Monday, March 28, 2011

Two or Three... is that it???

When you read Matthew 18:20 - "For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am with them" - how does it sound to you?

Do you hear something like this:

For even where merely two or three are gathered in my name, there I am with them?

Does that sound like the voice of Jesus coming through? Or is it more like the voice of our culture which, even though it it profoundly individualistic, still lives by the more is better, bigger is better value system?

How deeply has this taken root in the way we envision our faith communities?  It's pretty common to find that the Kingdom logic runs the opposite direction from "worldly wisdom."  Have we missed the boat and are we doing church upside down (or "backwards" as I argued in my napkin diagram here?)

Sure looks like it to me.

For more reflection on "two or three" in the Bible, take a look at this post from my friends over at Church Multiplication Resources.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spiritual Fruit-of-the-Week for Lent

Here's a little peek for you into Lent at the Thompson's this year.

My wife and I talked with our daughters (14 and 9) about what we'd like to do for Lent and we came up with the idea of picking one of the fruits of the Spirit (unintentional pun there, sorry about that) and all of us focusing together on it for a whole week.  Then the next week, we'll focus on a different one and so on.  This led to a very interesting conversation about which fruit was most urgent to get started on.  Kindness and Gentlenes were top contenders, but Self-control won out so we're off and running with that one as of today.

I made a little billboard of sorts to go on our table as a reminder with a complete set of fruits on sticky-notes tucked inside so we can swap them out from week to week.  We're also going to use this to help us all memorize the set of 9 in order by the end of Lent.  (I set up the billboard so you can hide the list while you try to put the notes in order, then open it up to see if you're right.  How slick is that?!)

So if you need an idea for intentionally shaping your faith while helping your kids to learn from your example, there you go.  If it's helpful, pass it along.  Either way, have a blessed season.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Napkin Diagram for Simple/Organic Church

Can there be a simple description of "Simple Church?"   You'd think so!  Roy McClung at Maximize My Ministry took a shot at it in the video below.

Note how he takes pains to be gentle in the comparison of simple and institutional church forms, stating that he is "in no way attacking" the more familiar form.  I have found that spirit to be common among the people I've encountered who are pursuing simple church (e.g. House2House and CMA).  It's a very good sign.

If you like napkin diagrams you may want to look at the one I've posted that shows how most of our resources are spent on the least effective things in conventional church settings - again, an argument in favor of simple church.  I'd also like to point out that I used a real napkin, which is more simple than Roy's fancy-schmancy video.  So there.