All posts from “community”

Light after the Dark Night Shooting

July 23, 2012 12:00 PM

Brad Strait is pastor of Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in Denver, and like many in the Mile High City, he was directly affected by the shootings at the Aurora Theater. One of the young women from his congregation was shot....

Ur Video: Dave Kraft on Celebrity Pastors

February 29, 2012 12:00 AM

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Ur Video: Rick McKinley on Activists

January 25, 2012 12:00 AM

This video was produced by This Is Our City, a project of Christianity Today exploring how Christians are working for the flourishing of their cities. Here McKinley talks about the activism of Portland's culture and how the church can't just...

Ur Video: Churches Partner with Gay Mayor in Portland

January 5, 2012 12:00 AM

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Leadership Lessons from Superman's Underpants

September 14, 2011 12:00 AM

For years I’ve been trying to help people see that popular consumer culture is a form of religion. It offers us a sense of value, identity, and context that traditional religions once provided. Similarly, pop culture has sacred symbols. How...

Ur Video: Mark DeYmaz on "First Love"

June 15, 2011 12:00 AM

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All Ministry Is Local

May 18, 2011 12:00 AM

A couple of weeks ago, I spoke at a gathering for small church pastors and lay leaders in rural eastern Michigan (locals call it “the thumb”). Eleven or so churches were represented; about 45 folks showed up, all members of...

Ur Video: Gospel and Social Gospel

April 18, 2011 12:00 AM

What is the line between the gospel and the social gospel? And how do we know when we've crossed it? Dr. Peter Cha gives some helpful indicators in this brief video from the Gospel Coalition....

Dever, Driscoll, & MacDonald Debate Multi-Site

October 1, 2010 12:00 AM

The Gospel Coalition has released this fascinating conversation with Mark Dever, Mark Driscoll, and James MacDonald regarding multi-site church. Both Driscoll and MacDonald are proponents of multi-site churches utilizing video preaching. Dever is not. He sees more value in raising...

Ur Cartoon: Anglican Ignorance

September 24, 2010 12:00 AM

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Ur Video: Dever and Wallis on Justice and the Gospel (Part 5)

September 7, 2010 12:00 AM

In the final installment of Skye Jethani's interview with Jim Wallis and Mark Dever, they discuss the role of local congregations in God's mission of reconciliation. Dever and Wallis agree that Americans are too individualistic and that Scripture calls for...

Mono-Ethnic Ministries and Multi-Ethnic Churches (Part 2)

August 30, 2010 12:00 AM

Tom Steers, founder and co-director of Asian American Ministries for The Navigators, recently wrote a guest opinion column for Christianity Today (July 7, 2010). The column is entitled, "Needed: More Monocultural Ministries". Mark DeYmaz, founding pastor of Mosaic Church of...

Ur Video: Dever & Wallis on Justice and the Gospel (Part 4)

August 26, 2010 12:00 AM

Being justified by Christ leads a person to engage acts of justice. And the Christian witness of justice leads more people to be justified. But Wallis and Dever continue to disagree about whether justice is an "implication" of the gospel...

Mono-Ethnic Ministries and Multi-Ethnic Churches (Part 1)

August 25, 2010 12:00 AM

Tom Steers, founder and co-director of Asian American Ministries for The Navigators, recently wrote a guest opinion column for Christianity Today (July 7, 2010). The column is entitled, "Needed: More Monocultural Ministries". In the opinion piece ("not necessarily representing the...

Ur Video: Dever & Wallis on Justice and the Gospel (Part 3)

August 16, 2010 12:00 AM

Is feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, healing the sick, and welcoming the stranger "gospel ministry"? In part 3 of the conversation about justice and the gospel, Mark Dever and Jim Wallis disagree about what can and cannot be legitimately...

Ur Video: Dever & Wallis on Justice and the Gospel (Part 2)

August 4, 2010 12:00 AM

In part two of the conversation between Mark Dever, Jim Wallis, and Skye Jethani, they talk about the judgment passage in Matthew 25. Was Jesus saying that our just and compassionate actions toward "the least of these" is central to...

Rick Warren on Radical Membership

February 10, 2010 10:48 AM

Does your church emphasize, encourage, and value membership? In many places the notion of church membership has fallen out of favor. Rick Warren thinks that is a “serious mistake.” Speaking this morning at the Radicalis conference at Saddleback Church, Pastor...

The Hansen Report: Valuing Visitation

January 11, 2010 12:00 AM

In the hierarchy of church problems, most pastors wouldn’t mind figuring out how to handle a congregation that has grown so rapidly that they can no longer get to know everyone personally. The multisite church boom has met this...

Andy Stanley: System Failure

January 8, 2010 12:00 AM

What causes people to change? What creates behaviors? It may not be what you think. According to Andy Stanley, many church leaders assume that the right programs, great teaching, or really inspiring events will foster transformation. But they don't. Check...

Ur Video: Stanley Hauerwas on Leadership

January 6, 2010 12:00 AM

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One in Christ or Coffee?

November 23, 2009 12:00 AM

It's very difficult for many contemporary Christians to recognize how much we have been shaped by the consumer culture in which we live—it is in the air we breathe and the water (or coffee) we drink. Consider that in many...

Are Small Groups Just for White People?

October 30, 2009 12:00 AM

I came across an interesting interview in the recent issue of Leadership Journal. The subjects of the interview were from River City Community Church—a multi-ethnic ministry located in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago. Leadership talked with Daniel Hill, who...

Virtual Church is STILL a Bad Idea

October 27, 2009 12:00 AM

**Editor's Note: I apologize for the lack of posts in recent days. We've been experiencing some technical difficulties. -Url Scaramanga** I was disappointed to read Douglas Estes’ piece last week on Ur, for a number of reasons, but chief among...

In Defense of Virtual Church

October 22, 2009 12:00 AM

A myth is growing in some circles of the blogosphere that online church is not good, not healthy, and not biblical. If we read carefully the criticisms levied against internet campuses, they boil down to some very common and tired...

And the Winners Are...

September 3, 2009 12:00 AM

Last month we invited Urbanites to answer this question: What is Consumer Christianity? Your response has been surprising and creative. Some submitted definitions, others sent in pictures that made us laugh and grieve. A few even composed songs and lyrics....

There is NO Virtual Church (Part 2)

August 31, 2009 12:00 AM

(Read part 1) Calvin’s definition of “church” is where the Word is preached, the sacraments are received, and church discipline practiced. That’s a good summary of the defining characteristics of the New Testament ecclesia and a good summary of the...

There Is NO Virtual Church (Part 1)

August 26, 2009 12:00 AM

In the early 1950s when Robert Schuller and others across the nation combined a growing car culture with “Church,” they believed they were reaching a segment of the population traditional church wouldn’t or couldn’t. “Drive-In Church” allowed parishioners to hear...

Internet Campuses: A Blessing or Bogus?

August 17, 2009 12:00 AM

Earlier this month Frank Viola confronted the growing trend of “post-church Christianity,” with a biblically-rooted argument that a gathering of two or three close friends is not “church” and therefore cannot be a substitute. We’re eager to continue the debate...

What is Consumer Christianity?

August 10, 2009 12:00 AM

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Frank Viola on Postchurch: Part 2

August 3, 2009 2:15 PM

In my first post, I argued that the primary text used to support the postchurch viewpoint is not about the nature of the church at all. Instead, it's about the process of excommunication. Now I have more evidence against the...

Frank Viola on the Postchurch Perspective

August 3, 2009 1:35 PM

There is a growing phenomenon in the body of Christ today. Alongside of the missional church movement, the emerging church movement, and the house church movement, there is a mode of thinking that I call "postchurch Christianity." The postchurch brand...

Out of Context: Matt Chandler

July 30, 2009 12:00 AM

From "The Good Fight," an interview with Matt Chandler in the current issue of Leadership. "I'm unapologetically Reformed, but nine times out of ten I cannot stand the Reformed community. I don't want to be around them. I don't want...

Webcam Worship

July 6, 2009 2:09 PM

The following is an excerpt from a chapter called "Internet Campuses - Virtual or Real Reality?" in the book A Multi-Site Church Road Trip: Exploring the New Normal, by Geoff Surratt, Greg Ligon, and Warren Bird (Zondervan, 2009). This picks...

Putting Programs in Their Place

June 19, 2009 10:45 AM

In some circles, the term "church programs" has become an epithet for all that is wrong with the institutional church. For a generation hungry for authenticity and community, "programs" feel staged, impersonal, and cold. For a generation increasingly skeptical of...

The Hansen Report: Community or Bust?

May 10, 2009 8:00 AM

The CNN headline echoed hopeful reflection I've been hearing in churches: "Shaky economy forces Americans to rediscover community." Optimistic Christians suppose the community they will rediscover is a local church that demonstrates how putting your faith in markets or government...

Ur Video: Shane Hipps on Medium and Message

April 2, 2009 12:00 AM

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Ur Video: Frank Viola on Community

March 25, 2009 12:00 AM

This video comes from Lance Ford, one of our partners over at Shapevine.com. After Frank Viola's opening impression of Dirty Harry, he talks about the nature of Christian community. How important is proximity and frequency to fostering real community? And...

Cartoon: Love, Theologically

March 16, 2009 12:00 AM

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Urban Exile: Whose History?

March 3, 2009 8:43 AM

I've been to a lot of potlucks. Growing up in church and being a pastor has meant many, many casseroles and Jell-O salads. After a recent preaching gig at a suburban church, I was treated to an entirely different...

Shane Hipps on "Virtual Community"...Again

February 27, 2009 12:00 AM

This conversation got started with a short video of Shane Hipps at the National Pastors Convention discussing whether online community was really community. Scot McKnight posted his response a few days later. Earlier this week, Anne Jackson joined the discussion...

The Facebook Fast

February 24, 2009 12:00 AM

Blogging. Facebook. Twitter. Those three things are practically my middle name. I've been called a "social media butterfly" over the last four years. The question of "Can community happen online?" which has been the topic of conversation on this blog...

Ur Wisdom: Megachurch

February 17, 2009 12:00 AM

For those of you concerned that Url Scaramanga is anti-megachurch, stay tuned. You'll find that Url is an equal opportunity offender....

Scot McKnight on "Virtual Community"

February 16, 2009 12:00 AM

Thanks for your video, Shane. Your point about not equating virtual community (grant me the term for the moment) with real community is one that needs to be heard. But, I'm not so sure it is this simple... First, as...

Video Ur: Shane Hipps at NPC

February 12, 2009 4:11 PM

We create media, and then media re-creates us. That's the message Shane Hipps, author of Flickering Pixels (Zondervan, 2009) wanted pastors at NPC to hear in his interview on the main stage last night and in his seminars this morning....

Audio Ur: Jon Trott on Community and Ministry

January 29, 2009 8:00 AM

On my bookshelf here at my Leadership office is a growing collection of books about intentional living--about new friars and new monastics and communes made up of multiple families under one roof. As with all such things, we wanted...

Out of Context: Eugene Peterson

January 28, 2009 2:47 PM

From "Having Ears, Do You Not Hear?" in the current issue of Leadership. "As a pastor, I'm not a theology policeman...But if we are part of a community where the Scriptures are honored, I don't think we have to worry...

Miracle on the Hudson

January 16, 2009 1:00 PM

by Gordon MacDonald This morning I took a few minutes to watch video of the remarkable rescue effort in the Hudson River yesterday. For a long, long time, this will remain in the minds of people as a highpoint in...

Cartoon: Love, Theologically Speaking

October 6, 2008 8:24 AM

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Cartoon: Community Church

June 2, 2008 12:00 AM

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You Walk (with God) Wrong

May 30, 2008 8:15 AM

In a recent issue of New York magazine, Adam Sternbergh accuses, "You Walk Wrong." And I can't help but think that his insight into feet has spiritual application for Western Christians. As the title suggests, Sternbergh claims that none of...

Coffee with a Cause

April 8, 2008 3:47 PM

I'm sitting at Ebenezer's - a coffee shop in Washington DC. That may not seem particularly remarkable, but this trendy meeting place represents the convergence of three social pillars - government, business, and church. Ebenezer's is owned and operated...

McChurch: I'm Lovin' It

February 1, 2008 12:00 AM

"Church plants," "sister churches," and "satellite congregations" may be a thing of the past. In 2008, the language of missiology is changing, so look for "church franchises" in your town. Eddie Johnson, the lead pastor of Cumberland Church, espouses the...

Out of Context: Bryan Wilkerson

November 29, 2007 12:00 AM

"These days, people can get good teaching, wonderful music, and excellent writing, whether through iPods, TV, or online. They learn to shop around and pick and choose. Then they expect the same high quality in their local church. A generation...

Missional Ice Cream

August 28, 2007 12:00 AM

I've heard that the church is like a family. We've all been told the church is like a business. Now Leadership contributor, Chad Hall, explains that a missional church is like an ice cream truck. He may be on to...

Lessons from St. Arbucks

August 16, 2007 12:00 AM

Once an article is published in Leadership one never knows the ripple effect it will have. Greg Asimakoupoulos, pastor of Mercer Island Covenant Church, wrote for Leadership about the community-forming power of Starbucks in his neighborhood. He confesses, "We like...

A Former Pastor Goes Church Shopping

July 26, 2007 12:00 AM

How does a former pastor choose a church? That is the question Andy Rowell and his wife are facing after their relocation to a new community. The process has opened their eyes to the differences and blessings of denominational and...

The Divine Commodity Contest

July 7, 2007 4:20 PM

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Justice, Do It

June 29, 2007 12:00 AM

Nike has gotten a lot of marketing mileage from its straightforward motto, "Just Do It." In part two of David Fitch's post on social justice his message for church leaders is equally simple - just do it. Fitch argues that...

Justice-ified by Faith

June 26, 2007 12:00 AM

Recently we discussed Scot McKnight's belief that the gospel typically preached by evangelicals is too individualistic, and how it actually makes the church an unnecessary part of following Christ. David Fitch, pastor of Life on the Vine Christian Community in...

Is Your Gospel Robust?

June 12, 2007 12:00 AM

A few weeks ago Scot McKnight shared how the gospel we preach is having an adverse impact on the church. Last week at the Spiritual Formation Forum he spoke in greater detail about this problem. He called the standard evangelical...

Out of Context: Mindy Caliguire

May 16, 2007 12:00 AM

"With the performance pressures church leaders face today, it's a wonder more are not flaming out. I wish more churches could talk honestly about the ministry systems that perpetuate the problem. What will have to happen before we change? For...

Getting the Gospel Right

May 9, 2007 12:00 AM

A few weeks ago Dave Johnson questioned our adherence to a gospel that does not call forth or expect transformation in our lives. In this post professor and blogger extraordinaire Scot McKnight continues the discussion. He contends that many of...

Where Have All the Prophets Gone?

March 13, 2007 12:00 AM

While studying for my ordination a few years ago I was required to read Oswald Sanders' classic book, Spiritual Leadership. I've forgotten most of his practical advice about leading a church, but one short section has stayed with me. Sanders...

Sayonara, Senior Pastor

February 19, 2007 12:00 AM

Pastor/Professor David Fitch is back to describe the leadership structure of his church, Life on the Vine, in Long Grove, Illinois. Like an increasing number of churches seeking to be "missional," Life on the Vine has rejected the notion of...

Worship that Reorders Reality

February 13, 2007 12:00 AM

The National Pastors Convention in San Diego is over and I've returned to the frozen north. But I still have one last reflection from the conference. Mark Labberton, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, California, spoke on Thursday night...

We Aren't About Weekends

February 5, 2007 12:00 AM

One Sunday Pastor Bob Roberts asked everyone in the congregation at NorthWood Church in Keller, Texas, to invert the collar of the person in front of them, find the label, and call out the nation where the shirt was made....

Missional Buzz

January 12, 2007 12:00 AM

The upcoming winter issue of Leadership will wrestle with the meaning of a very popular word - missional. Tim Conder, pastor of Emmaus Way in Durham, North Carolina, says, "So many fellowships that once boldly self-identified as cell churches, meta-churches,...

Burned by Branding

November 20, 2006 12:00 AM

Believe it or not, not everyone loves Starbucks. The Wall Street Journal's Janet Adamy has written about the growing resistance the Seattle-based coffee cartel is facing in many communities. The issue - Starbucks ignores local culture in favor of maintaining...

Out of Context: Ivy Beckwith

November 17, 2006 12:00 AM

"Just look at church websites. How many of them have this picture of a perfect family with a blue sky background. They all look so nice in their polo shirts, and the kids all have straight teeth. It's all just...

The Oddness of Pews

October 27, 2006 12:00 AM

Some things in life are certain - death, taxes, and cramped seats in economy class. But Cathay Pacific, one of Asia's leading airlines, has announced a breakthrough. They've designed an economy class seat that reclines without intruding on the person...

Out of Context: Kent Carlson

October 9, 2006 12:00 AM

"Christian leaders have to admit this is the system we have put together. We can't build churches that advertise 'tons of ministries to meet your needs,' then be surprised when people expect us to continually meet their needs." -Kent Carlson,...

Church GPS: Where are we and where should we go?

August 28, 2006 12:00 AM

David Fitch was recently invited by Trinity Evangelical Divinity School to speak on a panel during their new student orientation. Each of the five panel members was to present a response to the question: "Where is the church now and...

The Myth of Expository Preaching (part 3): responding to Scripture as a community

July 28, 2006 12:00 AM

In his final post outlining an alternative to expository preaching, David Fitch invites us to think differently about how we respond to Scripture. Rather than three alliterated application points, why not a liturgical response? And instead of preaching that targets...

Is Emergent the New Christian Left 2: Tony Jones takes on Chuck Colson and "true truth"

May 25, 2006 12:00 AM

In part 2 of his post, Tony Jones addresses emerging church critic extraordinaire Chuck Colson. Colson sees the Emergent conversation as a threat to traditional Christian understandings of the "truth." Jones responds by discussing the interdependence of truth and community...

Donald Miller Isn’t Hip: a gospel for people tired of trying to be cool

May 15, 2006 12:00 AM

In recent posts we have debated the importance of "image" in advancing the ministry of the Gospel. Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz and other books seeking to build a bridge between Christianity and those raised in a post-Christian...

The Brutal 'Burbs: how the suburban lifestyle undermines our mission

April 17, 2006 12:00 AM

A surge of new books have hit store shelves about the challenges facing followers of Christ who live in the suburbs. Many voices are beginning to say that the lifestyle of the affluent suburbanite, while heralded for 50 years as...

March Madness: What a fan and a foreigner learned from a basketball liturgy

March 21, 2006 12:00 AM

In February last year, my best friend flew down from the Midwest for a delightful, week-long visit. While she was here in the Carolinas, I introduced her to one of my most favorite experiences in the world: a Division I...

Searching for the Perfect Parachurch

February 21, 2006 12:00 AM

Many of the most prominent and influential ministries in the world are not churches. But, the spread of parachurch ministries in recent decades has caused some to wonder: do parachurches help or hurt local congregations? Dave Terpstra, pastor of The...

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