Kyle Lake, pastor of University Baptist Church in Waco, TX. died yesterday morning while preparing to perform a baptism. Here are the details from UBC's site:
This morning, Sunday October 30th, our pastor Kyle Lake was involved in an accident during a baptism and was transported by EMS to a nearby hospital. Kyle passed away around 11:30am. Not only did we lose a pastor but we've lost our friend. Funeral services are pending and we will update the website as soon as we have more information.
There will be a gathering tonight at 8pm at First Baptist Church Waco which is located on the Corner of 5th and Clay. This is a chance for reflection, an opportunity to be with friends and to pray. There will be counselors available if anyone needs to talk to anyone.
We are confident that Kyle is in heaven today because of his trust in Jesus Christ as his Savior.
“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. “ -1 John 5:11-13
The family would like donations in lieu of flowers to be sent to University Baptist Church, the church that Kyle pastored and loved. You may send this to 1701 Dutton Avenue, Waco, TX 76706.
The visitation has been set for tomorrow, October 31, 2005 at 6 pm at Wilkerson-Hatch-Bailey and will be come and go.
Please continue to keep the Lake family in your prayers
This is already all over the blog world and is now linked on Drudge. I have always felt a special connection with this church-- My sister was at UBC's first public gathering, and it was with this church that my heart was initially drawn to church planting. Please pray for the Lake family and for the whole church family as they grieve the loss of husband, father, pastor, and friend.
I'm leaving this morning for a packed weekend in Kansas. This will be my third year doing the fall retreat for the students at Metro East Baptist Church, and I'm really looking forward to reconnecting with students, families, and spending time with one of my best friends in the world (who happens to be the youth pastor there-- and likes to drink from voluminous beverage containers). Unfortunately, Katie is staying behind this year. I would appreciate prayers for God to move in the hearts of all of us involved, for Katie while I'm gone, for safe travels, and for me to return with enough energy to finish the two papers that are due next week.
ONE Sovereign Grace Ministries has added a new book to their Perspectives series: Am I Called? Discerning the Summons to Ministry. This addition follows 1) Election and 2) Polity: Serving and Leading the Local Church.
TWO Bruce Chant has posted his summary of Darrin Patrick's session from the September A29 Church Planting Boot Camp . Both the audio and Bruce's notes unearth significant questions that church planters need to ask in developing a philosophy of ministry (I'm secretly hoping that Bruce works through all the audio as he has for his last two posts. Excellent work my brother!)
THREE The Redeemer Presbyterian Fall 2005 Church Planting E-Newsletter is now online. The key article is part two of Tim Keller's, Ministry in the New Global Culture of Major City-Centers.
Google's plan to scan library book collections and make them searchable may be drawing ire from publishers and authors' advocates, but some obscure and first-time writers are lining up on the search engine's side of the dispute -- arguing that the benefits of inclusion in the online database outweigh the drawbacks.
Expletive Diluted // Marlon Manuel
Your grade-school angel might not cuss. But he may be freakin' close.
The daily lexicon, whether on television, stored in kids' iPods or packed in your soccer car pool, brims with borderline expletives – words some parents find inoffensive and permissible, though others deem crass, rude and unacceptable.
Even if kids aren't full-on saying the f-word – the Queen Mother of dirty words as portrayed in the holiday classic "A Christmas Story" – many have taken to Cussing Lite: All the flavor of full-bodied swearing with half the societal rebukes.
US News & World Report
Leadership is, as the public tells the pollsters, in disappointingly short supply. So the 25 people profiled in this week's issue are a heartening exception to the rule. "America's Best Leaders" includes accomplished members selected by an independent committee of judges assembled by the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Some are famous names; others, though giants in their fields, may be introduced to readers for the first time. Their leadership styles are as varied as the organizations they manage. EBay's Meg Whitman succeeds with collaboration, while the University of Miami's Donna Shalala leads by listening. C-SPAN's Brian Lamb runs his shop by "walking around." But what they all share is a clearly articulated vision, measurable results, and, in the words of one management guru, Big Hairy Audacious Goals. We hope that their examples will prove instructional for future leaders and to all others who strive to innovate, motivate, and inspire.
America's Best Leaders
"I couldn't be more pleased" // Bill Hybels talks with Chicago Sun TimeS Religion Reporter, Cathleen Falsani
As a conversation with Bill Hybels, senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, continues on the anniversary of the church's founding in 1975, the pastor turns his attention to what the next 30 years might hold the groundbreaking "seeker-friendly" congregation and its successors on the cutting edge of evangelicalism in the 21st century.
Q: Will Willow Creek alter its aesthetic to appeal to a new generation of seekers, like the coffee-house-style worship services with candles and couches that are growing in popularity?
A: "I have seen so many . . . variations, flavors or styles of gathering places. I was in a church recently filled with people in their 20s and it was wooden pews and stained glass, and they thought it was retro and cool. Thirty years ago, we were in a movie theater and thought it was so cool because we were finally delivered from the horrors of stained glass and wooden pews.
"So I see churches these days in bowling alleys, in warehouses, in storefronts, in aging cathedrals that were given to them for a dollar lease. More than anything, people want the reality of the discussion at hand. If what is going on in that building is the real thing, if the transforming love and power of Jesus Christ is being experienced, you can sit on a metal folding chair or in a plush theater seat.
"The real deal is always going to win in the end."
The article contains an interesting sidebar comparing Rob Bell's church in Grand Rapids with Willow Creek
While Mars Hill denizens generally eschew labels, many observers would place their congregation inside the Emerging (or Emergent) Church movement, a loose collection of largely Gen X-based congregations that have turned a deconstructionist, post-modern eye toward the idea of church.
Though created a generation apart, Willow Creek and Mars Hill both were founded by twentysomething Christians who wanted to find a new way to teach the Bible, to make Christianity "real and relevant."
"Both are examples of the way in which evangelicals intuitively speak the idiom of the culture at any given moment," said Randall Balmer, a religion professor at Barnard College in New York City and author of Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America. "The Hybels moment was the suburbanization of the Northwest Chicago suburbs. And the emerging church is picking up on, to a large degree, discontent over suburbanization and the model of Willow Creek."
Katie got home from work tonight and I decided to start reading her one of my favorite novels in the universe--John Kennedy Toole's, A Confederacy of Dunces. This book is not void of coarse language and seedy descriptives, but it also possesses some of the most brilliant characterization and belly-laughing dialogue I have ever encountered. I'm not sure that I ever understood reviews touting things as "laugh out loud funny" until I read this book. There are few novels that I return to ever-- let alone annually-- and this happens to be one of them (though I haven't read this cover to cover since before we got married).
The story is amazing, and the author's story is tragic-- Toole committed suicide in 1969 in despair over his novel's failure-- never seeing it published, and later winning the Pulitzer Prize. I also saw that a biography of Toole has recently been written, Ignatius Rising: The Life of John Kennedy Toole
The other intriguing thing about this novel is the massive troubles that have been encountered in trying to make a movie out of it. Legal issues, difficulties in translating the story to script, actors dying (John Belushi was slated to be the original Ignatius), it has been 25 years in the making-- and the rumors I have hear of Will Ferrell playing Ignatius make me pray that it stays on the shelf. I can't imagine how Hollywood could ever do justice to this book. The most recent report I have seen on the movie is here.
Here is the blurb from the book jacket:
"A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head. The green earflaps, full of large ears and uncut hair and the fine bristles that grew in the ears themselves, stuck out on either side like turn signals indicating two directions at once. Full, pursed lips protruded beneath the bushy black moustache and, at their corners, sank into little folds filled with disapproval and potato chip crumbs."
Meet Ignatius J. Reilly, the hero of John Kennedy Toole's tragicomic tale, A Confederacy of Dunces. This 30-year-old medievalist lives at home with his mother in New Orleans, pens his magnum opus on Big Chief writing pads he keeps hidden under his bed, and relays to anyone who will listen the traumatic experience he once had on a Greyhound Scenicruiser bound for Baton Rouge. ("Speeding along in that bus was like hurtling into the abyss.") But Ignatius's quiet life of tyrannizing his mother and writing his endless comparative history screeches to a halt when he is almost arrested by the overeager Patrolman Mancuso--who mistakes him for a vagrant--and then involved in a car accident with his tipsy mother behind the wheel. One thing leads to another, and before he knows it, Ignatius is out pounding the pavement in search of a job.
Over the next several hundred pages, our hero stumbles from one adventure to the next. His stint as a hotdog vendor is less than successful, and he soon turns his employers at the Levy Pants Company on their heads. Ignatius's path through the working world is populated by marvelous secondary characters: the stripper Darlene and her talented cockatoo; the septuagenarian secretary Miss Trixie, whose desperate attempts to retire are constantly, comically thwarted; gay blade Dorian Greene; sinister Miss Lee, proprietor of the Night of Joy nightclub; and Myrna Minkoff, the girl Ignatius loves to hate. The many subplots that weave through A Confederacy of Dunces are as complicated as anything you'll find in a Dickens novel, and just as beautifully tied together in the end. But it is Ignatius--selfish, domineering, and deluded, tragic and comic and larger than life--who carries the story. He is a modern-day Quixote beset by giants of the modern age. His fragility cracks the shell of comic bluster, revealing a deep streak of melancholy beneath the antic humor. John Kennedy Toole committed suicide in 1969 and never saw the publication of his novel. Ignatius Reilly is what he left behind, a fitting memorial to a talented and tormented life. --Alix Wilber
I have just spent the morning listening to Mark Driscoll's lecture on Seattle Demographics & Culture (thanks for piquing my interests to do so Bruce-- see his post, How Important is "Place"? ). Though his lecture focuses entirely on the Pacific Northwest and the Seattle region in particular, there are two things about Driscoll's lecture that make it something well worth your time to listen to and interact with:
First, Mark models a paradigm of missiological analysis that every pastor and church planter should learn to practice for themselves. It is clear that he has done the hard work of understanding demographics and cultural trends (something few people sacrifice the time and sweat to do); and he is able to process demographic data and synthesize it for the purpose of asking how the Gospel can penetrate culture. Moreover, he is modeling how to create long term strategy-- instead of wasting his time and his people's time by trying to chase after a moving target. Wisdom should teach us to ask: where will this culture be in ten years?
Second, Mark hits on a cultural trend that is tragically overlooked by all of us. Specifically, he speaks on church planting focus and location as they apply to the growing trend of transience in the United States. We need to strategize how to plant healthy, growing, churches that can function with the knowledge that people simply aren't going to be part of their church forever. Having moved five times in the last six years, I for one should know this-- but I never thought about in quite in the terms that Mark talked about.
Mark suggests that the most naive thing he hears young planters say is that they're planting for "this community" Which community? The area people live? The area they work? Or the area they play? They are all quite different, and we have to keep in mind that the area people are living in will be different in three years. Consequently, Mark exhorts planters to think broader and more in terms of region-- transcending the silly idealistic notion that people today live as if they don't have cars.