I recently watched a 20 minute interview done by the young adults ministry at Grace Church in Noblesville, IN. It was brilliant. I have great love for this church and for what God does with these amazing people. This video was profound. The concept was to discuss where the “Millennial” generation is going. It’s apparent they AREN’T coming to church, so what’s the...
Saying Goodbye to Oupa
It started off as a friendship. Then I asked him if he wanted to read the Bible. Then his staff joined him every morning to study and pray together. A few of them left the job, started new discipleship groups, some even went into ministry. It didn’t take long, and it was really straight forward. Today I went to say goodbye to my friends at the coffee shop. Tears and hugs lasted over an...
Image for Missional Community
I was chatting a member of the South African team today about some opportunities they have presenting themselves in the area. I am not surprised by the opportunities, and I expect there will be many many more like them. As new communities are formed and multiplied by these guys, there’s a question about how to help in the process without being domineering or intrusive. Not everyone needs...
Partially in Boston
I’ve been torn apart this week. I was already finding myself living in this highly elevated sense of liminality while I wrap up the final pieces in South Africa. As you would imagine, our hearts are starting to move towards Boston as we pray about the things God has for us to accomplish there. This isn’t to say we are falling out of love with our friends in South Africa either. ...
Keziah homeschools Malachi
Living in Between
One of the beauties of having walked so many friends through major transitions is that I am fully aware of what is happening to my body, mind and soul. Awareness is great until you actually go through a major transition. Then you want to run through the processes because you’re aware of how difficult and weird they feel. Welcome to liminal space everyone. Trying to catch your future...
Keziah Reed Reads!!!
Posing as Church (update on my drums)
Turns out I fell for a stupid scam. Guys had rigged up proof of payment and took the drums. Nothing came through. I’m pretty bummed out as you can imagine. My friends had bought me a sweet djembe a few years ago… i think I’m destined to switch exclusively to hand percussion from here on out.
“Most people don’t leave well, they just leave.” My friend was sharing this with me recently and I received it as a challenge for our last few months in South Africa. By the time we leave, we will have served here for five years. Our kids have only really known life in Pretoria and there are friendships that we have forged that run deep. How can you just “leave”?...
Selling the Drums
This is sort of a follow up from the last post. If you’ve ever played an instrument before you might understand the attachment one has for their stuff. My drums have been really important for me for a long time and we had the privilege of bringing them to SA a few years ago. It’s been so wonderful. However, going to Boston, there just was not going to be enough room for us to...
We have been slowly purging our house of furniture and toys in preparation for this upcoming move. As each item leaves, I feel a pinch of pain. It’s just so incredibly revealing of something deeper that has subtly been happening. I’ve grown attached to my comfort. Yet it has grown beyond attachment as well. I’ve started reading Ecclesiastes every day this past week. What...
The Kids on Boston
Considering the kids have lived the majority (if not all of) their lives in South Africa, we are beginning to think through the delicate nature of transitions. Part of pursuing the housing option we are at the moment fits into that as well. More on that later. Here’s a snap shot at some of the things the kids are telling me… Natalie may have other things to add… EZRA is...
Getting Behind the Statistics
In recent months, I have come across a WIDE variety of statistics on the state of the Church in New England (and America in general). To be honest, I find them only somewhat helpful and often times confusing (and contradictory). Often these reports come through to paint a dark picture of a region of the world, and I think for that, these can be unhelpful tools for missiology if we are only using...
rogueremymarie replied to your post: Listening to New England You are making me ready to move back there. Oh how I love Boston. I agree with everything you said in your reply… it’s why I always read those reports with a leaning towards curiosity about the deeper meanings in the findings. Go back and let’s organize some stuff!
Listening to New England
In those dark nights when the enemy starts to stir doubts in my heart about if we’ve heard God accurately, may His Spirit bring this conversation back to the forefront of my heart. Below is a summary of a recent call I had with a Church leader in Boston. Each point that he made has been made by other Church leaders that are not connected to each other… yet. I found it very curious how...
Lessons from Oupa (perhaps a final post on this...
I haven’t written much on Oupa and the coffee shop… whatever you call this thing. I’ve been observing and processing as it goes along, trying to condense some lessons that would be helpful for other aspects of our work with CRM. I hope these short nuggets will be helpful for you in your ministry settings, whether that be your workplace, church or non-profit spaces. Multiplication...
New Prayer for New Year...
Jn 1.15”John pointed him out and called, “This is the One! The One I told you was coming after me but in fact was ahead of me. He has always been ahead of me, has always had the first word.” I have been locked into this passage for a week now. John’s celebrity status could have written his ministry career ticket (book deals, speaking gigs, etc…), but in an emotionally...
Through the Holidays
Pretoria is weird in December. South African workers typically receive 15 business days off each year (3 weeks). People tend to save those days until December because of how many public holidays couple up with their days off. They can typically take four full weeks off of work if they’re clever. Most people are clever. With people taking this amount of time off this time of year, the...
All Parts Together
Coaching is partially (maybe fully) about helping an individual achieve goals through the assets available to them. When you interact with a visionary leader like Oupa, you quickly realize that he sees beyond his means to achieve. Leaders like this need a strong structural support under them to achieve the things God puts in their hearts’ imagination. Enter Rufaro : “the...
For the past few days that I’ve gone to check on our friends at the Mugg, I have had these lingering concerns… Is this really happening or are they just telling me what they want me to hear? Are people starting new groups as a result, really? How many people are actually connected to this? It is not that I do not trust Oupa, I was just wondering if the cultural communication gap was an...
Steadying Rhythm : Mugg & Bean Update
The way everything started in this space honestly felt like a herd of wild horses stampeding across the plains. It was so fast and furious, I had become worried about the leadership capacities of the primary leaders that had emerged. Life happens and this job is intense. I’ve seen these things happen in other contexts (specifically thinking about the university work we started a few years...
Two Week Reflection : Mugg & Bean
First and foremost, I am becoming more aware of layers of oppressive things happening around this group of leaders in the coffee shop. Every time we’ve initiated something big or small, we have always been greeted by it. It’s not new, it’s part of the gig. Thanks for continuing to pray with us. I have received a wide variety of emails surrounding this. From high levels of...
I realize I’m blogging a lot about this. I’m trying to process what I’m seeing unfold. I took the boys to the Mugg today so Natalie could take an appointment with someone else alone (Ziah is finishing school still). Oupa had the day off today but asked that I meet with Thelma. She’s been under some oppressive things. I think we got to the bottom of it today (but I...
This Is No Game
After yesterday’s interaction with Oupa, I became aware that we want to get smart about coaching from the early outset of… whatever this is. When I arrived this morning, Oupa welcomed this new element with open arms, turned to me and said, “I want you to coach me on my off day.” I’m not sure he realizes what he got himself into either! He wants more time together than...
Oupa, We JUST Started
December months are supposed to slow down in Pretoria. Everyone is going to the beach for basically the entire month. Oupa and the Mugg & Bean crew didn’t get that memo. We have two groups going at the coffee shop. Now four (possibly five) people are going to start groups in their family networks. The average size of the groups are ten people. We are seeing sixty people studying...
anxiety or anticipation [from Rob Yackley's blog] →
robyackley: We get to choose. Great perspective from Seth Godin.
Malachi and the Giant Candle!
The Spirit Named Scarcity
Throughout the globe, there is a consistent evil I have come across. It clothes itself according to the land’s dictated culture, but its main identity remains in tact. Its name is Scarcity. Each encounter I have with this, no matter the culture, it has the same impact on people. People fight for the last crumbs, even in nations where that last crumb is in the form of an expensive...
What have I gotten myself into now? Oupa came up to me this morning and brought one of his staff. I’d like to introduce you to Thelma. She’s going to lead the afternoon shift group. I hadn’t even thought of the afternoon shift group. Oupa very refreshed: “Brother, they loved it. They are thinking about their day differently. I am doing this every morning now. ...
Pensioners Mugged the Mugg Today...
One thing (out of many) that my time in South Africa has taught me is how to adjust course, make plans and do ministry without much resource. That paid off this morning when I went in to check on the Mugg & Bean staff. Oupa (the manager I’m coaching) had already rallied his staff around the morning space together. But when I arrived, I saw the entire staff a bit frantic. It was...
On my recent trip to London, I found myself with an hour to kill between things. Stopped by to see my friend Liz for tea. Unfortunately, she was on her way out.
Marking the beginning of advent with @3rd_place friends
A Twist on Coffee Shop Church Planting
“Many of us want to learn more about God, but we have to work six days a week. Sunday is our busiest day of the week, so all of our staff have to work. We need a platform.” - Oupa Sometimes mission is that blatant. These are real concerns of people we interact with in parts of the city (embrace the extreme diversity). What if we could form a group with this staff (who interact with...
Perspective on Pew Report
Last week, THIS REPORT came out about American Spirituality. There was a moment of deep sorrow as I read the 80 page report. Literal tears were shed. I found myself needing to process this information and God gave me some interesting perspectives over a weekend conversation with my friend, Cecil. “Wouldn’t you rather that people are being honest about where they’ve actually...
It seems that so many friends and family are hurting in this season. There was devastating news sent from Huntington last week related to a youth worker being arrested, a cancer diagnosis, and more job loss. Heavy hearts. I wanted to send this out wider to everyone because Natalie and I are very committed to regular and specific prayer for all of our partners (prayer, financial, mentoring,...
Splendid Outreach →
Our very dear friend, Sonia, just launched a very rad online business. She’s connecting very important dots in society. And it’s always a bonus to buy from incredibly rad people!
Over the past several years, there have been informal and formal spaces in our work where we’ve made room for communal confession. It really is not as scary as it sounds. Everyone shares the struggles they have in life, as well as the joys, but in our responses or thought processes, there are moments when we walk away from the heart of Jesus. We have to make room for confession of these...
“Monday Night Malachi”