Archive - September, 2010

The Next Worship Album You Should Buy

It should be from these guys. And it isn’t even out yet. Sons and Daughters.

Below is the video for “Poor and Powerless” from the group. I had the pleasure of being led in worship by this duo at STORY last week. My wife grabbed their free song and listened to it literally 50 times in a row.

This is the first worship artist I’ve been excited about since I started listening to Jason Upton. That was six years ago. Their album is due out sometime in December. Come soon!

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The Right Team

Jack Johnson said it: “We’re better together.”

We had a planning meeting for the BeDeviant Social Media Summit last night. It could not have gone better. When you surround yourself with brilliant people, something brilliant is bound to happen. You’ll want to be at the Summit. Trust me.

We shot some photos thanks to the talented Bridget Purdy. Below you’ll see some of the shots.

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How to Start a Blog

I got an email from a church-planting friend recently and I wanted to share my answer with you. Some of you may have the same question and, if so, my hope is that this answer will be useful to you as well.

Reader Adam asks:

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Why I Go to Conferences

I love going to conferences. Fresh off the heels of STORY, I’m convinced now more than ever before that conferences are a vital part of leadership development and training.

I know everyone doesn’t agree with me. Some people see conferences as a huge waste of time and resources. “We should be working!” they say.

That’s why I loved getting this question from reader Rachel recently:

I’m curious… I see a lot of bloggers get together for big events and what not.  I’m poor and live far away on a vast peninsula, but are these things worth going to?  I mean are they worth the financial investment?

Simply put, she’s asking if conferences are worth it. The travel, the hotels, the money, the time–does it all pay off? Or is it just an excuse to get out of the office for awhile?

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Top-of-Mind Mondays

  • I’ve been out of the office for exactly 12 days. Des Moines > Cape Cod (Family Vacation) > Chicago (STORY) > Des Moines. Time to jump back on the horse!
  • Speaking of STORY, it was out-of-this-world. To be honest, most Christian conferences are a like school lunches–same stuff, repackaged a little differently. STORY stands above the rest. Unique, fun, powerful, fresh. Can’t wait for next year.
  • In case you were wondering, a one-year-old can last about five days away from home. We had Finn out for seven. Lesson learned.
  • The Social Media Summit is fast approaching. Had a nice interview with Kevin from Church Marketing Sucks. Also, I’ll be on Dough Pagitt’s radio show on October 10th to talk Summit stuff.
  • Our Summit planning team meets tomorrow. Couldn’t be more excited to dream with these folks and put our plans into action. You won’t want to miss out on what we’re cooking up.
  • Ben Arment is the real deal. I’ll mourn when my Dream Year is over.
  • Des Moines doesn’t suck anymore.
  • I’ve had a headache for the last four days. Fall allergies suck. It’s gotten so bad I’m shooting steroids up my nose.
  • Blaine Hogan is a genius. He’s the new Lord of the Dance.
  • Sons and Daughters is the first worship group to catch my attention since Jason Upton. Fresh, raw, talented, passionate. Check out their free joint here.
  • Congrats to my friend John Saddington on transitioning to a full-time blogger. Well done, sir!

Begging the Question Why

This is a guest post from Bryne Lewis. Bryne’s a pro, a friend and one fierce writer. I hope you enjoy this post as much as I did.

The little girl just in front of me has on a white turtle neck, blue uniform pants and mismatched socks. One white set of toes and one purple set of toes stand straight against the line in the carpet. When she prostrates herself in prayer, one white sole and one purple sole curl back at me. Her white head covering perfectly frames her face, pinned neatly under her chin. My head covering is yellow and is gathered around my face, over my shoulders in way that makes it apparent I am unused to wearing it. I sit very still on the floor, not wanting to disturb my scarf or the prayers taking place all around me; this is my first time visiting a mosque.

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The Withdrawal Method

This is a guest post from Steel. Yes, Steel. Kind of like Cher, but not really.

Probably one of the church’s biggest strategic mistakes in the last 50 years has been our withdrawal from the community.

We’ve preached for decades “don’t be part of this world” until we finally got there. Now, we build campuses, away from town. We organize our “own” events. Fall festivals instead of Halloween. We have been very effective in separating ourselves from the community. Then we go onto these campuses every weekend, take in something, and are told to go out and share it. Share it? With whom? The people I have lunch or dinner with, that were at the same service, or another church that morning? Who exactly? No one. That’s who.

Christ didn’t separate himself from “the world”. He lived right in there amongst them. Close enough to make the current religious leaders very uncomfortable, accusing him of excess in both drink and food. Out of this observation rises a very key idea. It’s an idea that Jesus instructed us about. He said that though we must be in the world, we must not be of it.

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Holes, Not Drills

This is a guest post by Tony Whittaker. Tony knows his stuff. Listen to him.

Toto, I have the feeling we are not in Kansas any more – Dorothy, in Wizard of Oz

In a rapidly changing world, we need to make frequent conceptual leaps for effective ministry.

A few years back, a European manufacturer of industrial drilling machines was suffering badly with competition from products manufactured in the Far East. Wisely, they called in consultants to help them see a way forward. “So, how would you describe your business,” asked the consultants. “Well, we sell drilling machines, of course,” they replied. “Well, actually, you don’t,” said the consultants. “You enable people to make holes.” This new way of perceiving their role led them to switch to making laser-equipment for cutting holes, with renewed business success.

Lateral thinking is so often a key to success. Food-processing engineers spent much time trying to create a machine that could crack nuts. The problem was adjust the crush strength according to the exact size of the nut and the strength of its shell. Unless they could precisely calibrate the exact pressure needed for each nut, many nuts would be damaged. As so often, the solution was completely different: put the nuts in a vacuum and the shells would just burst off with zero damage or loss.

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Applied Christianity

This is a guest post from Steel. Yes, Steel. Kind of like Cher, but not.

The modern, and by modern I mean the last 30+ years, approach to Christianity has become like some sort of college degree program. It’s like we’re all trying to achieve some state of learnedness, only its pursuit is perpetual. And that doesn’t seem reasonable does it?

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Top 5 Excuses for Not Using Social Media in Churches

The human brain has an amazing ability to justify its own actions (or inactions). It’s scary, really. We can convince ourselves of the legitimacy of almost anything.

Below are some of the most widely-used excuses for not integrating social media into the lifeblood of a church. Most are based on a misconception of what social media actually is. Some are based in obstinacy. Some are legit concerns.

Maybe you’ve heard some of these before. Maybe you’ve used some of these before. Either way, I think these will be helpful in moving the ball forward in your church and its use of social media.

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