Underground People

 

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This mini-documentary sets an important tone for those of you who think strategically about the future of the church.  There have always been revivals, reforms, and course-corrections in the Churches history as God advances the Kingdom by reimagining the expression it takes.

I still remember an image that pastor Gabe Lyons mentioned on stage at a Catalyst Conference years ago. He compared the gospel to water and he poured it into different containers. The shape of the water changes (into a bottle, a bowl, a vase, etc) but it never changes the fact that it’s H2O. His point struck me: the gospel of Christ is fluid.  It’s uniquely able to saturate any cultural context it encounters – throughout history and across the globe – while still maintaing the fundumental integrity of the gospel.

God often begins the shift by sowing a vision of the future in His people before it occurs.  He places a holy discontent with the status quo or He puts an idealistic picture of a Kingdom expression in the hearts of His people that they can’t seem to shake. The community at Tampa Underground had both. Maybe they are the first fruits of a new ecclesiological structure.  Is it possible we are on the precipice of another reshaping? Are we already in a phase of reformation now?

Watch the documentary and see a bit of the Tampa Underground story…

THIEN FAMILY UPDATE: Moving Forward.

Over the summer, Emily and I took our family on a looooonnng road trip across most of the southern states. Our purpose was to reconnect with old friends, follow up with some ministry opportunities, and to spend time praying in various cities we believed we might be called. It was a giant prayer walk but spanning the nation and dragging our 4 boys everywhere we went. As we wandered:

• We went through 13 states,

• Trekked over 4000 miles,

• Met with 8 different ministry leaders,

• Saw 3 Fourth of July firework shows (the kids loved that one),

• And prayed in 5 cities (Dallas, New Orleans, Atlanta, Indianapolis, St. Louis)

It was an amazing and difficult trip but it allowed us to be present in the cities and ask God one main question: “is this our people?” On this side of the trip, we are convinced that God is doing lots of amazing things in all of the cities we visited. We also got to see the Lord’s faithfulness as he brought guides along the way to open up their homes (to a family of 6!) and speak into our lives as we sojourned. Eventually, God led us to a community we felt had a similar trailblazing spirit and a desire to see the Gospel worked out in the trenches of society…

I am incredibly excited to officially announce that I have accepted the Lead Pastor position with Common Ground Northeast (CGNE). CGNE is part of a network/family of churches spread across Indianapolis, IN. The Northeast campus is the 3rd and newest addition to the collective planted about four years ago. Over the last few months we have gotten to know the community, the staff, and the leadership and the culture of the church. We felt a strong connection to the people, their values, and their mission. CGNE is a church filled with bold faith, conviction, and a commitment to the Gospel and we can’t wait to join in on the movement they have begun in Indy! We plan to move in mid-October as we close up commitments in Phoenix, pack up, and relocate.

Thanks to those who have prayed for us over the last few months during our transition and we ask that you would continue to do so as make our move to Indianapolis to begin the new adventure there!