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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Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Cambridge Seven

I am sitting in class at seminary. Dr. Taylor just highlighted a group of studs from the late 1800s and early 1900s. They are called "The Cambridge Seven". Basically, these guys were in the top of their class at Cambridge, sold everything, and moved to China as missionaries. They joined up with Hudson Taylor and the China Inland Mission. Read more.

What is unique about this picture?

These guys were dressed like the Chinese! They were becoming indigenous with the tribe that they are trying to reach. I think it is absolutely hypocritical that we celebrate these great missionaries and others like William Carey, Lottie Moon, Hudson Taylor (all of which took an indigenous approach)...and yet blast those who pursue indigenous work in American cities. We have received quite a lot of crap from people (mostly religious conservatives) who have disagreed with our missionary strategy in Uptown. Most of these people are huge fans of the above missionaries. This is absolute hypocritical.

We will encourage our foreign missionaries to get to know their people group and even to become like that people group. But if we do anything outside of the typical 1950s Southern Alabama or Mississippi style of ministry, we immediately get resistance. In my own tribe (SBC), I am not completely discouraged. There are a lot of people who are embracing an indigenous mission right here in the US.

A few weeks ago, Dr. Hammond and team from NAMB visited our church. He called me before he came to let me know that he was coming. I love what he said. Basically he encouraged me to not change anything that we had been doing just because he was visiting. He said that he was coming to learn from us. I was blown away by this. Dr. Hammond and team took us out to lunch after the worship and were completely encouraging and supportive. They asked a lot of questions and also gave us some great advice. Dr. Hammond has a great passion for indigenous urban church planting all over North America. I pray that God continues to use him all over this continent.

So...when a youth minister puts on a concert, when a senior adult minister facilitates a BINGO night, when a pastor hosts a hunting banquet at his country church, when a young stubborn guy plants a church in a bar in Uptown NOLA...remember "The Cambridge Seven". Don't be so quick to judge. Reach your world.

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