Friday, May 27, 2011


The book AND is lighting a fire under many of my friends, colleagues, and fellow leaders at Crossroads Friends Church. It’s sort of starting a revolution of passion and re-commitment to the core of the ministry we feel called to.

Some of my favorite quotes and concepts:
Context should stop you in your tracks on a regular basis and propel you to find out every little detail you can about a person, avoiding assumptions or preconceived notions about what they want or are looking for….So how does a missionary get the context? We do it by becoming friends with people. 55

Engaging culture isn’t as much about doing evangelism as it is incarnating the presence of Christ in every relationship we form. 58

…Missionaries start the discipleship process much sooner…I internally believe that I’m now in a relationship where they are going to be watching my life, picking up on my values, and giving me opportunities to encourage them toward my way of life. In other words, early in the engaging culture process, discipleship and conversion begin.  When Jesus called the first discples and actually begin his discipleship process, they weren’t exactly going to church as we commonly conceive it… Their process of conversion was simultaneous to their process of discipleship. 62

If you want your existing church to successfully engage the culture, you don’t begin by telling your people to engage and then bring ‘em to church. You must start by creating a new environment for them that provides a better way to witness to the culture and is the best way to see the kingdom lived out in concrete ways. The incarnational community that forms can then go out together and will eventually form the bridge between your cultural engagement with the world and the corporate structure of the church. 66

A consumer is not a disciple and a disciple is not a consumer! 75

People don’t need most of the stuff we give them. In fact, there seems to be a direct correlation between providing too much and the immaturity that develops when people are given the chance to overindulge. 81

God knows that fifty committed apprentices will out-serve, out-love, out-sacrifice, and out-faithful two thousand fans, but along the way you will take hits and you will start to wonder if things wouldn’t be easier if you could just provide church services for people. 87

Pastoring is as much about protecting the flock as it is about growing a flock. It’s about pushing them and challenging them instead of pandering to them. Ultimately, it’s time for leaders to be consumed in a struggle against consumerism. 88-89

It’s alarming how many churches act as though people will just become like Jesus through osmosis or through a sermon they heard…stop assuming people will just grow without an actual process. They won’t. 97

Jesus raised the bar on the front end and lowered it once he had the hearts of the people. 118

Keep in mind, however, that both sides of the missional movement (modalic and sodalic)  have significant tension. The grass really is not greener on the other side! If God calls you to stay and serve the existing church, then serve! If God calls you to take a risk and start new works, then do it! But never make the mistake of thinking that one calling is better than another. Both are necessary for God’s balanced church to emerge. 148

The last forty years of Sunday services, biblical sermons, safe childcare, affinity-based small groups, and programs to fit any need are not producing a strain of Christians that have significantly changed the culture. 162

God’s people have sometimes had to struggle through questions of where to gather, how to gather, and what to do when they gather. The “church service” as we know it today is not a God-ordained “must have”. 169

People get weary of church services when they realize that their participation isn’t necessary for it to continue. 172

Yes, singing together is still a meaningful experience for a large section of the existing church population, but you’ll find that as your church reaches deeper and deeper into the culture, this experience will be perceived as weird for some and nice for others, but surely not the most important reason they gather in a church service. Use this as an opportunity to expand their understanding of worship forms as well as ways of participating in worship as a lifestyle. 183

The gathering should not pander to consumeristic tendencies but should be a place to call people into a bigger story of giving their life away…The gathering should be the most pliable, flexible, and adjustable aspect of the church…Gather in a way that makes them want to GO. 185-188

The church is beautiful when she is sent, and the sent church will always be beautiful when she gathers in a way that highlights and complements her sending nature. 188

If spiritual leadership is anything, it is a journey of death and a journey to death. One journey is an inward dying to ourselves, our concerns, our ambitions, and our pride, and the other is a preparation for our actual, physical death, where the only thing that matters is what we’ve left to those who will follow us. 205