What if…closed churches could be re-opened?

March 31, 2010

It’s a sad day when churches close their doors and Christian communities disband.  But here’s a success story – it could be ours!  Watch the short video here.

“What if…?” Welcomes Anthony Brown

March 26, 2010

We’re pleased to announce that Anthony Brown will be one of our guest speakers, along with Cam Roxburgh at the What if? One-Day Missional Conversation on November 6th, 2010 in Calgary.  Anthony is the Director of Education for Forge Canada, Senior Pastor of Hillside Church in North Vancouver, and Pastoral Tutor at Regent College.  Prior to his current work, Anthony headed up non-profit organizations helping to transition churches from maintenance to mission and train pastors to lead missional churches.  He moved to Canada from his native England ten years ago.

To learn more about the upcoming What if? Conversation, to sign up for the (almost) monthly newsletter, or to register, please visit whatif2010.ca

Vantage Point 3: Taking people on a journey

March 25, 2010

Equipping people to follow Jesus at work, at home, and throughout the week in the ups and downs of life is a challenge.  At Lutheran Church of Our Saviour a couple small groups have been working through material from Vantage Point 3 called “Growing Up.”  We’re now exploring the possibility of going on a much deeper and truly intentional discipleship program called The Emerging Journey:

The Emerging Journey is an eight month life-changing set of experiences and relationships for adult believers in your church. The Process will invite participants to explore questions of intimacy with God, identity as God’s loved children, and unique kingdom responsibility. 

Vantage Point 3 seeks to take participants through an unforgettable faith enriching experience.  Here’s a well done video about the experience. 

If you’d like to know more, and you live in Alberta, there will be informational meetings in Edmonton on April 27th and Calgary and Red Deer on May 4th.  About half a dozen people from Lutheran Church of Our Saviour will be attending – people are hungry from something deeper and Vantage Point 3 truly offers a fresh perspective on Christ-centered adult discipleship.  Other meetings are happening across Canada.

A Vision for Church Planting

March 23, 2010

Redeemer Presbyterian Church has a vision and plan for Church Planting, what’s ours?

Its Time to Join The Movement

March 19, 2010

There are only a few things that I consider essential for churches to be committed to be Christian. A commitment to Justice is one of those. After all to not be committed to justice is to reject the teaching of Jesus and the prophets.

What is interesting is that the importance to work for Justice goes beyond our own faith. Talk with Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. We all share the same sense that our religions call us to live lives of compassion, and that we structure our lives so that others can flourish.

More and more we are also realizing that we cannot live out this call for Justice on our own. The multi-faith nature of our communities and our world mean that we can only realize justice through collaboration among faiths. The great joy is that this is beginning to happen.

Do you want to get involved? There are two great opportunities. The first is of global importance. The G8/G20 is coming to Canada. At the same time as the politicians are getting together, there will also be a gathering of world Religious Leaders, so that the call to justice will be heard. What is exciting is that this isn’t just a gathering for religious big wigs, rather we are all invited to participate, by holding our own interfaith dinner and dialogues and inviting our local politicians to the dialogue as well. For more information visit http://www.faithchallengeg8.com

If you live in Calgary there is another opportunity. We are building our own community organizing network which is interfaith. If you want to see how faith communities can really make a difference in the Justice of their community – This is it. If you want to get involved come out to the training on March 23 and 24 from 5:30 pm to 9:30 at the Boilermakers Lodge 11055 48th Street SE in Calgary.

Quite simply without a commitment to Justice, as much as we might grow, as exciting  of services we might have, or churches we might plan, we will not be renewed. For without Justice we simply betray the faith we are called to.

What does it take to start a movement?

March 16, 2010


I came across a great short article based on the book of Ephesians.  It takes a look at how Paul was part of a great missionary movement.  It’s now our time to move.

Check out the article here.  Thanks to “Redeemer City to City,” a church planting organization, for the great resources and innovative ministry.  Check out other great church planting organizations like Anglican 1000, Acts 29, Church Planting Canada.

A better way

March 16, 2010

[editor’s note: this is a post originally written by Scott McClellan at Collide Magazine’s Blog]

It occurred to me the other day that everything of value that humans create — great ideas, great art, great inventions, etc. — is misunderstood and/or misused by some segment of the public. Think of the best movie or book or painting of all-time. Now, accept the fact that there are millions of people who don’t care for it. Think of the most important invention in history — let’s say the wheel — and now imagine a crowd of ancient doubters saying, “What are we going to do with that thing?” If you need a more recent example, consider the iPod.

I was introduced to an Apple discussion forum in which the original iPod was unanimously bashed by a gaggle of tech-savvy folks who couldn’t recognize the device’s potential. (Not that I recognized its potential either, but I was fortunate enough to keep my opinion to myself.)

The point is, as you create and communicate, you’re going to be misunderstood. Even if your message is timely, relevant, and well-crafted. Even if you do your homework. Even if your delivery is perfect. Personally, I see this play out in Scripture frequently. I don’t remember any of the communicators in the Bible reaching 100 percent of their audience.

People have a hard time seeing new truths. People have a hard time seeing the future. People have a hard time seeing a better way.

Don’t let that stop you from doing what you’re supposed to do.

What Allows the Spirit To Flow?

March 15, 2010

Last week I tried to start a conversation about the spirit. By faith we believe that the Holy Spirit is present and moving in our church. So I asked what blocks that flow? That is the negative side. A question of house keeping. Now I want to ask the much more important and positive side – What allows the spirit to flow? In other words what are the place that you find inspiration and life? What are those things that allow that life to grow? I would love to hear form you so please send your comments.

Napkins and Whiteboards are the new tools of Church leadership

March 9, 2010

At Lutheran Church of Our Saviour I’ve started to gather with people from our congregation at the local pub.  No, we’re not going for the drink specials, we’re going because they have napkins; large white napkins with plenty of space for sketching new ideas and reflecting upon God’s invitation to our Church family.  Something exciting happens when people get together and share ideas because we start to see that God is working in the hearts of his children, seeding dreams and developing gifts.  By the end of our evening, we walk away with vision and hope for the Church (not to mention a stack of napkins with sketches and ideas). 

The Church is starting to dream in new ways.  I was pleased to hear about a one day event called the Whiteboard Sessions held in Virginia:

The Whiteboard Sessions is a one-day conference about ideas in ministry – ideas that will stretch our thinking and shape the church’s future. Seven, influential leaders will have 30 minutes each to present one, compelling idea. This could be a biblical conviction, a proven strategy, a recent epiphany, or even a raw, untested theory.

Today, more than ever, we need to reacquaint ourselves with the napkin and whiteboard.  We need to dream of new approaches to leadership training and rethink our Seminary systems.  We need to open our eyes to a lack of Church planting in the last several decades and dream of new ways to establish communities of Faith.  We need to gather together and allow for innovative conversations and take measured risks.  Will you join the conversation?  There’s a napkin with your name on it!

Check out our own “napkin” dreaming event here in Calgary at whatif2010.ca.

What Blocks The Spirit From Flowing?

March 9, 2010

This is a question that has been on my mind lately. Our faith teaches us that God is present in our midst, working in our midst, bringing forth new life in our midst. So if our church is struggling, the question I have is, “What are the points at which the work of the spirit is being blocked?” I might have some ideas, but I think it would be much more interesting if all of you shared your ideas. This might after all give us some guidance in terms of what we might need to be working on. So please post your ideas and comments.

Whatif2010.ca Update: Registration Now Open!

March 3, 2010

Registration is now open for the What if? One-Day Missional Conversation about the future of the Church and Missional activity in the Church.  There is now an online registration form and many other goodies.  So check out the site and register today!  The first 100 registrations will be put in a draw for a missional resource package.  Visit whatif2010.ca.

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