Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Worship is so huge...

Monday, June 16, 2008

More Roaring Lambs

Here are a few more excerpts from chapter two of Roaring Lambs. The title is Salt: Make Use of It...

...the salt Jesus had in mind is stinging, biting, cleansing, and preserving and is anything but dull, anything but tame. To the kind of salt Christ spoke about is to be on the cutting edge, in the fray, at the forefront of battle.

The way to be salt is to replace evil with good, not just to sound off against the evil.

We do not have to be the best to be effective, but we have to be at our best.

Being a roaring lamb is not about special days, special emphases, special people, and special professions. Rather, it is about everyday people doing everyday jobs with a very special goal---that of effectively representing Christ in all areas of society. Our churches should exist for this.

I love how this challenges us to do ordinary things with an extraordinary purpose. That last sentence that our churches should exist for this is so right on. As a leader and equipper in the Church, my main goal ought to be to glorify God by equipping God's people to shine (or in this case, to be salty) in real life.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

If Not Excellence, What?

Here's another word from Tom Peters which I think is absolutely essential to our discussion on being roaring lambs, being miracles. If not excellence, what?

Excellence Always from Tom Peters on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Roaring Lambs

This morning, I picked up my copy of Bob Briner's book Roaring Lambs. Once again, it ambushed me with both passion and truth. Below is an excerpt from chapter 1. It's lengthy but well worth the read.

...despite all the fancy buildings, sophisticated programs, and highly visible presence, it is my contention that the church is almost a nonentity when it comes to shaping culture. In the arts, entertainment, media, education, and other culture-shaping venues of our country, the church has abdicated its role as salt and light.

Culturally, we are lambs. Meek, lowly, easily dismissed cuddly creatures that are fun to watch but never a threat to the status quo.

It's time for those lambs to roar.

...My point is really quite simple. Look around you. Can you honestly say that Christian influence is felt in Hollywood? That a Christian presence is evident in the major art galleries and museums of our land? That when you turn on the television you are aware of an underlying foundation of Judeo-Christian values in that medium? That as you pick up the morning newspaper you see objective (not favorable, just objective) treatment of religion in your community? That when you browse through the best sellers at the airport bookstores you will find even one novel written by an active, church-going, born again Christian?

Do you honestly believe that our big churches and highly visible Christian leaders have brought about a movement that is taken seriously in this country?

We feel we are making a difference because we are so important to ourselves. We have created a phenomenal subculture with our own media, entertainment, educational system, and political hierarchy so that we have the sense that we're doing a lot. But what we've really done is create a ghetto that is easily dismissed by the rest of society.

...I'm afraid many in the world view us as a flock of lambs grazing in the safe pastures surrounding our churches that have been designed to blend right in with the neighborhood landscape. We're good neighbors. We look like everyone else. And except for Sunday morning, we follow the same patterns of behavior as those who have little or no interest in religion. Our lives are divided into sections labeled religious and secular, and neither category seems to affect the other. Consequently, our religious views are not taken very seriously.

I have a number of friends in network television, the business community, newspaper journalism, and the arts, and I've learned two things about them. First, they have little to do with Christianity, but second, they are consumed by their pursuit of success. What this has told me is that if I want to reach them with the Gospel, the worst thing I could do is invite them to church or "witness" to them during a break in the board meeting. On the other hand, if I want to point them toward the Savior, I need to make sure my professional behavior is stellar. I need to make the best presentations, close the most successful deals, deliver the greatest product I possibly can. To them, my work is a reflection of who I am.

...We need to reclaim the territory, not in a triumphalistic sense but out of a strong conviction that this is where we belong. Our churches are growing. Our colleges are full. Subscriptions and sales are up at our magazine- and book- publishing companies. And our broadcast media continue to bring our own music and teaching into our homes. In short, our subculture is healthy. It doesn't need more attention. It's the world that needs help.

It's time for the lambs to roar.

What I'm calling for is a radically different way of thinking about our world. Instead of running from it, we need to rush into it. And instead of just hanging around the fringes of our culture, we need to be right smack dab in the middle of it.

Can we hear the voice of the Spirit here? This is what I've been talking about. Dream big! Act now! Stand out! Be the miracle!

Watch out for my new initiative DreamBigRevolution! A community and a movement that seeks to nurture, inspire, and equip shining stars for the Kingdom of God.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Dream Big: Henry David Thoreau

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.

Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Act Now: You are One of a Kind

'"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. ... No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others."'

from The Life and Work of Martha Graham

Dream Big: Frogs

Once upon a time there was a bunch of tiny frogs who arranged a running competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower. A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants....

The race began...

Honestly, no one in crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower. You heard statements such as:

'Oh, WAY too difficult!!'

'They will NEVER make it to the top.'


'Not a chance that they will succeed. The tower is too high!'

The tiny frogs began collapsing. One by one....except for those, who in a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher....

The crowd continued to yell. 'It is too difficult!!! No one will make it!' More tiny frogs got tired and gave up....

But ONE continued higher and higher and higher....This one wouldn't give up! At the end every one else had given up climbing the tower. Except for the one tiny frog who, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top!

THEN all of the other tiny frogs naturally wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it?

A contestant asked the tiny frog how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal?

It turned out...the winner was DEAF!!!!

The wisdom of this story is: Never listen to other people's tendencies to be negative or pessimistic because they take your most wonderful dreams and wishes away from you -- the ones you have in your heart!

Always think of the power words have. Because every thing you hear and read will affect your actions!

Therefore: Be DEAF when people tell YOU that you cannot fulfill your dreams!

"I can do ALL things through [Christ] who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

More comments please!

Thanks to all of you who've commented on the FOJC Youth Congress post below. I'd love to hear from more people and how the experience has impacted them. I'll be publishing the comments on the new website I'm working on. Should be done before the end of the month. I'll announce it here.

For all of you who want to be a miracle...Watch out for the new DreamBigRevolution.com!

Mark is home.

Got back to Ottawa on Monday night. I'm glad to be home with Beth and the kids.

My engagement at Beacon UMC went well. It was the first time we offered my teaching DVD, "Hearts on Fire: Apostolic Roots of the Methodist Church" for sale. I was encouraged to see the response. I didn't really push it...in fact, I almost forgot to mention it to Alan, the pastor of Beacon UMC.

Now we get back to the grind of designing my new website and registering the new ministry.