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READING LIST

The Permanent Revolution, by Hirsch & Catchim

With by Skye Jethani. - Reimagining the way you relate to God.

Cracking Your Church's Culture Code, by Samuel Chand

The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leader's Day, by John C. Maxwell

The Forgotten Ways Handbook, by Alan Hirsch

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations, by Brafman & Becksrom

Untamed, by Alan Hirsch

Church 3.0, by Neil Cole

The Shaping of Things to Come, by Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost

Monthly Archives: April 2009

Last Saturday people from our three house churches, and other friends rushed

over to the Fair Grounds for a Gathering and ate (of course), shared some stories,
and generally enjoyed doing some music and hanging out together.
The Historical Society building was nice…

…it had plenty of room inside, and outside, …but of course it wasn’t as homey as our houses. Even so, we shared some of the amazing things that God is up to among us, and it was a great party! The topic of the night was: “Why did Jesus need to Die?” – looking at Easter just a couple of weeks ago.

So, Why? Was it to prove what God was willing to give? He had one son that was His – an amazing leader and teacher who healed and transformed lives wherever he went. God was excited about Him – In fact the only times He spoke out loud in the New Testament part of the Bible, He was bragging about Him; like “Look at My Son, I am really happy about Him!” and “Here is My Son; listen to Him!” So why did God send Him to a cross to die?
He had asked us all through the Old Testament to make HIM our greatest treasure – to show it by giving up the things we needed most for our security (the best of the sheep, the harvest, our “treasures”). Was giving His Son a way of showing that He was making US HIS greatest treasure? That He would trade His Son’s life for us?!?!?! That’s sure what it looks like to me.
It says that Jesus, “for the joy set before him, endured the cross…” Hebrews 12:2. It seems the Son of God had joy in opening the way for us to find His Dad – God didn’t make Him do it. So that had something to do with it as well. But it seems so drastic…wasn’t there another way? Jesus asked God the same thing (Matthew 26:39). There wasn’t. Our sin problem was really that bad. That’s what I don’t think we can get somehow: that it’s really that hard to get a new heart – a new life – a clean slate. We can’t do it ourselves. So, it’s either let what Jesus did be enough for me – ’cause God said it was – or sit in my stew and try to keep adding things to make it taste right.
So, once I accept God’s help – the Jesus solution – I have to keep asking God to help me out of my stew on a regular basis. I still add things that mess it up. But that’s what grace is for: not a one time event, but a lifestyle of giving back to God. I am one thankful guy!

At our April 4th meeting, where we commissioned our lead teams for three home churches, there was a real sense of anticipation as everyone considered how God had been knitting them together with others over the past few weeks.

The biggest surprise was that everyone seemed to already know what group (tribe?) they should be in! One is referred to as the “blue group”, another is the “red group”, and then there is a “green group”. More colors will be added as more house churches are launched, but we don’t expect to have to go through the same process again since future groups will be branched off from already existing groups.

So what do things look like now?

Our three house churches meet weekly – (You can e-mail me at the above address to get contact info for the lead teams); The lead teams for each church meet weekly in “triads” (groups of three – one from each house church); and all the house churches get together for a “Gathering” on the last Saturday of the month at 5:00 p.m. for food, informal worship time, and sharing of stories. This will happen at the Isanti County Historical Society building at the Fairgrounds in Cambridge, EXCEPT for July 25th when we will meet at a lake for baptisms. These monthly Gatherings are open to anyone, so freely invite people to come hang out with us for that!

Here are some pics from our Sonrise Service at the Paul’s Lake landing on Easter morning.


It began and ended with a blast (I use the term loosely) of the Shofar, and included a bonfire, and some resurrection songs.

OUR NEXT EVENT

“The Gathering” April 25th – 5:00 p.m., Historical Society.
Bring your favorite “slow cooked” dish in a crock pot.

So we have branched into three groups, and will soon need a fourth! We are having our first big multi-group Gathering (party time!) at the Fairgrounds in Cambridge at the Historical Society Building on April 25th from 5-8. Anyone is welcome – bring food to share if you can.

SATURDAY APRIL 4th IS OUR NEXT GATHERING – AT LORSUNGS’ from 5:00 – 8:00pm. This will be our “branching out” day, where we will be forming our three smaller home groups, which will keep meeting weekly – EVERYBODY, BRING AN ORIENTAL DISH TO SHARE!

Our next large Gathering will be 5:00pm SATURDAY APRIL 25TH AT THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY – Isanti County Fair Grounds.

DOING WHAT WE BELIEVE
When I was in law school back in the late 80’s, I remember a Jewish woman coming up to me to tell me that her Rabbi claimed Christianity to be false because it taught that you can believe something and not actually do what your belief says. I didn’t have much to say in reply – I knew her Rabbi was making a simple observation…one that others had made within the church: Brennan Manning is quoted as saying, “The number one cause of Atheism in America is Christians, who profess faith in Jesus with their lips and deny Him with their lifestyles. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”

And this is why our core value #9 says,”For all the theology we can conceive, at last what we DO is what we believe.” We are looking at our lifestyles – not just our doctrine, knowing that all of us are on a journey of transformation, as the Spirit of God draws us.

On March 24th, we gathered again at Lorsungs and had about 35 total with kids, confirming to us it is the right time to branch out into three House Churches. We had a great time breaking the “ice” with probing questions all around.
Worship time included an action version of “Every Move I Make”,and some more current favorite songs.

There was teaching from the Scriptures…

Laughing…

…and we have some of the greatest kids anywhere:

…and as we always do, we broke bread together – seeing that in sharing something as common as a meal, we are to remember the daily closeness of our Savior in our lives. He gave us His cup of blessing, while taking the cup of our sorrows for Himself. That is what family does, and what we are learning to do.