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This video is hilariously funny… yet a little disturbing at the same time (I cringed during the last song!).

While this is humorous (and I don’t want to take away from the humor of this moment), I have a somber perspective. This video is certainly an exaggeration but speaks to the heart of a question that has rocked me for a few months now… “How cool do we have to be?” This is an issue one of the coolest pastors on the planet addressed in his blog a few months back.

Some church leaders, in a feeble attempt to be relevant, have forgotten how to be real. (Almost like the opposite extreme of legalism… which is fake holiness.) Too many churches have too many people trying too hard to be too cool. All I’m saying… we need more church leaders putting less emphasis on being cool, and more emphasis on being like Christ.

This still doesn’t change the fact that this video is soooo funny to watch!

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I’ve posted before about the importance of guarding our heart. It is the first verse we’ve had our kids memorize and sets up a lot of the parental decisions we make. There are many things we don’t allow our kids to participate in because we feel it would be letting our guard down.

However, over the years the more I’ve thought about this verse the more truth I’ve gotten from it. I ask my kids often, “How’s your heart?” We talk about if anyone has broken a promise to them. If anyone has lied to them. If anyone has hurt their heart. I don’t want my kids to grow up with broken, pain-filled hearts. Because people with broken, pain-filled hearts not only have a hard time in life, but often inflict brokenness and pain on others.

As a dad this gets tricky though and sometimes feels like a daunting task. Pain in many shapes and forms happen. Broken promises and lies happen. Broken hearts are a product of these things. But a few weeks ago I was reading and realized we don’t have to do this all on our own. The peace of God is here to help us.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

– Philippians 4:7 (NIV – emphasis added)

As a dad, and as a Christ follower, it’s good to know that God doesn’t leave this awesome task to us alone. He is here to help our kids… and us.

Orange in the Horizon

orange-horizon-peter-wilemanI’m all geeked up about going to Orange! It is one of the premier conferences for family ministry and just so happens to be in my back yard at Gwinnet Arena. There is already a buzz out there in twitterland and I know the tweets are going to blow up in the next few days.

What I’m looking forward to…

Connection: It will be awesome to connect with new, like-minded friends and making newer ones. I plan on being at this Tweet-up tomorrow night. Here I will connect face-to-face with this guy and this guy and many others. At Orange I also plan on reconnecting with this guy and this guy. Connection is good!

Team-building: We’ve got a great team from our church going (8 total). Orange will give me a chance to build on the relationships within our team and learn what drives their passion for family ministry.

Insight: With a plethora of workshops, I know we will come back with many new ideas and plans to implement at our church to make us more effective. Practical application will not be lacking!

Inspiration: The worship and general session speakers are going to be awesome! I’ve already posted that I’m a Phil Wickham fan here and here. I’m also a Francis Chan fan (evidenced here and here). I’m praying not only for our team, but that all family ministry leaders in attendance will be inspired to dream BIG!

Orange is in the Horizon… and I LIKE it! Hope to see you there!

Simply Beautiful

Chris Allen was the best on American Idol tonight. He covered Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love.” (Which was also covered by Garth Brooks, Billy Joel and many others, yet the judges kept giving Garth credit for the song.) It reminded me of my new favorite cover of this great song though. I give you Adele:

Unleash Recap

unleash091I attended the Unleash conference yesterday and NewSpring church. Wow! The love for God and people represented there was inspiring. It was great to see Perry Noble live and really see his heart for Jesus and the gospel message. He said a lot of things. Funny things. Controversial things. Inspiring things. Challenging things. Tony Morgan shared a lot of the things he said here and here. Pudge Hucakby also shared some here and here.

I also attended the Children’s Ministry (CM) and Student Ministry (SM) breakouts. The church’s facilities were outstanding. They just opened up the children and student ministry buildings in the past week!

In the CM track I enjoyed hearing about their core values. Pudge posted them here. Their team kept saying over and over, “We’re here to help kids meet Jesus on their level.” It was obvious the leadership team had clearly communicated this vision.

I enjoyed the simplicity of their recruitment plan: Ask. Equip. Encourage. They follow the model of Jesus found in Mark 4:19. I was also impressed with their use of technology. In both breakouts they briefly discussed their plans for using blogs, twitter, and text messaging. I look forward to getting more information on each of these.

The Downside of Facebook

A few years ago I scoffed at social networking. I just couldn’t see any good reason for them. However, in recent months I have seen very real benefits, personally and professionally, from tools like facebook, twitter and cmconnect. Heck, I’ve turned from a non-believer to having over 800 friends on facebook. I’m not sure how that happened, and I sure hope all of my facebook friends don’t show up at my house at the same time! 🙂

Anywhoo, while there are some good reasons for being on social networks, there are some annoying things about it as well. This guy nailed some of the things about facebook that in my opinion serve no purpose.

And just so you know, I never did a 25 things about me!

Thanks Matt for posting this!

Why Family Ministry?

In my assignment at Lawrenceville Church of God, we’re taking a new approach (for us) to children and youth ministry. In the past, we’ve had a children’s pastor and youth pastor, and recently I’ve come on staff as the Family Ministries Pastor. In this new role I’m providing leadership for nursery, children, and youth ministries. During this transition I’m certain there will be challenges, but in my opinion this model provides many more benefits. Some of which are:

  • Strengthens partnership with families by providing comprehensive ministry with the entire family in mind.
  • Fortifies staff relationships and helps eliminate ‘independent contractor’ mentality.
  • Provides strategic alignment in philosophy of ministry and programing.
  • Allows development of a scope and sequence for ministry from birth to college.
  • Assists in creating a smooth transition from one ministry to the next for children and students.
  • Eliminates scheduling conflicts by operating off of one calendar.
  • Offers more opportunities for volunteers to find their sweet spot in the broader model.
  • Streamlines the volunteer process by having one application and process for all family ministry volunteers to go through.

I’m sure they’re are other benefits and would love to hear from my ministry pals out there as to what they are. I’d also like to hear some of the challenges we might face while transitioning to the family ministry model. Holler!