RSS

Category Archives: church stuff

Stolen


Todd had a post this morning you absolutely have to check out.  There was a church in North Carolina that had their trailer stolen, and they’ve launched a campaign to find out who stole it… but it’s not what you think.  Rather than looking for justice, this church is looking to connect with and forgive these people, and even offers to buy them lunch.  They are doing it through a website, a YouTube video directed towards the new trailer owners :), and through some pretty radical billboards.

I’m absolutely blown away by this guy’s humility and grace.  Click here to go to their website for the scoop.
Advertisements
 
1 Comment

Posted by on April 3, 2008 in church stuff, random stuff

 

Pastor Steve Jobs

Great post this morn from Bobby Gruenewald over at Lifechurch.tv.  You guys know I’m an Apple freak and his post marries the best of both worlds: the Church and Apple.  What would the church that Steve Jobs ran be like?  Here are my favorites from his list:

  1. Incredible imagery would display behind Pastor Jobs as he demonstrated the iJesus and invited everyone to demo it immediately.
  2. Everyone would be twittering as they were amazed by the iJesus…“I have to have that!” and “That changes everything!” would cross the twitterfeed.
  3. Everyone would have an iPod with their own worship playlist (and if you’re new, one would be provided to you at the door).
  4. Everyone with an iPod—earbuds in…would press play and simultaneously begin singing different songs (but no one would care, because you couldn’t hear everyone else and they couldn’t hear you…sing away!)
You can read the rest of his post here
 
1 Comment

Posted by on April 3, 2008 in apple stuff, church stuff, ministry

 

Big Weekend

Just got back from the gym.  It’s all quiet in my house, everyone is asleep.  I’m thinking about this weekend, and now I’m getting pretty excited!

The band has been rehearsing, Dennis has been working on his talk, we’ve scheduled volunteers, planned, prayed, invited.  Now it’s a matter of waiting until tonight at 7pm when we officially kick off the Easter Weekend and it’s 6 services.  I’m so excited to see what this weekend will bring.  Our people will bring their friends.  Many who never attend church will attend for the first time.  I hope they meet Christ this weekend.
If you live near Sherman, Texas, I’d love it if you’d be my guest this weekend!  Here are the service times:
  • Friday at 7:00pm
  • Saturday at 7:00pm
  • Sunday at 8:45am
  • Sunday at 10:10am
  • Sunday at 11:30am
  • Sunday night at 6pm at our Joshua’s Crossing location
What a time to consider Christ, His sacrifice and resurrection, and join with the community of believers to celebrate a great Savior who is Mighty to Save.
What is your church doing for Easter?
 
 

What creative teams can learn from Apple…

I personally have a great interest in creative planning teams.  Specifically within the church environment, where a team meets and helps plan every aspect of a corporate worship experience. They focus on the entire environment, from the songs to the talk to the videos to the overall mood they want to convey to best communicate the truth of Jesus.  I think it’s interesting how these teams work together and the great things they come up with.

Macrumors had a post today on Apple’s design process that I thought was very interesting (you know I’m an Apple freak) and I thought there might be some applicable principles church creative teams could use.  Here is one of these principles, with my thoughts about how this might apply to the church creative team:

Speaking of Apple’s design approach in coming up with their products, they have “PAIRED DESIGN MEETINGS.”  These are two separate design meetings.  One is for free thinking (“go crazy”) without worries about any technical constraints, while the other meeting addresses implementation and practical considerations.  Both of these meetings continue throughout product development.
Hmm.  As many of you know, I used to be a worship pastor and met weekly with a team like this.  How many of you have been in a creative planning meeting and someone keeps squashing all the ideas?  How many of you have had an idea outside of the box that you were afraid to bring up because you knew it would get squashed before the team had an idea to dream a bit?  I have many times in various environments.
I think the concept of having 2 separate meetings is an excellent idea.  On a weekly basis this could look like this: Monday (or whatever day you start working on that week) have the free thinking meeting.  Nothing is off-limits.  Allow your team to dream.  “I’ve had this idea for a series” or “I have this idea for an interesting visual for the stage” or statements like that could be listed on a whiteboard and discussed by the team.  The goal would not be to finalize anything, but rather to dream a bit and think outside the box.  A “what-if” meeting of sorts. The first half could be ideas regarding anything (new series, set design, video ideas, etc), and the second half could be dreaming about the current series/weekend/upcoming series.  Someone would be responsible for copying and organizing everything that was shared and written on the whiteboard.
The next day (or perhaps later the same day) the practical/technical meeting would involve many of the same people, but the list of ideas would be distributed and some specific decisions regarding the current week/series/etc would be made.
What do you think about this?  What can we learn from Apple’s design process that will help those trying to use creative planning as a tool to tell others about Jesus?  I love the power of teams, and I love Apple, and I love Jesus.  If we could somehow marry all of those things…
 

Post #100 – A Prayer for Our Church…

It’s hard to believe I’ve plucked on my keyboard 100 times… it’s not much compared to some but a whole lot compared to others (like my pastor, who, although he is the greatest pastor I’ve ever worked for, calls blogging “a bunch of guys keeping an online diary”).

I want to take this opportunity to share a prayer with you that I think will blow you away. Last night our church community read it corporately at our monthly prayer and worship service (7:14). It really gripped me, and I’d love to share it with you here. If you’re a pastor, this is what you want your church to feel and be. If you’re a church member, this should be your prayer. And if you’re not a follower of Christ but you know people who are, this is who those folks should be.

This is from John Piper’s book, “Taste and See” and is called “A Prayer for Our Church”. Let me know your thoughts…

A Prayer for our Church
Oh, Lord, by the truth of Your Word, and the power of your Spirit and the ministry of your body, build men and women at (name of your church here)…
Who don’t love the world more than God,
who don’t care if they make much money,
who don’t care if they own a house,
who don’t care if they have a new car or two cars,
who don’t need recent styles, 
who don’t care if they get famous,
who don’t miss steak or fancy fare,
who don’t expect that life should be comfortable and easy,
who don’t feed their minds on TV each night, 
who don’t measure truth with their finger in the wind,
who don’t get paralyzed by others’ disapproval,
who don’t return evil for evil,
who don’t hold grudges,
who don’t gossip,
who don’t twist the truth,
who don’t brag or boast,
who don’t whine or use body language to get pity,
who don’t criticize more than praise,
who don’t hang out in cliques,
who don’t eat too much or exercise too little;
BUT
who are ablaze for God,
who are utterly God-besotted,
who are filled with the Holy Spirit,
who strive to know the height and depth of Christ’s love,
who are crucified to the world and dad to sin,
who are purified by the Word and addicted to righteousness,
who are mighty in memorizing and using the Scriptures,
who keep the Lord’s Day holy and refreshing,
who are broken by the consciousness of sin,
who are thrilled by the wonder of free grace,
who are stunned into humble silence by the riches of God’s glory,
who are persevering constantly in prayer,
who are ruthless in self-denial,
who are fearless in public witness to Christ’s lordship,
who are able to unmask error and blow away doctrinal haze,
who are tough in standing for the truth,
who are tender in touching hurting people,
who are passionate about reaching the peoples who have no church,
who are pro-life for the sake of babies and moms and dads and the glory of God,
who are keepers of all their promises, including marriage vows,
who are content with what they have and trusting the promises of God,
who are patient and kind and meek when life is hard.
 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 10, 2007 in church stuff, goals, ministry, random stuff

 

How we do church…

Man I just gotta point to Steven Furtick’s blog… he has a post today that I have to give a hearty amen to.  We have a tendency to think the way we do church, or Northpoint, or Fellowship, or Lifechurch, or fill-in-the-blank church, is THE way God ordained.  But there are many ways, and I celebrate the different ways God uses churches to reach different people.  


My fav quote from his post is this: 
God does not bless one style, one model, one program, one methodology…

He blesses one message: His Gospel. In a variety of styles, models, and formats.”

Amen to that, honestly.  Celebrate diversity of style, model, and format, celebrate creativity, with ONE MESSAGE!!

Thanks Steven for saying what a lot of us were thinking!
 

Confession…

Okay, so this is a bit long of a post but I think worth your time. Tonight I had the privilege of gathering with a few hundred people from several churches in our county, gathering to pray… yes, pray. It wasn’t flashy, no rock band (just a simple band), no light show, no cool videos, just a bunch of people gathered to pray. Oh, and pray out loud. And sing some worship songs. Not your grandma’s Wednesday night prayer meeting where you take prayer requests for 45 minutes and then rush to actually get through the prayer. Really it’s my favorite service of the month and probably the greatest thing I’ve learned since I came on staff about two years ago… how important and how neglected in the church is prayer.

Anyway, we used one of my favorite sections of the Bible as a guide for our prayer… Daniel Chapter 9. This is the passage where Daniel is praying as he’s realizing that the 70 years in captivity is nearly over. He’s much older in this scene, and it’s just such a powerful set of verses. At the end of his prayer (actually the verse says “while he was still praying”) an angel shows up! He tells him that “as soon as he began to pray, an answer was given” (v.23). Now that’s a pretty quick response!!

Here’s what caught me. In the first section of verses we were reading as a guide for prayer, it’s filled with adoration for God and who He is. We’re pretty good about that as a church community, yours probably is as well. Think of the songs we sing week in and week out, all proclaiming God’s goodness or love for us or something along those lines. Listen to the words of Daniel:

“O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands…” (v.4)

This is similar to our songs of praise, our prayers, etc. We proclaim His goodness. And that’s fine. But the next few verses give us some great insight into something that I think is missing in much of our prayer time (other than the fact that we don’t even have much prayer time): Confession. Consider the words of Daniel here:

“We have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws.” (v.5)

The next several verses go on to say many of the things that Israel had committed against God. Confession. Acknowlegement of failure, guilt, and shame. He admitted on behalf of his nation that they had turned away from God’s law and disobeyed Him. How we could stand to confess our sins “one to another”, and before God. To confess and admit we’re wrong. I beg you, Church, let’s remember the lost practice of confession and make it a practice for today.
Here are a couple of practical ways:

  1. Find an accountability partner and confess to them when you stumble (make sure it’s the right person!)
  2. If you’re married, make it a practice to admit when you’re wrong to your spouse, and confess when you’ve failed them.
  3. Tonight we did a corporate confession reading, where someone reads the first line and then the congregation responds. This can be very powerful.

I’m pleased to see that just a few verses later, Daniel implores God, practically begs Him to do something. And note this is after several verses of confession. He didn’t go for the gold right away, he put his heart on the line before God, gut-wrenchingly honest about his nation and himself. Then he goes for the ask, begging God to move. Check this out:

“O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.” (v. 19)

Now that’s some serious putting God on the spot and expecting Him to move! Enough for now… my top spiritual gift is teaching and I’d love to pound out the next few verses (which are truly magnificent) and explain it all, maybe in another post… but for now, just consider the following brief thoughts and questions:
What do you need to confess? Where are you continuously falling short? Who do you need to confess to? I think as a corporate body, we need to confess as a body more often. It needs to be a part of the worship time at service. It needs to be a part of the lifestyle of the staff, elders, deacons, leadership team, whoever. I think pastors need to be more real with their church and be honest that they struggle with things, fall down over and over again. I struggle with things, don’t you?

Comments?

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 6, 2007 in church stuff, random stuff