Here is a clip I found on Youtube from the concert last Sunday night. The sound quality is not so good, but it’s awesome to see a clip from a concert I was at. We kept noticing this little blond girl’s head popping up at the bottom of the screen. We thought it looked like Emma, and it was! So Emma, my little girl, has made her youtube debut.
After reading this article, it makes me realize why I hate long meetings so much. I have read several articles lately about brainstorming not being an efficient way to come up with new ideas. These studies show that people working independently can come up with more and better solutions than in a group. For me, there is some truth in that. I tend to get bored and frustrated hearing crazy ideas that are not feasible. I am very task oriented and I feel like I am wasting my time when there isn’t a clearly defined goal to the meeting.
I know that sometimes, people in a group can come up with solutions that individuals would never think of, but the key is to not get too detailed when meeting! Give ideas and then let people think about them and develop the ideas more fully. That is very important for church meetings as well. Most people don’t want to spend all the spare time listening to someone think out loud and ramble through a bunch of ideas that won’t work. You might just be making the attendees dumber.
I got tired of staring at my ugly face all the time in my blog header, so I replaced it with this picture.
It’s a picture of me and Jennifer that I created on the site weeworld It’s something different and I think I am much better looking in cartoon. But I still look like a nerd. But as Zach so eloquently stated, at least I am the coolest nerd he knows!
Thanks to Marko for the website.
I recently participated in a Christian blogging survey by pastors.com. If you want to check out some other Christian blogs, then check out the list of everyone who participated at Rick Warren’s Blog. If you haven’t read many blogs before, then definitely check some of these out.
I am also listing great blog posts I have read in the sidebar of my blog or by going here. As I read through different blogs using Google Reader, I can flag the ones that I really like and place them on my shared page. My blog will automatically pull those into my sidebar. Pretty slick, and it’s an easy way for you to see what I’m reading and enjoying. There are a lot of good Christian blogs out there. And while you’re reading others, have you ever thought about starting your own?
We just got through a busy weekend. Our church hosted the band Decemberadio for our worship service Sunday and for a community concert Sunday night. What can I say. These guys are for real. I knew from their CD that they are incredibly talented musically, but what impressed me is what I kept hearing from everyone that had met them, that they are great Christian guys who are solid in their faith. I got to hang out with them all day and I can’t say enough about the guys. Some bands don’t sound too good live when compared to the CD, but they just rocked it out and sounded great live.
The church service was also great. Not only musically, but by getting to hear from their hearts. They shared about the whole Grammy experience, and shared about what they are learning as musicians and as Christians. Then the concert. I was blown away by the attendance. They packed out the local high school auditorium! Their stage presence was great, and they even threw in some Wayward Son by Kansas and some Lenny Kravitz for us old folks. I had a great time with the guys and I look forward to being able to host them again in the future. If you haven’t listened to their CD yet, then do yourself a favor and pick it up. They have a great old school rock sound with some real in your face Christian lyrics. The teens can’t stop talking about the concert. There is definitely a buzz about the group.
And I just found out today that they were nominated this week for 4 GMA Dove Awards! And that is after just coming back from the Grammy Awards last week!
I’m excited for them and look forward to seeing them on the awards show. I believe that they are definitely on their way to becoming one of the top bands in Christian music. And after spending time with them, I believe they will bring honor to God in everything they do.
- Song of the Year – Drifter
- New Artist of the Year
- Rock Recorded Song of the Year – Dangerous
- Rock Album of the Year
I’m sitting here tonight multi-tasking. I’m listening to a message by Ed Stetzer on Missiology while I’m finishing up my message for church, and while I’m catching up reading the blogs I’m subscribed to using Google Reader. I’m getting ready for the Decemberadio concert at our church tomorrow night and I have really been wrestling with how can our church better engage the culture that we are part of. Tonight has been one of those light bulb moments. I really think God is stretching and growing me and stepping on my toes. I’ll share more in the weeks and months to come.
Here are two great messages by Ed Stetzer on how church and culture intersect. The more I listen to Ed, the more I agree with him. His passion and vision really connect with the way God is leading me. I think these two messages should be required listening for all pastors. Please check them out!
Breaking the Missional Code and Understanding Culture
While I was listening to these messages, I read a quote from a blog post from Tony Morgan about the activities of our churches. It is another good post to get you thinking about why you do what you do. I agree that we must motivate and compel people to leave the 4 walls and do ministry, not just stay busy learning what they should be doing.
But I face one big challenge. Every time Christians step inside a church, it can remove them from the place where they have the greatest impact for God’s Kingdom—the world. It’s sad, but I wonder if we’ve inadvertently designed our ministries to isolate Christians from the places where God really wants us to be. Are we truly engaged in his Great Commission if every extra moment of our lives is spent at church?
I hear the way Christians talk. They want more opportunities to gather for worship. They want more programs to meet other Christ-followers. They want more Bible studies to help them go deeper in God’s Word. There’s nothing inherently wrong with these desires—but what’s often missing is a desire to see people outside the church commit their lives to following Jesus. As Christians, we can become so focused on our own faith journey that we forget God’s command to go tell others the Good News.
Tonight I was doing some research for a message on “missional” living. I ran across some great quotes by Ed Stetzer, Mark Driscoll, and Erwin McManus. The more I have read about Missional Theology, the more I am drawn to it. I really enjoyed Ed Stetzers book, Breaking the Missional Code. In it, he challenges churches to be Biblically faithful, culturally relevant, and counter culture. Here are some of the better quotes.
Churches fight over going from organ to guitars; then from guitars to keyboards; then from keyboards back to organs because retro is back in… in the end, it is never about the music style, but about whether or not the church is focused on entertaining and placating Christians or reaching its culture.
-Erwin McManus (from here)
Every institution that has as its primary focus the study of the Bible eventually drifts toward liberalism. The more you turn the Bible into an educational tool, and the less you follow it as a manual of radical discipleship that leads you to love and serve people, the more you go toward religiosity and away from Jesus
-Erwin McManus (from here)
Before anything else, the church and its ministry must be biblically faithful. We need to remember that our purpose is to apply that creativity in biblically and culturally relevant ways. The reason we engage culture is not to be cool, trendy, contemporary, or cutting edge—words that have become idols to us—but so that those who live in culture can hear the message of Jesus. That message is more than just “come to Christ,” it involves how we live and structure our lives, and it matters deeply. Our churches should share the gospel message wherever they are and whatever their cultural context. They should be known as people who love God’s Word and seek to live differently because of it.
Churches that are biblically faithful to God’s mission will work to relate to people in culture. We who are Christians should look similar to, but not be identical to, our culture. If we don’t, people will assume that being a Christian simply means being different—dressing differently, listening to different music styles, and voting the same way. They’ll confuse Christianity with a change of clothes, music, and political party registration. That means that Christians should use language, dress, and live life in the “house” of culture, while living differently because they are in the family of God.
Will your church have a mission of community, or be a community of mission?
The youth band finally got together and led the music at church on Sunday. I may be a little partial, but it was great. Hopefully by next week, everyone’s hearing should be back to normal. We were just a little loud. Well, maybe a lot louder than normal. Jimmy brought his 4 x 12 stack and I had to crank up my amp to compete. We had some serious distortion coming through the speakers. Jimmy was awesome. I have really enjoyed practicing with him. I have picked up a lot from listening and watching him. I’m more of an acoustic rhythm player, so when I play electric I really don’t have a clue as to what I’m doing!
I can’t say enough about the youth who sang and played. Hannah did great on the keyboard, especially on our version of BarlowGirl’s Never Alone, and all the girls sounded great singing together (and Josh too!). You could tell that they have put in some serious time working out the harmonies. The girls also joined up on flutes for one song which turned out great. And as always, Luke was solid on drums.
It always seems that we don’t practice enough, and that we not ready. But God always works it out. It’s not about performing, it’s not about being “tight” with the music. When we worship God, our focus is not on the music, it is on the creator. I hope we conveyed our joy and our excitement of worshiping God with the music of our generation. We can stay culturally relevant and Biblically faithful at the same time. I’m proud of our youth and I look forward to hearing them more in the future.