Monday, December 7, 2009

A New Door Opens to Take Back Ground for the Kingdom

Starting next month, Mission-link will be providing ministry and teaching on Spritual Warfare at The Fish House in Isanti, MN. Three appointments will be available on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month, and as otherwise arranged individually. Teaching sessions will be on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays from 1-3 p.m., also at the Fish House. We are excited to see captives set free as believers learn to walk in the inheritance of Jesus' authority in their lives! Please be praying for us as we develope the team for this new opportunity.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Tonight I got to speak with a band of guys who were ministering down at the Marie Sandvick Center in Minneapolis. Like so many others who hear about what we are doing in the Cambridge-Isanti area, they were curious about how we are doing leadership. Without exception, the people I have talked to who have tried house church have always run into leadership problems.

Last night I was talking to someone who was wrestling with the high value we place on "vulnerability" with leaders, and it occurred to me how the level of "grace" (as opposed to "shame") that is going on in any given group of any size is directly related to the vulnerability of the leaders. It's the leadership that let's everyone know how safe the group is (and by implication, how safe our God is) by how much they share of their own weaknesses - not for shock value, but truly with the purpose of showing confidence in the grace of God.

We are spending the next few weeks digging into the grace of God and how huge it is. Here is our study outline on it:

I will be writing more on this, but I would really like to hear some comments on this topic. What reasons do you hear as to why leaders are not more vulnerable?

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Jesus told His disciples, "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'" John 7:38. This seems to come from Proverbs 10:11, 18:4, and others that predict a flow of life and wisdom from those God will bless. I take this to mean at least one thing - That whoever those people are, others will notice that the effect of being around them is to come away richer, more alive and refreshed than they were. These are people who give away life - who give away power to others. I think Jesus was the picture of this dynamic, and the "first of many bretheren" who would be known for it.

When I look at leadership in the church today, I don't see this picture so much. I see church staff battling for limited resources, church boards that don't ever expect to pay a living wage to employees, and pastors that can't ever afford to hand off leadership roles for fear of not fulfilling their job descriptions. The flow of real life and power to people seems to be at best incidental to the management and glimmer of programs. Investment in discipleship is difficult to find. I notice Jesus giving away things:
  • His authority - to seventy guys whose names are still a mystery;
  • His Dignity - to twelve who wouldn't have thought to wash His feet, let alone theirs;
  • His Keys to the Kingdom - to guys who argued about who was the greatest;
  • His Church - to those who had denied and abandoned Him at His death.

When I look at how Jesus entrusted the treasures of His Kingdom to these people, my excuses for holding on to these things make me ashamed - I wonder who I am to think I am handling what I have been given better than one of the least of those who are like Jesus' disciples. I think that if I am going to be one who has this "River of Life" coming from him, I need to learn to release power to others, like Jesus did in His vulnerability, His reckless trust, and always undeserved radical grace toward others. May we sit at the Rabbi's feet for this. Amen

Friday, October 23, 2009


Hey - this is just a reminder that next weekend (Halloween) is a big one for us - We are doing everything at the Fish House that weekend: The Spiritual Warfare Conference from 6:30 Friday night to 4:...00 pm on Saturday, then our Gathering will start at 5:00 in the upper room of the same location with a CHILi FEED, and go into a worship time with Stacy & Serit leading us in Israeli worship dance. After our open mic time, we will join the Fish House Crowd downstairs for a combined service where the message on restoring the Keys of spiritual authority in the Church will be given - that will be Halloween night. Our victory over darkness does not step aside for Halloween, it meets it head on!!!

For more details, go to The Journey Website:

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Thing of Momentum

Today I am reading John Maxwell's book, "The 21 Most Powerful Minutes...", where he uses the life of Solomon to illustrate how momentum works in leadership. It is interesting to me how something comes to be called a "movement", as this implies an increasing momentum - people catch a vision and find a way to do what they see - to live it out, and in doing so they find that they have the power to make a difference.

I see this in The Journey EC house church network. How many of us as believers in Jesus have read how the early church lived with a sense of "awe" (Acts 2:43) at the power of God, meeting house to house (v. 46), and sharing what they had with those in need (v. 45), only to wonder why we don't see this today? We have asked ourselves, "Why can't we do this", and maybe we've tried to give it a go, only to find the challenge of a smaller, closer community more daunting than we thought.

But now I see people who have attended church for decades learning to become the Church - the dwelling place of God; And although the relationship part is a challenge and we make a lot of mistakes, we are excited to be walking out what we see in the accounts of the ministry of Jesus and His disciples.

As for momentum, we are learning the difference between the initial draw of "novelty" and the longer term connection to the mission. Actually making the shift from the "initial interest" crowd to the more long term group with the "get-it factor" can seem like a loss of momentum. It looks a little like a three stage rocket that drops a section after certain points in its journey to reach its destination, only we are actually seeing others added as the journey goes forward and becomes more defined. Maxwell makes some good points about what keeps momentum going:
  1. Leaders who have accepted that it is in their hands;
  2. Willingness to direct it rather than just ride the wave;
  3. Continuing to fuel, and show the value of, the vision;
  4. Catching people doing good things.

It is an amazing thing in the history of the world as we know it - this story of the Church. No one can get away from the proof that faith in Jesus Christ, and the Kingdom He brought, has only increased over the last two millennia. Even now when our willingness to adapt to changing culture is being tested once again, we see an amazing gift in the Church's readiness to move into a simpler mode, unburdened by buildings and big budgets. Generations who have generally held each other, and God, at an arms length as they attended weekly formal services in large sanctuaries are giving way to a more connected church - one who is bringing Jesus home for dinner. What a great picture of Jesus' desired result as he stands knocking on the door of our house...not just our hearts. I have often wondered how we could talk so freely about receiving Him in our hearts, when we had yet to welcome Him into our living rooms?

Can we agree to ask,

"Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth (starting in my living room) as it is in heaven." ?


Bob Roby

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Today I spotted an article in the September 21, 2009 issue of "Leadership Journal" by John Ortberg called: The Strong-Willed Leader: There is a difference between a surrendered will and a weak will. I was really encouraged to see this come to light, because over the 27 years that I have been involved with the church as an institution, I have consistently encountered teaching - both specific and implied - that God's plan for us is have no will of our own. I have observed that the resulting passivity of church culture in America, particularly as it is encouraged in the "laity" or attenders, is linked to the taking away of the "key" in Luke 11:52; It hinders those who are trying to enter the Kingdom, or domain of God. Then there is that disturbing statement in Matthew 11:12 about "violent men" taking the Kingdom by force.

So how do we square that Jesus both "set His face to go to Jerusalem" in Luke 10:51, and yet only always did what He saw His Father doing? (John 5:19) It doesn't seem a mystery to me any more. It has a lot to do with what we believe God wants from us, and what He will do if we bow our heart to Him. You see, every other god (and I use this term in the broadest sense) seeks to take power from us - to use us, and use us up. The true God is the only One who can afford to give us more power than He takes from us. (Note the promises in Acts 1:8, Ephesians 1:20, e.g.)But old habits are hard to break - we have been taught by our other gods that to come under the authority of another means we must disengage our will. At the same time we are doing this (which I beleieve is very offensive to God - kind of like bonevolent adoptive parents bringing a child home only to see him crippled by a constant, parylizing fear that they are going to beat and abuse him), He is all about the task of healing and rebuilding our will so that it is functioning again - evidenced by the ability to daily choose to follow Him. (Romans 8:14)

More could be said about this - and I hope that we as the Church will begin to grow in this understanding: that God comes to empower and repair our will, and to equip us for the spiritual battle field we live in. Passivity is not close to godlikeness - rather it takes an incredibly strong and healthy will for us to do as Jesus did in setting His face toward Jerusalem, for this where our cross awaits us...the one we are to take up daily as we follow our Savior.
Grace & Peace

Saturday, September 5, 2009


The Topic is "Hearing from God - Why at least every Christian has already heard God's voice"

The Shed (34092 Vickers Street NE in Cambridge) has been offered by Dale Forslin for us to meet starting this month! To show our thanks we are going to be out there next Saturday the 12th to work on clean up and whatever else is needed.

Plan to be out there from noon to about 4:00 p.m.


Well, we had four baptisms in July, and our August Gathering was filled with sharing around a campfire in the park - what God is doing among us.

The Blue Fish house church has been on an amazing journey around learning to invite the Spirit of God to teach us - as Jesus promised He would. (John 16 :12-15) We are going to breakout discussions with questions that send us into the Bible for answers, and seeing how God speaks to all of us - It has been amazing.

But lately we have been tugging on the meaning of "ministry" to each other, and what ministry really means. Ministry has been defined by some as "Our needs being met by God's resources", but how do God's resources get involved? We recognize that the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit are our only hope of "ministry" happening, so we have to go to God with our hands and hearts open, while at the same time we test what comes to us by its:
  1. Consistency with Scripture,
  2. Confirming fruit, and
  3. Confession of Jesus Christ as Lord

We are beginning to see healing and freedom among us - but it's a learning process. We find we have been affected by all kinds of teaching and perspectives on these things - But as long as we can all defer to the authority of Scripture, we are going to find our way through the experiential part of our walk. He will complete the work He began in us!

Monday, July 20, 2009


Saturday July 25th from 5:00-8:00 at the Cambridge City Park

Food - Live band - Open mic - Drama group - Baptisms

See what the journey is about. It's the journey we are all on to discover the part of our existence that can't be measured in a lab; The part of our world that has to be learned by heart. Come and eat, sing, share your journey with others, or just hear from regular people what they are discovering in their own journeys. All are welcome.

Friday, June 26, 2009


5-8 p.m. at the Cambridge City Park
THEME: PRAYER - "What is it and does it really change anything?"
Food at 5:00 - Worship and Open Mic at 6:00

Bring friends and stories of answered prayer!

For Home Church group information go to

Sunday, May 31, 2009


SATURDAY NIGHT, May 30th, the house churches of the Journey had a Gathering at Cambridge City Park to celebrate personal victories and healing. Victory never comes without a battle - so the two themes: war and healing, come together in our human experience.

When it comes to addictions, (those things that take control of our lives against our better intentions) it often requires a true battle to evict them from the claim they have on our lives. These are the things that are "energized" by the Ephesians 6:12 struggle, not just with our own weaknesses, but against spiritual enemies, without bodies. Submission to God is only a first step when it comes to confronting these "strongholds" (2 Corinthians 10:4), we have to take a second step. James 4:7 states we have to also "resist", as do Ephesians 6:13 and 1Peter 5:8.

Few of us were taught this dynamic when we learned about Jesus, how ever we came to know about Him. Yet, about a third of Jesus's ministry involved "resisting" these evil spirit beings, starting with Satan himself in the wilderness. We also see Him resisting the money changers in the temple courts with a camel whip. Not the classic "gentle Jesus" we see in the paintings. When He was resisting, He was never praying, so His example takes us outside of the teaching of even most current books out on the topic of "spiritual warfare". In Jesus's ministry, there was no such thing as "warfare prayer". War was war, and prayer was prayer.

Once the dust settles, after the battle is won and the enemy is out of the "house" (that is, our bodies - God's intended temple), Jesus the Carpenter needs to go to work restoring the areas of our soul that have been damaged, including the paths that the enemy has worn so well in our mind, will and emotions. The battle is about driving out the enemy that is at war with God's design for our lives. - Healing is the restoration process after the enemy is out of the way. The picture we get from the Old Testament Tabernacle is helpful:

The teaching of Jesus ties the Tabernacle to our bodies as God's intended home, and so its design reflects the blueprint of our soul. God's idea of "salvation" gets real practical when we talk about removing any things that do not belong there, and inviting the Savior to set up housekeeping and start restoring and redecorating us - as His sacred place.

How differently do we see our life when we consider that we have been made a "sacred place" - a temple of God Himself? Some of the words shared on Saturday night reflected the power of this truth. I think it is really God's passion that we see ourselves and others as sacred places, made to be inhabited by God's presence.


Monday, May 18, 2009


Food, Music and Open Mic to share what God is doing!
TOPIC: Healing & Addiction
May 30th from 5 to 8 p.m.
Cambridge City Park

Our Weekly House Churches:
BLUE GROUP - Contact Bob & Becky -
RED GROUP - Contact Josiah & Fancey -
GREEN GROUP - Contact Scott & Tammie -

"Look at what they make you give."

The past few weeks, I was reminded of this phrase, spoken by Jason Bourne (acted by Matt Damon) in the third of the Bourne sequels, "Bourne Ultimatum". He had come to the end of any desire to play the game, and spared the life of another agent who was assigned to kill him. When the other agent asked why he didn't kill him to save himself, he answered with these words. "Because, look at what they make you give." He realized that they were all being driven by a third party to play a game that none of them could win. They were pawns, and the only way out was to stop playing, possibly at the cost of their lives - which were already forfeited anyway.

None of us gets out of this life alive. All we can choose is what we will say to the world we live in with the time we have. There were many things in life that Jesus pointed out we could not hold onto as tightly if we were going to follow Him, and (as we would say) "Get a life!"
  • Devotion to extended family;
  • Devotion to employers without boundaries;
  • Devotion to financial gain;
  • Devotion to religious traditions.

I think we all see the battle in one or more of these areas on at least a weekly basis. For us in the journey, we are finding out the cost of carving out a different life rhythm as we try to walk with one another in closer proximity...and finding out that transformation always comes at a price: something like taking up our cross. It's not that Jesus didn't pay it all, it's just that getting the "flesh" (patterns, habits and attachments) out of the way is really painful. But God gives enough grace to survive it.

So, why did Jesus have to die? Partly, to show us the cost of following Him in life. Why would anyone follow Jesus in dying to what is a "normal" life to us? Maybe my answer to that is to say, "Because,...look at what we made Him give!"

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Come Help us Keep this Life Saving Station Open!!
Saturday May 16th - Register 9 a.m., Walk 10 a.m.
Cambridge City Center Mall Parking Lot - Call 763 689-4319

Food, Music and Open Mic to share what God is doing!
TOPIC: Healing & Addiction
May 30th from 5 to 8 p.m.
Cambridge City Park

Our Weekly House Churches:
BLUE GROUP - Contact Bob & Becky -
RED GROUP - Contact Josiah & Fancey -
GREEN GROUP - Contact Scott & Tammie -


On April 25th at the Gathering, The Journey brought us to look into why Jesus had to die. We had a few passages of Scripture and divided them among three groups, who looked them up and listened to what God might be saying to us about them. When we got back together, we were all in awe of how the Spirit of God had spoken to us - we were energized by the power of God and how He had set up so many events in history to speak of the meaning of Jesus's sacrifice.

If you would like to follow our Journey through Scripture on this topic and see what God might say to you, here are the Scriptures for the last two weeks in May:

Week Three - Fulfillment of the Law:
(1) Jesus fulfilled the requirement of the law, that sin results in death, but since He had no sin, His payment could be applied to us. He drank our cup of judgment, and gave us His cup of “blessing”. (Matt. 20:22, 26:39, John 18:11, 1Cor. 10:16)
(2) Jesus as Son of Man and Son of God holds both delegated dominion and effective dominion in this world (Matt. 28:18).
(3) Through His perfect sacrifice He prepared us for adoption (Galatians 4:8ff) and restored our spiritual dominion/authority in this world (Ephesians 2:6).

Week Four - The Lamb of God has Unique Authority
(1) Jesus identified as the Lamb of God (John 1:29)
(2) Jesus worshipped as the Lamb who is Worthy (Rev 5:12)

We will be jumping into a new topic starting May 30 at our Gathering in the City Park in Cambridge (5 to 8 p.m.) - "HEALING & ADDICTION" . All are welcome to hang out with us there!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Gathering

Last Saturday people from our three house churches, and other friends rushed

over to the Fair Grounds for a Gathering and ate (of course), shared some stories,

and generally enjoyed doing some music and hanging out together.

The Historical Society building was nice... had plenty of room inside, and outside, ...but of course it wasn't as homey as our houses. Even so, we shared some of the amazing things that God is up to among us, and it was a great party! The topic of the night was: "Why did Jesus need to Die?" - looking at Easter just a couple of weeks ago.
So, Why? Was it to prove what God was willing to give? He had one son that was His - an amazing leader and teacher who healed and transformed lives wherever he went. God was excited about Him - In fact the only times He spoke out loud in the New Testament part of the Bible, He was bragging about Him; like "Look at My Son, I am really happy about Him!" and "Here is My Son; listen to Him!" So why did God send Him to a cross to die?
He had asked us all through the Old Testament to make HIM our greatest treasure - to show it by giving up the things we needed most for our security (the best of the sheep, the harvest, our "treasures"). Was giving His Son a way of showing that He was making US HIS greatest treasure? That He would trade His Son's life for us?!?!?! That's sure what it looks like to me.
It says that Jesus, "for the joy set before him, endured the cross..." Hebrews 12:2. It seems the Son of God had joy in opening the way for us to find His Dad - God didn't make Him do it. So that had something to do with it as well. But it seems so drastic...wasn't there another way? Jesus asked God the same thing (Matthew 26:39). There wasn't. Our sin problem was really that bad. That's what I don't think we can get somehow: that it's really that hard to get a new heart - a new life - a clean slate. We can't do it ourselves. So, it's either let what Jesus did be enough for me - 'cause God said it was - or sit in my stew and try to keep adding things to make it taste right.
So, once I accept God's help - the Jesus solution - I have to keep asking God to help me out of my stew on a regular basis. I still add things that mess it up. But that's what grace is for: not a one time event, but a lifestyle of giving back to God. I am one thankful guy!

Monday, April 13, 2009


At our April 4th meeting, where we commissioned our lead teams for three home churches, there was a real sense of anticipation as everyone considered how God had been knitting them together with others over the past few weeks.

The biggest surprise was that everyone seemed to already know what group (tribe?) they should be in! One is referred to as the "blue group", another is the "red group", and then there is a "green group". More colors will be added as more house churches are launched, but we don't expect to have to go through the same process again since future groups will be branched off from already existing groups.

So what do things look like now?

Our three house churches meet weekly - (You can e-mail me at the above address to get contact info for the lead teams); The lead teams for each church meet weekly in "triads" (groups of three - one from each house church); and all the house churches get together for a "Gathering" on the last Saturday of the month at 5:00 p.m. for food, informal worship time, and sharing of stories. This will happen at the Isanti County Historical Society building at the Fairgrounds in Cambridge, EXCEPT for July 25th when we will meet at a lake for baptisms. These monthly Gatherings are open to anyone, so freely invite people to come hang out with us for that!

Here are some pics from our Sonrise Service at the Paul's Lake landing on Easter morning.

It began and ended with a blast (I use the term loosely) of the Shofar, and included a bonfire, and some resurrection songs.


"The Gathering" April 25th - 5:00 p.m., Historical Society.
Bring your favorite "slow cooked" dish in a crock pot.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


So we have branched into three groups, and will soon need a fourth! We are having our first big multi-group Gathering (party time!) at the Fairgrounds in Cambridge at the Historical Society Building on April 25th from 5-8. Anyone is welcome - bring food to share if you can.

Friday, April 3, 2009


SATURDAY APRIL 4th IS OUR NEXT GATHERING - AT LORSUNGS' from 5:00 - 8:00pm. This will be our "branching out" day, where we will be forming our three smaller home groups, which will keep meeting weekly - EVERYBODY, BRING AN ORIENTAL DISH TO SHARE!

Our next large Gathering will be 5:00pm SATURDAY APRIL 25TH AT THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY - Isanti County Fair Grounds.

When I was in law school back in the late 80's, I remember a Jewish woman coming up to me to tell me that her Rabbi claimed Christianity to be false because it taught that you can believe something and not actually do what your belief says. I didn't have much to say in reply - I knew her Rabbi was making a simple that others had made within the church: Brennan Manning is quoted as saying, "The number one cause of Atheism in America is Christians, who profess faith in Jesus with their lips and deny Him with their lifestyles. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable."

And this is why our core value #9 says,"For all the theology we can conceive, at last what we DO is what we believe." We are looking at our lifestyles - not just our doctrine, knowing that all of us are on a journey of transformation, as the Spirit of God draws us.

On March 24th, we gathered again at Lorsungs and had about 35 total with kids, confirming to us it is the right time to branch out into three House Churches. We had a great time breaking the "ice" with probing questions all around.
Worship time included an action version of "Every Move I Make",and some more current favorite songs.

There was teaching from the Scriptures...


...and we have some of the greatest kids anywhere:

...and as we always do, we broke bread together - seeing that in sharing something as common as a meal, we are to remember the daily closeness of our Savior in our lives. He gave us His cup of blessing, while taking the cup of our sorrows for Himself. That is what family does, and what we are learning to do.

Friday, March 27, 2009


It was a Sunday meeting last week, and we had a group visiting from Minnetonka who is also pursuing house-church networking. We also think we may have been among the first group around to have our grills fired up this "Spring". Here are some pics:

What About the Keys?
In ancient times, Jesus spoke against the "lawyers" of His day (I know, that's why He was considered so wise) and said,"Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you yourselves did not enter, and you hindered those who were entering." But today we wonder, what were those keys? Knowledge of what?
Keys speak of authority...without them, we are not "authorized" to open our car-our house-our firesafe at home. It's also pretty hard to drive a car without them. Are we missing some keys, and what is it we are prevented from doing without them? I have taken Jesus's words somewhat personally, being a lawyer myself, and it has compelled me to see about one thing: giving them back. It's the knowledge of the spiritual authority of the believer; the inheritance, the hope, and the power given to us all by grace; the tools of the Kingdom given in healing (physical and otherwise), victory in spiritual warfare and understanding gifts, and speaking our testimony - how God has reached into and transformed our lives.
This coming Saturday we are gathering again to eat, worship, and dialogue on our last two "core values", and we're getting ready to branch into three home groups - Exciting times ahead!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


OUR NEXT GATHERING IS THIS SATURDAY MARCH 28th, 5-8 pm, AGAIN AT LORSUNGS' (Six miles East of Cambridge on 95, turn into driveway across from mailbox marked "6868") We are having BBQ pork, so bring a side or dessert to share.


SATURDAY APRIL 4th, 5-8 pm, Final weekly large group gathering (Lorsungs'). We will be finalizing our three home church groups at this gathering, and each will have break-out time together this evening. These will meet weekly in homes.

EASTER SUNDAY SUNRISE SERVICE, APRIL 12th, 6:20 a.m. at Paul's Lake Landing (Paul's Lake Road North of 313th Ave, East of Hwy 65) Bring lawn chairs. (Alternate location in case of bad weather will be posted here!)

SATURDAY APRIL 25th, 5-8 pm, First monthly "Gathering" - , location (tba) probably the Historical Society Building at the Fairgrounds.

For more info, contact Bob at or 763 221-4760.


Last Saturday the circle expanded with 22 adults and 11 kids... and started thinking about smaller, home groups. We are now getting past what even a large living room could handle. But we all learned a couple of true things, and one "fake thing", about each other. That was interesting...:)

Our break-out discussions were on our next word for RE-defining: LEADERSHIP. We batted around whether you have to be a good follower in order to lead well. We also took time to take care of each other and pray for each other - from new people to core team, it generally felt like "family". Here are some pics from the meeting:

Kids are with us most of the time, but when we go into teaching and break-outs, they have their own things to do...

You know, it was really a radical thing Jesus did when he made His cousin John baptize Him. John knew He was the Son of God, and tried to pass on the whole thing; but Jesus insisted on being a "follower" of John first, and a follower of the prophets who spoke for His Dad over the centuries. It had nothing to do with who was greater or smarter, or worthy of being followed - He came under John and the prophets so to carry the authority of John and the prophets, that the leaders who would kill Him could not rightly accuse Him of rebellion, or discounting those God had used in the past. He followed them, and then He followed His Father.
In John 5:19 Jesus says,"Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner." In other words, Jesus never had an original idea - it all came from His Father as He "shadowed" Him through life. We have a hard time following - though it would be hard to argue with the idea of following God, we would have all kinds of objections to following people; whether they were prophets, pastors, teachers or whatever. We don't want to give anyone that kind of influence in our lives. Yet, as Jesus followed His Father, He also insisted on following people whom God had used to accomplish His purpose - even though they were far from perfect.

So how do we re-think personal boundaries for people and leadership: Not to give anyone too much power ("anyone who has left father or mother...), but allowing God to lead us through people at the same time? The best we have come up with so far is to follow the lead of Jesus in others. To follow each other as we follow Him. We all need God "with skin-on" in our lives, but we know that no one is perfect. So, being patient with each other, we look for God's influence in each other's lives. What an adventure.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Last Saturday we had some fun trying to hook a weight and lift it off the ground - Sounds easy, but try it when 13 people all have a string attached to the hook - and at first without looking! Mark here had the daunting job of trying to direct the group on how to pull their strings to guide the hook to the weight. Don't feel bad, Mark, I've never seen it done that way! But once everyone could see what they were doing, the job was done in seconds!


This is a scary word to a lot of people. Maybe a lot of this is because we feel awkward asking someone to 'follow' me, like Jesus did, when our own life is so wobbly. We suggested that the invitation is not really to follow me, but to come and follow Jesus with me. Most of us could do that. It's not one of us who is in the spotlight in the discipleship, it's Jesus. Something I personally could not help noticing in the last few months was that making disciples was the ONE thing Jesus told His followers to do before He left...It was His last statement in the book of Matthew. He said that He would build the Church, and that we should make disciples. I think we have some flipping around to do on this one - So we are going to give it a shot: To ask others to come with us while we follow Jesus.

We are going to be at Lorsungs' again this Saturday March 14th, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. It's about six miles East of Cambridge on Hwy 95, turn into the driveway across from the balloons on the mailbox!

Bring your favorite chicken dish and a side or desert to share! We will be talking about branching into two or three home groups for next month, and the next two core values around what 'leadership' really is at the everyday level...and of course there will be some crazy game to get things going. ;)

Friday, March 6, 2009


LORSUNGS' HAS A LAKE in their driveway, and lots of mud. SO, we are back to Elliotts' place for Saturday night:

5-8 p.m. Saturday March 7th

At the home of :
Scott & Tammie Elliott
1004 Hillock St. N.W.
Isanti, MN 55040

From Hwy 5 in Isanti, is just up Whiskey Road from the Mobile station. Give a call if you need more info!

Remember to bring Italian food to share!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Making Circles

Did you ever notice that if someone asks a group to make a circle, people always face into the circle?...and if others approach the circle, people really don't even like to make room for them to get in?

Well, we experimented with that a little last Saturday night - What if we faced our neighbor so we had one hand reaching into the circle and one reaching out, and we could keep it so others always felt invited by those on the outer ring?

That is kind of the idea with a home church network: personal connections with lots of loose ends for others to grab onto. We are taking a few more weeks to get to know each other in the big group, then we will be taking "church" home with us into two or three home churches. Then we will continue gathering as a big group at the end of each month, and celebrating what God is doing among us.


March 7th
Saturday night 5-8 pm at Joe & Deb Lorsungs (6868 Hwy 95 NE, North Branch. It’s about 6 or 7 miles East on Hwy 95 out of Cambridge, and look for the balloons on the mail box across from the driveway). Bring Italian food to share!

March 14th
Saturday night 5-8 pm, same place (Food to be figured out)

March 22nd
Sunday night 5-8 pm, (Food and place to be figured out)

March 28th
Celebration Gathering - (tentatively at Historical Society on the Fairgrounds)

We are working through the basics of what "home church" is about and some of the "why?"s of the movement that is, trying to simplify what it means to be "church", and to walk together with Jesus Christ. We are having some great discussions!

more info: call bob at 763 221-4760, or e-mail me at

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hey, we just got this pic of the commissioning service last Sunday when Bill Berg and NHCC Elders prayed for us:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

MY TOP TEN - BOOKS (What are yours?)

I know that not everyone likes to read books. Many of us, maybe even most of us, would rather read a life. I think that is why Jesus didn't write books. There are books I think I should write, but I have been slow to do that partly because I have been considering that my life should be that book before I write it. Well, that's my struggle.

Even so, there are books that have had a big impact on my life because, even though I don't know the authors personally, they have explained the message of my Savior, as presented in the Bible, in ways that have helped me understand it better. Here are my top ten:

  1. Messy Spirituality, Michael Yaconelli
  2. The Rabbi's Heartbeat, Brennan Manning
  3. Ruthless Trust, Brennan Manning
  4. Victorious Spiritual Warfare, (I had the honor of contribuing - Lighthouse Ministry)
  5. 21 Most Powerful Minutes..., John Maxwell
  6. Boundaries, Cloud & Townsend
  7. Addiction and Grace, Gerald May, M.D.
  8. The Shaping of Things to Come, Frost & Hirsch
  9. The Church Comes Home, Robert & Julia Banks
  10. Transforming Discipleship, Greg Ogden

This list is not static for me - I am always looking for others that bring light to the path. Let me know what you find!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Newspaper Towers

Our first evening together was spent getting to know each other better by building newspaper towers,

and making up descriptions about each other, like:

"Beautiful Barbie, Justice James, Joyful Josiah, Notorious Nic, Bouncing Bob’s B’wife Becky, Joyful Julie, Evangelist Esther, Amazing Amanda, Judge Jeff, Brilliant Bruce, Missionary Meg, Miraculous Muriel, Precious Pam, Terrific Tammie, Silly Scott, Mysterious Mark, Ken, Jazz, and all the kids…(and I didn’t write it down either)
...", it's a little scary with all the “judging” or “justices” or whatever they were…it reminds me of my lawyer days, like walking into court! :)

Seriously, we are off to a good start in getting to know each other, with 10 kids and 18 adults! February 20-22, Becky and I will be at a “marriage encounter weekend”, so you can pray for us as the Lord moves you to… We don’t get really excited about conferences, but it will be good time away together.

Our next get-together will be Saturday night, February 28th, from 5-8 pm. It will be at the home of Joe and Deb Lorsung, at 6868 Hwy 95 NE, North Branch. It’s about 6 or 7 miles East on Hwy 95 out of Cambridge and look for the balloons on your right. We're going to do Chili night with other Mexican food. If you like milder stuff, bring it, otherwise each family can bring a main dish; and if it’s just you, bring chips and salsa or another side thing. Drinks & coffee will be provided.

We will keep meeting all together through the Saturdays in March, and in our study time we will be discussing the Biblical base for the first five of ten core values.

1. Everybody is worth dying for
; John 3:16
2. We are called to love people and control resources, not the other way around; John 13:35, Luke 16:9
3. The blood of Christ really works; 1 John 1:9
4. Eternal life is great for dead people, but we’ve been provided an abundant life now; John 10:10, Ephesians 1:18-20
5. We all lead, because we all have influence; 1Corinthians 7:14, Daniel 12:3
6. We can’t lead well until we have learned how to follow; Matthew 3:13-15, John 5:19
7. If we aren’t being led by God’s Spirit, we will be driven by other things; Romans 8:14, Luke 4:1
8. We hold tightly to our personal calling, but trade our hats as needed; 1Corinthians 12:7-11
9. For all the theology we can conceive, at last what we do is what we believe; James 2:18-20
10. In the end, making disciples is the ONE thing Jesus told us to do. Matthew 28:18-20.-

We will have some break-out discussion on these.

Also at this next meeting we will set aside time to celebrate things God has been doing, so be ready to share answers to prayer and other ways God has shown up in your life!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Our First Party!

So my last day officially at New Hope is this Sunday, February 15th! This marks an end and a beginning - From here on, church comes "home", and we are going to be hanging out at Scott and Tammie Elliott's house that day from 5-8 p.m. It's 1004 Hillock Street in Isanti (let me know if you need directions - e-mail me at

We have had 23 people say that they want to hang out more together, so we are really looking forward to doing some fun stuff and sharing more of what is God saying to us on Sunday. I expect to have some good pics to post after that - and I hope we can have a website soon.

We plan to keep meeting as a large group through March to get to know each other better before grouping up into house churches. The next gathering will be on Saturday February 28th, 5-8 again, but we haven't confirmed a place yet.

Here is a great website to check out for missional church strategy:

Exciting times...good to be following the Wild Messiah!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The In-gathering

It's February 5th, and we are looking at the last of our four open houses this Saturday from 7-9 pm at our house (1087 313th Ave NE, near Bear Circle in Cambridge). As you may have noticed, this blog has a new name - "Mission-link". A few of us got together and thought this was pretty descriptive, and a better way to refer to what we are doing than "the missional house church network".

On the 15th, New Hope Community Church will be commissioning and praying for us, and taking as offering to provide some resources for the start up period - a real blessing!

So after the last "open house", it will be time to really get to know each other, so we will keep getting together on the weekends as a bigger group (21 as of right now) and do some things to connect better and find out how God has wired each of us - it will be fun to discover how God has been at work in the lives of others to draw them to this vision. Eventually we will see probably three groups emerge out of the big group, but we will be waiting to see how God connects people before moving into that.

If you would like to find out more about Mission-link, you can reach me at 763 221-4760, or my -email: Live the adventure!

Grace & Peace


Monday, January 19, 2009

A Quest for the "Ancient Paths"

Jeremiah 6:16 says,

"Thus says the LORD,'Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it;And you will find rest for your souls.'"

I think that anyone who gets it is his head/heart to start a new church is instinctively drawn by the promise of this passage. The "ancient paths, where the good way is..." - It seems almost nostalgic, but the prophet's statement is obviously serious.
Well, it's not so nostalgic for me right now. In fact, there has definitely been a graduation from theory to reality as far as "asking for the ancient paths". I have just begun working with a group to start a network of house churches, connected through discipling triads with a common mission to live incarnationally in the community. What could be so hard about it? But I suppose if it were easy, churches everywhere would still be doing it!

So, where does one find a Spirit-led and empowered, multiple servant-leader supported house church network, much less cultivate one from scratch? At times I have wondered if we have messed it up by running over Jesus' claim that HE would build His Church, while he gave us the job of making disciples and witnessing to His Kingdom.

Well we're giving it a try in Cambridge, Minnesota. This thing started out with a temporary name "Omega church", but at this point the name along with most of the details of how it will happen are back sitting at the feet of the Savior, where they should be.

I would invite you to follow along on the adventure, and if you have relevant experiences to share, please comment freely on what you have seen. We welcome your input.

Bob Roby