The “Missional” Apostles’ Creed?

Feat-Creed-620x4001

The Apostles’ Creed used in missional contexts?

Yup.

In ByFaith (the online magazine of the PCA) Ray Cannata and Joshua Reitano, two pastors in urban church planting contexts, share how they use The Apostles’ Creed within a missional setting.

A brief summary:

  • The Creed is Accessible
  • The Creed is a Story
  • The Creed Clarifies
  • The Creed Unifies
  • Creeds are Inevitable
  • The Creed Gives Hope

Read their story here.

Buy their book Rooted: The Apostles’ Creed.

Subscribe to ByFaith for free here.

 

 

 

 

 

“The Fastidious Temple of the Illuminated Irrational Saints”— Or, On Naming a New Church

Naming a new church requires creativity, foresight, imagination, collaboration, and prayer.

In other words, it takes a lot of work.

After a lot of deliberation I think I’ve landed on the name of a new church I hope to plant in Minneapolis next year. I can’t disclose the name yet, until it’s a bit more official. But it’s the clear frontrunner—so much so that I’ve reserved the domain name for .org and .com.

Meanwhile, here are five random, yet not infallible or exhaustive, thoughts on naming a new church:

  1. Beware of the trendy: Aim for a name with a potential for a long shelf life. Today, “city” is the new “community.” Avoid uber-hip Latin words, or church names which are ambiguous, especially names that don’t include the word “church.” Are you a church? Let people know it, otherwise you risk inadvertently duping someone: “What?!? I thought you were a local coffee shop!” What’s trendy today will likely be stale in 3-5 years. That said, go with a memorable name that’s easy on both the ears and eyes.
  2. Not one size fits all: Know your community where you intend to plant. Certain church names in one community might not translate well in a neighboring community, even though both communities are in the same city. Church names aren’t universal or one size fits all.
  3. Collaborate: Seek as much varied collaboration as possible, not only Christians but people who aren’t Christians. Ask a lot of creative people–but not too creative. Sometimes supposed boring, staid people have better ideas. And don’t go rogue. Vet the name to ensure you’re on the right track.
  4. Practical matters: After all of your labors, you’d hate to discover that the web domain you envisioned is already taken. Bookmark  www.checkdomain.com and explore your options. Then lock in the name(s) with a website that sells domains.
  5. Go with your gut: In the end, it has to be a name that sits well with you (and with “you” I’m referring to the lead church planter). If everyone else is crazy about a name yet you aren’t, don’t go with it. You’ll likely regret it.

Top Ten Church Planting Essentials

I’m planning on starting a new church in Minneapolis next year, and I need a lot of wisdom.

Enter Aaron Damiani.

Seeking advice from veteran church planters and pastors during the church plant’s critical first year, Aaron (lead planter of Immanuel Anglican in Chicago) compiled a list of ten church planting essentials he learned from them:

  1. Sustain high learning agility.
  2. Go slow to go fast.
  3. Gather a Launch Team instead of a Core Group.
  4. Jesus builds his church, so stop watching the door and start feeding your people.
  5. Finding worship space is an uphill spiritual battle; start praying.
  6. Identify your motives for church planting, and be vulnerable enough to communicate them.
  7. Collaborate with your fellow planters and pastors; don’t compete with them.
  8. Don’t be afraid to ask for money and people.
  9. Be flexible with how people grapple with your vision.
  10. Follow Jesus on the journey he has planned for you, and invite your people along.

Read more about Aaron’s gleanings (and their sources) here.

Redeemer: Recommended Reading for Church Planters

Redeemer City to City, a ministry out of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NY, compiled a church planting reading list. It’s the best I’ve seen in scope, breadth, and depth.

Even if you’re not a church planter, or even a pastor or missionary, the list covers other helpful topics:

  • Urban Ministry / City Studies
  • Evangelism
  • Ecclesiology
  • Missional Movements
  • Missions
  • Cultural Studies / Engagement
  • Ethnic Concerns / Studies
  • Spiritual Growth
  • Leadership / Organization
  • Hermeneutics

Compiled in 2010, the list needs minor updating, but it’s a great place to begin.

Download the PDF here.

Sinclair Ferguson on Celebrity Culture, the Local Church, Preaching and Retirement

Ligonier conducted their first Google hangout today with pastor, theologian and writer Sinclair Ferguson, where he offered advice to young pastors and church planters, discussed the role of preaching in the local church, gave commentary on celebrity pastors and the mega-church, his long relationship with R.C. Sproul, his recent retirement from full-time pastoral ministry, and his post-retirement plans (which include a number of promising writing projects).

Watching and listening to Sinclair for 45 minutes was a refreshing exercise in remembering what the pastoral ministry, indeed the Christian life, is primarily about: communion with the Triune God and the centrality of Christ crucified. (And it doesn’t hurt that he speaks with that lilting Scottish brogue accent.)

And lest you think the hangout was only for pastors, my wife also listened in, often giving a hearty “Amen!” to Sinclair’s comments.

Watch the hangout here:

Minneapolis Needs (More) People

The Editorial Board for Minneapolis’ primary daily newspaper, the StarTribune, just published a compelling article outlining why downtownmpls15more people need to move into the city, and the short and long-term ramifications for failing to do so. If you live in the Twin Cities metro area and are a Christian (and I realize this excludes most of this blog’s readership), I urge you to carefully read the article and prayerfully consider the implications. And even if you don’t live in Minneapolis, or even a larger city, the article’s a worthwhile read, if only to get some helpful ideas on what makes cities sustainable and viable.

Tim Keller has championed the need for Christians to move into the city (especially see his article “A New Kind of Urban Christian” published in Christianity Today in 2006), and it’s a fine compliment to the StarTribune’s editorial.

“Total Church” and “Everyday Church” Book Deal

Two great books on church, mission, community, and the Gospel are on sale for a paltry $1.99 (e-book format) till August 6:ref=sr_1_1

While both are excellent, Total Church (which was published first) is essential reading, while Everyday Church is more “how to put it all together.”

Steve Timmis and Tim Chester, the books’ co-authors, are experienced practitioners of a church planting group in England.  Both books are robust with biblically/theologically sound content.

Whether you’re a pastor/elder, aspiring church planter, small group leader, or anyone with any degree of influence in a local church, pony up the $4.00 for some great reading on minimal church centered on the Gospel.41pfFuqsViL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-67,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

Anti-Sexy Church Planting

If you’ve been drinking the church planting Kool-Aid, the kind that says you have to be young, beautiful, sexy, wear tight skinny jeans, listen to obscure indie-rock bands, don a perfectly coiffed fauxhawk with appropriate grooming application, and publicly refer to your spouse as “my smokin’ hot wife!,” all in order to be an aspiring and “relevant” church planter, then this podcast co-hosted by the often provocative and delightfully antiquated Carl Trueman is just for you.

But be forewarned—listening to Trueman, even in small doses, may set you in back of the pack in the burgeoning church planting world. So listen with caution.