America is burning tonight. The images on TV and social media are dramatic, chaotic, and heart breaking. This will be a moment to remember.Continue reading “America is Burning Tonight”
As we prepare to enter our sixth week under “stay at home” orders in Chicago, the emotional and physical toll is beginning to set in for many. With it comes an increase in the temptation to point fingers and join the misinformation and political campaigning that divides rather than unites under the circumstances. It’s important we acknowledge any feelings of deep confusion, anger, fear, and sadness. These are normal responses in times of loss and trauma. Christians are not immune to such feelings, nor should we be. They humbly remind us of our shared humanity in brokenness, suffering, and fragility. These days are tragic, but also a gift. Because when we’re confronted with the stark reality of who we are before God, we begin to find true freedom and our purpose in life.Continue reading “The Pain of Today Strengthens You For Tomorrow”
By Guest Author, N. K. Bottom
I’ve read several articles about online worship services. The Gospel Coalition published one by Rob Hill discussing the “new normal” of Sunday services. He makes several attempts to demonstrate that it’s okay if we don’t meet in person on a Sunday morning during this unique time. He reminds us we can still be together, virtually. Hill, like other authors I’ve read, assumes online services are best. But are they?Continue reading “Should Online Church Services be the ‘New Normal’?”
The global west is now on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19. The epicenter of the novel coronavirus has shifted from our distant shores to our communities. After a sudden two-week blitz in the United States of implementing extreme social distancing measures that included closing stadiums, canceling large events, shutting our borders, closing schools and offices, reducing restaurants to carry-out only, and preventing the doors of our church buildings from opening, we now enter a critical week.Continue reading “The Call for Courageous Leaders”
Updated Friday, March 20, 2020 with new resources.
As churches and ministry leaders face a shocking new reality in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, a pathway forward on meeting the spiritual needs of our congregations and finding creative ways to remain on mission for the Kingdom are needed now. I hope you find the following free resources to be a benefit as you seek to continue participating in the message, mission, and movement of God in these challenging times.Continue reading “Resources & Strategies for ‘Going Micro’”
As cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) begin to rise across the globe, governments are instituting travel restrictions, encouraging social distancing, canceling major community and social events, establishing quarantines, and in some cases imposing large-scale lockdowns. Such disruptive measures to daily life in the free world are naturally upsetting and worrisome. Anxiety is already high for many. In the days of social media, fake news, polarized politics, and ideological tribalism, it’s hard to know who or what is trustworthy. One thing is for certain, COVID-19 is here, and governments are taking unprecedented action not seen in generations.Continue reading “Dear Church, This is Our Moment”
I first met Michael in the spring of 2018. My wife, Mary, and I were in the thick of planting a new church in the suburbs of Chicago with a heart to serve the community and share the gospel of hope and restorative grace in Jesus Christ. We were filled with the Spirit, driven by our faith, and ambitious about what the Lord might do through our new ministry. Even our sending organization was optimistic in our vision, experience, and the possibilities of what might come of starting a new evangelistic community of faith. But optimism gave way to discouragement, confusion, and deep theological questioning.Continue reading “Discover God’s Passion for Movements”
The Christian church, regardless of denominational affiliation, doctrine, or methodology is being faced with the reality of a coming paradigm shift. There are significant disruptions already at play and forecasted to continue well into the future. Socially, financially, and theologically, the present day church in North America is generally unprepared to grapple with many of these disruptive shifts already making waves through the church.Continue reading “Reimagining a Church for the Future”
What is community? Is the church still relevant today? And what sort of imagination will be required by those who follow Jesus for the future?
Hear the answers to these questions and the evolving story of Restoration Church in a message given to First Missionary Church in Fort Wayne, IN on September 22, 2019.
Follow the entire series on “Defining Community: Restoring Life with God and Others” on the Restoration Church Podcast. http://restorationlz.org/podcast/
Tom (not his real name), sat up from his position on the couch opposite me, exhaled deeply, and asked the group, “So, what should we do about it?”