Sunday, April 27, 2008


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thanks are in order...

I appreciate my friends.

People who know me and love me anyway.

I love you all.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tony Jones and Trucker Frank...

Incredibly interesting story...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Woe to you... I guess

(I've edited this post some since I originally wrote it.)

I am typically appalled at the mega church mentality. No church is perfect. I work for one, and we don't have it all together. We don't do everything right. We all learn as we go, too. The size isn't the issue. A church pursuing the way of Jesus will affect its community and will grow. Healthy churches grow. But lots of the mindsets and theology behind the structure and purpose of most "mega church" churches are worrisome to me.

That's not to say that the mega church mentality isn't sincere. I'm sure it is. I just don't get where it comes from. I don't think it comes from a close look at the Gospels and the way of Jesus. I think it comes from years of Christianity, American culture and business mindsets all coming together in some weird form. Its the wrong influence on a sincere desire, if that makes sense.

For instance, Broadway chose a long time ago not to waste their money and time building a megaplex church. They saw the need to branch out, impacting communities one at a time, and using their money wisely. So we chose to go forward with a multi-site church: partnering with smaller churches that are close to closing their doors to bring new life to the church and community. Our first step was with Greenwood United Methodist, a place with a lot of history that had shrunk down to just a few who strongly desired to see things get turned around--and our new campus in that area of town is super great. Brittany and I actually attend there on Sunday mornings. Once again, not to say we have it all together, but even as skeptical of a person as I tend to be, I really appreciate the direction and proposed future of Broadway. (Otherwise, why would I work here? I love being a part of this community.) When I came on staff and was asked to help the church become more outwardly focused, this was question was asked of me: "Do we create new programs or do we support what's already positioned in the community?"

This is one of the main forks in the road where the mega church mentality and other world-views tend to take separate paths.

I see the things God cares about happening through a lot of social organizations already in place in Bowling Green. There are refugee resettlement houses, needs assistance groups, homes for battered women, protection groups for abused children, governmental agencies in place helping struggling families, and the list goes on and on. I sat down with our pastor and executive minister and told them that there isn't a program we could create that would be anything new. All of the things Jesus would be about are already at work in our community--and most of them need some type of help and support. We need to spend some time seeing who does what and partner with some of these local groups to really impact our community.

The mega church mentality is quite the opposite. Everything is done through their church and their church alone. Its great, it really is, that a church wants to do something about issues in their backyard. But when the work of God is really already being in done in different ways all around us, we should join that. (Its a "Same team! Same team!" kinda thing rather than a
competition.) Sure, its not as easy as starting our own program. We don't have control over everything that happens. We don't get to make every decision for that group. Our name isn't put on the plaque at every door and we won't always see eye to eye. In the book "The Externally Focused Church," Rick Rusaw and Eric Swanson make the point that we come "to serve and bless, not to control. When we partner or aid an organization in our community, we understand that sometimes the church is merely the hands and feet, not the mouth and brain, of the project."

I think we should be about what's best for everyone in our community, not just us. It's easy to forget that sometimes...