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fighting the sin of becoming a boring church part-1

bored

Jim Rayburn, the founder of Young Life, was once quoted as saying, “It’s a sin to bore a kid with the Gospel.” If this is true, then there are churches all across America that are repeatedly sinning every single weekend by communicating the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the most stale, vanilla, outdated, and yes even boring deliveries systems and presentations. The Scriptures however would teach us that the environment, or the context matters. It matters a lot.

“What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” I Corinthians 3:5-7

According to the Scriptures our responsibility is to plant and to water; in other words to tend to the context or environment. God’s responsibility is to bring about life-change. We cannot manufacture either spiritual birth or spiritual growth. But we can set the table for an interaction to take place between a Holy God and a people that need to meet Him.

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

The act of Creation was not only completed by Intelligent Design, but with Intentional Design. The Bible teaches us that He established and determined the boundaries of the waters. It wasn’t an accident, nor was it flippant. Creation itself is the ultimate environment the He has set us in. All of this was done in order to reveal Himself to all of mankind and draw us to himself.

Building compelling environments matter! They matter because they influence our ideas, feelings, and ultimately our behavior! In fact, the Business World spends billions of dollars annually to discover and leverage a principle that has been clearly revealed to the church. But unfortunately forgotten. Companies understand that everything from the height of the ceiling, the colors on the walls, the texture of the floor, the music that’s playing, the temperature of the room, and the way they speak to their customers matters. And they’re doing it to sell more cars, clothes, lattes, or burgers. And we’re talking about Heaven and Hell being in the balance!

And our answer, or perhaps better put, our excuse is, “just preach the word.” Hmmm…how’s that been working out for everybody?

Check out Part-2 of this post to for 4 simple criteria to consider when building your environments.


Posted in Leadership

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4 keys to building your brand

brand

It’s a company’s brand that uniquely identifies them within their particular industry. Occasionally however a company comes along every so often with a brand that is so strong, it not only identifies itself within the industry but, it literally defines the industry. In Atlanta, where I live, when you order a soft drink at a restaurant, you can order anything you want as long as you order a Coke. It doesn’t matter if you’re ordering a Sprite, Fanta, or Dr. Pepper. It’s all called “Coke” down here in the South, they’ll clarify what kind of Coke you want after you order. This shows up with other products as well. I mean how often do you hear adhesive notes referred to as “Post-its?” And when someone needs a tissue they’re usually asking you for a “Kleenex.”

The sobering reality is that like it or not your company already has a brand, your church already has a brand, and…you…you already have a brand.

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with a couple of incredibly talented (not to mention ridiculously successful) gentlemen who live in the “Branding World” twenty four seven. Below are a couple of key takeaways from our conversation:

Continue Reading…


Posted in Creative Arts, Leadership

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Suggestion Box

suggestionbox

I’m excited to let you know that we’re getting ready to go to work on a bit of a refresh and redesign for my blog. So that means this is your chance to offer up your feedback and suggestions as to what you’d like to see change. I’d love to hear your thoughts, so leave your comments below. Specifically I’m interested to hear your ideas about the following couple of areas:

1. What features would you change and do away with immediately?

2. What are the best features that you wouldn’t change and would be disappointed if they went away?

3. What can we do to make it easier for you to leave your comments and participate in the conversation?

4. How can I make it easier for you to access older content and archives?

5. What changes would you make to the “vibe and feel” of the site?


Posted in Creative Arts

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Unconfined: An interview with Chris Coleman

chris_overcome

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Christopher Coleman, a friend of mine who was pronounced dead at birth and who spent the first 15 minutes in this world not breathing. God had other plans for him however, and while he struggles with cerebral palsy, Chris serves in full time ministry and is an incredible communicator. His story is heartfelt and impactful, you can read it for yourself on his website

Continue Reading…


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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depraved indifference

I don’t normally post midweek…or post very many videos for that matter, and this may break all of the “blogging rules.” But after seeing this today, it wrecked me…and I was compelled to share it with you, so this is just a quick rant that I had to get off my chest. After recently reading books like Crazy Love, by Francis Chan and Radical, by David Platt. After leading hundreds of people on mission trips, all over the world. After seeing the faces of the least of these in places like Indonesia, Singapore, the Czech Republic, Kenya, South Africa, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, and Mexico…not to mention my neighborhood. After hearing the Words of Christ. I feel completely overwhelmed by the daunting task of leading a suburban mega-church to missionally live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In a culture that craves comfort, that lusts after self-indulgence, that seems to have been inoculated to the Gospel through commonplace familiarity. I’m haunted by the fact that the hands and feet of Jesus Christ are preoccupied with themselves. And I desperately long to see the day when the high potential sleeping giant, called the Church of America wakes up, rises up, and takes her place among those who have laid their lives down for the sake of the Gospel. For the least of these.


Posted in Spiritual Formation