teaching. While visiting Bolger’s blog today, I also see Bill Kinnon staring at me as Bolger links to what he calls Bill’s “inspired rant” and offers a few very good insights into the whole thing, including the fact that “a passive congregation is not particularly the pastor’s fault, the congregants’ fault, or even the seminaries’ fault. Our entire church system is built around a Christendom model of church where we pay a special class of people to do ministry to and for everyone else.” I would say yes, it’s systemic, and all of those —us— who created the system get to share the blame. Next question?
  • Rick Meigs, the Blind Beggar. If I just said to go read the whole blog, that might be too much, so how about some of his responses to Leadership‘s “Going Missional” issue? This issue is something I still intend to respond to, but I have to try and keep calm to do it — I think that at points, Leadership was editorially irresponsible with the content. Rick takes the high road though when he pulls some of the good stuff from it in Missional: Possible and How Missional Communities Differ.
  • Speaking of transformation, here’s How to move a 100-year-old church. Is this the only way? I can’t decide if the caption should read “First Church of Opus County slightly misunderstood the missional/incarnational imperative of taking church to their neighbours.”
  • Lofi Tribe’s Toward a Missional Convention by Stetzer includes an MP3 link, saying it “may just be one of the most important statements on ecclesiology of our time.” Not to oversell it or anything…
  • John O’Keefe points out a megachurch with no door handles… you can’t have walk-in traffic, you need to have a key or be let in. He quotes some interesting responses from church members, but I guess they had a problem with homeless people just coming right in to the church for help. WTF? A VeggieTales line my kids keep quoting comes to mind… “You just dooon’t get it.” Certainly not attractional, but still filed under anti-missional. I wonder if there might be a way of setting up the doors to only keep out the Christians?
  • Shortcut, quote some of Brian Russell’s Missional Meanderings: As he notes, “Andrew Jones reviews Listening to the Views of the Emerging Church: Five Perspectives.” He also notes, “James Petticrew offers two posts that provide a good overview of the ecclesiological issues that have undermined mission in recent decades and offers the way forward in a helpful way. Missional Paradigm Shift and Two Wrong Turns in Church History.”

I’ve barely made a dent in the stuff I’ve set aside, but we’ll leave some for next time ;^)

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