Friday, September 30, 2016

5 MINUTE VIDEO: How To Build A Better House Church

What if you could learn how to experience Jesus in a brand new way? What if your house church could learn how to gather around Him as your actual leader? What if you could all learn how to eliminate all the other junk that seems to get in the way of seeing, knowing, and experiencing Him more?

Let's take 5 minute and talk about it.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

5 MINUTE VIDEO: How To Love Your Enemy

Jesus raised the bar pretty high on love, even going so far as to say that we should love our enemy. But how do we do that? Is it really even possible?

Take about 5 minutes and listen as Keith provides practical examples of how to love your enemy as Jesus commanded.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

5 MINUTE VIDEO: Is Jesus The Only Way To Heaven?

What did Jesus mean when he said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by me"?

Does that mean Jesus is the only way to Heaven? What if that's not what Jesus is talking about at all?

A better question might be: "Is the Gospel that Jesus preached all about saying a prayer so you can go to Heaven when you die?"

Take 5 minutes and listen as Keith explains why Jesus's statement: "no one comes to the Father except by me" isn't about going to Heaven when you die, but something totally more amazing than that.

What does it mean to "come to the Father"?

In what way is Jesus "The Way, the Truth and the Life"?

What is the overall context of Jesus' conversation in the 14th chapter of the Gospel of John?

What is the Gospel really all about, anyway?

You'll know the answers to these questions in about 5 minutes.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

5 MINUTE VIDEO: Part 5 - Women In Church? [5 Fold Women]

Many hold up the 5 Fold Ministry as the pillar of strength that is essential for the growth and health of the Church.

But are these 5 gifts - Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers - exclusively for men? Or is there any evidence in the New Testament that women can also hold these positions in the Body of Christ?

Take 5 minutes and hold on to your hats as Keith looks at New Testament evidence for female Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Pastors and Evangelists.

Monday, September 26, 2016

5 MINUTE VIDEO: Part 4 - Women In Church? [1 Cor. 14]

Take 5 minutes [or more] and listen as Keith explains what's going on in 1 Cor. 14: 34-36.

Why does Paul say that women should remain silent in the assembly? Why does he appeal to the Law? Why does he say that "it is shameful [disgraceful] for a woman to speak in the church"?

And what is the missing word in most English Bibles that might provide a huge clue to what's really happening in this passage?

You'll know these answers and more in about 5 minutes.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

5 MINUTE VIDEO: Part 3 - Women In Church? [Wrapping up 1 Tim 2]

Wrapping up 1 Timothy 2 before we move on to other difficult passages about women in the Church.

Be sure to subscribe and follow this channel, and leave questions or comments below.

More to come!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

5 MINUTE VIDEO: Part 2 - Women In Church? [1 Tim. 2:11-15]

Take 5 minutes and listen as Keith explains what Paul is talking about in 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and why we can't just take this difficult passage at face value without first considering the cultural context of the place and time - as revealed by looking at Paul's previous experiences in Ephesus [where Timothy was when Paul wrote him this letter], and as Paul explains his purpose for writing the letter in the first place right at the beginning.

This and more are in today's video post.

We hope you're enjoying this series! Please subscribe, leave a comment and ask any questions you might still have after watching the clip.

Friday, September 23, 2016

5 MINUTE VIDEO: Women In Church? Part 1

What should the role of women be in the New Testament Church? Are many so-called "Organic" Churches still held in check by Institutional ways of thinking? Is there still a hierarchy of Male/Female? 

Sadly, for many, the answer is "Yes", but that's not what Jesus intended.

Take 5 minutes and listen to part 1 of an ongoing conversation about the role of women in the Body of Christ.

Thursday, September 22, 2016


Over the weekend I had a strange dream.

I was in a small group of people and we were walking up a flight of stairs which opened up into a room at the corner of a wooden building.

The only thing in the room was a set of rectangular tables set into a square. Each of us sat down at the outer edge of those tables facing the center, and a row of windows which ran along the left side of the room and along the opposite wall. I caught sight of a street down below which ran along the left side of the building. [This will be significant later].

From where I was sitting there were people on my left and on my right. The instructor was sitting directly across from me in the center of this open square.

As we sat down our instructor began to ask us to introduce ourselves one at a time. Each person was remarkably gifted and “special”. I began to realize that we were at a University and that this was a very unique program that was being funded through the Art Department, but we weren’t necessarily all artists. It felt more like a team of chosen and gifted individuals who each had a very special set of skills. Almost savant-level.

The person on my right was a visual prodigy. She had created these beautiful ceramic tiles that were cut into small tablets that were magnetized and displayed on a metal square. She communicated her thoughts and feelings by rearranging the tiles on the board, creating a beautiful work of art that transcended language.

The person on my left was wearing an elaborate musical device that was electronic and I knew he had created it himself. He also communicated and even related to others using music which he composed and performed at will.

There were other people in the room who were similarly gifted and unique. It felt almost like a secret team of super heroes who were assembled for a very specialized mission.

As the musical prodigy was talking, he handed me a device. It was like nothing I had ever seen before but I knew it was technologically advanced. That’s when I realized that I was in the future, and I had no way of replaying the message that was embedded on this device.

The instructor interrupted the young man and handed me another of these same devices. He told me it was very important for me to listen to it. I looked at a label along the side and it had the name “Geoffrey Chaucer” written across it.

Suddenly, I looked outside the window and I saw on the street below that a little black girl, maybe around 4 years old, was playing in the street. She was standing in the crosswalk but cars were speeding by her anyway and narrowly missing her.

Without even a thought I was through the window and down on the street next to her. I took her hand and waved off the oncoming traffic as I walked her to the sidewalk. Then two other children stepped into the crosswalk with pillows which they put down on the street and then curled up and laid down. I quickly picked them up and got them out of the street and back on the sidewalk.

An older woman walked by and asked if I knew where to find her son. He was one of the savants in our program so I escorted her back to the building and up a set of stairs to the room again.

When I got there the young man was still trying to explain who he was and what his gifting was. I sat down again at my seat.

Overall, the feeling of being in that room was very exciting. I honestly did not want to leave. It felt so good to be among these incredible people who were all so talented and gifted and interesting.

After I woke up and started trying to piece everything back together in my mind, I started to ask myself something that never occurred to me in the dream itself: Why was I in that room?

These were all gifted and talented people with amazing abilities, and then there was me. What was I there for?

One thought that came to me as I contemplated this question was this: My gifting was to see those children outside the building. They were in trouble. They needed someone to leave that beautiful meeting and rescue them from the dangers surrounding them.

I shared this dream with our house church family and a few of them thought that the meeting of special people stood for the Church. Some thought the group signified the Institutional Church which was too focused on itself to notice the people outside who were in need of their help. Others thought that the group was the Church in general which is highly specialized and called and gifted, but some gifts are for inside the Church, while others are needed outside.

As I shared the dream with our church family I started to notice the significance of the term “cross walk” which is where the children were playing and laying down. Were they protected by the “Cross Walk”? Was that a symbol of their protection? Or was it a symbol of their faith in something that couldn’t actually protect them – the way an actual crosswalk really is nothing more than a series of painted lines and can’t really stop a moving car.

I’m still not sure about that part.

If the “Arts” metaphor of the people in the room applies, then my “art” should have been writing, but at no time did I have a pen or a pencil or any paper in my hand. Nor did I have a computer to write with. In fact, I’m not sure I was there for any other reason than to observe this group as a guest.

I honestly have no idea about the futuristic device or why “Geoffery Chaucer” should have come up. [I hate Chaucer, for the record. Not sure if that’s significant].

So, any thoughts? Does this make any sense to anyone at all?

I know a few of you have spiritual gifts to interpret dreams, so, if that’s you I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

5 MINUTE VIDEO: State of the Church 2016 [Barna Report] Part 1

The Barna Research Group released a report of the Church in America today [9/20/16].

Take 5 minutes and listen as Keith gives you a quick overview of that report with a few reactions and insights.

Saturday, September 17, 2016


Is it a sin to love your country?

Maybe that's the wrong question to ask. Jesus never said the exact words, "Thou shall not love thy country", but He did say things like:

"If anyone loves mother or father, or son or daughter more than me, he is not worthy of me." - Matt. 10:37-39

So, is it a sin to love your parents? Or your children?

No, but if you love your parents - or anything else - more than you love Jesus, then you might have your priorities out of line and just perhaps, you might not actually be following the words of Jesus.

The New Testament does have a lot to say about our relationship with our country, however. More so than most Christians believe.

For example, Jesus tells us clearly to "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and give to God what is God's." Most Christians are aware of that one.

But Jesus also tells us that we cannot serve two masters, which in context was about trusting in money more than we trust in God, but the principle remains. We really cannot serve two masters.

We're also told that Jesus is our King. That means that our primary allegiance is to Him, and not to our President, or our National authority.

Yes, we're commanded to pray for our leaders [something most Christians only do if the leader happens to be representing their own political party], and we are told to submit to every authority over us, and to pay our taxes and to live quiet lives among the people. But we should keep in mind that those things were written during a time in history when the authority over them was Nero, one of the most cruel, vicious and evil men who ever lived.

If Jesus is our King, and if we are citizens of His Holy Nation [see 1 Peter 2], then our allegiance is to Christ and His Kingdom, not to the nation we were born into.

The Apostle Paul reminds us that we are Ambassadors of Christ. Peter reminds us that we are strangers and aliens in this land. The author of Hebrews reminds us that we are looking for a better country that is from above. John reminds us that the enemies of Jesus are the Kings of the Earth and the Nations of men - not just the "evil" ones, all of them - that all stand opposed to Christ's Kingdom.

So, where do we stand? Are we truly strangers and aliens? Are we actually living as Ambassadors of Christ's Kingdom? Are we looking for a better country that is from above? Are we standing with Jesus, or are we standing with the Kings and Nations of the Earth which oppose Christ's rule and reign?

Is it a sin to love your country? Maybe.

If I were you, I wouldn't take the chance.

One of the repeated warnings given to the early church was about something called "entanglement".

"No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer." - 2 Tim. 2:4

What are "civilian affairs" in this analogy? Anything that isn't pleasing to our commanding officer. How much of what takes place in the political arena would you honestly say is "pleasing" to Jesus: Slandering? Lying? Corruption? Pandering to special interest groups and lobbyists?

There's not much in the world of politics that anyone could say is "pleasing" to Jesus. In fact, I would go as far as to say that none of it is pleasing to Him. Why? Because no one in politics is seeking to please Jesus. Do any of them even give lip service to Christ? Is Jesus ever mentioned? Are they working to promote the values that He spoke of in the Sermon on the Mount?

No, they are not. And why would they? Christ's Kingdom only works when Jesus is the King. As long as men and women are attempting to rule and wield power over others, Jesus is not Lord.

The Apostle Peter also speaks about entanglement:

"If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning." - 2 Peter 2:20

If we have been set free from the "corruption of the world", then we are warned not to return again to that entanglement but to keep our hearts set on Jesus and maintain our allegiance to His Kingdom.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us," - Hebrews 12:1

Entanglement with the world is something we should be very careful to avoid. It's not only politics that we should be wary of, but politics and nationalism certainly qualify as examples of how the world works and we would be wise to avoid them as citizens of Christ's Kingdom.

"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them." - 1 John 2:15

Is it a sin to love your country?


Especially if your love for your country leads you to believe that your nation is more special, more loved by God than other countries.

Remember, God is no respecter of persons. He so loved the world that He gave His only Son. No nation is favored over another.

In the Body of Christ, we are reminded that there is no longer any recognition of nationality, or race, or age, or sex. We are all one in Christ, Jesus, our Lord. [See Gal. 3:28]

He makes us one. He unites us. National pride divides people. Patriotism distorts our oneness.

We would do well to abandon those things and to embrace our identity as the children of God who have been called out of every nation to be formed into a new, Holy Nation, where our King stands with arms open wide to welcome people of all tribes, and tongues, and nationalities.

Is it a sin to love your country?

What do you think?


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: The Church As Movement [Ecclesial Architecture]

This review is part of a series of chapter reviews being conducted by several different bloggers over a period of weeks. My assignment was to review chapter 6 of this new book by R. Woodward and Dan White, Jr. entitled: "The Church As A Movement".
The sixth chapter covers "Ecclesial Architecture" and is primarily about community.
"The church is not a building, a weekly gathering or a program, but a people that God has called out of the world and sent back into the world to redeem and renew the world."
That's a great place to start from, isn't it?
Honestly, as I was reading over the book it kept reminding of another book called "Natural Church Development"by Christian Schwarz from way back in 1996. At the time, that book was the go-to book with stats and charts and research-based insights about how people learn, and how community is formed, and what makes a healthy church tick.
To me, this book is it's spiritual successor, and in that sense it is a vast improvement.
In many ways, the chapter I read on community was a breath of fresh air. It focused on the 3 C's - Communion, Community and Co-Mission without resorting too much to rigid programming.
I especially appreciated this:
"It is nearly impossible to decide on our mission from a sterile classroom. In order to generate momentum, we need to learn the neighborhood or network we are sent to and experiment in co-mission activities regularly. Inviting people to hang out at social events is fine. However, we should also hold events that engage in social justice through serving in a tangible way. Or we could bring art and beauty to those we are sent to."
The appeal to practical orthopraxy rather than theoretical orthodoxy was, for me, a welcome shift from the usual "Church Growth Movement" fare.
Most of what I read in this chapter I agree with, in theory. I didn't run across very much to disagree with, but if I'm honest this isn't the sort of book I would see myself using. Maybe because I'm already 10 years into my own church experience, and maybe because I'm not someone who typically refers to a textbook for step-by-step instructions, no matter how solid those instructions might be.

However, just because I wouldn't use the book, that doesn't mean that someone who is looking for good advice about how to facilitate and nurture a new church venture shouldn't give it a look.
There is a lot to like here.
If there's a problem it's probably coming more from me than from anything else. I'm wired differently than most. I tend to shy away from "How To" books by trained experts who have a proven methodology, especially if it's about the church.
Here's why: To me, the growth of the church isn't really our job. My perspective is that Jesus is the Head of the Church. He puts the members of the Body together just as He wants them to be [see 1 Cor. 12] and He has already said that He would build His church [see Matt. 16:18].
So, anytime I read a book that attempts to teach leaders and pastors how to step in and drive that process, it makes something inside me bristle.
Now, I do agree that it's a good idea for people to be aware of what's necessary for a church to thrive and what forces and practices tend to stagnate the life of the Body and the health of the community. But beyond awareness and advice and guidelines, I'm typically uncomfortable with strategies and programs that place the responsibility on leaders who are expected to manage these processes.
To me, these are organic and natural developments that we can provide the right conditions for, like a farmer who plows the hard ground, drops seed into the furrows and adds water and nutrients, but the growth itself - the actual movement towards life and health and eventual fruit-bearing - is totally outside our control.
As I read this book I kept picturing a young church-planter scribbling notes, drawing charts, creating job descriptions and writing out strategies to align with these ideas, and if that's the intended result, I'm not on board. 
To me, the process is much simpler - much less complicated and intensive - than this book might suggest.
To be fair, one might ask me how large my church family has grown over the last ten years, and how many other churches we've planted, and how many disciples we've made, and how many new converts we've baptized. Those numbers would probably not impress the kind of person who would find this book most useful, and so I do take that into account.
Our approach has been to simply focus on Jesus and to be disciples who disciple one-another and learn how to love God and be loved by Him - and how to love one another and to receive love from one another.
Over the years, we have certainly seen other churches form, and we have seen people come to know Christ, and we have baptized a few, and we have served and ministered to many others. But the stats and the numbers probably wouldn't make the evening news. Again, that's not what we're shooting for, either.
But if you're a new church-planter, and if you're looking for a well-researched book with great advice and helpful insights that could help you along the path, this is worth a look.



Monday, September 12, 2016

Crucify Your Tribalism

I overheard a conversation on the train the other day. One guy was from ST. Louis. The other guy from California started going on about how great it was that the Rams were back in LA. The St. Louis guy shared how he now hates the team but used to love them. The LA guy hated them for leaving but now can't buy enough jerseys and hats for his entire family.

This sort of arbitrary tribalism is so stupid and petty. We "love" a team because now they are "Our Team", even though a year from now they could become another team somewhere else.

What is it about "our team" we love? The coach? The players? The logo? The mascot?

What we love is simply this: We find part of our identity in that brand and we attach emotionally and we defend the "honor" of that brand even though it has nothing to do with "us" in reality.

People do it with sports teams...[that's partially where we learn this behavior at an early age, in school for example]....and they do it with their State, and their Nation, and yes, even their faith.

But Jesus proclaimed that "God so loved the World"...not just the Jews. Peter had to learn that God wanted to embrace the Gentiles, and that was a huge paradigm shift for him, and for other Jewish Christians.

Paul had to remind the Christians in Galatia that "we are all one in Christ Jesus" and that in the Body of Christ we no longer recognize class [rich/poor], sexism [male/female], nationalism [jew/gentile], or any of those other man-made divisions.

The Gospel is for everyone. God loves everyone.

Tribalism is childish, foolish, divisive and anti-Christ.

Jesus does not command you to love your nation. He commands you to love your neighbor, the poor, the outcast, and yes, even your enemy.

Do that and forget about your nationalism.


Friday, September 09, 2016

5 MINUTE VIDEO: What About The Kids?

The number one question everyone asks about Organic Church is simply this: "What do we do with the kids?"

Take 5 minutes and listen as Keith responds to this question and offers a few ideas from his experience over the last 10 years.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

5 MINUTE VIDEO: Practical "How To" Tips For Organic Church

What is the format for an organic church? How do you start? What do you do next? Are there any "How To" steps to follow?

Take 5 minutes and listen as Keith Giles provides a very simple, practical description of what happens when his house church family comes together.

He also shares some ideas that your house church group, or small group, can try together if you're interested in experiencing more of Jesus in your gatherings.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

5 MINUTE VIDEO: "When You Come Together" - Organic Church Practices

So, what happens when the ekklesia comes together to realize Jesus as the Head of the Body? 
How do you do it? What does it look like? 

Take 5 minutes and listen as Keith Giles explains practically what organic church gatherings look like when they work together to see and hear Jesus. 

Tuesday, September 06, 2016


Ten years ago my family and I made a conscious decision to step away from the traditional church model in favor of a more organic form of church.

Instead of pastor-centric gatherings, we wanted everyone in the Body of Christ to use their spiritual gifts to build up one another.

Instead of a programmatic order of service, we wanted to embrace the freedom we all have in Christ to be led by the Holy Spirit.

Maybe you've been there?

Here's what I've noticed: Some groups tend to swing too far in one direction and miss the point entirely.

For example: You say your group doesn't want to be pastor-led, but does that mean you should have total chaos instead? Is that really what we see in the New Testament ekklesia?


In fact, Paul even makes a point to say "For God is not a God of confusion, but of peace", and he does so in the very same chapter that many organic churches look to find their model. [See 1 Cor. 14:33]

Here's the real problem: The ekklesia isn't about liturgy or a lack of liturgy. It isn't about structures we choose or the celebration of our freedom in the gathering.

The ekklesia is about Jesus.

If you miss that, you've missed the entire point.

So, let me ask you: How does your gathering place Jesus at the center?

Better yet: Imagine what would happen if Jesus physically appeared to everyone in your church gathering. How different would that gathering be compared to the way your meetings currently look?

Now, let me remind you of something: Jesus IS in your midst every single time you gather together in His name.

If you could see Jesus with your eyes and hear Him with your ears, your meeting would probably look different, I'm guessing.

But since you know, by faith, that Jesus IS in your meeting, what can you do to see Him and hear Him better?

The answer to that question is exactly what your organic church should be working on together - every time you meet.

Here are some ideas to get you started:
*Sit silently together with your heads bowed and your eyes closed
*Wait on Jesus to reveal Himself to you
*Only speak to Jesus, not to one another
*Sing spontaneous songs of worship to Him
*Thank Him for His goodness
*Praise Him for His majesty
*Read specific scriptures out loud that speak of His wonder, and power and love [See Col. 1:15-22; Romans 8:31-39; Rev. 5; Heb. 1:1-13; Eph.3:14-21, etc.]
*Continually work together to keep Jesus the center of your attention for as long as you can

More and more, your organic church can begin to experience the presence of Jesus in your meetings if you will collaborate together in this way to realize His authority over each of you, and to submit completely to His leadership.

If you try this, please share your experiences in the comments below or send me an email to let me know how it goes!

I can't wait to hear how the Lord Jesus reveals Himself to your church family.


Monday, September 05, 2016

5 MINUTE VIDEO: Organic Church 101

Take 5 minutes to listen as Keith Giles describes what the ideal Organic Church meeting should be like, and why it often fails.

Friday, September 02, 2016

5 MINUTE VIDEO: Discipleship [Part 5] "Spiritual Gifts & Love"

Got 5 minutes? Listen as Keith explains why Paul always pairs love with spiritual gifts and why so many organic churches struggle to realize the presence of Jesus when they come together.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

5 MINUTE VIDEO: Discipleship [Part 4] "Spiritual Gifts"

Continuing our 5 Minute Video series discussion about Discipleship, we now move on to how spiritual gifts help to facilitate the process of mutual discipleship in the Body of Christ. 

Take 5 minutes and listen as Keith explains the importance of knowing your spiritual gift and how it impacts the rest of the Church.