Dave Milam – To Those Who Stole Our Stuff

I just finished speaking to Dave Milam, planting pastor of Kinetic Church in Charlotte, NC. I first came across Kinetic Church’s website a couple of years ago as I was investigating various church websites. It was really intriguing and different and caught my attention. Over the last couple of years, I drop by the site occasionally to see what they’re up to now.

I began blogging in January and recently entered a blogging tournament (which you can click here to vote for me) of which Dave is a participant. I decided to check out the “competition” and dropped by his blog. I then realized that he is the pastor of Kinetic Church, which was pretty cool and ironic. While on his blog, I came across their story of how their church trailer with the church equipment was stolen. Pretty sad and pathetic stuff when people stoop to steal from a church. But what was amazing was their response to this horrible deed. I was so moved by it that I shared the video clip with our own church last Sunday. They in turn were moved by it as well.

I think it’s important that when someone does something that inspires, encourages, or challenges us (or all three in this case), then we need to let them know. We need to speak that to them so that the Spirit works through us to encourage them further. And so I called Dave this morning to do just that.

Sadly, Dave has received far more negative reaction, from hateful emails to calls in the middle of the night. I am deeply saddened to hear of this. Why do certain people within the body of Christ find it their responsibility to correct everyone else, to disrupt and discourage, to bring about turmoil and criticism? That is NOT what Jesus Christ calls us too. That is why it’s so important for us to encourage whenever we can, because you can rest assured that those who do the criticizing will not hesitate to throw their venom.

Dave, for me, and on behalf of The Grove, press on brother! We’re praying for you!

Blogging Tournament – Round 2

It’s that time again. Last week’s opening round pitted 16 church-planting bloggers against each other blogging about whether the presidential election still matters. Thanks to YOU, I’ve made it to Round 2. This week, the remaining 8 are blogging about the best ideas for marketing and/or outreach for $500 or less. I have decided to run with an idea submitted by Tim M. Make sure you take 2 minutes to drop by to vote. (Here’s the voting link). And here’s the entry below:

Got Excuses?

Five Hundred dollars. It seems like such a large amount to us as individuals, but almost meaningless if you’re limited to it for an outreach/marketing idea. I’m not sure, but I think that’s the combined price of a gallon of gas and a cup of coffee at Starbucks. So how far can $500 take you? About 30 miles or 30 minutes, depending on your personal limits. Which doesn’t give us much wiggle room here.

However, I think I heard Craig Groeschel say that:

“Limited resources + increasing passion = exponential innovation.”

Which means that $500 isn’t the limiting factor, it’s our vision, our creativity. For $500 we have to stretch ourselves and get out of the box of easy and be willing to be “a little different”. But aren’t we anyway?

The suggestion from The Grove (via my blog) is titled “Got Excuses?”

  1. Setup a website or use existing church website.
  2. Have a section where people can post entries or provide an email address where people can send excuses/questions on why they don’t attend church.
  3. Have your car detailed with the website/church/email address with some basic information directing them to said site. Nothing like mobile advertisement. (Will you look a little strange? Yes…but see previous paragraph)
  4. Respond to people’s excuses/questions in video format, utilizing YouTube, in 5 minutes or less.

Will it fill the church? Probably not. Will it create awareness and buzz? Most definitely. Will someone become a guest as a result? Absolutely.

  • Website cost – $195
  • Car Graphics – $300
  • Gas – $1000 (but we’re not really counting that, disregard)
  • Starbucks (While cruising) – $500 (hmmm, let’s not count that either)

Someone walking into your church because you’re willing to be different and meeting Jesus as a result – Priceless!!

Balancing Act

I came across a really interesting post over on the blog run by the super-creative pastors at lifechurch.tv.  It has to do with balance.  This topic is one of those that is always simmering beneath the surface, especially at the pace of life that so many of us live these days.  As a result, the thoughts of a balanced life are either near and dear or something we hate to hear.  Here’s what the guys over at  Swerve have to say about the subject………

One of the most common topics people ask me about is how I balance my life, family, and ministry.

My response is simple, “I don’t live a balanced life.

In my opinion, the balanced life is unachievable and unbiblical.

balance.jpgJesus didn’t call us to live a balanced life. He called us to follow Him.

While following Jesus, our life will often be out-of-balance. He may lead us on long stretches of ministry followed by a substantial season of rest. Ministry will rarely be predictable.

Some pastors are pursuing the illusive goal of the balanced life only to fail again and again.

  • Their marriages struggle.
  • Their ministries limp along.
  • They are spiritually exhausted.

Their blog is directed mostly to others in ministry.  But I think there is application in other areas as well.  How about you?  Does this throw you a curveball?  Does this offer you some relief?  What are your thoughts?

C o nn e ctio n Pro bl ems

One of my discoveries within the blog world is how much useful ministerial information there is available, and how willing other ministers are to help you.  I recently made the acquaintance of a guy by the name of Bill Reichart, who is the “Connections” Pastor at a church in North Atlanta.  That means his job is to help create opportunities for people to experience community within the life and context of their church. 

More and more, people are just disconnected.  And even though it is a high priority for many churches, including The Grove, it remains a difficult and elusive goal for most churches.  I spoke to Bill by phone last week and they are constantly experimenting with strategies to get people involved in their community of faith in such a way that they will be able to grow.  No easy task.  Their church is larger than ours, but the challenges are similar.   According to him, one of the most frequent complaints within the church, and others, is “I’m not connected.”  The most difficult part of this statement is that there is a requirement on the part of the disconnected member to create space and opportunity to do so. 

Take a few minutes to drop by one of Bill’s blogs (he has two, one of which is in my blogroll) and read his take on connecting within the church.  It’s a helpful read…I promise. 

I’m Not Connected, by Bill Reichart

Looking For Sin

sin-kills.jpgI’ve had several conversations over the last two weeks about the seeming decline in the importance of Easter among Christians.  I’ve been wondering if I’m just missing it, or if it’s really happening.  I grew up in the South, which has been known for years as the “Bible Belt”.  And it’s true to a large extent.  Church is part of the culture of the South.  Even those who claim no religious affiliation whatsoever recognize the place of church in southern culture.  And for those who are regular church attenders, church and church life often are the hub of life.  It is the center point that everything else revolves around.  So when Easter arrives, it is THE DAY!  When you get down to it, Christmas is an important celebration, but there is no call for it in the Bible.  But Easter….. Jesus told us to REMEMBER!  Easter is the watershed event in Christianity because it sets Christianity apart from every other faith…because our leader – Jesus Christ – is NOT in a tomb.  He rose again.  And that is what led to Easter being such a large celebration in the life of the church in the South. 

But maybe I’m NOT missing it.  Maybe I’m NOT misreading the cultural tea leaves.  In Friday’s edition of USA Today, There was an article titled “Has the Notion of Sin Been Lost?”  (You can read it here).  Rev. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, made this observation:

Continue reading

Good Friday – What is It?

Businesses close.  Schools close.  It is marked on the calendar and observed carefully by millions of people around the world.  So what is it?  What is Good Friday all about?  Before I answer those questions, let me offer another twist.  I’m not convinced that Good Friday is really is Good Friday.  I never have been.  Why do I say that?  Because Jesus Christ gave a recurring hint at how he would prove he was the Son of God.  He would be dead for THREE days, and THREE nights.  I am no math wizard, but I’ve never been able to count three days and three nights between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning.  I think there must be another explanation.  And maybe this has bothered you as well.  Maybe it’s kept you from connecting the dots.  If so, or if you just enjoy deepening your understanding of biblical issues, take the time to read this excellent post (click here to read) examining the problems of “Good Friday.” 

With that being said (and hopefully read…you did read the link,didn’t you?), let me add that whether people focus on the work of the cross on Friday, Thursday, or Wednesday, the important thing is that people DO recognize what Jesus did……… FOR YOU!  That’s right!  “Good Friday” is about YOU!  Some of you out there are probably thinking that I have completely lost it….because Good Friday is about Jesus.  That’s true in so much as it is the crucifixion of Jesus that we recognize. 

BUT WHY WAS JESUS CRUCIFIED? 

IT WAS FOR YOU!

No matter who you are, no matter where you are, no matter where you come from, no matter what you have done, Jesus Christ died for you.  Everything has a price.  And so does sin.  In our modern world, sin’s price is often time in jail or fines.  In the Old Testament biblical world, the price of sin was death…the death of some sort of unblemished animal to “PAY” for the sin of the guilty party.  But it was always a temporary fix.  However, it served to point to the need for a permanent solution….a perfect “once-for-all” sacrifice.  That was Jesus Christ.  He is described in the Bible as a “spotless lamb” and “the lamb that takes away the sins of the world”.  His death, His sacrifice, was offered to “PAY” for the sin of all guilty parties….and THAT MEANS YOU!  AND IT MEANS ME! 

passion005.jpgIt was the most brutal of deaths.  But it was “GOOD”  because it is now offered for you and me as a payment for our guilt.  Just before Jesus drew his last breath he said, “It is finished!”  It was the reason he came.  It was the destiny of his life here….to pay a price we could not pay.  And we can all apply this payment to our account….IF WE CHOOSE TO!  For a more thorough explanation, please proceed to the information on “The Main Thing” page at the top of the blog. 

What thrills me most is that Jesus is not still on the cross.  There is still something more.  And that is what Easter is about.  I will add another post on Easter morning as we celebrate this MOST special time of the year. 

So how about you?  Has it really become “GOOD” Friday for you yet?  Has it become “GOOD” news for you yet?  It can be…..just say YES!

Free Conference

Well, somebody give me 10 lashes with a wet noodle.  I completely whiffed on this one, but there are still a few pitches left that you can all swing at. 

I found out earlier today that there is a tremendous conference for pastors and church leaders that is being hosted at Mars Hill Church in Seattle.  That’s where Mark Driscoll is the pastor.  It’s called “Text and Context”.  As you might expect, it is sold out.  What it is completely UNEXPECTED is that since it is sold out, they are streaming sessions online for free.  You can view the conference LIVE here.  (It is also live tonigh!)

Once there, scroll down for the schedule and for speakers.  Enjoy!