Thursday, May 22, 2008

WWJD?

I should probably put this on my personal blog, but whatever.

Check out this passage from Luke 7:33-34:

For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, 'He has a demon.'  The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." '

What would Jesus do?  Drink alcohol, apparently.  What this means is what my dad has taught me all along; drinking alcohol is not sinful, getting drunk on alcohol is.

The Pharisees quickly labeled Jesus a "drunkard," though he wasn't.  I bet Jesus would be labeled the same by some of today's churchgoers.  Those same churchgoers should probably have a look at that passage.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Appreciation

Here is a snippet from a much longer post on my personal blog.  I felt it would appropriate for this blog too.  If you want to you can read the whole blog post at http://mindtravellers.blogspot.com/.

...

As I walked to the car the wind blew.  I felt it all over, it unsettled my hair and gushed across my arms, it rippled my clothes.  Alive.  I realized then and there what a joy it was to experience the wind, experience God, experience worship.  I wasn't singing, I was existing in God's grace and attributing to God the beauty of the creation; worship, in spirit and in truth.

...

Give

Relient K has a song called "Give Until There's Nothing Else."  Go to http://www.myspace.com/relientk and list to the song called "Give."  Here is the chorus:

Give give give (until there's nothing left)
Give my all (until it all runs out)
Give give (and I'll have no regrets)
I'll give until there's nothing left to give
Give give give (until there's nothing left)
Give my all (until it all runs out)
Give give
Give until there's nothing left
I'll give

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Cracking CBC's DNA

A lot of talk now going on in church leadership journals about determining your fellowship's DNA -- what makes your fellowship unique. Check out www.theckn.com and search on dna or code for a great article on it.

So using that as a framework what do you think CBC's DNA is? What makes us unique and is our particular bent in doing ministry? This is extremely important to determine because if we try to do things that are outside our DNA the "organism" will reject it as foreign. They do make the point that you can change your DNA - mutate as it were.

Here are a few things I think are part of our DNA.
1. We are a racially, ethnically and generationally diverse fellowship.
2. Because of this we are a fellowship were interracial couples are comfortable and accepted.
3. We don't say "we don't see color" -- We see color in all its glory as a reflection of God's creative power and we celebrate our differing viewpoints and diversity as a "little taste of heaven".
4. Even tho we are diverse we still are a majority white church (just from demographics) but we have a black senior pastor -- how cool is that! We really don't see that as a big deal but I guess it is for those outside the fellowship in that it is very very rare and unique.
5. We have a significant group within the fellowship who homeschool and others said that it would not work. Again its a celebration of our freedom in Christ to choose how we educate our children and we respect each others' decisions without saying each group is right or wrong.
6. Our generational diversity is pretty much evenly split among the various age groups - not overloaded in any one group I don't think.
7. We are a predominately a discipling church - we do some outreach thru our missionaries but for the most part do teaching -- we have recognized over the years that we need to emphasize outreach but have struggled with evangelism -- we know we are commanded to do that but we need to figure out how to do it in the context of our DNA.

Any other areas that are in our DNA?

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Future

At the conference last week in Indianapolis, Rex Miller gave a keynote address.  Rex Miller is a "futurist" and the author of a book called The Millennium Matrix.  In the book  he explains how the major technology or medium of the day influenced life and the church. 

According to Miller we have moved from oral transmission and the printing press, to the Internet.  Those born before 1992 are considered "Digital Immigrants"; that is to say that those born after 1992 have existed entirely within a world influenced by the Internet.  According to Rex Miller this new technology will cause a drastic change in society.  Because of this, Miller suggests that businesses, organizations, the government and the church need to  adjust the way things are done to ensure survivability and efficacy.

He explained that the current model for businesses and churches is "attractional" in nature.  He describes the model as being and effort by churches (and organizations) to put on a bigger, better "show" to attract people to the building.  This is in contrast to what he calls the "engagement model."  The "engagement model" focuses on interaction and relationships.  He points out that if society is indeed heading towards a more interactive and relational structure that investing in massive infrastructures that require weekly income is dangerous.

The four of us attending the conference discussed these ideas and decided that we could apply some of Miller's advice.  Firstly, we all agreed that we are in a society where the "attractional" model is still viable and that CBC could be and should be doing a better job at it.  Secondly, we agreed that we need to prepare for and develop programs that fit into the "engagement model."  Thirdly, we reiterated that ultimately, no matter what you name things, people still have to love their neighbors.

Finally, here are some practical things that I think should happen:

-Regular meetings to discuss ministries, vision, effectiveness, brainstorm new things

-Website redesign, including incorporating current social networking technologies, increased communication

-Church-wide small groups