Archive for August, 2011

Another Church? Why?

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Does Ann Arbor really need another church in it? There are already more than 70 churches in the City of Ann Arbor. At least five of those churches are new plants that started within the past three years. In some ways it seems like adding another church into the mix is just muddying the waters.

Yet, in spite of all the churches in Ann Arbor almost 70% of the population is not part of any faith group. This includes non-Christian expressions of faith. Nearly 70% of the people living in Ann Arbor are atheist or agnostic. Moreover, there are 98,000 people living in Ann Arbor that do not know Jesus.

Yes, Ann Arbor needs another church. I believe that it is only through trusting in Jesus death and resurrection to overcome our sin that we can have a relationship with God now and forever. I believe that only through that relationship are we able to be the people that God created us to be. If I truly believe that then I need to do something about it. If I truly believe that Jesus fulfills our deepest desires and enables us to be who we’re truly meant to be then I need to do everything I can to connect people around me to Him. I need to show the people of Ann Arbor that I love them, God loves them, and Jesus died for them. The way I’m going to do that is by planting Agape Ann Arbor; a community experiencing and expressing God’s love.

Agape Ann Arbor is different from many other church plants. Many church plants focus on launching worship services. They focus first on getting a lot of people to gather together on Sunday mornings to hear the gospel. While I celebrate the influence those churches have on their communities, I feel like they’re focusing more on doing church on Sundays than being the church. That’s why we’re not launching Agape Ann Arbor as a worship service. We are launching a community.

We will worship together. We will have weekend worship services where we can celebrate God together and hear God’s word preached. That, however, is secondary. Our focus is to connect people in community to each other and to connect them to the God who loves them and died for them. We will build small communities where people experience and express God’s love.

You can help. You can join the movement: Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter,
Subscribe to our newsletter
, or contact me for more information.

Experiencing and Expressing God’s Love

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

In my last post I talked about why we’re starting Agape Ann Arbor. I talked about how we want to break the stereotype of Christianity in Ann Arbor. The vision of Agape Ann Arbor is to be a community experiencing and expressing God’s love. How do you do that? How do you build a community that experiences and expresses God’s love?

Experiencing and expressing God’s love requires contact. It can’t be done from a distance. Experiencing and expressing love happens eyeball to eyeball. We’re starting Agape Ann Arbor with a focus on relationships. We’re focusing on connecting people to each other. We want people to connect in small groups where they experience God’s love through the people around them and have the opportunity to express God’s love back to the people around them.

We’re looking for people who want to be a part of a new movement in Ann Arbor Michigan. We’re looking for people who want to experience and express God’s love. Are you interested? Do you want to join the movement or know someone who does? Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.
Subscribe to our newsletter
. Or just contact me so we can talk.

God’s changing lives. Are you going to be a part of what God’s doing?

What is Agape Ann Arbor?

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Have you ever spent time thinking about what you’re known for? Joe Montana is know for being an amazing quarterback. Oprah Winfrey is know for being a media mogul. Snooki and the Situation are known for taking themselves way too seriously.

What about Christians? What are Christians known for? In his 2007 book unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity… and Why It Matters David Kinnaman found that in America Christians are known for six things:

1. Hypocrisy
2. Concern for conversion more than the person
3. Antihomosexuality
4. Sheltered
5. Overemphasis on politics
6. Judgmentalism

These are the things the average American ages 16 – 25 thinks about Christians. This is what Christians are known for. It’s a far cry from what Jesus said we should be known for, isn’t it? In John 13:35, Jesus said that the world would know we were His followers, Christians, by our love for one another. There is nothing loving in any of those statements.

This is where Agape Ann Arbor steps in. Agape Ann Arbor is a new community of Christ-follwers. Our goal is to break the stereotype. Our goal is to be a community of people known for our love. We want to be a community where God’s love is experienced and expressed. We want the City of Ann Arbor to see us and know that we love them, God loves them, and Jesus died for them. And God willing, we will break the stereotype in Ann Arbor. Christians won’t be known for their politics or their hypocrisy. We’ll be known for our love and what we do here in Ann Arbor, MI will change the way America and the world views Christians.

Would you like to be a part of this change? Would you like to break the stereotype and be known for what Jesus called us to be known for, our love? There are a couple of ways you can get involved. You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook. You can
subscribe to our newsletter
, and receive weekly email updates about how to specifically pray for us. If you’re in Washtenaw County and would like to become part of the team you can contact me and we’ll get together.

Please pray for us. There are 98,000 people in Ann Arbor who don’t know Jesus. We’ve got a long road ahead of us, but we’re excited to be a part of what God’s doing in our city.