Thursday, August 30, 2007

The View from My Office

Megan got our camera fixed this week and I was testing it out tonight. Here is the view from my office. First, Anna at my desk. And if you turn around, you see...

My library!

That's about it.

More Logo Ideas

It's funny how I post about some book I'm reading and nobody comments. But put a logo up and everybody becomes an art critic! Frankly, I am much more concerned about what the people of Christchurch actually believe about Jesus than how our logo looks. But since this is an important exercise, here are some more logo options. Many thanks to Randy Brandt for bearing with me and God's people as we go through this creative process.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Christchurch Logos

Hey friends, will you please give us some feedback on these logos?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Teaching New Testament Greek

Today I spent the afternoon preparing to teach New Testament Greek. Tomorrow at 8:00am at Rivendell College in Boulder, I get the honor of introducing a small group of students to the joys of reading the New Testament in Greek. To quote Luther: "Without languages we could not have received the gospel. Languages are the scabbard that contains the sword of the Spirit...if we neglect the literature, we shall eventually lose the gospel."

Thanks especially to Dr. Bill Mounce who has prepared so many excellent teaching resources!

Hey friends out there in the blogosphere! It's not too late for you to learn New Testament Greek. Seriously, if you would like to learn, let me know!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Let Us Pray

I am re-reading this book at about a one-chapter-a-day pace this month. John Piper is a gift to Jesus' church. Brothers, We Are Not Professionals is a passionate plea from one pastor to others to fight against the domesticating, Spirit-quenching influence of professionalism in ministry.

Check out some of these chapter titles:

Brothers, Beware of the Debtor's Ethic
Brothers, Consider Christian Hedonism
Brothers, Don't Fight Flesh Tanks with Peashooter Regulations
Brothers, Don't Confuse Uncertainty with Humility
Brothers, Tell Them Copper Will Do

Today my chapter was "Brothers, Let Us Pray." Lately I've been in many situations where I have been asked to talk about our new Christchurch. For instance, this morning at the school playground while sending Anna & Sophie off their classes, I spoke with 3 different parents about Christchurch. As I tell others about this great new little church, I am confident that God has called us to this, but I am so powerfully reminded that if God doesn't build this new church, we are dead in the water. So, let us pray. O Father, how we need you to call people to this church and to convert many sinners. We can't grow this church ourselves. We need you! Come, Holy Spirit, and do your work of regeneration among our friends and neighbors and coworkers who are spiritually dead so that they are born again spiritually and begin to worship you, O God, as you deserve. Jesus, this is your church and upon the rock you must build your church like it says in Matthew 16:18. Thank you that you are doing it and thank you for reminding us of our dependence upon you to do it. We trust you Holy Spirit for the power we need to be used by God in building this church. In Jesus' name we pray these things. Amen.

"A pastor who feels competent in himself to produce eternal fruit - which is the only kind that matters - knows neither God nor himself. A pastor who does not know the rhythm of desperation and deliverance must have his sights only on what man can achieve. But brothers, the proper goals of the life of a pastor are unquestionably beyond our reach. The changes we long for in the hearts of our people can happen only by a sovereign work of grace." [page 54]

"A.C. Dixon said, 'When we depend upon organizations, we get what organizations can do; when we depend upon education, we get what education can do; when we depend upon man, we get what man can do; but when we depend upon prayer, we get what God can do.'" [page 56]

Monday, August 20, 2007

First Day at Superior Elementary

At 6:30am today, Sophie walked into my room dressed and ready to go to her first day of first grade.

At 7:30am today, I carried a very sleepy Anna downstairs so that she could get ready for the first day of fourth grade.

Guess who is happier about getting up early today?

Here is Sophie and her teacher, Carol L'Orange.

Here is Anna pushing up her glasses while her teacher Bobby Lehman checks the time.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Vow to Ski Again

And I thought I was an obsessive skier. Check out this kid's story from yesterday's Summit Daily News.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Christchurch Next Exit

Christchurch. The simple name of our new church. I remember driving to the botanical gardens in Christchurch, New Zealand way back in 1988. The city was alive and welcoming, like this little new church is for newcomers. But it took some effort to get there, and it will take the Spirit-empowered efforts of many people for this church to grow out of its infancy. I like the name Christchurch because it reminds me of a great place. And it simply reminds us all of Who this church is to be about.

(I also like it because my middle name is Christopher. So if people start calling me Scott "Christchurch" Kelly, I won't need to change the monograms on my towels.)

Book Review: Planting New Churches in a Postmodern Age

If I were in touch with the times, I would have read Stetzer's similar book, Planting Missional Churches. But it took me a while to figure out that all the cool church planters had stopped using the word "postmodern" and started using the word "missional" a couple years ago.

Ed Stetzer is a Southern Baptist missiologist who has become embraced widely by church planters of many different denominational stripes. I picked up my free copy of this book from Ed at the National New Church Conference in Orlando in April of 2006.

I thought these were some of Stetzer's most helpful thoughts:
"There is no basis, biblically or theologically, for the territorial distinction of missions and evangelism...the church must learn to exegete its culture and reflect on the culture from a biblical perspective." [28]

"Very few churches volunteer, [as the early church at Antioch did], to send the best of their leaders and to contribute significant amounts of money for the establishment of new congregations." [45-46]

Stetzer has led teams that have planted 3 churches and he has researched the planting of many, many more. He includes a lot of practical wisdom for Christians who want to plant churches that plant more churches. I don't get as much joy from reading missiology books like this as I do from reading a good biblical theology book, but this book was helpful to me as I am in the middle of planting a new church.

Monday, August 13, 2007

My Day Off

Since there's a church in my house on Sundays now, Monday has become my day off. Here are Anna & Sophie & Rosey at Summit Lake Park just below the Summit of Mt. Evans. We enjoyed a great picnic on this rock before the rain and lightning came.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

He Shoots! He Scores!

This photograph from last night shows my friend Randy Brandt taking the puck to the net, weaving in and out of a plethora of defenders, getting hooked and still scoring the winning goal just before the 3rd period buzzer sounded. Sort of...

I was finally able to visit one of Randy's hockey games last night, but I didn't have a camera. I don't know who the guy in yellow is, but that's what Randy looked like last night. One of my many Canadian friends, Randy is the best hockey player that I know. He really did score an impressive goal, single-handedly taking the puck straight through a crowd of defenders. And he really did get hooked so bad that the other guy got a 2 minute stint in the penalty box. And the 3rd period buzzer really did sound. But that didn't all happen at exactly the same time.

Randy broke a stick and the team won by 5 or 6 goals. They were impressive. But Randy tells me that his Sunday night league where he captains is the better league. I want to see that team play sometime.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Book Review: Confessions of a Reformision Rev.

One of the benefits of being a church planter/pastor of a tiny brand new church without a name is that I can read as much as I want to. I started this one in the bathtub last night after taking Sophie to see the Underdog movie and putting her to bed. I quit reading it this morning at the point in the story of Mars Hill Church where attendance reaches 1000 people. Since there are now about 20 people meeting for church in my living room and we're praying about how to grow to 150, I think I'll stop here. When God grows our church out of my living room, I think I'll pick it up again.

Mark Driscoll makes me laugh out loud. Read this book and enjoy some laughter that is good for the soul. A master of sarcastic one-liners, Driscoll is part preacher, part stand-up comic. Take the title of chapter 1, for instance: "Jesus, Our Offering was $137 and I Want to Use It to Buy Bullets." Thank God he's a biblical preacher who talks about Jesus a lot too.

If you love people who don't yet know Jesus, you should consider Mark Driscoll as a special gift to God's Church. He says this of himself: "Over the years, I have accepted the fact that I'm really not much of a pastor but rather am a missiologist studying the city who leads a church filled with missionaries who reach the city and with pastors who care for the converts." [51]

I find hope today in Mark Driscoll's example of leading a church through its infancy. He spent a lot of time meeting people one-on-one, telling the gospel story as often as he could and inviting people to repent and believe, calling men to be men and do great things for God, praying, training leaders and learning to preach. I don't know what else I should be doing right now besides all that.

Driscoll often makes people mad, and he often seems to like it that way. As my wife so helpfully reminds me, disagreement is OK as long as it doesn't degenerate into personal attacks. Here is one important issue in pastoral theology where I disagree with Driscoll. Who has the right to remove someone from the fellowship of a church? Driscoll recounts a few stories from the early days of Mars Hill Church when he kicked people out of his young church all by himself. Does the Bible give him the authority to do that? Yes, shepherds are to guard the flock against wolves. But the wolves he unilaterally kicks out on pages 76 and 77 were some of his fellow workers and co-leaders! In Matthew 18:15-20, Jesus has given us clear instruction on the process of kicking people out of the church. First you go to them one on one and give them opportunity to repent. Second you bring along one or two others and do the same thing. If they won't repent, then you tell the church and if they won't listen to the church speaking pleading words of repentance, then you all kick the stubbornly-unrepentent sinner out together. Have you ever seen the redemptive power of congregational corrective church discipline in action? I have and it's a beautiful thing. Church planters and church leaders and pastors need to learn from guys like Mark Dever here and thank God for the privilege of learning from Driscoll's mistakes. Driscoll's ecclessiology requires elder rule because of a missiological preference in creating a certain church culture. A biblical ecclessiology puts Jesus at the top of the org chart, ruling primarily through the scriptures. Next, the Bible puts a church on the org chart, a congregation of people who actually give evidence of being born again. In the New Testament, the church is called to recognize the gifting of men whom God calls to the office of elder/pastor by delegating leadership authority to these strong leaders. The scripture gives us more instruction about how to organize our churches than Driscoll admits.

Enough disagreement. There are so many great lessons for church planters and pastors in this book! Like this: "We learned that unchurched people tend to be the most traditional when it comes to church. For years, we had held services only on Sunday nights trying to be cool, different and therefore more attractive to unchurched people. But our first morning service took off in part because unchurched people thought that church was an event that happened in a church building on a Sunday morning." [132] I find a lot of hope in the fact that church planting isn't brain surgery. I also find hope in this comment from Driscoll on preaching: "Preaching is like driving a clutch, and the only way to figure it out is to keep grinding the gears and stalling until you figure it out." [133] My apologies in advance to the people who are coming to our new nameless church. It may be a bumpy ride for a while. But I think it will be an worthwhile adventure.

Once last priceless Driscoll-ism: "My answer to everything is pretty much the same: open the Bible and preach about the person of Jesus and his mission for the church." [86]

Amen, bro dude.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Book Review: Kindled Fire

If you know me well, you know that I pick my heroes from among dead people so that I'm less disappointed by their mistakes. In my first year at seminary, a wise professor assigned me to read Charles H. Spurgeon's Lectures to My Students. Spurgeon quickly became one of my heroes.

In January of this year I met Zack Eswine and was impressed by his heart for God, quick wit and concern for wanna-be pastor's like me. Today I just finished Kindled Fire and I want to say thanks to Zack Eswine for writing this book.

I want to follow Spurgeon's example and preach with a scripture manner. I want my life and preaching to be marked by the power of the Holy Spirit of God like Spurgeon's. In Spurgeon, I find an example of a man who struggled against depression (like I sometimes do) and saw God prove himself faithful again and again.

If you want to help me lead in this new church we're starting, would you consider reading this book too so that we might talk about it?

Sunday, August 5, 2007

My New Favorite Podcasts

The following are my new favorite podcasts:

Beautiful Places with Tony Farley in HD
NPR: Car Talk's Call of the Week
Capitol Hill Baptist Church (CHBC) Audio | Podcast
(Michael Lawrence is preaching an excellent series from 2 Timothy this summer.)
TGRtv Podcast - skiing video clips from Teton Gravity Research
Newshour with Jim Lehrer Podcast | PBS
The Albert Mohler Radio Program
Discovery Channel Video Podcasts
Ask a Ninja Question 47 - "Ultimate Movie Pitch"

Freeskier Magazine's Video Podcast would still be on the list, if they ever post any new podcasts! It's August, it's hot, and I'm dying here waiting for more free skiing videos.

Friday, August 3, 2007


We just got back from a great camping trip with friends from Rock Creek.

We got rained on last night, but that just adds to the adventure.

Look at all these climbing kids.