Sunday, July 29, 2007

Korean Hostages - Korean Influence

From Compass Direct News:
In Seoul, Cho Hee-yong, a spokesman for the South Korean Foreign Ministry, said the Taliban’s captives were possibly members of the Saemmul Presbyterian Church in Bundang, a city just south of the capital.

Oh Soo-in, a church official, confirmed that several members of the congregation — all in their 20s and 30s — had gone to Afghanistan hoping to do volunteer work in the southern city of Kandahar.

“The government contacted us about 20 of our church members who are traveling in Afghanistan,” Mr. Oh said. “All our church leaders are holding an emergency meeting, waiting for the final word from the government on what really happened to our youth members.”

With an estimated 12,000 Christian volunteers abroad, South Korea is one of the world’s largest sources of missionary activities. But their presence is not always welcome, especially in Muslim countries.

Last August, more than 1,000 South Koreans came to Kabul to attend a “peace march.” But most were quickly ordered to leave when Afghans accused them of trying to convert Muslims to Christianity, and the government concluded that their presence was a security threat.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Roland Allen - right on it

Ok, this is old news (from 1927 to be exact), but worth touching on again. From Chapter One of Allen's Spontaneous Expansion of the Church.

Many years ago my experience in China taught me that if our object was to establish in that country a Church which might spread over the six provinces which then formed the diocese of North China, that object could only be attained if the first Christians who were converted by our labours, understood clearly that they could by themselves, without any further assistance from us, not only convert their neighbours, but establish Churches. That meant that the very first groups of converts must be so fully equipped with all spiritual authority that they could multiply themselves without any necessary reference to us: that, though, while we were there, they might regard us as helpful advisers, yet our removal should not at all mutilate the completeness of the Church, or deprive it of anything necessary for its unlimited expansion. Only in such a way did it seem to me to be possible for Churches to grow rapidly and securely over wide areas;

What would happen if we removed ourselves from the work right now? Would Cru continue to exist on a college campus if we removed the staff? Just curious. Wouldn't be cool to plant a new work on a campus and then come back a year later to see that it had gone to 5 more campuses without your permission? How do we do that?!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Machiavelli on Lasting Change

"Nothing is more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than achieving a new order of things."

Machiavelli (from The Prince).

This is the daunting aspect of change. Making it stick.

I feel that human nature tries to minimize the risk of making it stick by lessening the degree of change that is actually needed. In other words, in order to make a change, we try to change less than we ought, and therefore do not achieve the full change we desire. We feel it is easier to make small change work, but in the end, small change does not get us the necessary change needed to accomplish our goals. (Kotter has made a living explaining this).

In the end, we often dream to small and therefore limit our ability to reach desired goals.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Change in the USCM

I get back into it right as Campus Crusade is beginning their semi-annual gathering in Ft. Collins, Colorado. My good friend Sam Osterloh is one of the keynote speakers for the Campus gathering. He always has something good to say.

Rumor has it (from some decent sources) that there will be some dramatic changes over the next few years in the US Campus Ministry. I would love to see that take place.

As an aging organization, we tend to approach change in a temperamental incremental fashion. Meaning we want radical new results, but we don't want to risk much to get them. We (the US Campus Ministry) especially do not want to risk our current results - we would prefer to add to what we have without having to change much of what already exists. (there is a new wineskin speech in here somewhere).

About 18 months ago I made a pitch for a radical new approach - some thought I was smoking crack, others simply understood it as a pitiful cry for help. I still think it would work to get us to 5,000-10,000 movements. Spoiler Alert: It is built around self organizing teams with a wide range of flexibility, no geographic constraints and no hierarchy.

It is a bit lengthy and a bit too much 'proposal speak' but you can check it out here. (there is plenty of room for improvement - this is part creative thinking, part prayer and part caffeine induced hallucinations)

I would love your feedback if you take time to read it.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Call

Students (and others) are gathering to pray and fast and seek the Lord. Some of this is down right amazing. This from the CBN website.


According to reports, more than 100,000 (mostly young) people packed the stadium where the Tennessee Titans play, to pray for repentance and the sins of the nation, organizers say.

The event was held on 7-7-07, as a symbol of seven being a covenant number in the Bible. Participants were challenged to repent and renew their covenant with God, while fasting and praying on the field.

The Call Nashville spokeswoman Julia Richardson said there was also music and prayer. The free event was designed to be more participatory worship than entertainment, she said.