I'm finding it really difficult to put into words my reflections about my trip to Cuba and Colombia. There are stories to tell: amazing new friends, epic car rides, delicious fruit, hot weather, immigration police adventures, airport security interrogations, stereotypical digestive system malfunctions, future plans, heated discussions, lots of laughter, sweet children, mangoes, and more.

As I tend to do, I've spent lots of time since I came back processing everything that happened and thinking about future trips. And there will be future trips! The church leaders in both Cuba and Colombia seem to be eager to have me return to help them implement projects to help generate income and increase their ability to do mission. 

But I think one thing has stuck with me as I have processed this trip. And that is how much the issues that the churches in Cuba and Colombia are facing are the same as the issues that churches in Canada are facing in this post-Christian culture.

We are all struggling to find new ways to engage a society around us that is increasingly ambivalent to the message we are preaching. We are all struggling to find creative ways to use our decreasing resources that to have a larger impact for God's kingdom. 

And this is why I am excited to be a part of this. I get to walk with church leaders from many parts of the world, including Canada as we all try to figure these things out. And I get to spread the creative solutions across borders so that we can all learn from each other. And that is really exciting. 

Posted
AuthorTom Roes

Here are a few pictures from my trip.

Old car and street view in Santiago de Cuba

Old car and street view in Santiago de Cuba

Mmmmm bacon!

Mmmmm bacon!

Pastors and church leaders in Cuba

Pastors and church leaders in Cuba

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New friends in Cuba

New friends in Cuba

Cuba from the air

Cuba from the air

New friends in Colombia

New friends in Colombia

Colombian Mennonite pastors and leaders

Colombian Mennonite pastors and leaders

Bogota from Montserrat 

Bogota from Montserrat 

Main square in Bogota

Main square in Bogota

Posted
AuthorTom Roes

Tomorrow evening I will board an Air Canada flight to Havana, Cuba. This is my first trip in my new role as the Mission Capacity Builder for Mennonite Church Canada. I know, that's a rather unwieldy title, but it's what they gave me! 

I will be spending 6 days in Cuba celebrating the 6th anniversary of the Mennonite Church in Cuba and teaching a 2 day entrepreneurship seminar to a group of leaders there. Then I will fly to Bogota, Colombia for a further 5 days, again teaching the seminar to a group of pastors and leaders.

I hope to be able to post some updates here while I'm gone, depending on internet access, and also on FaceBook. If you are not my friend yet and would like to be just ask! 

Please pray for me while I am away, and also for Lynette and the kids at home.

Posted
AuthorTom Roes

Over the next few months I'll be heading to several international destinations in a new role with Mennonite Church Canada. I'll be connecting with various partner churches to help them find ways to generate income in order to increase financial independence in a sustainable way. Check back here for updates and stories!

Posted
AuthorTom Roes

Keith Miller critiquing the current trend in church planting to elevate urban planting to a place of greater strategic importance over planting in smaller towns or rural areas.

Money Quote:

Maybe this is because the metro-evangelicals are not counter-cultural, but rather a baptized version of New Urbanism. In a culture that idolizes living in a loft in a gentrifying art district, a church planter is not exactly bearing a cross in deciding to "rough it" under such conditions.

I agree wholeheartedly with Miller's critique, but that could be largely because I am working in a decidedly non-urban area and thus prefer to elevate rural-centric church planting!

In the end churches need to be planted wherever people aren't following Jesus and the last time I checked that was both in rural and urban areas.

Posted
AuthorTom Roes
CategoriesUncategorized

From the late great Michael Spencer:Preaching Grace is Risky Business

Money quote:

We really don't believe grace can conform our lives to Christ more effectively than law. I mean we don't. We think we need the law to keep us in line. Especially, we think we need the terrors of the law to frighten us into being good Christians. It's the "law/grace/law" model. This kind of legalism just overruns Christianity.

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AuthorTom Roes
CategoriesUncategorized

From David Fitch: Is Missional Doomed? Money Quote:

We, the missional church, its thought leaders and practicioners, are in danger of allowing “Missional” to become another commercialized program we overlay on top of existing American church structures. The result is that nothing really changes. It just sounds better. The labels have been changed but everything remains the same.

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AuthorTom Roes
CategoriesUncategorized

From Daryl Dash: The Cost of Church Revitalization Money Quote:

Talk about sobering! Church revitalization is possible, but it's rare. According to statistics, most existing churches are in a state of plateau or decline. The good news is that these churches can be turned around, at least in theory. The bad news is that most of them will never pull out of their decline.

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AuthorTom Roes
CategoriesUncategorized

Just a quick note. I am rebooting the site. The old site will be offline soon, and all the content gone unless I decide to repost some of the stuff here. Cheers!

Tom

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AuthorTom Roes
CategoriesUncategorized