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Can Missional Congregations Outrun Their Supply Lines?

Disater esponse VolunteersA Travel Free Learning Article

By George Bullard

When natural or other types of disasters strike, disaster response organizations quickly send the first wave of relief workers to the disaster zone. They carry with them enough supplies to last from a few hours to a few days depending on the situation.

In a short time their response could end if behind them essential supply lines are not set up. These supply lines include—among other things—new rounds of workers staged to arrive every few days, food and water for those impacted by the disaster and those working in the disaster zone, specialized equipment and material, expertise in how to appropriately use these resources, security for the disaster workers, and financial backing for the disaster response.

These supply lines should not include truckloads of used clothing and other commodities people believe ought to be needed in the disaster zone, but are not. Yet these come anyway. Supply lines should also not include disaster tourists unless they are vetted, trained, and come ready to work.

Wise disaster response organizations prepare before a disaster to handle all of these situations so that supply lines with appropriate travel lanes are set up literally overnight. They either have the capacity to do this directly, or they have collaboration partnerships set up that populate their supply lines.

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That's Between Me and God (and God Ain't Talkin')

A Travel Free Learning Article Candles

By George Bullard

What’s going on when you ask a Christian about a specific practice of discipleship in their life and they say, “That is between me and God”? Perhaps nothing unusual. Or, perhaps a whole bunch of evasive things. What do you think?

Legitimately some people are very private about their practice of Christian discipleship, they are shy about sharing, genuinely humble about boasting, or truly believe it is inappropriate pride to talk about their practices. These people do hold an annual gathering in the telephone booth at the corner of West 47th and K Street in some major city in North America, but I cannot remember which one.

I suspect the vast majority of people who will not share about their practice of Christian discipleship are hiding the fact that their answer will not be an acceptable one, and they do not want to lie. They would rather hide behind God than lie.

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Needed: Christian Ministers Who Do the Stuff

Church Wooden
A Travel Free Learning Article

By George Bullard

A dramatic story—perhaps an urban legend—about John Wimber, one of the founders of the Vineyard Movement, relates to something that happened following his conversion to Christianity around 1963. It is said that he began attending a church nearby. After several weeks he confronted an usher following a worship service and asked, “When do we do the stuff?”

“The stuff? What do you mean the stuff?” inquired the usher. Agitated John replied, “The stuff Jesus did. Heal the sick, Restore sight to the blind. Raise the dead. Feed thousands.”

“Oh,” said the usher, “we don’t do that stuff. We believe in it, but we don’t do it anymore.” Grabbing the usher by the lapels of his coat Wimber said angrily, “You don’t understand. I gave up sex and drugs for this. I’m going to do the stuff?”

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A Seminary Finds a Golden Gateway. Others Find a Rusted Exit.

A Travel Free Learning Article Golden Gate Bridge

By George Bullard

A couple of days after the announcement that the deal to sell the property and buildings of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary had been completed, I was in San Francisco. Sunday afternoon I drove across the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin County, California for one more look at the campus before it is no longer there.

It was not the buildings I wanted to see. They are not that outstanding. I wanted to remember the experiences and the people I encountered in that place beginning more than 30 years ago. I wanted to think about the various presidents, faculty members, and students I have known who walked the halls and pathways.

Plus, as anyone who has ever been there knows, I wanted to get one more look from that vantage point of the majestic city of San Francisco. The view truly is to die for—or some other overstatement. It was a good view of the city that day. It was a little hazy, but we can assume this was of combination of clouds, fog, and marijuana smoke. It all depends on the time of day, weather conditions, and local celebrations.

The view is not as uncluttered as it once was. But that was before the seminary sold the hillside around it several decades ago for what I recall was $10 million. Now there are multi-million dollar residences there that block part of the view.

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Many Congregations Are Stuck In An Overly Churched Culture

Church Culture OverlyA Travel Free Learning Article

By George Bullard

In the midst of a region of the world where the impact of a churched culture is fading, many congregations in North America are stuck in an overly churched culture perspective. As a result these congregations become insulated, isolated, and inoculated from people who are preChristians, unchurched, underchurched, and dechurched.

These congregations did not mean for this to happen. It was not intentional. It just crept up on them over a number of years—even decades.

[See other posts/articles on the Overly Churched Culture by Clicking HERE.]

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