Doing Church

Announcements? Really?I’m holding it in my hands right now. It’s a brochure published by one of our larger Church of Christ universities promoting their on-line Bible courses. Each course is 13-weeks, perfect for the quarterly Bible school cycle of most of our congregations. One of the classes is “Christian Leadership Training.” Here’s the course description:

A plan for teaching a men’s or young men’s training class. Specific instructions on how to lead in various aspects of worship, from making announcements to leading in singing and making talks. Also has a section on doing personal work. Even includes critique sheets for in-class presentations.

It’s official. Announcements are now one of the five acts of worship. Which one did we take out?


In his book Forgotten Ways, Alan Hirsch contrasts the differences between what he calls Church as an “organic missional movement” and Church as “institutional religion.” I would classify it as the difference between “being church” and “doing church.” Same thing.

I can’t duplicate his chart on this blog. I don’t know how. (Help me, John!) So, I’ll have to do this in a linear way.

~According to Hirsch, an organic missional movement has pioneering missional leadership as its central role while institutional religion avoids leadership based on personality and is often led by an aristocratic class who inherit leadership based on loyalty.
~A missional movement seeks to embody the way of life of the Founder; institutional religion represents a more codified belief system.
~Missional movements are based on internal operational principles; institutional religion is based increasingly on external legislating policies and governance.
~Missional movements have a cause; institutional religion is the cause.
~With a missional movement, the goal is to change the future; institutional religion seeks to preserve the past.
~Missional movements tend to be mobile and dynamic while institutional religion tends to be more static and fixed.
~Missional movements are decentralized networks built on relationships; institutional religion is characterized by a centralized organization built on loyalty.
~The movement appeals to the common man as opposed to religion which tends to become more and more elitist and therefore exclusive.
~With missional movements, spiritual authority is the primary basis of influence, unlike religion which leans to institutional authorizing as the primary basis of influence.
~It’s being a people of the Way versus being a people of the Book.

I find these descriptions interesting. And provocative. And accurate. How about you?


The game-breaking homer that wrecked the RaysSome people say it’s better to be lucky than good. I’ll say it’s even better to be both. Yes, in their first two ALDS games in Florida, the Rangers have benefitted from two judgment calls at home plate that could easily have gone the other way. Carlos Pena thought he had a 3-1 count with the bases loaded against Cliff Lee in Game One and James Shields thought he had struck out Michael Young with two on yesterday in Game Two. The thing that makes the calls important is that Lee The Worthy Face of the Franchisewent on to strike out Pena and Young went on to blast a game-breaking three-run homer into centerfield.

Evan Grant has written a beautiful piece in today’s Dallas Morning News about Young. Click here to read it.

Michael Young is one of the things that makes it so easy to root for the Rangers. There are many others. C. J. ‘s determination. Antlers and claws. Hamilton ignoring his broken ribs to crash into the wall. Again. Nolan and Ruth Ryan in the owner’s box. A leadoff batter named Elvis. Who bunts for singles. Kinsler’s smile. Feliz’s fastball. Darren Oliver going 2-1/3 innings at 40 years old. Moreland’s dives into foul territory. The perfect blend of youth and innocence and age and wisdom.

I’m still embarrassed by Ron Washington’s horrible grammar. I cringe with every sentence out of the skipper’s mouth.

But this team’s headed to the American League Championship Series against the Yankees next week. And, man, are they fun to watch.




  1. Kipi

    I would add David Murphy’s selfless graciousness and his willingness to be anything and anywhere the team needs him. The ultimate team player.

    Go Rangers!

  2. Rob's Dad

    “That’s the way baseball go”

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