Archive for July, 2007

Do You Dabble?

Posted in Church, Church Planting, Community, Discipleship, Evangelism, Faith, God, Megachurch, Religion on July 31, 2007 by Scott

preacher_economics.jpgWe recently read that “the economics of the entire business would fall apart if it weren’t for uncommitted users who just dabble”. This applies to such things as movie rental programs, gym memberships, commercial flying, and even voting.

But if the economics of the church is actually salvation, doesn’t the church as we currently experience it cease to exist if people become totally committed?

Think about it…most resources are dedicated to the uncommitted, so if there aren’t any, does it have a purpose in our current culture…perhaps as a country club.

What are the economics of your church? If a church doesn’t know its economy, it has already failed and it is merely dabbling in mediocrity. Know God’s economics for you; the world is full of dollar-movie places, so be different and capture those who dabble.

Advertisements

Being Contagious

Posted in Community, Culture, Discipleship, Evangelism, Faith, Missional, Relationships, Religion on July 30, 2007 by Scott

obesity.jpgLast week Seth Godin referred to a study that concluded that obesity is contagious.  The study says that people who have friends who are obese triple their risk of becoming fat. Friends help friends getter fatter.

Favorite quotes from the study:

  • The effect is so powerful that distance doesn’t matter – the influence is the same whether friends live next door or 500 miles apart.
  • It’s about the spread of norms from person to person.
  • People are interconnected, and their health is interconnected.
  • Neighbors who weren’t friends had no influence on others.

Substitute discipleship for obesity.  It’s contagious.  Distance doesn’t matter.  It’s about shifting the cultural norms.  It’s about connecting with one another.  It’s about loving your neighbor.

Not sure where to start.  Try Becoming a Contagious Christian by Bill Hybels and Mark Mittelberg.

Cry Out to Jesus!

Posted in Culture, Movies, Prayer, Religion, Sports on July 27, 2007 by Scott

vick.jpg                  lohan.jpg donaghy.jpg 

What you’re doing isn’t working.  Maybe it’s time to try something different…

A God Thing

Posted in Atheism, Church, God on July 26, 2007 by Scott

Having lunch in a small town where the churches per capita are among the highest in the world…at least it seems that way. The kind where the local guys pull down $100k for scaring the crap out of people.

So a lady says to a man in line next to her, “did you see so-n-so at church Sunday; you know he’s an atheist. And on the week we have that sermon, I just thought that was such a God-thing.”

Really? How tired is that phrase…isn’t every thing a God thing…except sin…that’s our thing. I wonder if the atheist was thinking this is such a “there’s no meaning to any of this thing”. We put God in such a box that he often appears to be a magician pulling things out of the proverbial halo.

We need to open our hearts and minds to the expanse of God; something beyond a Sunday school faith. Simple is the Gospel but not simple is God. He is more than things and divine coincidences.

Church Rebranding

Posted in Christian Music, Church, Leadership, Megachurch, Religion on July 25, 2007 by Scott

sprite.jpgBrand = a name, logo, slogan and/or design scheme associated with a product or service. 

Leaders at a local Church of Christ are thinking about rebranding the church in an attempt to reverse declining attendance, staff turnover and increasing frustration among the dwindling membership.

Among those things being considered is adding a second “hipper” service using musical instruments.  Central to the Church of Christ doctrine has always been the exclusion of instruments.  Not being considered: removing “Church of Christ” from the sign.

Here is our question.  Do churches have a responsibility to their brand?  Isn’t there a brand promise based on the denominational name? 

When you walk into McDonalds or Starbucks, you know what you are getting.  The brand includes a set of expectations, as well as provides certain guarantees.  At McDonalds, the hamburger won’t be the best you’ve ever had, but it will be consistent.

Should the same be true for Baptists, Catholic, Methodist, Churches of Christ and other denominations?

Rate the Debate

Posted in Culture, Evangelism, Politics, Religion on July 24, 2007 by Scott

obamahillary.jpgDid you watch the CNN/YouTube Democratic debate…who was the more electable candidate?

Obama had the edge in bigger plays and soundbites and Hillary edged the crowd in overall tempo and composure. It appears these two are going to distance themselves as Giuliani and Romney will on the republican side.

The social flashpoints of this election are going to be healthcare, education and poverty…with foreign and environmental policy being the global issues. When asked about the role of “faith”, Obama responded that the role of faith is for believers to bring a level of morality to the political system and demonstrate that to unbelievers; that is what the founding fathers had in mind.

We were impressed he used the word “believer” and “unbeliever”. It may be semantics or it may not be but what he essentially said was for us to live our faith amongst those who do not share our faith. And to do that in every area of our lives…even politics.

Many candidates and voters isolate single and polarizing issues but those who make the most difference hold the truth up, discover common ground and deliberate the differences. It is evangelism at its core.

As we apply our “God filters” to this election, let us live our faith in a way that impacts the majority of the issues facing us and not just in the exceptions.

The site Pew Forum has some good profiles regarding the candidates…and CNN and YouTube both have some great stuff in cased you missed the debate.

Atheist Demand Equal Time

Posted in Atheism, Culture, Evangelism, Faith, Family, Lifechurch.tv, Religion on July 23, 2007 by Scott

Last week we posted on Camp Quest, a summer camp for the children of atheists.  This week we look at something that’s really scaryJesus Camp.

Pastor Becky Fisher says, “I can go into a children’s playground that don’t know anything about Christianity and lead them to the Lord in a matter of no time at all, and moments later they can be seeing visions and hearing the voice of God because they are so open.”

Or maybe because they are seven years old and you brought ice cream.

Ted Haggard, who appears briefly, disavowed the film saying, “You can learn as much about the Catholic Church from Nacho Libre as you can about evangelicalism from Jesus Camp. ”

Which is ironic, because our church used Nacho Libre this weekend as part of their “At the Movies” series.

Pastor Fisher eventually says, “I want to see young people who are as committed to the cause of Jesus Christ as the young people are to the cause of Islam.  I want to see them as radically laying down their lives for the gospel as they are over in Pakistan and Israel and Palestine…”

Not sure if she means that literally or figuratively. Either way, is that really the measuring stick we want to use for our children?

Add this to “This World Frightens and Confuses Me.”