Rockford, IL

Bio: I'm a retired Pastor. I specialized in the ministry of building expansion, preaching, and youth. My primary focus has always been urban ministry and issues of poverty. Currently, I'm the Executive Director of http://www.thejerichoprojectrockford.org. We provide ministry to the homeless population, including a transitional living home for six residents. I have a passion to see the main-line Church move into impoverished neighborhoods. I don't see this happening unless there is a significant renewal, or -- new expressions of Christian community arise. For forty years I've watched the structure of Church slowly die. Most of our Urban congregations are really "commuter" churches. People grew up there, moved out to newer neighborhoods, only to return on Sunday for an hour or two. They leave behind wounded and impoverished neighbors who surround decaying brick & mortar of our old cathedrals. Our congregations are divided by the oddity of the old & new wineskins. Old folk like what they are used to, as do the young. So the old folk get up early to get to the "traditional" service & the young get up later to go to the "contemporary" service. Our tithes and offerings continue to be squandered on either preserving the old, or paying for the new brick & mortar. We have tried a "Band-Aid" approach to following Christ -- serving at a soup kitchen here, a mission trip there, a bag of old clothes then -- anything to claim a little bit of grace for not "picking up the Cross & following" to find the least of these. Jesus only had 12 and about 70 "hangers-on". Most of his time was spent providing hope, healing, grace, and life itself to a very few at a time -- often just one. His teaching, his provocative voice, his words not only got him kicked out of the brick & mortar of his days -- the Temple -- but were enough to get him killed. It's not that I've given up on the Church. However, no matter how dynamic, "real", or political our Pastors are, a 'new patch' does not work on an old wineskin! Why is that some really worthwhile projects like "Fellowship Groups, Purpose Driven Life Groups, Bible Study Groups, Women's Fellowships, Men's Fellowships" ---- what's not happening? What happened to Evangelism? What happened to prayer groups? What happened to the "fruit" of all these worthwhile efforts? Well, as Amy Grant sang, we got a big fat tummy. Only a homeless person can quote more scripture than we can!! We stopped hearing the Voice. We forgot how to "Be Still & Know that I am God". We ignored, "Follow Me". The Christian soul will survive. The Holy Spirit's work is not done -- by any measurement. But for that to happen, we must find our way to those Urban Outposts where those who are willing to follow Jesus will find "the least of these" of Matthew Ch. 25.

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4 thoughts on “About

  1. I know what you’re talking about! Have you heard of Impact Ministry’s Dr. Jim Richards? He wrote the Gospel of Peace. Amazing. I felt the need to pass that to you. God’s doing amazing things these days and it’s through His gospel, His way. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we all got together and really “brought the gospel!”

      • We (Souls4Jesus) are located just outside of Eldon, IA. Jim’s from Hunstville, Alabama. I saw him down in Kansas City a few weeks ago for a Gospel of Peace and Grace Gathering. Life-chaning is an overused term but that’s what it was. You can check him out on youtube. Blessings to you too!

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