For over six years I’ve been blogging about once a week here at reclaimingthemission.com (The blog took its name from the tag line on my first book in 2006). The posts have been my weekly reflections from life and work as a pastor, missional community “coach” and professor of theology and culture at Northern Seminary. The posts have always meant to be practical. Many times however the posts engage a more explicitly theological issue I believe is important to understand for leading and being the church in the new post Christendom worlds of N. America. At times, I have also addressed theological issues that are boiling up within evangelicalism, the church ‘tradition’ I remain a part of. I think we’re in turmoil. We need to understand historically why we think the way we do and how it is undercutting mission. So I have often blogged on the recent Neo-Reformed developments (as well as the so-called Emergent ones) within evangelicalism for this very reason. I often want to clarify what Anabaptist history and thought can teach us as we seek to navigate the treacherous terrain of a strangely hostile secularism in the West. Still, this is not a purely academic theological blog. It is on the ground reflections on church, ministry, leadership, mission, contextual engagement and the challenges of leading church into mission in post Christendom/secularized contexts.
In the year 2013 this blog shall continue doing all the same things, except with added intensity. Four of my colleagues from Life on the Vine Christian Community are joining me in posting on this blog. Geoff Holsclaw (who I have just finished writing a book with), Cyd Holsclaw, and Ty Grigg are all leaders and pastors at Life on the Vine. Matt Tebbe, is a former pastor at Life on the Vine who led the church for three years with Geoff and myself. He now pastors in Mishawaka, Indiana carrying many of the leadership missional principles into another context. They will all be posting once a month on the blog on all the same themes of leadership, mission, post Christendom challenges, cultural issues etc. This means the blog will have two posts a week instead of one. I’ll be posting early in the week (Mon-Wed). They’ll be posting later in week (Wed-Thurs). And then on Friday they’ll be informational posts on events, courses, opportunities to learn in these areas around the country. Below are biographies of us all for you to peruse and get familiar with. Over the coming years I hope to invite other pastor/leaders from our other churches Life on the Vine has sent out (Peace of Christ Church in Westmont IL, Church of the Shepherd in Hyde Park, IL) to post their insights and learning’s from active ministry in Mission. SO WHY NOT SUBSCRIBE? If you have found my writing helpful at all in the past, why not click on the RSS feed and be notified of the more frequent postings at Reclaimingthemission ? We look forward to what God is doing with us all in the year to come.
Mon -Wed: Fitch
Wed-Thurs: Cyd H., Geoff H., Ty Grigg, Matt Tebber
Fri: Updates, etc. on Events we are participating in in N America.
Writers for ReclaimingtheMission.Com
… is B. R. Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology at Northern Seminary Chicago, IL. He is also the founding pastor of Life on the Vine Christian Community- a missional church in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago. He coaches a network of church plants in the C&MA linked to Life on the Vine. He writes on the issues the local church must face in Mission including cultural engagement, leadership and theology. His theology (and theological development) combines Neo-Anabaptist streams of thought, with his commitments to evangelicalism (especially as it existed before the modernist-fundamenatlist controversies) with political theory that can help us understand how ideology and culture work to absorb Christian witness. He has lectured and presented on these topics at many seminaries, graduate schools, denominational gatherings and conferences. Dr. Fitch is the author of numerous articles in periodicals such as Christianity Today, The Other Journal, Missiology as well as various academic journals. He is the author of The End of Evangelicalism? Discerning a New Faithfulness for Mission (Cascade Books, 2011), The Great Giveaway: Reclaiming the Mission of the Church from American Business, Para-Church Organizations, Psychotherapy, Consumer Capitalism and Other Modern Maladies (Baker Books, 2005) and mostly recently Prodigal Christianity: 10 Signposts into the Missional Frontier (Jossey-Bass 2013) with co-author Geoff Holsclaw. I facebook regularly here and my twitter handle is @fitchest
…. a co-pastor at Life on the Vine and a part-time stay-at-home dad. My M.Div. is from North Park and he is currently working toward a spiritual direction certificate. He helps lead a missional community in Highland Park. He likes to write about exegesis, pastoral care, spiritual formation, small groups, preaching, books I’m reading, and puzzling things that Fitch says. Teams: Bears, Bulls, Cubs, Illini. Mag: Wired. Coffee: Black/Aeropress/Chemex pour overs. Third space: Starbucks. Twitter: @tygrigg
… grew up in the church and promptly abandoned it as soon as she was allowed. After a long journey, Christ brought her back to himself and eventually led her to love and serve his church as a co-pastor with Dave Fitch, Ty Grigg and her husband, Geoff, at Life on the Vine. She home-schools her two sons, Soren and Tennyson, sits on the board of Ecclesia network, practices Immanuel Prayer, and blogs at Joy on a Journey as time allows. Sometimes, you can find her on Twitter and Facebook.
Geoff Holsclaw… Geoff Holsclaw is a native Californian now calling Chicago home. He’s wonderfully married to Cyd and has two boys, Soren and Tennyson. He is a co-pastor at Life on theVine and an affiliate professor of theology at Northern Seminary, teaching at the intersections of culture, politics, philosophy and theology. He co-authored Prodigal Christianity: 10 Signposts into the Missional Frontier with Dave Fitch. You can often find Geoff on Twitter or Facebook, and occasionally posting on his blog, for the time being.
… Matt Tebbe co-pastored at Life on the Vine with Dave and Geoff for four years before becoming the Spiritual Formation Pastor at River Valley Church (www.rivervalley.net) in his home state of Indiana. Married to Sharon with two beautiful children, Deacon and Celeste, Matt is particularly interested in the intersection of leadership, spirituality, psychology, and theology. He is also a Frontier Leader with 3DM and geeks out over real life transformation in community. You can connect with him on twitter (@matttebbe) and Facebook (MattTebbe) and blogs regularly at www.submissionallife.com.