Category Archives: Change

Marketing What God Is Up To

How do you feel when I use this combination of words: Church Marketing.

I almost lost my dinner the first time I tried to stomach it, but then I was swayed to the other side.

In planting Lakepoint Church, a mentor asked me, “How many people are in Muskego, the city you are trying to reach?”

“26,000.” I had done my homework.

“How many have joined your ‘Launch Team,’ to start the church?”

“About 60.”

“If those 60 were to do a really great job telling their friends about Jesus, and the church, and everything else, how many do you think they’d each reach? Maybe 10?”

“That would be awesome!” I thought. But I should have seen myself getting backed into a corner.

“That’s 660 people. What are you going to do to let the other 25,340 people know that there’s a church for them where they can find God?”

I didn’t have an answer. Continue reading

Caring Enough to Worry

I’m having trouble getting why we should’t worry.   If I really care about the outcome of a situation, and the outcome is presently not turning out well, shouldn’t I worry?

Jesus makes a pretty strong case against worry at the end of Matthew 6.  He’s God, he cares more about stuff than we do, and worry never accomplished anything anyway.

Maybe I’m just stuck on semantics.  A certain amount of concern is needed when things aren’t going right.  Despair or worry goes too far because it goes without God.

Right, in all the Wrong Ways

How do you tell wrong people that they’re wrong without being wrong yourself?

I’m getting stuck there all the time.  The world is not as it should be, and sometimes, somebody, ought to do something about it.  It seems though that whenever I’m the one to speak up amidst the silent elephant of wrong in the room, I end up marked as the one in the wrong.

It’s true.  Too bold and too soon doesn’t get received well.  I guess correction isn’t the only pathway to change either.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged,” were the words of Jesus (Matthew 7:1). I think I have a lot to learn here still.

Throw the Second Punch?

I’m reading a biography on Teddy Roosevelt to my boys.  He’s one of those man’s man kind of guys, and I’d like them to learn from historical hero’s like that.

One of the stories about Teddy that pulled me in, even though I haven’t crossed it in this particular book yet, regards him as a Sunday School teacher.  It wasn’t the warmest moving story about church though.  He was asked to step down from teaching children.  Apparently one of his Sunday School students had a sister who was being bullied.  The boy put up with it for a while, but eventually the boy punched the bully in the nose.  As reward for his sense of justice, Teddy gave him a quarter.  The church was having none of it.

So what do you teach your kids?

Do you want to teach them to be defenders of justice, or to be patient in long-suffering?  

Outreach, the Second Place Finisher to Discipleship

Whether you’re talking churches, para-churches, missional communities or small groups, it never seems to fail that each will emphasize either outreach over discipleship, or discipleship over outreach.  I’m doing my best to lead a church that splits it’s time well between the two, but I doubt there will ever be a perfect balance.

Perhaps it’s a chicken vs. the egg kind of thing.  You can’t have one without the other, and maybe it’s an idle matter to figure out which one comes first.  

As Jesus opens the Sermon on the Mount in Mathew 5:13-20, I think I see the lean toward discipleship as the leading edge.  He’s talking primarily about doing outreach – being “salt and light” to a world that needs it.  That kind of outreach though starts with one’s personal potency – you have to have the qualities of salt and light, to make the qualitative difference those things are known for.  

If we take God at his word, and follow with a strenuously literal interpretation, our nature as disciples won’t be able to help but cause questions; questions that serve as their own outreach, and lead people back to the God who made them. 

Putting Your Service Where Your Mouth Is

 

Muskego ParadeIMG_5600web

This past Sunday, Lakepoint Church moved it’s Sunday Service to a parade parking lot.  It was pretty much the only way for us as a church body to participate in the parade.  Attendance was a little lighter, offering was non-existent, and I don’t even want to know if we had any first time guests at our regular location!  Even so, I think it was the right thing to do.  We talk so much about being a church for everyday life and everyday relationships, that I feel we just couldn’t hide inside our building while a community parade was going on during Sunday morning service times.

When should you mess with your Sunday service.  This is the third time we’ve done it this year.  We moved our baptism service to an alternative location in June, and back in March we replaced our Sunday Service by hosting a food-packing service project with Generosity Feeds.  

Is it okay to move your service to where your mission is, or do you need some staple consistency from which the creativity flows elsewhere?

 

What the Exponential Conference has Me Still Thinking About

I’m still thinking about a few comments and concepts from the Exponential Conference last week.  Hoping to figure out where to go with them next:

  1. Mac Lake said try taking on a new leadership resident – not based on readiness, but willingness.
  2. Vince Antonucci encouraged people to identify the metaphor, and testimony or two, that captures the mission their church?  Sentences don’t become part of the way you think, stories do.  Vince also encouraged pastors to really evaluate their services – rock songs and top ten lists are normal, greeting at the door like wal-mart and not explaining text/songs is not.
  3. Is it about conversion, or adoption?
  4. Jeff Vanderstelt made you think about how to make missional communities about much more than the structure of the gathering, and instead emphasize the quality of the community and formation.
  5. Michael Frost used Colossians to discourage pastors from treating everyone like they have evangelistic gifting… and instead treat everyone like they can live a life worth of questions, and be ready to give a response.
  6. Really loved how Michael Frost and Jeff Vanderstelt represent an all-in posture with God.