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Ferguson: An Evangelist’s Response

This is a guest post by Jason Gaboury. He is the Regional Director of New York/New Jersey with InterVarsity. He directs and oversees the work of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship to undergraduates in that massive area!

Our nation is reeling again.  When a grand jury failed to indict officer Wilson of any charge in the shooting death of Michael Brown, frustration and anger exploded in the street.  Screens of smart phones lit up with tweets, articles, and commentary.  Comments fly.  Frustration escalates.  There are outbreaks of violence and riots.  Policing, particularly the militarized form used to ‘control’ the crowd is scrutinized.  Pain is in the air.

How should Christians respond? 

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Good News in the Everyday Stuff of Life

This is a guest post by Jeff Vanderstelt. He  is a pastor at Soma Communities, an A29 church in Tacoma, WA. He is leader of leaders and a coach and trainer for church planters. His background includes music, business management, working with youth, training youth workers in North America and Europe and starting new churches.

“This is Jeff, that pastor I told you about that is not like a normal pastor,” Amy said as she introduced me to Clay. Clay and Christie had children who attended our local elementary with Amy’s children. Amy had told us many times that she didn’t believe what we did. However, she regularly introduced us to her friends thinking they might be interested.

We’d lived in the neighborhood for three years with the intent of bringing good news to this community, and that the syllables and sentences were meant to be enfleshed. We started by hosting a cookout every Friday night. At first we were told people didn’t do that in our neighborhood. However, the kingdom of God has the power to break in and create a new culture. It happened. Dinner parties became more normative, as did other celebrations.

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Becoming “Bi-Vocational” Saved My Ministry

This is a guest post by Doug Black Jr. He is a bi-vocational minister in the Philadelphia area and really passionate about making disciples where ever he goes! check him out at http://www.heyitsdoug.com

I was in youth ministry for years, reaching a group of students that (was supposed to be) between grades 7-12. These were amazing students, and many of them are still following Christ to this day, some thanks to us and some in spite of us. These students were reaching their friends at their lunch tables, giving testimonies and reports in classes, and becoming leaders in our growing little church.

And I was sitting in an office, wondering what to do while they were in school. Sure, I would prepare events and message. I would do some administrative stuff. But, I had a devastating hunger for more: making disciples where there were none, seeing ministry happened like Jesus did it, connecting with students, teachers and school events.

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Are You Leading A Monument Or A Movement?

By Jon Hietbrink

It’s relatively easy to see “flash in the pain” success, but it’s another thing entirely to lead a movement that sustains growth over time. As APE leaders we have a unique role to play in both leading change within existing systems and helping our movements “surf the edge of chaos” in a way that propels enduring momentum, and one of the key pitfalls we must avoid is allowing our movements to become monuments—slowly decaying symbols of past success, but absent of the intrinsic vitality we see in living things.

One of the key functions of apostolic leadership goes beyond merely interpersonal to systemic influence— we cultivate environments where movements can thrive and combat the temptations of monument. Here’s a few warning signs that monument thinking is taking root and organizational recalibration is needed.

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Jesus, Karma, and Reincarnation

This is a guest post by Josh Howard. He works with Central Indian Christian Mission. I met him in grad school and he has a fire for the gospel. I was so impressed one day when he told me how they share the gospel with Hindu people I have wanted him to share this story for years with us! So here you go.

Christianese.

It gets us into trouble—especially in India.

“Let’s eat the body and blood of Jesus.”

“Jesus saves!”

“Hallelujah!”

What?

Have you ever thought about what this sounds like to people who aren’t familiar with the Christian culture?

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Ministry Idols: Individualism

UntitledThis is a series of guest posts by Scott Bessenecker. He is the Associate Director of Mission for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Each year he helps to mobilize thousands of students to domestic and international mission. He is author of various books including his new release Overturning Tables: Freeing Missions from the Christian-Industrial Complex

[Check out post one on money, and post two on metrics.]

One of the very first words our kids learned was “MINE!” (spoken with all caps and followed by an exclamation point). One of the first sentences our kids learned was “I DO IT!” again with all capital letters and an exclamation point. Somehow the idea of private ownership and rugged individualism is picked up very early in life without an economics course or special classes in self-awareness. We appear to be born with a nasty strain of independence.

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Video: What A.P.E.s Can Learn From Wolves

My friend Gibby passed this along to me and it’s a fascinating video about wolves and what happend to Yellowstone when they intruded them in 1995. It’s remarkable the change they brought on almost every level.

A great question to ask, “What if we we re-introduced apostles, prophets, evangelists back into our ministry?”

What could it do to the ecosystem of the church?

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5 APOSTOLIC LESSONS FROM THE GLOBAL CHURCH

By Linson Daniel

I have had the privilege of going overseas to partner with various churches and indigenous ministries – especially in India. Every time I interact with believers and leaders from the Global Church, I walk away feeling inspired, emboldened, and challenged. We have much to learn from the Global Church. I gained a refreshing lens on the apostolic. Below are five lessons:

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