I remembered being awed when a new family started worshiping at my childhood church. They were lifetime missionaries in Africa, and they had come home in order to get nursing degrees. The degrees were part of a strategy to be better prepared to serve the African people they loved. Continue reading
I am a church planter working with a nascent church that targets Millennials and folks who have given up on church. Most of my pastoral life has been spent (over 40 years) in pretty traditional churches that failed in their calling to be outposts rather than fortresses. My last 10-15 years have been occupied with reading books relating to the matter of how to go about being the church in this age. Some of them have been critiques of the church such as unChristian by Kinnaman and Lyons. This book results from research done among Millennials and their assessment of churches today, particularly Evangelicals.
Two statistics are startling to me and have caused me to want to think more and more deeply about what church should look like in this part of the 21st century. In the 2010 census it was found that 20% of respondents selected “none” in answer to the question, “What is your religious preference?” “None” has never been that high in previous censuses. Additionally researchers have begun looking at another group never watched called the “Dones.” This group has not left God. On the contrary, they are full of faith. But they are “done” with church. The fact that this group is new and growing is proof that we need to put our “pay attention” hats on.
I’ve been thinking about the way that human beings connect with each other, particularly how to turn simple-addition connecting into multiplication. I haven’t done a scientific study, and my observations may be purely anecdotal. Nevertheless I think that there may be some warrant to the truth of these observations.
First level connections are the simple daily interactions we have which arise as a result of our usual daily activities. The checker at the local grocery store is a first level connection. I call these connections, “bump-into’s” because they are generally not intentional beyond the need to go buy some milk or new shoes or gas or to register for a course.
I just attended a workshop on the subject of building relationships that will, in turn, result in a strong financial base. Let’s Have Lunch Together was written by Marshall Howard who was the workshop presenter.
Our Chamber sponsors a monthly “connector” for our members. These connectors are held at various City businesses which provide refreshments and a great opportunities for networking and visiting with business friends.
Today’s connector was held at our local Servicemaster. A few months ago, Servicemaster moved to a new and much larger location, so this connector gave them an opportunity to showcase their new digs.
I was told by church-planter-trainers that it is important to be very intentional about setting the DNA of the new church. Prior to that time I had never really thought about DNA and whether a church had it. But I’ve decided they all do. And once set, there is no changing the DNA.
Several months ago, maybe even a year, a guy e-mailed me and asked to have coffee. He just wanted to find out more about LifeSpring. The visit was pleasant.
We got together for coffee a couple more times, and then he moved back east. It was a short relationship, although it has continued via e-mail and discussions about books and ideas. All in all, it has been a brief relationship.
I really enjoy conducting weddings. My most recent occurred at a local museum. The individual that was first asked to conduct the wedding couldn’t, so I was asked if I could take his place. It was an honor to be asked. Weddings are deeply personal occasions, and to be asked to enter that space is really humbling. Continue reading