Thinking Out Loud

February 10, 2010

Wednesday Links

But February made with shiver
with every link that I’d deliver…

Time for another look at some things that caught my eye this week.   Recommendations can be sent anytime during the week to the e-mail address on my “about” page.

  • I like a book trailer that really makes me want to read the book, and that’s what I found in the promo vid for the comic novel, The God Cookie by Geoffrey Wood.
  • Not so sure about this one, though.  A somewhat backdoor approach to outreach by Lifechurch.tv under the website Satan Hates Life.  Tell me what you think.
  • Got King James Version Only friends?  Here’s some material to help you make a rational response to their issues — if rationality will help at all — from the blog Gazing at Glory.
  • Blogger Rich Dixon thinks we’re only considering two-thirds of a popular quotation from Augustine.   Check out his thoughts at Bouncing Back.
  • Pornography.   It’s not just a guy thing anymore.   Here’s an article from Rachel Zoller at Focus on the Family, Girls Snared by Porn and Cybersex.
  • Speaking of which, writing Monday’s Jewish-flavored post uncovered this page of recommended internet filtering software.   (The referrer liked the K9 (free) program.
  • New Blog of the Week:  Downhill Both Ways.  Let’s just say the author, who most of you know, uses more than 22 words to tell a story.
  • Here’s a flashback to October, a Tullian Tchividjian post about How to Identify A Reliable Preacher.   “…if we are going to grow we need to be sitting at the feet of reliable carriers of God’s truth.”
  • Afraid?  Anxious?  Worried?  Fearful?   Check out this short post at Justin Taylor’s blog at The Gospel Coalition.
  • You shouldn’t be a manipulator.  But neither should you be manipulated.   Sometimes manipulation comes disguised as the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing.   Check out the discussion at Resolved To Worship.
  • A sad story out of Florida last week where two young street preachers were murdered, as reported in the Palm Beach Post.
  • Jim Daly.  Get to know that name.   He replaces another J.D., James Dobson, as the voice — he’s been president since ’05 — of Focus.   Here’s the 411 on him from The Wall Street Journal.
  • Okay, so here’s the deal, I like to end each Wednesday Link List with a cartoon, and this week is no exception, with one from The Back Pew by Jeff Larson.   But does anyone know why there’s two versions circulating out there for this week’s cartoon? ????

April 3, 2009

A New Solution to Transitional Times in Local Churches

A few months ago I shared my feelings about the transitional times that Evangelical churches experience when they are between pastors.    After writing that another handful of other churches in our province joined the list of churches presently seeking a new pastor.

In the last few weeks, I’ve been on the telephone and e-mail with various groups and found myself saying, more than once, “You’ve got a projector and you’ve got a DVD player.   Cue up a video.”

It’s true.   Pastoral vacancy periods need not be “down time.”  While I ultimately support the idea of “lay people” in the church stepping up, during such times, there’s no ignoring that some of the best communicators in the English-speaking world are available on quality DVD.

Now, Craig Groschel and Bobby Gruenewald and the people at Lifechurch.tv have decided to make it official.   They’ve contracted a number of top teachers — most, but not all American — who have agreed to make their material available online for free to churches looking for a dynamic challenge on an upcoming Sunday morning.

videoteaching-dotcomThe service is called VideoTeaching.com and while the website promised that you’d be downloading during the first quarter of 2009 — which technically ended a few days ago — they’ve released the initial teaching lineup and are collecting contact info for an update mailing list.

While the list is somewhat homogeneous at first blush — all are male, pastors of large (if not mega) churches, all in a similar age range — the list is not as homogeneous in terms of doctrine.   There’s some variety here for churches of all stripes.

In some ways, the site is a concession to what everybody knows smaller churches, cell churches, network churches and home study groups have been doing for years.    So why didn’t somebody start this sooner?

.

Hopefully Andy Stanley will toss in a sermon or two.   Ditto John Ortberg.   And Anne Graham Lotz.   And a few older guys.   And a few younger, up-and-coming guys.   And a few more women.   But not Beth Moore.

September 30, 2008

Better Isn’t Necessarily Bigger

Filed under: Christianity, Church — Tags: , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:38 pm

Size matters:  Small group Bible study from Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church

Kent Shaffer at ChurchRelevance.com has posted a teaser of the Top 100 Churches list published annually by Outreach Magazine.   You can read his listing of the Top 15, and you’ll notice the following:

  • Lakewood (Joel Osteen) stays at #1 for the third year in a row, with no one else even close
  • Ed Young’s Second Baptist Church of Houston captures the #2 spot from Willow Creek
  • Andy Stanley’s Northpoint Community Church (including Billings Bridge and Buckhead) has ascended from #12 (2006) to #7 (last year) to #3
  • Willow Creek (Bill Hybels) has slipped to #4
  • Lifechurch.tv (Craig Groeschel’s 11 locations) stays locked at #5 for the second year
  • Saddleback (Rick Warren) is #8

In a reply to a comment, Kent points out you need at least 7,000 people to be considered.   (Given that, I don’t think one single church in Canada would qualify.)   Questions:

  • Have you felt a desire to visit a megachurch?
  • If you were a seeker, would the megachurch experience somewhat alter your understanding of basic Christianity?
  • If you go to a smaller church, do you envy people who are part of these congregations or do you think they should be envying you?
  • Is your general attitude, “Who cares?”  Are you somewhat unimpressed by this preoccupation with size?

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.