Archives For October 2010

Urbanization is a trend that isn’t going away anytime soon and the Church needs to take notice.

That’s the Cliff’s Notes version of some discussions being held at the super-event, Lausanne Movement gathering in South Africa this month.

At the conference, Dr. Tim Keller drew upon Genesis 1 and how we are made in the image of God to illustrate why the Church needs to focus upon the cities of the world:

“In these cities you have more image of God per square inch than anywhere else in the world…So God makes the numbers argument.”

Dr. Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church

Dr. Keller’s position on Urban Mission & Contextualization is quite sophisticated, given that it is a vision that has been 20 years in the making at Redeemer as well as through Redeemer City to City‘s church planting center.  Keller of course has all the while been working to mobilize a movement within NYC right in his own backyard.

Here’s Dr. Keller’s most recent 18-minute talk on the topic:

p.s. Tim Keller’s latest book is being released Nov 2nd. Grab your copy of Generous Justice.

QUESTION: Given this perspective on the mandate for urban mission, how can suburban & rural churches + laity contribute to this cause from where they stand?

Driving up to our house, our kids yelled out “OOOOOHLALA!”. . .

. . .that’s because they spotted the box left at the door by our friendly neighborhood UPS guy and it had that distinctive packing tape with repeating “ . .” covering the seams. 

Opening up a package is always fun.  [That’s because the Ruelala is an invitation only website that gives members access to private sales and huge discounts on fabulous stuff.  YOUR invitation is right here.  Just click through and sign-up]

Alongside the merchandise that we purchased at a steal — always — is a large pink-maroon-some-color-that-has-a-funky-name colored envelope.  And one can’t help but notice three things about it when you go ahead and look inside.

Thing things you can’t help but notice struck me as 3 lessons the Church could learn from the experience.

Take a quick look at this video below as I share the three lessons every ministry can’t be reminded of enough! Continue Reading…

These days, you can’t get away from writing.  As technology proliferates, most people are finding themselves more and more engaged in generating and sharing ideas.

This of course necessitates good articulation through writing – whether through white papers, blogs, or even super short tweets and facebook status updates.

So it is increasingly becoming important that we understand how to communicate properly when we put our words to paper (or keyboard!).  The question then becomes:

Is your pen mightier than the sword?

Part of good writing is knowing the rules.  Many professional writers and academics look to The Elements of Style as the measuring stick for proper writing technique.  This summary of the rules used to be featured on an individual’s website, but it has since vanished — yet tons of people, university professors, and more are still trying to reference this summary of The Elements of Style.  While the original book stands at only 56 pages, this summary of Stunk & White’s rules is handy-dandy and it gets the gist of it across just fine.

Here they are: Continue Reading…

On the last day of September, ministry leaders and church planters gathered together in New York City to discuss and encourage each other about what’s happening in The City…

If you pause the visit the Movement Day website, you’ll find some tangible reasons why they they came together.

  • The 40 largest US metro regions are home to 170 million people — this is more than 50% of the total 2000 census population. And New York City is a unique home alone by itself — the 21.5 million people in the NYC metro area represent 1 out of every 300 people on the planet!
  • In our large cities we face daunting spiritual and social challenges. These include vast unreached populations, profound poverty, and an emerging youth population struggling to surpass the 50% graduation rate.
  • The critical belief is that it takes a movement of God’s Spirit and God’s People to transform a city. It takes collaborative leadership to initiate a Gospel Movement.

Dr. Timothy Keller of Redeemer Church gave one of the keynote talks.  He titled it, “It Takes A Movement To Change A City.”  It is a great talk, much of it is at the heart of Redeemer City to City‘s approach to church planting.

Listen to Keller detail his vision for a urban leadership and urban movements: Continue Reading…

I recently cobbled together a post about getting people come BACK to church a second time.

But of course you have to get them there the first time in order to invite them back, right?

Pastor Michael Lukaszewski of Oak Leaf Church has been on my radar recently for some of the ideas he’s been sharing in the blogsphere with such straight-forward clarity.   This and some of his other ideas have been inspiring me to cut straight to point and share more “meat and bones” when it comes to church marketing vision, strategy and tactics here on . .

One of his recent posts listed 40 unique ways to invite someone to church.  Yup, we always talk about getting our people to invite others to church, but it sounds easier than said and done.  People get paralyzed because they feel like they don’t have the right opportunities to invite someone.  There are tons of ways to create the right environment to simply ask.

First, here are some of the interesting ideas for inviting someone to church that immediately stood out from Pastor Lukaszewki’s original list: Continue Reading…

Most churches believe they have open doors that just scream “welcome!” and may actually see some success in getting 1st time visitors.

But then, over time, not many people actually return for another visit.  Where did they go?

Ministry leaders are often left wondering why people don’t come back to their worship services another time.   Rationalization often leads to assumptions that since a church gets visitors, they must have succeeded in creating a friendly, inviting environment for new comers.  And this sometimes leads to lack of ownership of this important detail of converting first time visitors into repeat visitors.

Of course, it is easy to think those first timers just got busy the next weekend.  Or they assume most visitors aren’t serious about faith, so it’s understandable that they wouldn’t check out a church two weeks in a row.  Or a host of other excuses ministries can come up with on behalf of the absent returnee.

Truth be told, 1st time visitors don’t come back for a real tangible reason — their decision is now based on the reality they just experienced in person.

The hard part isn’t getting someone to come your church when they don’t know much about it.  It is only after they’ve experienced your church community in person — when all your ministry efforts are really felt — for them to consider retuning a second time.

Rick Ezell, pastor of a church in SC, believes there are actually 5 critical reasons why 2nd time visitors are a myth in many churches.  He says:

  • Visitors make up their minds regarding your church in the first 10 minutes.
  • Most church members are not friendly.
  • Church guests are highly consumer-oriented.
  • The church is in the hospitality business but don’t realize it.
  • You only have one chance to make a good first impression.

So then, what can churches do in order to get more 1st time visitors to turn into 2nd time visitors?

Here are 12 practical tips for getting the ball rolling with your ministry to start thinking about this in a serious way: Continue Reading…