Archives For Richland Hills

I want to extend an invitation to all you readers out there in the blogosphere to participate in a conference hosted by Mission Alive, our church planting resource organization.

The conference is called Genesis: Recreating Missional Life. It takes place March 18-20 at the Richland Hills Church campus (one of our partnering churches).

The basic question of the conference is, “What does it look like to participate in God’s mission in our own contexts?”

This conference is for followers of Jesus who want to dive deeper into missional rhythms for life. It’s for church planters who want to embed such rhythms in their new churches. And it’s for established churches who want to revitalize their missional lives.

I’m excited about this conference for two reasons.

One – I’m not sure I’ve seen so many ministry resource people of such caliber together at any conference experience hosted within the Churches of Christ.

Here’s the keynote list: Hugh Halter (author of The Tangible Kingdom), Randy Harris (enough said), Alan Hirch (co-author of The Shaping of Things to Come), and George Hunsberger (co-author of Missional Church). You can see more about the presenters here.

The presenters are individuals who aren’t just talking about living on mission; they are themselves living on mission and helping to pave the way forward for the rest of us.

Two – The structure of this conference is unlike any other I’ve ever participated in.

Most conferences have large venue keynotes for the high caliber, internationally-known presenters (e.g., the Hirch’s of the world), then mid-sized venues (50-100) for presenters with local or regional influence.

One’s interaction with the Hirsch’s of the world at such conferences is usually limited to a big screen, bright lights and a seat about 100 rows away from the stage.

The Genesis Conference, on the other hand, is designed for deeper dialogue and personal interaction.

From the event brochure: “Genesis is a new kind of conference. It models learning in community….Participants develop practical paradigms for recreating missional life. It cannot be done by more listening, more speeches, more thinking! It can only be done in dialog.”

The conference models such community learning through conference, cluster and cohort groups.  Keynote presenters make presentations to the whole conference (limited to 400 people). Keynoters and other speakers then cycle through clusters (35-45 participants or 4 cohorts) to have deeper conversation about their material. Participants in cohorts (8-12 people, usually from the same church or with similar ministry roles) then gather together to talk about implementing what they’re learning in their own lives and ministries.

Can you imagine the benefit of sitting down with someone like Alan Hirsch and 30-40 other people to talk about living missionally in your own context?

I’m looking forward to journeying with a cohort and facilitating interaction for a cluster. This promises to be a powerful learning experience.

You should come! All are welcome. Spots are limited so sign up as soon as possible at Early bird registration ($135) ends 12/31/09.

People Who Love Peace

Charles Kiser —  November 10, 2008 — Leave a comment

…the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If the head of the house loves peace, your peace will rest on that house; if not, it will return to you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for workers deserve their wages. Do not move around from house to house.” (Jesus, Luke 10:1-7)

We had a great time this weekend connecting with partnering churches. Richland Hills Church hosted their Harvest Weekend to raise funds for missionaries and several of us Storyliners worked a Storyline display there. On Sunday morning, the Kisers and Porches joined Mission Alive, our church planting resource organization, at one of its partnering churches – Riverside Church in Coppell.

We thank God for churches and organizations that have vision for church planting. We couldn’t do what we’re doing without them.

On Sunday morning at Riverside I had the opportunity to speak about “people who love peace.” Jesus instructs his followers to spend most of their time with such people as they’re sent on mission. People of peace are receptive to the Christian story and have significant influence in their communities.

Harold Shank formed the concept of “soul mining,” a play off the concept of coal mining, where miners find a vein of coal in a mountain and dig down it until the vein is exhausted.

When Harold planted a church, he discovered that one key person making a decision to follow Jesus would sometimes lead 25-30 other people in that key person’s relational network to make the same decision.

The idea of “soul mining”, then, is to identify a person of peace and release them to share the good news they’ve found with family, friends and co-workers they know.

We’re in the process of discovering our own people of peace. Some of them offer their organizational networks; others offer their relational networks; others bring their friends to our parties.

It’s really quite exciting to discover such people. It shows how God goes ahead of us in mission.

God calls us into mission. God sends us into mission. But God is also waiting for us in the places to which he’s called and sent us—not least through people who love peace.

Imagine the possibilities if all of us believed that people of peace were living in all of our neighborhoods or working in all of our workplaces.

May God open our eyes to those who love God’s peace.

Sent Ones

Charles Kiser —  January 30, 2008 — 5 Comments

We’re continuing to get settled in at the Dallas digs, and we continue to love it. I promise the pictures will come soon…unpacking is such a laborious task.

The events that took place this weekend were in some ways the culmination of six years of prayer and preparation.

On Sunday morning, we participated in a sending service at South MacArthur Church, our primary partner in church planting. Ryan Porche led worship; I preached. It was a reminder of our work together back at Highland Street Church in Memphis, and also a foretaste of the ways we’ll work together in Dallas in the coming months.

One of the South Mac elders offered a blessing for us; the Mission Action Team co-chair offered a charge; and a Richland Hills Church representative prayed on our behalf as the SMAC elders and staff, Mission Alive directors, and friends surrounded us.

It was a powerful moment.

We’re joining Abram, Moses, Isaiah, Jesus, Peter, Paul and many others in the sending of God for the sake of the world.

On Monday morning, Ryan Porche and I went with a group of five other ministers (a mentoring group led by Grady King, preaching minister at SMAC) to visit Lynn Anderson at his home in San Antonio. Lynn has been in the ministry of mentoring and equipping for the last ten years. For a seventy-one year old, he’s got the wisdom of a hundred-year old man and the mind and passion of a thirty-year old.


We spent a day and a half sharing our stories and talking about leadership, strategic planning, family boundaries and spiritual formation. And we ate. A lot.

Perhaps the most significant question Lynn asked us in our time together was, “Who are you mentoring?” All of us could quickly mention people who were mentoring us, but we were slower to mention people we were ourselves mentoring . But isn’t that the essence of discipleship—mentored to mentor?

Who are you mentoring?