Mayo Madness

There is a method to it....

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Friday, February 26, 2010

New blog site

Come check out the new blog @ this address

Friday, December 04, 2009

Church and mission 12/2-Pentecostal and emerging?

Are there any churches that are truly Pentecostal and emerging? Is that an oxymoron? In class we talked about how the participatory aspect of Pentecostalism is similar to the Emerging church but it is definitely not the same. There is way more high volume expression in a Pentecostal church. I think the emerging Church demographic is mostly white and they definitely would not express in the same way as most Pentecostal churches which are comprised of mainly non white ethnicities. I don't know what do you think. Is it possible to be Pentecostal and emerging?

Reflections on Mestizo/A Community of the Spirit by Oscar Garcia Johnson


Garcia introduces Latino/a theology by describing it as inclusive and commuting. It commutes between cultures, geography, reason and faith. It is a fluid, postmodern, communal experience. Latino/a theology includes any item that affects latino/a life.

Chapter 1

Next Garcia talks about Latino/a theology as a practical theology. It is because this theology is located in the church. Praxis, action, context, and concreteness shapes the agenda. This theology is about speaking of God as father in an inhuman world and this is done Christopraxically as the praxis of Jesus becomes the most important paradigm in imagining a church which lives out inclusiveness, a communal self, and the appropriation of God’s promises of manana (tomorrow) as today’s realities (26). In order to do this Latino/a theologizing must look to culture as the locus theologicus in order to remain relevant to a postmodern Latino/a context.

Chapter 2

In looking at culture Garcia asserts the concepts of embodiment, relationality, and transmissibility fit into a more postmodern understanding of culture. In order to speak about God within this conception of culture a “created invisible” space is needed to serve as the basis for talking about the experience of the Spirit. Within this “created invisible” space there is room to talk about the bigger story of God and of the transformative cultural practices of the Christian community as the “created visible” culture of the Spirit. In this way the church becomes the cultural witness in a postmodern Latino/a context

Chapter 3

Pentecost and the cross are the authoring narratives of the cruciform community of the Spirit. The cross is the visible side of Pentecost and without the cross Pentecost becomes an experience that is not situated in reality and community. On the other hand the cross without Pentecost locates us more in the human and detached from the Spirit. This results in a dry spirituality. Both narratives are needed in order for love, joy, and hope to be materialized as inclusion, community, and Christ-shaped transmissible practices.

Chapter 4

The Mestizo/Community of Manana is a community of justice, love, peace, and hope. The church as the community of manana becomes a social testimony to the community. Garcia suggests one way that this can be done is through community organizing. This is an ecclesial praxis that can bring authentic transformation of impoverished communities. The church is to accompany impoverished Latino/a communities as a eucharistic community, a proclamation community, and a pastoral community. These three different aspects of the Community of Manana seek to bring about inclusion of diversity, the intersection of the Jesus story with the story of the target community, and the developing processes that contribute to the healing of the city.


Latino/a theology sees the intersection of the Spirit with culture as the basis of the church as the culture of the Spirit. It is in this ecclesial construct that the Latino/a theology of the Spirit speaks to a diverse, polyphonic, heterogenous Latino experience. It also speaks to the diverse, polyphonic, and heterogenous postmodern experience as it seeks to embody love, joy, and hope in the world.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Church and mission 11/30 Love the anabaptists!

I love the anabaptist definition of the nature of church. It is made up of believers who are supposed to live in a particular way. The emphasis is on faith and a lifestyle that reflects that faith. It has nothing to do with the state and everything to do with the cross. Last year in April we had the opportunity to visit the Amish and Mennonite Center in Berlin, OH and viewed a cyclorama of Anabaptist history called Behalt It is a wall to wall picture history of the Anabaptist movement (Amish, Mennonites, and Hutterites). Behalt means "remember" and remembering these saints who gave their lives in testimony to Jesus inspires me to give mine as well.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Reflections on God's missionary people by Charles Van Engen


Van Engen states the need to find new avenues for contextualizing congregations. Most pastors prioritize maintaining members happiness and to keep getting paid by members. This leaves them frustrated and not fulfilling God’s purpose for the local church as a missionary congregation.

Chapter 1

The author states that there needs to be closer relationship between the concept of mission and church. Many church members see mission and church as distinct and separate from each other and oftentimes in conflict with each other. This has happened in the past because of mission organizations operating separately from local church structures. The church is not separate from mission but exists by mission.

Chapter 2

The post Augustinian church shifted from self examination and criticism to self congratulation and static definition. This happened as the Roman church identified itself with the kingdom of God. The church is an emerging reality. It is always becoming. The church is always reaching forward to fulfill its calling and never arrives.

Chapter 3

Ephesians describes the “one, holy, catholic,” attributes of the church. The local church derives its ultimate meaning from the whole church. Oneness is intended to assist and enable mission and ministry. It is a oneness of numbers, spirituality, service, and theology.

Chapter 4

The reformation “marks” of the church were misrepresented to signify a local inclusive place and not actions to be performed in the world. It closed off the church from the world and divided the church against itself. The four attributes of the church oneness, holiness, catholicity, and apostolicity are adverbs of missionary action and set the local church’s agenda.

Chapter 5

Van Engen restates the missionary intention of the local church as being for the world, identification with the oppressed, mission, proclamation witness, and yearning for numerical growth. This yearning is inclusive of all four of the the attributes of the creedal church. The church’s nature emerges from its reality and its center which is Jesus Christ.

Chapter 6

The purpose of the church involves koinonia (fellowship), kerygma (proclamation), diakonia (service), and marturia (witness). All four function as a witness to the world of God with us. He then asks is this the reason for which our congregations, mission churches, or denominations exist today?

Chapter 7

Van Engen describes and defines the relationship between the church and the kingdom of God. He asserts that the church is not the kingdom but an anticipatory sign of the kingdom of God. It witnesses to this kingdom reality. He also points out that the 3 self formula promoted by Venn and Anderson is deficient in light of the church being the anticipatory sign of the kingdom and hinders the church from being a true missionary people.

Chapter 8

The church is called to fulfill the three roles of prophet, priest, and king in the world. These three roles must be contextualized by a particular local church in its context. This is Jesus’ ministry transferred to his followers. This awareness has brought about new forms of church organized and shaped around ministry in the world.

Chapter 9

In the chapter on the missional goals of the local church the author states that each Christian is called to build the church. As salt is ineffective unless it is dispersed, the people of God will not be effected unless they are scattered and launched into the world and the surrounding context. As the context changes the priorities for life and ministry of the local church will change.

Chapter 10

The laity are the whole people of God who are called to minister. In order for this to happen there must be a conversion to Christ, a conversion to his church and a conversion to his ministry in the world. There must be a broad development of the people of God and not just the ten percent who do most of the work. Ordained persons are set apart to equip God’s missionary people so that the church is not simply a dictatorship, democracy, tribe, or club.

Chapter 11

Church leadership is described as a missiological event. The leader catalysts must embody and ignite mission in the congregation. This means that every church leader does tasks alongside another church member while having the ultimate goal of equipping them to be a leader. In this way effectiveness is measured by equipping.

Chapter 12

Van Engen concludes with the most critical step in leading missionary congregations and must be considered a spiritual activity. It is in administration that all of the missional goals of the congregation are given practical form. It must reflect the congregation’s context and launch them out as missionaries to the world.

Church and mission 11/25-Tradition

Our professor said that no matter what the church movement a tradition is formed within one generation. It makes me feel very vigilant about what traditions have been formed in our local church and whether they are relevant to what is going on in our local cultural context. Even though we have developed traditions they are not sacred and they are only to be used for the purpose of mission in our local context.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Reflections on Global Pentecostalism by Donald Miller and Tetsunao Yamamori

Chapter 1

The authors describe Pentecostalisms different streams and the fact that there is no one Pentecostalism. Next they point toward progressive pentecostalism in the two thirds world as the one stream that gives hands and feet to social engagement. In their study the authors include the transcendent experience of the Spirit as a factor in Progressive Pentecostalism’s social engagement and resutlting effectiveness alongside other contextual factors.

Chapter 2

There are some Pentecostal ministries involved in charitable assistance and emergency relief work while others are involved in systemic change and community development. Partnering with non governmental organizations has been successful partly due to the indirect benefits of 1) the hcurch perceived as providing the service to the community 2) leadership training from the NGO and 3) interaction with the government. The motivation behind the social engagement of progressive pentecostalism is to “be Christ’s hands and feet in the world”

Chapter 3

The programs serving children and youth are geared towards being holistic and not just giving hand outs. The common desire for many of these ministries is that the children do not get taken away from real life but to help them in the midst of their reality. Most of the ministries that have been effective provide authoritative communities for the children. They are also focused on the children’s rights, dignity, and providing a community environment.

Chapter 4

The embrace of the Holy Spirit in progressive Pentecostalism is what makes it distinct from other social service programs. This is what fuels the leaders of the different social ministries and what they credit as the main factor in their effectiveness. It is the power of the Holy Spirit that has given them the resources and empowered them to transform individuals and society.

Chapter 5

Progressive Pentecostalism’s embrace of the Holy Spirit is clearly seen in its worship and prayer rituals. They are truly meant to facilitate a communal and individual encounter with God. It is this aspect of Pentecostalism that the authors believe activates and renews the adherents commitment to social engagement.

Chapter 6

Pentecostalism has been a tool for upward mobility in many two third world countries. One of the reasons is because of its strict moral code which restricts spending on items such as alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, and prostitution. As a result families save more money and invest in business. There are also side benefits of setting a good example for the children and having a good reputation with employers. The upward mobility of Pentecostalism’s adherents is a paradox. On the one hand Pentecostalism’s alliance with existing capitalist structures hinders systemic change and on the other hand it stimulates systemic change.

Chapter 7

The structure of progressive Pentecostal churches is very organic and finds its basis in the apostle Paul’s metaphor of the body of Christ. It is also promoted by those who belong to the emerging church. The large and rapid growth of most churches is organized around cell groups. These cell groups consist of individuals who have a knowledge of and exercise their spiritual gifts. There is no room for benchwarmers. This creates a large workforce for social engagement.

Chapter 8

The middle class demographic within Pentecostalism has caused an alteration in its eschatology. No longer is eschatology about future events but the kingdom of God is a present reality. This means that being an agent of compassion and justice is imperative. The most important factor in doing this is the experience of corporate worship which gives the progressive pentecostal a sense of hope and joy in the midst of engaging despairing social realities.

Church and mission 11/23-6 to 10 hours of influence

In class yesterday, Professor Bolger said that the average person needs 6 to 10 hours a week with a community in order for them to be influenced by that community. This got me to thinking...How can we as a church influence people for the kingdom of God in this culture? The only regular environment where people spend 6-10 hours together I believe is the workplace. Do we train people adequately to represent Christ in the workplace? What about small groups? That's about 2 hours generally. That's not enough. Sunday morning church service is about 1-2 hours. That's not enough. Any ideas of how to build this 6 to 10 hours of kingdom influence into the week?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Church and mission 11/18-New Monasticism

The New Monastic Movement seems like one of the few bright spots in contemporary North American Christianity where people actually learn what it means to follow Jesus. Cultivating the Christlike practices of hospitality, peacemaking, and economic sharing could go along way in delivering a prophetic word to the world but also to the church. My one hesitation is that by having a certain segment of Christianity living life this way are they being set apart as the special ones or are they saying that this is the sum total and completeness of following Jesus and the rest of the wannabe Christians should follow suit? Hmmmm

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Church and mission 11/16-Culture barriers

It seems that as we study the Catholic church there have been great strides in contextualization but also has limited contextualization. The Jesuits had some stand out priests who became like the ones they were ministering to but at the same time the church kept insisting on sameness and exalting the style of church that was imported from Europe.