Swinging from the Vine / 786 posts / 2,685 comments / feed / comments feed

so who are you? and what DO you do?

I participate on a message board for positive, grace based mothering and one of the moms said something about how confusing our life is hehe..yeah, no doubt.

So I decided to sum it up for anyone who hasn’t been following our saga in the past few years.

From February(ish) 2004-March 2007 we attended Third Day Victory Church here in Fort Collins - a charismatic, word of faith, conservative evangelical church affiliated with Victory Churches International. In fall 2004 we took over the college ministry and in fall 2005, we started Revolution as the young adult/college ministry/alternative church within a church experiment.

Early fall 2006, a few people in the church got really upset with some things we were blogging (primarily related to some of the thinking in the emerging church and a couple non traditional ideas about leadership and homosexuality) A few people in the church tracked us all over the internet and were very upset with our connections with emerging people, Emergent Village and our apparent “endorsement” of people like Brian Maclaren. A witch hunt ensued, accusations flew and we pretty much just hung our heads in shame and apologized a lot to try to keep the peace. It didn’t work and the senior leadership decided that we should step down for a time to let things cool off and allow us to figure out if we could uphold the teachings of the church.

To spell it out, they wanted us to specifically teach in all our conversations, blogs and from the pulpit and allow no conversation on the following (not an exhaustive list): that homosexuality is a sin and all homosexuals are choosing to sin, church leadership is to be submitted to in all areas and hierarchal male leadership is God’s order, abortion is wrong and should be outlawed, the Bible is the authoritative inerrant Law of God that tells us what to do and how to live in all areas, complemtarianism is the rule for gender roles in marriage and the church and the literal account of Genesis is the only way to see creation. They never really spelled all this out in so many words but the issues were clear as they ambushed David in several get togethers.

We decided it was a good time to take Revolution out on its own (many reasons for this decision that aren’t pivotal to this summary but I’m sure you can figure it out if you read here often hehe). So around March/April of this year, we left our church (there was a very nice and amiable announcement made by the senior pastor and David the last Sunday) and began meeting with Revolution at a neutral location.

The mission of Revolution is to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God - to reach those in our community with the love of Jesus, those outside the walls of the church. We gather as a faith community for the purpose of communion with God and each other to equip us and challenge us to co labor with Jesus in the bringing of his Kingdom on earth. We are FIRST a mission to the world, SECOND a “church”. Because of this, we call ourselves a missional community and see ourselves not as pastors so much as missionaries.

We then intensified our search for who to affiliate with (so we weren’t just on our own) and we decided that joining a missions organization was better for us than a denomination and found CRM - the training branch of CRM that works with US missionaries/’church planters’ is called Missio and they have a leadership training program called MCAP. They are based in Denver. We really like their approach to missions and progressive ideas so we decided to join them and started raising support for David to take MCAP which is a 1 year program that is primarily online and also connects you with mentors. Our current understanding is that once we get to the point where we need to raise full time support, we will take the step to being full time “staff” missionaries with CRM which is why I call us “missionaries in training” because we’re not technically CRM missionaries (at least that is my understanding).

We decided I would not be signing on as a missionary for several reasons 1. I hate the money side of it 2. our kids are still young and would limit one of us from meetings and such - - it made sense for me to be the one managing that side of things. 3. we felt it would be best for one of us to be free from the organization and I wanted to be the one free to do other things because to be honest, I don’t see myself as first a missionary and I’d really like to possibly work for a human rights organization some day. David and I have always and will continue to be “one” when it comes to our mission anyway so it didn’t really matter who was the official missionary. If it was important to me to be seen as equal in missionary status, we would have gone that way.

so right now we are nurturing Revolution and preparing for an eventual move to London (probably in the next couple years) to work with the growing CRM mission there. It will also be a middle ground to eventually go to Russia.

Another question that was raised was about our connection with emerging/emergent…that’s a lot more complicated. Basically, “emerging” is a good way to explain where we’re at right now and I’d like to think we continue to emerge. We see ourselves emerging from a modern, traditional, conservative charismatic evangelicalism into something that is not just the other end of the spectrum but something “above the line”. It’s really almost impossible to articulate, you just have to sort of know us for awhile to get it.

Being typical post moderns (a lot of that just has to do with our age) in how we see the world and faith/belief within the world, it makes sense that we are drawn to all things emerging. Emergent Village appeals to our passion for conversation, networking, provocative and progressive thinking in the area of theology and praxis and Missional encompasses our heart for living the mission of God in our time and space - living and loving well in a holistic and organic manner. Which is why we would consider ourselves emerging-missional.

Ok, so hopefully that catches you up ;)


  1. Catrina — September 27, 2007 #

    Hello, I saw you on Tia’s blog and I popped over to see what you were about. I am an incredibly inquisitive person and while I have heard of the emerging church I really know nothing about it. I understood what you have explained, I have read Rob Bell even though he says he is not the emerging church, but I was wondering if you could explain your position on the topics that you said your former church wanted you to stand by. Homosexuality, abortion, and the Bible inerrancy. Maybe not your personal convictions but what the emerging church’s position is on these areas. I do not want to debate these topics or discuss them in any way, I am only hoping to gain insight. I know that I could go online and search but I’d rather hear it from the horses mouth if you are willing. Thank you for your consideration.

  2. Mak — September 27, 2007 #

    Hi Catrina - I guess my little overview was timely for you :) welcome.

    I’m going to post my reply in a new post because it’s very long

  3. Christian — September 30, 2007 #

    God bless you in the mission field. Keep going for God!

    Christian J.

  4. journeyingrick — August 7, 2008 #

    hey mak
    heard about you and your blog from a friend who’s in a shitty church situation in the next town over. she’s been hanging out at worship gatherings in our lovely scruffy faith community for a few months.
    we, too, were a bunch of folks who used to be connected to other church environments and settings and theologies, and god said, “Seriously? that’s the best religion can do with you guys? screw this. let’s get the hell out of here where we can breathe.” and we, terrifiedly but hopefully, said, “Okay.”
    that was four years ago. my awesome hippie rebel wife and i are as happy as we ever have been, period.
    just wanted you to know it can be done - and it’s been good.

  5. Mak — August 9, 2008 #

    thanks Rick, we’ve been having a wonderful time with Revolution here so I know it can be done well :) shitty church situations just suck, I feel for your friend

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