Missional Living

February 15, 2007 — 1 Comment

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.
-Ed Stetzer

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.
-Ed Stetzer

Will your church have a mission of community, or be a community of mission?
-Mark Driscoll

A Little LOUD!!

February 12, 2007 — Leave a comment

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.

Design With Vision

February 12, 2007 — Leave a comment

The theme of SolidWorks World this year was “Design With Vision”. As a designer, I know the importance of vision. It is what separates a follower from an innovator. Companies must have vision to create something new, to create something exciting, and to create something that will solve problems. The CEO of SolidWorks, John McEleney, shared 3 thoughts pertaining to designing with vision.

  1. Great products solve great problems: Engineers solve problems, so it follows naturally that the greater the problem, the greater the solution.
  2. We must find solutions to answer the “absurdly ideal”: He gave several illustrations to make this point clear. One was the company SawStop. They asked the question, “What if we could design a table saw that cuts wood, but not cut your fingers?” This is an absurd question, but it is one that they came up with an ideal solution for. By designing a table saw that can stop the blade quickly by detecting the change in electrical charge when the blade comes into contact with flesh, they created a great product that solves a great problem
  3. Nobody gets it right every time: We must have the courage to fail, and the courage to try again. Most great designs don’t occur on the first try. It takes patience and vision.

As I was listening to his speech, my mind was on much more than just designing products. I was also thinking about how this relates to church as well. Our church is in the process of creating a structure to accomplish the vision God has given us. We are literally “designing” a church. Usually this is done before a church starts, but due to the unusual circumstances from which we started, we are doing this as we go.

We have the greatest solution to the greatest need in the world, the need for Christ. Do we approach it with the same passion as an inventor who is trying to solve one of the world’s great problems? We must ask some absurd questions to think about what we are really trying to accomplish. It takes vision and it takes creativity. And we cannot be afraid to try something new and fail. Yes we should seek guidance from God, and yes we must stay Biblically faithful, but we will make mistakes and we will do things that don’t work. When this happens, we need to recognize our mistakes, and keep trying! That is why this site is called Faith Engineer.

The Good and The Bad

February 8, 2007 — Leave a comment

Now that I’m back home in the mountains, I wanted to share the good and the bad of New Orleans.

I’ll go backwards, First the bad:

  • No sweet tea! Come on, isn’t this the south? I went through sweet tea withdrawal while I was there.
  • The shady areas of the French Quarter: after walking around I realized that it was a very strange place. Definitely not a place to hang and chill. I know that there is a huge need for ministry to this area, but you can sense the sin and evilness of the area.
  • The airport – It’s New Orleans so I expected good food even at the airport. Unfortuantely the airport was pretty old and run down.
  • Internet at the hotel – I stayed at the Riverside Hilton. The hotel was nice, but the internet was terrible. You had to pay by the hour and the connection continually dropped.

Now the Good:

  • beignet’s at Cafe Du Monde – the french version of Krispy Kreme doughnuts covered in powedered sugar. Extremely good
  • The IMAX movie – Hurricane on the Bayou. This was one of the highlights of the trip. It was great to see on a 50 foot scene the aftermath of the storm. Amazing footage and an amazing story
  • Spending two days in New Orleans with my wife in a great romantic city without the kids. We had a blast. I can’t believe we have been married for almost 12 years. She is the greatest. I honestly can say that I’m more in love with her now than I have ever been.
  • New Orleans is back in business. I went to a conference with almost 4000 engineers and the convention center area handled it with no problem.
  • Nola – Emeril’s contemporary restuarant – Wow, this was great. I think this was seriously the best meal I’ve ever had. Great food, cool atmosphere, good service, and the bill was … well it was kinda expensive.
  • The SolidWorks convention. I learned a lot of new cool tricks and tips on the software. I enjoyed listening to Steve Wozniak, Leonard Nimoy, and Col. Lewis Setliff III who was in charge of the rebuilding effort for the Army Corp of Engineers. He shared the amazing scope of the damage and what had been done to repair the levees and canals.
  • The Moobella Ice Cream. Have you ever seen a vending machine that makes up to 12 flavors of real ice cream at your command. I’m talking the real stuff, when you want it, and good. I would compare it to Ben & Jerry’s. It’s that good and it was designed in Solidworks. It was the hit of the conference.

We had a great trip, but I’m glad to be home. It was a good place to visit, but I love the mountains … and sweet tea!

In The Big Easy

February 6, 2007 — 1 Comment

I’ve been quiet lately because I haven’t had much internet time the last few days. I staying busy checking out the city during the Solidworks Conference. I listened to Steve Wozniak this morning during the keynote speech and I have sat through a whole bunch of break-out sessions on design. Jennifer flew in last night and we are headed over to Emeril’s Nola restaurant tonight. I’ve got a lot to blog about when I get the chance.

Rock and Rolling

February 3, 2007 — Leave a comment

I have been busy this week getting the details together for the Decemberadio concert. We are trying to pack what would normally take several months of planning into just a couple of weeks. Here is a flyer for the concert. To all the youth, download it and print it out and give to your friends. We will have posters and flyers at church for you to spread around.

They will also playing and speaking at our church during the morning service on the 18th. I have been thinking it would be great to share about reaching out to the culture we live in. Maybe even an interview type setting, where the guys can all share about the opportunities that God is opening up. Since they have the Grammy awards the week before and they are trying to record some new tracks, we really appreciate them coming to our church. We have had several guest musicians over the past few months that were great, but were really geared toward the 40+ crowd. I believe that churches have to constantly reach out to teens and twenty somethings and make reaching their generation a priority. It’s great to be part of a church that is not afraid of doing something that makes a lot of the older people nervous. Especially in our region, having an old-school rock group lead worship is pushing the envelope, in a good way.

The Big Easy

February 3, 2007 — Leave a comment

I’m flying out tomorrow for New Orleans for SolidWorks World. I’ll be there through Wednesday night. It should be an interesting trip. Jennifer has decided to fly down on Monday night (she couldn’t stand to be that far away from the kids for any longer). We’ve already made reservations at one of Emeril’s restaurants. I look forward to having the time at night to spend on an extended date. I dread all the seminars, because I know it will get a little boring by the end of the day, but I’m sure it will be worth it.

SolidWorks is an incredible software design package that lets engineers and designers model and analyze. It’s powerful, and the learning curve isn’t too bad, but it still takes a long time to become really good at all the lesser used commands. I will be responsible for coming back and sharing what I have learned with all our other designers. I will try to blog about some of the technology that I come across at the conference. Already, I received an email yesterday that I had won a 3d motion controller from 3dconnexion. Hopefully I can come across some more cool giveaways. You gotta love freebies.

Super Bowl Nonsense

February 1, 2007 — Leave a comment

Okay, what lame brained marketing genius came up with the cease and desist idea for churches having super bowl parties. Of all the bad publicity the NFL has gotten this year (see Cincinnati’s familiarity with the local police as one example, Michael Vick as another), do they really want to make a statement that churches can’t get together and watch the game, although its alright if in a sport’s bar? I had a bunch of teenagers in my basement watching on a 8 foot screen with a projector when Janet Jackson decided to flash the world. They should be thankful that churches are giving them another chance and giving them free publicity by encouraging people to watch the game. What frustrates me even more is that in this year’s Super Bowl, there are 2 head coaches who are committed Christians. Do companies actually lose sight of their customer base? I hope they change this decision soon. Absolutely Crazy

Baptist Press Article and Sports Illustrated Article

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