why do our churches act like this business owner

For many of us – the idea of going to a big church full of people sounds great…

BUT as long as those people do it on our terms … worship the way we think it should be done… etc.

Kind of reminds me of the guy who markets his business in that same fashion…

hmmm -perhaps we can learn something from this…

sometimes I miss being homeless:

Recently I said this statement while in a meeting of a large number of church leaders… and one friend, a leader in the UM Church pulled me aside and said,

Glenn,  Are you aware of what you just said?   You wan’t to be homeless again…

I had to explain it to him in detail how important it is to listen to words – and understand the meaning behind them.

Sometimes I miss being homeless, I stated… not that I want to be homeless again.

As a homeless kid (yes kid) I had to lean on God and not on my own understanding… I had to depend upon the generosity of others – mainly the Church (the people), the Salvation Army, and others.   In highschool I had a teacher (Mr. Michael Button) that would on a weekly basis buy me a lunch in school.  He took me to the office one day and said “He should be getting free lunch… “  they stated “his parents make to much…”   I had not seen my parents for at least 6+ months – and was paying rent $50/weekly in a boarding house… Mr Button took it upon his own heart to feed me…

I know he lives in Ocean City, retired – and am grateful to him for all the blessings he gave me during that time of my life.   While living on the street I believe I met many people who were in God’s Army.   They kept me safe and gave me a sense of comfort.  Just like Mr. Button I met many people that are able to bless you and remind you it is not about YOU.

Now – with the comforts of a home, a family, a wife… I sometimes forget this simple fact…

This afternoon I sat in what is going to rapidly become a new church movement here in Ohio.   A small denomination called Church of Christ in Christian Union here in Ohio purchased an old school – and… held their first service there today.  140 people in attendance on a Cold Sunday afternoon with snow flurries in the air, snow on the ground … and God being Glorified inside… The story of Jesus being Born, Dying and Rising again – His blood saving mankind from our sin …  As I sat there and took the time to discuss with a few people who walked in the door about their lives I came back to that same thought…

Sometimes I miss being homeless

I learned recently that In this community I make at least 3x the average of any family in the county… AND… we struggle to make ends meet.  Perhaps Kathie, the kids and I still need to learn to lean on God and not on all of these other comforts of life we have purchased… and now have to pay to support.

I came home and a friend Tweeted (which made it to his facebook) an awesome link from ragamuffinsoul.com A homeless man named Danny comes up and while Carlos Whittaker was recording a new music video – kneeled down and began singing and Glorifying God.

At the end he said something that is so Awesome – So True – and something I learned while I was homeless…Carlos said “Keep trying to make it… ” to which Danny responds,

“Trying to make it? No man. I ain’t trying to make it…I’m making it. Jah puts His soldiers everywhere. Jah says, Yea though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death… So He places some of us, in that valley.

While I am fortunate not to be in the Valley of homelessness -  I am grateful for the time that I was, when I came to Christ and became Born Again.

Watch this video and listen where Danny sings – Hallelujah is the Highest Praise – One Jah, One Father, One Creator…   When is the last time you thought about being stripped from EVERYTHING down to just having One Jah, one Father, One Creator… One way to heaven… One who took your place born of a Virgin to Die for your sins…

sometimes being out of the Valley … allows us to Forget the blessings we have from Our Heavenly Father.

I miss the wisdom of many of those Brothers and Sisters who are Making it… living in the Valley, in the Shadows.   Many of us would have just written Danny off – as someone w/o a purpose in life…  But here is a man – a beautiful creation of God – with next to nothing except his Life and he is able to Glorify God with what he has…  His Body and Soul.

One last note -  I love the words of this song…

Save us from these comforts.
Break us of our need for the familiar
Spare us any joy that’s not of You
And we will worship You

Prosperity Gospel: Treating God like a Slot Machine

I had the chance to day to listen to someone preach once again and even now they are still preaching the Prosperity Gospel.

The end of the 1980s was a bad time for TV preachers.   One moment, guys like the  Jim Bakker (PTC Club) and television’s Jimmy Swaggart seemed bigger than life, supermen blessed with an uncanny ability to attract followers and money.

The next instant, they were only men — fragile, flawed and the butt of barroom jokes and newspaper cartoons. (kinda like Tiger Woods… now)

Why is it that we continue to see our brothers and sisters fall into this trap and promise that Life is going to be all hunk-dory once you become saved.

Then we the church wonder why people leave the church at an alarming rate of 3000 daily.

Perhaps we are setting the bar to high – Perhaps we are leading people into a misconception about what the Gospel is really about.

Jesus said “Come Follow Me…”  He did not say “Let me into your life whenever you feel like it – … I am comfortable with the part time deal…”

So many people think that God has walked away from them – because they did not get their way …

but perhaps – it is just the opposite.

Perhaps we need to assist people in realizing that our wishes are not His wishes, our ways are not His Ways…

God is not a slot machine – where we can go stick in a quarter and get our wish…It should be the other way around…

God should be able to call on us at anytime and ask that we serve… AND get the Servant Response!

Living in Sin

I heard a local kid today singing a new song from Brittney Spears

Are – you in Livin’ in sin is the new thing …

What we do is innocent
Just for fun and nothin’ meant
If you don’t like the company
Let’s just do it you and me
You and me…
Or three….
Or four….
- On the floor!

Now this is a young lady – goes to church – age 13.

I asked her if she knew what she was singing -  and she said – its Brittney…

I then asked her to talk the lyrics – and 1/2 way through she said – Oh my gosh…

Amazing what influences the kids – without them even knowing

Go Crazy – and … God might just use you

Prophets were known as crazy people – but they were spot on for the Kingdom – don’t believe me?

  • Noah – people thought he was out of his mind when he built the ark…
  • Abraham climbed the mountain – his son in tow – to kill him as a sacrifice.
  • Moses announced the plan to move God’s chosen people – and they thought what the heck is going on w/ this looney
  • Gideon reduces the size of the army to just 300…
  • David goes out to meet Goliath with a few stones and a sling …
  • Joseph shares his dreams -
  • Paul planted churches -
  • Nehemiah dreams something incredible for the Kingdom…

Has God called you to do something radical for the kingdom of God?

losing control to get control ? oxymoron or God's plan . . .

Control

Let Go and Let God ~ Faith is sometimes blindness

Let Go and Let God - Faith is sometimes blindness

Each and every day people fight for control – ANDTheir quest for control causes their marriage to implode

Their quest for control causes them to loose their job

Their quest for control causes reputations to be damaged

This Quest causes relationships to drift

This Quest pushes children to the side – and sometimes even worse far far away

What is this all for?    Is control one of the most addictive illusions of our life?

Control is never gained when we go after it head on -

Control is however – the surprising outcome of letting go and letting God…

What are you needing to give up – what are you trying to manipulate and control –

what should you be giving to God and letting go?

"If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame."

I found this online – and thought HOW AWESOME and THIS CAN HELP THE CHURCH !

Proverbs 18:13

“If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.”

1. It is arrogant to answer before you hear. Humility does not presume that it knows precisely what a person is asking until the questioner has finished asking the question. How many times have I jumped to a wrong conclusion by starting to formulate my answer before I heard the whole question! Often it is the last word in the question that turns the whole thing around and makes you realize that they are not asking what you thought they were.

2. It is rude to answer a half-asked question. “Rude” is a useful word for Christians. It means “ill-mannered, discourteous.” The New Testament word for it is aschëmonei. It is used in 1 Corinthians 13:5 where modern versions translate it, “Love is not rude,” but the old King James Version has “Love doth not behave itself unseemly.” This means that love not only follows absolute moral standards, but also takes cultural mores and habits and customs into account. What is polite? What is courteous? What are good manners? What is proper? What is good taste? What is suitable? Love is not indifferent to these. It uses them to express its humble desire for people’s good. One such politeness is listening well to a question before you answer.

3. Not answering a question before you hear it all honors and respects the person asking the question. It treats the person as though their words really matter. It is belittling to another to presume to be able to finish their question before they do.

4. Careful listening to a question often reveals that the question has several layers and is really more than one question. Several questions are all mixed into one. When you see this, you can break the question down into parts and answer them one at a time. You will not see such subtleties if you are hasty with your answer and not careful in your listening.

5. A question sometimes reveals assumptions that you do not share. If you try to answer the question on the basis of your assumptions without understanding the questioner’s assumptions, you will probably speak right past him. If you listen carefully and let the person finish, you may discern what he is assuming that you do not. Then you can probe these assumptions before you answer. Often, when dealing at this level, the question answers itself. It was really about these deeper differences.

6. Questions usually have attitudes as well as content. The attitude sometimes tells you as much as the content about what is really being asked. In fact, the attitude may tell you that the words being used in this question are not all what the issue is. When that is discerned, we should not make light of the words, but seriously ask questions to see if the attitude and the words are really asking the same question. If not, which is the one the questioner really wants answered?

7. Questions have context that you need to know. So many thoughts and circumstances and feelings may be feeding into this question that we don’t know about or understand. Careful listening may help you pick up those things. It may be that there is just a small clue that some crucial circumstance is behind the question. If you catch the clue, because you are listening carefully, you may be able to draw that out and be able to answer the question so much more helpfully.

8. Questions are made up of words. Words have meanings that are formed by a person’s experience and education. These words may not carry the same meaning for both you and the questioner. If you want to answer what they are really asking, you must listen very carefully. When the possibility exists that their question is rooted in a different understanding of a word, we will be wise to talk about the meaning of our words before we talk about the answer to the question. I find that talking about the definitions of words in questions usually produces the answer to the questions.

9. Proverbs 18:13 says it is our “folly” to answer before we hear. That is, it will make us a fool. One reason for this is that almost all premature answers are based on thinking we know all we need to know. But that is “foolish.” Our attitude should be: What can I learn from this question? The fool thinks he knows all he needs to know.

10. And finally Proverbs 18:13 says that it is our “shame” to answer before we hear. What if you are asked publicly, “My wife and I have had serious problems and we were wondering . . .” and you cut the questioner off by giving your answer about the value of counseling and what counselors might be helpful. But then they say, “Well, actually, what I was going to say was, “My wife and I have had serious problems and we were wondering, now that our counseling is over and things are better than ever, how you would suggest that we celebrate?” Then you will be shamed for not listening.

Found here: http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/TasteAndSee/ByDate/2005/1311_Ten_Reasons_to_Listen_to_Questions_Before_You_Answer/

What Matters more to you – by Derrek Webb

What Matters More to You? – Derrek Webb

Lyrics:

You say you always treat people like you like to be
I guess you love being hated for your sexuality
You love when people put words in your mouth
‘Bout what you believe, make you sound like a freak

‘Cause if you really believe what you say you believe
You wouldn’t be so damn reckless with the words you speak
Wouldn’t silently conceal when the liars speak
Denyin’ all the dyin’ of the remedy

Tell me, brother, what matters more to you?
Tell me, sister, what matters more to you?

If I can tell what’s in your heart by what comes out of your mouth
Then it sure looks to me like being straight is all it’s about
It looks like being hated for all the wrong things
Like chasin’ the wind while the pendulum swings

‘Cause we can talk and debate until we’re blue in the face
About the language and tradition that he’s comin’ to save
Meanwhile we sit just like we don’t give a shit
About 50,000 people who are dyin’ today

Tell me, brother, what matters more to you?
Tell me, sister, what matters more to you?

Subway – Weight Loss and … Salvation :-) Evangelism 101

In the Hitchhikers Guide to Evangelism – Bill TB suggests that you make a habit of eating @ the same place a few times a week and get to have a relationship with the staff.

While it has worked well for my weight (Subway after all) it also has worked wonders for the Kingdom.

Over the last 3 months – on average 3-4 times a week I have lunch @ Subway in Washington Court House. I have made it a point to schedule myself in line so I have the same person getting my food.

It is to the point now when I walk in – my bread is pulled – the meat heated – and the lettuce on the bread. This gives us about 3 minutes for a quick conversation. I have continuously asked if there was anything I could pray for to this young kid who has been servicing my lunch over the last 3 months.

Just a few weeks ago he said “Glenn I need you to pray for me – I think God hates me … my girlfriend just told me she had an abortion – I was not given a choice in this … but I think God hates me… ”

I took what many would consider to be a gamble – and told him – NO.
I gave him my card and suggested he come by my office so I could teach him how to begin praying to God for himself and I left.

Later that afternoon – on his break – I had a knock on the door.
He prayed and gave his life to Christ.

It was through having the relationship that I was able to be used to help introduce this young man to the God who knows everything about him – who knew him before he was formed in the womb – who Loves and Died for him – so that he could live.

At some point I realized – I needed to let this guy stop riding on the back bumper and give him the chance to stick his thumb out…

He did – and now he is on the Kingdom Bus.

He said something interesting to me Sunday after church -
Glenn – I realize being a Christian is not real unless I “transform”.

Its about a change in me – and not what I think God is about…

Keep the Faith:
Glenn Kelley – www.ChurchMedic.com

Evangelism one swing at a time

Tonight I watched a story about a recovering alcoholic drug user, who lives in his white mini-van, and is changing the lives of children in one of the nations most poverty stricken areas – Compton CA.
this 52 year old African American was brought to Grace through Jesus Christ – and is now using Baseball – Little League to make a difference in his community, to bring a little bit of Heaven to the children and families of the community.

Reading the Word Daily on a city Diamond

Reading the Word Daily on a city Diamond

Tim has a story like many – he grew up in a strict family – had a lot to offer to his family, community and even himself – but decided to take what was at the time – the easy road. This road of crime led to drugs and alcohol, two failed marriages and even loosing a promising career as a surgical technician.

In the late 1970′s Compton Little league lost its charter when the city became victim of inner city blight and poverty. Lewis bounced back after coming to Christ and realized that the future of the children in the city could gain a boost by rhe resurgence of Little League baseball. Homeless with nothing but a minivan and Hope – Lewis fought to restore the city’s little league charter and created a five team league with roughly 300 children in its ranks.

These children are learning the importance of a second chance, the importance of perseverance in the face of adversity – and how God can help us each overcome.

Praying at Practice

Praying at Practice

Practices and Games are began with prayer from someone who does not have a Doctorate in Theology but rather a man who uses kneeology – starting each morning climbing out of his mini-van and hitting the knees of the outfield in prayer.

At roughly the age of 50 years old Tim Lewis came to Christ – and now is a Disciple serving the Kingdom in a place where many others believe God has Forsaken. Mr. Lewis serves a God that does not Forget – that does not forsake.

While I suspect that his new found publicity, from NBC interviews to HBO Real Time Sports segments, has made it hard for Mr. Lewis to hide from his mistakes – we find a man that refuses to hide – has been refusing to hide and instead brings his story – and teaches kids that through Jesus Christ – it is history, uses the failed tests of his life as a testimony for the Powerful Saving Grace through Jesus Christ.

Surrendering to God to do a Church Plant

Perry Noble wrote today on his blog

I remember FINALLY surrendering to Jesus and starting NewSpring Church. God had been working on me since 1996 that He wanted me to do it…but I kept putting Him off and saying things like…

* “I’m too young.”
* “Yes Lord, I’ll do it…later.”
* “No one will come!”
* “There are WAY more people that are WAY more qualified to do this other than me!”
* “I don’t have the money.”
* “I don’t have a huge group of people around me.”
* “I didn’t graduate from seminary!”
* “I don’t know HOW to do this.”

On and on I could go…but I think you get the point. I never told Him, “no,” but I did keep giving Him so many excuses that I thought He would eventually change His mind.

HE DIDN’T…HE DOESN’T…

And I am SO GLAD I obeyed.

SO…how about you? What is it that God has clearly called you to do (or to NOT do?) Are you trying to bargain with Him? Are you offering Him excuses? That approach ever works!

Is there anything He’s calling you to do that needs to be surrendered instead of negioted? You will be SO GLAD you let go…trust me!

* He’s the SAME GOD who led the Israelites through the Red Sea.
* He’s the SAME GOD who allowed David to kick the crap out of Goliath.
* He’s the SAME GOD who sent Jesus to walk through the fire with Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego!
* He’s the SAME GOD who set John the Baptist on fire.
* He’s the SAME GOD who raised Jesus from the dead.
* He’s the SAME GOD who set the church on fire in Acts 2.
* He’s the SAME GOD who called and anointed the Apostle Paul.
* He’s the SAME GOD who lives in you, has gifted you, empowered you and desires for you to do great things for HIS NAME!

He has not changed…therefore, we have NO EXCUSE! (Hebrews 13:8)

SO…what’s holding you back?

The world needs more people who will refuse to excuse when they’ve heard from the Almighty!

So, let’s get on with it…eternity is too long and hell is too hot for us to make one more excuse!!!

AMEN.

Trust in the Lord and Lean not on your Own Understanding

Proverbs 3:5-6 says

Trust in the Lord with all your Heart – and Lean not on your own Understanding – In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will Direct your Path. (King James )

Trust God from the bottom of your heart, don’t try to figure out everything on your own, Listen For God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go, he’s the one that will keep you on track. (The Message)

Sometimes I just like the King James best – and this is one of those cases -  I believe the Word is much more clear here – telling us that we cannot understand everything – that our thinking is sometimes flawed – that we need to Trust God – With all of our Heart -  We need to acknowledge God – That inner voice of the Holy Spirit – Those messengers He sends our way to help mold us – to help guide us – and if we do – God will Direct were we are going – and what we are doing.

This week – It is my prayer that I can be submissive to the King of Kings – that I can lean on the understanding and wisdom of others He has put in my path and Acknowledge God in everything He is doing in my life.


eternal Security

Today in church – during a class session the question was raised about eternal security. – It seems that many were unwilling to chat about the topic – and it made me wonder if they actually were secure or not…

In Jude 24 we read

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy– to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

So if it is God’s power that is able to keep us from falling – and to present us before the Father’s glorious presence – we must conclude that our Eternal security is a result of God keeping us – not us maintaining our own salvation…  If it were a maintenance of any sort – then this cheapens the cross !

The argument was raised about the sin of all sins – I suggested that we go to the Bible and read in context where this come from…  (John 10:25—(vs28)–and on)

Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.

26But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
27My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
30I and my Father are one.
31Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
32Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?
33The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
34Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
35If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
36Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
37If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.
38But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

The text clearly shows a few things – first that once we are sealed to Christ – The Father keeps us in the palm of his hand and no one (i would say we are part of that no one) can remove us.   This is a promise – “they shall never perish”   Who could possibly separate us from the grip of both the Father and the Son?

Jesus tells us that he gives eternal life to the sheep, the Christians.  He clearly and definitely states that they shall never perish.  There is no qualifier here.  There is no statement such as, “they shall never perish if they remain faithful.”  There is only the clear declaration that they shall never perish.  This inability to perish is a result of the Lord Jesus giving them eternal life.

In Ephesians 4 (Ephesians 4:30)  we are told that believers are “Sealed for the day of redemption.”   Is there an act of unsealing that I am unaware of ?   Is there a method of unsealing described in the bible?  How can Eternal life – as described in John 3:15-16 be eternal if it has the ability to be taken away.   The Greek word aionios is translated both as eternal and everlasting in the New Testament.     If you fight Eternal Security – and state that this is not true – then the promise of Aionios life – Eternal life is a lie – and therefore the entire basis of the Bible is – … A lie.   This promise of Eternal life in the Bible is not an error.
The most powerful argument for eternal security is Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Our eternal security is based on God’s love for those whom He has redeemed. Our eternal security is purchased by Christ, promised by the Father, and sealed by the Holy Spirit.

Again I ask – how can this seal be broken?

Once a person comes to Christ, they cannot loose his salvation (John 10:26-30). They are eternally saved and will go to heaven when they die. It is not possible for him to be lost. This is a big problem for the Arminian view of freedom. If it is not possible for a person to loose his salvation, then there are two options:

1. It is possible for the believer to later on reject Christ and reject eternal life, but God will still take him to heaven when he dies even though he has rejected it.
2. It is not possible for a believer to ever reject Christ and eternal life once he is saved.

Under option one, clearly the person’s will is violated. For the person would be rejecting Christ but God would be taking him to heaven anyway. He would be saving the person against his will. This would obviously be inconsistent with both the Arminian view of freedom and the Bible.

So we must conclude that a true Christian will never utterly reject Christ and heaven.   However – if it is not possible for a person to reject Christ, then the person cannot do other than continue believing. This is another problem for the Arminian view – - on the Arminian view, the minute that you cannot do otherwise, you are not free. Thus, eternal security is inconsistent with the Arminian view of freedom.

For those who do not believe in eternal security, I ask this simple question:   In heaven we will no longer sin or reject Christ. So, it is not possible for a saint in heaven to reject God. This leads to the same dilemna as eternal security – does it not?

If God prepares a persons heart and gives them a desire for Christ that is greater than their desire to remain in sin, the person will most certainly come–and will come freely.    A Christian – is changed from within, being made a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17).  If the old passes away and we become new – new In Christ as a New Creature – then we are a secure in our faith.

1 John 2:4 says, “The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” Those who declare that they are eternally secure and then go out and sin on purpose in any manner they so choose are probably not saved to begin with since this is contradictory to what Scripture teaches.  Many use this verse to fight the doctrine of Eternal Security – i argue that if your sinning and planning on Sin – than perhaps God is not in you and you are not a New Creature – moving on we read… (in context)

1 John 2:19.  It says, “They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us.”

The context is as follows.  In 1:1-4, John speaks about the manifestation of Christ in the world.  In 1:5-10 he speaks about God being light and the forgiveness of our sins.  In 2:1-6 John says he writes so that we will not sin, that Christ is the propitiation for our sins, and that we are to keep his commandments so as to demonstrate that we are walking in him.  2:7-11  is where John writes about a new commandment about loving your brother and walking in the light rather than darkness.  In 2:12-14 tells us that our sins are forgiven, that we have overcome the evil one.  In 2:15-17 John tells us not to love the world and that the world is passing away with its lusts.  In 2:18-24 he writes about the Antichrist and those who deny the Son.  In 2:25 he speaks of the promise of eternal life, of loving one another, etc.   John declares that if these people had been “of us, they would have remained.”  Antichrists aren’t going to remain, only the true believers will.

Your thoughts:

Hitchhiker's Guide to Evangelism

Why is it that today people who call themselves Christians – are scared to Evangelize?

We have the best news – the best Gift in the world – Salvation.   It is not something that we needed to work for – not something we need to work to keep – and yet folks – Brothers and Sisters are scared to introduce others to this gift.

Bill Tenny-Brittian -a personal friend and mentor – has written a book called “Hitchhiker’s Guide to Evangelism.” – and I believe every Christian should read this book – not once – not twice – but more !

This book would make an excellent small group study guide – but beware…  It will force you to take a look @ why you don’t evangelize – and even force you to understand that the excuses used – … are after all… Only excuses.

This book is not about knocking on a strangers door – but rather it talks to the ability we have to be an influence to people in our every day lives – where we eat – where we shop – etc.    Isn’t it time that you learn how and where to make friendships that will allow for you to Introduce others to a deeper relationship with the True Living God and Savior of the World – Jesus Christ?

FollowUp – Follow-Through – and something tangible for visitors

Group – I wanted to share with you all something that I thought was incredible.

As many of you know – I generally have a speaking engagement each Sunday – since our services are on Saturday.
This past Sunday I preached @ a fairly local church – non-Denominational.

My wife has a habit of filling out the “Hey we Worshipped here today” cards.
Monday afternoon we received a knock on our door from Fed.X

The package had the following in it.

1.  Veggie Tales Movie for my Daughters & Son.
2.  Hand written note to the kids thanking them for being there.
3.  8×10 color photos of the kids while in the classroom.  (Multiples )
4.  10% off discount coupon to the churches bookstore.
5.  A Copy of the NIV/Message parallel Bible.
6.  A Children’s Bible
7.  Hand Puppets for us to use to play with the Baby.

On Monday evening my Son Benjamin received a telephone call from his teacher.
My Daughter Kerianna did as well…

On Tuesday the Children’s pastor followed up again with us… and told us of a number of parents who hold play groups on Saturday’s and even a Mom Hates Football playgroup on Sunday afternoons for my wife to drag the kids to.

This is a fairly larger church – however their growth is only in the last 4 years.

I received a telephone call from the Sr. Pastor on Wednesday asking for my wife – it was then that the Sr. Pastor realized who they were calling – (go figure)
We got to chatting and this is what they have done since Day 1.

They believe this is the # 1 reason for growth in their church – it helps they have a Rocking Band as well and a Leader of Worship.

Anyhow – I was talking to Bill TB yesterday and told him about this – and he said “Glenn they gave you something of value…”

It was not a mug – or something tangible like much of us think it should be… (me included)

It was an offer of a relationship – for the Kids – for the Wife – and for me.
It was the taking of the time to send what obviously cost at least $50 or so to us (if not more) and then the followup from the teachers to the kids and the pastor to the adults.

Interestingly enough – the pastor used to work @ a 7-11 part time so he could afford to do this from Day 1 of opening the church.
Used to be polaroids… :-)

So – what are you guys offering….    If its not something that will solidify a relationship – then it most likey is just as good as the paper-weight (or is that fruit-cake) I was just given this past Thursday.

paying to grow?

It never will surprise me the amount of money a company will spend in order to have its associates, leaders and partners Grow.

An example – Exchange ~ which is being held in Washington DC next week. It’s three days with 80 of the top CEOs and business leaders in the country. It’s up close and personal with John Maxwell. Cost is no less than $7,000 a person.

While I personally believe the church can spend $7K in much better ways – imagine if we spent money building and teaching leaders to be leaders?   Imagine if we invested in the people doing ministry and in the people we are doing ministry for….

How much is your church or ministry willing to spend to ensure you are trained and equipped?

7 Deadly sins of Church Marketing

  1. ENVY:  We want something that another church has:   It used to be that the church was the specialist when it came to God – and the things of God.   Not any more…  WikiPedia, Google, … well lets face it… the Internet is where people go now…  But… then there are those few churches out there – you know Go Christ Fellowship, Granger, COR, Ginghamsburg, … where people flock to listen to the message…   But not to your church.   And Envy Sets In.     Envy comes into play when we want a piece of that market – but dont consider whether our approach is a good fit for our churches ministry plan… the mission God has given to our church.    If we are built to do ministry in one way – changing and doing something that we have no clue how – or no business doing – might not be a good idea.
  2. Gluttony:  You go to a level of excess that’s just plain wasteful.     I call this going big but not small.   The church will target a niche “customer” because they might be able to help the church grow – help the church financially – or make them seem to be better…   but … The church does not really undertand the person they are marketing towards…  The church needs to be clear about distinguishing what they can offer that is specific to the needs of that niche target.
  3. Greed:  how many churches have an unbridled appetite?    Churches show greed when they go after a new niche using the same marketing methods they always ave – even when those marketing methods are not applicable to the new “market.”  Worse yet – they do nothing to change so when those persons do come in the doors – they find the same old same old… and are now turned off more than ever… Sadly these churches try to get more people in the door without exerting the effort to serve those people… MORE MORE MORE but not give back MORE MORE MORE…
  4. LUST:  Churches have obsessive or excessive thoughts or desires.   It is possible to overfocus on one thing or one person – or one group.    There are some real key differences in how people react to the gospel – (Adults, Teens, Young Adults, Children… all need to hear the gospel in a different way…)   Pastors and church leaders need to be aware of all the “stakeholders”.   We are guilty of lust when we act on that excessive desire for the numbers without really figuring out all the people we need to talk to, serve and influence along the way.
  5. PRIDE:  We Lack Self-Awareness -   Sometimes we just dont know enough about the people we are serving – but we think they want what we are selling…  We, the church, fail to ask “Do we Fit In Here” – “Is there a Need for what we are offering” (more than just the pathway to salvation) ” Am I going to solve a problem for someone?”     Irrelavence is Irreverance!
  6. SLOTH:  This is perhaps my biggest pet peave…  Church Leaders are just … well let me say it… LAZY and apathetic.    Many pastors and churches fail to distingis their message between the segments of society they are serving.    You see examples of this on their websites.   You can’t tell if the chuch is taling about serving people or being served,   do they even do anything for children?   Do they do things for men, women, …?   Sadly – many have never taken the time to differentate their message.  Worse… They have no programs to do this either…. No Mens, No Ladies, No Singles, No Youth Groups, … i could go on…
  7. WRATH:  Many of us are impatient.   Some of us are so anxious to get the message out that we dont bother to research the people we are targeting…  Churches dont figure out what is its that these peopel need – or who their target audience (their Macedonians) are…. or how they relate to God, or to each other…

Praying for Gustav: Please Sign up for a time slot

Intercessory Prayer is perhaps one of the most important things we can do in our life as a Christian.

While I will not go so far as to say that the Pending Storm coming against New Orleans & the surrounding area is a punishment from God- as I have no clue… I do believe that praying for this area and those in the area is important.   Let me back this up:

Great responsibility is involved in the ministry of intercession.

A.     Because the Lord God did not find anyone to “stand in the gap,” to intercede for the land, He was requited to pour out the judgment due its disobedience.

Ezekiel 22:30-31

B.     Moses’ intercession for the people of God, in pleading with the Lord for mercy, held back the hand of God from consuming the nation in His wrath.

Exodus 32:7-14; Deuteronomy 9:8-9, 12-20, 23-27, etc.; Psalms 106:23

Let me say this again -  There is Great responsibility is involved in the ministry of intercession…  And as a Christian we are called to this responsiblity.

Will you join me – and other Christians in praying for those whose lives will be adversly affected in the path of the Gustav Storm?   If so visit Prayer Helps and follow sign up for a time slot – and then pass to a fellow Sister or Brother In Christ.

Network Naming Conventions… gone Biblical

Recently Ian Beyer, Network Extraordinaire out @ Church of the Resurrection in Leewood KS and I had an interesting conversation about network topology and the naming convention of servers, routers, switches, and workstations.

Salvation-Topology

Salvation-Topology

We are in the process of bringing on Phase 2 of the VineHosting Data Center, complete with our new R1Soft Bare Metal Restore Servers (another blog post perhaps) and our new Virtual Infrastucture.

Since we now have so many more servers than we did in the past – and we have exhausted all the cities Paul visited in the Bible, the names of the sacraments, etc…  I reached out and asked Ian what they were doing -

He got to joking a bit – saying they used all Dr. Seuss themes @ an old employer (not sure if he meant Sun Microsystems or Sprint…) anyhow – pretty funny stuff.   Imagine that – us having Thing 1 and Thing 2 …

I sat down and had to write up an assignment for my seminary class on the vocabulary of Salvation… and suddenly thought … WOW there it is…

The Servers Host name is Salvation:  its guest machines are:

conversion, substitution, reconciliation, propitiation, remission, imputation, adoption, justification, sanctification,  glorification and regeneration (thats the PXE Booter…)

Our R1Soft Servers are called Preservation and Redemption.

Now If I could only turn this in as an assignment instead of the long term paper… I would be happy as pie.

And of course – I still have all these other servers to do…

I guess I could use a few other examples – imagine getting a welcome email being told your on the purgatory server…

What are you using for a Naming Convention?

Internet Church

Recently, a friend of mine from Church of the Resurrection (Clif Guy) was blogging about the beginnings of the Internet Campus and how COR is looking to do this…
I began looking around @ the web and found the Internet Church (www.Lifechurch.tv) seems to be the ones doing this the best…

I believe many churches will soon be taking a turn towards the virtual. Who would have ever thought of virtual church, but it is becoming a reality in the 21st century. Yes – it is hard to touch, love, and hug – but in this day and age with text, voice, video chat and other social networking tools like twitter, facebook, youtube, etc – fellowship is just a click away…

Soon – You can worship from any remote location with just an internet hook-up and the web address of your own church… (are they ready ?)

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Tags: , ,

Feelings about the Church: A Question for the World Blog

OK – all those out there in Twitter, Blogging, and whats that called… oh yeah – The Internet Land…

I still have this project where I am looking to solicit from both people in the church and those out of the church their feelings and thoughts about the church.

Please direct everyone you know to:  http://churchfeelings.com take the survey’s yourself.  I plan on pushing out a weekly survey and the results will be used in the upcoming book

“Snapshots of a Dying Culture – the crisis of significance”by yours truely.

Your cleavage can help keep your Jilbab on straight…

Imagine if that statement were made – what would the Press say?

What would the left and even the Right say?

Imagine if they created a show called Good Muslim B****es ?

ABC took it upon themselves however to take aim at the Christian Faith -in the official Facebook page for GCB it said that “cleavage will help keep your cross straight.”

Can you imagine the reaction in the Muslim community if that kind of message (complete with a highly suggestive photo) would have been made aiming at a symbol of the Islamic faith?

I am asking that our ministry stop using Verizon since they are a sponsor of the Television show GCB (which stands for Good Christian B*****es)

The following sponsors all are supporting this show – please feel free to contact them and ask them to drop their support for the show.

If Rush Limbaugh can have his supporters drop him for a comment (which WAS WRONG) – so should ABC.

 

ABC-TV
Verizon
Comcast xFinity
Rooms to Go
SC Johnson
Conagra Foods for Chef Boyardee
PepsiCo

 

Greater Love – a 9/11 memory

To many when we see the American Flag we see it as a National symbol – however on 9/11 and the days following while working at ground zero as a medic involved with the search and rescue the flag became something more. Each time a fellow brother in Fire or Police were pulled from the rubble – they were placed in a stokes basket and the basket was draped with an American Flag.

Even now 10 years later each time I see the American Flag, be it as a sticker on the side of a police vehicle, waiving at the Ford dealership or even on someones shirt – I remember the many bodies I had the privileged to help carry to peace. For years I had worked in EMS and Fire – I have had to deal with many fatalities from innocent children to gang members who were in their own version of war – but 9/11 and the months following to this day still haunt my soul.

While driving in to the city our ambulance was rocked by people holding signs – and stopping us to hand us water, hugs – prayers and sharing tears – I had a rookie on board who was driving. He thought it was best to use the siren to get the people out of the way so we could get through the city to our staging area. I calmly reached over and turned the siren off – as I looked at the peoples faces I realized something – We, coming in from Southern New Jersey, were literally the only sign of hope in a city in despair -masked in acres of rubble where roads, cars and a concrete haze hid the scorched and scared faces that were looking at us empty – left without meaning.  The siren only added to the shock – and our presence was supposed to be calming.

If you have ever been to New York – you will learn that even at the latest hour of the day – there are cars and buses – taxis and limo’s driving people all over the city – it was an eerie  feeling as we drew closer to ground zero – We saw a sea of people all walking, some so drained mentally and emotionally you could see they were using every last ounce of their strength to drag themselves just to the next step. – and suddenly it was all quite. Hardly a sound. When we arrived just one block down from the collapse of the first tower – on Vesey street the realization of the devastation set in.

Pallets and Pallets of water and other items were just sitting in the street. We were assigned to go through the many surrounding buildings to search for survivors – sadly we did not find many. I can remember a secondary collapse in which I had to dive under a fire truck for safety – all the while thinking if the building is coming down there is no way this truck is going to save me. The first rule any EMS, Firefighter or Police officer learns is Scene Safety – look out for potential hazards. The truth is – the members of the FDNY, NYPD and the Port Authority Police knew they were running in to the most dangerous situation. As bodies were descending at the speed of gravity they were climbing as quickly as possible. Scene safety was not paramount upon arrival for these Hero’s but rather getting in – and saving as many lives as possible – even knowing that your theirs was not in jeopardy but already over.

A few days later I was exhausted and walking back from the Cafeteria – a fancy name for what really was a boat which until the terrorist attack was used to shuttle tourists around the water ways so they could “tour the city” and I found a priest ripping off his clothes screaming at God asking Him Why and Where. Where are you now God… he demanded to know. I walked over to help what obviously any EMT trained would could identify as a man who was mentally breaking down and in need of help.

I asked him his name – and he answered – I asked him why he doubted God’s presence and he pulled me by my collar over to a blue suv and read to me the note out loud -

“Dear NYPD – I am a nurse – Please don’t tow my car – AND if you find this please tell my husband and my children that I love them and if I do not make it let them know I am fulfilling John 15:13″

He demanded to know from me how God could let this happen. I sat with him for what seemed like hours – but was really only just a few minutes and felt the warm glow of the sun coming up over the horizon – as I looked up I saw a cross in the distance – this cross had tons of workers underneath it digging and working, struggling to find any one who could have possibly survived. I answered the priest and said – until now I never really could answer your question – or even that question for myself long before what happened yesterday but I do know one thing – Even as I walk through this Valley of Death the Lord is near me – He comforts Me and in the end I will lie down in Green Pastures.   I pointed to the Cross – and he asked me if I would pray for him as he had “lost the words to speak to God”, I began with the Lord’s prayer – which he recited with me.

I never was able to find that priest again – even after searching – but I will never forget what he told me ” Glenn, I have a renewed faith and even in this tragedy I know that it is a promise SURELY goodness and mercy – the Love of our Father will follow us all the days of our lives – let me go and share the good news.”

With that I returned to the gator crew I was assigned to picking through the rubble.

For those who are struggling – I want to simply remind you also of that promise God has made us – He will Never Leave us or Forsake us – even when we are walking through the valley of the shadow of Death – His Rod and His staff are there to comfort us.

While driving back home I stopped at a small Baptist church in Hoboken NJ on the other side of the tunnel – ran to find a bible and opened it to John 15:13

From the over 350 EMS, Fire and Police officers – as well as the countless other volunteers including building security and the other nameless who helped, from the folks who downed the plane in Shanksville PA, and from that nurse who most assuredly was killed we as a nation learned a lesson that most have already forgotten – except perhaps those who are still serving daily putting their lives in front of harms way day by day: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Let your No be No and your Yes be Yes

Recently I have been dealing with a couple who are great friends – but they have become involved with this health company that is in short an MLM.

Truth is – I understand why companies like Visalus, Metaluca, Amway, Mary Kay – and others use people in this fashion –   it comes down to two factors.

People generally trust close friends & they will buy things their friends are selling out of an obligation to do so.

Trust

+

Obligation

PROFIT & OBJECTIONS OVERCOME

I had a guy call me today offering me a better long distance option –  Funny – but AT&T cant even get a phone into my home out here in the country and he iniststed he can get me a better rate… (sure you can! )   Rather than arguing with the guy I simply transferred the call to the AT&T toll free operator and hung up – let’s see if he can get them a better deal…

While that’s funny – the truth about these companies is that they know you won’t hang up on your friend – that you will tolerate their sales pitches (for a long time in fact…) and THEY DO NOT CARE if you finally tell your friend to go pound sand.

I tonight received a facebook message from a friend who has been trying their best to get me to buy a product called “Body by Vi” – it was supposed to be an apology – but in reality it was a sales pitch.

read:

Hey Glenn! I have to admit, I have been pretty upset recently over your reaction to ViSalus. I have taken it as a personal stab and I know that I shouldn’t have. I have committed this to prayer and feel lead to present this to you one more time, I hope you will at least hear me out completely before responding.

I need to start by apologizing to you. I have allowed some pretty rotten things about you to manifest themselves within my thought life. I am sorry and I hope you will forgive me as I move toward renewing my mind and releasing you from my own expectations.

I feel like I have also been careless in presenting this product to you. Honestly, I felt like you needed it and there wasn’t any question about it. I didn’t take into consideration your feelings about the matter at all. I was rude, and pushy and arrogant. Please forgive me?

Listen, if you can honestly say that when you look in a mirror you are happy with the body that looks back at you. If you like the way you feel day in and day out. If you truly are satisfied with your health, weight, and nutrition, then by all means tell me to bug off. I know that I’m not happy, I don’t like how I feel, I’m not satisfied, which is why I’m doing something about it. Maybe you are happy with yourself. Maybe you’ve really settled into the “Fat Bastard” role and are satisfied there. Somehow I doubt it though.

However if you want to do something, but you don’t want to try ViSalus. I want to know why. If your reasons are lies, or misconceptions then I owe it to you to clear those up. I owe it to you Glenn as a sister in Christ who loves you and cares about you, I owe it to your wife who I absolutely adore, I owe it to your children who are a light in my world. I know they love you and they want you around for a really long time. I know you want to be here for them when they grow up, I know you want to walk your girls down the aisle. I know you want to meet your grandchildren and even your great-grandchildren. (if the Lord doesn’t return by then)

I want to touch on the few things you’ve said to me so far.
1. “If it really worked than GNC would carry it and doctors would recommend it”

2. “I run away from MLM, I don’t like the idea of having to sell so much to stay active.”

3. “I’m not interested in anything that doesn’t try to get FDA approved.”

These are all lies or misconceptions Glenn.

First off, GNC does sell similar products, ours is just better. Theirs contains creamer and dry milk, less vitamins, less nutrients, more calories, more fat, more sodium, etc.

Doctors do recommend this product. Google “doctors promoting ViSalus”.

You don’t have to sell anything, you can cancel whenever you choose. The opportunity of course is there for you to earn an extra income if you like, or at the least get your product for free. However, if you choose to not take part than so be it. Additionally, remember that every business that exists right now is a pyramid. There is always one person at the top and several at the bottom. The difference with ViSalus is that I can potentially earn a higher income than my mom who is “above” me.

Now as for the FDA approval thing. ViSalus could have gotten FDA approved. It would have been cheaper and easier to do so. They chose to get Kosher certified instead. Kosher is a much higher standard than FDA. As I shared with you the other day, FDA allows things like rat feces in your peanut butter and bug larvae in your fruits and vegetables. Kosher absolutely does not. Kosher requires that the company list every single thing that is in the product. If there were rat feces and bug larvae in it (and that actually was allowed per the Jewish faith) then it would have to be listed in the ingredients on the package.

I know that you love a good debate, apparently I do as well :) so if there is something else holding you back, please share it with me. If you think it won’t work, remember the 30 day money back guarantee. If you think it’s a scam, remember this is coming from ME! The lady who spent 2 days helping you with your house, whose husband has helped you numerous times with your vehicles and trash runs etc. the people who sit next to you in church every Sunday.

You can do this Glenn. Let us help you!

I believe that this friend joined the program for a few reasons – one is because they were guilted into the program and because they can earn significant amounts of money.   These Challenges – or Parties are really just sales pitches –  and this company feels a lot like Amway.   So much so when I took a look at their leadership – sure enough it shares some common folks.

I feel like these approaches are just as bad as the Boy Scouting PopCorn or the Girl Scouts cookies – it is hard to say no – and after all who does not love to buy a $10+bag of popcorn or cookies for $4 a box…

What would you do when you keep saying No and this friend keeps challenging you…

Tonight I finally had enough and sent a blunt response – i struggled with being tactful and am prepared for fall out should it occur…   I believe that a good friend will not use me for their own financial benefit – and even if it was for the good of my health – they will not pressure me into buying something that I am not interested in.

 

The Missional Church – simple

The Missional Church made simple:

Now for the loaded Question:

Why should the church not be attractional? (ok so thats a new word) –
Why should we not become the place that people want to go “because everyone knows your name…”
While I do not think we should compromise on the Gospel Message – I don’t think being an attraction is a bad thing… Your thoughts?

Gain the whole world but loose… everything

What does it profit a (wo)man to gain the whole world but loose their own soul?

“They tried to make me go to rehab,” she sang on her world-conquering 2006 single, “Rehab.” “I said ‘No, no no.’”

These words should become a postcard for every high school across America and handed out on the first day of class.  Amy Winehouse dead at 27 – had her whole life ahead of her.   A young lady who gained all that the world had to offer – but it was not enough to make her happy, to keep her happy – and now she is past this life.  Like Janis Joplin Ms. Winehouse also had a talent for self destruction, and fought a long battle against substance abuse –  had a life that was ALMOST a fairy tale – but sadly this had no fairy tale ending.

Drugs, Alcohol, Racism , Eating disorders and destructive relationships- all forms of self expression and self medicating…  a life in trouble with no one to do an intervention long enough to make it stick.

If you had the chance to spend just 24 hours with her what would you have said or done to try to break this destructive cycle?