Friday, January 23, 2009

A Transition for The Well

For those of you who follow my blog but are not a part of The Well, I wanted to let you in on some changes that are taking place with our church.

Before we launched The Well, we learned about another missional church in Broad Ripple—Trinity—that had some astonishing similarities to what we envisioned the church to be. Over the past two years, I have developed a good relationship with their pastor, Todd Fisher, who has become a mentor to me. Whenever we would meet, we were always amused at how different we both were in our leadership styles and gift mixes, and yet always aware of how very similar our visions for church were. At various points, we would discuss the possibility of working together and bringing our communities together.

Recently, we made the decision to make that happen. As you can imagine, there are many details that I’m leaving out of the journey that led to this partnership, but there are several indications that this has been orchestrated by God.

What this means for me and my fellow “Wellers” is that we’ll be surrendering our name and our logo. For the foreseeable future, we’ll also discontinue our Sunday evening worship gatherings and, instead, will be joining our Trinity brothers and sisters on Sunday mornings to gather and celebrate.

However, we will continue to have our house churches in Hamilton County and will continue reaching out to serve the poor, the outcast, and the abused who live among us but are nearly forgotten amid the affluence of our community. In other words, those of us of The Well who have been the body of Christ to our Hamilton County neighbors are as committed as ever to continuing to be the body of Christ right where we live. Our little missional community is still very much alive and well!

If you’re interested in learning more about Trinity and our mission, I invite you to visit our website at or drop in and experience a worship gathering with us some Sunday morning.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What Will You Do?

While on Christmas break, I read the book, "Terrify No More" by Gary Haugen, President of International Justice Mission. This is a remarkable book that tells the stories of some of the rescue efforts by IJM, but primarily that of dozens of young girls trapped in the child sex industry in Cambodia. It was heart-wrenching and heart-breaking, but also inspiring and hope-filled.

Haugen shares a quote early in the book. It's one that I've read before, but haven't spent much time processing. Lately, I can't stop thinking about it. It's by Edmund Burke:

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

I would just like to invite you to think about that quote in light of the global atrocities that are occuring in places like Gaza, Zimbabwe, Darfur, the Democratic Republic of Congo and many others. We have so much influence--as citizens of the U.S. and as followers of the God of the Universe! We need to speak out. We need to give our money. We need to offer our time and our talent. We need to pray. This is hell and it looks nothing like the picture of life abundant that Jesus invites His followers to bring to their neighbors--of the local and global variety.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

What will you do?

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Well, I realize that my posts have been less and less frequent. Sorry about that. I haven't felt particularly inspired to share anything lately. And, of course, things have been a bit busy.

But, I'm nearly finished with The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. and I have been so moved by the life of MLK. I told my sister that it's unfortunate that we never learned more about him in school, but it's a flat out tragedy that we never studied him in the church. This is a man who lived in submission to the Holy Spirit and his life plays out like a story straight out of the New Testament.

There are so many fantastic quotes that I'd love to share. Best thing you could do is go check it out at the library (that's what I did). But, here's an excellent quote King gave less than a month before he was shot and killed:

"You know Jesus reminded us in a magnificent parable one day that a man went to hell because he didn't see the poor. His name was Dives. And there was a man by the name of Lazarus who came daily to his gate in need of the basic necessities of life and Dives didn't do anything about it. And he ended up going to hell. There is nothing in that parable which says that Dives went to hell because he was rich. Jesus never made a universal indictment against all wealth. It is true that one day a rich young ruler came to Him talking about eternal life and he advised him to sell all, but in that instance Jesus was prescribing individual surgery, not setting forth a universal diagnosis. If you will go on and read that parable in all of its dimensions and its symbolism you will remember that a conversation took place between heaven and hell. And on the other end of that long distance call between heaven and hell was Abraham in heaven talking to Dives in hell. It wasn't a millionaire in hell talking with a poor man in heaven, it was a little millionaire in hell talking with a multimillionaire in heaven. Dives didn't go to hell because he was rich. his wealth was his opportunity to bridge the gulf that separated him from his brother Lazarus. Dives went to hell becuase he allowed the means by which hi lived to outdistance the ends for which he lived. Dives went to hell because he sought to be a conscientious objector in the war against poverty.

"And I come by here to say that America too is going to hell if she doesn't use her wealth. If America does not use her vast resources of wealth to end poverty and make it possible for all of God's children to have the basic necessities of life, she too will go to hell. I will hear America through her historians, years and generations to come, saying, 'We built gigantic buildings to kiss the skies. We built gargantuan bridges to span the seas. Through our space ships we were able to carve highways through the stratosphere. Through our submarines we were able to penetrate oceanic depths.' It seems that I can hear the God of the universe saying, 'Even though you have done all of that, I was hungry and you fed me not. I was naked and you clothed me not. The children of my sons and daughters were in need of economic security and you didn't provide it for them. And so you cannot enter the kingdom of greatness.' This may well be the indictment on America." (King, Martin Luther, Jr. The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. New York, NY: Warner Books, Inc., 1998.)

King gave that speech over 40 years ago and I'm afraid we haven't learned much since then. But, I have hope. My hope is that the Church will become the Church and lead the way to ending poverty--in America and around the world. To helping people experience abundant life; to experience the good news of the kingdom of God that is available here and now. We must turn our eyes and ears beyond our suburban bubble...this heaven on earth that we've created for ourselves. We must display compassion and generosity to the hungry and sick around the corner, and around the world. The church is not the body of Christ unless it is breaking itself open and pouring itself out for them. Otherwise, what have we learned from Jesus?

We celebrate Jesus' birth next week. A lot of people need to know why this is good news for them. I pray that you and I will show them. Be a blessing. Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

An Evening With Steve Quinn and Heather Bays (& Me!)

Hey everybody...on Friday, December 5, there is a benefit concert for International Justice Mission at Northview. Steve Quinn and Heather Bays are the featured vocalists, but the real draw to the concert is me on the piano. Get your tickets ASAP--they're free at Northview and I'm sure they're gonna be gone soon now that word is out about me playing piano.

Seriously, I hope you'll come. The concert is gonna be great (it's Christmasy!), but the cause is even greater. International Justice Mission is an amazing organization doing a tremendous amount of good in this world. Their main objective is to bring an end to child sex slavery, which affects 2 million children worldwide. Visit to learn more about what they do.

Click here to view a video about IJM and human trafficking.

I hope to see you there! Visit Northview's website for concert and ticket details.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Beware the Shopocalypse!!

Shannon and I watched the documentary, "What Would Jesus Buy?" last weekend. I heard good things about it when it came out in the theater last year, but I never got around to seeing it.

If you get a chance, try to pick it up. It's surprisingly entertaining--we laughed out loud at several points--and very educational. Some of the facts and supporting stories of consumerism will absolutely shock you. Check out the film website:

Whatever you do...see it before Black Friday!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Hands & Feet

Wow, I've really dropped the ball on keeping fresh posts on my blog. Sorry everyone!

My friends at The Well and I have been serving with some local child abuse organizations for nearly two years now. Our interaction with them has made us aware of the severity of child abuse and neglect in our community. It has also caused us to raise questions about why more followers of Jesus aren't involved in addressing abuse and neglect. In January, we began having discussions about ways that we could get Christians and churches to step up and bring hope and healing to some desperate families in Hamilton County.

The result of our discussions is Hands & Feet: Churches Uniting to End Child Abuse. I won't go into detail about it here, but I invite you to visit our website: to learn more. We have our first presentation on November 10 at Bridgeway Community Church and I'm very excited about the potential.

If you'd like Hands & Feet to come to your church, please email me at If you'd like to attend a presentation, you're welcome to come to any of them. We'll post upcoming presentations on our website. Let me know if you have comments or questions about Hands & Feet! I'd love to get your feedback! Thanks!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Created For Good Works

My friends at The Well and I are doing a quick read through the book, "Holy Discontent" by Bill Hybels. This is part of our exploration of the mission and purpose that God has for us as individuals, and for our church.

We're getting to the meat of the book now and I want to share a quote from this book that I hope will challenge you to consider your holy discontent--the good works God wants you to invest yourself in.

"Ephesians 2:10 says that 'we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.'

"We were all created to do good works. I was created to do good works. Just as confidently, I'm here to tell you that you were created to do good works, which explains how I know that you have a holy discontent banging around in your brain somewhere--if you're alive and kicking today, then there is a specific work that you are expected to do. There is a set of tasks with your name on it that God has given you to accomplish, and long before you actually arrived on the scene, God planted certain seeds in your soul that he remains whole-heartedly committed to watering, growing and making into something beautiful, if you will let him.

"God is looking for someone just like you--someone who gets wrecked on planet Earth by the things that wreck him up in heaven--so that he can sign you up for service. I assure you that there is something out there that God is waiting for you to grab on to so that he can use you to help solve it. It wrecks you, it wrecks him, and he is ready for you both to do something about it."(Hybels, Bill. "Holy Discontent: Fueling the Fire that Ignites Personal Vision." Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2007.)

What's your holy discontent? What are you doing about it? It's what you were created for. If you're not sure what it is, then I'd encourage you to 1) pick up a copy of this book 2) read it 3)get on your knees and pray 4)get up and go explore some of the hurt and pain in this world and allow God to reveal your holy discontent to you.

By the way...I've got 2 extra copies of this book. I'll sell 'em cheap if somebody out there wants a copy.