The Bible

The Bible is way more powerful than we realize.  Sometime it takes an outsider to show us just how strong the Word of God is:

You Christians look after a document containing enough dynamite to blow all civilization to pieces, turn the world upside down, and bring peace to a battle-torn planet. But you treat it as though it is nothing more than a piece of good literature.”

-Gandhi
thanks bob.
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Competition is Irrelevant

Read this Post from Signal Vs. Noise.  I’ve posted the entire article, because I couldn’t edit it down. Every word was great. Please read it:

People sometimes ask us how much we look at the competition. The answer: not much. We can’t control what they do. We can control what we do. So we focus on that.

Someone who responds to a constantly shifting landscape with a similar approach: Conan O’Brien. In “Building a Home in Late Night’s Shifting Sand,” he talks about why he doesn’t pay attention to the incessant chatter about time slots, competitors, etc.

“Maybe I’m a bumbling, Gomer Pyle fool who should be more concerned about this stuff, but I can’t control what’s going on around me,” Mr. O’Brien said. “And TV is changing so much, I don’t think anybody in television knows how it’s going to play out.

“A lot of that is up to me. If I do a good, funny, and fresh ‘Tonight Show’ every night at 11:35, it’s going to be successful, and it’s going to be irrelevant what everybody else is doing.”

That’s it. If you make something good and fresh, what everyone else is doing becomes unimportant.

The best part of this approach: It liberates you. You don’t have to obsess over others. You only worry about what you can control which helps keep you sane.

In the church world, as in TV, there are so many things that are changing and ideas that are emerging, that it is really hard to keep up.  Something that I have to remember over and over again, is that God called Creekside Church to be Creekside Church.  We are not called to be Saddleback, Mars Hill, Mars Hill, Mosaic, Lifechurch.tv.  We are not called to do what they do, we are called to do what God wants us to do.  We can learn from these brothers and sisters who are on mission with us, but we can never take our eyes of off what God has called us to do and be.

When we take our eyes off of what others are doing and focus on what God has called us to do, we do find freedom to pursue God.  Just because an idea worked for a church in New York, doesn’t mean we have to do that or try to replicate it in anyway.  What has God called us to do?  Do it.

Aaron’s Blessing

Read this today in Numbers 6

Aaron’s Blessing

22The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 23“Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them,
24The LORD bless you and keep you; 25the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

27 “So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”

Amen.

My Pastor Lives in Oklahoma

Not really.  My pastor lives 15 minutes away from me. But I’m trying to make a point

This morning Judah is playing with play-doh, Joss is taking a nap, and Kathy is sleeping.  I figured I could try to clean out my google reader, when I read this post from Bob Hyatt.  The basic argument is that video preaching may have a very negative affect on the development of preachers.

If you know me you know that I love technology.  I love the instant access to information, the ability to communicate with people around the world, etc.  It’s amazing what we can do.  But just because we can doesn’t mean we should.  This is the way that I feel about the video venue model that is growing like crazy in America.

I listen to pastors from around the country as mentors, and long distance coaches, but I never want to replace my local pastor with some guy across the country or even across town.  I believe that God calls people to a particular location and to a particular people.  I’m concerned that because that particular person has had particular success that a desire to reproduce that success in non-particular places can create franchise christianity.

The video venue can and is reaching a lot of people, perhaps thousands of people are going to be in heaven because of the opportunites that have been created because of the use of this technology.  However, I agree with Bob that this development will diminish the growth of preachers who are called to preach to a particular people.  Instead we could just see a rise in people who want to be affiliated to a certain preacher and sign on to start a church with that preacher video-ed in.

If we are not careful we will lose sight of the vision to reach a community, with a specific word from God to those people.  How can a pastor in New York really know the heart of a church in Indiana?

Here are some thoughts that have been tumbling around in my brain on this matter.

Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should – Not every church is going to do Video Venue, and not every church should even desire to.

Efficiency is not the same as effectiveness – It is efficient to have one preacher, and various locations.  It’s an efficent model of disseminating information.  But it isn’t necessarily the most effective way to preach the word.

Ends vs. Means – This is something that I am wrestling with in a ton of different areas of ministry.  But when the goal (end) of a church is to have multiple campuses then the campuses can become means to build an empire, instead of building local churches that are the end in and of themselves.

I could ramble on but I’ll stop now.

My 25 things. Deal With It!

25 Random Things about Me

1. I have never seen the sound of music and I have resolved to never watch it.
2. Because I’m a middle child and my brother has always been larger than me, I have a heightened twitch reflex.
3. I probably drink too much coffee.
4. I don’t drink enough coffee.
5. I have seen every star trek film (just to say I have).
6. I miss being in a band, and if I was in a band today I would want to be in an Athlete cover band called 2nd String.
7. Whenever I preach I’m afraid that my fly is down.
8. I wish I had the guts to try stand-up comedy. I can make people laugh but I can’t write jokes.
9. My wife is the best thing that God has ever given to me, then my kids.
10. If given a choice to go out or stay home, I will almost always want to stay home.
11. I am constantly fighting an addiction to information. I love to learn and sometimes I don’t know how to turn that off.
12. One of the things that I looked forward to about having kids is watching cartoons again.
13. Another is playing with my kids’ toys.
14. I’m writing this during class, because it seems to be the only time that I have to sit down and think about things like this.
15. I wish I played my guitar more.
16. Sometimes I wish I was shorter, especially when I am traveling.
17. I wish I still had my first car, “CHIP” a 1985 Chevy Cavalier.
18. I can’t wait to read Roald Dahl’s books to my kids, especially BFG.
19. My favorite year in school was 8th grade.
20. My favorite TV show growing up was A-Team.
21. I always wanted to be Murdoch.
22. I tried to create my own wikipedia page, with all kinds of interesting “facts”, it was removed promptly.
23. One of the best concerts I have ever seen was Petra – John Schlitt still knows how to Rock.
24. I’m terribly afraid of bees. They are evil! Honey is great and I often pray that God would provide away of obtaining honey without bees. I’ve almost crashed my car several times because of the presence of bees in my car. Hate them.
25. People I would like to meet: Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, Eric Clapton, Edward Norton and M. Night Shyamalan.