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Showing posts from February, 2019

Is Unity Necessary?

Is Unity the Win?
For the last two weeks we have been talking about the mission that God has called us to as believers in Christ. We have been looking at the goal and means of that mission in our local context and within the greater United Methodist structure. Part of the value of this discussion is that God’s missional calling gives us a way to engage the evolving cultural context while recapturing relevance. Both Harmony Grove and the global United Methodist Church find themselves in a position of declining impact that effects future sustainability.
This week the United Methodist leadership is gathering to discuss the issue of homosexuality and leadership and propose a way forward that maintains Methodist integrity across the variety of global contexts. This issue stands to do one thing- divide the church. There is not a solution that does not leave some people group feeling left out, neglected or unheard. No matter the outcome someone is going to be ups…

What is a person of peace?

Rev. Debbie Carlton and Nathan Smith

Building a Missional Enterprise:  The Person of Peace
The idea of being “on mission” for God, seeking to live into what we are called to be and do as Christians is a challenging concept for people to engage. There is a tremendous amount of fear and trepidation about the commitment that is required, skill sets needed, where to go, who to reach and how to do it. As a missiologist my job has been to walk with people through addressing these issues in a manner that is organic to their existing context, faith structure and felt calling. 

So, where do we begin if we are going to help people understand that missions work is not nearly as foreign and time consuming as we have made it out to be? As a matter of fact, if the principles are not easy to appropriate, simple to reproduce and sustainable it will not find great success. The most successful missions work today is grounded in organic context with a “person of peace.”

The “person of peace” is the entry poi…

Means of Mission??
This week’s sermon topic is the means of mission. How are we actually doing mission and what are the tools that we can utilize if our mission efforts are going to be fruitful? While we could spend an entire day talking about the actual actions that we, as Christians, take in an effort to be “on mission” for God, I think that it might be more beneficial to look at the undergirding principles of successful mission. Is the are repeatable, sustainable and easy to appropriate methodology for engaging mission in our community?
For many of us the idea of mission has meant going to another country and living a spartan existence with a native people. We grew up seeing missionaries come to our churches and tell stories of their work in far off places so that we would give money to support them. While this certain represented the missional ideal of a generation past, the entire expression of missions and being “on mission” has evolved dramatically. But, lets not th…

The Goal
We have two children, a 15 year old boy, Miles, and a 5 year old girl, Willow. This last Christmas was the best one that we have ever had. Both kids really caught the Christmas excitement and got involved in making it a fantastic time for our family. They saw the excitement and enthusiasm that my wife, Nicole, and I had and they wanted to be a part of it. By the time Christmas eve rolled around we were all thinking of exciting ways that we could surprise each other and make it special. The point that I am trying to make is that our excitement is contagious. Movements, like Christianity, are built on the excitement of a few that grows into the excitement of many because they were willing to authentically engage and share their excitement about something they believed in.
Monday morning at 11am we had another great group show up to participate in our weekly missional theology discussion. It is so exciting to see people begin to engage a new narrative and tr…