Archive - September, 2008

BeDeviant.com in the News.

hp-main.jpgBeDeviant.com is up for its first (and probably last) award!

The Iowa Web Awards was started by Internet Mastermind Andy Brudtkuhl over at 48Web here in Des Moines. It’s the first annual competition, and this little blog got nominated for “Best Religion Blog”. Would you consider plunking down a vote for BeDeviant?

Also, don’t forget to vote for some other of our Des Moines favorites (and BeDeviant.com blogroll members): Brianne Sanchez, Juice Magazine, Rush Nigut and Four Legacies Mortgage.

Voting goes until Monday, October 6th. Tell your friends!

Photo credit: broox

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Lessons From Google.

Lifechurch.tv’s Bobby Gruenewald wonders (out loud, even) if the church couldn’t stand to learn a few lessons from Google: “I would never use Google if it required me to leave my house and travel to an unfamiliar building on Sunday only once a week…listen to 30 minutes of unrecognizable music, followed by a person talking for 30-40 minutes, and still possibly have to try to find a person who looked “official” just to find “results” for my search. That would be absurd! But, that is a substantially abbreviated version of what so many churches put people through who are searching.”

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BeDeviant.com Welcomed To Alltop.com

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Not going to lie, pretty amped about this. It’s never a bad day when you find yourself in the same company as Craig Groeschel, Mark Batterson, DJ Chuang, Dan Kimball, and the ever-lovin’ Jake Bouma.

The good people at Alltop.com have welcomed this little blog into its ranks. You can find us at church.alltop.com. We’re at the bottom, but the more love we get, the higher we go! Tell your friends!

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Original Sin.

“To describe the matter acurately: the distinction must be maintained between our nature, as it was created and preserved by God and in which sin resides, and original sin, which resides in our nature. According to Holy Scriptures, both propositions must and can be considered, taught, and believed as distinct from each other.” The Book Of Concord.

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The Digital Pastor

God is seriously blowing my mind.

I’ve recently come across the term, “Digital Pastor” and I really like it. I really like it.

There was an event that happened earlier today, something called #churchtechcamp. Basically the conversation consisted of asking the question, “What does God want to do through the new digital media?” Things like Twitter, Facebook, Mogulus, Second Life, the iPhone, and more.

Rhett Smith points out that the times are a-changin’ for those who call themselves pastors:

“I love ministry…I was and am a pastor, so I love pastoring. But I also think that technology is allowing us to do things differently in a very easy way…communicate, organize, etc, etc. And hopefully the congregation can do this without having to go through all the traditional, hierarchical church structures that have for too long consolidated “power” in the hands of a pastor, exec. team, elder board, etc.

Instead, I think it will put the “power” back in the hands of the congregation…and the pastor will act more as a facilitator, shepherd for the community. But I think that is a great thing.

And maybe we need to rethink the whole role of pastoral leadership in this country anyways.”

Amen, bro. Amen.

Technology is allowing us to approach life in an entirely new way, the church included. Luther had the printing press. We, as the 21st century church, have the Internet. The question becomes will we allow God to breathe through these new mediums and bring his life-changing reality to people in new and creative ways?

#churchtechcamp made the Twitter blog today (and for the record, that’s a big deal.)

Chris Brogan, a faith blogger (amongst other things), is listed in the Top 100 blogs on Technorati.

LifeShare, a recent web ministry event co-opted by Lifechurch.tv and Carlos Whitaker, blew everyone’s expectations away by linking countless numbers of believers over the internet in an effort to “become the church” online.

If you’re in ministry, are you prepared to engage a culture in a completely new way? Are you prepared (or willing to be prepared and/or prepare others) to translate the message of Christ using a fully digital language? If “digital” is not your native tongue, will your accent betray you to a generation that is desperate to know that God is real?

In the meantime, hit me up on Twitter and we can talk about it. In 140 characters or less, of course..

The Things We Pastors Do…

This is too funny not to share (to set this up, the pastor with the motorcycle brought it into the church to make a sermon illustration “come to life”):

That guy’s got to feel like a dope.

Source: NeueMinistry.com.

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Are You Spiritually Unhealthy?

I just started reading Peter Scazzero’s Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. 20 pages into it, I put the book down and called my counselor to set up our next meeting. It’s that good.

It’s convicting me to my core. Mainly because of lists like this. See if you’re suffering from a bad case of emotionally unhealthy spirituality. Perhaps you’ll fare better than me! Here’s a list of possible symptoms:

  1. Using God to run from God.
  2. Ignoring the emotions of fear, anger, and sadness.
  3. Dying to the wrong things.
  4. Denying the past’s impact on the present.
  5. Dividing our lives into “secular” and “sacred” compartments.
  6. Doing for God instead of being with God.
  7. Spiritualizing away conflict.
  8. Covering over brokenness, weakness, and failure.
  9. Living without limits.
  10. Judging other people’s spiritual journey.

Are you down with the sickness? Unfortunately, this is one fever that cannot be cured with more cowbell! What would you add to the list? What signs do you see of emotionally unhealthy spirituality?

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It’s Me, Large.

This is from the website YearbookYourself.com and it is hilarious:

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(In case you’re wondering, that’s me.) Here’s to you, Class of 1998!

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BeDeviant.com List-O-Mania.

There are numerous variations of this all over the place, but I thought I’d add one more blog to the pile … It’s the BeDeviant.com List-O-Mania!

Favorite New Ministry Websites
I recently stumbled upon NeueMinistry.com. I like it because the content is interesting and it’s geared towards people in ministry. People like me. CollideMagazine.com looks really promising, as does Des Moines’ own VeritasMag.com. Content for normal Christians who find themselves in the normal, everyday world.

Favorite Twitter Follower
I find myself looking forward to @paul_stewart’s updates as of late. He’s always got something good to say. Good use of linking back to his blog, precise updates, and he doesn’t update too much. Nothing’s worse than a Twitterer who tells you when they’re getting up to go to the bathroom, how their fantasy football team is doing or how bored they are. One word for those people, ” BUH-LETED!” (Of course, if you want to follow me you can do so here.)

Favorite iPhone App
Air Sharing is an app that says what it does and does what it says. It turns your iPhone into a wireless hard drive and works as advertised. Oh yeah, it’s free! Much better than pricey (and fickle) competitor DataCase.

Worst Upgrade of the Week
The new Facebook bites. It’s counterintuitive (something we Mac users depend on), it’s ugly and it hides all the stuff that I love about Facebook (read: Flair).

Favorite New Twitter Tool
Twitthat! is a nifty tool that lets you tweet what you read. Simple, easy and useful. Now I can let people know when I’m reading the latest post from JakeBouma.com or Swerve.

Here ends the List-O-Mania. What are you diggin’ in your world?

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Over-Functioning, Under-Delivering.

“I see too many pastors over-functioning for their people. They make way too many decisions for them.” I haven’t been able to stop thinking about these words that a professor of mine spoke over two months ago.

Add that to the following passage from Mark Batterson’s latest, Wild Goose Chase:

“I’m afraid we’ve turned church into a spectator sport. Too many of us are content with letting a spiritual leader seek God for us. Like the Israelites, we want Moses to climb the mountain for us. After all, it is much easier to let someone else pray for us or study for us. So the church unintentionally fosters a subtle form of spiritual codependency.”

Wow. How refreshing that some of the leaders in the church are willing to come out and name the elephant in the room. People in the church, myself included, depend entirely too much on their leaders to spoon feed them morsels of spiritual truth. The office of the pastor and preacher, to my conviction, is much less “spoon-feeder” and much more “spoon-teacher” – as in, “teach you how to hold the spoon!”

I try to always stress to my leaders that I am “no better and no different” than they are. I happen to be in a place of leadership, yes, but they have an equal part to play in what God is doing through our ministry. I do not want to be exalted as a “spiritual guru,” nor do I think it would be good for my spiritual health. (Trust me, I am that weak!)

I wonder if the problem we’re seeing with leaders in the church is the same problem we’re seeing in the schools? Parents depending on teachers to not only teach them but to also raise them, teaching them everything from morals to mathematics. I wonder if it’s the same problem we’re seeing in our homes, depending on our televisions to watch our children as a more convenient (and less expensive) babysitter.

Are you seeing any of this? If you’re a church-goer, do you feel like your congregation depends too much on your leaders?

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