Recently I’ve been thinking of what it means to be successful as a church planter. To be honest I still don’t know what it should mean yet, or even if the concept of success is something that you can meaningfully apply to church planting, but within missionary culture I’ve seen two main criteria for success in operation: church growth, and continuity. These criteria are normally unspoken, but they’re certainly assumed. Read more about How to cheat at church planting
Yesterday I went to my daughter’s first nativity play. (Man, I’m getting old.) The local nursery has a Christian foundation, and they take the opportunity to remind people of the origins of Christmas.
I know a lot of Christians are fond of the phrase “WWJD” - What Would Jesus Do? It seems like a simple and natural rule for life. I love the phrase too, but for a very different reason.
The reason I love the phrase is that it reminds me that, at any given time, I have absolutely no idea what Jesus would do. Because most of the time, Jesus would do something that nobody expected. Nobody at all. Read more about What Would Jesus Do?
I’ve been wanting to write this post for a few months and have sat down time and again to work out the “right way” to say what I want. Now I realise that if I wait until I work out the right way, I’m never going to write it, so I think I’ll just go with something a bit unpolished, if only to get something out. I hope it’s clear that the title is a hyperbole. Read more about Against Partnership
A few years back I tried to gather as much information as possible about the state of the Japanese church. Last time I reported on these statistics, church membership was down, church attendance was down, baptisms were down… it wasn’t a great time for the Japanese church. Periodically I wonder what, if anything, has happened since then. Read more about Japanese church statistics, revisited
As a publisher, I get all kinds of interesting book proposals. Some of them come from people with, let’s say, unorthodox ideas. It’s all well-meaning stuff, but I have to find delicate ways of suggesting that perhaps this is not the kind of material I would like to publish. Eddie has just written thoughtfully on the problems of Christians not displaying adequate scepticism for anything that suits their goals. I would go a bit further and say there is a worrying flirtation with conspiracy theories within great swathes of popular Christianity. Read more about Christians and Conspiracy Theories
Perhaps a key verse for Japanese pastors is John 17:12.
When I was with them I kept them safe and watched over them in your name that you have given me.
ヒルソングはパーフォマンスのメタファーがあるから、ステージがあって、ステージでバンドが中心であって、コンサートみたいな賛美礼拝をしています。カトリック教会は政府のメタファーがあるから、教皇、大主教、主教、祭司の組織階級があって、公会議や回勅を強調しています。救世軍はやっぱり軍隊のメタファーがあります。 Read more about 教会のメタファー