4 Paradigm-Shifting Lessons from Dave Chappelle

Dave Chappelle, the superstar comedian, walked away from millions of dollars, and the limelight, a decade ago. His life today looks much different.  I believe we can learn something profoundly simple from his story and the desires of his heart.

And thus, we can learn about our neighbors.

First… watch the video below.

What do you notice?

Continue reading “4 Paradigm-Shifting Lessons from Dave Chappelle”

The Benedict Option in the Neighborhood?

In order to survive the coming flood that was going to ravage the earth, Noah had to build an ark.  It took time, effort, and work to prepare it.  And when the effort was complete, Noah and his family had to get in.  Rod Dreher in his new book, The Benedict Option:  A Strategy Guide for Christians in a Post Christian Nation, is making a clarion call that the flood waters of post-Christian American culture have reached the point when we have to start making sure our arks are ready.  Continue reading “The Benedict Option in the Neighborhood?”

The Caged APE

Gifts & Boxes

I used to think I was a teacher.

As I wrestled with a calling to ministry, I naturally looked for positions where I could Teach and Pastor. Over the years I’ve taken lots of spiritual gifts inventories (and here and here and more info here). My “number one” gift was always Teacher followed by Pastor. I loved the energy and possibility of planted churches and thought maybe I should Pastor a church or plant one.

The existing tradition of established churches sometimes felt like a box to me. Questions nagged at me, “Why are we in this box? Why can’t we break out of this box? Why does no one else see that we are in a box?” I would fluctuate between frustration and pride – frustration that we were content to be held down – prideful that I saw things more clearly than everyone else.

Both of these attitudes were coming from something much deeper that I hadn’t yet been able to identify. Years passed by and I still didn’t know why I felt the way I did. Over the last year or two I discovered a passage of scripture that I knew about, but had never really understood. Continue reading “The Caged APE”

Recommendations for Further Reading: Prayer

Over the past two years, our missional community has discussed several books, including The Practice of the Presence of God  (Brother Andrew),  Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World (Henri Nouwen) and Road to Reality: Coming Home to Jesus (K.P. Yohannon), all focused on being in God’s presence and being led by God on mission. If there is a common thread through these saints’ writings, it is prayer. They all insist that prayer is the door to God’s presence, and we, as believers, cannot hope to be successful in any type of mission without an intimate connection to God. Continue reading “Recommendations for Further Reading: Prayer”

When We Started Asking God: Praying for a Missional Community

When we started asking God for connections with specific neighbors, He answered in big ways. Neighbors became friends quickly, and soon thereafter real conversations started taking place.

I recently led a devotional on prayer for my church, and opened the discussion with Luke 10:1-2:

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’

As Jesus was sending missionaries ahead of him, planting the seeds for eventual visits of his own, he instructed his servants to pray for more laborers. They were to pray for more missionaries, like themselves. Christ told these followers to pray that the harvest would indeed be plentiful, that people would come to Jesus, and that they (the new members of God’s family) would, in turn, make more disciples. Continue reading “When We Started Asking God: Praying for a Missional Community”