Archives For Church

emmanuel-ame

The way of Jesus, when properly understood is dangerous, disappointing, and even disturbing.

Many in our country is reeling from the attack at the Emmanuel AME Church in South Carolina. John Stewart’s words ring true in the ears of many: this a terrorist attack, and the result of America’s lackadaisical approach to systemic problems of gun violence and racism.

We want something to fix.

“Take down that Confederate flag!”

“Pass stricter gun laws!”

Or even… “Pastors should carry guns.”

These are real problems, that as John Stewart, and even President Obama have said that we will probably continue to ignore. But even if we did solve those problems, our efforts would have very little power compared to dangerous, disappointing and disturbing hospitality of the Emmanuel Wednesday Night Bible Study.

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Whether you are a world-renown brand or a local handyman, you can’t get away from social media.

Social Media is often the first way people will encounter you. It’s a contributing factor to your search rankings. It’s a sign that you are alive and participating in today’s world.

Social media is not sexy. It’s not (necessarily) going to drive a lot of traffic to your website. It’s not going to make you the coolest new church or ministry in town.

It is like one of my clients has said, “table stakes.” Like the phone book decades back, it’s part of doing business.

In my day job, I help individuals, businesses and non-profits tell their story with content and social media marketing. I try to apply the same rules to myself, and to our church community, Austin Mustard Seed. Although, as a landscaper too busy to care for his ugly yard, I don’t always represent the ideal I want for others.CHURCHES (1)

Churches have to be on social media. But they need to be there thoughtfully, purposefully and personally. Here are eight
ways that your Church should be using social media Continue Reading…

The sting of Robin Williams’ death strikes in a sore place in the cultural subconscious next to the memories of Phillip Seymore Hoffman and Mitch Hedberg.

All death is tragic. Suicide especially.

The death of Robin casts a particular shadow on those of my generation. Aladdin and Hook are the stories of our childhood. Patch Adams, Dead Poets Society and Good Will Hunting taught us how to grow up.

Depression is tragic. When it affects someone like Robin, we are all hurt.

Depression is also normal, natural and must be responded to within the church.

We can’t eliminate depression or suicide. But we can, and we must, become a refuge for those who experience it.

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Let’s admit we have a problem

Depression has been a lifelong companion for me. It makes up some of my earliest and strongest memories. It hovers on the horizon of my future. Continue Reading…

There’s nothing quite like the sadness of being a part of a dying church.

There’s the burden of maintaining a big, empty and often very dated looking building. There’s the ghost of happier days that seem constantly to haunt their memories and gatherings. There are the aging saints who struggle to make it out on Sundays, who seldom find friendship or support throughout the week.

Many churches feel stuck. This can be due to a lack of ideas or energized leadership. Sadly, it is often due to specific individuals, committed to maintaining their power or preferences.

Why do we sit around asking “why is my church dying?”

We need to remember that we serve a God of resurrection! If we are willing to die to ourselves, including our fond memories of the church that used to be, we can be resurrected to become something new.

Here’s are six bold moves I’ve seen or studied that  can be used by God to resurrect your church.

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The High School I grew up in was in a white neighborhood.

So was my church.

So were my friends.

I got my first job at 18 in a call center on the other side of town. It was only a 15 minute drive away, but it was a different world. The majority of those I worked with were other races, many African American. For the first time in my life, I heard real stories of being pulled over by cops for “driving while being black,” and worse.

Like most in my Gen Y cohort, I would have adamantly told you “I’m not a racist.” The fact was, I was actually ignorant about the systems that enabled the racial divide in our society.

That’s how I feel when I read the #YesAllWomen hashtag.

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