Archive for January, 2008

Stupid Church Signs…Again

Posted in Christianity, Church, Religion on January 31, 2008 by Scott

Shawn Lovejoy brings us a great addition to our Here’s Your Sign (1,2,3,4) series.

church_do_not_enter_004_2.jpg

What constitutes an “unauthorized vehicle” in a church parking lot anyway?

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Fear God

Posted in Blogs, Christianity, God on January 30, 2008 by Scott

Francis Chan has a new video blog and we’re happy to promote it. This guy is atop the BCS rankings for pastors…

He’s directing the church he leads to give 50% of its budget to missions, and he brings fearing God to us…with much of society battling depression, anxiety, and multiple complexes, how much do we really fear God…an awe that shapes us in his image.

Same Old Thing

Posted in Christianity, Church, Megachurch, Religion on January 29, 2008 by Scott

change.jpgThis afternoon I went to a restaurant I hadn’t been to in 20+ years. The goods news – they haven’t changed the menu, so I ordered my old favorite – the Number #5 lunch special.

The bad news – they haven’t changed the menu in 20+ years!

A few years ago we moved back “home.” We started going to the church we grew up in. For awhile, it was comfortable, but eventually we realized that nothing had changed in 20+ years!

Turns out the memories were better than the reality. Even though the restaurant/church hadn’t changed, I had.

At our new church we have “experiences,” an Internet Campus, creative video, great music, an outward focus and more. Just a couple of years ago our old church was still debating the value of an overhead screen and using PowerPoint during worship. Major change.

So even as “the Word of God stands forever,” there is change. It may not work for you, but its working for someone else.

By the way, a lot of people still eat at that restaurant – apparently enough to keep it in business for 40 years – and people still go to our old church. It just isn’t right for me. So, I’ll go somewhere else… and that’s okay.

Church Meatballs

Posted in Blogs, Christianity, Community, God on January 28, 2008 by Scott

Fast Company has a post on Seth Godin’s new book Meatball Sundae. Here is Seth’s take…

companies have prospered by selling “meatballs”—average stuff for average people, branded products of decent quality with little differentiation and marketed with TV ads in a model that hasn’t changed much since the 1960s. One after the other, we’re seeing big organizations that have reputations for being great at marketing fail when they try to work in new media. The question is why? The problem is their organization is the wrong organization for the tactics.

We like the failures…Purina selling Dog Chow on Facebook, and the presidential primaries. What about our churches? Seems like they’ve been selling meatballs for years. They have a small God in a small box that only looks this way, with this type of person, with this type of tempo in their music…assuming they have music. Missions look like this but we’d prefer the recipients of our missions stay outside our building…might mess up the foyer.

Then there is the innovative church who basically is the wrong organization for the tactics…face it, some things aren’t meant to sell the church, and perhaps the church doesn’t need to be sold at all. Things that come to mind…Zeppelin, clowns, prayer cloths, and any movie with Jack Black.

Is God bought or sold…

Hold Me Down

Posted in Christianity, Faith, Video on January 26, 2008 by Scott

Don’t mistake this for an endorsement of Tommy Lee, but the lyrics to his song, Hold Me Down really strike a cord with us.

Ever feel this way?

I don’t know why every time i wanna fly
somebody always tries
to hold me down….hold me down…
i’m losing my faith every single time…i try
no one is on my side
don’t let me drown…let me drown

Dana Jacobson Suspended

Posted in Christianity, Jesus, Religion, Sports on January 24, 2008 by Scott

touchdown_jesus.jpgIn case you didn’t hear, Dana Jacobson got suspended by ESPN for her remarks during the Mike and Mike roast on January 11th. Her drunken comments were, “F— Notre Dame,” “F— Touchdown Jesus” and finally “F— Jesus.” Please note it wasn’t the Jesus thing that got her in holy hot water, it was the Notre Dame thing.

The irony is Jesus was already demeaned when they nicknamed him Touchdown Jesus but for some reason the hilarity of that little fact goes by people.

So here are some things you can’t mischaracterize on the job…

  • Scientology and Tom Cruise…as Google and Youtube found out, the Church of Scientology is powerful and their leader is off limits
  • The word noose or lynch…as Kelly Tilghman found out, race is always in play, especially when its directed at the greatest athlete in sports
  • Catholics and Notre Dame…don’t worry they concealed pedophiles…don’t mess with their idol in the end zone

As for Jesus, he’s fair game; we, his proclaimed followers put up the tent on that circus long ago.

Are we too easily offended…its easier, right…to be offended, to live exception by exception…are you an 80/20’er…80% of your attitude is determined by the 20% of crap that happens to you.

Hypocrisy in the Pew

Posted in Christianity, Church, Culture, Evangelism, God, Jesus, Religion on January 23, 2008 by Scott

Earlier today I drove past the Oklahoma Health Foundation, where I saw four employees standing outside the front door smoking. I shook my head at both the irony and hypocrisy.

Them this afternoon this study of the “unchurched” in America showed up in my inbox.

  • 72% of the unchurched think the church is full of hypocrites
  • 71% believe that Jesus ‘makes a positive difference in a person’s life’
  • 78 percent said they would ‘be willing to listen’ to someone who wanted to share what they believed about Christianity”
  • 72 percent of said they believe God, a higher or supreme being exists.
  • Only 48 percent agree there is only one God as described in the Bible
  • 61 percent believe the God of the Bible is no different from the gods or spiritual being depicted

LifeWay Research Associate Director Scott McConnell isn’t surprised that the unchurched population doesn’t understand Bible basics. “If you aren’t going to church, you don’t have an opportunity (we wouldn’t agree that the church is the only place of opportunity) to be informed about what the Bible teaches or what other faiths teach,” he said. What they see the church as is “candles, pews and flowers, rather than people living out their love for God by loving others.”

Good news, bad news.

Bad news first. We aren’t nearly as good as we think we are. Chances are your pews are full of transfers from the church down the road rather than newbies.

Good news. There is a lot of opportunity out there for churches that live out their love for God by loving others.