Today we began our series on BECOMING A HEALTHY CHURCH, complete with Robbie in scrubs as we looked at the 10 Characteristics of a healthy church. This week our church body is taking the CHAT (Church health assessment test).
Opening Prayer --Prayer For A Healthy Church
Love The Lord (Lincoln Brewster) We opened with this one since it was the "text" of the sermon today.
Bless The Lord (Laura Story) 2nd week on this one. However, we did it in F-Gb (yikes) instead of our "G-Ab" from last week. Reminder to self--do it in G
Missions Moment--Belgium ( We featured my friend Kyle Goen who is going to plant a Sending Church in Belgium in 2011. Kyle and I have known each other for 17+ years as we served as Ministers of Youth in the same association in the early 1990's. It sure was good to see his face on the screen today)
Kyle Goen Belgium Testimony from Kyle Goen on Vimeo.
Jesus Messiah (Tomlin) Been a long one since we did this one.
Great Is Thy Faithfulness (Lincoln Brewster) Great hymn
Morning Message--What Is A Healthy Church? Robbie Boyd
Here and Now (Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown) Last time for this one for a while. I think we really know it by now.
How was your Sunday?
Our church is beginning this week to take the Church Health Assessment Test (CHAT) over on Healthychurch.net. We are looking forward to seeing the responses of leadership and the congregation and understanding where we are and where we discern the Lord leading us to go as a body of believers.
I like what Rick says here that CHAT will give us ACCURATE INFORMATION and we add the PRAYERFUL DISCERNMENT and the end result will be CLARITY which I think any church now days would welcome.
I'll keep you posted on the results and the process.
Just a reminder why we are given the day to remember
I love the creativity here (some simple as inspiration from a rug at Lowes) Some use fabric or coroplast circles. Dig into this site and see what you can find.
Other sites: Productionmusings.com
I don't even remember which speaker spoke about this but he was talking about the fact (undeniable) that leadership ages year after year. As we all know situations around us are changing with the times (economic, political, social, religious, values, etc) and that each year leadership faces the challenge of staying "up with the times" or "relevant" as the new buzz word says.
The speaker talked about leaders who tried to keep the same "persona" that they had while they were young and that as they aged they couldn't see themselves any other way. It almost becomes a farce to see these leaders who are stuck in the past and can't adapt.
But as sad as it is to see those stuck is to see those who try to be something they are not in order to be relevant.
He then referred to The William Shatner Effect (nod to SAGE conference on 5/19/10). We all know William Shatner (if not for STAR TREK then this generation will certainly know him from his PRICELINE ads). Shatner has been a star on the scene since the late 50's and he's a person who has learned to adapt.
The speaker talked about two things that have made Shatner a player in today's game.
1.Shatner let go of who he was. He's no longer Captain Kirk. He's given that role off to another generation and he's taken on roles that almost are the opposite of Kirk with his zany lawyer role on a recent sitcom. This, the speaker said, was Shatner's genius in that he no longer took himself so seriously and gripped to his past accomplishments in order to feel relevant. Shatner's adaptability is something to emulate for leaders who are growing older. Don't hold on to who you were--but hold on to who you are and let that be expressed in current terms, within the scope of your situation.
That's true for me as a worship leader. I can not rock the look of a "castro hat, white belt, tight jeans and Abercrombie shirt" worship leader. It would be almost comical for me to pull that off as "the new me". However, I can be aware of culture and how certain things that are essentially me can be expressed in "current" terms. I must be about that in order to stay up in leadership.
2. Shatner has matured not turned old. Shatner has allowed his character(s) to express who he is right now. His roles and visibility are the essence of who he is right now, not the gold shirt wearing Captain of the Enterprise. He is "relevant" because of his presence in the "now" and not the "back then " (man, that's a lot of quotations in this post!")
A leader must define his current reality and let his skills and sets be expressed within that realm. In that regard it is difficult to stay up with all of the changes in technology and things--but if you want to stay a leader you must stay sharp. Knowledge is never ending and I'm surprised at leaders who just stop growing. I hope I never get that way.
So, what do you think of the William Shatner Effect in leadership?
This might lead to a whole set of posts on TV CHARACTER LEADERSHIP (aka...The Andy Griffith Effect, The Jethro Bodine Effect.. )
Well, it's always fun to "laugh" at ourselves and how seriously we take the topic of worship. See if any of these tickle you!
As I always say--there's truth in humor
I'm kind of late to the game on this book. About a year ago I heard the buzz about it, but just now have cracked the cover on it and boy can I tell you that in the first 30 pages I tagged something about every third paragraph. There's just something when you see something in writing that has been rambling around in your mind and heart. I'm afraid I know how this will end--it will be another book to "ruin" me to status quo in the local church. I won't ever be the same again.
I'll keep you posted as I go and as I delve into the issues and statements that I read. All those that I've already marked are worthy of individual blogs and posts here. I'll try not to overwhelm you with all of my gleanings.
You can download 16 pages of the book here and read it for yourself.
CrossPoint church is a 7 year old church plant in the heart of Nashville. They have 3 satellite campuses (Dickson, North and Bellevue) and have exploded in growth. They meet most if not all of the 10 Characteristics of A Healthy Church.
1. God's Empowering Presence--I've been here in their worship services and it's true. The feeling of God's life changing power is in the music, in the elements and in the teaching of Pete Wilson. They are constantly baptizing people and are having life change happen before their very eyes.
2. God-Exalting Worship--ditto...everything points to the Father.
6-Servant‐Leadership Development --this is refreshing as I find that their staff is TEAM ORIENTED and leadership is shared across the organization---very different!
7-An Outward Focus--again, when the Nashville flood hit, there was no question "if" but "when and where" CrossPoint would jump in. It was immediate and was noticed. They operate a shelter in downtown Nashville and continually have community service days for their congregation.
8-Wise Administration and Accountability -led by capable Elders and staff their structure is sound
9-Networking with the Body of Christ ---they are constantly networking across the country and around the globe to impact the world. They have works in Dominican Republic and India. Their networking capabilities brought in workers for flood relief from across the country.
10-Stewardship and Generosity--- constantly teaching about the meaning of stewardship and generous giving, the people of Cross Point are amazing in this area.
I guess for me as we look at BECOMING A HEALTY CHURCH it's good to find examples to look out, not to compare ourselves to, but to say "IT CAN BE DONE!" Thanks CrossPoint for showing the way.
Kyle Goen | April 19, 2009 Testimony from LifePoint Church on Vimeo.
I'm excited that this week in Worship we will focus on the country of Belgium. My good friend, Kyle Goen, who is Executive Pastor at LifePoint Church in Smyrna, Tennessee has surrendered to a call to go and plant churches in Belgium.
Listen to Kyle as he tells how he came to this decision. Knowing Kyle, this is a huge step in his life and the life of his family. Kyle served at FBC Venus (not the planet--the town near Fort Worth) while I served in Alvarado in the early 90's. We both knew each other pre-children days and shared some great ministry times together at church camps and events. Our friendship has carried across the years.
Pray for the Belgium Team from LifePoint that will go and start a work there later this year and into 2011.
Is your "Yes" on the line?
Other articles: A Church's Call To Belgium
God's Call To Belgium
Characteristic 3-Spiritual Disciplines
Characteristic 4-Learning and Growing in Community
Characteristic 5-A Commitment to Loving and Caring Relationships
Characteristic 6-Servant‐Leadership Development
Characteristic 7-An Outward Focus
Characteristic 8-Wise Administration and Accountability
Characteristic 9-Networking with the Body of Christ
Characteristic 10-Stewardship and Generosity
Over the next few months you'll see lots of posts about this effort. I hope you'll share your experiences in becoming healthy and also in helping the church become "what she was created to be--the BRIDE OF CHRIST--given to show HIS GLORY!"
You can also read a portion of the book that formed the basis of this survey here.
Another Sunday... and I sit here looking back and looking forward. I've said in recent post how the Month of May has seemed like an endless promotion for this or that (missions here, VBS, Camps, graduates, moms, babies dedicated, shoes collected, dinners, testimonies, business meetings, departures, etc). Maybe it's just the musician in me, but for me worship (the act of the, the engagement in and the appreciation of the function of) has taken a back seat this month to all of the business of church.
We have continually shortened our worship portion in order to accomodate all of these special events this month. Sitting there this morning the thought came to me that it's going to take a while to get back into the groove of worship (meaning really engaging in worship ) in the coming months and that won't be easy with people beginning to leave for vacations. I guess for summer it will be a sensitivity how to get people back in the mindset of participating in worship.
I understand that when the church gathers that information must be communicated about group life, but hear me when I say that at some point "everyone's announcement that is urgent and necessary" becomes more dialogue to ourselves about ourselves and not about God. Worship is for and to God. I'm afraid that we've lost that meaning.
Bless The Lord (Laura Story)--I've been wanting to sing this song for a while. We opened by reading Psalm 103 and I hope that people will remember that little chorus this week "Bless the Lord O My soul--all that's in me bless his name"
Indescribable (Laura Story)--Another Laura Story song. My bass player said "Hey, it's a Laura Story Sunday" :) We love this song.
Recognition of our Interim Teaching Pastor--Ed Ethridge. This was Ed's last day with us as he heads back to the Metroplex to be interim at another church closer to home.
Missions Moment--Australia --Sarah Carpenter, member of our praise team is leaving in July for Hillsong Leadership College in Sydney. Sarah shared not only about Hillsong but about the spiritual condition of Australia. We also prayed for one of our students leaving for Kenya this week.
Recognition of Senior Class---Prayer time for these graduates.
Immortal Invisible (Laura Story) -Cut due to time
From The Inside Out (Joel Houston)
Morning Message-- What To Say On A New Day-Ed Ethridge
Here and Now (Paul Baloche/Benton Brown)
Next Sunday we begin our summer series BECOMING A HEALTHY CHURCH.
As we begin this journey on BECOMING A HEALTHY CHURCH it's good to sometimes laugh at things and think "oh, my goodness, we're not like that" (and we're not totally like RONNIE) But if we are honest with ourselves there is a little bit of Ronnie in each of us.
Our expectations of CHURCH LIFE have been set from our upbringing, our experiences, our education and our culture. Could any one of these be a reason that "RONNIE" is the way he is? Could that be true of us too?
So--laugh with (not at Ronnie) because truth be told RONNIE lives within all of us.
Here is a breakdown of Pink's 6 Things that will be important in the new economy
Design – He called this “a fundamental business literacy.” He spoke of General Motors‟ Vice Chairman for Global Product Development, Robert Lutz, saying “We are in the arts and entertainment business,” and of the CEO of Procter & Gamble saying, “I don‟t think anyone thinks we‟re not in the design business. . . It‟s all design.”
Story – He said that because “we live in a world of ubiquitous, free facts,” telling a story about a product adds value for customers. “Story as a differentiator is where design was about 12 years ago,” he observed. He told about buying wine and being influenced by the “back story” on the label of Big Tattoo wine. (You can read that story at http://www.bigtattoowines.com/about/)
Play leads to creative breakthroughs and is also, he said, “a marker of organizational health.”
My introduction to Godin came through Twitter and the buzz surrounding the book TRIBES. It's a short book but oh so full of power packed thoughts and ideas. I believe that it is the most marked up book that I have in my library.
What I enjoyed most about Godin was his non-linear approach to the topic. The book read almost like a "brain dump" of collected ideas that were sketched on a napkin or in a daily journal. I guess that's why each thought was so concentrated and full of "life".
I read the LINCHPIN book too with as much anticipation as I did TRIBES. Godin again didn't disappoint with his insights into the changing economy and job scene.
I'd encourage you to pick up a Godin book and then tell me what you think.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
There are a few authors who have so captured my imagination with their writing as Dan Pink have. A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future
When I read "A WHOLE NEW MIND" I felt like he was inside my head, rummaging through the file cabinets of my ideas and feelings. It was a good but strange feeling.
One morning earlier this month I awoke and couldn't go back to sleep. I searched on YouTube for Dan Pink's profile and came across these talks. I listened to all 6 sessions and yes, he captured my imagination again with his talk on Abundance and Asia and other things that are affecting our world right now.
I'm working my way through Free Agent Nation right now. It's a dangerous book, but everywhere I look I see what Pink is saying is coming true. We are no longer a nation of factories and widgets, but of ideas and idealists who are searching for the next great thing. That is where the future lies for the American economy.
I challenge you to sit down and listen to all 6 of these talks. They are amazing. Then let's discuss what Pink says is the future...and how it will be here sooner than we think.
Summary of Daniel Pink talk
Macchia's book is an excellent starting point on church health. It's so practical and I love that each chapter ends with a prayer embodying the essence of that chapter in a couple of sentences.
Our focus this summer will be on "BECOMING A HEALTHY CHURCH" which begs the question "What is a healthy church?" It's a question that not only faces FBC Snyder, but the larger church in general.
This year I finish up my 23rd year in ministry and to be honest with you every church that I have served has had issues with church health. They varied in degrees, but all struggled with manifestations of poor health (lack of vitality, growth, discipline, vision, etc)but often they were masked by circumstances and events that somehow pointed in another direction.
I'm excited that we're going to tackle these issues. No, it won't be easy but it will be necessary to look under the hood and understand our church and THE CHURCH and do our part of being a healthy body. We've got many things planned to help us in these areas. I'll be blogging about a lot of this so get ready.
What do you think makes a healthy church?
I've written before how my daughters are taken with GLEE and each Tuesday evening we all gather around the TV (even DVR'd) to see and hear the music of the week.
The magic of GLEE is a combination of music, high school drama and a reminder of those high school issues and events that we'd all like to forget.
They cover all music (from JOURNEY, VANILLA ICE, FRANK SINATRA, LADY GAGA, and the best of Broadway)
The "I Dreamed A Dream" sequence from last night's show was magical. No wonder it's a hit among all ages and I must admit that I have a GLEE channel on my Pandora internet radio.
So, have you seen GLEE? What do you think?
What Is a Healthy Church?
Becoming a Healthy Church: Ten Traits of a Vital Ministry
It's going to be a busy and interesting summer as we tackle this subject.
Offertory Music -Judy Brown
In the years since, this technology has taken off and now is one of the leading technologies on Broadway and other experience staging events.
Who are the current pastors you listen too? What are their influences on you?
Another Laura Story song that I find myself singing over and over again is "Immortal Invisible" which is another fresh expression of an old hymn (IMMORTAL INVISIBLE GOD ONLY WISE) In fact the bridge contains bits of the melody from the old hymn.
I love taking the old hymns and giving them a fresh coat of paint and introducing them to the next generation. We're not changing them--we're updating them.
What hymns would you like to see the next generation know and love?
This video is circulating widely today among worship and church leaders. Some are laughing and some are not.
There is lots of truth in this video... if you go to any "cutting edge" church this is most likely what you will see and so its not bad to say "it is what it is" I guess the rub comes in those who are trying to be so relevant each week and not be in a rut to wake up and see that it's real easy to get in a rut--without even trying. (I'm not throwing stones... I'm guilty too here guys.)
In today's worship scene there are only so many moveable parts and I guess the tendency is to just keep moving them to make us think we're being "relevant" when in reality we may only be going in circles.
So--what do you think about this video? True or False--what say ye?
I think about her when I have some funny story to share about my children. I can't help but think that she would be very proud of the young ladies and young man that they've become
I think about her when I have a story to share from church. I know she shared many stories that she experienced as a pastor's wife.
I think about her when I taste some good food that reminds me of her. I can never look at a pound cake and not think of the wonderful smell of her pound cake each Thursday when she was off work and I came home from school.
I think about her when I have a frustration or an anger. She was such a good listener. You could dump anything on her and she would help you sort it out.
I think about her when I hear news from other parts of the family. She was the one always in touch with everyone and wanted to know what was going on.
I think about her when I hear the news. She loved the news and loved politics--although the War on Terrorism got her a little worked up in her last days.
I thought about her yesterday as I visited her grave and put fresh flowers on them. She's no longer here to give real flowers to, but she's here in my heart and I think about her a lot.
Mom--thanks for being the best Mother. I love and miss you.