Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Seek Peace in the City -- 2009 Urban Missions

 2009 Already?  Yesss!!!!


We just finished an exciting season of summer missions here in Chicago.  I am already getting really pumped for next year.  We just booked our 6th college group for Spring Break and even summer registrations are starting.  



All of this leaves me energized about diving into new sections of scripture to better understand what it means to Seek Peace in the City.  



"But Seek the Welfare (shalom) of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare (shalom) you will find your welfare (shalom)."

Jeremiah 29:7



What does it look like to enter some of the most marginalized places in our country and find not only a place God is at work, but a place in which God will work on us? What does God have to teach us not only about our capacity to give but our need to receive, in the city? How in the world can we find peace in the city?  



These are all things that I believe God is answering in the city, through Bridge Builders, as college, high-schoolers, and even adults find Him waiting to work in their lives!  



If you know of a college ministry (spring break) or high school group (summer) that would benefit from this ministry, by all means hook us up!    (check out the Bridge Builders link at 






Thursday, August 7, 2008

Where are all the Brothers?

What a great, and sad, title for a book.  

Pastor Eric Redmond has written a short book designed to passed out to (and perhaps by) African American men who have lost interest or fail to see the value in the church -- and by extension, faith in Christ.  

When one enters a black community it quickly becomes apparent that a whole lotta brotha's are missing.   What look like bizarre statistics that often appear in mainstream US publications come alive as painful reality within inner-cities.  Too many black men are "missing".  

There is one set of realities that come together that remove or alienate black men from family and community (e.g. out of wedlock births and incarceration rates) and for most of us who didn't grow up in a black family or black community that particular set of realities is pretty much all we can see.  But, for the record, most black men are not in prison, on drugs, or living below the poverty line.  (My black friends will think this is so obvious as to be stupid to write. . . . but, sorry brothers, too many white folks I talk with don't seem to get this!)  

There is another set of realities that are far too common in the church that drive black men from the church who are present in the community and whose presence is sorely needed in the body of Christ.   Pastor Redmond understands this second set of realities and addresses them head on:  Apathy, disenchantment, a sense of hypocrisy, veneration of pastors, and the approach to money are all examples of such issues. 

This is an important book.  As one of my black pastor friends said when I gave it to him "anything for the men is key!"

The book is easy to read, engaging, and short -- therein containing a good formula for a book designed to be passed out and to get a guy thinking.

It also has good resources, however, as follow up reading for further study.  I think its a brilliant little book for its purpose and pray God will use it for it's intended purpose.  

Eric Redmond blogs at "A Man from Issachar