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Archive for September, 2010

The “Fix You” Love Montage

I am speaking tomorrow night at Inter-Varsity at ASU in Boone. I am speaking on how the Gospel calls us into community with one another from 2 Corinthians. I am using this montage that Andy Mills and I put together last Spring for the 1 John series at Grace Foothills. I just watched it for the first time in 4 months and I am crying as a type. Good stuff.

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Monday Mornings…

Here is a peek over the fence into my home on a typical Monday morning. Enjoy.

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What Would Google Do?

Below is a post I “borrowed” from a fellow church planter in Georgia.

In Jeff Jarvis’ analysis of Google’s impact on our culture, What Would Google Do?, he explains why Google has never needed to spend (waste?) money on marketing. Of Google, he says,

“Learn this lesson from Google, which spends next to nothing on advertising. It became the fastest growing company in the history of the world without marketing. It grew thanks to its friends, not through ads.”

Google itself has said that its “growth has come not through TV ad campaigns, but through word of mouth from one satisfied user to another.”

Okay, so how does this relate to the church, and especially a church start up that is trying to gain traction and attention in its community?

1. Don’t expect to grow via media marketing. Advertising will gain “name recognition” (especially in a small community like ours), but likely will not be a primary tool for adding people/friends/devotees to the mission. And for insidiously idolatrous folks like me who want big crowds to gather for the building of my glory, media marketing can easily be a way to promote my own name recognition more than I long to promote the name of Jesus. Let’s be honest about root motives, repent and find our righteousness again in Jesus. Then consider the ad.

2. We simply need more sinful women meeting Jesus at the well. In John 4, the “woman at the well” left her water jug, ran to town, told people about Jesus and invited them to meet him. She was overwhelmed. She had a new source of life. She was passionate about this Jesus. And that is the ultimate in gospel marketing. Word of mouth. Grace-revolutionized lives. The wonder of grace compelling people to say “come and see.” What if I were like that? What if I experienced the gospel as deeply as she did? Wow. So…

4. Churches must become Jacob’s wells again. Purge the religion of politics and moralism from the community. Remove the leaven of Phraiseeism by leaders who are willing to model genuine repentance, and are humble in response to grace. Let’s stop being religious havens for the “godly.” We need to resemble a party at Matthew’s house—a place for the broken and sinful to rest in the shade of the cross and celebrate the person of Jesus. After all, Jesus died for the ungodly— the younger and elder brothers who will face their idols, drop them like rocks, and go to him for new life that is based fully and completely on the substitutionary life and death of Jesus.

Okay, I’m starting to preach. And I’m looking in the mirror as I do. I am a recovering Pharisee who needs the gift-righteousness of Jesus. When I am willing to tear off the mask, be real, and begin drinking deeply and freely of the gospel, we’ll have other sinful women and sinful men bringing others to hear about the God of grace. Pray it will happen— for the glory of God and the joy of his people!

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Missional Music

There are many folks who don’t get me. “Why do you do the things that you do?” One example is a concert the church I pastor, Grace Foothills, put on two weeks ago. Some of our musicians approached the powers to be who organize the summer concerts at a local venue here in Tryon, Rogers Park. They agreed and our musicians from Grace rehearsed for two months to play the event. Now some would think, “Oh, you guys are a church, huh? So, you guys are going to sing a bunch of hymns and church music.” That’s not exactly how we approached this event.

God is a creative God and much of the art we see and hear is imprinted with truth and beauty. This can be seen in “Christian” music and “secular” music. Our goal was never to have a “Christian” concert, however, our goal was to be Christians who are in a concert. This means that our folks picked out and sang songs that reflect the truth and beauty of the Gospel (the Beatles, Van Morrison, Coldplay, Tracy Chapman, etc). This is what I would call being “missional”. Our church is very much interested in connecting with our unbelieving friends. This was a night for them. We want them to know that we love the same music they love and we see the True and Better Story that God is telling us in the Gospel in these songs.

Here is an example of one of the songs that Grace did at Rogers Park.

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Ignatius the Ultimate Youth Pastor

I can’t stop laughing at this:

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The Life and Death of a Missional Pastor

I love church planting. It is a lot like marriage and parenting. There is extreme joy and extreme pain. Someone told me before I married Amy that God will use my marriage as part of His sanctification in my life. They were so right. Marriage and kids has exposed my sin in ways I never knew. Church planting is doing the same thing in my heart. So often, I want to be right and I want to be respected and I live for other’s approval. The Gospel tells me that my rightness is in Christ and that I have the Father’s approval because of what the Son has accomplished on my behalf. I say all of this to remind myself that when people are disappointed in me, I have the smile of the Father.

Darren Patrick, a church planter in St. Louis, did a talk a few years ago that I revisit from time to time. You can listen to it by clicking here.

I am reading a book right now on church planting and this sentence caught my attention. “Someone once told me that to agree to serve God in vocational ministry is accepting a call to lifelong suffering.” I am feeling that today. I know that tomorrow, I may feel like I can leap over tall buildings. Today, I am dying to self, and it’s not that very fun, but it is so good. Why? Because He died the death that I should’ve died. That melts my heart again.

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