Friday, August 31, 2012

The Who of Urban Renewal

Over the last 3 years we've worked hard to articulate the 'Why' of Urban Renewal.
We put together a neat video to keep the vision of the gathering clear at

But what about the 'Who?' Who's going to be speaking? We've always tried not to make a big deal of big name speakers - I'm not against them, but I believe it's better to gather people around God and His mission than to gather around personality. That said, we do have some great people joining us from around the world and the nation - friends who we have come to love and respect. Kingdom collaborations, criss-crossing in a rich tapestry of experience and emphasis, all with a common quest - seeing the church find the radical middle of Word and Spirit for the sake of the Great Commission.

Talking of 'The Quest for the Radical Middle,'the book of the same name has become an amazing text book for me and many, in trying to understand recent church history in Southern California. It's essentially the history of the Vineyard Church, but is far broader than that - the different streams of God connect in mysterious ways. Bill Jackson, the author of the book and church historian extraordinaire has become a friend. He even allows me to call him by his nick-name. Jax!

Jax is still vitally engaged in raising up church planters in the Vineyard, and training churches across the board in proclaiming and demonstrating the kingdom. This is no dry academic, although he is a fine theologian. He is an engaging speaker and practitioner, who has equipped churches for many years. It will be a delight to learn from him.

He and his friend Todd Volker have been involved in setting up 'Need Prayer?' booths in farmers markets and city centers with significant success. As a church we have enjoyed working with them. They have seen people healed, saved and set free. They are taking it to the street, literally. Bill will speak on 'Renewing our view of the Kingdom,' and Bill and Todd will do a breakout session on 'Word, Spirit and the Supernatural.

Not to be missed. You can register online at

Monday, August 13, 2012

Read your own Script

Rynelle and I enjoyed tag-teaming together with David and Linda Mushegan on'The Long Haul Marriage"yesterday at Southlands. (both interview and message will be up at by Tuesday.)

We've had numerous conversations with people, both married and single since then, who were impacted by what was said, and who were wrestling through how to respond to God's call to the noble covenant of marriage.

One couple we spoke to admitted their tendency to point out to each other where they were falling short in holding up 'their side of the bargain.'
We all have a tendency to do that. We are contractually wired. We are taught to be self-protective, and other-demanding.
Covenant turns it on it's head. It is other-protective and self-demanding.
It is based in Jesus' unconditional covenant of love with His Church,and I believe we are unable to fulfill it without His virtue.

So my encouragement to us all, is to try and avoid reading each other's script - looking over our husband's shoulder and saying, "The script says, 'lead by giving up your life for me.' Why are you being so selfish?" Or looking over your wife's shoulder and saying, "The script says, 'Be submissive.' Why are you being so willful?"

That just re-inforces a vicious cycle. The best way to introduce a virtuous cycle is to read our own script, repent for where we have not been to our spouse what Christ would want us to be, and pray that they in turn would do the same.

"Easier said that done," I hear you say. True story.
But let's read and act on our own script, and see what our gracious God will do.