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July 7, 2015, 10:26 AM

Getting Out of the Box

In far too many ways, the church has boxed itself in.  We have boxed ourselves into buildings, and into a particular day and time.  We have boxed ourselves into a group that is pretty much the same class, race, and age...and to be honest, that age is pretty old.

The box threatens to become a coffin.

We need to do things differently, and we need to get out of the box.

Here are some things I am proposing...

GO ON A MISSION...The Mission Trip proposed for September (see next article) puts faith into action.  Those who participate will see how our church helps children who have been abused and neglected, provides dignified living for senior citizens, supports higher education, and reaches out to help people afflicted by disasters like the tornadoes ravaged communities here in Illinois.  You won't just hear about this will be involved in helping.  You don't have to be wealthy, young, strong, or in perfect health to help.  You just have to want to share the love of Jesus Christ.  This experience can be a tremendous blessing!

JOIN A DYNAMIC NEW GROUP STUDY...Beginning on Sunday, August 16, I will lead a class called, "Re-Creation."  It will meet during the regular Sunday School time.  BUT, if Sunday doesn't work for you, we will also meet on Thursday evenings at 7:00, beginning on August 20.  (If you are interested in meeting at this time, but would need child care, please let the Church Office know, and we will work on that.)  This multi-media class will involve investing in some books, but they are worth it.  The leaders of this new and different study are powerful and innovative new voices in the emergent church, that is meeting the challenges of a changing world.

You can learn more about the study by going here...

This will replace the Wednesday Night Bible Study.  Frankly, I have found it a bit overwhelming  to lead a Bible Study right after Astra (which is kind of exhausting), especially when we have a meal at the church.  And the current meeting time makes it impossible for Choir members to participate.  They are already excluded from full Sunday School participation.

GO TO TEQUILA'S...Yes, reallly.  It's another way to get out of the box.  I want to start a discussion/study group that would meet upstairs at Tequila's restaurant.  We will start with a once a month gathering called the "Upper Room Conversations."  One of the things I would like this group to do is provide me with ideas, concerns, and questions I can use to shape sermons.  And, of course, we will eat and enjoy fellowship.  If this works well, we may meet more often.  Our first meeting will be on Sunday, July 19 at Noon.

GO ONLINE...This one is an idea that I am tossing out to see if there is interest.  I have no set plan.  People are fond of saying they "just don't have time" to come to a Bible Study.  Part of that time is travel, and sometimes there are child care issues that complicate things, along with works schedules.

One way to change that equation is to move into cyberspace with an online study.  We could set up a Skype-based chatroom in which we could see and hear other from wherever we may be, and conduct a study that would last about 15 minutes.  We could do this later in the evening, after the kids are down...say, 9:00 p.m.

If you don't use your webcam, you can even attend in your jammies! (If you want to wear less, I really don't want to know about it.)  If you are interested in this idea, please e-mail us at and let us know!

It is time to break out of the box, and try something new.  Because, if you always do what you've always done, you will get what you've always gotten.

Is that really good enough?

In Ministry WITH You,


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