Waiting to Take Detroit

Posted by on Oct 24, 2013 in Blog | 2 comments

Recently I heard from a man with a heart for Detroit. He's in intern-ville, with one more year of on-campus seminary after that.  But deep down, his heart has already moved to the rusted steel skeleton of what once was.  That's where he wants to plant a church.

I'm not a Detroit fan.  Too cold.  Too far north.  I don't understand their accent, nor they, mine.  But I admire people who love that city because it is God's city, after all.  They're His people.  He knows them all.  And He's always looking for men and women who share His passion.

Said Detroit fan wanted to know what to do with his desire as he waits.  I was reminded of Psalm 37:4

Delight in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Here are the seven thoughts I penned for him.  If you're in a waiting time, looking to start a ministry, I encourage you to wait this way.

KEEP PRAYING.  Keep doing what you're doing, asking God to reveal His heart to yours.  There is a lot you don't know.  Ask Him to reveal His vision for Detroit that He wants to be brought about through you.  Ask God to reveal the hurts, needs, and resources for a ministry to His people in the city.  Turn your heart over to His and allow it to be formed by Him in this process. 

WRITE IT DOWN. Write your thoughts down in a living Detroit document.  Refine it.  Share it occasionally with a close friend.  Allow this time and information to form and shape this vision.  This waiting time is a working time.  Keep a record.

TELL YOUR DESIRES TO THOSE IN AUTHORITY. In this man's case, a district president needs to be informed.  Denominational leaders are always looking for men and women to take back the city.  Especially Detroit.  Make yourself known, and remind them you're there every 6 months.

BEGIN GETTING YOUR HEAD AROUND BEING A WORKER PRIEST. Unless God provides a benefactor, you'll probably need to have another vocation to provide income for you and your family early on.  Time is money, and money is time.  So if you don't have one, you'll need the other.

PRAY FOR BENEFACTORS OR RELATIONSHIPS THAT WILL HELP FUND THE MINISTRY. We have not because we ask not.  Someone said that.  Be bold in your ask of God.  Be bold, and trust the results to Him.  If it's of His will, He will provide.  This prayer is asking Him to provide a specific financial way.  Generally He provides just enough, just when you need it.

TALK WITH COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT EXPERTS. This is a huge need in Detroit.  Begin thinking about what community endeavor or business partnership could provide both a bridge into the neighborhood and financial revenue for the ministry.  Talk with Oscar Benavides of LINC-North Texas or Mark Junkans of LINC-Houston.

PRAY SOME MORE. Pray for those strategic partnerships or alliances.  Pray for insight and understanding of how God wants to reform the city.  Pray for relationships with people you can learn from.  Pray for people who will join you in this divine cause. 

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What is the FiveTwo Network?

Posted by on Jun 13, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

I’ve seen what happens when a congregation is willing to speak the language of the culture as it reaches into the community and as it worships with the community.  I’ve seen what happens when all sizes and shapes of “new” join together with ancient sacramental theology.  If I’m not providing an opportunity for the natives to worship Jesus in their language, then I am no better than the Pharisees of whom Jesus said, “You need a new paint job.”

I saw the power of this in south Austin when a former missionary to Japan was called to a start up church.  I saw the power of this in central Illinois when a 125 year old church in the most conservative circuit of the most conservative district of our denomination started a new worship service for people who didn’t have a church home.  I saw the power of this in west Houston when a small group of people started a congregation designed specifically for unchurched natives.

When ministries take seriously the First Article reality of taking on the look, feel and language of the indigenous community — of being God’s sacrament to that community in ways the community can understand and embrace — people previously stumbling through the dark become followers of Jesus.

FiveTwo wants to help your ministry accomplish this.  We are a network of sacramental church leaders — lay and professional — who have a heart for lost people and a heart for ancient, sacramental theology.  We believe they fit together quite well.  How God ordained the Church to work in Matthew 28 form.

One of our best resources is relationships.  Actually, relationships are our lifeblood.  Our network provides the relationship structure and relationship connectivity so that those who have been called into leadership of the sacramental church have an opportunity to find camaraderie and friendship with those who share their same passion for reaching God’s lost people in their community. We believe that if we can get people together on a regular basis around a common passion and common vision, introducing new insights and personal “how-to”, we can ignite a bonfire out of smoldering embers. Too often our institutional ways of relating pour water on the coals. We want to pour gasoline. We want to pour courage and knowledge and trust.

We want to help you be a part of something bigger than your local congregation, but we also want you to bear fruit in your local congregation AND local community. Everyone wants to make a significant contribution to a successful cause.  At FiveTwo, that successful cause is starting sacramental ministries for God’s lost people.

We need more people on the bus of starting something sacramental for lost people.  We want to ignite a movement of churches willing to adopt the godly values of their communities so the community can get to know the God who designed them.

Join us in a FiveTwo Local near you and join us at our annual WikiConference this September in Houston.

Common passion.  Common calling.  Camaraderie.

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