Archives for category: missional

I met Dan King (perhaps better known as @bibledude) through the Idea Camp, a unique tribe of idea-makers who collaborate for good in their neighborhoods, and around the world. Dan’s love for his family and for the church to rise up and become the force for good that God intends stood out to me as we shared a meal together.

The title, The Unlikely Missionary: From Pew-Warmer to Poverty-Fighter, captures the essence of what Dan seeks to do with this book — to move people from lukewarm church attending to passionately following Jesus to serve those He loves. For a more in-depth conversation on why Dan wrote this book and what he hopes to accomplish through it, read this interview I conducted with him for

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Our church community will be partnering with Amor Ministries this summer to build a home in South Africa for a family in need.  As I learn more about South Africa, I see a story that is both broken and beautiful.

The oppressive apartheid regime ended in 1994, and yet economic and social problems continue to linger today.  One third of the population lives on less than two dollars a day. Almost ten million people live in poverty housing, crowded into townships in shacks made of whatever people can piece together — cardboard, scrap wood and corrugated iron.

Our church has partnered with Amor over the last couple of years in building homes in Mexico.  We appreciate the heart of service behind their ministry — Amor works with local pastors to listen to the needs of their communities and to find ways to bring long-lasting hope and transformation.

I designed a graphic below to give supporters a quick glance at our South Africa trip.  I deeply appreciate your prayer for our team.

I discovered the work of Plant With Purpose (formerly known as Floresta) through The Ecclesia Collective here in San Diego. I was hooked by the question on the flier advertising a seminar they were leading: What is the connection between deforestation and poverty? For me, the question went a step further: What does any of this have to do with loving & serving people, and participating in the mission of God in the world?

Tending to Eden: Environmental Stewardship for God’s People by Scott Sabin, executive director of Plant With Purpose, addresses these questions in a way environmental-laypeople like myself can understand and relate to.  Eden is filled with engaging stories from Plant With Purpose’s work around the world, and from Scott’s own experience. I was happy to receive a review copy of Eden as part of the Plant With Purpose blog tour, which includes many thoughtful perspectives from across the blogosphere.

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In The Next Evangelicalism, Soong-Chan Rah identifies consumerism as one of the Western cultural captors of the church. If you’ve been around church for awhile, you’re probably familiar with the idea of “church shopping.” Church shoppers ask many of the same questions when taking a trip to the mall or choosing a church:

What style am I looking for? What’s the lowest price I can pay? Do I want the convenience, and predictability, of a nationwide big-box retailer? Maybe I’ll check out that hipster boutique?

And, even for those who are not shopping around, the primary question is not What can I give? but, rather, What can I gain? As my friend Jason Coker points out in a recent post, The Mega-Freeloader Church:

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Win a free copy of Finding the Groove: Composing a Jazz-Shaped Faith by Robert Gelinas.

I highly recommend this book (you can read my review of Finding the Groove here).  Even if you are not a fan of jazz, Groove’s stories, quotes, and insights about life and the Kingdom of God are engaging and helpful.  Groove encourages all of us to compose a more creative, jazz-shaped faith.

As Scot McKnight said in his recent review:

There are very few books like this one — in fact, there is none. I really liked this book, and I will return to it over and over as the image shapes my own thinking.

Let’s have this contest run through this Friday, May 8th at 3:00 PST. [Our winners of the free copies of Finding the Groove are Daniel Li and Dave Ingland. Congrats!] Leave a comment here or send me a message on Twitter ( describing why music is meaningful to you — could be a favorite song and why you love it, a formative experience, etc. — and how it connects you to the life and Kingdom of God.  I’d love to hear your stories and the soundtrack of your life — I’ll choose a winner from one of the responses!