Exploring Kingdom Frontiers

In these last years, we've seen the Church experience strains and face challenges that we never imagined! It's become more clear than ever that we need to be willing to try an find new paths forward. My name is Putty Putman, and I'm trying to follow Jesus into some new frames for communities of faith in the 21st century.

Thriving During COVID Launches!

I'm very excited to share that my first ever e-course has just launched! This is a series of ten all-new lessons, each specifically created to give spiritual perspective and insight for how to thrive this is exact moment. I believe this season will be a once-in-a-lifetime change to accelerate and grow, and I want to share how that works!

ABOUT

My Assignment

The Church is facing challenging times, but I believe God is setting us up for incredible things ahead! I'm working to experience a new chapter that God is writing in this thing called the Church.

Church Pioneering

The last few years have made it clearer than ever that we need new approaches to Church. There are options on the table now that have never been possible before, and I'm excited to be exploring them!

Church Planting

Our church pioneering work can't just be on a whiteboard: it needs to be fleshed out in real life. We are working to plant a church with our experimental ideas in Phoenix, AZ.

Church Resourcing

Our pioneering and planting work flows into resourcing other churches with the ideas, models, tools, and ministries that are creating kingdom fruit.

latest articles & teachings

What I've been working on lately...

Holy Spirit
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Holy Spirit
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December 20, 2023
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Kingdom of God
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If you want to track with what I'm creating, the most sure-fire way to do that is to join illuminate, my resourcing email list. (Don't worry: I hate spam as much as you and won't send you junk.)

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Where I'll be coming up...

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i love books!

Reading Log

Remaking the World
Andrew Wilson

I don't exactly recall how I came across this book, but I picked it up because I thought the subtitle was really fascinating: How 1776 Created the Post-Christian West. I've been reflecting on culture lately and I thought this would be a read worth engaging with.

I found Remaking the World to be an interesting blend of cultural analysis, history, and (lightly) Christian response to all of it. Wilson opens by arguing that western culture has become WEIRDER: (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic, Ex-Christian, Romantic), and that the foundations of WEIRDER culture were laid in the late 18th century. Astonishingly, many of the representative events of that shift happened in one year: 1776. Most of the rest of the book then highlights key events in each of the WEIRDER sectors and unpacks them.

As an American, I found myself suspicious of how US-centric the book may be. 1776 is a year we look at as important! And indeed many of the events from US history that happened in 1776 were explored, but I was really pleased to see there was at least as much discussion of events throughout Europe than there was in the US. Through the bulk of the book, Wilson unpacks the events that have made western culture WEIRDER by threading through explorers, inventors, politicians, philosophers, historical events, and more and gives a snapshot of a culture in flux in 1776, and how the threads in process then have continued through to this day. I found it interesting and thought provoking!

The last section of the book is Wilson's response to our current WEIRDER culture. Honestly, I found this part a little weak compared with the rest of the book. His response was largely tantamount to an argument that all of this makes the Christian message even more central; and that grace is the answer WEIRDER culture is looking for. In a sense I agree (grace is critical and is the answer), but I thought there was a bridge he didn't cross there: how can we speak into that culture effectively? Many believers are finding it harder and harder to connect the message of grace meaningfully with the current culture, and I'm not sure I got any sense as to how to do that more effectively. I would have liked a helpful framing thought or two, but that's about all I felt was missing from this interesting book.

Know the Real Jesus
Alexander Venter

I pIcked up a copy of Know the Real Jesus because I’ve read most of Alexander Venter’s work and because I’ve found historical Jesus research interesting and at times enriching to engage with. Anything that helps us get a clearer picture of Jesus is something I’m interested in!

Historical Jesus research is a broad scholarly stream and I was curious to see if this book would serve as a helpful introduction to some of it’s insights. I knew Alexander would be sticking to the vein of the tradition that reinforced, rather than undermined the historically held picture of Jesus (a hunch that proved accurate), and so I was curious to see if this would be a helpful book to give to people who wanted an introduction to this body of scholarship. My takeaway is that it is.

At the beginning, Venter offers a few thoughts and insights about the research stream and the value of historical Jesus research, and then the main body of Know the Real Jesus traces the arc of Jesus’ life, ministry, death and resurrection as it is outlined in the gospel accounts, whlie Venter adds insights and perspectives from the scholarship along the way. Having engaged this content a fair bit I wasn’t stunned by much, but that probably means it is a good introductory resource.

What I really love about this book is not just that it does the scholarship justice (which in my opinion I think it does), but that what comes through the book even more than that is Venter’s love for Jesus. You can tell this isn’t an academic exercise for him; this is a way of knowing the Jesus he follows more deeply and personally. His call to us is more prophetic than it is academic: these are tools we can use to know Jesus better and walk with him more closely. As a pastor, this is the heart I could only wish a book like this would have! I’m deeply grateful for Venter’s contribution to the body of Christ in this book.

On the Road with the Holy Spirit
Ken Fish

I picked up a copy of this book as Ken is a friend and ministry mentor of mine and I was curious to see what his first published book would be like! I was blown away; it was a fantastic and inspiring book that deeply encouraged me as I was preparing to head to Australia for my ministry trip there this fall (much of the book shares events that took place in Australia).

The structure of the book is simple; Ken shares a few pages of one of his pillars of revival (presence, prayer, purity, etc) and then after that there are a number of pages of Ken’s ”ministry diary” - recounting and reflections on his ministry engagements and what the Spirit was up to in that process. What makes the book so compelling is how inspiring it is. What Ken articulates are things that I’ve seen in measure but Ken inspires me to go after at another level. Dramatic healings, incredible miracles, people undeniably set free. My heart was stirred again to pursue the Holy Spirit and I was again reminded all that is available to those who pursue the Kingdom of God above all else. A fantastic read!

Never Trust a Leader Without a Limp
Glenn Schroder

I heard about this book from a Vineyard pastor recently, and I thought it sounded like it would be worth the read. Glenn was a pastor with John Wimber at the Anaheim Vineyard for a number of years before planting a church in Portland. Never Trust a Leader Without a Limp is Schroder's recollection of the wisdom he gleaned from working with Wimber during their time together.

The book is framed by a bunch of "Wimberisms" - the pithy sayings he would often use to convey ideas he felt were important to pass on. The book contains over 35, from the oft-repeated "Everybody Gets to Play" or "The Meat is in the Street" to ones I haven't heard before, or haven't heard much like "Borrow from Tomorrow", or "The View from the Valley Ain't That Bad". Each chapter includes Schroder's encountering this saying of Wimber's and sharing how it impacted him. It's a mashup of classic Vineyard teachings and some interesting points of history coming from someone who has put it into practice over his lifetime of ministry. It's an easy read, and an encouraging one.

Give and Take
Adam Grant

I came across this book as a reference in another good I read (I honestly don't remember which one). Intrigued by the subtitle - Why helping others drives our success - I picked it up and gave it a read. In Give and Take, Grant suggests there are three types of approaches as it comes to relationships:

  1. Takers, who are working to get as much for themselves out of any given interaction
  2. Matchers, who work to keep an "even balance" in the relationship where each person receives equal benefit
  3. Givers, who are working to give as much as possible to others in any given interaction

Grant works through defining each type and explores aspects of each type: the way they build relational networks, how they influence others, how they spot people's potential, and so on. Along the way, Grant illustrates with examples of each type and cites research that indicates that givers win out more than matchers or takers in many aspects of life - as long as they are givers who can be realistic and not forget about themselves too much in the process.

I found this book encouraging and rewarding to read. If nothing else, I found myself edified to read a secular and academic book contemplating how we can take an approach that Jesus endorses: one in which we give without trying to get for ourselves and through that our lives are blessed.

I came across this book as a reference in another good I read (I honestly don't remember which one). Intrigued by the subtitle - Why helping others drives our success - I picked it up and gave it a read. In Give and Take, Grant suggests there are three types of approaches as it comes to relationships:

See all the Reviews
REcommendations

Input from others:

Putty Putman challenges Christians to live supernatural lives- something I believe true biblical discipleship requires. I know Putty personally and can vouch for his commitment to Christ. He is a brilliant, yet humble man.

Dr. Randy Clark
Founder, Global Awakening

Putty awakens readers to this overlooked truth: The Kingdom, empowered by the Spirit, is a collective force guided intelligently by God's unseen hand.

Dr. Michael Heiser
Author of The Unseen Realm

It is an honor for me to have a friend like Putty Putman who is living and loving from the heart of Jesus.

Leif Hetland
President of Global Mission Awareness

Throughout my ministerial career, there are a few teachings I have heard that stand out over the rest. One of them is Putty's teaching on the reformation at hand and the role of interdependence in the middle of what the Father is doing.

Chad Norris
Lead Pastor of Bridgeway Church

Putty unearths the real meaning of the normal Christian life and teaches us how to walk in our divine mandate as world-changers.

Kris Vallotton
Pastor, Bethel Church

If you want everyone who encounters you to encounter Jesus, you’ve got to first encounter His full Gospel. Let my brilliant friend Putty show you how to live like Jesus.

Laura Harris Smith
Author of Seeing the Voice of God
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