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

 

Selling my whole life…

How many of you have ever wished you could trade your entire life for another?

I saw this story yesterday about a guy who, after a divorce, is selling his entire life- including his house and everything in it (including his car, motorcycle, etc), his job, and even his friends.  He plans to walk away, hop on a plane, and see where it takes him.
I know so  many people are broken, wounded, empty, and they’d give anything to trade their life in on a new one.  They try every way they can think of to do that… every Friday night they are at the local bar attempting to use a drink to trade their life… a girl sleeps with a guy she knows doesn’t love her attempting to reach that other life… a middle-aged man leaves his wife and kids who love him dearly for a young gal he met at the office- trying to be happy, to find his place in life…
Easter is this weekend.  It’s the weekend of the year people far from God are most likely to come to your church.  Are you ready?  Can you handle the broken, the wounded, the needy? Will you do a “nice Easter service” and pat each other on the back that you pulled off “another Easter” or will you be prepared to engage everyone, to make sure they don’t get lost in the cracks?  Remember Jesus’ words when He said “I didn’t come to save the righteous but to save that which is lost.”  
People far from God often would give anything to trade their life for something better.  There’s only one life that’s better than any other- the life as a Christ-follower.  Will you do your part to help them make that trade this week?
 
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Posted by on March 19, 2008 in easter, ministry, random stuff

 

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…
 

Pop Goes The Church #1

I’m previewing a new book that Tim Stevens is writing called Pop Goes The Church.  I actually will finish it by the end of the day tomorrow.  It’s gripping me and although it disturbs me where we are as a society, he does an excellent job of laying a foundation for the reality of influence popular culture has on each succeeding generation.  This isn’t just another “sell out and bring pop culture into the church- it’s the only way to reach people” book, it’s an honest assessment of language, of “cultural exegesis”, as Kevin Vanhoozer might say.  Tim seems to really marry a passion for what the local church can be with a desire to truly understand the language he must speak to help those far from Christ take their next step towards Christ.  It’s a powerful combination that I believe will impact many many people.  I’m already being challenged to grab every opportunity I can to help my team  grasp the concepts in this book, wrestle with them, and implement!

There are so many quotes I’d love to share with you, but you’ll have to wait and read the book.  I will say that this is one of those books that I believe is a must-read for any pastor, lay leader, or simply someone who wants to share about Jesus with their friends.  I’ll be giving a more complete review soon, but for now, right now, stop and put this book on your “gotta get as soon as it comes out” list!
 
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Posted by on January 30, 2008 in books, ministry, random stuff

 

WOW!

This was a big weekend for us!  Dennis wrapped up our 4-week membership series, called RUD2? with a talk on influence (sharing Jesus with others).  Here are some quick facts about this weekend…

  • We had 620 adults and 758 total (including kids) on campus this Sunday morn.  This is 66% above the last Sunday in January of last year.  This month’s average is 78% above last January’s average.  We’re blessed and excited!
  • We had 30 new folks gather Sunday night to get connected in community groups.  We’ll have a total % of how many of those are new groups at SBC and those who’ve never been in a group before
  • We had another 41 people who signed up saying they weren’t in a group and wanted more information
  • We were supposed to launch 5 new groups, but it looks like we’re going to be launching a total of 7 new groups in the next couple of weeks
  • We had several (don’t have exact number) go through our ministry fair, and another 40 or more people sign up saying they weren’t serving in a ministry and wanted more information.
  • Frank and the band rocked the house Sunday morning, it was awesome!
  • There was a great buzz in the air!
It’s amazing to watch God move in amazing ways, and some things I’m looking forward to telling you about soon regarding some great things coming up for SBC!  On top of all this, it looks like hopefully we’ll be breaking ground in June!
These are great days!
 
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Posted by on January 29, 2008 in ministry

 

Leadership Development

I was talking with our Executive Pastor Jeff Wideman today and I told him I was convinced we had to really focus on leadership development this year in our groups ministry.  We have a ton of leaders for a church our size, but we have to really buckle down and double that this year.  It’s feasible and we can do it!

You know how when you got your car you were the only one that had it but then you noticed that make and model everywhere around you?  I think that’s how the Holy Spirit works when He is trying to teach you something.  He makes you aware of something- maybe He births a new idea or desire- and you begin seeing clues everywhere.
Everywhere I turn I’m seeing clues that confirm that this year we’ve got to develop reproducing disciples- leaders who reproduce their influence in someone else and teach them to “do what they do”.  Clues everywhere- so I think I detect a pattern.  I feel I’m called this direction, now I have to make sure I’m being highly intentional in getting there.
What about you?  What are you doing to develop leaders?  What is your focus this year?  Where are you going?  I’d love to hear!
 
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Posted by on January 25, 2008 in ministry

 

A Great Investment

Who are you pouring into?  I have a core conviction that if you are a church leader or even just a Christ-follower, you have a responsibility to invest in other people, leading others to Christ and helping to develop them to spiritual maturity so that they begin investing in other people.

One of my small group coaches (who is a physician) sent me a note that I thought was well worth posting for your viewing and hopefully will provoke you to consider grabbing a couple of guys or gals in your ministry area and discipling them and watching them have even greater impact.  This year we are encouraging our group leaders to pour into a couple of people in their group, not just so we can multiply the group (although that’s very important) but so we can be a reproducing disciple of Christ.  There’s just something mysterious about the level of spiritual maturity you will achieve when you begin leading/training/discipling others.  Thoughts?

We had an adage back in my medical training:  when it comes to performing simple medical procedures you should, ‘watch one, do one, teach one’.  Meaning, carefully observe how it works, perform yourself at a high level, then exhibit your proficiency by teaching others.
 
In the small group situation, that is the same as, ‘ be in a group, lead a group, teach others how to lead a group’.   I’ve have found myself pushed to a much deeper level of spiritual maturity by having to facilitate a group.  I should have the desire to give all my members that same opportunity to ‘grow by leading’.  Then when old members leave my group to start their own, I’ll get new members and I’ll be pushed ever deeper into spiritual maturity.

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2008 in ministry