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Posts from August 2009

Reflections on the Jesus Freaks

A few days have passed since camping out with the Jesus Freaks in Germany and I have a few thoughts on the movement.

1. The Jesus Freaks, after 2 years of summing up the previous chapter of ministry, going through a few trials, and accepting their identity as a movement that has matured out of infancy, have landed in a good and healthy place. GREAT!!! I was holding my breath and am relieved that they are ready for the next chapter.

2. A number of movements that have come under the "emerging church" radar [and I should be clear that JFI have never used that term] have just come through that same 2 year process of redefinition. This is true for other groups in USA, Australia while the same process seemed to happen earlier in the UK.


Photo: Jesus Freak Martin Dreyer and Bishop Damian of the Coptic Orthodox Church

3. I have noticed that very new movements and very old movements seem to get along together quite well. The Jesus Freaks have found favor with the Egyptian based Coptic Orthodox Church which offered their facilities for the Freakstock Festival. I have also seen very new urban church experiments receive hospitality and acceptance from the oldest institutional churches in the city. I have also seen very young church planters getting support from very elderly church leaders. Its the group in the middle that is usually the non-responsive party in these partnerships, in particular, the movements that were new and cool 20 years ago and probably still think they are the cutting edge.

I am curious - are you part of a similar movement that has just come out of a similar process? Tell me about it.

Freakstock Festival 2009

We had a great time at Freakstock Festival, the yearly gathering of Jesus Freaks International. I have some photos on Flickr but here are a few quick moments on film.


This was the view out of our truck for the whole 3-4 days - people hanging out, talking, eating, praying, laughing. It was a really great time.


One of the bands packing up. Love the t-shirts here.


Al and Tina at our truck, along with Eric the hippie from California.


His grace Bishop Damian of the Coptic Orthodox Church had a good time. The Coptic Church bought this deserted army base a few years ago and offered it to the Jesus Freaks for their festival. They arrived 11 days early to paint and repair the facilities at their own cost - which I heard was very much appreciated.


Bishop Damian explained the Coptic cross to two of my daughters. 12 apostles, 4 evangelists, 3 . . . um . . . ooopps I forgot.


More activity outside our truck. Mirko, one of the original Jesus Freaks, is on the far left, making himself some coffee.


My friend Markus Leagel of 24/7 Prayer and his friend with some Lutheran nuns.


There they are with a Roman Catholic monk. What ecumenicists!!!!


Eric Schauer leading people in an old forgotten Michael Pritzl song. They are being photographed by . . . uh . . Michael Pritzl (of The Violet Burning) who probably recognized the song. Mustn't have been too bad.

100 Incredible Philanthropy Blogs

A list of 100 Incredible Philanthropy blogs has just been released. They kindly sent me an email to tell my that my blog was on the list. Thanks!!!! I am listed under the 'faith based philanthropy' section along with some other blogs that are worth checking out. A blog that should have been on that list, although it is not updated very often, is that of my friend Lee Behar which dedicated to philanthropy from a Christian faith perspective. Lots of helpful information from an insider on that one. Topping the 100 list is the great blog Tactical Philanthropy by Sean Stannard-Stockton with whom I have enjoyed a little email banter last year related to a big philanthropy event he is involved in called Council on Foundations.

Most of my blog posts on the subject are located under the category "Philanthropy". I just added about a dozen other posts, including "How to ask Foundations for Money" and "5 Ways for Ministries to Get Over the Recession" to that list because I noticed they were not tagged at all and were lost deep down in my blog.

It may not be a big surprise for you to hear that much our present journey all over Europe is connected with ministries that we have been helping to support financially as well as with leadership training and teaching. Nothing beats actually turning up in person to see the great things that these ministries are doing with the funds they have received. It means a lot of travel on our part but so much happens through trust relationships which can only be nurtured through personal visitation. And I am happy to report that all the ministries we recommended for funding have used the funds wisely and economically. Well done! I will be preparing some reports over the next week and it is a huge relief for me to have some good news to send back, esp. in these times when money has been tightened up for a while.

August blog banner


This month's banner was taken last month in Prague, Czech Republic. A deserted Trabant car (remember U2's Zoo TV Tour?) sat next to our campsite. i couldn't resist a photo. It also reflects my upbeat clowny mood this month which is a change from last month's gloominess.