Saturday, April 05, 2014
Friday, April 04, 2014
"You are as lazy as cheese!" the man said to me. I was a sixteen-year-old exchange student in Germany. The man was my German host father for the entire year.I know that in my youth I was often "lazy for the Lord." That is to say I avoided hard work claiming, "What does it benefit the Kingdom of God?"
Paul's advice to the Thessalonians would have done me good. As an exchange student, I was often idle and disruptive. I rarely settled down to help earn the food I was eating, but I knew better. My biological parents back in America had taught me to do all of my work as if for the Lord (Col. 3:23). My host father, too, was a good Christian man, and he patiently reminded me not to bury my talents (Matt. 25:16). "Ai, yai, yai! Put your skills to work!" he would say, and then teach me to split logs for Oma or press wine or harvest apples or tear down a three-story house with sledge hammers or whatever Saturday task he found for the family. My host father knew that God made us to work and to work hard, and in all of those instances, my role was to work for him as if working for the Lord.
Well guess what - all work done by believers benefits the Kingdom. We forget that we need to eat and have houses and everything else. It is not just about preaching and singing, fun though that may be.
Work matters - all work.
Thursday, April 03, 2014
How About "Genuine?"
There’s a great blog post over at Faith Context. Darrel Girardier writes that his church is retooling their website and he’s thinking through whether SEO is important to do on the church site or if they would be better served spending their time and money on other things, such as branding or, especially, sharing content.OK, two quick points here. One, ending a list with "Etc." was a reason for an "F" in my writing classes. The best tech in the world for passing on information is only as good as the content. (Guilty as charged here folks, I just expect better of "professional.")
That’s a great question!
As Darrel explains in his blog post,
It’s all Connected.
- Branding is the things you do to create name recognition for your church or people talking about your church (“Hey, Bob, where’s a good church around here that I could visit?”).
- SEO is what you can do for your website (both on and off your website) which will help your site to rank well in the search engines.
- Sharing content involves creating content (blog articles, pictures, videos, etc.) that people (hopefully) like and sharing it, primarily through social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc.
The great thing about the three strategies mentioned is that they can all be closely related.
- If you create great content to share and clearly identify your church on/in the content, you will help the church’s branding/name recognition.
- If people search for a church and other ministries your church is involved in and they keep running across you, that will help with branding as well.
- If your site and content is well optimized, more people will find your content to share it.
- If you share content and people share with their friends or link to it, it will help with SEO (as Darrel points out).
Second point - how does this transmit the gospel of Jesus? I mean really. Incarnation is an essential part of our faith and this is almost the opposite of it. And relatedly, didn't Jesus tell us to "Go out...?"
church media reality
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
All Of It
The NLT translates the second line of verse 4 as “The Lord keeps me alive!” This renders the sense of the original Hebrew, though missing the vitality of its imagery. More literally, this line could be rendered: “The Lord is supporting my soul.” The Hebrew verb in this sentence (samakh) conveys the image of placing ones hands upon something. In Psalm 54:4, God’s hands are upon David’s soul to keep him alive, but also to uphold him in a difficult time. God will be strong for David when he is weak.IN the Frank Herbert "Dune" books there is this interesting little snippet used by a special group of acolytes:
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”IN the godless world of those book it rings hollow, but given the assurances that we have in places like Psalm 54 it rings so true. Faith in God can allow us to not fear - it frees us to reason and to allow fear to pass.
This is no invitation to recklessness, but it is an invitation to not let fear cloud our minds and to make a reasonable judgement about risk. Faith is not the enemy of reason, but rather its companion. It is what frees us from our animalistic instincts and makes us perform at the fullest level of our capabilities. Fear is a mind killer and God is the answer.
But you must allow God to hold all of your soul.
faith fear reason
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
Not Through The Internet
Who is Christ and how do I get to know him?Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with advertising a service, and churches need a lot of help with web design. That's a good thing, frankly. But to conflate that with coming to know Christ?! I mean please, let's be realistic, and let's not build bad expectations.
Providing answers to these questions is something that Abiding Savior Lutheran Church of St. Louis, MO is passionate about. In fact, the mission of the church is “To Know Christ To Make Him Known.” Earlier this week, Abiding Savior launched their new website to help accomplish this mission.
Abiding Savior Lutheran (ASL) found OurChurch.Com through another school website built by OCC for Lutheran High School South. In fact, Abiding Savior wanted a new website for both their church and one for their school & Early Childhood Ministry. As a result, both the church and school websites were designed together to create a similar look to establish branding correlation between the two websites.
You can read more about OurChurch.Com’s custom web design services. If you are interested in discussing how OurChurch.Com can help you achieve your mission online, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
We already live in a world where many people think that watching religious programming on TV is the same thing as going to church on Sunday morning. Now we are going to tell them that you can have a genuine relationship with the Savior and Creator of the universe online? The most intimate relationship in any life cannot be conducted remotely on the Internet.
This is where marketing the church becomes a problem Think about it.
church internet marketing seriously?
Monday, March 31, 2014
Sheep and Fleece
A Texas megachurch pastor, whose 'Aviation Department' advised him that upgrading the blades on his helicopter would save his church $50,000, recently caused an uproar for asking his congregation to help finance the upgrade with $52 'favor seeds.'There is so much wrong with that, it is exhausting to think about trying to pull it apart bit by bit and tell you about it. Rather I'd like to think about the words I read in my devotional reading this morning:
Bishop, I.V. Hilliard, of the New Light Christian Center in Houston Texas, reportedly sent out a controversial newsletter to his "Friends in Jesus" list, telling them that if they sow a $52 transportation seed toward the upgrade they would receive "breakthrough favor" within 52 days or 52 weeks.
But, when Paul speaks of church unity, he's not envisioning some fuzzy, ethereal, other-worldly connection of individual Christians. Rather, he is thinking of the theological reality made flesh in real, live Christian communities. Church unity isn't just an ideal or a principle. Rather, it's a day-to-day, matter-of-fact reality that needs to be embodied in actual Christian assemblies.Part of that reality is accountability. In real Christian unity someone, anyone, would hold this man accountable for what he is doing. In Christian unity it is unlikely sufficient people in his congregation would be left in an immature state long enough for something like this to take hold.
The giant fracture that is the American Evangelical scene is growing increasingly problematic. IN the name of God we are destroying much.
God save us from ourselves.
abusive church evangelicalism silliness