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the bride (church & ecclesiology)
What does God want?  According to Jesus: us.  God longs to live with you and me like a groom longs for his bride.  This metaphor runs like a river through scripture.  In the Prophets, God pulled a dirty and dying people from slavery like a man rescuing a hooker from a brothel.  He cleaned her up, built her back into a beautiful woman, and married her to give her the life she always wanted.  But the romance didn't last.  The bride got the itch and chased after other men.  But then Jesus came to call the bride back.  He rescued her again and now is waiting to finally make her his at the end of all things.  This is the church -- a rocky-road romance of the people of God trying to find their way back to him.

Confronting Commercialism PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jared   
Friday, 22 December 2006
Today, I was standing in line at a Bronx post office. Music from the radio filled the room serving to fill awkward silence and to cover over common complaints. Then, a commercial caught my attention. A church in Brooklyn was advertizing its Christmas Eve & New Year services.

One woman asked the other what her plans were for the holidays and proceeded to invite the other woman to a church service. Sounds good, right? But it goes on. The first woman mentioned the pastor and both agreed...
Original Content at: http://urbanekklesia.blogspot.com/2006/12/confronting-commercialism.html.
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Wrong Question PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jared   
Friday, 22 December 2006
In our society we are very focused on outcomes. As a results-driven culture, our churches often ask, "Does it work?" about any number of new ministry initiatives. It has struck me recently that it is the wrong question -- at least to start out with -- and may lead down a dangerous road. I still care about results and want things to "work" because I care about people being transformed, our city being impacted with the Gospel, and God being glorified. I will work until my last breath for...
Original Content at: http://urbanekklesia.blogspot.com/2006/12/wrong-question.html.
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Evaluating Structure PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jared   
Friday, 15 December 2006
The current landscape of theological reflection in the west hosts an increasing amount of hopeful analysis on the missional church. That is, the church reclaiming its identity as a people on mission. A common trend is to embrace organic formations of church, and I'm a participant in this move. There are a number of conversations that have demonstrated tension to some degree. On the one hand, a reclaimation of mission in the church has led to radical re-engineering of organizational structures....
Original Content at: http://urbanekklesia.blogspot.com/2006/12/evaluating-structure.html.
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A missional movement? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jared   
Monday, 30 October 2006
There have been some big numbers discussed these days regarding the contemporary house church movement. A recent study by a credible pollster and friend of the simple church expression has claimed that literally millions of people in North America are participating in "house churches" (i.e. simple church, organic church, etc.) . Taking in consideration several personal encounters, it just seems that a lot of lovers of God are simply dissatisfied and disillusioned (and in some cases deeply...
Original Content at: http://urbanekklesia.blogspot.com/2006/10/missional-movement.html.
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Confession of an Organic Church Planter PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jared   
Sunday, 13 August 2006
I must confess something. This organic, relational, simple church stuff really goes against my nature. I mean, I love people. I like the casual atmosphere and all. But here's the thing. I am a man that is known by my friends as being really driven. I am not afraid of working hard for Christ's mission. I have an agenda. I believe it's a good one, but nonetheless, I cannot seperate myself from my agenda to see communities formed, disciples made, workers raised up. I'm very intentional...
Original Content at: http://urbanekklesia.blogspot.com/2006/08/confession-of-organic-church-planter.html.
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