One word that drives me nuts, alternative. Something about the way I read the Bible leads me to believe I should be living life to the full and not living an alternative to life.
What brings this thought to the surface of my mind? Seems like every year we have conversations around the subject of what our church is going to do for an alternative. I tell people simply we are not about alternatives, but about being present with our community. We are about being present where life is happening and being a light right in the center of cultural norms.
That said…Halloween is not something to hide or develop a subcultural moment hidden away from our neighbors, but we should turn on the lights and welcome kids from the neighborhood to the door. Smile, meet people, encourage them.
We have a fire pit in our driveway. We make hot chocolate in large quantities and bless those who come to the door with a smile and crazy amounts of candy.
Enjoy meeting your neighbors and let the alternative events be blessed, they are just not culturally what I want to be a part of. These cute kids above will be rocking the hood and we will be enjoying the relationships we develop through this redeemable holiday.
Interesting how much we can learn from those who have found success in a different but similar market in our region. I recently watched the below video about what has made the Sounders a successful brand. While I was watching it I couldn’t help but think about how many of the lessons in this video would be great if applied in church world.
partnership with those who have gone before us
corporate centrality with originality at the presentation point
value of involvement and buy in
fan engagement and excitement
giving the brand away to the people “it’s what they are doing”
“If your not connected then I think you are missing something”
how important is starting with the youngest generation?
organic promotion of the brand
how did they go from proven failure to a model of success?
Take a break, watch the video, be inspired to give it away and share the lessons you think the church could learn from the model of the Sounders.
I think the Lord is showing me something I have seen over and over, but missed for the last decade. We are all in a group, but are we intentionally present? Do we even realize we are in a group? Do we understand our potential impact in the lives of those within the group? How could we make an impact in the lives of those we do life with?
Here is what made me go over the edge and begin really pondering this thought path. I was sitting in the Bonney Lake Library with one other dad, 21 moms and grandmothers with 25 toddlers/babies and one amazing toddler group leader. By all means and purposes this is a group that I am a part of. I can make relationships in this room, discover needs in community here, and make a positive impact in the community through this circle of people. But is this in my thought pattern and do I take the opportunities presented to see my presence as mission?
Somehow, as a pastor at a church, when it comes time to promote and launch into a group season my mind becomes blind to all the groups people are already involved in and we push forward towards our own groups as if they are the only ones that are happening in the lives of our people. Reality is…there are many groups…but are we present and engaging the potential relational impact of these groups as if they are our groups?
Sports teams are groups
soccer team parents are groups
in our neighborhood the school bus stop is a group
the toddler learn and play at the library is a group
the swim class is a group
the commuter train is a group (same people every day)
What about your running group, crossfit, gym class
Maybe instead of asking how many groups our churches can produce we need to empower our people (eph. 4) to make an impact in the groups they already belong to. How can we begin to track this and find out our true impact potential? Just maybe we are getting in the way by trying to manufacture groups when we should be preparing people to open their eyes and make a missional impact where they are already planted! #tc
I am continually amazed at the partnerships in Bonney Lake that we have been able to put in place. To have people within the community genuinely excited to support our efforts in Surabaya August 19th to September 18 is amazing.
The Director of the SSD STARR project and the Communities For Families Coalition, Marilee Hill-Anderson shared some grateful words for my investment in all that has been done for families within our the SSD as well as the potential impact Open Life can continue to have as we pursue future projects together within the community. (She gets the photo credit)
Seems like every week I hear an impossible story of someone finding their way to God. Last night I snagged a Red Box movie to watch with Dana and it was an emotional one for sure. The Impossible is a true story, I cannot fathom the depth of loss and pain those suffered who were a part of the 2004 tsunami in Thailand, but this movie grasps some of that pain.
Many people avoid the church because they know a Christian! If that stings…keep reading.
I often offer to do coffee with those who have yet to experience faith in Jesus due to Christian’s impact within their life. There is something beautiful about the tension they experienced and the redemptive potential of their life.
More often than not the issue that chased them away from the church is they were prescribed behavioral changes before they experienced belief changes.
I never share John 3:16 without sharing John 3:17. I think in our current cultural reality the one needs the other for the sake of clarity and health.
John 3:16–17 (NIV84) 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
As I prepare my talk for this Sunday on the necessity of serving one another and that the source of service is love, this passage jumped out to me. As I grabbed it to paste Continue reading John 3:16 and 17→
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