THE Story round three! (& a quick hit to Philly)
Lather, rinse, repeat. OK, that cycle went the way of my hair some years back! But here’s a cycle that I still know by painful experience – rebellion, rescue, repeat. As we saw Sunday in round 3 of THE Story, Rescue to Rebellion, that’s the story of Israel in the OT. Man, do we ever need a Rescuer! That’s exactly what & who THE Story has been increasingly pointing us toward…and next Sunday we get to begin to talk about Him by Name!
Attendance was down by over 20 due to sickness & travel & probably other reasons but the interaction was thick! Conversation points included the delusion of saying God is first in our life (1st Commandment) but willfully dismissing His commands (2nd – 10th commandments); the role of God’s law in our lives; the tension between God’s sovereignty and human responsibility; and the ways culture justifies things that God clearly prohibits (like racism & abortion) on the basis of “my rights”, scripture twisting, personal convenience, and comfort. Check it out it out here as I lead scene 1, Deliverance & Instructions, and Clete leads scene 2, The Kings & the Prophets.
Also, last Thursday & Friday Clete & I did a quick (1200 miles roundtrip) trip to Philly to sit at a very informative roundtable on urban ministry in predominately african-american and latino areas (what I call non-skinny jeans urbia). There were some really thought provoking discussions on topics like why many african-american men see Christianity as weak and are therefore drawn to Islam (by Carl Ellis Jr, author of Free at Last? The Gospel in African American Experience, a must read), on how to focus on your local community while giving space in your church for committed Christians outside your immediate neighborhood (by Eric Mason), building biblical community where nuclear families are the great exception and not the norm, reaching unchurchables, leveraging a “churchified” context for mission, and breaking up urban soil. It was so good I’ll be doing another 42 hour quick hit to Philly for the May roundtable on preaching & theology in the city. You can check out this ministry, ThriveInTheCity, as well as get information about their second Thriving Summit on October 12-13, here.