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Are churches graceless and unloving? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Wednesday, 14 October 2009 14:25

The new Director of the Peace Corps was interviewed recently on a TV talk show.  The organization itself has been criticized in the past, but the Director is an impassioned advocate of the work that Peace Corps workers are doing today He gave examples of very worthwhile and projects being done around the world by predominately white, college educated, privileged and idealistic American young adults.  More than 165,000 have been involved.  In the United States, many of their counterparts are working in AmeriCorps.  That is a network of more than 3,000 non-profit organizations, public agencies, and faith-based organizations. More than 70,000 individuals join AmeriCorps each year. There have been more than 400,000 members since 1994. 

These workers are doing things that Christian young people are severely criticizing evangelical churches for not doing.  Evangelical Colleges have responded to this criticism.  It seems like most ads promoting them feature their students and graduates doing this kind of work, too.  And many churches are responding by promoting sort term missions trips in which the people who go do Peace Corps kind of projects.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 August 2010 12:46
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3 Myths about Preaching Today PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Friday, 18 September 2009 13:38

MYTH 1: If You Preach a Good Sermon the Church Will Grow
MYTH 2: Who You Preach to Is Who You Will Reach
MYTH 3: The Goal of Preaching Is to Make the Bible Relevant
The Kind of Preaching We Desperately Need


David Fitch is a pastor at Life on the Vine in Long Grove, IL, and teaches as the B.R. Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/lyris/outofur/archives/09-18-2009.html

Interesting take by an Emergent Preacher, but I do not buy it

 

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 August 2010 12:45
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Hubris from Hell PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Saturday, 05 September 2009 08:56

[The] old assumption of God's goodness seems to be gone. The new generation, as reported by Duin and dissected by McKnight, has a nearly impenetrable self-image and very secure sense of self-esteem. ... So when we read the Scriptures or hear a traditional presentation of the Gospel, rather than feeling morally inferior to the Jesus who healed, cared, sacrificed, and died for others … we feel morally superior to the God who hates divorce, restricts sexual expression, and condemns his Son on a Roman cross.

 

http://www.christianitytoday.com/lyris/outofur/archives/09-04-2009.html

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 August 2010 12:45
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How to become a multi-generational church PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Friday, 04 September 2009 15:13

I was looking at church websites not long ago and noticed a fascinating dynamic. Many new churches have been formed with "multi-cultural" as part of their DNA and a stated value. But I have not yet seen a new church plant with "multi-generational" in its vision statement. In all the cases I read (in an admittedly non-scientific sample), "multi-generational" in a church's self-description was a euphemism for "we are an aging church that wants to have more young people attending so that we don't die, but we don't want to change enough to actually attract any of them to come."

When we began to talk about multi-generational community, one of our (younger) staff leaders asked a terrific question: what does it mean? How do we know if we're successful at it? One of the most common ways to define it is in terms of a worship service. By this definition, effective intergenerational worship would be a congregation of diverse ages sitting through a service of mixed styles that displeases everyone equally.

But another way of defining it is relational. How many relationships with people of different generations do folks at our church have? This leads us to look at the kind of activities and events that are actually relationship building.

Read the entire article HERE

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 March 2010 16:04
 
Small Town Ministry PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Thursday, 27 August 2009 16:00

 

We just came back from a drive down into Western Connecticut and back through beautiful hills and valleys.  We drove through a small village, where I once served as interim Pastor of the Town's only church.  My 10 months there, where my preaching and pastoring attracted many new people and conversions to Christ, led to my abrupt firing by the Church Board with the Chairman's phone call to our home after a Sunday Service.  I was upsetting certain people.  I was told not to return.

Some of the folks left that church and were interested in starting a new church in town and, after several months of Bible Study and planning, we did just that.  Maybe a year went by, and while we were away on vacation, the group met to discuss their dissatisfaction with me. That led to another meeting when we returned and to my resignation.  My wife and I drove away, and at the town line, I stopped, removed my shoes and dusted them off (Matt 10:14).  We had had it with that small town.  Driving through today, brought these memories to mind, as well as some lessons learned.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 March 2010 16:06
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