10/25/13

NOTES FROM MISSIONAL CAFE

Having recently returned from an inspiring event in Denver, Missional Café, here are a few quotations from various ministry leaders I captured:

"It's easy to gather a crowd; that's not the same as making disciples."

"Go & Seek" works with "Come & See"; Missional and Attractional mode are not mutually exclusive.

A pastor from a Christian Reformed mega-church shared that 80% of their youth who graduate from high school in any given year leave their congregation. They don't see the point.

"I am baptized!" A powerful realization, when you stop to think about it.

"Missional Leader: one with eyes, ears, and a heart, for those who are not yet at the Banquet Table."


10/17/13

NEXT BIG THING? SMALL CHURCHES

"With the rise of the Millennial generation and the coming of what looks like a long economic downturn, thinkers in the field of church planning are beginning to write about the future of the local church and what it will soon look like. There’s not agreement on all predictions, but one thing has common agreement: the day of the mega-church model as the predominate driving force among church growth experts has passed."




Read more from an article posted on network, and whether or not you agree with the three reasons cited by a retired pastor.




10/4/13

ROOTED & LINKED: REAL STORIES

Back in 2011, you may remember hearing about Emmaus Road being "rooted and linked." There was a video produced by Parish Collective. What does this mean for Emmaus Road?  It means having a connection to our neighborhood of gathering, Belltown, being rooted in some of our denominational history and practices, being rooted in our own congregational habits and rhythms, and most importantly, being rooted in community, through the particular relationships we share in ministry together, rooted in this body of Christ. Being linked means having meaningful connections with partners: sister congregations, para-church ministries, community groups, agencies, and neighbors. Some of these links are within Belltown, some are across the city, region, or even the globe (our sister Asabe; our missionary friends in Tibet).


Some of Emmaus Road's links are with the Seattle Cluster, a group of Christian Reformed Church and Reformed Church of America congregations and ministries around Seattle. Churches and missions among these "sister" denominations are linking more and more in regions across North America, sharing resources and joining in multiplication efforts. In Seattle, stories of collaboration from the Seattle Cluster are being shared through a news letter. If you have not already, read this brief post about a collaboration including Emmaus Road back in July; a more recent post tells the story of leaders from two CRC congregations in Crown Hill and Greenwood, collaborating to launch a preschool from one of the churches. Check out the link here and scroll down to read about P.A.T.H.



INTRODUCING INTERN MATTHEW ROCK

Hailing from just outside Houston, TX, Matthew Rock is beginning his third year of the Master of Divinity program at The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology. The third year of his MDiv degree focuses on practical learning and gaining more clarity regarding one's calling as a pastor, and this is part of what he hopes to receive during his internship with Emmaus Road. He is 26 years old, graduated from Texas A&M University in 2009, and moved up to Seattle two years ago to attend The Seattle School. Derek Webb, mewithoutYou, and Guy Clark are among his favorite music artists, and Cormac McCarthy and David Foster Wallace his favorite authors. He loves the sun, hot summers, good Tex-Mex and brisket, and is obviously confused about why he lives in Seattle.



10/3/13

ROOT OF PRAYER - WISDOM FROM A CHILD

"God loves me. And when I pray to God he likes it because he likes me talking to him." - Elliott

This is the root of prayer: God begins. He loves us...first. God actually delights in, smiles upon, enjoys, and desires our attentive expression.  However you want to echo or summarize Jesus' and the Prophets' teaching to express it, a little boy named Elliott found a simple, clear, and....cute..... way to communicate it.

Check out this short film featuring testimony from Elliott, which includes a version of the ancient Celtic Encircling Prayer. As Psalm 8:2 tells us, we can stand to hear wisdom from a child.

Thanks Jessie E. for passing this along!



The Emmaus Road Story

In the winter of 1997, we began as a small team of about 10 people, committed to gathering and growing a church that would connect with others like ourselves; people interested in connecting with God, in the person and work of Jesus Christ, but disconnected from the activity of many mainstream congregations. With the financial support of a larger church organization, our pastor was able to work full time with the team in planning, leadership development, and meeting people in the community.

Our first meetings were open discussion forums. We talked about prayer, scripture, spiritual discipline and the issues with which we all struggle. As friends talked to friends, the first group expanded and we multiplied into two.

Inspired by the journey process as a metaphor for spiritual growth, we searched for a name which would reflect that idea. In the resurrection narrative of Luke 24, we found our name "on the road to Emmaus."

After our first worship event on Good Friday of 1997, both groups began to gather together for worship once a month. In various coffee shops and rental spaces, we gradually increased our worship times to twice a month, and in September of 1998 we decided to gather every Sunday. Since the beginning, numerical growth has been gradual but steady, most often through the personal contact of friends talking to friends.

Today, several small groups continue to meet for open discussions on prayer, scripture, and the process of encountering God in daily life; we all gather for worship each week.