Monday, June 30, 2003

Network 9:35 Comes To Indy:

Really enjoyed having Phil Olson with us for lunch today here in Indianapolis as he was passing through from Philadelphia. Phil's the 'networking pastor' from Network 9:35 and Evangelicals for Social Action. These organizations are just what the name implies... evangelicals who believe the gospel is the gospel that Jesus modeled... a faith lived out, impacting its world.

Phil and his family were on vacation, having just left the home of the Peter Larson family -- a pastor friend of ours from Indianapolis, now living near Cincinnatti. So it was great that he took time out to stop in Indy and have a lunchtime discussion with a few of us gathered in the interest of better networking our Bible-believing community, and learning from each other.

And as neat as it was to have Phil with us, it was equally great to see a handful of "driven Christians here in the Racing Capital of the World" also getting to know each other, and each others' gifts and passion. It was a fairly small but diverse group, consisting of Christian businessmen, professors, pastors, church-planter, and a tech or two. Yet the potential for impact was enormous. One moderates the statewide "Transform Indiana" initiative. One is heading the CCDA Indy initiative. Another represents the unique college here in Indy which trains Christian leaders to reach a multi-ethnic urban world for Christ. One is helping the PCA plant churches in St. Louis and Indianapolis. One is creating some video from today's meeting, as he was also doing an interview for Indiana Christian News -- a new local Christian paper starting up.

So hopefully you'll be able to read more about today's meeting, when you pick up your August copy of the paper. [And of course, we'll also highlight the story from when it becomes available online somewhere.] But for the time being, let me simply reiterate the key point I heard today.... "Jesus said, 'Go'..... Get out of here.... Just do it. And in YOUR neighborhood is as good a place as any to get started." [Certainly reminded us of our Transform Indiana strategy... finding or expediting well-networked lighthouses in every neighborhood across the state.]

While it was not necessarily intended as a meeting to create yet more things to do, nonetheless, a significant action point did develop. Scott Truex was inspired to accept a role as an official "convener", to rally a group of us to travel to New York for a one-of-a-kind leadership conference this fall.... the National Leadership Forum... Oct 5-8, 2003.

Btw, it did not escape my hearing today, that one of our guys was greatly impacted at CCDA 2002 Conference, and was helped in his networking process, by and our Los Angeles friend, Rudy Carrasco at the Harambee Center. Thanks Rudy... you may never know just how much you helped our city. Remember your cyber-cafe there?

Btw, related to this upcoming national forum, Indianapolis has been asked to host a regional City Impact Roundtable next summer. Can we make a difference in Indiana, for Christ?

Gotta go start finding some funds so I won't get left behind in Indy this fall. How about you? You coming along?

Friday, June 27, 2003

"How Many Calories in a Google-Bar?"

When I wrote this fun-title yesterday (see yesterday's blog entry), I had no idea there was a story getting ready to break. But this pretty well says it all... at .

IMHO... If you've not yet added this Google Toolbar... you're missing a great tool. Even helps you search for the particular word you're looking for, in a page. The only way they could improve on it, is to build in BibleGateway's search too. **smile**
"Crossover Arizona".... and "Crossover Indiana"... and "Transform Indiana":

What a pleasant surprise in today's headlines ( And what a great concept. And best of all... it's apparently coming to Indy next year.

"Crossover Arizona Nets 1100 Decisions...."

Gotta believe there's a ton of synergy to be had, with "Transform Indiana".

Thursday, June 26, 2003

"Don't Jump!"
[Continued 'Tales from the Trail'... see below.]

You know, some days out on the trail are truly fulfilling. Like today.

As Mike & John & I approached the bridge, three young guys were out on the ledge staring down at their fate below. We yelled, "Don't Jump!".

After about 20 minutes of talking with us, these 3 guys -- A Buddist, a Baptist and a Catholic. -- came in off that ledge. Admittedly, still a Buddist, a Baptist and a Catholic... but nonetheless, off the ledge... and they know how they can have eternal life.

Yes, a fulfilling day.

Now for the straight of it... LOL... It's a tiny bridge, over shallow water, and the ducks below were probably in greater peril. But it makes for a good story.

In any event, it was fulfilling... it always is -- there's virtually never a day in which we don't enjoy getting to at least talk with a number of people about heaven, and the truth of God's requirements about getting into heaven... and His great offer of eternal life.

Today, the young Baptist probably told it the best, openly sharing in front of his friends, his experience of having come to believe in Jesus Christ as a his personal savior and how that changed everything for him.

Who knows just how God may have used that young man that day.

[Tomorrow... How Many Calories in a Google-bar?]

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Computers... A Help In Urban Ministry?
[continued from yesterday]

If we can simply be available to God, notably perhaps with capabilities to spread the gospel at the speed of Light, surely God will bless such efforts of faith. Yesterday, at our "Wireless Coffee" time together (in the real-world, each Saturday morning), our multi-cultural collection of such folks worked together to ready our flagship location at 12th x Central. Flyers are going out this week, inviting the general public of that urban area, to come in for free, make friends, use our internet access and obtain computer help from our volunteers... as we help them find the "best information on the Information Highway".

At the same time, these same volunteers are also helping to support the "Transform Indiana" initiative, by volunteering to be an 'e-servant' assigned to assist pastors & leaders from counties, cities and neighborhoods throughout the state. See the drilldown map there.

It really blessed my socks off, to see Woody on the phone with Jeff "Linux" (LOL) getting the servers back online after the storms this past week, and thereby getting the "Urban Tech Center" ready. And Mary had prepared the UTC flyer. Collin was helping Ray build his "Intelligent Design" site to add to the mix... and Ray is gaining understanding how to help maintain the Transform Hamilton Co. page... and will, in turn, be able to help other e-servants help their county in this strategic way. Ray says the first thing he wants to learn is how to get Eldon's picture off of it. LOL. And there were several other examples of productivity... even in this small setting of the early stages now of the "Urban Collaborative Center". Will the Lord bless our urban area there, and across the state, as a result of the efforts in faith by these guys & gals?

So can we help? We already are. For instance, the "Crossroads" newletter (Crossroads Publishing, C. Strickland) is apparently nearly ready to go to press -- just need a couple more advertisers (if interested, email us, and get a double-win by working with Crossroads Publishing AND It's probably best described as an 'outreach' format for non-Christians and inquirers. For instance, here's an article I'm preparing for it. There are already a number of other neat articles, radio & tv advertisers, etc., so it looks pretty cool already. You can be sure our urban center will be praying for the success of reaching 10,000 people here around Indy, with the word of God in an enticing way. Btw, our "Urban Tech Center" flyer will also be inserted in each of the 10,000 copies -- so we're looking forward to building ongoing relationships with its readers, as they come participate at the center. Moreover, we're also busily brainstorming the new look & feel of -- also promoted in the newsletter, aimed at the secular public, to help meet needs in the most meaningful ways. Stay tuned there, and pray that the site will be effective in helping our community.

So can computers help urban Indianapolis -- you can believe we believe it!

[Tomorrow... "Don't Jump!"]

Saturday, June 21, 2003

"J, J, and B... Not to mention, K"...
[continued "Tales from the Trail... Monon Trail, that is...]

Ok, so here we are, out on the trail again, just asking interested (and interesting!) people 5 brief questions of a spiritual nature. Here's just a few responses...

"J"... was generous with her time and thoughtful in her answers. Then gave us further permission to share 5 brief bullets from the Bible -- an overview, if you will, of God's great offer to mankind. In the end, I think she'd agree, it helped clarify some things that she may not have heard quite that way in her church. And that's part of our objective... to make sure that at least people have a good chance to hear what God offers them, and not leave the message to chance. Frankly, most of the people we talk to, do not even know what His offer really is. How good a job have we, the Church, done in getting the correct message out to them?

"Next J" was a nice, polite fisherman. I don't know how to fish. He knows how to fish. He seemed not to know how to get to heaven. We know how to get to heaven. He was kind enough to show us his catch for the day, and shared his answers to the questions... and we shared our 'catch of a lifetime' with him -- this time via a tract, after a friendly chat with him. I hope he 'catches' it too. Pray for "Next J".

"B"... same. Nice guy. You can't believe how nice people are, here in Indianapolis. And upon conclusion, again, was kind enough to take a tract home and consider further.

And then there was "K".... He needs our prayers more than any of the above... yet realizes it perhaps way less than any of the above. He was 'out of it', wanted to be our friend, but says he's a demon or devil or something. Really just a kid who needs our chronic love & prayers. And it's for young people like that, that I'm thankful for the regular daily ministry to Broadripple teens.... called Outreach, Inc. Nuf said. Thanks Eric, for being there for these kids.

[Tomorrow... "Wireless Coffee" time... How can we help all these sorts of folks? Surely computers can't help, can they?]

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

"Return to Chilliwack"...

[continuing saga... see yesterday's entry]

It took a friend in England, to get us to go back to Chilly Chilliwack Canada today, to review a great site there... and perhaps collaboratively brainstorm/review it among our "WirelessCoffee" guys on Saturday morning.

Notice how Tony has even strategically given churches & techs some questions to use, as a brainstorming checklist -- see his "Analyze Its Effectiveness" link near the bottom.

[Tomorrow... more 'tales from the trail'... "J, J, and B... Not to mention, K"]

Monday, June 16, 2003

"How DO You Get Christians To Work Together, Cross-denominationally?"

[Continued from yesterday... See below.]

LOL. Now here's a topic that could take all day. LOL. So I won't. In fact, while I have some suspicions about how it should be done, I'll never suggest that I know how, or can effectively cause it to happen.

But if we'll always try to "work as unto the Lord", and if we'll keep our eyes on Jesus and His Great Commission... surely any walls that divide us will become increasingly minimal as time goes on. And if the 'new paradigm' helps us to speed that process, then praise God for it as a tool for love & good deeds together.

And on that note, again I'll refer you to the "Wireless Coffee" blog, which is constantly growing as a team-blog, cross-denominationally (btw), in support of "Transform Indiana". Check out their latest stuff.

[Tomorrow... Ever do a discussion based on a web-page? Put on your coats, we're headed back to Canada for this one. **smile** See you tomorrow.]

Saturday, June 14, 2003

"I saw a changed life..."

[continuing... the "A&A biker-dude's" final comments'.... ]

After I concluded the 5 questions and thanked the guys, and gave 'em a little DoYouKnowForSure booklet, my friend said "Hey I'm Jewish and I used to be an agnostic myself, but everything changed when I discovered peace with God through the Messiah Jesus. It's worth careful consideration."

What I didn't write yesterday was that the first young guy had already told us separately how, when he was at 'the end of his rope', his mother had prayed with him to receive Jesus Christ as his savior... and it had changed his life around entirely. So the A&A guy now has heard two testimonials, and started recalling for us, yet another person he knew who was a Viet vet, now a pastor because of how his life was changed when he came to know this Jesus.

Obviously the Spirit was working. Pray for these young guys who undoubtedly will be talking further about this Jesus and His ability to change lives.

Now let's recycle that pipedream from a few days ago.... "Don't you wish...."

...that we had a cross-denominational group of Christians just ready and waiting with an "Alpha-group" meeting locally that we could bring these guys to?

[Tomorrow... "Btw, how DO you get Christians to work together cross-denominationally?"]

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Tales from the Trail (continued)...

Neat experience yesterday on the trail. A 'messianic Jewish' friend went along. Wouldn't you think that rain would dampen our spirits? Hardly. Had to laugh as we really enjoyed talking with a couple of 'biker-dudes' who took time to talk with us, and answered the 5 brief questions. Even one of 'em who said right up front... "Hey, I'm agnostic and apathetic -- that is, I don't know and I don't care." LOL. Had to really appreciate his honesty and willingness to talk with us anyway.

[Tomorrow... how would our "A&A" biker-dude conclude the encounter?]

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

City Models To Review...

"Iron sharpens iron... and so one techie sharpeneth another". Thanks to OrangeJack, we're able to offer the following...

Here are some great city model links that I found meaningful, especially as we in Indianapolis consider how we can better work together.

Love Chilliwack
Love Abbottsford

Both are based on the concept of "Servant Evangelism" (S.Sjogren) -- "doing works of love as we share words of love".

Also I enjoyed this link as a NEEDS-based (primarily using a "testimonies" convention) Good News site...

And... last but not least... a digital site supporting a lot of the above -- let's explore these further (at our "Wireless Coffee" time) as may well relate to the "Transform Indiana" ministry-networking initiative around our state.

P.S. And thanks to Tony Whittaker, who has connected a number of internet evangelist-types... like OrangeJack. This is yet another example of how networking relationships can greatly enhance the effectiveness of networkers. And if that's true in this seemingly-small but illustrative way, imagine the effectiveness of a well-networked city (relationally) of "driven Christians in the Racing Capital of the World".

Saturday, June 07, 2003

Monday, June 02, 2003

"Prayer Walking.... Mapping..."

Already the new "Wireless Coffee" blog has yielded a great potential dividend. Adam Shields' link to PRAYERWALKING & mapping was worth the price of admission.

Can you imagine the Monon Trail neighborhoods being mapped and adopted?

[See what happens when "driven Christian techs, city by city" start developing and testing strategies online? Thanks Jeff for your work there, making everything possible.]

[Tomorrow... "Let's do lunch..."]

Sunday, June 01, 2003

"Don't You Wish.... " [continued]

... that the Christian community cared enough about our "neighbors", to come out of our 'silo-churches'... say 10% of the time... or even just 1% of the time... and work TOGETHER in a manner glorifying Jesus Christ in front of an onlooking community? I do. Could you imagine how much we'd have in powerful, agape-driven resources if our solid Christian churches picked up that herald call? I can.

Today, in the Indy Star:

Another Broadripple High School casualty.

Apparently others in our Indianapolis community might also wonder about such things.