Archive for October, 2007

Christian Posers

Posted in Blogs, Christianity, Church, Culture, Evangelism, Religion on October 30, 2007 by Scott

A new study that finds consumers are weary of reviews and posts on online forums.  The study found that an increasing number of consumers believe that fake reviews or positive comments left by organizations are a problem.

The good news is that 15% of those polled are considered e-fluentials – they speak to 50% more people every day and are more likely to share their experiences with others.

Researchers point to transparency as being the key to success.

There are opportunities online, but it is not without its challenges.  There are a lot of Christian Posers out there and consumers are skeptical. 

Imagine the church becoming so transparent that people become 50% more likely to share their experiences with others. That sure would speed up that whole “go into all the world” thing.

Evangelical Support for Republicans Fading

Posted in Christianity, Politics, Religion on October 28, 2007 by Scott

party_republican1.jpgA recent New York Times article suggests a growing rift between evangelicals and Republicans that could effect the 2008 Presidential election.

With the passing of Jerry Falwell, and the failure of any candidates to gain the support of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, the Republicans can no longer count on a “give-me” of the evangelical vote.

The new leaders of the evangelical movement, including Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, prefer to focus on issues more directly related to evangelism:

  • A push to better this world as well as saving eternal souls
  • Focus on spiritual growth rather than the “yes-or-no” of salvation
  • Jesus’ teaching regarding social justice

A recent study by the Pew Research Center confirms evangelical support for Republicans is dwindling.

  • Fewer than 45% of evangelicals polled approve of the Bush administration.
  • White evangelicals under 30 – once Bush’s biggest fans – are now less supportive than their elders.
  • Evangelical approval of Republicans overall is below 50%.

This is shaping up to be the Brewster’s Millions of elections.  You might remember the movie from 1985 in which Monty Brewster ran on the campaign promise of “None of the Above.”

None of the Above 2008 is looking pretty good.  Hmm… sounds like its time to start working on a trademark.

Quoting Hybels

Posted in Blogs, Christianity, Church Planting, Discipleship, Leadership, Megachurch, Missional, Relationships, Religion on October 24, 2007 by Scott

Here are some excerpts from the October 18th post at Christianity Today which quotes Hybels at the Leadership Summit.

Speaking at the Leadership Summit, Hybels summarized the findings this way: Some of the stuff that we have put millions of dollars into thinking it would really help our people grow and develop spiritually, when the data actually came back it wasn’t helping people that much. Other things that we didn’t put that much money into and didn’t put much staff against is stuff our people are crying out for.
We made a mistake. What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and become Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become ‘self feeders.’ We should have gotten people, taught people, how to read their bible between service, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own.
Spiritual growth doesn’t happen best by becoming dependent on elaborate church programs but through the age old spiritual practices of prayer, bible reading, and relationships.
Our dream is that we fundamentally change the way we do church. That we take out a clean sheet of paper and we rethink all of our old assumptions. Replace it with new insights. Insights that are informed by research and rooted in Scripture. Our dream is really to discover what God is doing and how he’s asking us to transform this planet.

This is some good stuff…the realization that we still need the word of God and it took building a megachurch to get there. We love the three spiritual practices. Here are some thoughts from the book of Jude on relationships…

But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand
Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

What do you think about Hybels…is it time to move from seeker church to feeder church?

Dads Want More Family Time

Posted in Blogs, Culture, Family, Prayer, Relationships on October 22, 2007 by Scott

This story from CNN says dads want more family time. There are some interesting stats in this article and it hits home, as this is where a man’s good intentions meet a man’s lack of follow through…also known as the Adam Principle.

Here are some key points…

1. Keep in touch — While you’re at work, make a quick call in between meetings and projects and let your children know they’re top of mind.

2. Plan a kid-friendly potluck — If co-workers in your department have kids, ask your boss if you can have a kid-friendly potluck for lunch on a Friday. Not only does this allow the kids to spend extra time with you, but it also gives the employees in your department time to get to know each other better.

3. Give your undivided attention — When you’re at home spending time with your family, turn off your cell phone, step away from the e-mails and give your undivided attention. If you bring work home, do it after the kids have gone to bed.

4. Keep one calendar — Schedule baseball games and play recitals on the same calendar you use for meetings and travel to make sure you never double-book yourself. Save your vacation days for those special events in your children’s lives, so you’re there and in the front row.

5. Make time — At least once a week, schedule a family activity that involves interaction such as a game, bike ride, trip to the playground, etc. Also, make sure to schedule a date night for you and your significant other.

How do we make this happen as families and how can husbands get off the performance treadmill? Perhaps more honesty amongst spouses…let go of the ceremonious pats on the back while secretly ripping each other for what doesn’t get done…for what we want and don’t have.

We make time for what’s important…so our availability demonstrates what is valuable to us. May God open up our calendars this week.

Bush on Immigration

Posted in Politics, Video on October 19, 2007 by Scott

If you need a good laugh, watch this:

What If You’re Wrong?

Posted in Christianity, Music, Religion, Video on October 19, 2007 by Scott

Red Hot Sex

Posted in Blogs, Christianity, Culture, God, Video on October 17, 2007 by Scott

The Gathering, a church in Tennessee, recently mailed out an advertisement for an upcoming series titled Red Hot Sex. Many people were offended…not by God’s word but by some of the sexual nature of the advertisement. What’s too far? Can we have it both ways…can we complain about the sexual nature of our world and then partake of its elements.

Is anything short of sin a Christ-like marketing campaign? What about 1 Corinthians 6:12…do we care…I guess it now just about relegating scripture to cultural contexts.

Wolfenbarger apologized especially to the parents of children who might have seen the mailing, but he also defended the church’s actions. “If people want to be alarmed about something, then they ought to be alarmed about the rate of teen pregnancy in Sevier County. We want to stand up for the truth, and sometimes the truth is not popular,” he said.

Check out the video here…Red Hot Sex

Do you agree…is this about the truth or shock? We especially like the part where he apologizes…why, because he knows he can. Lets reach out to the lost by wandering through the desert.