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Phil Henry
Tucson AZ
Interests: writing, reading, cinema & film, my family, hiking, exploring, trying new things, running, tennis, golf, and good food.
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Brian, I've read a few of your entries, and followed the track back to Curran's essay on Campus Crusade's Way Forward. Thanks for writing. I'd like to jump into the conversation, but let me say in advance I speak as a denominational church planter, a missional theologian, and a cultural hack. I'm not on staff with Crusade, nor have I been, but I've worked with many staffers over the years. The closer I get to church planting, the more I realize that our goal is not "a church" as such, but taking part in helping to form mature disciples of Christ who live out, in community, their part in the mission of God in the world. From my vantage point, Crusade plays a role in this discipleship process for thousands of college students around the world. In this sense, I understand Crusade to be an arm of the larger body of Christ, one which specializes in, and focuses on, evangelism and Bible study. If there is a weakness to Crusade, from my perspective, it is that in identifying areas of historic weakness in the church, it has at times, and in some cases, tended to underdevelop in its leaders and members an appreciation for and love of the local church. Or perhaps what has happened is simply underdeveloping in these brothers and sisters something like a "formal" ecclesiology. In some ways, don't you think the pervasive church planting energy of 2009 (and the exodus of which you speak) is akin to the campus outreach energy and passion prevalent when Crusade was launched sixty years ago or so? But I think the church--God's people--have learned things since then and church planting as a movement, and as a way to allocate resources, is effective in embodying the kinds of things that were absent in the church around the time when Crusade was started: evangelism, outreach, Gospel lifestyle, discipleship, etc. I don't think its only Crusade that has to rethink, in light of the movement of young entrepreneurial missionary-style leaders; denominations must rethink their function and structure as well. Thinking about restructuring Crusade as a church planting organization is intriguing to me. Would it take on some denominational aspects as Calvary Chapel has (to cite one example)? Or would it become more like an Acts 29?
1 reply
Terrace, great comment. Matt, thanks for the reflection. Keep it real, man.
Toggle Commented May 5, 2009 on rosy tweets at matt's thoughts
Andy, great list. Thanks for the encouragement. As a church planter in the midst of launching near Philly in South Jersey--we are in the thick of fundraising at the moment and struggling somewhat--it is a good reminder that by God's grace, we're heading in the right direction. Phil Henry
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