June 25, 2008

Chr Missionary Fellowship: Thailand

Posted in cross cultural mission, more disciples, servant-leader at 11:55 AM by alexlozada

Mountain’s Global Outreach pastor Tom Moen dropped off Greg & Alison Coley’s CMF Thailand campus ministry newsletter.  Though we’ll only be spending part of one evening w/ them @ Thammasat University, their long-term approach of working w/ the next generation of Thailand’s leaders is a fitting “next step” from the orphanage-schools that MCC supports via Somchai Panya  in Mae Sod.  Mountain is helping to create a parallel path to the one some American young people follow of Christian school to campus ministry of secular college to servant-leadership in the church and community.

June 24, 2008

Yet Another Way to Study in Groups: “Storying”

Posted in better disciples at 11:34 AM by alexlozada

Mountain Christian’s small groups span the spectrum of methods for the intentional study time of group gatherings: traditional teacher presenting content w/ some q&a (Bible school); facilitator-guided discussion (Serendipity  Bible style – what my Wed 6a men’s group uses); DVD teaching from “big-name” speaker w/ workbooks; book-club-style reading through a popular Christian devotional; etc.

In yet another example of the old becoming new, missionaries have long recognized that cultures communicate differently – with some especially emphasizing oral story-telling: combining story w/ poetry, music, role play, object lesson, and even motions to make narratives more memorable.  Western culture, the US being a prime example, has long been considered a “literate culture” emphasizing the written word, and beyond that – a linear, outline style (Powerpoints ad infinitum anyone?)

Mountain’s current message series “Around the Word in 80 Days” opened w/ a storying / orality style introduction to Genesis by Ethan M.  With Ben C & Rob K’s prompting, I’m laying groundwork for exploring storying as a small group study method for interested MCC small group leaders.  Here are some websites to check if you’re curious:

http://www.oralbible.com/resources.php

http://www.chronologicalbiblestorying.com/

http://www.thejavaclub.org/houseblend.html

June 14, 2008

2nd Saturday Serve Day & Love NYC Day

Posted in more disciples, NYC at 6:23 PM by alexlozada

I sweat hard @ 2nd Saturday Serve Day, but it was good sweat – helped a bunch of MCC-ers and folks from the Edgewood community as we cleaned up an area in Edgewood that had been a susceptible to crime.  The sociology part comes in part from the “Broken Windows” theory of crime prevention of tackling little problems as a step in solving big problems, famously implemented by NYC mayor Rudy Guiliani.  The better disciples comes in part from Jesus famous words on salt and light.  If your MCC small group is looking for a way to serve more and better, here’s more info about the next one, July 12.

Speaking of NYC and of serving – last year I blogged about Love NYC Day, but because of a family emergency I wasn’t able to go.  MCC is planning to participate again this year, and Spirit-willing, I’ll be part of that group! The date is Saturday, August 2.  Men, if you’ve already made plans to attend the “Party Like a Man” event – follow through on that.  Otherwise, everyone can check these highlights from an email by Forefront’s lead pastor Brian Moll about Love NYC Day.

June 13, 2008

Mission trip Mae Sod Oct 28- Nov 12

Posted in cross cultural mission at 12:15 PM by alexlozada

I’m excited that plans are at finally moving forward for MCC’s short term mission trip to Thailand this  Oct – Nov.  We’ll depart Tue, Oct 28 and via Chicago & Tokyo to Bangkok, because of the time change and 23+hrs of flight time arriving in the wee hours of Thur morning Oct 30.  After spending some recuperation time @  Bangkok Chr Guest House, we’ll drive to Mae Sod in Thailand’s far western Tak province, along the Moei River.

We’ll work alongside MCC-supported missionary Somchai Panya to interact w/ the young people @ two orphanage-schools (k-4gr & 5gr-9gr) in conversational English and vacation-Bible-school-style  children’s ministry .  Spirit-willing (and government permitting), our team will also serve @ the Mae La refugee camp,  one of several settlements for Burmese of the Karen people.  We’ll continue helping children, as well as using Community Health Evangelism and distributing simple medical supplies.  Some on our team will seek to make long-term impact through leadership training for area pastors in counseling for children & families, and in church health & growth through small groups – hmmm, wonder who wants to teach that 🙂

We’ll return to Bangkok via Bangsai and the opportunity to experience more of Thai history & culture.  After some debrief & relax time in Bangkok, we’ll fly home arriving back in Maryland on Wed, Nov 12.  There’s still a little time to contact me if you’re interested in going, as well as the possibility that MCC will return in the coming years.

June 5, 2008

Staying connected w/ your small group during the summer

Posted in better disciples at 9:14 AM by alexlozada

Many MCC small groups gear down in the summer – understandably so because the real-life relationships in group follow the real-life schedules of school & work.

Some groups continue to connect well over the summer – pool parties, picnics, and play dates.  Here are a couple of growing opportunities that are NOT dependent on weekly / bi-weekly meetings:

I’ve linked to a great article about praying outside the four walls of the church building – here’s an article on “Prayers With Feet” (prayer) walking w/ your group members through their neighborhoods.

This article focuses on reading through the Bible in a year, but along w/ the “Yay God!” stories about the power of reading the Bible together, there are links at the bottom of the article about various Bible reading plans. Your group could adapt one to use over the summer.  Or try to read through one or more of the Bible books we recommend at MCC’s Welcome to Mountain class: Mark, Luke, Acts, James, Ephesians.