About Me

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New Orleans, LA, United States
Family from South Africa, Born in New Orleans, Lived in South Carolina. Married to Annabeth since May 2004. We have three boys (Bolt, Mack, and Birk). Currently living in Uptown NOLA and serving as Lead Pastor of Vintage Church and Camp Pastor of Student MissionLab.

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Relevant, Emergent, Emerging?

Since my brother and I have embarked on ministry in New Orleans, we have taken a lot of heat from Christians (in particular conservative southern baptists). Because I refuse to dress like a modern day Pharisee and connect with another dead ministry in this city, I am all of a sudden labeled postmodern, relevant, emergent....whatever. In one of my classes, I have never spoken out against anything that has been taught (Sunday School, Backyard Bible Clubs, WMU, boy scouts), but the professor spends almost every class trying to convince me not to run from the Lord by leading people to Christ outside of Sunday School. I think that Mark Driscoll from Seattle is one of the most powerfully anointed church leaders in the world today. His talk this past week at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in spot on. Take time to listen to his examination of these three new parties in the church world today. I love his analysis and overview. I love how he attacks his critics in love and also how he points his listeners to Jesus.

Mark Driscoll's Message

Mark talks about the fact that what he cares about the most is what Jesus cares about most. It is all about Jesus. Although I am still working out a lot of my convictions, I strongly agree with him in this aspect. Jesus cares about absolute truth and He cares about whether or not His followers are passing that truth on to a lost and dying world. How do you do this? There are endless possibilities without compromising absolute truth. In Acts 17, Paul goes into Athens and sees the idols. His heart breaks over the fact that the people are lost and bound for hell. He anguishes and examines how he can share the Jesus story in a way that would connect the truth with that culture. He goes, sees, loves, and speaks truth. This is called being MISSIONAL. Wake up people! See what is going on in our world. Not every culture looks like Bible Belt USA.

Last night I was hanging out at Nacho Mama's on Magazine with one of boys that I am discipling in Uptown. We sat at the bar (yes I sit at the bar) and I got to talk with Chase (the bartender). Chase is a beautiful person that is completely confused. She hates religion, respects Jesus, hates Christians, wants to be Buddhist, but loves to sing and dance. We actually have a lot in common. I know this might be a shock to you, but Chase might not come to Christ in a WMU meeting. I know that within my tribe (SBC) the majority of churches are dead or dying. I really could care less whether you sing hymns or praise music, have sunday school or home groups, where suits or t-shirts. If people come to know Christ at your Sunday School class, Praise God! But to say that your methods are the only effective methods is as arrogant as Terrell Owens in an interview after a football game. All of this is so pointless. What matters most is whether or not people are coming to know Christ as Savior and Lord.

When I moved back to New Orleans, I noticed that as a whole (there are a lot of great things going on)...people are not coming know Christ. Do your sunday schools, WMUs, and back yard bible clubs. If they reach people, Praise God! If they aren't reaching people, may God forgive you for being so stubborn, selfish, and sinful.

I am starting a new journey this week. I will share more about it in my next blog. God has shown us great favor in a place where there is very little evangelical presence. He has led me and a team to start a new church by revitalizing an old church. I call it replantilization. We have the keys and the old church constitution. The name of the current church is Valence St. Baptist Church. It is in the heart of Uptown on the corner of Magazine and Valence. Pray for us. Come and help us. Send us money. I am completely dependent upon Christ, because I don't have a clue. As this journey begins, I really don't care about the method. All I care about is seeing people in this area come to Christ. If Sunday School is the most effective way (which I doubt), then bring it on.


  1. rob, i love where you and greg's hearts are. i'm in full agreement with you that the christian can take on the look of the culture around them without compromising biblical and doctrinal integrity. driscoll is good stuff and when i consider church planting acts 29 (along with sovereign grace ministries) are two ministries/networks that really excite me. i look forward to reading more from you and greg both, and please know that you have my full support of your ministry and let me know of anything i can ever do.

  2. Driscoll's the man. Great conference. Rock on.

  3. This is chase...You know what's funny - a friend of mine back home googled my name with Nacho Mama's and this came up. When she sent me the link I had to reply.
    I remember this conversation. First of all, I don't think a bar is a suitable place to discuss religion, nor do I think the timing is correct when I am working.
    For the record, I am not confused. I do like or understand organized religion but I know that it makes a lot of people very happy and I respect that. I never said I hate Christians. I don't like people who think it's their way or nothing at all and I don't like when people try to shove their gospel down my throat without listening or accepting where I'm coming from. I did say if I had to pick a religion it would be Buddhism because I greatly respect it.
    You got the singing and dancing part right tho.


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