Jul 14

Will the real ministry please stand up?

I finished reading Me, Myself, & Bob today while waiting in the jury assembly room during my second week of jury duty.

I love the part of chapter 21 on pages 243-244 where Phil Vischer talks about Christians must be “God’s representatives on earth.” No matter what kind of jobs we do or what careers we choose, we are called to be God’s hands and feet. We can’t “save the world” with our visionary ministry. We must understand where Christianity happens. Does Christianity happen in books? In movies? On TV? Sometimes, yes. But we can’t get so involved and preoccupied with our jobs and careers and projects that we forget about our everyday encounters with store clerks, restaurant servers, and people we meet on our paths to perform our job projects. That’s Christianity. That’s ministry. Ministry is caring about those regular people who cross our daily paths. Ministry is asking them how they’re doing and truly listening as they share.

To whom have you ministered today?

Jul 12

It took gas prices…

It took rising gas prices for this church to see that they couldn’t have activities, events, and meetings at their church building every night of the week. The leaders and members wanted to be involved but found it difficult to afford the gas for the commute to their meetings.

Why are we having meetings/activities several days or nights during the week at our churches? I interviewed a few years ago at a church that had something going on every night of the week. It was exhausting listening to how many times the members needed to be there. The pastor couldn’t even prepare his message for Sunday until Saturday night. Now I understand that not every member is involved in all activities and won’t need to be at every meeting offered, but many members are involved in multiple activities and groups; therefore, they will have multiple nights to meet. The staff and group leaders, however, will need to attend those meetings. How can they attend those meetings after a full day of work and still have time for family and down time for themselves?

As a church called by God, we shouldn’t be holding meetings and activities at the church building every night of the week; one night should be sufficient. We need to be out in the community, meeting people where they are. We need to stop asking people to come to us at the church building, even if our church building is a “Disney World” of excitement with movies, an amusement park, and a bowling alley. Many people who need Christ the most will not open a church door; we need to be out there meeting them, having coffee with them, and learning what they need.

Jul 08

The tortoise was right

I’m almost finished reading Me, Myself, & Bob, the story of VeggieTales and Big Idea Productions by Phil Vischer. It is an excellent read and helps us understand Phil’s journey with the company.

Chapter 20 outlines some lessons learned from the entire experience. I like lesson #5: “Bigger is no longer better.” I usually add to that statement by saying “slow and steady wins the race.” In the tortoise and hare race, the tortoise took it easy, started off slow, maintained a steady pace throughout the entire race, and although he wasn’t always in the lead, he finished first. The hare took off quickly, ran out of steam quickly, decided to rest and thought he would be ok since he had a big lead on the tortoise. While the hare slept, the tortoise steadily slipped past him.

Ministry is like that. We don’t have to be the fastest or the biggest. We do need to be smarter doing things slow and steady. We need to make sure our batteries are charged with communication with God through Bible study, prayer, and fellowship with others. Just like cell phones need to be charged each night to have power for the next day, we need to charge our batteries each day, not allowing our batteries to get too low of power and run out of steam and energy like the hare. We need to keep a steady pace of energy like the tortoise.

We need to keep a steady pace of activities and programs in our ministries as well. Too many programs or programs moving too quickly can be like the hare and run out of steam quickly. We need to focus on a few quality programs and activities that will run steadily like the tortoise.

Remember: Slow and steady wins the race!

Jul 07

books or computers?

This article is more interesting research on Generation Y and how they think and do things. We have to keep information new and alive for the interests of Generation Y.

Jul 06

A new generation title

For years we’ve been titling generational people groups. We’ve had Baby Boomers (born 1943-1960), Generation X (born early 1960′s-early 1980′s), then Millennials (born late 1970′s-2000′s), sometimes called Generation Y. They are the Facebook and MySpace generation, but according to this article in the Washington Post, this generation doesn’t like titles and doesn’t really know where they fit in so some of them have titled themselves as generation Nintendo.

Churches, children’s & youth ministries, and classrooms must recognize that Millennials/Generation Y want to be interactive. We must design our worship settings around experiences in which each individual can be involved. The teacher is the facilitator and the students are the teacher-learners. The facilitator-teacher offers the curriculum and gives the directions and the students learn by doing and participating.

In churches we can teach using video and media techniques then offer interactive games to reinforce the message. These games may look like active play time but the lesson is being reinforced and taught again through interactive play. In classrooms we can offer learning centers of various forms to teach concepts and skills for children to participate in the learning process. It looks like play time but they are learning valuable skills through play.

Jul 05

Creating newsletters

So you have a newsletter or brochure or flyer to get out about an event, but you’ve used the same old design over and over. You want this one to be different so people will take notice and it won’t end up on the floor of the car.

Start with using a different font to grab attention … Design your own font … Fontstruct.

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