Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Mission

To increase and advance the Kingdom of God. That's it. Isn't it? Nothing fancy. Simple, to the point and broad enough to allow interpretation. With the challenge of finding a new church home and the benefit of many years of ministerial organization with other Christian "thinkers", this is what it comes down to for me. If a church plant or relaunch were in order, I think this is where I would begin the planning stage.

Using The Mission as the litmus test for any process or program allows leaders to operate effectively without being confused about what's acceptable or if they're in line with the organization's main goal. They can lead, manage, direct, create, recruit, develop, mentor, minister, whatever. The organization will tend to take on a personality that resembles its leader(s). But if The Mission is clear and communicated throughout the organization, it should transcend any niche that is created by the individuals who put their personal touch on the programs. In this way, despite humanity, The Mission is honored.

Choose Wisely

Monday, February 25, 2008

Just Visiting

Living Hope Worship Center
That's where we visited this past Sunday. Kim and I were joined by Mike & Becky and their friend Dana. Overall Kim and I were happy with the service. Some of the musical aspects were lacking, like the drummer's penchant for chimes and the projection person struggling to change slides at the right time. The thing about that is, I was the drummer and Kim was the projection person at our last church. Go figure that the first weaknesses we encounter are those. But I really liked that it was a solid half hour of uninterrupted music.
Pastor Brian has a strong delivery, although he strayed off topic a couple of times for a little too long. The message was not one of Christian life application, as most seem to be these days. It was a sermon about Hell and the status of our souls after death. Ultimately he lead to the metaphorical fork in the road. Which path will you choose? I think he explained things pretty well and it was a good change of pace for me.
I also can't knock anyone who leads several people in prayer for salvation at the end of a message. In my view, my previous church did not take intentional steps towards bringing people to a place where they were faced with a choice to make. Not to say they did not desire that, it just didn't seem to be something they worked towards. I know that they did impact people's lives in a positive way and promoted the Christian life, but there weren't many new believers as a result of that ministry. However, there's no way to know the scope of collateral benefit that ultimately results from the growth of the people that attend that style of church.
Yet another dilemma to deal with. What's more important? How do you even define important in the Christian universe? Of course, living and developing as a disciple of Christ is important. So is leading lost souls into the Kingdom. And I know that there's room for all kinds of churches that focus on different goals in ministry. I suppose the real question is, what's right for me and my family? Your thoughts?...

Choose Wisely

Thursday, February 21, 2008


All of a sudden, I've missed 3 weeks of blogging. That's not very good. I think about writing but don't actually do it. Maybe because it doesn't seem like a whole lot is happening right now.

Kim and I have settled into the new house and things have been going well. We have pretty busy schedules, which actually came as a surprise to her since I'm the one going to class 2 nights a week. Kim is playing indoor soccer on Friday nights, has a small group on Thursday nights, and manages to have errands to run on some other nights. Last weekend we rented a truck to get some bedroom furniture from her relatives who live in Maryland and her parents who live in DE. It was a tough day of moving, which caught me by surprise since I figured we'd already done all the moving we were going to do. It was worth it though, because now we have another bed in the house and our visitors can be a little more comfortable.

Upcoming events... Sunday we will make our first "church shopping" visit. We'll start with a few that are in the neighborhood and branch out from there. Who knows how long it will take. I haven't had to look for a church in 8 years (which is a good thing) so it's going to feel a little awkward. We've made a list of things that are factors to consider in a new church family and we've prayed over them. We know that God can move and turn our list into a bunch of lines on paper. We are ready for this.

Choose Wisely

Let me plug a couple of my blog links...
I really enjoy reading Pastor Marty. I get the feeling that he's extremely dedicated to building his church to be one that gives a sense of the fellowship that we'll have in heaven. I have a chalkboard behind me in my office and I've been putting up quotes from my Public Management course as I come across good ones. It's interesting that a lot of them translate into a ministry context because when it comes down to it, it's really about people and relationships.
"Reason and instinct do not represent rival views of leadership. Rather, they represent the creative tension at the center of leadership." -Grover Starling
This one applies to Marty's 2/20 blog. Love and maturity are critical factors for this to work, in my opinion. I am encouraged by the mission and vision that their team has for their community. By the way, I've never actually visited his church.

The other plug is Chicken Soup. No Bagel video of my nearly 8 month old nephew. If you have a pulse, you'll probably enjoy it.