Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Dreaming to pray

Today, between an snooze in my radio watch and other I was dreaming that I was praying for some folks in my office. It was a kind of weird, my time with God has been so irregular that I thought that, should I pray when I am sleeping because I have been so unable to set up a time to pray? I know I need a lot to pray, today I dismissed my internet in my breakfast to be with God.
From that time on, I have been dreaming awaked, and now I am dreaming and praying a lot for a Summer Biblical School in my neighboorhood, I couldn't do that in my apartment because it is too small, I would need a house, so I need some prayer partners to be with me in that. I have some time in my holidays in July to do that, a house would help me a lot to start some plans.
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Monday, June 25, 2007

Like a Lion

Don't ask me how they got to it:

They started as a great worship ministry of a baptist church in Minas Gerais, their first two CDs were so beautifull, many churches in Brazil used to sing their songs while they shared profits of CDs sold with children mission in India. It was like 10 years ago.
Today they turned out to be a huge worship ministry, they use to fill parks with hundreds of thousands on their shows at streets, and the scene was from one of their latest shows.
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Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Shape of things to come (resuming)

I had to go to my doughter musical presentation and, I was wondering that, though my last post was very long, it was incomplete yet. I took so long to identify our reality by the church described by Hirsch and Frost, but I didn't discussed anything on their solutions. The kind of things we had a lot these days, people talking fast about what is wrong with the church without working for their renewal.
The opportunities of planting churches with encarnatonal, messianic and apostolic approach would not be so far here, we are not so formal in our relationships, but the dualistic culture is very deep in people hearts yet. Our poverty give us plenty of opportunities to engage, though, our approach to social matters is very opportunistic in most of efforts, the act of promoting social justice for a matter of love itself is a thing that we are to learn.
I liked very much the figure the authors used about a centered set church, against a bondered set church: it is exciting to imagine a church that relationships are not ruled by memberships or culture. Though churches always have a set of relationships that links some folks to them, the idea that these folks will be also church just when they baptise are to be beated. I also liked the explanation of how some churches promote a centered set, presenting very bold non negotiable truths and presenting other doctrines in a way that people theirself would be able to choose by studying the Bible, I liked the idea of teaching people how to build their truth on Bible. I told this to a pastor friend of mine and he admitted how many non negotiable doctrines he had as setting very tigh bondered church to his fellowers.
I have got a live example of an apostolic leadership since I have know Kairos LA, they also promote leadership as presented by authors with Apostles, Pastors, Prophets, Teachers and Evangelists. In Brazil, our churches are also ruled by Pastors and Teachers. Our Evangelists are resumed to missionary people. We have plenty of prophets also, even more in a country when you live beside such poverty, we have many people daring to preach to serve them; unfortunately, as their voice were silented years ago, their emergence in church made many of them auto sufficient and many times their action is at service to left side political parties agenda, and, with the lack of an apostle leadership, they will remain discoursing against poverty with no actions. The word of apostleship have been related to an apostleship ministry promoted by some neo-pentecostals church, it has been used to give a few, a very high hierarchy at church, because of this, we have to use this word with caution. Indeed we lack a lot apostleship as an entrepreuneur that would plant more churches and set real goals to this planting.
Might God help us to be bold in action to see real examples like those here in Brazil.

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The Shape of things to come

This is my 2nd post I should have posted earlier, but I had not. I finished "The Shape of things to come" reading in January and published a detailed revision in my Brazilian Blog (it took 4 posts to publish an overall idea of the book and a revision of the writers purposes of an Incarnational, Missianic and Apostolic church). I think it would be useless to have such a detailed approach of this book here, once this book was well accepted in international emerging church community and you will find better reviews like mine in blogosphere. Though, I would like to share what those ideas means in our brazilian field.
The importance of this book besides, Emerging Church, is that it paves a good way of what our churches should seek when emerge. After reading both, I think Emerging Church as a very good report of how churches have been emerged in US an UK while, this book describe the basis below Emerging Churches practices.
Actually I am starting Michael Frost's "Exiles" reading, after read all Alan Hirsch's "The Forgotten Ways". It is clear to note that all three book's ideas are constructed on a thesis that while the Christendom mode of society is shadowing, our mode of church is shadowing by the same way, thus we need a new kind of church out of the dominance box that started when Constantine declared Christianism as the official religion of all Rome. I think that is important to have clear that church has not started from these ideas on, I had already saw some early brazilian criticism to Emerging Church that they considered Christian Church as lost from Constantine until now, off course based on misread emerging church books and purposes.
I think that the Christendom mode detailed by Hircsh and Frost applies very much to evangelical church in Brazil, it has been very Attrational, reflected, for instance, by use of media with preching all day in christian Radio and TVs as a way to invite people to attend services and being blessed, all strategies you see is related to have people coming to the church bounds to be part of them; our church has been very dualistic, when they build a kind of paralell christian world where the label "gospel" tells what would be good for christian people to use and has been also very hierachic when the first thing that all churches do, is to establish who owns the power and a very well career plan of how to get it. With our evangelical growth we started to have a kind or post-evangelical people frustrated by evangelical church promises not fullfilled.
We have a great challenge to break this kind of religion culture, though people are very free to express their spirituality here, their have been more exposed to express that through spiritualism. They have been exposed nightly to those ideas on TV Soap Operas besides post modernism ideas. But when they go search for spirituality out of spiritualism and budhism they will appeal to a church closed to Catholic culture (a church even more attrational, dualistic and hierarchic), where most of people got the idea of religion when growing up. Yes, they will remain frustrated as long as they find another way of doing church.
Hirsch and Frost ideas are indeed great solutions to our day, church as it is now will remain just beside our culture, we will need just good people dare enough to have this kind of thinking outside the box and starting making difference. The fact is that we have seen lots of discussions about emerging churches in Brazil, but we have not seen any practical idea because we have seen only discussions. We need concrete examples of emerging communities to foster other examples, so far we have few ones and not enough to establish a good idea of what an emerging church should be in Brazil.
I think this book should be a good source to give us a way to begin.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

March for Jesus in Brazil

I were out of it!
The first edition of March for Jesus in Brazil were set up the same day of March for Jesus in US (The Jesus day), but as this march required a lot of work in our already chaotic transit, this event were transferred to our holliday of Corpus Christi. Actually, Corpus Christi is a Catholic holliday, but March for Jesus is very evangelical and were transferred to this day just for a matter of convenience. But the funny think is that, this holliday in Sao Paulo hosted two huge movements in city, March for Jesus on Thursday and the Gay Pride Parade on the follow Sunday.
We have this kind of schedule from last four to five years, and this my first doubt about March for Jesus movement when they face it like a competition against the Parade to be made on the follow Sunday. You evangelicals abroad know what I mean! The organizers were yelling that March for Jesus would take 6 million people to streets when they knew that Gay Pride Parade would take 3 million. Actually March for Jesus took 3,5 million people to streets while Gay Pride took the same 3 million.
As you might noted I am very skeptic about this movement, above all criticism we have about this movement is to think that if you take 3,5 million sincere people to streets in the name of Jesus, you wold expect also a very different kind of society and city here in the day by day after the march. Unfortunately this is not the case, worse, the junk that is accumulated after this movement is as huge, that is not a good witness to people that lives around.
Latelly I have seen this movement as a kind of purified Carnaval that people cannot play because of Carnaval sinful nature. But I have know a fact that made this even worse and I wrote about in my Brazilian Blog.
The couple that used to lead this movement (an apostle and a bishop) are arrested in Miami because of money smuggling and false witness, they entered US with US$ 56000 and declared US$ 10000 (US Police were already with an eye on them). But all followers of their church are convicted they are innocent and this march was used to claim for their inocence. That was not right for me, that was some reason that I am completely out of this kind of think.
I think that every movement for Jesus should have a greater impact on city and on society, a day by day with sincere followers of Jesus will have great impact, and we still need this a lot here.

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Not Abandoned

I took a look earlier today at this blog and got ashamed because I could almost see a year of postings here! I have postings about World Cup Yet! Wow! Time really goes very fast!
I would not like to ramble again how lazy I have been at this blog, but whenever I think about some folks that have been followed my so little posts here, I forget all my thoughts about closing this blog. I ever get so happy when I recieve your thoughts about my posts.
My Portuguese blog has been nice, I have just completed 500 posts there, people are liking discussions and I think my blog have been a good reference in our beggining emerging church community.
I think it would be useless to just link my site with a translator, a mere translation would not do all you need to know, there somethings in my blog that need to be explained to people abroad, that is why this blog exists.
Well, in my effort to not let this blog abandoned, I think I am indebted with you to post about three items that I though about sharing here in this year:

  • My findings about "The shape of things to come"

  • March for Jesus in Brazil

  • My trip to California last month

  • I hope to post them all until the end of this week.