Archives For mission


The way of Jesus, when properly understood is dangerous, disappointing, and even disturbing.

Many in our country is reeling from the attack at the Emmanuel AME Church in South Carolina. John Stewart’s words ring true in the ears of many: this a terrorist attack, and the result of America’s lackadaisical approach to systemic problems of gun violence and racism.

We want something to fix.

“Take down that Confederate flag!”

“Pass stricter gun laws!”

Or even… “Pastors should carry guns.”

These are real problems, that as John Stewart, and even President Obama have said that we will probably continue to ignore. But even if we did solve those problems, our efforts would have very little power compared to dangerous, disappointing and disturbing hospitality of the Emmanuel Wednesday Night Bible Study.

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What we REALLY (1)

In the immortal words of Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo, I’m tired of sex.

For those of us trying to live as missionaries in the post-Christendom West, it’s easy to feel like we’re constantly cleaning up other people’s messes.

All countries, in particular the U.S., have a tradition of “Civil Religion” that wants to talk about what it means to “be a good Christian.”

Politicians manipulate well-meaning religious people to talk about what they want to talk about.

The media focuses on flash points, diverting the conversation to what they want to talk about.

Publishers produce new books and micro-celebrities to take advantage of every trend that comes and goes.

The results tend to focus on topics related to violence, moral failures and often seem to lead back to sex.

At the same time, there is a growing number of people who are committed to reimagining the church for the unique time and place that is the 21st century. This group believes that the gospel has not changed, but the role of the Church must constantly shift for its particular time and place. This group is deconstructing what came before and prayerfully seeking ways to make disciples that work today. Continue Reading…

Check out the Boots on the Ground Facebook page to see all the different posts in this series.

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The night it felt like Church to me happened in the Summer of 2002. I was a sophomore in college and I had given my summer to working with Dry Bones: Denver, a newly launched ministry to the homeless youth that congregate to panhandle and roughhouse on Denver’s 16th Street Mall.

My reasons for being there weren’t completely altruistic, evangelistic or justice driven. That was a part of it, but the main reason I wanted to be there was because it seemed pretty cool.


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Worldvision does some incredible work, changing and saving lives of children around the world. Many parachurch organizations are doing incredible work. They are, however, subtle limitations on any group that tries to call itself a “Christian ________.”

Parachurch ministries are, at their best, a tool for focusing passion. Some people have a passion working with students, others have a passion for providing clean water. These are good works that not only help people, but they bring glory to God.

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My only significant experience with a parachurch organization was attending a Christian University for undergrad. It was there when I started noticing some subtle limitations that parachurches had to deal navigate. Continue Reading…

Recently, I became convinced we needed to expand the online conversation happening around the Church. It seemed there were (in general) three types of posts being written by bloggers. There are harsh critiques, sometimes prophetic, other times just mean. There were academic ideas that were hard to grasp. There was cheesy stuff no one wanted to read.

There’s nothing necessarily wrong with any of those. I’ve been guilty of writing all three on this blog.

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What I think we need is a third type of discussion, which I’m calling “Boots on the Ground.” By that, I mean sharing real life stories and practical, actionable ideas. This probably won’t gather as much traffic, but maybe it will provide some missionaries the encouragement they need to keep going.

Last week, a Facebook group was launched to share these stories. Now, we’re prepping for our first ever synchroblog. Here’s how you can participate:

  1. Write a post on the prompt “Share a story about one moment where you experienced what you think Jesus had in mind for ‘the church'”.
  2. RSVP here, or email Chris Morton if you want to participate.
  3. Use the graphics here.
  4. Publish the post on April 8.
  5. Post your URL on the Boots on the Ground Facebook page.
  6. Promote each other’s posts via email & social media on April 8.

I hope you’ll join in!