You may also want to check out, How to Get Drunk Without Drinking, 7 Things Every Young Lady Should Know, I’m Sure Not Craig Groeschel, But I Did Preach His Message at LifeChurch.tv & 25 Ways to Become a Christian Atheist.
You may also want to check out, How to Get Drunk Without Drinking, 7 Things Every Young Lady Should Know, I’m Sure Not Craig Groeschel, But I Did Preach His Message at LifeChurch.tv & 25 Ways to Become a Christian Atheist.
It’s easy for church leaders and Christians alike to get so caught up in our own world or our own ministry. We forget to open up our sleepy eyes and truly see what is going on around us. Our ability to see and interpret the headlines not only keeps us aware of the state of our world, but also helps affirm truths in our minds and the minds of those we lead. We learn to speak the language that people understand, and truth is revealed through real life stories in the headlines. Our intent is to be informed by the world, but not formed by it (We are instead formed by the Scriptures).
This delicate balance between world and Word is what leaves some churches is the dust of their own empty buildings and other churches in the hot seat of global influence. The following thoughts will a) show you five examples of how to interpret the headlines (keep in mind, I am no expert) and b) give you a few lessons from each headline. Here are 5 Headlines That Could Change the Way You Do Church:
1. Mashable: Half of messages on Twitter Aren’t in English. This is an article from @mashable about the explosive growth of Twitter around the world in the last six months alone. The world is becoming smaller as it becomes bigger, and there are a ton of languages represented. Here is a top 10 list for Twitter language translation tools.
Lesson: People worldwide are more open than ever to communicating with others around the world, and not just in English. Technology allows churches to have what seems to be unlimited impact with limited resources. What kinds of opportunities could this open up for your church? How could your organization take advantage of the realities of instant global conversation through Twitter, Facebook or other tools? Even if you are a small church, you may learn something by checking out how for just 6 cents per person, LifeChurch.tv reached 1,286,893 unique people in November of 2009.
2. USA Today: Toyota Executive Not Sure Problems Are Solved. Toyota recalls 8 million cars and is being blamed for 40+ deaths caused by runaway vehicles. Critics say execs made a choice to save $100 million by replacing floormats instead of fixing the real problem. We don’t really know the whole story yet, but we can draw a valuable lesson from the article.
Lesson: I’m not suggesting leaders have to perfect, no one is. I am suggesting this to you leader: you will be held responsible for your actions. James 3:1 says “Not many of you should desire to be teachers in the church, for we who teach will be held to a higher standard.” Church leaders, watch your motives, especially if you want to teach!Watch your intent to teach others and make sure are ready to be responsible. Watch the speed at which you make decisions for your church; there are real life and death consequences to your actions.
3. NY Times: In Harlem, an educator is expecting the best, not the worst, from students at her charter schools. The Harlem teacher speaks of educators that failed: “They were trying to replicate programs instead of develop people.” Ms. Kenney goes on to say, “You have to provide a community in the school that supports and respects teachers. And you have to give them the kind of freedom that allows their passion for teaching to flourish.” She adds, “We’ve created a culture to bring out the best in teachers, and they in turn bring out the best in kids.”
Lesson #1: What a lesson for church leaders! Churches must build environments that respects the passions and gifts of the individuals, and help those individuals impact others in the world. Church leaders must build environments that focus on developing people, not programs. Lesson #2: You can change you community by helping people at your church invest in local schools. I’ll be posting a story of what we are doing in Fort Worth, Texas to impact culture through local schools.
4. NY Times: Evidence That Little Touches Do Mean So Much. “A sympathetic touch from a doctor leaves people with the impression that the visit lasted twice as long, compared with estimates from people who were untouched.” The article talks about a study of NBA players. The ones who made contact with teammates most consistently and longest tended to rate highest on measures of performance. The writer goes on to talk about how people are scientifically wired for community and touch.
Lesson #1: I doubt this gives us permission for butt slaps on Sundays(if you do, go flat, not cupped), but I do think it is reminder that high fives, fistbumps and handshakes count for something! A lot of church leaders and volunteers become untouchable and the effects can have major consequences. Lesson #2: See how people are wired for community! Reader, you are not made to role alone.
5. NY Times: God Said multiply and did she ever. A Jewish woman that survived the Holocaust and had to bury the dead is honored by her family of over 2000 descendants. “Just keep me in your heart,” Yitta Schwartz used to say (to her ginormous family). “If you leave a child or grandchild, you live forever.”
Lesson #1: Mrs. Schwartz’ words are a reminder that the greatest contribution one can make is the legacy they leave in their own family. We are reminded that perhaps the greatest influence a church can have is to help their families learn to lead those under their own roof, to help fathers and mothers see that this is their greatest responsibility in life (not the church’s job). Church leaders that strategically position their churches to partner with parents in this effort will make a significant contribution to society. Lesson #2: One of the greatest contributions to society you can make is the way you lead your family! Do this first, then worry about the rest of the world!
Bonus article on Karl Barth. This isn’t a headline, but is a great article on Karl Barth, the great theologian. In a Times magazine article in the 60′s- “[Barth] recalls that 40 years ago he advised young theologians ‘to take your Bible and take your newspaper, and read both. But interpret newspapers from your Bible.’” True Karl.
I’d like to encourage you to check out the above articles and draw your own insight, as there are many more lessons to be drawn from each. As you go about your week, don’t forget to open your eyes and ears and listen. You’ll never know where you may pick up something! What are some other tips have you’ve picked up from headlines or other places that may change the way we do church?
If you dig this entry, you may also dig: I’m Not Craig Groeschel, But I Did Give His Message At LifeChurch.tv, 10 Ways You Can Fight Domestic Poverty, When Church and Culture Collide & 3 Ways Twitter Can Powerfully Impact Your Local Community This Year. If you didn’t dig it, you probably won’t dig the others. Thanks for reading!
Today is…. (comment below to finish the sentence)
Today is a day for the brokenhearted to be comforted.
Be comforted today.
Today is a day for the angry to find forgiveness.
Find forgiveness in your heart today.
Today is a day for new beginnings, a new start.
Start anew today.
Today is a day for opportunity.
See the opportunity today.
Today is one day closer to you finding true joy.
Find joy today.
Today is a gift.
Make the most of it this day.
Today is not about…..
Today is not about me. It is not about what I want.
Instead, today is about what I truly need.
Today is not about my comfort level.
Rather it is about my faith level.
Today is not about my happiness.
Rather it is about my obedience.
Today is not about my fame.
Rather it is about my obscurity.
Today is not about me.
Today is not about me.
Today is not about me.
Today is not about…
What can I….
What can I see today again for the first time?
What can I feel today that I haven’t felt before?
What can I hear today that I may have never truly heard before?
Who can I….
Who can I help today with a simple word?
Who can I reach out to today with a simple act?
Who can I be today?
Who am I truly today?
Your turn: Today is….. Today is not….. What can I…. Who can I…. Comment below.
When you’re drunk you have no ability to distinguish what is reality and what is not real. Comedians and college students alike joke all the time about “beer goggles” making the unattractive attractive. Could it be possible that we could be drunk on something beside alcohol? Could it be possible that you make think too highly of yourself and this high view of yourself basically makes you drunk with the way you see the rest of the world? Could it be that you see the rest of the world in a totally different way from reality? If your answer is yes, read on. If your answer, is a quick no, I really think you should read on. You are sure to find out How to Get Drunk Without Drinking.
The following are notes from a message by Chris Seidman, from The Branch, with a little bit of added commentary on the main points. I hope it wrecks you in similar way that it wrecked me. If you find this entry helpful, you may also enjoy: Leadership Ain’t a Title! How to Gain Influence Where You Are Now, 25 Ways to Become a Christian Atheist, Lone Ranger Christianity & 10 Crucial Questions to Ask Yourself in 2010 How do you know you deal with pride?
How do you know you deal with pride? Pride can express itself in 3 ugly ways:
Self-sufficiency. We are basically asking ourselves and the world, “Am I enough?” We tell someone else to tell us whether or not we are enough. We become the ultimate consumer of all men, using everyone we meet (the consumed) to validate us as an individual. Are you asking the world if you are enough?
Notoriety. We are asking ourselves, “Am I noticed?” How many followers or friends do I have? Who notices me? Who comments of my stuff? Who sees me? The allure of attraction wants to ask how notable we are becoming. This is a deadly expression of pride, but real. Are you constantly trying to be noticed?
Superiority. We ask the question, “Am I superior?” Am I the best at this? Am I better than “this” person? Are you trying to be superior?
Pride is not free. It doesn’t come with out a cost. 4 Consequences of pride:
Hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is where we put up some sort of front. We are so concerned with what others think, we will do anything not to tarnish that image we are trying to project. Are you putting up a front?
Secrecy. Because of that “Kingdom of Me” image we are trying to project, we are obviously forced to keep secret what causes us to fall short of that image. We end up living a life of secrecy, much like the celebrities and ministers we hear about nearly every day. Are you keeping a secret?
Self-deception. We look up and can’t see straight. We are basically drunk on pride (the hangover is not fun when you wake up). Everyone is at fault but…….me. All of my family problems are because of my spouse, not me. All of my work problems are because of my staff, not me. Could you be deceived?
Isolation. Pride causes us to push others away and retreat to the other place where we can be ourselves: by ourselves. Are you all alone?
Launching a revolt against pride. Don’t settle for drunkenness!
Pursuing an intimate relationship with the Great I Am. Acknowledging the I Am starts with I am not. It is the ultimate act way from pride, recognizing that we are not self-sufficient or perfect and we need Someone to sustain us. He will validate you. He will show you who you truly are. He can and He will. If you let him….
Seeking God’s guidance. Discernment asks the question, “Could I be struggling with any of these areas?” “Am I doing this to be noticed or to be obedient?” “Am I trying to validate myself or am I secure in who I am?” Seek his guidance as you go about the littlest things in life. Just talk to Him. Address Him like you would a person and humble yourself before Him. He will reveal Himself to you…
Get help. After you’ve gotten real with God, talk to someone you trust, find a local church, build relationships. We weren’t made to be alone or self-sufficient. Our very nature makes us dependent on others. Your sobriety from pride isn’t going to come easy. Get help.
What other forms of pride have you seen? How can we launch a revolt against pride?
Looking to have influence online? Maybe you want to motivate others to do something. Maybe you want to use your gifts for writing in a way that will help others. Maybe you want to mobilize a group of people to make a change in a local culture. You can put principles into practice today that will help. By being strategic through Facebook, Twitter, blogs or other forms of social media, you can learn to be an effective online leader! I still have much to learn, but have picked up a few things over the last couple of years. Here are 10 Essentials of Online Leadership:
1. Clarifying your personal values.
This is probably the most important thing you can do as you are trying to make an impact online. You are unique; what is it that makes you unique? Clarify your values! You have and are developing certain values that shape the way you see the world and the way you can help others see it. These values will determine what you want to do online and where you want to lead others. For help discovering your uniqueness and values, check out The Player Piano and Leadership: Writing Your Own Song In Life.
2. Discovering what makes your heart truly beat.
What are you passionate about? What do you love doing? In what area are you really gifted, where most others aren’t? Maybe this is your thing. Perhaps this is the way you can help people: doing what you love, talking about it online, and impacting the lives of others! Here is a sweet read from Outside Magazine about doing what you love and changing the world.
3. Establishing relationships.
Social Media is about relationships and engagement. Who can you establish a relationship with online that you may be able to help out or lead? What can you do to show others that you care about them? Who can you reach out to this week to establish a relationship? You can’t lead people you don’t have a relationship with. Seek out new friends on Facebook. Search key words on Twitter and meet people with which you share interests. Comment on blogs that are interesting to you. These are all great ways to establish relationships. Reach outside of yourself and establish relationships today!
4. Asking meaningful questions.
Does what you say make people think about what they really value in life? Did you know that our values are the top thing that shape the way we live our lives and make daily decisions? What values are truly important to you? Stop and think about it. Write them down. Now who do you have influence with that you can help? Who can you help think through their values, thus helping shape their actions? These are all examples of meaningful questions. The best leaders are the best at asking the best questions!
5. Developing engaging conversations.
What are you doing to develop engaging conversations? I asked a question recently about parenting and in a couple hours had over twenty people engaging in online dialogue. They discussed what was important for parents when disciplining kids. People were talking back and forth, sharing tips and lessons they have learned. I’m a young parent and learned a few things I had never thought about before. Developing engaging conversations will help you create environments for learning and will help you lead online!
6. Adding to the conversation.
Don’t just ask questions, add to the conversation. What can you contribute? What can you say that no one else is saying? How can you illustrate timeless truths in a way that is fresh and unique? Bring your experience and creativity and allow your passion to come forth in your writing!
7. Creating awareness through your passions.
What are you passionate about? What wakes you up at night? How can you create awareness about your cause in a way that is compelling, not annoying? For example, this entry is an attempt to create awareness: you have an opportunity to influence others around the world through social media and other online avenues. You can also create awareness through your passions. What story can you tell about an individual? Did you know that people are much more likely to be motivated if you can talk about an individual instead of a generic group of people (See number 10 below) Here is another good read about how talking about an individual will up your odds at creating awareness through telling a successful story.
8. Modeling leadership.
Modeling is simply living out what you are trying to lead others to do. It is being an example of a leader for others. One way I like to model leadership is to challenge others to think through the way they could have influence online. This entry is an attempt for me to model leadership! Some days, I like to talk about how I try hard as a leader, then screw up. Then I share what I learn about when I screw up. This is also an example of modeling leadership. There are a ton of ways you can model leadership and talk humbly about it so that others can learn from you.
9. Story telling.
Model leadership by sharing personal stories and stories of others. Last week, I wanted to model healthy relationships and how to honor loved ones. I decided to go on a Valentine’s Day Weekend date to honor my spouse and encourage others to do the same. By telling the story and inviting people to participate, over 100 friends and strangers online committed to “Getting Their Date On” to honor their loved one. Remember, what you do speaks much louder than what you say! If you can talk about what you do through a story, you will have a better shot at leading others online. Talk about what you do in a way that isn’t self promoting. Share stories in a way that inspires others to jump out and boldly do something.
10. Mobilizing others to meet real needs.
“Sometimes the greatest distance we travel is from our mouths to our feet.” Kouzes Here is a Twitter post from @ShaunKing from the Courageous Church, mobilizing others to meet real needs in Haiti: Just posted new totals @ http://aHomeInHaiti.org – hoping we’ll cross 1,000 tents by Sunday! Can you get 1 today? This is a great example of Effective Online Leadership!
What else can one do to be an effective online leader? Who can we be? Please share!
According to Nielson and an observation by Mashable (Facebook is the Web’s Ultimate Time Sink), the average Facebook user spends more time on Facebook than on Google, Yahoo, YouTube, Microsoft, Wikipedia and Amazon combined. That is a lot of time!
Sometime in the next few months, Microsft Outlook users will be able to check up on their Facebook status directly from Outlook (also according to Mashable). Awesome, as if I didn’t have enough distractions already! Worldwide, Facebook use is through the roof!
The Question for me is: Why? Why are people on Facebook more and more? Why do you use Facebook? Here is a post from a little while back entitled, 6 Reasons I Still Use Facebook. This will show you why I use Facebook.
You may also find these recent Facebook posts helpful: Facebook’s New Design // How to Make Facebook Enjoyable For Me, Your BFF and Your Mamma // 27 Obvious Signs You Are Having an Affair with Facebook or Twitter // 4 Twitter Questions Every Blogger or Organization Should Ask // Social Media Ain’t About Me: 5 Ways to Be Selfless on Facebook or Twitter
So why do you use Facebook? Love to hear!
The world is about to be turned upside down for Super Bowl XLIV. If you want to engage with culture, you’ve got to know what is going on! Are you ready to engage with others? Here are 8 things you need to know about this year’s game, including a wide variety of links and info that are sure to keep you in on all the game time conversation!
1. Who is playing? First thing first: you should know who is playing! Five years after Hurricance Katrina ripped apart Louisiana, the New Orleans Saints are making their first big game appearance against the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts are 6 point favorites. The NFL has a solid site up this year providing plenty of buzz, so check it out. For those seeking the real basics on the game of football, here is an Idiot’s guide from the UK that will help.
2. What’s happening on Twitter? The official Twitter hashtag is #SB44. Follow along on a site the NFL has set up at Tag the Super Bowl. This snazzy site allows users to scan photos and tweets containing the #SB44 hashtag and has a pretty sweet click and drag feature! Even if you don’t live with your head in the Twittersphere clouds, this site will provide plenty of real-time drama centered around the game.
3. What brands will win the hearts of the masses? Check out Brandbowl and follow along as the Twittersphere ranks the brands wooing the public eye. The new site scores and displays the top 10 brands before and after kickoff, sending those who don’t make the cut to the locker room at the bottom of the screen. See how you and your friends rank brands compared to the rest of the world.
4. What is the President doing? President Obama is hosting a Super Bowl party at the White House. Check out the guest list and details as they unfold. I would be there, but oh wait… we all weren’t invited as usual.
5. Who is hacking off the NFL (the “No Fun League”)? Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco has partnered with Motorola to launch a Twitter-based news network called OCNN. NFL players have been equipped with Motorola phones to attempt to break news before the major networks hear about it. The site is pretty entertaining and should hold its fair share of interesting content centered around the game. Ocho has been hanging with Terrell Owens and Queen Latifa and doing everything he can to create a buzz about the big game.
6. Who is providing the most controversy? Who would you say? Of the commercials left on the air, my vote is Focus on the Family. Whether or not you agree with their anti-abortion agenda, Focus on the Family’s website is nonetheless poised for the blitz of traffic they are already receiving. On the site, users can watch the full Tim Tebow story and hear a variety of life-change stories of individuals overcoming all types of adversity. Before kickout, you can watch a video describing their desire to help educate the public on the choices available for women and families around the world.
7. Who is the Who? Come on, you better know! Here is the Who’s official website, doctored up with Super Bowl buzz and here is an article on the half-time show. Check out this funny comment by the Who’s Roger Daltrey about the “weird” game.
8. What are your plans? If you don’t have any, make some! LifeChurch.tv Fort Worth is hosting a “Big Game Watch Party” if you are in DFW and don’t have plans. There will be three giant screens, free burgers and hotdogs and a bunch of cool people to hang out with. The event is an opportunity for people new to the church to build relationships with each other. Many people in the neighborhood next to the Fort Worth Campus go hungry on a daily basis. To help out those in the neighborhood, the party boasts free food, heat and a good time for all those attending!
What else should we know about the Super Bowl? Do share!
Facebook rolled out its new home page design to 80 million users or so. If you haven’t seen the update on your account yet, you will soon. The guide to the new design is posted below.
You may also enjoy these recent posts concerning Facebook: How to Make Facebook Enjoyable For Me, Your BFF and Your Mamma // 27 Obvious Signs You Are Having an Affair with Facebook or Twitter // 4 Twitter Questions Every Blogger or Organization Should Ask // 6 Reasons I Still Use Facebook // Social Media Ain’t About Me: 5 Ways to Be Selfless on Facebook or Twitter
The top menu has been simplified and should help you get a round a bit easier:
The left menu makes things more legible for you:
For the complete site tour from Facebook, go HERE.
What has helped you understand how to get the most out of your Facebook experience? Please share!
I realize society has dealt with poverty since the beginning of time, but I still am young enough to believe we can do something about it. According to the US Department of Agriculture, hunger is at a high point with one in six families going hungry this past fall (49 Million people). The NY Times reported in August that unemployment for men under 35 may be at the highest rate in 61 years! The homeless count, though difficult to track is extremly high (article from Guardian.co.uk). Below are a few things my friends and family are doing, but I truly would love to hear your feedback! Help the rest of us figure out how to break the vicious cycle of poverty in our country. This blog: www.thewayitcouldbe.com, is an effort to encourage cultural change through personal and spiritual transformation. Subscribe the RSS feed by clicking on the yellow diamond above. Here are 10 Ways to Fight Domestic Poverty:
1. Educate the young. Empower a young child to be successful and get an education. Give them a chance to be the first in their family to graduate high school and go to college. I’m currently working with 40 volunteers to figure out how to help high risk students at a local elementary school. Most of the kids are stuck in a vicious cycle of poverty. One by one, we are helping them get an education.
2. Be a voice for those that don’t have a voice. What platform do you have? Is it one of influence? Millions around the world have no platform, no voice. Be the voice they need. “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.” Proverbs 31:8
3. Teach personal responsibility. Instead of just giving a meal, teach on parenting, help someone find a job, ask questions that will help. Coach someone into becoming more responsible. Help them find the resources they need until they can become more independent. Realize that many cannot become independent without some help. Don’t put conditions on what you do to help (you won’t give someone a meal unless you get to teach them something). Just keep this in mind as a goal you would like to work towards.
4. Believe in someone. Often, a person has never believed in themselves enough to get out of a situation. No one believes in them either. Let them borrow your faith for awhile. Believe in them until they can believe in themselves. Tell them what you see in them. Encourage them. Show them the love they may have never had.
5. Partner with those already fighting poverty. Chances are, there are dozens of well established organizations in your area that are fighting poverty and doing it well. Find out who they are and see what type of help they need. Ask how long they have been established, what their objectives are and what you can do to help.
6. Be aware. Get out of your own little world and look around. You’d be amazed to see what needs are out there. Read the paper, get news apps on your phone, whatever you can do to become more aware of what is going on. My two year old daughter prays for the people that “sleep in trees” and “don’t have food in there refrigerator” simply because we get out of our house and try to open out eyes to the realities in our city. You can become aware too.
7. Be aware of your own values. Don’t just look for an organization to partner with. Discover what you value the most. This will fuel you over the long haul. What do you value? Is it family? Find an organization that can help you mentor young families or help out a parent. Are you passionate about self defense? Find a boys or girls club that is teaching these things and join them. Are you good at math? Find a local school and help a kid with math. Are you good at business? Who can you teach?
8. Do something you love. Everyone has a gift. I enjoy running. Last year I ran a bunch of races to help out the helpless. This year, I’m exploring different options for a way to raise awareness by doing something I love. Once your heart is opened to what realities are out there, you may be more willing to do something you don’t love to help out. Until then, start with something you love. Start with the difficult things if you need to, this may be just what it takes to open up your eyes.
9. Get balance in your own life. If you are whole, balanced, and rested, you will be much more likely to have energy and resources to help someone else. Many of us need to get balance in own lives so we can truly pour out to others. I’m not suggesting you have to have it all together to help someone else. I’m just hinting to the fact that the more space you have in your own life, the more of that time, energy and resources you will be able to use for others.
10. Start with one. You may not feel like you can make much of a difference with millions of people in our country and elsewhere struggling. Start with one. Then help another. Then help someone else help one. Then help them help another. You could do some serious damage in your city over the course of a few years if you brought others along with you.
A friend of ours is passionate about helping single moms. This past Christmas, she did her own angel tree for single moms. She collected over $2,000 in gift cards, 170 Christmas gifts for kids that were delivered to homes, repaired a mom’s car for no cost. She found her passion and is now mobilizing dozens of others to join in her cause and meet needs through a new non-profit. All it took was her taking a step and deciding to make a difference!
Alright, help the rest of us broaden our perspective. Do you resonate with any of these? What other thoughts do you have? What can we do to help fight domestic poverty?