Mike Cope's blog

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Stop what you're doing. Shut the door. Take the phone off the hook. And the other phone. And your cell phone. Block IMs. Set the IPOD on the desk. And read this incredible piece by Gailyn VanRheenan, who for many years has taught missions at ACU. (Thanks to blog-reader Steve Holt for the link.) (NOTE: I know several of you are frustrated at how long it's taking to post comments. I have no idea why. Still waiting on someone half my age to tell me what's up.)


  • Sorry it's taking so long to post comments. Let me explain how the system works. After you post each comment, it's sent to our main server. Then, from the Kinko's in Abilene, we fax each post to Dan Rather to verify its authenticity. If he's on the phone or having a sandwich, for example, it might take a bit longer. Thanks for your patience.

    Ahmed (age 7), blogger.com

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/01/2004 11:39:00 AM  

  • Bah, that's old hat...

    I had the privelege of sitting in the very class where a lot of those ideas were first shared and discussed. Secretly, I think Becky is the genius behind all of Gailyn's work, but since this was a CofC school, she couldn't take all the credit!

    Oh yes, and she makes a mean pot of chai!

    By Blogger Greg Kendall-Ball, at 12/01/2004 11:57:00 AM  

  • First off.. hats off to Ahmed for telling it like it is... ;)

    Secondly.. Its amazing how God uses other people to put into words the things you struggle with and wrestle over. The idea of community is something that always baffled me.. maybe not the idea so much as the lack of its implementation into church.. Point being.. thanks for that Mike... anyone pursuing that vision.

    By Blogger Phyllistene, at 12/01/2004 01:08:00 PM  

  • One paragraph in the piece really hit me:

    "Thus their (note: he's referring to church growth practitioners, from previous paragraph) illustrations and video clips frequently affirm the connection of the Gospel to popular culture by emphasizing similarity rather than diversity. Hesselgrave writes, “A method of communication that is over dependent on the discovery and utilization of similarities is open to question. In the long run, the dissimilarities between beliefs and practices may be more important and utilitarian. . . . If one’s objective is to convert and disciple, the number and importance of these differences will far outweigh the number and importance of supposed similarities” (Hesselgrave 2004, 147, 149).

    He's referring here to "dissimilarities between beliefs and practices", but I also think one of the ways we can best see if we're hitting the mark on reaching outside the walls is to take note of the people within the church and ask yourself "are these people I would have crossed paths with except for the church and it's mission here?" While diversity of economic status is probably not a worthy goal just for the sake of diversity, I think it rightly will gauge whether or not we are doing the outreach and service we should better than any other marker. In addition, to bring these people in, they MUST be shown in active ways that we are wanting community with them, not just to hand them something and then walk off feeling good about what we've done.

    Good stuff to reflect on and try to put into practice.
    thanks for the post.

    By Blogger don, at 12/01/2004 02:42:00 PM  

  • I was blessed to have Brother Gailyn as a Missions professor at Harding in the mid-70's. I feel lucky that he is STILL blessing me after so many years! Mike, thanks for linking us to him and his walk-off grand slam article.

    By Blogger David U, at 12/01/2004 02:46:00 PM  

  • Is there an echo in here? Seems so to me. :) These are truthes constantly taught/preached by my former pastor/teacher, Dr. Tim Scott, in San Diego, CA. I'm waiting to see the change in our demographics at Highland - which to me, will be a visible sign that we have truly become a missional church - a church with Passion for Jesus and the lost - a Jesus centered church - that our love for Him is exhibited in our love for the needy, helpless and those feeling hopeless. btw-in passing, Scott Memorial's purpose statement[coincidence of name only, since it is, after all a "memorial" to its founder, Winfield Scott lol) is "Giving Hope - Changing Lives" - a truly missional church and Tim a highly gifted teacher, albeit not the gentle teacher our Mike is, rather Tim is more of an 'in your face' type and I love them equally for their dedication to Jesus and His Word!!

    By Blogger Kathy, at 12/02/2004 08:14:00 AM  

  • How I long for an 'edit' button on this blog. What a LOOOOOOONG running sentence. Please, mentally edit that sentence, adding punctuation, paragraphs, sentences. :) Thank you! :)

    By Blogger Kathy, at 12/02/2004 08:18:00 AM  

  • Don,
    I think Dr. Van Rheenen would argue that instead of "bringing them in", we "go to them."
    Challenging stuff.

    By Blogger Steve Jr., at 12/02/2004 09:11:00 AM  

  • Hi all,

    First time poster on Mike's blog, but avid reader. I work with Gailyn and Becky as an apprentice with Mission Alive (www.missionalive.org) in Dallas. It surprised me to see his article here, but it guess it just takes some time for stuff to circulate more around the net.

    After reading over Gailyn's work again, I can help but think how alot of us in Churches of Christ are pretty equipped to handle this post-modern thing and we don't even know it. Our heritage it littered lay-led, lay-emphasis ministries, and we used to be those weak, counter-cultural people from the other-side of tracks. We just got to figure how to do evangelism in non-sectarian ways become more relational/incarnational, and as Richard Hughes would argue reclaim some of Stone/Lipscomb aspects of church heritage.

    Also, here's a shameless plug for those interested in reading more of Gailyn's stuff. His web-site is: http://www.missiology.org/.

    Oh and I concur with Greg, Becky does sure make a mean pot of chai.

    Peace and God Bless,

    PS Mission Alive will be planting it's first church in southwest Tarrant county starting in January 05. Please pray for Chris and Heidi Chappotin who are the lead church-planters.

    By Blogger Gabe, at 12/02/2004 10:56:00 PM  

  • Mike, I know you've taken some controversial stands in the past, but it's the point at which you tell me to put down my iPod when I have to wonder, "has he gone too far??"

    By Blogger Q, at 12/03/2004 08:54:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home