Monday, October 31, 2011

Spiritual ADD?

ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder.

This is a disorder (often now referred to as ADHD) that affects 15% of the adult population as well as a great many children.  Although the symptoms can be complex and varied, the commonality is a difficulty in staying focused on one thing at a time.  These people are easily distracted and wandering attention makes it difficult for them to stay on track.  ADD can have a devastating affect in school, at work and in family relationships.

As harmful as physical ADD can be, Spiritual ADD may be much more widespread and have even greater negative consequences.  Epidemic, especially among American Christians, this condition is one of the greatest strategies of the Enemy.  As someone has said, "If the Devil can't make you bad, he will make you busy."  And, Christians in the US are some of the busiest people in the world!

Recapturing our most valuable possession.  In the interview below, Dr. Kent Smith reflects on the meeting of our LK10 Board of Directors held in Jan. 2011.  In this context, he talks about the idea that we have been robbed of our most precious asset - our attention.  The result is Spiritual ADD.  We can only recapture our ability to be centered on Jesus as we train ourselves in "rhythms of attention."  (Kent is a professor at the Abilene Christian Graduate School of Theology.)

Possible next step for recapturing your attention?  The LK10 Foundations Course is designed to train Christians in the rhythms of attention.  For more information and to register, go to

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.  God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.  Mt. 6:34 (The Message)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Planting a church called "Beer and Bible"

What if planting churches was much simpler than we ever imagined?

What if planting churches flowed naturally from hearing God's voice?

Early in 2010, Sean Hyatt took his wife out to eat in an area of Denver called the DTC  (Denver Tech Center).  While there, he felt the Lord telling him to plant a church in that area. The next step was asking some friends to join him in praying for direction.  The result, a year and a half later, is three churches in some unlikely places.

Here's the story...

Want to grow in your ability to hear God's voice?  a great next step is a six weeks learning community called The Foundations Course.  For more information and to register, go here

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Eugene Peterson: "Crowds more dangerous than sex or drugs"

Pastors of traditional churches are trained to do everything possible to increase the number of people in their Sunday morning congregation.  Great preaching.  Inspiring music.  Excellent childcare.  Adequate parking.  The list goes on and on.  Success or failure is measured, to a significant degree, on the pastor’s ability to draw (and keep) a crowd.

Eugene Peterson, well-known author (The Message paraphrase of the Bible) has a shockingly different perspective on the meaning of crowds in church on Sunday morning.

Earlier in his life, Peterson was, for many years the pastor of a Presbyterian church in Bel Air, Maryland.  For much of that time, he was part of a fellowship of other pastors.  One day, a member of the group announced that he was leaving his congregation to become the pastor of a church of a thousand members, three times the size of where he was.  Peterson had lunch with this man and found himself bothered by his motivations to make the change.  Over the next week, he wrote a letter to this friend.  Some of what he wrote, speaks to the reasons that a growing number of leaders are being drawn away from traditional church to the original (small!) form of church found in the New Testament. 

The following excerpts from that letter are found in The Pastor: A Memoir (Chapter 18) by Eugene Peterson …

…Classically, there are three ways in which humans try to find transcendence – religious meaning, God meaning – apart from God as revealed in the cross of Jesus:  through the ecstasy of alcohol and drugs, through the ecstasy of recreational sex, though the ecstasy of crowds.  Church leaders frequently warn against the drugs and the sex, but, at least in America, almost never against the crowds.  Probably because they get so much ego benefit from the crowds.

But a crowd destroys the spirit as thoroughly as excessive drink and depersonalized sex.  It takes us out of ourselves, but not to God, only away from.  The religious hunger is rooted in the unsatisfactory nature of the self.  We hunger to escape the dullness, the boredom, the tiresomeness of me.  We can escape upward or downward.  Drugs and depersonalized sex are a false transcendence downward.  A crowd is an exercise is false transcendence upward, which is why all crowds are spiritually pretty much the same, whether at football games, political rallies, or church.

…I really do feel that crowds are a worse danger, far worse, than drink or sex…

Although, as far as I know, Peterson has not come to the place of embracing the house church model which really is the logical extension of his thinking about crowds.

The alternative to crowds?  Small, family-like churches multiplying like rabbits across the landscape.  Just like they did it in the New Testament!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pair power!

Meeting once a week for church (even house church!) just doesn't do it.

We are encouraged and nurtured and filled up when we meet with God's people.  But, then, we have to wait seven days for it to happen again.  Instinctively, we know this isn't enough.  Clearly, God has constructed us to need the encouragement of God's people on a daily basis.

And, this is exactly what Scripture commands us to do.  "Encourage one another daily"  (Heb. 3:13)  The Greek word for "encourage" is parakaleo.  The noun form of this word is what Jesus calls the Holy Spirit in John 14:16.  "I will ask the Father and he will give you another Paraklete."  The word literally means "one who is called along side to help or encourage".  Our ministry to one another is similar to the ministry of the Holy Spirit to us.

But, how do we do we encourage one another if we don't live next door to the others in our church?  The answer to this question is a CO2 (a church of two).  This "practice" was at the heart of Jesus' group (church?) of twelve.  Every one had a partner.  (See Mt. 10:2-4)  And, every person Jesus sent out went with a partner.  (See Lk. 10:1)  No exceptions!

The CO2 concept allows us to "do church" daily.  To come alongside one other person every day for mutual encouragement.  The CO2 is the basic building block for all larger expressions of church.  A house church with several CO2s functioning during the week becomes much more powerful when the whole church gathers together in its weekly meeting.

One of the primary goals of the LK10 Community is to train believers in the practice of CO2. We do this through a six week learning experience called The Foundations Course.  We currently have a few openings for Courses beginning in October.  To learn more and to register, go here

There are hundreds of CO2s now spreading around the world.  The interview below gives you a picture of how one CO2 functions.  This is one of three CO2s in the church that meets at Tim and Brittani's house.  (See more CO2 stories below.)

More CO2 stories...

*Tony Dale (House to House) tells of finding CO2s in the Philippines...

*There are dozens of CO2s now in Australia.  They all started here...