Archives For Family

“He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death—his death on the cross.”  Philippians 2:8  (Good News Translation)

So many things in life are easy to say and really hard to do.  This is certainly true in the life of the disciple of Jesus.  Just take “Love God, and love your neighbor” as an example.  There’s a lifelong learning curve on those two.  And so, when we hear some teaching on a Sunday, or we’re convicted of some need for change, or find ourselves in a Kairos moment* – it’s easier to cognitively agree than it is to put those things into practice.

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I’d like to flesh out this dream we’re pursuing in Storyline to become a “red hot center of mission.”

The inspiration for the metaphor comes from a series of posts written by Mike Breen on missional communities, where he explores the red hot center of the early church, the three elements of a red hot center, and what happens when “torches” of red hot centers gather together and make a “bonfire”.


This is a powerful metaphor and a great vision for the church in North America, especially in a time when the fire of mission sometimes seems to have burned down to embers.

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I have two “part-time” jobs. Julie has a part-time job and also manages our household. We have two children who increasingly have their own schedules in addition to ours. In and through it all, we’re seeking to live life on mission and make disciples of Jesus.

And I know that we’re not the only ones. There are plenty of people like us who are trying to do a good job keeping all the plates spinning so that none of them fall and break.

There have been times since we’ve moved to Dallas to help start Storyline that it has felt like Julie and I were ships passing in the night, and on tougher days, that we had devolved into merely being business partners, co-parents and roommates. I thank God that we made the decision early on to stick with each other through thick and thin – because we certainly have experienced our share of thick times (as I’m convinced most marriages do). I share these struggles with Julie’s permission.

There is a constant temptation to forget and forsake my first calling – to love my family, support my wife and disciple my children. I think this temptation is probably there whether you’re a pastor, business(wo)man, or an insurance agent.

I’m learning that I can’t merely aspire to love my family, support my wife and disciple my children. Like anything else worth doing, this calling requires both the intentionality to carve out space for it to happen and the creation of life rhythms that nurture it.

I would count it a major fail if, when I looked back on my life, I had loved the church and made disciples but had not loved my wife and made disciples of my children.

I’d like to share seven rhythms that are breathing life and love into our family these days. Many thanks to Jeff Saferite, Sally Breen and Tommy Ballard for the way conversations with each of them have shaped some of these rhythms. Further, thanks to my parents, because several of these rhythms were embedded in my own childhood.

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Chloe Rae Kiser

Charles Kiser —  October 3, 2009 — 15 Comments

We introduce to you Chloe Rae Kiser. Chloe – for the house church leader in the church of Corinth (1 Corinthians 1:11). Rae – for my Grandmother’s middle name – Geneva Rae Kiser – a woman of great faith and perseverance.

Chloe was born at 12:29 p.m., Friday, October 2. She weighed 8 lbs. flat and was 19.5 inches long.

I giggled and cried off and on for several hours after she was born. It was a magical thing.

What once was thin air is now flesh and bone and ligaments.

What once was nothing is now someone.

What once was a dream in the mind of God, as one of my friends would say, is now body, soul and spirit.

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth….from the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise…. (Psalm 8:1-2)

Last picture as a family of three

Last picture as a family of three



Chloe gave Ryan a Buzz Lightyear toy for her birthday = Ryan has to like her

Chloe gave Ryan a Buzz Lightyear toy for her birthday = Ryan has to like her

Big bro and little sis with mom

Big bro and little sis with mom

See her little finger? See me wrapped around it?

See her little finger? See me wrapped around it?


First picture of the four of us

First picture as a family of four

Turn up the volume and watch this video to the last second…seriously:

The last month has been a flurry of transition. We have many changes – good ones – sitting on the horizon of our life.

The most fun is that in the next couple days we’ll welcome little baby Chloe into the world.

We’ve painted the nursery (= a wall of the master bedroom), put up the crib and changing table, and been showered with many pink gifts.

Chloe was the name of a house church leader in Corinth, Greece back in Paul’s day (cf. 1 Cor. 1:11). She had such clout that some from her household communicated with Paul about problems in the Corinth house church network and he responded by writing what is now known as 1 Corinthians.

We hope that our Chloe will carry on the legacy of kingdom leadership embedded in her name.

I’ll blog again when I have pictures and updates. Your prayers are appreciated.


Our family expansion has called for us to transition to a more suitable nest – one that will have room for Chloe (other than a closet) and poise Ryan for good education.

We are, therefore, in the process of closing on a handsome little house in east Dallas/Lakewood, about 10 minutes from the city center.

We’re looking forward to the way this new location will help us to connect more with the young families in Dallas and experiment with more organic structures for children’s spiritual formation. It’s an exciting part of Storyline’s future growth and development.

My wife has endured almost eight years and eight moves chasing our dreams in the kingdom of God. God bless the woman. I know she’s looking forward to this transition into a more permanent dwelling space.

We’ll probably not move in until January after we’re able to do some minor renovations.

Please pray for us as we transition to a new place.


As I mentioned in a previous blog post, Ryan and I decided to pursue part-time jobs to replace part of our salaries from Storyline. For two reasons: 1) it allows us to model what it looks like for ‘normal, working people’ to lead house churches and live on mission; 2) it relieves some of Storyline’s financial burden in our transition to financial sustainability.

At the end of August I took on a part-time sales job with a friend’s start-up company.

The job is very flexible. I can work my 10-15 hours/week from just about anywhere.

And, I don’t have to sell anything to my peers here in Uptown – which is the only way I could see myself doing sales. I was wary of the kind of relational dynamics it might create if I was sales rep / church planter to some of my disconnected friends.

So far, I’ve really enjoyed the challenge. I’m wired to talk to people and to persuade, so in some ways it’s a natural fit.

The job does have its share of ups and down. I’ve had to develop patience and deal with disappointment when things don’t go the way I hope they will. I’m learning to push through rejection and cranky responses. In those ways I suppose it’s similar to other work I’m currently doing.

My main concern initially was that the sales job would drain energies I would otherwise use for the work of church planting.

Not so. Turns out I am indeed extroverted. Talking to people energizes me, no matter what it’s about.

Perhaps the greatest thing about this job is that the sales cycle ends in December. If I do great, that’s great. If I’m terrible and don’t end up liking it, the sales cycle ends in December. I can move on to other things.

Please pray for my co-worker, Ryan, as he begins to look for part-time job opportunities as well.


I’m currently going through a coaching certification track with Mission Alive and CoachNet.

Turns out it’s perfect timing.

We’re working toward starting the fourth house church in the Storyline Community later this month. The first Storyline house church (Tribeca) has a new leadership team of which neither the Porches or the Kisers are part. Our church planter in residence, Micah Lewis, is working with us until next August. A seminary student at Dallas Theological Seminary is joining us as an intern over the next several months. We hope to start a couple more house churches beyond the fourth by February 2009.

In the midst of all this development in the community, I’ve sensed God calling me into more of a coaching role. Rather than spend a lot of my time as an on-the-ground house church leader, I’ll come alongside and support other on-the-ground house church leaders.

I’m thrilled about it.

I just finished reading a fantastic book, Coaching 101, by Bob Logan and Sherilyn Carlton.

I’ll post a review of the book soon, as well as what I learn in my Coaching Lab on October 9-10.

Pray for me as I develop as a coach – that God will have mercy on the poor souls that I coach, and that I’ll grow as a listener and encourager.

Finally, praise God this long post made it to the blog! I wrote this exact post a week ago and it was deleted somehow as I posted it. I hadn’t saved it. It took me a week to work up the resolve to write it again.