Institution VS Movement

Posted by on Apr 23, 2014 in Blog, Quote | 0 comments

“A strong, dynamic movement, then, occupies this difficult space in the center—the place of tension and balance between being a freewheeling organism and a disciplined organization. A movement that refuses to take on some organizational characteristics—authority, tradition, unity of belief, and quality control—will fragment and dissipate. Movements that fail to resist the inevitable tendency toward complete institutionalization will end up losing their vitality and effectiveness. The job of the movement leader is to steer the ship safely between these two perils.” —Timothy J. Keller

As you examine your local congregation against Tim Keller's chart below, where do you fall?  As you seek to be the presence of Christ — His sacrament — for your community, what vision do you have for that community?  This balance between institution and movement is the challenge for mission-minded Christian leaders, especially in the US.  As CrossPoint continues to grow and impact, we are striving to keep a movement mentality.  As FiveTwo continues to grow and impact, movement is definitely our goal.  

institutions and movements

Where do you see your ministry?



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Window Washing Via Michael Frost

Posted by on Oct 5, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Michael Frost is a bald, metaphor machine, and the window metaphor he shared at FiveTwo’s Wiki’13 changed my understanding of following Jesus.

Perhaps you have heard Frost before.  I had not.  I had heard of him from Alan Hirsch.  I spent a year with the South African Obi Wan and others in FutureTravelers, a wonderful journey of large-church pastors learning how to more effectively reach and disciple those dissatisfied with the local church.  We Jedis traveled from Austin Stone to Soma Communities to Community Christian with each layover bringing new insight and fascinating stories.  It launched me and CrossPoint on a journey that aims for the blue ocean.

And it introduced me to the persona of Michael Frost.  “One of the best communicators in the Church,” said Hirsch.  After Wiki’13 I would agree. 

Frost’s window metaphor paints like this:  If the mission of the Church is to announce and demonstrate the universal reign of God through Christ, then we who are Church are simply called to help people see that reign present in this world.  The challenge, however, is the room in which pre-Christ people live: it is dark and dank with grime covering the windows.  No light seeps through.  No sun rises or sets are visible.  No beauty can be seen or birds heard.  Yet we who live in the kingdom of God by the certainty of baptism united to the certainty of crucifixion and resurrection know this Kingdom is real (I fleshed out the sacramental link).  We can already see heaven.  The smell of the wine is in our nose and taste of the bread, on our tongues.

Our windows are clean.  Our worlds, lit.  The images live in our minds by the power of full cross and empty tomb.

Our task, then, our mission, is to clean windows.  To expose friends and family to the reality of Jesus’ universal reign.  To remove the grime that hinders people from seeing Jesus and His Kingdom. 

According to Frost, Christians clean windows in two ways: by announcing and by demonstrating.  Words and action.  Sharing and doing, especially in the areas of reconciliation, justice, beauty, and wholeness.  (Frost admits the first three areas come from N.T. Wright but adds the last for completeness sake.)

Thus, if in the world to come no hatred or prejudice or racism will exist, how can you be an instrument of reconciliation when another color moves in next door?  If in the world to come have-nots will not exist and widows will not have to beg deaf judges, how can you be an instrument of justice for your co-worker who has been maligned, so that she gets a glimpse of God’s kingdom today?  If in the world to come the beauty of creation and music and food and art will be the norm and everywhere, how can you bring beauty, how can you leverage art to demonstrate Jesus reigns right now?  And if in the world to come the whole man will be whole, with no illness or demonic possession or debilitating addictions, what can you do to bring release and healing to the woman who has struggled for twelve years?

The mission of the Church is to move into the neighborhood – to be the sacrament of God in Christ – revealing the salvific reign of Christ for all.  That happens through announcing and demonstrating.  Through both word and deed.

For me, that means my widow neighbor whose husband recently died of pancreatic cancer eight (!) days after diagnosis needs to hear and see the “kingdom to come” today.  Through me.  Right now.

What about you?  Whose window do you need to wash today? How do you need to be God's sacrament right now?

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Top 12 of ’12

Posted by on Jan 1, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

While New Year’s Day can easily fall in the cracks, overshadowed by Christmas, it’s a great time to look ahead with fresh eyes. It’s also a perfect time to look back and see what God has brought us through the past twelve months.

Before you jump full-bore into ‘13, try jotting down your Top 12 (Memories) of ‘12.  Here are mine:

#12) CrossPoint’s send off gift of over $40,000 to Matt, Lisa, and Ava Popovits as they moved to New York City. What an expression of generosity!

#11) Hiring Dr. Debbie Roesler as our Chief Operations Officer to oversee the operations side of CrossPoint. What a combination of wisdom, financial knowledge, and leadership all in one person!

#10) Our wonderful staff switching gears & adapting & rising to the occasion through a crazy year of transition. What a great group of people, excited about what God is doing here!

#09) Over 500 attendees at our 2012 FiveTwo WikiConference. What an impact, from the USA to Europe to Panama to Brazil. Wow!

#08) Helicopter Easter Egg Hunt at the Westgreen campus. What a frenzied crowd of egg-hunting kids!

#07) Every baptism Sunday, and especially watching parents being baptized with their children. What a humbling, moving experience.

#06) The Dominican Republic mission trip and the upcoming New Orleans and El Salvador mission trips. What an honor to make a difference in these locations, among God’s people!

#05) The leadership of our new preschool director, Mari Rudge, and the record enrollment of over 360 at CrossPoint Christian School. What a fantastic school and fantastic staff!

#04) The incredible generosity of God’s people, especially this past Fall. What an answer to prayer.

#03) FiveTwo’s growth and multiplying from 7 to over 30 local groups around the country. What amazing growth in our church replicating network. Wow.

#02) Watching EightTen reach the Spring Branch community, especially through movie nights and FallFest, and the upcoming community park. What an opportunity, to bless that community with the love of Jesus.

#01) YOU! Getting to meet you, talk with you, and see what God is doing in your lives. From my CrossPoint friends, to FiveTwo friends, to all my new and old friends- your large and small individual stories have been the most rewarding part of this year! What a privilege to know each and every one of you!

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Thank You For Encouraging

Posted by on Feb 17, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Jeff Schrank is the senior pastor of Christ Church in Phoenix. His vision brought about the Best Practices conference I’m attending today and tomorrow.  500 people from around our denomination are here, listening, learning and enjoying one another.

It is also Jeff who approached me and said, “I want you to tell the group about FiveTwo.  It’s the most exciting missional movement we have in the synod, and they need to know about it.”  I didn’t have to beg or cajole.  Jeff saw a way to encourage churches to embrace sacramental and mission and dialed my number.  He’s a living example of how encouragement creates momentum.

His encouragement-in-action provided me a forum to present FiveTwo’s worldview, connecting us into 100’s of sacramental church leaders seeking a voice and “how to.”  My FiveTwo overview last night generated thank you after thank you of “I’ve been waiting for someone to tie sacramental and missional together,” “Your marrying of sacramental and mysterious and mission are spot on,” and “How do we join this cause? It’s exactly what we need.”  All because Jeff lived out encouragement.

So thank you, Jeff Schrank.  Over 90 people attended our mixer, sharing their sacramental stories.  And at least another 5 FiveTwo Locals will come on-line.  All because of you.

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