Monthly Archives: March 2009

well intentioned destruction

hipsterjesus1I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how that breakaway church plants which are filled mostly with 20-3o year olds may be, while well-intentioned, possibly quite destructive to Christianity and also misdirected in terms of utilitzing resources.    While often created with claims to desire to be more interested in community, these younger homogenous (like-kind-member) churches often avoid the realities involved in multi-generational differences of opinion and multi-cultural and multi-class differences of opinion which are involved in real community.  When a church is made up of a bunch of like-minded hipsters of near identical sociological and aesthetic mindsets, they are likely to not appreciate real differences, and certainly can avoid those conflicts which might lead them to a greater self-reflectivity.   At the same time, stealing all the youthful energy and innovation from the established churches means that a. the established churches will suffer and b. that the youthful breakaway churches will use much of their energy establishing foundational infrastructures and those established protocols traditions and material bases which established churches already possessed.  In the meantime the established abilties and resources of the established churches are lost to innovative designs as the young have fled to build the wheel again as they pursue their visions without the bother of dealing with people who have opinions differing from their own.  All the while opportunities for maturation and reflective interation are lost to both sides.   

This is especially important to us at Simple Free since we are a younger group of like-minded people.  It seems healthy that many of us also attend a more traditional Sunday service (although some of those are also breakaways of younger like minded people).   Thinking about all this has led me to see the importance of being involved in an established church above and beyond simple free, and to seeing that involvement as a ministry to the church at large.  That is why I attend 1st Presbyterian Church while also holding Simple Free study and liturgy services here at our house on Tuesday nights….

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Meeting the Good Neighbor: Steven Stout

Steven StoutOn Tuesday March 17th we had Steven Stout of Good Neighbor Ministries come share with us about what they do and his heart for his neighborhood which runs roughly from Leavenworth to Martha streets and 20th to 32nd, including the Park Avenue area. Steven has a humble spirit and is easy going. He lives with his wife and four kids near 27th and Poppleton St. and has been doing this ministry for 13 years since he was first asked to do so by Faith Bible Church, at 27th and Hickory south of Poppleton St. His office is just north of the church. He lives on donations from various supporters, most being out of state. His goal is to share Christs love through helping with various tasks such as yard cleanup, painting, and helping with household tasks, often connecting needs with available volunteers, and often taking on the task himself, especially if it has to do with a chainsaw (which he enjoys running). Most importantly, Steven has a desire to help establish lasting life change in people. He has nearly 140 people on his volunteer list, and they have various degrees of involvement. He also has some groups from other churches volunteer to help with particular projects. One of the largest events he coordinated last year involved nearly 150 volunteers all descending on his neighborhood on the same day to help with cleaning up after the storm. He told us that recently he has tried to focus a bit more on prayer and really helping to make lasting changes in peoples lives and a little less on “doing, doing, doing”. There are always tasks that need to be done, and it seems that Steven usually can figure out a way to get them done. It was good to hear from Steven, and we hope to be able to volunteer for some of the projects he has. For anyone who wants to get on the email list to find out who needs what help, just let Steven know at gnm-1@juno.com or give him a call at 402-344-4738