Thursday, November 7


call of the wild

i just stumbled across an amazing vision for the future of the church among evangelicals. the author (trygve johnson) is speaking to folk who are from churches who call themselves "evangelical churches." the website that featured this article is for a new breed of "alt. evangelicals."

here is an brief quote from the essay:

"an alt-evangelical is thirsting for a different kind of life, where we are given the freedom to take up residence in that wide landscape of the Kingdom of God. Many of us, who feel the thinness of evangelicalism, are seeking to sink our roots deeper into the soil of the faith. We want an alternative to the dominant culture. We do not fit into pre-fabricated structures of pop-culture Christianity, a gospel of moralism, or the triumphant enterprise to save culture through education, legislation, or social programs. Instead of wanting to save culture, we want a savior. Instead of moralism, we want wisdom. Instead of a program we want a relationship."

there is much cross-over and ferment happening with postmodens in the church today. many of us "mainline" postmoderns in groups like eln and gtng, have very similar hopes and dreams to our alt. evangelical friends. we have different starting points and issues to wrestle with, but the longing towards the future god intends is the same... we are all feeling some form of the call of the wild

posted by COTA | 8:05 AM|

Saturday, November 2


in search of (mainline) church planting viagra and the end of mainframe nostalgia

i have not been able to post much since getting back from soularize in minneapolis. without soularize as a confidence booster, i don't know what i'd do... soularize is the "post-denomination" network for emerging churches. at soularize i get to be with peers and i don't feel crazy. but when when i get back home, i often feel crazy again.

we are one month away from our first worship for church of the apostles and i'm in overdrive... i'm way excited, but still lacking basic funds for what we need to start, so i'm constantly trolling the country for mission partner support. so far, i have been unable to find many local partners, despite sending out two letters to twenty parishes and doing two area wide workshops on reaching out to postmodern generations.

i don't know what gives? but i have not given up hope... i have been gathering an e-mail list of lutheran and episcopal parishes (hoping that medium may garner more response than the official letters from the bishops).

i do want to give props to sammamish hills lutheran and holy trinity lutheran, mercer island who have been supportive and have given some funds and will hopefully be able to give some support in the future. also, a church in indianapolis (st. paul's episcopal) gave us a grant (thank you st. paul's!). i pray we get it soon... as we have stuff we need to buy. for the rest, i may have to call visa and get them to raise my credit limit so we have what we need to launch.

church multiplication in the postmodern era is something that mainline churches are still not really equipped for. to me, this all goes back to modernism and the tattered memories of christendom that most mainline denominations are still clinging to. at the height of modern christianity (think 1950's), denominational systems and trans-denominational systems (ncc, wcc...) were in their heyday. basic organic and life-giving functions (like reproduction) were given over to centralized structures (think mainframes) to manage and run efficiently (defacto distancing local parishes from their means and memory of re (production).

so we have inherited this mainframe system, where distant tape drives (and i do mean tape drives) control the means of (re)production. local systems are instructed as to when and where they are allowed to reproduce and must "apply" and be approved to do so. and when locals want to re(produce) off the central plan, funds "are not available," and card-key access to the delivery room is suspended. in other words, if you pioneer off the central system, and before local churches can regain their memory of and desire to re(produce), you will have to innovate like e-bay to survive and then thrive.

in the modernist exchange, church planting funds were handed over to central offices, and in most denominations to date, funds still are controlled and allocated by the same. going off map early (at the end of the old system, but before the birth of the new) = struggle. you can try to reproduce organically, but the funding system won't be revamped (returned to local control) in time to be of help.

so you'll have to get out there and i.p.o it... constantly reminding folk that before the heyday of central systems, parishes reproduced themselves without benefit of "general hospital." local docs and midwives were up to the task of local birthing and can be so again...

don't be confused... i'm not talking about backwards nostaliga, ours is a new world that can harness wisdom both ancient and future... local "docs" today are not 1920's local docs. this is a wonderous world, where one laptop g4 mac (in the hands of a 15 year old) has the capacity to run the space shuttle, where a guy named spencer can run a nu church network from the back of his beach house garage and where one homeless guy with a blog can effect the thoughts of thousands.

the big secret that has to come out of the closet, is that mainframes systems are not capable of thriving in a networked internet world. central structures must de-center or fade. they can have a critical role to play, but the new role is not mainframe (source of knowledge and power) but router (pass thru of knowledge and power) to an empowered and electrified net. in a net based approach, power is evenly distributed over a communal web. central controls give way to functional hubs that route and distribute power.


if anyone out there is from a church that can help support the birth of a nu church mission, send checks payable to:

"church of the apostles"
5515 phinney avenue north
seattle, wa 98103

if you have questions on what we will do with your funds, contact

posted by COTA | 6:35 AM|

 ::church planting :: culture surfing::


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digital storytellers by len wilson and jason moore: at last, a book to save the world from the "modernist use of powerpoint in worship hell." if you want to torpedo boring ppt. bulleted sermon points from a modernist pastor who thinks he or she is now hip because he or she is using technology, read this book! better yet, buy the book and send it to the modernist pastor and do his/her congregation a big favor. read digital storytellers

gen x religion, ed by richard w. flory & donald e. miller, provides an accurate "npr like" documentation of religion, as actually practiced by xers, and even reflects theologically on xer subsets (like the goths) and on the phenomenon of piercing among us.
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i'm karen ward. i'm baptized.
i'm cascadian (from the pacific northwest of north america).
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