Thursday, July 26, 2007

Get yer pray on!

Our church plant gets officially announced to our current church-- Velocity Church next Friday. Two weeks after that, it gets officially announced at the Virginia Christian Convention. After that, things are going to get pretty busy. I'm speaking at several churches each month and sharing the vision we have for the city. What we need right now is prayer support. We need people who are willing to step up and start praying for the city of Richmond, for us as the church planters, and for the people we will one day reach. Want to join us in praying for Area 10? If so, post a comment below, and let me know you are in. (include your email address) Or if you want, drop me an email-
More details will be coming soon about speaking engagements, and important dates, videos, brochures, and all that. Check back here for updates.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Love Thy Neighbor...

Yesterday, one of our neighbors came to the door asking for a rubber skull. I am not making this up. He said he was playing with it, it went over the fence, and would we mind retrieving it for him. I don't know who you picture when I say "one of our neighbors", but what you should be picturing is a 50 - 60 year old man dressed in a t-shirt, shabby denim jeans and jacket, balding but with unkempt grayish shoulder length hair, dirty hands, and a rather unpleasant odor. He's one of about 80 residents of an assisted living center that we live next door to, and aside from a few minor details, the description could fit a good number of them. I am positive this is the kind of person that Jesus had in mind when he spoke about "the least of these". These people are looked over, ignored, forgotten, neglected. Sometimes they are harassed, yelled at, and disrespected. Sometimes they yell, harass, and behave disrespectfully. Even after 18 months of living here, I'm not always sure how I ought to relate to them. Pity is pointless. Irritation is insensitive. Rudeness is wrong. How about love? Gosh, that sounds pious. What does it really mean to love your neighbor? Keep your lawn mowed? Don't play loud music at night? Retrieve their rubber skulls when they come flying over the fence? With this bunch, in particular, I'm still working it out. But I believe it's what we're called to, whether they're lovely or not...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Come on kids, the pool is warm!

Today I got a call from my friend Richie. He told me he is planting a church in Pennsylvania in the Fall of 2009. So that means there are now 4 of us who have all worked or been a part of Forefront Church who are planting a church in the next 2 years. That's pretty cool stuff. There must be something weird in the water down there. Forefront was a great church to work and definitely helped helped me develop the passion for church planting. If you are ever in Virginia Beach, check that place out. God is up to something down there.

Today I'm praying God starts an amazing new church through us in the heart of Richmond. But I'm also praying for Baltimore, Lehigh Valley,PA and Indianapolis, IN. (and Miami, FL!) Those are the places my buddies are all planting. May God use us all to change our own little spots in the world.

Check out Matt's blog about his church plant in Miami, FL.
Check out Carl's blog about his church plant in Baltimore MD.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Lawn mowing- city style

I have one of those lawnmowers with no motor. It has no gas, no electric, no loud engine...All it has is me and my big guns pushing it around. This is a beautiful thing. It's relatively quiet...doesn't throw fumes into the air...and gives me a bit of exercise pushing it around. One thing I love about the city is that people typically have smaller yards. Small yards=less time mowing. This is the unexpected benefit of city life. I don't spend weekends procrastinating cutting the grass anymore. If I need to cut the grass I run out and do it during the commercial break of the game on TV. (OK it's not that quick...)

Some guys I know, tell me they like cutting their massive surburbalawns because it "gives them time to think." Yeah right. These people are kidding themselves. If you need time to think, then go get a warm frothy beverage from Capital Coffee and Desserts and do your thinking in a coffee shop, the way God intended. Lawn mowing is a chore like taking out the trash, cleaning dishes, and changing diapers. Let's stop with this, "it gives me time to think" nonsense.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Big Dirty Cities

We recently had some friends visit from Virginia Beach. We always wonder what people will think when they come see where we live for the first time. They met us at church in the burbs and a couple of them rode home with Chris so they could talk about church, planting, etc. As they were coming down the interstate into the city, one of them made a comment about the city being dirty (Unneccesarily Long Disclaimer: as I was not privy to the conversation and Chris probably doesn't remember the exact context, I can't say for sure what this friend said or what he meant, but I am sure it was in no way derrogatory, because I know this guy, and he's anything but rude) Anyhow, the other friend quickly spoke up and said "Oh, man, I love big dirty cities!" This was a bit of a surprise to us, being that he lives in one of the most suburban places in the country, in a decidedly clean neighborhood.
It sounds funny to say it, but I know what he means. Our immediate location is a far cry from the pristine neighborhoods of the suburbs, and for some people, it's just too "icky". But we love it! For us, it feels alive. We'd rather take the weeds growing through the cracks in the sidewalk and the panhandlers and the graffiti along with the plentiful parks, trendy bistros, and upscale clothing boutiques, than to live where the closest thing we can get is a fabricated town center in a mall, where you'll never see a weed, or be asked if you can spare some change, or encounter anything remotely offensive to your senses, except for maybe the price tag on those designer jeans...

Monday, July 2, 2007

The Project Begins...

Before we moved to Richmond, when we were looking for a house, we kept coming across this term "Area 10". It's the designation realtors give to this part of the city, and for some reason, it just kept jumping out at me. We were very particular about where we wanted to live and Area 10 was it. It seemed to me, what better name for the faith community we wanted to see emerge here, in this particular place? And the Area 10 Project began. So here we are, 18 months after venturing into this new life in this new city that we've come to love, our little corner of the world in this great city we call home, and we're ready for more.