The Tragic End of the Transactional Gospel

In Formation by Bizgainey2 Comments

The Tragic End of the Transactional Gospel

Recently, most churches in America celebrated Easter, or Resurrection Sunday.

The “Big-Day” within the Christian calendar.

The day of all days, so to speak.

Or, as one pastor-friend of mine used to say, “Easter is to Christians what Super Bowl Sunday is to football players.”

More than a Day, Easter is a Season!

Easter, however, is designed to be celebrated and experienced as a Season, not just a day.

It’s actually a season of 50 days during which we bump into the resurrected …
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An Unusual “Fast” at an Unusual Time!

In Formation by Bizgainey2 Comments

An Unusual “Fast” at an Unusual Time!

Lent is, traditionally speaking, the season of the church calendar year during which many Christians fast.

While I often fast during the Lenten season, it’s rare that I commit to a fast during the season of Easter.  In fact, I love the rhythm of the church calendar: we fast during the 40 days of Lent and then Feast for 50 days during Easter season.  The feast is always longer than the fast.

Yes, I love that.

A few weeks ago, during the middle …
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Easter: A Celebration of Self-Giving Love

In Delight in God, Discipleship, Easter, Formation, Love, Spiritual Formation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Easter: A Celebration of Self-Giving Love

Last week, I began exploring several pervasive assumptions regarding how we perceive or experience God.  Each one prevents us from experiencing Him the way the Bible consistently portrays Him to the world.

These assumptions are:

God is Distant from us. We don’t often think of God as one who reveals Himself. God is Disgusted with us. When we do reflect on His presence in our midst, we rarely think of Him as one who reveals Himself as Divine, self-giving love. Many, in fact, perceive…
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Easter: A Celebration of God’s Self-Giving Love and Beauty!

In Consumption, Delight in God, Desire, Discipleship, Easter, Formation, Freedom, Love by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Easter: A Celebration of God’s Self-Giving Love and Beauty!

Are there ever moments in your life when your desire feels ravenous?

Moments when you are just never satisfied, always longing for, wanting, or craving bigger, better, more?

I use the term ravenous to mean intensely eager for satisfaction or gratification.  I have written extensively on this blog regarding the prevalence of desire within the human soul.

We can all probably agree, at least on some level, that many of our decisions related to how we spend our time and where …
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A Cross-Generational and Cross-Cultural Ministry Seeking to Discern God’s Will, Together!

In Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Church Planting, Discipleship, Formation, Ministry, Spiritual Formation, Transformation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

A Cross-Generational and Cross-Cultural Ministry Seeking to Discern God’s Will, Together!

When I reflect on the mistakes the modern church has and is making (and let’s face it, every church era contains numerous crippling but unintended consequences of decisions made in goodwill), two that remain prevalent are:

Age and cultural/racial segmentation and segregation, and Discernment as personal and private decision making.

At Pillar, we’ve sought to reframe both of these and believe the reframe is essential to the core of any church whose desire is to become a congregation of …
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Reimagining Community: It’s Not What But How

In Change, Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Church Planting, Community, Discipleship, Ministry, Small Groups, Transformation, Transforming Community Groups by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Reimagining Community: It’s Not What But How

The past few weeks I’ve been summarizing some of the rhythms of ministry that characterize Pillar Community Church.

Many of them – likely all of them – are active in any congregation professing belief in Christ.

At Pillar, it’s not really ‘what’ our rhythms are, but ‘how’ we practice them that prove to be distinctive.

Not better, mind you.

Just distinct.…
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A Disruptive and Dynamic Process of Spiritual Formation: The Gospel

In Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Church Planting, Community, Discipleship, Formation, Ministry, Spiritual Formation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

A Disruptive and Dynamic Process of Spiritual Formation: The Gospel

In last week’s post, I shared three of seven dynamic and disruptive ministry rhythms of Pillar Community Church. These three rhythms are:

Discipleship Worship Spiritual Rhythms/Bodily Disciplines

Each of these seven rhythms constitutes a central emphasis one will likey experience in many church settings.

As such, they become central rhythms in congregational, family, and individual lives.  When we soak-in these rhythms together, they then pour out all over those around us.

This week I will begin to explore a fourth …
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Disruptive and Dynamic Process of Spiritual Formation

In Church Leadership, Church Planting, Contemplation, Discipleship, Formation, Spiritual Formation, Transformation, Worship by Bizgainey1 Comment

Disruptive and Dynamic Process of Spiritual Formation

When I awakened to and accepted this disruptive and dynamic process of spiritual formation, I then began to establish it as a solid foundation for life and ministry.

After eight years (really more) of traveling this road, I am becoming convinced that the disruptive and dynamic process of spiritual formation ought to be the mark of every ministry.  Particularly any ministry desiring to seek the Kingdom of God in Christ and invite others to do the same!

I suspect that others are awakening …
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The Story of a Church: A Disruptive and Dynamic Journey!

In Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Church Planting, Formation, Spiritual Formation, Surrender, Transformation, Worship by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Spiritual Formation as a Disruptive and Dynamic Journey!

God’s Kingdom has come (already begun) with the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ. This is an indisputable biblical fact.

It’s also true that his kingdom rule continues to be contested!  The powers that once ran and sought to ruin his good world through sin and shame continue to exert notable force.

Even as the often slow but certain Kingdom-coming continues to make its presence known!

These two realities

That God’s reordered rule in and through His son, our Messiah, has already…
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A Story About A Church: Something Has to Change!

In Cancer, Change, Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Church Planting, Community, Formation, Spiritual Formation, Transformation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

A Story about a Church: Something Has to Change!

Why is that life – that joyful life with Jesus – so hard to experience now?  What is it about the way we are living life that makes such moments exceptional, and why on earth can they not be normative?”

She had me at “why.”

She was right.

In my heart, I sensed that something had to change.…
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