Hirsch and Ferguson, on the verge

Alan Hirsch and Dave Ferguson wrote on the verge: a journey in the apostolic future of the church together for the exponential church planters conference last year. The conference actually commissions a book each year. The combination of Hirsch, who is philosophical, and Ferguson, who is practical, makes for a great book that outlines the reasoning and the practical steps the reader can take in their local churches. Both men are driven for church planting and the advancement of the gospel in our world.

I read this right now because our church is needing to sunset our structures which helped us get off the ground and begin working in ways that evangelize and disciple at the same time with the same urgency with which we started. We need systems and organizational understandings that do not limit the passion of the people. We need to be organized so that we can fully take advantage of the opportunities God brings our way.

Here’s some stellar material:

p.57, “Telling the different story means reframing the central story that defines our understanding of church.”

p.80, “In every group there are innovators: those who ignite the change before all others. The 2.5 percent of us who are innovators spark change in the 13.5 percent who are early adopters, and when you catch 16 percent of the group, the mission burns so red hot, everyone can feel it.”

p.92, “According to [Daniel] Pink, the greatest demand today isn’t detailed analysis but rather big picture thinking, systematic approaches, nonlinear dynamics, and synthesis…the ability to put together seemingly disparate pieces of information, to see relationships, between seemingly unrelated fields, to detect broad patterns rather than deliver specific answers, and to invent something new by combining elements no one else thinks to pair.”

p.141, “…mission is a terrible lord.”



God and Rock and Roll

I’ve always liked listening to Billy Corgan and his Pumpkin Smashing band, so when I came across this video last week, I thought it was super interesting. He’s advocating for an exploration of God in Rock and Roll! I am sure he’s not talking about a conservative evangelical viewpoint of God, which is probably why he slams cotton-candy Christian rock bands.  When he calls them out for copying U2, I actually laughed out loud.  However you feel about Christian Rock, Corgan’s little soundbite deserves some thought – and some discussion.

So what do you think? Where is God in Rock and Roll?

Kirkman, Rise of The Governor

The second of my summer zombie apocalypse just for fun reading was Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor. The Governor was the bad guy on last season of the television show, The Walking Dead, and won some awards that nerds give out for being the best bad guy of the year. He marks a shift in the story from the zombies being the danger, to the surviving humans being the immediate danger. When apocalypse happens (zombie, nuclear war, global warming, black friday sales, etc.), the event will not likely be as defining as the reaction to scarcity of resources, so the story of The Walking Dead naturally moves in that direction.

This book is written as a novel (Wait! No Pictures?? I thought this was a comic book graphic novel!) and reveals how the Governor become the baddest bad guy on the planet. It picks up about seven days after the zombie outbreak and goes all the way to Woodbury. If you like good literature, this book is like torture. It is tedious in the wrong places and stops short in places that could use more time to read through. Also, if you like good literature, why on earth would you be reading a book about zombies?

Fans of the series will love this book because it gives some story behind the story – you find out what happened to Penny and you learn the Governor’s real name. It’s not what he says it is on the TV series. Armed with this behind the scenes info, you can shame your less nerdy friends and dominate online message boards! Really though, you can probably find this book at your local library and read all 300 pages of it in one sitting. You’ll have a little fun and save the money that really you don’t need to be spending to learn stuff that google will tell you for free.