Archives For November 2010

The following is a guest blog post from Pastor Randy Kinnick in Arkansas.  He shares some great ideas regarding community and connections.  Enjoy. . .

People long for connection…we are designed that way.  The power of belonging is a strong drive.  Although negative peer pressure can be the result, if we understand that this need to be in community is a God-given trait, we can approach life and evangelism from a perspective that embraces and celebrates it.  Erwin McManus has pointed out…

There may be no greater proof of God than the power of community.

There may be no greater gift than a place to belong.  While it may seem you’re selling out to admit you need people, the irony is that you’ll never really know yourself until you’re in a healthy community.  We only truly come to know ourselves in the context of others.  The more isolated and disconnected we are, the more shattered and distorted our self-identity.

We are not healthy when we are alone.

We find ourselves as we connect to others.

(Soul Cravings, 2008 Thomas Nelson)

In light of this, there are ideas we can utilize to effectively connect with our community at large while creating stronger connections within our faith community.  The end result is that more people are touched with the love and truth of the gospel. 

Here are 10 ideas that I believe will accomplish this in any church. . . Continue Reading…

Halloween is over.

Thanksgiving — the largest, most visible, forgotten holiday is right around the corner.

That means, the commercialized CHRISTmas is basically here.

We’ve heard of reports that the Christmas retail season has already begun as a general secular movement as early as August now.  We’re devoting almost 1/2 hour entire calendar year around this civil holiday at the end of the year.

It is hard to find any other parallels like a date of December 25th having such an impact as far away as July or August 25th.  Not even birthdays in such a ME-centric culture are thought of this way.

Today, I received an email promoting a Free Amazon MP3 Album Download of The Veggie Tales Christmas Album for Kids:

In one sense, this is spot-on theologically: Giving away a free gift in order to celebrate another absolutely and completely free gift.

But one another sense, it is kind of a twisted manifestation when the religious circles are buying into what is being done with the timing and celebration of the civil religion around Christmas.

Is there a difference between marketing of *a* church and marketing *using* the church?

I think there is a difference, but I’m interested in what your thoughts may be on this question of the commercialization of Christmas.

My hope is that you refrain from sweeping rants as you leave a comment below. Your thoughts?

Dr. Timothy Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC has something to say about Justice and the Church.

Curious, that type of justice being prescribed is a “generous” one.  In a nut shell, it is in the character of God and we are called to live it out, just as Micah 6:8 tells us plainly.

While his first NY Times Best Seller, The Reason for God, was aimed at non-believers generally, this book directs the challenge toward a readership within the church community.

Non-US Version of the fover for Generous Justice by Tim Keller

Here’s the first chapter to whet your appetite on Dr. Keller’s latest teaching on the subject: Continue Reading…