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Posted by on Dec 11, 2015 in Culture, Theology, Work | 2 comments

What Greg Thompson Can Teach Us About Living as Christians in Cities

What Greg Thompson Can Teach Us About Living as Christians in Cities

Occasionally you meet somebody that shines with such virtue that you are, perhaps for the first time, made aware of your own poverty of spirit. When I met Greg Thompson during our Thriving Cities symposium in late October, I almost immediately felt the weight of his glory. Before speaking to the crowd, he almost desperately asked me to let him know if there was anybody I knew at the event who had a particular hurt or pain that he could pray for. Unlike my concerns (Will the event be a success? Will people “like” the evening?), it seemed to me that his vision for the renewal of cities was almost completely driven by an other-worldly love. It’s rare that I go back over a talk that a DIFW speaker has given several times to take notes, underline, and to pray. But when Greg spoke about our “shared wound and shared calling” to reimagine what a virtuous civic life might look like, it was not just my mind, but through...

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Posted by on Nov 7, 2014 in Culture, Work | 0 comments

The World’s Best Outreach Strategy

The World’s Best Outreach Strategy

  How are we going to reach out to our culture? It’s a common question in church world. Do we have a fall festival? Sponsor a 5k? Chili cook off? Day of service at the homeless shelter? Mission trip? The idea seems to be this: We’re here…in church. They’re out there…in culture. We need to “reach out” to them. Hence, the myriad of “outreach” ministries in most American churches. But the truth is that won’t don’t need to “reach out” to culture at all. We are already “out” there every single day.It’s called work! And not only are we – the laity – inculture, but we actually create culture every day. A few weeks ago, I saw this firsthand. My first meeting for the day was at a Starbucks in downtown Denver. I met with Eric, who shared with me his  story. For his first job after college, he climbed cell phone towers. After more than a few frozen climbs in the air, he decided he needed a change. He thought for a...

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Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Work | 0 comments

How to Change Your Company’s Culture

How to Change Your Company’s Culture

  I recently wrote a dual book review for Christianity Today. One book, Why Cities Matter: To God, the Culture and the Church, was cogent, clear and helpful; the other, Christ + City: Why the Greatest Need of the City is the Greatest News of All was chatty, poorly argued, and at times misleading. In my review, I argued there was a key difference that separated the two volumes: “one book is merely in the city; the other is engaged with the city.” One book brought Bible stories “into” an urban context (the author was from Chicago), yet showed very little understanding of  the city nor engagement with its culture. The other book, Why Cities Matter, combined social analysis and ministry application to produce a useful tool that helps ministry leaders not just move into the city, but to winsomely engage its culture. “In” a city versus “engaged with” a city is a helpful distinction that can shed tremendous light on the faith and work conversation. Many Christians are...

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