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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Church Leaders Telling Each Other "You're Stupid!"

Dilbert Do any of you read the comic strip Dilbert?  Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert also has a blog, and last week he posted a column  about how people debate on blogs.  I've found this to be oh, so true here at the MMI blog.  Allow me to share some of Scott's post:

A few days ago I invited the readers of my blog to tell me why I’m stupid. The results are in.

If you are new to the Internet, allow me to explain how to debate in this medium. When one person makes any kind of statement, all you need to do is apply one of these methods to make it sound stupid. Then go on the offensive.

1.  Turn someone’s generality into an absolute. For example, if someone makes a general statement that Americans celebrate Christmas, point out that some people are Jewish and so anyone who thinks that ALL Americans celebrate Christmas is stupid. (Bonus points for accusing the person of being anti-Semitic.)

2.  Turn someone’s factual statements into implied preferences. For example, if someone mentions that not all Catholic priests are pedophiles, accuse the person who said it of siding with pedophiles.

3.  Turn factual statements into implied equivalents. For example, if someone says that Ghandi didn’t eat cows, accuse the person of stupidly implying that cows deserve equal billing with Gandhi.

4.  Omit key words. For example, if someone says that people can’t eat rocks, accuse the person of being stupid for suggesting that people can’t eat. Bonus points for arguing that some people CAN eat pebbles if they try hard enough.

5.  Assume the dumbest interpretation. For example, if someone says that he can run a mile in 12 minutes, assume he means it happens underwater and argue that no one can hold his breath that long.

6.  Hallucinate entirely different points. For example, if someone says apples grow on trees, accuse him of saying snakes have arms and then point out how stupid that is.

7.  Use the intellectual laziness card. For example, if someone says that ice is cold, recommend that he take graduate courses in chemistry and meteorology before jumping to stupid conclusions that display a complete ignorance of the complexity of ice.

Humorous?  Yes, but very, very true.  I've seen most all of these at play here.  As Christians, why do so many of us seem to take such pride in proving other Christians wrong?  What's up with that?

Let's vow to not make these communication errors here at the blog from this moment on.

As always, your comments are encouraged.

Todd

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November 30, 2005 in Blogging How-Tos | Permalink | Comments (20) | TrackBack

Things That Tick Me Off

PeevesToday, we start a new experiment of having some guest bloggers here at the MMIBlog.  Our first entry comes from Brian LaCroix.  Maybe you share some of Brian's Pet Peeves think it’s safe to say that most, if not all of us have some pet peeves. I’m not sure why we’d call something that bugs us a "pet," but that’s not the issue… Here are some of my pet peeves:

WAY TO TICK ME OFF #1
Christians who eat out, and instead of leaving a tip, leave a tract. Especially Chick Tracts. Or they leave a small tip and do the same thing. Or worse yet: grumpy, rude Christians who are demanding and mean to the server. What a great witness for Christ! I’m sure everyone who is on the receiving end of this is just looking for an altar to come forward to and get saved. When I waited tables for a living, I wanted to leave when certain "Christians" came in. I hoped they would get seated in my section because I didn’t want the other servers subjected to their abuse. On the other hand, some Christians were a real joy to serve, and I was hopeful that my unbelieving friends would get to interact with them.

WAYS TO TICK ME OFF #2
Christians who drive like the devil. They don’t use their turn signal, they cut people off in traffic, they ignore others while talking on their cell phones behind the wheel, and they speed through school zones. Granted, lots of people do this, not just Christians. So how do I know they’re Christians? Because they have those FISH on the backs of their cars (even the expensive cars!) – and some of them even have those Greek letters. Years ago, Chuck Swindoll said that these people should just do us all a favor and rip those off their cars, because not only are they a horrible representation of Christ, but usually the police don’t read Greek anyway, and it’s not going to help the driver’s cause. I would agree.

WAYS TO TICK ME OFF #3
Christians who are great at reacting but lousy at responding. What’s the difference? Reacting is the quick, often knee-jerk type of comeback that many people have when faced with something they don’t like. There are plenty of people who can scream, rant, and even write letters to the editor, complete with Bible references (usually taken out of context) and lots of exclamation points. This is reacting. Their hearts are usually in the right place, but they don’t grasp how to effectively communicate their convictions to those they’re trying to convince. Responding, on the other hand, is the thought-out, prayed over offering of someone who does not live primarily by emotion. This means taking your time before writing or calling, and listening to Paul’s admonition in 2 Timothy 2:24-26 –

And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. (NIV - emphasis mine)

Actually, this would be a great passage for any of the pet peeves.

WAYS TO TICK ME OFF #4
Rick Warren (and seeker-sensitive mega-churches). Another pet peeve is those who hate seeker-sensitive mega-churches (and Rick Warren). Just kidding here, but couldn’t resist Todd’s admonition…

Why do people who proclaim to be followers of Jesus act this way?

Some of it probably has to do with ignorance – they don’t realize they are doing it and/or just how it looks to the rest of the world. Maybe it’s because they just feel that they are too good to have to follow the rules – rules of etiquette, rules of the road, and rules of intelligent conversation. My guess is that there are different reasons, but no matter what the reasoning, it makes me want to cringe. And sometimes even apologize to others for my brothers and sisters, because I know that the Father and the Brother are hurt by their behavior as well.

But here's the good news: there is a large influx of those who are the antithesis of what I’ve discussed so far. My hope is that you will be one of these.

I’d love to see your responses, and even see what you would add to the list.

Later!

Brian

Brian La Croix is the Pastor of Aberdeen Wesleyan Church, and fortunate to be married to Debra for almost 18 years, with 5 kiddos.  He's majorly pumped about the fact that his two teenagers still think he's cool.  When not working, he loves to read, follow Minnesota Twins baseball, and watch John Wayne movies.  If really pressed, he will admit to liking the Bee Gees (but not publicly...).

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November 30, 2005 in For What It's Worth | Permalink | Comments (31) | TrackBack

Pet Peeves of Church Job Searchers

Frustrated A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article on the Pet Peeves of a Search Committee.  The response was unbelieveable.  We heard from many people on both sides of the issue... those who serve on search committees and those who are job seekers.  This week, I want to take a look at some of the pet peeves that I hear quite often from job seekers and their frustration about the search process.  This is by no means a complete list... but these are the things I tend to hear the most often:

PET PEEVE #1:  At least acknowledge that I exist
Above all, the biggest gripe that I hear all the time is that churches do not communicate with candidates.  In the business world, it is pretty standard practice that each person who applies will hear back from the company they apply to; even if it's just a letter saying that the company received the resume.  For some reason, most churches have not adopted this practice.  As a matter of fact, most churches do not contact anyone unless they want to schedule an interview.  From the job seekers standpoint, this is frustrating not hearing from churches you have applied to.  There is a simple solution to this problem for churches:  Since most resumes are traded via email these days, set up a special email account that handles resume applications.  Simply set up an email autoresponder saying that you have received the resume, and telling more information (like forwarding on a full job description; telling about your hiring time-table; and what the candidate can expect to hear from you in the future.  If you'll be contacting only those who you'll be arranging interviews with; communicate that.)  This will help alleviate the biggest frustration of those prospective employees who are contacting your church.

PET PEEVE #2:  Don't shut me out based on my experience/education or lack of experience/education
Many churches place experience and education parameters in their job descriptions, and that is ok... but there are always exceptions to the rule.  Many times I hear from frustrated job seekers that feel they have either too much or too little job experience; and that because of that, they are not being looked at for most jobs.  While it's important to determine the level of professional experience you're looking for; but sure to not automatically exclude applicants who may have other types of experience that may serve you even better.  Sometimes a new graduate with a real passion should beat out a person with five years 'experience'.  Sometimes a person with additional training and skills will knock your socks off.

PET PEEVE #3:  Don't misrepresent the current state of your church
Here's another one I hear quite often:  Don't say everything's just fine; when the church just split and your $8,000 under budget this month.  Let's face it... search committees can say anything during an interview... and many do... painting an unrealistic picture of the strengths and weaknesses of their church.  Be honest.  Share your struggles and weaknesses.  Be upfront.

PET PEEVE #4:  Don't string me along or feed me a line.
Be clear and honest on your timeline and hiring process.  Many search committees string people along unknowingly; mostly because they're not confident in the hiring process.  If you have a timeline for hiring, please tell the candidate.  If you say you'll call on Tuesday, but sure to call on Tuesday.  If you say during the interview the salary is $50k; be sure it's at least that when you start talking seriously.  Candidates need to know where they are in the process... don't keep them guessing.

PET PEEVE #5:  Tell me when you've hired someone.
Candidates tell me that there's nothing more humiliating than calling a church you thought you were in contention with, only to be told that the position has already been filled.  Be sure to close up all the holes when you hire.  Communicate the hiring to any other candidates who feel that they are still in contention.  You'll save a lot of unneccesarily phone calls and help save hurt feelings.

PET PEEVE #6:  When it comes to pay, don't overpromise.
I mentioned this before... when it comes to pay, please be fair.  This works a couple of different ways:  First, don't underpay... pay a fair wage, especially to staff members with young families.  Allow them to live at a comfortable level.  You'll have a lot happier employee; and a longer, more fruitful ministry overall.  Secondly, don't over promise what you can or will pay.  Don't commit to hiring a person when you don't have the funds.  I hear horror stories all the time of young families that move across the country only to find in six months that the church doesn't have enough funds to continue to pay them.  Also, don't hire at a cheap salary and promise increases and bonuses that never, ever happen.  Broken promises only mean that staff will in all likelyhood leave much more quickly.

Those are just some of the pet peeves that I hear from job candidates.  Do you have some you'd like to share?  Also, if you're on a search committee, what do you do to remedy these pet peeves to your prospective employees?

Todd

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November 30, 2005 in Personnel Issues | Permalink | Comments (91) | TrackBack

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

You Could Be A Star! (Well, not really. But...)

WriterI'm looking for a few good men and women.

People of courage.  People of conviction.

People who'd like to write on a blog.

Have something you'd like to see here at the MMIBlog.com?  Well... let's hear it!  I'd like to try a little experiment and have some guest writers here at the blog.  I'd love for each of you to consider contributing.  Here are some guidelines...

-- submissions should be relatively short

-- you don't have to agree with me to write a guest post (but it'll help).  (Little joke there).

-- the information/post should be interesting, provacative, and thought-provoking

-- the purpose can be to get people talking in community; to inform; to encourage; anything positive.

-- already have a blog?  No problem?  Post here and I'll be happy to post a link back to your blog.  (It'll be great publicity, don't you know!?)

-- you can't use the words mega-church or seeker-sensitive in your post.  The words "Rick" and "Warren" can be used, but not one right after the other.

Here's the deal... if you're interested in giving this a go... email me here and let me know your name and email.  I'll send you a username/password that you can use to go in and type your blog entry.  It'll then be sent to me for approval/editing; and we'll take it from there.  I know that I won't be able to use everything that I get, so don't be disappointed if I don't use one or all of yours.

So... whatdaya say?

Todd

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November 29, 2005 in Blog Housekeeping | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Organ replaced with Guitars... Oh My!!!

Pipes I grew up as a conservative, separatist Baptist.  (Yes, I survived.)  We didn't fellowship with any other church in town.  Actually, there was only one other church that we acknowledged that existed (and we really didn't care for them very much).  We didn't even play basketball with other churches.  We didn't 'smoke, chew, or run with girls who do'.  So I feel that I kind of understand the separatist mindset.  It goes a little something like this:

If we can't agree on everything; then we agree on nothing.

Everything was very judgmental and legalistic toward the end of the church I grew up in (yes, they were killed off by legalism while I was off in college).  The issues:  hair length; card playing; sending kids to public school... you name it; they had a problem with it.  If you didn't keep the list; you were 'in sin' and don't even think about hangin' with anybody who broke the rules.

It seems there aren't as many separatists today as there once were (although I think most of them blog!)... but the movement is still alive and well.  Here is a great example...

You can find the link to the following here...  (David W. Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, fbns@wayoflife.org, http://www.wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143):

The October 29 issue of the Chattanooga Times Free Press (Chattanooga, Tennessee) featured a picture of Tennessee Temple University students worshipping to contemporary rock music during a Wednesday evening service. The accompanying article said:

"Beneath the 90-year-old stained glass at St. Andrews Center, rock music blares as worshippers in jeans and T-shirts fill the sanctuary. The weekly Wednesday night church service has all the markings of traditional worship--music, preaching and praying. But the choir and organ have been replaced with drums and an electric guitar. 'Each generation has different styles of music, and what churches have to realize is that we've got to meet those younger generations' needs,' said Dr. Danny Lovett, who preaches at the service and is president of Tennessee Temple University."

Where does the Bible say God's people should use the world's style of music? To the contrary, we are instructed to have spiritual music (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16), which means music that is set apart unto God from this wicked world. See 1 Jn. 2:15-17; Jam. 4:4; Tit. 2:11-14; Rom. 12:2. While it is a sad thing for older graduates of this school to observe, it is not surprising to see Tennessee Temple and Highland Park Baptist Church take such a dramatic turn to a worldly philosophy. Lovett recently came to Temple from Jerry Falwell's Liberty Baptist University, and it is New Evangelical to the core. Billy Graham, the Prince of New Evangelicalism, has spoken at Liberty and has been praised by Falwell for his 'faithful ministry.' Liberty students are not warned about the heresy of Graham's ecumenical evangelism or of his unscriptural emphasize the positive, judge not philosophy. Liberty has hosted conferences for the radically ecumenical Promise Keepers as well as for Rick Warren. Biblical separation is rapidly fading from the agenda of a large body of former fundamentalist Baptists who are moving in the popular contemporary direction.

---

My goodness... take out the organ and put in a guitar (by the way, there were many stringed instruments in the Bible); and suddenly we crossed the line from spiritual to unspiritual; from Godly to ungodly.

But here's the problem... someone is determining what music is spiritual and which music is unspiritual... which music is godly and which is ungodly.

The songs song 20 years ago at Tennessee Temple University (when the school was 'godly') were not written in Bible times.  They were new at one time (just like the songs they sing now).

The electronic and/or pipe organ is not a biblical new testament instrument.  If anything, guitars are closer to the 'original'.  But many churches viewed the organ as 'ungodly' when it was introduced.  There are churches still today who don't use any musical instruments.  Again, someone has made the choice.

But since The Beatles and other 'rock' musicians use guitars; guitars are worldy.  Who made that decision?

I don't hear anyone saying that we shouldn't use pianos in worship because Liberace was gay.

Or that we shouldn't wear ties to church because the worldy business community also wear ties to conduct their secular drugery.

But here's the main thing I noticed when I was a part of a separatist church... the church tended to concentrate on the negative... and once it started on one thing, it lead to a list of other evils (all of which the church had something against).  That's what intrigued me about the above quote.  All that it took for him to go off was that the organ was replaced by a guitar.  This lead to all of the following...

--this all happened because the leader came from Liberty
--Libery is NeoEvangelical
--Billy Graham has spoken at Liberty
--Billy Graham is a heretic (and the Prince of New Evangelicalism, btw)
--Liberty students 'haven't been warned'
--They've worked with Promise Keepers and Rick Warren (it ALWAYS comes back to him, doesn't it?)
--Few are left but us... even the fundamentalists are moving in the 'popular contemporary direction'

How'd he get all that from one newspaper article?

I guess you'd have to have grown up a separatist to understand that one.  (And I think I do).

It's sad... but I think I do.

Any thoughts?  Any separatists among us?  Welcome, from a former separatist!  :)

Todd

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November 29, 2005 in For What It's Worth | Permalink | Comments (80) | TrackBack

The MicroChurch Movement

House NBC News reports on the 'MicroChurch Movement'...  click here...

Looks inviting.  But more like what I experience in a small group setting.

I'd love to hear your responses...

Todd

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November 29, 2005 in Trends in Today's Church | Permalink | Comments (50) | TrackBack

BiVocational? You're Not Alone!

Bivo This from the DailyBulletin.com:

The Rev. Peter Cortez has seven kids and three jobs.

By trade, Cortez repairs aged and damaged roofs; by calling, he ministers to people's souls.

"It's all faith, just believing that God will provide my time," said Cortez, pastor of Touch of The Master Ministries in San Bernardino and associate pastor of Redlands Christian Center.

Neither church pays him a salary. To feed his family and pay the mortgage, Cortez operates Pete's Roofing out of his Highland home.

The Inland Empire has a multitude of ministers like Cortez, who work day jobs to support a ministry that cannot support them. As Thanksgiving nears, these pastors are entering their busy season. The year's end is to them what March and April are to accountants.

Juan Martinez, professor of pastoral leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, knows of no statistics about the prevalence of moonlighting ministers. But they are not rare.

Bivocational pastors, as they are known, are most likely at small, non-denominational churches, particularly where there is an acceptance of a minister who is not a professional clergy member, he said. They are common in Latino churches.

These pastors free their churches of a financial burden and create an environment where church members can share in ministry, said Martinez, who at times has been a bivocational pastor.

For Pete Tasaka, an algebra teacher at Washington Alternative High School in Colton, leading a church is not a job. It's part of living out his faith.

"It's not bivocational - it's univocational," said Tasaka, pastor of Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Colton.

"Is it stressful?" he asked. "Yeah. Because it's busy and some things can't be fixed in a moment. (So) I lean a lot on a few prayer warriors in the church."

Mike Spradlin can remember driving 170 miles each day from his Norco home to his marketing job in the San Fernando Valley. He would return in the evening to his part-time job as outreach pastor for Valley Christian Church in Chino.

"Those were exciting times in ministry," said Spradlin, now out of the private sector and the church's senior pastor. "We call it tent making. You're like Paul who was a tent maker by profession and then he was always pastoring."

That's the apostle Paul, the author of the majority of the Bible's New Testament. According to his epistles, Paul refused to be paid by the churches he served because he believed he was doing the Lord's work and could adequately support himself.

The phenomenon is not exclusive to Christians.

Rabbi Tsafreer Lev of Congregation Etz Hadar, the Conservative synagogue in Redlands, is a teacher at New Community Jewish High School in West Hills and at the University of Judaism. Dr. Mohammad Hossain has a medical office one mile from the Islamic Center of Redlands; he runs both.

He sneaks away to the center whenever he isn't busy with patients.

"I just keep working, keep working, keep working," Hossain said.

Any thoughts?

Todd

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November 29, 2005 in Leadership Issues | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Pastor "Takes One for the Team"

DaughertyPerhaps you've already heard about this... it happened a couple of weeks ago in Tulsa.  Evidently Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty sang one too many verses of "Just As I Am", because during the invitation, one man came forward, walked up to the pastor, and punched him in the face! (you can actually see the blood in the picture above!)

Pastor Daugherty said, ""I had been preaching on praise and Thanksgiving in every situation," he says. "And this guy walked forward. I thought he was coming to receive the Lord, but he had another plan."   He now sports a black eye and a couple stitches.

According to Tulsa's NewsChannel 8, Daugherty said, ""The first time I was hit, what went through my mind was, did he just hit me? I mean it was bam, bam."

With blood pouring down his face, Daugherty kept on preaching and forgiving.

"We don't forgive because we feel like it," he says. "We forgive because it's the right thing to do."

Daugherty wasn't going to press charges. But, 50-year-old Steven Rogers was hauled off to jail after allegedly hitting two more people, including a security guard.

"Did you ever think I'm gonna smack this guy?"

"I never once thought of even hitting back."

"So you going to get back on the saddle Sunday?"

"Yeah, that's right."

--Way to 'take one for the team,'  pastor.  I wonder how each of us would have responded (with cameras rolling).  If that pastor would've punched back, it would've been on every evening newscast in the nation!  :)

Todd

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November 29, 2005 in For What It's Worth | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Monday, November 28, 2005

Top 7 Things NOT to get Todd for Christmas

Well, Thanksgiving is past; and now our thoughts turn to Christmas.  Most people like to make lists of things they'd like to receive... I'd like to make a list for you of things that I hope I don't receive.

(I know that many of you are wondering to yourself, "Self... what should I get Todd this Christmas?"  Please refrain from purchasing any of the following for me...)

(Please, don't get me wrong... these might be great gifts for someone you know... just not for me, thanks).

RicecowboyThe Dr. John R. Rice Cowboy Poster
J. R. Rice is a classic preacher... but please don't get me this poster for Christmas.  "This is a wonderful full-color poster of Dr. J. R. Rice in complete cowboy dress. This photo would make an excellent keepsake for those who loved the "20th century's mightiest pen."  [oh my... what would Rice's fans think if I offered a "Rick Warren Hawaiian Shirt" poster for the back of YOUR 'study door'?  (Price:  $1.00 clearance (go figure -- it was $5.00!)  You can order here.


Iwjo_2 The IWJO (I Watch Joel Osteen) Lapel Pin
Again, this is for real... "Show your support for Pastor Joel and spread the message of his ministry by wearing this beautiful pin. As non-believers ask their co-workers, friends and neighbors about the I W J O logo, it will give them the opportunity to learn about and receive Christ as their Savior through Pastor Joel's Ministry at Lakewood Church. (Excuse me... but I find it hard to find much of the salvation message many times when listening to Joel himself... This, to me, is really just a cheap knock-off of the Jerry Fawell "Jesus First" pin that I used to own... I think I'll pass on this one... please don't buy this for me this holiday season).  Price:  $4.95 + shipping/handling.  (Car decals are also available.)  You can order here.


Smokinjesus "Jesus Hates it When You Smoke" Ashtray
Jesus, the Prince of Peace gazes balefully upwards at your approaching cigarette... How does that make you feel? 'JESUS HATES IT WHEN YOU SMOKE' reads the print inside this provocative, righteous ashtray.  Sticker on bottom reads: "use of this product may be hazardous to your health and/or eternal soul".  (This'd be a great soul-winning tool for those 'turn or burn' sign holders).  They're a steal at just $12.00, available here.


RockmusicRock Music vs. The God of the Bible
An extensive examination of rock music and its evil influence on society. Chapters include "My Experience with Rock Music" (the author's testimony), "The Roots of Rock" (focusing on the blues, jazz, black spirituals, and Southern Gospel) [NO NO NO... not SOUTHERN GOSPEL!!!], "Rock and Rebellion," "Rock Music and Insanity," "Rock Musicians as Mediums," "Rock Music and Pagan Religion," "Death Metal Rock Music," "How to Raise a Rock and Roll Rebel." 480 pages, $19.95.  Available here


KeychainSinging Hallelujah Keychain
The remarkable Singing Bible Keychain plays the  Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah. It's not some junky little electronic version, mind you. Rather, it plays 20 seconds of loud, booming music sung by a full chorus and backed by an orchestra.  And miracle of miracles... Batteries are included! Hallelujah!  Just $5.99 available here.


Hagees_1 The Best of the Hagee's
"The songs found on this recording will speak to your heart in a way that will inspire you to action for the cause of Christ. This praise and worship recording, filled with the Holy Spirit, will inspire you."  (Sorry, it's just not my type of music.  I did order one for my friend Bernie for Christmas, though.  Shhhh... Don't tell him.)  Just $15 ($14 of that goes right into John Hagee's front pocket) available here.


204Room 204:  Heritage Inn at Heritage USA
"ONE-OF-A-KIND item from the now closed Heritage USA Christian Theme Park which was run by Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. We were able to salvage some items from Heritage USA before they were destroyed and gone forever.  This hotel was once a thriving place welcoming millions of visitors but now is in the process of being torn down.  Of the 3 buildings, only one remains and is being torn down now.  The sign is made out of wood and is about 1 1/2 inches thick.  This would be a great item to hang on your wall in your office. Don't miss your chance to own a piece of Heritage USA and PTL history.  Remember, this is a one-of-a-kind item and once it's sold, the is not another like it."  Currently on eBay... bid price is just $--, oh, wait... there are no bidders yet... but you can buy it now for $45... just don't buy it for me.)

OK... that's my list... anyone else have something that they really wouldn't like to receive this Christmas? 

Maybe next time, I'll give a list of things I think would be really cool to get.  :)

Have a great week!

Todd

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November 28, 2005 in Personal Items | Permalink | Comments (33) | TrackBack

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The "Git R Done" Church

Gitrdone At his blog "Confessions of a Recovering Pharisee"  Kevin Bussey says, "I love the apostle Paul. He was all about reaching people for Christ. He was the first relevant minister after the death of Jesus. Paul said in I Corinthians 9 that he was going to be all things to all people in order that he might win some. He was willing to do whatever it takes! He was like [Larry the Cable Guy], GIT R DONE!

Too bad churches don't go with that mentality. What if we said, lets do it. Lets reach people for Christ. Lets be all things to all people. Lets throw out tradition if it isn't relevant. Lets be real. Lets make a real difference in our communities. Lets really love people. Lets accept them no matter what their background or how they dress or how much or little money they have or what are their sinful patters. Lost people will act like lost people. It is time to get serious church and do whatever it takes, I mean whatever it takes to reach our lost and dying world. This is my one true passion that I am willing to take to my grave!"

So... the question for all of us to ponder this week is, "What if...?"

What if your church did everything they could to reach the lost in your community?  What would that look like?

And what is keeping you from getting there?

I find it amazing that most churches I've seen have a rather complicated formula in place to make sure that this type of ministry never has a possibility of ever happening.

Committees halt progress.  Some churches have so many committees that nothing ever gets done (except meetings).

Tradition holds many churches back.  How many times have you heard, "We've never done it that way before?"  (Talk about a leadership killer!)

Ministry keeps many churches occupied.  Many of your best workers are right now 'getting tired in well-doing'.  Many churches are so over-programmed for in-reach, outreach is just not even a possibility.

But what if?

What if the whole committee structure somehow evolved into a team approach where teams were empowered to make decisions and carry out ministry?  What if we stopped doing things just because we've always done them this way?  And what would happen if we just stopped doing some ministry programs that just aren't effective; and took that time and energy to reach out to our community?

Dream a little.

What would happen?

What steps can you take today... this week... in 2006... to help make this happen?

What measureable steps can we make today that will help our church 'Git R Done' in the next year?

Reminds me of an old saying that goes (something like this)... "If we keep doing what we've always done; we'll always get what we always got."

It's time to try something new.  Let's, "Git R Done!"

Have a great week!

Todd

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November 27, 2005 in Leadership Issues | Permalink | Comments (57) | TrackBack