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Showing posts from May, 2010

Thank You Notes to God

I was overwhelmed once again this weekend at the response of those at the Gathering.  During the sermon, I had people write a short "Thank You" note to God, and then at the end we did a new-school style Thank Offering.  Everyone brought their notes to the newly created (and beautiful) cross of broken pieces.  What follows is a unified THANKS to God from our little community of faith. I have omitted any personal names, and have combined overlapping responses, i.e. as 20 people thanked God for their family I will list "family (x20)."  Feel free to add what you are thankful for in the comments.

Hey God.  Thank You for...
* unconditional love (x13)
* opportunity to serve (x2)
* family (x20)
*my sister
* friends (x11)
* all Your blessing
* being always on time
* providing ALL my needs (x3)
* another school year & the students who bless me (x2)
* my daughters (x2)
* my church (x3)
* salvation (x2)
* taking care of me
* Mother
* my wife (x7)
* my son
* healing (x3)
* …

Lost & Found pt.6

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Some quotes from chapter 7 of Ed Stetzer's book, "Lost and Found: the Younger Unchurched and the Churches that Reach Them":

"Connection is the fourth area of importance.  This could be called mentoring or intergenerational ministry."


"Both churched and unchurched young adults desire to determine their own beliefs through a maximum of hands-on, practical learning experiences."


"Yes, young adults will be happy to mentor a student or tutor a child.  But they would also love it if somebody older and wiser would mentor them."


"This is mentoring at its best - walking with Christ and introducing others to Him along the way."


"While mentoring does require time and vulnerability, the biggest key is intentionality."


"Churches that attempt to separate generations drive cracks into the foundation of the body of Christ."

This is an essential part of the conversation for myself and the congregation that I pastor.  There is no doub…

Lost & Found pt.5

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Here is the fifth installment on my series of blog entries reviewing the book "Lost and Found: the Younger Unchurched and the Churches That Reach Them" by Ed Stetzer.


Quotes from chapter 6:

"Responsibility is strongly valued because young adults know their choices make a difference."


"Young adults believe in global responsibility; they know their choices make a difference.  And they are living lives in a manner that reflects this belief."


"Churches can connect by offering an outlet for young adults' passion to serve... We need to demonstrate our faith more by what we do, not just what we say."


"Let us be people who marry the message of the gospel with lives that engage this world and its issues."


"The trend seems to be that if a church presents young adults  with involvement worth giving themselves to, then they will fully invest their lives."


"Young adults focus on these kinds of issues when considering church membership…

Twitter this Sunday!

So, recently I came across this on one of the blogs I read: Thou Shalt Twitter in Church.  The author makes a good point that Twitter is a phenomenon that we should capitalize on and take to a whole new level of getting the Word out there.  For those who are completely in the dark about what I'm talking about, let me give an explanation:

Step 1: Go to Twitter.com and sign up.  It's pretty simple and painless.  Set up your Twitter account so that you can update your Twitter status by sending a text message from your cell phone.

Step 2: Get used to using Twitter.  Begin following people you know by finding them in the database.  Follow me on Twitter at: Shinypastor

Step 3: Anyone who follows you on Twitter will receive your status updates when you "tweet" them, so send a few messages, aka "tweets", just to get used to the flow.

Step 4: Bring your cellphone to the Worship Gathering at Oaklawn church of God!  Yes, you did just read that right.  Bring them and u…

Lost & Found pt.4

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Some quotes from chapter 5:

"Depth is important.  Young adults want to be people of significance... they'd rather be 'in over their heads' in life as opposed to kicking around in the shallow end."


"...emerging generations are increasingly interested in a faith that embraces the mystical and spiritual.  They are hungry for the unanswerable and want to connect with something that they cannot explain."


"Young adults seek depth, not pat answers."


"Depth is about... engaging people at every level - emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, and even physically."


"Depth requires that teachers demonstrate some genuine vulnerability, which requires some genuine 'wrestling with' God's content connected to real life."


"A significant chasm exists between behaviorism and transformation.  Transformation goes beyond external resolutions.  It requires internal struggle.  It requires mining truth down to its deepest core and all…

Lost & Found pt.3

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Quotes from chapters 4:

"Community is vital... life is meant to be experienced together..."


"It's the reality of the relationships that makes Christ believable to an unbelieving society.  The person far from God will not come to Christ until the love of Christ annihilates the opposing worldview upon which they depend.  Community is the love of God manifesting itself in and through the people of God."


"Community should...
...encourage honesty, authenticity, and freedom to ask questions.
...endorse a connection between one's actions and their personal convictions.
...minimize church jargon.
...provide an atmosphere where it's OK to not know all the answers.
...be full of personal illustrations and life applications."


"Churches reaching young adults are inviting them to experience life together, not to a program."


"Rather than behave/believe/belong ministry, we must move toward a belong/believe/become model."

I feel like the "com…