Archive for August, 2007

False Profit

Posted in Christianity, Church, Church Planting, Creativity, Evangelism, God, Megachurch, Religion on August 31, 2007 by Scott

joel_osteen-false_prophet.jpgSo…we’re trying to put legs under our new reality show for youtube or cable.

The show is going to take 16 of the most up and coming church planters and pit them against each other. In typical reality show form, there will be a wannabe pastor fall from grace each week.

A weekly rewards challenge will be held on the biblical basics…scripture, people, and even evangelical history. But it culminates each week with an elimination challenge. A 5-minute sermon based on a topical blind draw just prior to their time (we’ll give them 10 minutes prep time). The judges, with at least one guest judge each week…a who’s who of the evangelical and emergent worlds, will decide who the weakest candidate is and thus send the false prophet on their way.

The finale will showcase the final two, where they have to plan an entire 1-hour experience/service. The winner…gets $1 million to launch their new megachurch.

Oh…the winner is determined by the number of hands raised in the audience of non-Christians and uncommitted Christians at the conclusion of their set…that’s always who wins…right?

Pay as You Go Christianity

Posted in Christianity, Church, Culture, Discipleship, Evangelism, Megachurch, Religion on August 30, 2007 by Scott

tbopen.jpgLocated just outside of Seattle, Terra Bite Lounge owners call themselves an “upscale voluntary payment cafe/deli.”  There are no set prices.  Instead, customers pay whatever they feel is appropriate. 

You can get your daily coffee and then pay $20 at the end of the week.  If you don’t like it, don’t pay. 

Have you ever been to a church on the voluntary pay system? 

These churches allow people to consume what they have to offer without communicating the price.  They seek to create an atmosphere that purposely avoids this conversation.  Guests are treated to experiences that attempt to be more culturally relavant than scripturally sound. 

We’re for engaging people in creative and innovative ways, but we have to let people know it’s not a pay-as-you-go system.  The debt has already been paid.  Now its our turn to give back.  Our time, our resources, our hearts, our minds, our souls – ourselves. 

That’s the price.

Spiritual Obesity

Posted in Blogs, Christianity, Church Planting, Discipleship, Evangelism, God, Religion, Video on August 29, 2007 by Scott

Steven Furtick of Elevation Church gets fired up in this video about those he deems as pharisees.

What do you think about what he says? Is evangelism all there is or are we called to discipleship in other ways? Can someone really be a disciple only by doing works like serving or has God called us to a life of studying his word as well, and are we getting fat and self-righteous?

We wonder if Christ would deliver this message…gotta like the enthusiasm. Is someone who just raised their hand ready to fight this fight and build the church, or will this world pierce them as it did Peter at the cockcrow.

What do you think…can churches just be responsible for one element and leave the rest to another church?

The First 90 Days

Posted in Books, Christianity, Church, Discipleship, Evangelism, Missional, Religion on August 28, 2007 by Scott

90-days.jpg

Just started reading The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins.

While this book is meant for leadership applications, the chapter titles caught our eye:

Accelerate Your Learning, Secure Early Wins, Build Your Team, Create Coalitions, Keep Your Balance, Beyond Sink or Swim.

Think of these topics in terms of new Christians. 

  • Accelerate Your Learning: Start reading God’s Word.  Seek mentors.  Go on mission trips.  Help others.  Serve.  Do whatever you can to learn.
  • Secure Early Wins: Jump in.  Don’t wait.  If you do, you might never get involved.  Your old self will creep back in.
  • Build Your Team and Create Coalitions: Jesus had his team.  He built his coalition, and we should do the same.  Surround yourself with those who will support you, teach you, hold you accountable, challenge you and more.
  • Keep Your Balance:  There will be highs-and-lows, but keep your balance.  Stay grounded. Understand that God will always be there.  Be still and know…
  • Beyond Sink or Swim: With God its not either or.  Trust him and you won’t sink.  Just ask Peter.

The first 90 days in a relationship may very well determine its long-term success or failure.  

As churches we can’t sit back and let the first 90 days go by without engaging those who raise their hands or come forward each week.  Those are critical days for their development of their newfound faith in God. 

Let’s build systems that assist new believers in becoming fully devoted followers of Christ.  That’s what we would call innovative.

Notes to Kade

Posted in Christianity, Culture, Prayer, Relationships on August 27, 2007 by Scott

show_imagephp.jpgThe Daily Oklahoman, our local newspaper, had an emotional article on Kade Klaassen and his parents’ journey during his life in the womb. The Klaassen’s found out at 19 weeks through an ultrasound that Kade had a genetic defect that is always fatal and in which babies are stillborn 50% of the time.

This is their journey with Kade as they decide to allow his life to continue in the womb. The mother’s words from her journal are moving as she writes to her unborn son.

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journal

How would you spend your remaining time with your unborn child if you knew…or would you? If you could write anything to your child today what would it be?

Where’s Waldo

Posted in Christianity, Church, God, Relationships, Religion on August 26, 2007 by Scott

As we prepare for worship and meeting God today, think about the Where’s Waldo books…he is ever present in the beginning but much more difficult to find later.

Lets fight off the spiritual habituation, where when something new is introduced (GOD) we are extremely aware of it but it fades over time. The initial eagerness does wear off as God takes away the props so that we can grow true devotion that is strong enough to carry us on even when unaided by emotion.

Thomas Merton once said that if  you find God with great ease, perhaps it is not God that you have found.

Behind the Music: Audio Adrenaline

Posted in Blogs, Christian Music, Christianity, Faith, God, Religion on August 24, 2007 by Scott

We have this to say about the Mother Teresa controversy.” Those of you who have never doubted your faith please step forward.  Thought so.

Now for a little weekend music.

Audio Adrenaline recently bid farewell to the music industry.  Their hits include Big House, Hands and Feet, Never Gonna Be as Big as Jesus, Get Down, and our favorite –  Ocean Floor.

Favorite Lyrics

My misdeeds
All my greed
All the things that haunt me now
They’re not a pretty sight to see
But they’re wiped away
By a mighty wave
A mighty, mighty wave

Your sins are forgotten
They’re on the bottom
Of the ocean floor….