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Posts Tagged ‘church’

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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Starbuck.CoffeeYesterday I posted that Churches, like Starbucks, should allow their progams and methods to be defined in large part by their surrounding community, not corporate headquarters. In essence, the ‘how’ of our ministry should be defined by the ‘who’ and ‘where’ we live, not just by the logo on the sign out front.

Secondly, churches should be more like Starbucks by remembering to “keep the main thing the main thing”. When you hear “Starbucks” the first thing that comes to mind is coffee. Sure they’ve got their cool music business, hip decor, and green aprons, and they do all these things with excellence, but for Starbucks it all started with the coffee.

Jim Donald, Starbucks president and CEO, was talking about the excellent execution they expect in all their ventures and suggested, “We can’t let the coffee down. Day in and day out, we have to consistently execute on the details.” WOW! Can’t let the coffee down? Are you serious? This guy’s passion is obvious and he believes everything Starbucks does must champion the main thing… coffee.

Churches can easily get sidetracked. Pet ministry programs. Political hot-buttons. Social issues. Denominational distinctives. These things can take us off of what is central… Jesus. Jesus and His gospel of grace, hope, forgiveness, truth and the love that He offers. Jesus is the main thing! We’ve got to make sure that in all the things we do, and even how we do them, not to let the message of Jesus down.

Starbucks may have coffee, but we’ve got Jesus!

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StarbucksIn the past, denominations were like brands, and churches within those denominations were like little franchises. You could travel across the country, and even to other parts of the world, and you pretty much new what you were getting when you walked into certain denominational churches.

Kinda like a McDonald’s. Whenever you go to McDonald’s, you know you’re going to get the same stuff (good or bad) wherever you are. Staples like the BIG MAC, Chicken McNuggets, and fries are readily available. This was made evident to me when I visited McDonald’s in Moscow many years ago. While I’m not a huge Mickey D’s fan, the trip to the golden arches was a welcomed visit after eating Russian food for over a week. 🙂

Starbucks takes a different approach though. While there are certain ‘consistent’ things at Starbucks, each store has an independence to change things depending on their surrounding culture. Things like the music that is played, the seating arrangements, specialty products offered and even the food and beverage choices could vary quite a bit depending on the store location and the folks who live there. This seems practical and could hold a lesson for denominations.

Here’s the deal. Denominational churches often spend too much time focusing on their distinctives. Instead, we need more churches whose focus is on the Gospel and how to communicate it to their current culture. We need churches who celebrate the hope Jesus offers to their community instead of celebrating what makes them different from the church down the road.

While denominational distinctives are important, they are not central. The cross is! (More on that in part 2.) Now I admit, this is a very simplistic explanation to a much more complicated issue, but sometimes simple is better. What are your thoughts?

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It seems everyone is talking about personal debt these days, and with good reason. Americans’ credit card debt is reported to be $8400 per household. (To see more stats click here.)

And for those who want help, there is not a lack of information or resources. A simple google search for ‘credit card help’ will reveal a surplus of agencies ready to lend a hand. But I saw something interesting on Alan’s blog today. Good Morning America ran a story on a couple who was $90,000 in debt and turned to their church for help. (To read or view the story click here.)

Hopefully this kind of story will encourage more folks to turn to their churches in search for a Biblically based solution to their financial crisis. Additionally, there should be more churches offering folks sound counsel on how to tackle this pandemic problem.

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