Thursday, July 31, 2008

What are we selling?

Sometimes I think we're just trying to get people in the door at my church, so we offer for sale anything that might coax someone into visiting:  authentic community, experiential worship, a people's cathedral..., traditional worship.
We sell worship.  Most often our ads try to distinguish our worship from some other church's worship.  Do we sell community?  There are many groups that sell community based on a common interest.  Do we sell discipleship and spiritual growth? 
I think I am taken with Milkshake Media because their tagline, we build brands that build community, is what I want our brand to be, a brand that builds community.
I stole this from Idea City's website:
"What difference do you really want to make in the world? What’s your fundamental purpose? We believe that great brands are the product of great organizations that truly make a difference in the lives of the people they are trying to serve. If an organization is just a commodity, me-too kind of company looking to do nothing but improve the bottom line, chances are they won’t ever be a great brand (or a great partner for us). We want to work with people as passionate and purposeful about making a difference as we are."

Friday, July 25, 2008

January 1, 1999

Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace,

On this first Sunday of our new year, remind us that your new year began a month ago as we lit candles, prepared our hearts, and anticipated your coming. Now the candles of Christmas are gone, replaced with the star of Epiphany. Keep this star of faith burning in our hearts as the star continues on its path, loses its luster, and is planted in the hard ground of Calvary.

On this first Sunday of our new year, gather us in worship: let us hear you speak through every word, let us hear you sing through every song, and let us give you your place in every heart.

December 26, 1999

We have hurried to Bethlehem. We have cried on our way. We have laughed. There have been tender moments and hurt, angry moments. We have tried to focus on a family in a stable and seen the seams in our family split, widen, come apart. The star's shining illuminates the intensity of the advent season, magnifies every joy, every problem that dull and are ignored the rest of the year.

Let our gift to the Child be to select one of these to work on all year so that a greater blessing may be enjoyed next year, and perhaps, the pain will be less. Grant that this still day after Christmas will give us the time to reflect and choose where to work with God to grow and be ready for a different advent next year.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Leaving the group

I did it! I left the Adult 5 Yahoo group.

If you're a former Southern Baptist, you'll know that historically, Baptists have gathered their adult members into departments, roughly by age. This is the group that is closest to my age although I'm probably somewhere between Adult 4 and Adult 5--the lower the number, the older the group.

Leaving this group frees me from many emails and from many years of friendliness but no friendship. So what in the world took me so long?

This is my first step in freeing myself from something. Don't know quite what. The conundrum: do my belief in God and my church attendance have anything to do with each other?