I had a conversation with a leader recently that made me think about a common leadership mistake, silence. Continue reading If you are at the table, SPEAK UP!
What a great day at Open Life this past Sunday as we launched into our first official service for those who don’t go to church in Bonney Lake. We had a fantastic turnout and the vibe as people left was one of great anticipation for the future. 120 people were there which was perfect for the space.
As we pursue the coming weeks we will be carefully watching our numbers and proceeding with the vision of moving into a larger venue within the coming months. We currently meet in what is called theater #7, but theater #6 holds twice as many people and has more accessibility than does #7. We wanted to start small and go Big.
In the coming weeks we will be unraveling more and more vision as we look at what defines us as individuals, what we mean when we say Open Culture, what is church “not”, and then conclude with the reality that someone is gonna get it (this whole Jesus thing).
I am still just on cloud Nine for the insight, input and encouragement we have received from those who were present. We run the risk of this thing exploding and actually doing what we believe it is going to do…impact the lives of 80,000 people in our region, leading them into a growing relationship with Jesus.
Love this thing called the church…especially when done the way Jesus designed it!
Out of the church and into the community,
Life does not afford enough possibilities to connect with others, so we must make them. My philosophy is go in. When I hit up Starbucks I nearly always make the trip inside even if I am in a hurry. I make the choice strategically Continue reading Go in
Isn’t it funny how methods change? Just a couple decades ago people would have thought it absurd to go to a movie, let alone meet in a Theatre for church. But how much more would they roll over in their grave to see us marketing within the Theatre…
Open Life is going to be on the Big Screen! Starting November 13th before every movie at the Regal Tall Firs 10 in Bonney Lake and the Longstone Place 14 in Puyallup you will see a 15 second commercial for Open Life. You will also have a chance at seeing a spot in the Lobby twice an hour while movies are in play. In an effort to increase the exposure of our launch in January, we will be marketing our website and service times in these two Regal Theatres.
Jesus would have been in the Theatre, so would his disciples. He went where the people were, verses trying to get the people to come where he was. What would it look like for us to take this same approach? Open Life! Paul stood up in the coliseums and proclaimed the gospel, and so will we!
We will be handing out candy there on Halloween from 3pm to 6pm…and we are pursuing Regal to let us hand out free hot chocolate to those in line for Big Release nights such as Twilight on the 19th of November at Midnight.
We want to be where the people are. Although some may think we are losing our minds to go to this length, we think we have just lost our religious prejudice against the world. We are to be in the world but not of it according to the prayer of Christ. This puts us smack dab in the middle of the will of God.
So, was the previous generation wrong about their convictions about movies, tv, music? Let’s just say their eyes were so strongly on holiness and purity, that they were fogged in about the mission they were sent out on, to seek and save the lost. To go places and do ministry in areas that would necessitate prayer and intersession so that they would not be tempted. Instead of going at the places that caused temptation, they eliminated risk and avoided certain industries and practices. But this generation is willing to give of their lives for the mission of God. Willing to run into the fire to save lives that will perish without our help. We may get burned, but we will save some.
I honor the previous generations, but I also know that our methods have left us in a gap of irrelevance to this world we live in. We are going in…with eyes wide open to the places of need in order that we may reach some.
Sitting at starbucks, finalizing my message for Jake’s House in Arlington tomorrow. The observations get me to thinking…Life is done in the open!
Taking a look in the parking lot as I pulled up I saw there was a lot happening…many people have gathered at this watering hole called Starbucks, and on the inside you have a few scenarios.
- A father and daughter
- The newspaper couple
- The ladies in the soft chairs
- The fire fighters and law enforcement
- The husband and wife having coffee
- Those who are trying to beat the pace of the drive thru
- Oh yeah…and the guy on his laptop preparing a sermon for Jakes House (me)
So many life stories represented and being lived in the open, for all to interpret and observe. Gets me thinking…do we live life open enough for others to see an example that demands a gospel explanation? How about this…do we engage in life with others we engage in the faith with? When was the last time you spent time, just hanging with those you go to church with? Does your church foster these moments in the lives of those who call it their home, or does the schedule prohibit these moments due to business.
The father and daughter inspire me, very cool to see them determined to connect in a fast pace world. Slowing down in order to keep the lines of communication open.
Can’t say the same for the newspaper couple. Honestly this is the farthest from my ability to connect with. They are reading together and spending time together…cool, but they are not engaged with each other. It is just funny to me (although I am all about the fact that they are at Starbucks).
The ladies in the soft chairs exist in any Starbucks that has the chairs. Discussing life, connecting about their week and planning. Most of the time, if you listen in (which I do), they are just planning life. Nothing on an agenda…just doing life together.
The fire fighters and law enforcement are discussing community and life. It is amazing to see people who work together desire to hang out together outside of their work. Isn’t that the way it should be? That we not just say hello at work and walk away until next week. I long to do life like this, and give serious effort to it as well!
The husband and wife having coffee are totally engaged in conversation. They are smiling and enjoying a moment across a table looking each other in the eyes and learning more and more that they value and appreciate. Love it.
Then there are the drive-thru busters. They come in, get their drink and then they are out to their car. Really there are two different people in this line of about 10 at the counter. There are the people who would rather come in and connect with people face to face and there are the people who truly believe coming in is faster than the drive-thru. I personally come in so that I can be face to face with people. I love knowing names and getting faces vs. a voice through a machine. And I want to live life in such a way that they will remember me, connect, so we can someday engage on a deeper life way. I think those who are trying to go faster and more furious than those through the drive-thru are more like the traditional church attendee. They come through the doors, grab their product, but what did they really gain in life through that experience?
Must I evaluate the guy in the corner on his laptop? OK, if I must. This crazy pastor on his laptop so values knowing where people are at in life, that he would rather prepare his sermons in public places rather than sit in an office where there is no life distractions. I love truly being amongst those I am called to, verses guessing or using statistics alone. I must connect faces to statistics and challenge their accuracy through actuality.
Who would you most relate to? How much do you value doing life together with those you work with or go to church with? Are you willing to sit down and become a part of doing life out in the open for all to see an example that demands a gospel explanation, or will you be in a rush, missing true authentic community?
All that…by just coming to Starbucks…love it.
Yeah, it’s true. Dana and I have chosen to plant a church in the city of Bonney Lake (where we live). We will still be Student Ministry Pastor’s with Northwest Family Church, as they will be the mothering church for the plant. We are crazy excited…here is how it all came about: Continue reading Yes, we are officially Church Planters!
Welcome to my blog. In this season of life, there is a deep longing to share what is happening with as many that would be interested.
Here you will find lessons I am learning along the journey of life as a husband, father, friend, Christian, and pastor. My life verse has been settled for quite some time now. It is 1 Thessalonians 2:8 (NIV), “We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.”
In my most recent attempts to connect with this generation through twitter, facebook and MySpace, I have found that one of the missing links that would allow me to communicate by centralizing my efforts is a blog. So here goes my attempt at “sharing my life” in a very transparent way to all in the world that would long to view life through the eyes of Thaddeus Edgar Huff.
I am excited for the road ahead…and can’t wait to live out the adventure.