A blog of thoughts by Kristi Finch

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Day Dreaming

I have managed to develop the reputation of a frequent napper among my friends.  And by frequent, I mean they think I take a nap about every day which is, unfortunately, not the case.   (It's even become a point of interest on this twitter account a friend set up to advertise some of my quirkiest ideas.)  

The bottom line is this:  I do love to take naps.  That much is true.  I just don't get to take them as often as I might like to.  

A couple years ago, I read this article about napping.  It was beautiful.  I could relate with so much of what this author says is so "delicious" about taking naps.  I have often thought of that article, so when my roommate mentioned a box of magazines that we needed to go through, I immediately went on a search for that wonderful article about napping!  I found it.  And tore it out of the magazine.  I'm considering framing it.  (Ok, not really.  But the thought did cross my mind.)  

I love sleeping in general, but in the day it's just better.  I love the dreams I have when I nap.  I love sleeping on the couch.  My favorite nap time is on a sunny afternoon.  Like Cathleen Schine says:
A nap is not a nap without light. This is what distinguishes it from a good night’s sleep. A nap is a stolen moment, not the natural culmination of the day. A nap is secret, illicit. It is sleeping during the day, and the day must be present and visible.
All that to say, there's not really a point to this.  It's pretty much a light-hearted, fluffy-pillowed, sun-shining-through-the-window kind of post.  But it's what I've been thinking about all day, so I thought I'd share.  

Oh yeah, and there's apparently scientific evidence for the awesomeness of naps.  Just saying.  

Monday, February 11, 2013


Posts like this are a little out of my comfort zone because I feel a bit inadequate to discuss things like the theology of church planting or the most effective models for partnership.  However, it's through uncomfortable, stretching exercises that I am strengthened and challenged to grow and learn.  So, today I am being stretched and challenged. 

I work for Living Bread Ministries as their administrative coordinator, so I handle the donations, the newsletter, office stuff, and a bunch of the other nitty gritty things that are necessary for any kind of organization to function.  Though I am 100% on board with what we do, I'm not so much on the front lines of our church-planting efforts.  

I am continuously learning about best practices in Gospel ministry, and there is a wide variety of opinion when it comes to Western mission organizations working around the world in impoverished communities.  Books like Toxic Charity, When Helping Hurts, The Poor Will Be Gladand  To Give or Not To Give all discuss pros and cons of distributing free goods and services to those in need and whether or not these are helpful and life-changing in the long run.  Many are highly opposed to Westerners giving resources, financial or otherwise, to nationals for ministry in fear that an unhealthy dependency will develop or any chance at a self-sustained local economy can flourish while others are hesitant to work with or trust nationals because of assumed lack of expertise or experience.  I haven't read through all these books (though I am working on a couple of them), so I'll refrain from discussing their ideas or suggested solutions further.  Rather, I want to focus on how Living Bread approaches this issue in our church-planting ministry.

At Living Bread, we hold to an interdependency model.  We don't step into a community, build a church, pay a pastor, pay for all the church's ministry, and let it run on it's own.  Neither do we step into a community, put our own pastor/missionary to work and call all the shots.  We work with nationals in a way that relies on the resources (monetary and otherwise) that both parties can bring to the table.  

As Americans, we can't jump into a ministry in a Brazilian or Thai slum in the same way a national Brazilian or Thai could.  Most of our church-planters have a background that isn't foreign to living in less-than-affluent circumstances, so they are well-equipped to relate to the poor and meet them where they are.  However, these men who have a heart for sharing the Gospel don't have the resources they need to serve in a full-time ministry capacity.  These communities struggle to sustain themselves, so supporting a pastor presents a significant challenge. Thus, we need each other.  We provide resources that would not be otherwise accessible, while they provide the hands and feet of the ministry.  

This interdependence also translates into the decision-making for the ministries of our church-plants.  We depend on our national leadership to determine how to best serve their communities and support their decisions without demanding specific requirements to be met. 

Living Bread's founder Patrick Hubbard says: 
This type of partnership is hard and risky.  It is often messy.  It requires a level of vulnerability that most are unwilling to accept. 
I am abundantly thankful for the opportunity I have to serve with Living Bread, and I especially appreciate this unique approach to the issue of charity, sustainability, and Kingdom work.  

To learn more about Living Bread, check us out on our website, Twitter, or Facebook.