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Interview From Last Week

Last week I was in Ventura speaking about and doing some interviews for an upcoming book I have coming out in the fall.  I'll let you in on that book more in the spring as it is completely different than anything I've written thus far.  This interview however was about my thoughts on what churches are doing to engage "twenty-somethings" today, some of which we articulated in a book called The Slow Fade.

How You Know You've Become "Religious"

I've been teaching through the book of Mark at Colossae and it has been enlightening to say the least.  We inched into chapter 3 yesterday and this is when I took time to take a closer look at 5 pitfalls we have seen the Pharisee's fall into up to this point.  For this post I will talk about one of those.  Here is one of the things that make them "religious" and a little bit of how we, unfortunately, can fall into the same trap.


They used their convictions as weapons.  For instance, they held the conviction that you couldn't lift a finger on the Sabbath, even if it meant having something to eat.  We see this issue being addressed in the grain field with Jesus at the end of chapter 2 where Jesus and his disciples are picking some grain to eat.  The Pharisee's had unfortunately made the Sabbath about another set of rules to uphold and therefore it became about things they could NOT do.  This is why Jesus combats their understanding and makes it clear that the Sa…

5 Things I've Been Saying To Church Planters

Over the past few months I have been getting more and more calls from church planters asking about our process of planting.  I get questions from how we handled finances, to how my family handled moving a thousand miles away, to how we handled leadership teams.

But the biggest question I get is something like, "What model are you using?" or it may be asked, "How are you structured as a church?"  Most I've talked to ask this because they are trying to develop something themselves and they are simply seeking to glean some insight from someone that has walked the road a little more than they have.

But I am only three or so years into this.  So here are 5 things I've been saying to preface any conversation about how we are structured:
I didn't have a structure in my head when I moved because I didn't know anyone and I didn't know the culture of Portland.  So our "model" took a solid two years to develop in our minds.  It took even longer t…

30k Foot View of Seeking God's Will

This morning I was writing for a resource called XP3College - it's offered through ReThink and is designed as a practical tool for those that have read one of my previous books, The Slow Fade.  Anyway, the conversation guide I was writing is 4 dialogs long and had to do with God's will.  I thought this could be encouraging for some readers here, so here are some things dialog two (of 4) talks about.

Everyone is interested in God's will.  We seek to know what He wants us to do in specific circumstances and the truth is, if we're honest, seeking these things out can be quite frustrating sometimes.  On another side, I know Christians that struggle with wondering if they are even in God's will.  They wonder if they make one decision over another if that would somehow remove them from God's will.  This core fear is what often drives them be stifled in making a decision in any direction.
We all have specific things we are praying about, but sometimes it helps to look a…

Gracious Review of Worlds Apart

Just received a Facebook message from my friend Derek Melleby and he informed me that there was a review of my newest book, Worlds Apart, by Bryron Borger over at Hearts and Minds.  He included this review along with a number of other books he was reviewing.  Here's what he wrote.  I thought it was well thought out and very gracious:


"Worlds Apart: Understanding the Mindset and Values of 18-25 Year Olds  Chuck Bomar (Zondervan) $14.99  Chuck is a good guy and has a huge heart and amazing passion for doing college ministry. (He has written two books on how large churches near campuses can do young adult outreach ministry among their collegiate neighbors.)  Here, he backs up and gives us his most important book yet, a study of this stage of life---what Sharon Parks has called "the critical years."  As the back cover puts it, Bomar brings "understanding, comfort, and direction to all interested in this age group."  Yes, understanding.  He gets young adults.  C…

Humbled by these...

Anytime you work hard at something and pour your heart into it, you want people to like it and find it useful.  Well, that said, I've been extremely humbled by what people have said about my newest book, Worlds Apart: Understanding the Mindset and Values of 18-25 Year Olds.
Chuck Bomar gives very keen insight into the minds and hearts of what often can be a confusing generation to try and understand. While some give up or ignore trying to understand them, Chuck is someone who has  served with this age group and has studied and written about them them for many years. I always read everything Chuck writes because he writes with not just his research and experience but out of passion, love and belief in this generation." Dan Kimball, author They Like Jesus but Not the Church: Insights from Emerging Generations

"From one of the leading experts on college students, Chuck Bomar, World's Apart gives us a solid, clear and empowering resource for coming alongside these emerging …

brutally honest thoughts...

It was somewhere between 6 to 9 months ago (I think) that I was driving over the Willamette river here in Portland, sadly telling an acquaintance what I believed to be the harsh reality of a manuscript he sent me.  Stephen Lutz had a book he was trying to get published and had sent it to me to review.  At this point he had sent it out to some publishers, but at this point wasn't getting any bites.  Now, from what I've seen, Stephen is a great guy.  But we have only sat down once or twice at a conference or two so it was tough to tell him my honest thoughts about it.  Here is the bottom line of what I said:

From my perspective the sad reality was that "major publishers" would likely not take it on because there wasn't a "large enough market" for the book.  From a national perspective, their perception is the Church just isn't in a place where this would "sell enough units" for them to take it on and unfortunately most don't look at camp…

Faithful or Perfect

This past Sunday at Colossae I taught on the life of David. It was part of our "Ancient Biographies" series we're doing this summer. A lot of people know a couple of stories about David and surely know he was a king, but most don't really know much about his life. So, I decided to walk through it...with a point, of course.

We know God said David was a "man after His own heart." David is held up as THE faithful king of all the kings and is esteemed in numerous ways throughout the scriptures. But he was also a mess. He lied to the priest at Nob, resulting in his death. He sought revenge with Nabal, seeking to kill him. And, he proved himself to be an adulterous murder as seen in the story with Bethsheba.

So, an obvious question is how can he be deemed "faithful" and a man after God's own heart?

This question arises because we wrongly think of being a faithful person as being a perfect person. But here was my point: the moment we confuse…

3 Reasons We Should Consider Secular Colleges

Christian colleges are wonderful. I believe, at least for the most part, of what their mission is and the role they have in equipping Christians for life. And, I personally know people that have strong convictions about sending their children to a Christian college. For them, I say, "wonderful."  The truth is seems to be right  for many people.

On the other hand I also think there are a lot of benefits of going to a secular college.  I could probably list at least 10, but to start here are 3 that I think are at least worthy of some discussion:
Finances. The truth is most Christian college's are crazy expensive. The amount of debt that people go into to attend one of these schools is becoming increasingly crippling to many graduates.  It seems to be worthy of consideration to simply stay involved in a local church and attend a less expensive secular school that gives a person just as much, or potentially more, clout in the workforce for a fraction of the price.Mission.

Interview with Francis Chan about his new book

My friend Francis Chan is coming out with a new book next week, July 5th.  It's called, Erasing Hell: What God said about eternity, and the things we made up.  I know the topic isn't exactly exciting, but I do think it is necessary and especially now when there is so much discussion around this issue.  I want to encourage you to pick it up.

Here is an interview Francis did with Preston Sprinkle (co-author) and another friend of mine, Mark Beuving.  It will hopefully give you a good picture of the book, what's in it and the heart behind writing it.



Why I Like But Don't Use The Term "Missional Community"

"Missional Community" has been a term that has become widely known and embraced and I like it.  I actually love the idea of and am a huge advocate for this movement.  Here are 4 really quick reasons why I like this terminology:
It has encouraged leaders to rethink overall church structures - including myself.It helps bring intentionality into everything we do.It has been effective wording to refresh a heart in many people for the lost and has even played a role in helping define a philosophy of evangelism.It has helped many churches realize they have become ingrown, overly focusing on themselves.Having said that, at Colossae Church I usually refer to our structure as gospel-centered community instead.  It's not exhaustive, but if you'd like to know more about how we define and articulate this, click here.  Some refer to our structure as being missional, and as of right now it seems appropriate.  It could even be used interchangeably with the term gospel-centered in wa…

Why You Shouldn't Fundraise

Missionaries fundraise.  It's a reality of life in our world today.  To be released for ministry requires funding.  Period.  Most church planting boot-camps that I know of would suggest a certain dollar amount a planter should raise prior to starting.  Mission organizations usually require a certain amount before someone moves overseas and at times before they even enter the training program.  These organizations don't want to negate people from taking steps of faith by raising support, they view it as a part of the faith process.  And I would agree.  This is a step of faith many people should take.

Many might suggest if you believe in what you are doing and that God is in it, you should ask people to support it.  And I would say, yes, sometimes....maybe.  But I also don't think these convictions require you to seek funding.

I obviously believed in what I was doing when I was planting a church because I thought God was in it.  But I didn't meet with people and ask the…

5 Reasons I Didn't Build A Leadership Team Before Planting A Church

I know it's common for people planting a church to build a team beforehand. This makes a ton of sense, for a lot of reasons.  I have plenty of friends that have walked this path and are thankful they did so.

However, I didn't follow this strategy.  There were some people that ended up moving with me and I am SO THANKFUL for all of their service to the Lord.  They came committed, willing to do anything at any time it was needed and there is no way our church would be where we are today without their continued service!!!  But, none of them came having a leadership position.  This had nothing to do with them as individuals, but it was intentional on my part.

Here are 5 reasons I chose not to "build a leadership team" before coming:

1.  Longevity Reason. Every planter I know that has moved to a new city with a group of people have had some of that group leave and go back "home."  This happens for a variety of reasons, so I wanted to see who would stick for the…

Powerful And Disturbing Illustration

Yesterday I showed this video in the beginning of my message.  Random, yes.  Disturbing, yes.  Good illustration, I believe so.  I prefaced this clip prior to showing it, letting people know that they might wonder why I'm showing it or even if it's real.  It is real and I did have some points.  Watch the video and then check out my brief application points below.



My main point was, "This is unfortunately exactly what Christians do."  I brought out the following application points:

The man lives two lives - on one side a mature adult, on the other an infant.  Often times when Christians get around mature Christians they will talk with maturity and act like they are living mature lives.  But once they are by themselves they continue living, thinking, behaving like an infant - refusing to grow and mature holistically.The nurse caring for him is enabling him to continue living in this way. This man wants and in ways needs the enabling person in his life so he can justify …

5 Keys To Cultivating Inter-generational Relationships

This past week I taught a couple seminars at the Orange Conference.  I love this conference.  I've had the chance to teach there the past few years.  I love how people from senior pastors to children's ministry volunteers are all coming together to prayerfully seek a unified, cohesive approach to ministry.

I've written about these in books, but in my Friday seminar I discussed 5 values churches need to embrace, promote and protect in order to cultivate inter-generational relationships.  We can get people from different generations to sit in the same room, but this doesn't mean they are "connecting."  So, I discussed the following values and key points necessary if we are truly going to help people from different generations connect with one another in a local church context:
Value of Difference.  We must help everyone embrace their unique differences, but also value the differences of others (personality, giftedness, etc) to the point where they intentionally …

God's Not In To Mini-Churches Either

People bash MegaChurches, but I'd suggest God isn't necessarily into MiniChurches either.

There are clearly issues that come with a MegaChurch context. Discipling people becomes more complex, connecting with other people can be more difficult for some and having a real sense of biblical community can be lost too.  But let's not get it twisted, there are also issues in MiniChurch contexts.  Discipling can be complex because it can get separated from evangelism, connecting with people can be more difficult because relationships become ingrown, and true biblical community can be lost because it's solely lived out with people just like ourselves.

There are long lists of issues with either context.  And the lists of benefits for either can be just as long.  But it's not a greater-than battle we ought to fight.  It's not an issue of size.  People might say healthy churches grow larger and thus point to how Jesus preached to thousands of people, the church gatherings …

9 Things I Would Tell A Church Planter

Be careful of church planting scientists.   Learning everything everyone else has done has benefits, but this can also be dangerous.   God is calling you to begin a new work....so let it be new. Walk in faith and be very careful of those that will pressure you to walk in presumption. Only say what you are doing and explain why.  If you do things differently churched people will ask you why you're not doing what you're not doing.  Don't fall into the trap of answering that - it creates a lot more work and confusion. Be prepared to have people you thought were with you, leave.  And don't be surprised if they don't leave quietly.You will have to take massive steps of faith if you want to see God work out the vision He's placed in you.  If you are not at a point where you can take these, rethink planting.Plant a church in a community, not your head.  Every community is different and thus will require you to live out eternal truths in unique ways.  If you move to a …

Main Point

Today I taught on Ephesians 4:17-32.  Up to this point in chapter four Paul has described how we are to live in diverse unity.  We are all one, but we are all unique as well.  When every believer embraces their uniqueness, the body of Christ builds itself up (v.16).

In verses (17-32) Paul makes a very strong point: our lives ought not look like the lives of people that don't believe in Jesus.  He is basically saying, "Don't live like you don't know better."  Be we cannot be different by merely abstaining from things people do in culture.  We must also do things they do not do.

Jesus certainly abstained from participating in certain cultural norms, but this is not what made him stand out.  People were drawn to him because he did things others were not doing.  We should do the same.  For example, Paul says in 4:28 that we are to labor, earn money, SO THAT we can give more.  That's different.  I can only imagine what would happen if all believers had this perspe…

Value Clash Hinders Sustainable Mentorship

Let’s be honest: connecting people of different generations is not the easiest thing to do.  We face obstacles like core values being different, older people being intimidated or frustrated by the younger generations, younger people not feeling the value of having an older person in their life…to either generation not knowing how to connect with the other.  There are ways we can help with these things (for more on that see chapters 7 and 8 of this book), but there is another issue that is just as obvious – if not more.  We just don’t talk about it as openly. Younger people are desperate for an experience they know is Divine.  Of course not all desire this, but many just want to experience God, walk with Him daily, be a part of what He’s doing and be used by Him.  Sure, experience based pursuits can be incredibly dangerous if they are separated from truth.  But experiencing God can also be rooted in truth.  And this is what I find many college age people seeking. And herein lies the prob…