Moving On UP

Well, big things have been happening behind the scenes of this blog this week.  I've purchased a domain name and am moving it to as of today.

I will keep this blog going to keep the past archives, but any new posts will be at the new address.

Social Media--A Must For 21st Century Ministry

Ok.  I've endured endless times of teasing and ridicule (not too bad) about my involvement in social media but today I have to stand up on my two feet and all 5 foot 5 inches of my body and say that EVERY MINISTER should be involved in Social Media--not just for the social part of it.

Case in point:  We had a church member become ill while out of town.  Family had to fly to them. In the meantime I remember a connection through Twitter who is geographically close to them.   I sent a tweet--get a reply--minister checks on a church member that I cannot go see.  THAT'S SOCIAL MEDIA and THE BODY OF CHRIST working hand in hand.

Case in point:  Family waiting at hospital for test resutls.  Only news available is through messaging and postings.  I keep updated so when people ask I know how they are doing.

Case in point:  Teens go through events (death of a loved one)  You connect with them and express your sympathies.  Next time you see that kid--instant connection (this happened to me)

Case in point:  When I need encouragement, I get a message from a friend who says "Do Not Fear" and all I did was tweet up a little prayer.

Case in point:  Our recent Deacon Ordination was posted via Facebook (photos) sharing the moment with family and friends all over the world who couldn't be there and messaged their prayer and support for these men.  Awesome!

I cannot tell you how many times that I can instantly connect with a family or member and talk about their current status that I don't reference something that I read or remember from their posts.  Yes, it takes some time to do this--but I usually scan the media in the morning--then maybe at lunch and then again before bed.  Takes maybe 5-8 minutes each time. It's just like having coffee with someone.   It's not always ideal--but it keeps you connected with church members and they appreciate it.

So ministers---time to get off the fence and jump in. It's the 21st Century and this is how we do it today.

RT: Ministry and Social Media

I Made A Mess of Wordpress

I can't tell if it's BLOGGER revenge or that I'm losing my technology edge, but I've made a mess of Wordpress.

I'm in the process of doing something new for my blog and so I have to take care of some administrative stuff on the back end (things you never see).

It seems that I've pulled the proverbial "ball of yarn" thing with Wordpress and I'm in the middle of a mess. (Ever heard of an MD5 tag--I hadn't until today). It seems that my earlier dabbling with for a blog still lingers and won't let me use the functions due to an internal argument of who has rights (ok--more than you wanted to know)

But, I humbly submit to anyone out there who can lend this technology mechanic a hand.  I'm in a mess!

I Have A Dream

On this Martin Luther King Day ( and just for the record I'm working today!) I keep running through my mind MLK's phrase " I have a dream" and wondering about that phrase.

I know that MLK had a dream for equality and the improvements in Civil Rights.  If anything, this was his passion and his life's calling.  He had a dream where anyone could dream and achieve and be what they were called to be.

So, that begs the question "Do I have a dream?" Is there some passion and heartbeat in my life that makes me arise each day and say "what part do I get to work on today?"  That's a big question and honestly one that I'm working on at the moment.  What is it that makes my heart beat and come alive.  Is it music?  Is it art?  Is it creativity?  Is it ministry?  Is it connecting people?  What is it?

The bible has a great example of a dreamer--Joseph.  What I find interesting about Joseph's dreams were that they weren't his alone. He didn't make them up or conjure them up; they were dreams given to him (and rightly so because he stewarded these dreams) and God used them to bring about His plan for the children of Israel (Genesis 37-50)

Maybe that's the better question on a day like today.  Not "what are my dreams" but "God what are your dreams for my life?"  Then and only then can I appreciate what I have to steward about my dream.  For you see if it's mine (of my own making) then I take more responsibility for it than I should.  I try to make it happen.

But when it's God's dream--I only have to follow the Dream Giver.  It's his--not mine and I have to be faithful to what he has revealed.

(As a side--I will tell you that I've had some wild night time dreams lately. One of them I was a lawyer and had to get my client off or it was the Death Penalty.  Let's just say I didn't succeed)

What are your dreams?  Are they God-given dreams or man-manufactured dreams?

Sunday Set List--January 16, 2011

This post is part of Sunday Set Lists over on The Worship Community Blog.  It's where worship leaders from all over the world list their set lists from today's worship.


Today Is The Day (Brewster)

Call To Worship--Psalm 118:24 (MSG)

I Will Follow (Tomlin/Morgan)


Letter To Dad--A Daughters Remembers


Better Than A Hallelujah

(I was here last year at Puckett's in Nashville as Amy introduced this song--brought back some good memories of opening night of RECREATE 10)

Scripture Reading--Psalm 103

Glory To God Forever (Fee/Beeching)

Glorious Day (Bleeker)

Offering (Baloche)

Morning Message--Ruth'less Relationships (Part 3)--A Study in Ruth

Just As I Am (Hymn Charts)

Technology Tsunami Hits Snyder, Texas

Snyder, Texas--not located near any large body of water (unless you count Lake Alan Henry to the north or the small pond called Lake JB Thomas to the southeast) is in the path of a major Tsunami.  This Tsunami is scheduled to hit the end of this month.

Now, how can a community not located near a body of water be taken over by a tsunami?  Tsunamis (the large displacement of water by an earthquake or volcano) happen suddenly and remake the landscape of the islands they impact.  The Snyder Tsunami is not weather related but technologically related.

At the end of the month, the first wave of 700+ MacBooks will be distributed to all Junior High Students for use in class, projects and instruction in the classroom.  Can you imagine the impact that is going to have on this city?   Technology in the hands of the younger generation will have the effect of a tsunami as the lower levels of the culture begin to churn against traditional forms, structures and thoughts as they connect with the availabilty of information and creativity in the classroom.   School as we know it (or knew it) will never be the same again.  Teachers have the new computers too and are having to adapt their styles and methods to include this technology.  It's a new day!

I attended an information meeting this week and the comments were interesting.  All I could do was sit back and wonder what this will mean to the culture of our community (I applaud the adoption of this program). There was resistance from some asking "why?" and the standard "are you gonna force my kids to use this stuff" to which I shook my head and thought "they already are using this stuff". And I had to chuckle at the comment about chat rooms (Chat rooms?--they haven't been around since AOL in 1993).  Nevertheless, I see a tsunami coming.

What has been the impact of large technological changes in your community?

We Went Around The World and Never Left Home

Somewhere in the last days of December 2009, I struggled with the idea of keeping a missions goal before our people, one that seemed almost impossible to meet in light of our church situation without a Senior Pastor and once again in transition.

I remember asking God "how do we do this?" Then I remembered something--the Lord had connected me with missionaries all over the world and by connecting our people to these missionaries we could celebrate all year long the work that God was doing in places that we would never know about or even go.

So, I took a calendar and the OPERATION WORLD BOOK and began to schedule each Sunday a different country to focus on, to pray for and to give connection to in our services.

This took place in many ways.  I knew that several of the missionaries would be home during the year, so I made contact with them to schedule us for a visit/interview during our services.  We did that with this missionary, and this missonary and this missionary.  Those were exciting services as we learned about their countries first hand.

We had a video from this church planter who was moving his entire family to a new culture and language for the sake of the gospel.

We did  SKYPE calls to missionaries in Serbia, Hungary and Thailand and also to a fellow minister in Egypt. (If you want to know how to do this--email me and I'll tell you how we did it)

We had testimonies from local community leaders who had gone to Uganda and Kenya.

We even prayed for people in places where we couldn't mention that they were there--you guys know who you are.

We kept the world before our people for 52 Sunday's last year.  Our goal was to raise $65,000 for missions and causes.  The result.... we raised $69,099 for this cause last year.

We went around the world in 2010 and never left home.  You can do it too and your church will never be the same.

I'm Ready For RECREATE

I can hardly contain my excitement as I anticipate attending recreate conference again this year in Franklin. This will be my 4th year to attend and each year I come away with a deeper love and connection for this creative community that has formed around Randy Elrod and the Franklin, Tennessee community.

Recreate has for it's aim these three things:

re:create has three goals:

1) refreshment
2) encouragement
3) diffusion of ideas
They succeed on all levels in these areas but I'd like to add my observation of this gathering and why it's so important to me.

CREATIVE--this conference never ceases to amaze me in the level of creativity that they bring.  From speakers to singers to surprises you walk in each day not knowing what will happen.  The setting is intimate so the impact of the creativity is enormous.  You just never know what's going to happen (who's going to appear or what's going to be given to you)

COMMUNITY--there is a sense among those who attend that this gathering of creatives must be what it was like in the Renaissance period when the exchange of ideas between artists, builders, architects, academics and the like exchanged ideas and life in one area.  Believe me when I say that there is talk among the attendees that this community should exist more than just one week a year and in some respects Franklin is becoming that community because of this conference.   I have been impacted by the interaction with people from all over the world (Canada, Egypt, Peru) and this year I can't wait to add to that list from the people who are new and coming to the conference for the first time.  The great thing is that this community continues the conversation beyond the week through conversations on blogs, twitters, facebook and more.

CONVERSATION--this conference is intentionally small so that conversations can take place at anytime and at any level.  There are people from all walks of life and industry at this conference (not all church people but almost all are involved in Kingdom work).  You will find yourself at a table with Executives, writers, musicians, artists and more.  Then at break or dinner there is a mash up and you find yourself talking to a whole new set of folks. It's this constant flow of ideas and conversations that keeps the dialogue going and exciting.  It's a level playing field at the conference where you share and hear ideas from hearts and minds--not from positions of power.

COMMUNION--finally this is a conference that has a spiritual impact. Each year we have taken communion together as a group of artists, musicians and people who hunger to know the real creative.  These have been some of the most powerful times in my life and I look forward to it each year.

There are only a few spots left at this year's conference.  If you haven't already committed to a time of refreshment, I would highly recommend this one.  You won't regret it.

The Gift of Community

Ta da!  The self-imposed BLOGGATICAL is over.   I haven't posted since November and to some of you that will not be a surprise since you stopped looking at this blog a long time ago.  

Truth be told I've been blogging, just not online--in my journals and in my head and believe me there were times I wanted to run to this blog and post something about what I was seeing and feeling--but I didn't.  I held back so that I could gain some perspective and context in what I was going through.  

I won't unload the whole cart here today but hopefully in the coming months you'll see and hear a part of me that you haven't heard before.

Today I was struck in my reading of Phillipians 1 how much community is a gift to the believer.  Paul called the Phillipians "partners" in the gospel with him and in a true sense he felt that they shared in his triumphs and his sufferings.

What is community? Wikipedia says it this way: In biological terms, a community is a group of interacting organisms sharing a populated environment. In human communities, intentbeliefresources,preferencesneedsrisks, and a number of other conditions may be present and common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness.

Ok, I'm not calling "the body of Christ" an interacting organism, although that is a great description, but I love the next description:  intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs and risks.  I think that's a pretty encompassing definition of community.

We align ourselves around the "intent" to be more Christ-like and apart from this core believe we are left to each "do as he pleases".  We must all agree on "intent" and belief is essential too.  Too much of community is divided around minor things---as they say "MAJOR ON THE MAJORS"--not the minors

Community is based on "resources" and who can't see that our vision of community is no longer just "local" but it's "glocal"--meaning it's global and local.  MY community is not just geographic anymore--but it's global by means of technology and social affinity.

The final thing that struck me about me about this definition is "RISK". Yes, we risk when we enter into community.  We risk losing part of ourselves; we risk hurt and injury; we risk safety and comfort; we risk tears and rejection.  However, the risks always have rewards because as I read Phillipians Pauls trials were theirs too but also his insights and gains in the faith were theirs too because of his faith.

What I've discovered in this period of "blog" silence is that I have a community of faith.  They speak to me and encourage me (some through texts, some through email, some in person, some via Twitter or FB).  I guess by keeping my "blog mouth" shut for a while I've been able to gain some "context" for this journey that I'm on. I'm truly understanding that I'm not alone as my community helps me with SCRIPTURE, SPIRIT and SUPPORT.  It truly is a gift.