Making Pizzas and Starting Sustainable Churches

I made pizza again last night and they turned out great. Every Friday for the last 8 years, we have made pizza.

Guess what? Somebody took a video of me in New Mexico a few years ago making pizza at the Emergent Gathering. I only just found it. Thanks Randy for uploading.

The video is basically me and my wife Debbie (with the dreads) making pizza dough, showing how to make a sauce, teaching on the yeast of the Kingdom, the theory of bud emergence, and encouraging the starting of simple sustainable churches in people’s homes. I think the idea of financially SUSTAINABLE churches should be back on the agenda in the midst of financial hardship. Emerging churches need to thrive in homes and not become too dependent on the restaurants and coffee shops for church events in case they exclude the poor and those with families who cant afford the menu.

We fed 100 people that day with very little cost, and lots of fun. It took about 5 ovens and we had to leave the dough on top of cars outside for the sun to rise it. You will also notice my mullet was only a month from perfection.

Technorati Tags:


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • bea says:

    happy memories of pizza in the giant peach and then in orkney too. i remember sam taking us to the czech supermarket as a shy 10(?)yr old and teaching me how to pronounce all the ingredients!
    after combining your example of regular pizza with some teaching from ched myers, we had several months of hosting full moon pizza parties from our house. they were fantastic and will be up and running again one day – 25-30 people in our little house takes a while to recover from!
    thanks for the pizza teaching too – enjoyed your mullet and of course, debbie’s dreads! xx

  • becky says:

    Thanks for sharing this – in urban centers like NY sometimes meeting in one’s “house” doesn’t work but there are always options like perhaps revisiting the church kitchen – some churches can be quite generous to outside groups.
    I’d add to that the need to rethink conferences. We need a few gatherings a year to connect offline but we seem to have too many gatherings that seem to exist so people can push their product – add to it the total cost (conference fees, hotel, food, transportation) not to mention the carbon footprint and most people can’t afford to do these trips unless you work for a church or college that gives you a rather large expense account.
    A lot of this seems to stem from the creation of a cottage industry out of doing God’s work.

  • ianmcn says:

    genius! Combining pizza, cooking and the kingdom of God sounds like my ideal evening!

  • Hey, I ate some of the pizza that was made that day! It was fantastic. Andrew, I love this idea of starting churches w/ pizza parties. It is just like you!
    May your tribe increase like yeast,

  • brad says:

    another chance for mullet jokes! thanx Andrew! you’re the best!
    * aren’t mullets always (at least) one month away from perfection?
    * and don’t forget the Kirby Lane eatery in Austin: 10% with mullet. perhaps they meant to take 10% off the mullet.
    say … I haven’t posted a silly poem on your blog for a while, like since your fifth bloggiversary. or something like that. here’s one i cooked up on the spot this morning (7:30 AM west coast US time) for the occasion:
    A Triple Ode To Manestay Styles
    Manes by trimming are maintainable
    But some sharp styles are not sustainable
    Mainly here I think of Mohawks
    Mine has gone from “mo-” to “no-hawk”
    When my hair flew I was so shocked!
    All that’s left is space for fauxhawk.
    Yes, balding makes our choices dwindle
    Yet a “runway” down the middle
    Need not option toupee home
    Or just highlight a blank dome
    Instead of letting side hair roam
    Plaster up, down, over-comb!
    Meanwhile there’s another mane
    That exists in paradox vein
    By being neither short nor long
    Yet being both – it seems so wrong!
    Business up front and party in back
    Mullets make me want to gaack.
    The End
    I split now
    Split ends, now, that is …

  • andrew says:

    split enz = more kiwis
    Brad – is a brilliant ode. you should submit to
    i havent done a mullet post for some time but i am still holding to the belief that Mordecai had a mullet, at least until an Old Testament scholar proves me wrong.

  • Danny says:

    Making sustainable churches is cool because it is so easy to apply it to kingdom parables like you do with yeast here. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Emily says:

    Dude, I posted this video on my blog last month. Found it by accident and really liked your thoughts on yeast and the kingdom as giving oneself away.

  • So this must be the season to write you poems and send you love… i did like my single malt one.. perhaps you should make a section for Poems ode to Tallskinny.
    Had to laugh as i am making pizza tonight for Derek and Amy… with my homemade PESTO! We maybe heading up to see Brian and Whitney tomorrow.. and do some camping since their house is not done yet.. Things are slowly forming here, with paint on walls.. and taking it from Brady Bunch kitch into something a bit more flowly and us… must says it’s been a helluvah transition though.. – ok, i’m off to make some spaghetti squash as a side and start the endless peeling of garrrrrrrrrrrrrrlic. just checkin in.
    Texas Sage like blessings to ya.

  • andrew says:

    hi k8. if your pesto recipe is anything other than garlic, pine nuts, basil, olive oil, salt, and extra garlic, then post it on your blog.
    and becky – i am still getting a kick out of your “cottage industry” comment . . .

  • i see you left off the Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezeeeeeeeee in that recipe, but no less, i just need to print off a posting or two from your blog and hit it in the processor and it will do just fine!- yet there is enough garlic in it to ward off any and all religious spirits that might want to mess up the table.
    on a more serious note, i often jack the pesto up with some fresh spinach or even some lightly sauted kale to add to nutriments… and sometimes beefy mushrooms instead of pine nuts… to get the grounding….. yet it’s easier on the celestial wallet!
    ok, so DnA are here in less than an hour…. time to set the table.
    But have been thinking of a cheeeeeeeeesy tribe recipe book… just for the lot of us……. for a christmas thingy…… just Shannon’s noshings….. a few of Amy’s gourmet dinners……and some of our souther mashes with Northern flare foods….. could be an interesting tribal mix…….. (i’m thinking 3 -4 posts per family) and see what we get…… what would you add??? ummm i was thinking since you are the King of the Meat…. perhaps you could do “how to do a proper roast” with the tid bits of how to feed a multitude on some fish and bread. (there is a joke about that…….. remind me to tell it to you next time your in the house!)
    off to the kitchen….. and we will pray for you at the table…… tonight…… fond thoughts, warm love and a big basket of hot out of the oven good fluffy, biscuit sized hugs!
    xo k8

  • becky says:

    Cathryn – I chose NOT to make the connection between ’80s cheese (mullets), cheese pizza and cheesy church.

  • david says:

    Sustainable churches. Homes. I have run from that purity for so long. Thanks for the presence here and the training.

  • smurr says:

    curious how many poor people make to your friday night gatherings. Sounds like its a value of meeting in the home. just wondering how well its working.

  • Ha! Becky… cute… but doesn’t every church do a recipe book at some point? LOL…. added to cheeeesy church.
    blessings, K8

  • andrew says:

    smurr – we are all poor.

  • Mike Lane says:

    at Rapture we make our own pesto…Janelle likes to get away from just pine nuts. We’ve gone with pistachios, cashews, hazelnuts and macadamias. another tip if you are in poverty and can’t afford much fresh basil: beef it up with some baby spinach. You can go with as little as 5% basil and still get a result (not that we do that at Rapture BTW)

  • Glenn says:

    I lost my job 7 months ago and recently stopped going to church venues at restaurants or coffee shops. Thanks for sharing your concern, it’s real.

  • becky says:

    Cathryn – the LAST thing we need to do is add yet another cheesy Christian book on to the market.
    I echo Glenn’s concerns – we have to rethink how we do a lot of this – I just spent $25.00 for a group gathering in a restaurant. Being in NYC, none of us have a large enough apartment but we do need to start thinking how cost excludes those who really should be present – and given this economy, I sense many more of us will find us in this situation.
    In a similar vein – the writing is on the wall that the era of the emergent author/speaker tour is over – we can maybe afford the book (or read an excerpt for free) and to download say the free podcasts. But we can’t afford anything beyond that. The people who “can” afford to attend these events tend not to be the ones who really need the message.

Leave a Reply