Archive for the ‘Innovation’ Category

God Rarely Works the Same Way Twice

June 8, 2007

One of my favorite quotes, that’s a good reminder:

“Christian organizations should take careful note that, throughout Scripture, God rarely worked in the same way twice. God’s activity was always unique to the people with whom he was dealing and the time in which he was working. God’s activity cannot be reduced to a formula because God is more concerned with peoples’ obedient response to his will than with what means of communicating his will.” Henry and Richard Blackaby, Spiritual Leadership, pg 59

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Something is the new something

March 3, 2007

Sometime ago I came across this list of clichés (via google) about how something is always being transposed to be the new thing:

Clarendon is the new Helvetica
The location field is the new command line
Fake is the new real
Orange is the new black
Quiet is the new loud
Nearshore is the new offshore
Red is the new blonde
Blacker is the new black
Iraq is the new Vietnam
Movies piracy is the new plague
Fat is the new thin
Wide is the new black
Fat is the new tobacco
Organic is the new kosher
MCA is the new MBA
Small is the new big
Spim is the new spam
Being uncool is the new cool
Gay marriage is the new abortion
30 is the new teenage

Emerging Culture – Outline

October 13, 2005

Here’s the real outline. What’d you think?

I. Understanding Emerging Generations

How do we bridge the gap between the modern and postmodern cultures?

1) Our generation is now a missionary frotier
It’s time see the young generations as a missionary frontier.

2) Significant desire for experimental spirituality
We have chosen an extreme openness to experimental spirituality

3) Intense openness to spiritual things
We have become a deeply “spiritual” generative.

4) New Methodologies
Youth and College pastor must change their methodologies if they are going to reach the postmodern.

5) Christian Subculture
The Christian and non-Christian are becoming all too alike and this must come apart.

6) A Cultural and Global Generative
The leverage of the media and the Internet

7) A Disconnected Generation
Deep desire to be understood by their fathers and mothers.

8) Pluralistic Culture demands new approaches
Truth has to be personalized because we have been impacted by a pluralistic culture.

II. The Heart and Role of Leading Emerging Generations

What does this generation look for in a leader?

1) Relational vs. CEO Approach

Trinitarian-Shared Leadership

We have chosen Trinitarian leadership; instead of a hierarchy we should lead as a community of voices sharing each other’s roles unified in one direction.

2) Event vs. Process

Process Oriented Leadership

We have chosen to lead more by a process and less by events because that’s where real transformation takes place.

3) Being a “Poet and Gardener” Leader

Evolution of Leadership

We have chosen to embrace the evolution of leadership, understanding our role in God’s story.

4) Creative Innovators Artist Leadership
We have chosen to embrace our uniqueness so we artistically replicate our God.

5) Relevant Environments
We have chose to create environments that are conducive to the hearts of people. This will allow us to connect with people.

6) Organic Flow of Ministry

Participatory Leadership

We have chosen organic growth, ministry and movements instead of organizations and institutions. We live with a “tourist” mentality rather than a “maintenance” mentality.

7) Missional vs. Consumer Mentality

Reproduction Leadership

We have adopted the concept called missional living; therefore our theology has shifted from developing one system called “missions” to turning theology into one department of mission and moved from consumer church to missional church.

8) Leadership Conclusions

III. Spiritual Formation and the Emerging Church

How does this generation relate & connect with Christ?

1) Tribal Community Togetherness Formation
We have chosen to channel our growth through tribal communities instead of bureaucratic programs because we believe in a call to community where we live as one big family on a journey together.

2) Engage Culture Holistic Formation
We have chosen to integrate our faith into all areas of life Instead of separating the spiritual realm from normal life.

3) Return to the Sacramental Ancient Depths Formation
We have chosen to return to the ancient depths of our heritage.

4) Centralize Everything with Jesus A Jesus Formation
We have chosen to be like Jesus.

5) Greatness is Servanthood Slave Formation
We have chosen to walk by action and not theory.

6) Authentic Eyes Visual Formation
Reading the word through a refreshing lenses.

IV. Conversations and Communications with the Emerging Generations

How should we communicate with the emerging generation?

1) Moving from sin-management to kingdom-management preaching”

2) A new hunger for depth and theology vs. shallowness and anthropology

3) Who is truth? Vs. What is truth?
Apologetics focused on “Who is truth?” vs. “What is truth?”

4) Fellow-journeyer vs. problem-solver
The preacher as a “shepherd” and fellow-journeyer vs. a message presenter and problem-solver

5) Questions and Thinking Allowed

6) Use Visual eye-catchers in messages

V. 8 Postmodern Branding Trends You Can’t Afford to Miss

AS THESE SEVEN KEY CHURCH CULTURE TRENDS SHOW, BRANDS ARE LESS AND LESS ABOUT WHAT WE DO, AND MORE AND MORE ABOUT WHO WE ARE. THAT’S TURNING THE CHURCH CULTURE BRANDSCAPE INTO A MINEFIELD.

That’s turning the church culture brandscape into a minefield.

Evangelism replaced by “Spiritual Conversations”

Discipleship replaced by “Replication”

Good News, a Worthy “News Flash”

Sermons replaced by “Weekend Talks”

Church Membership replaced by “Partnership”

Conversion replaced by “Allegiance to God’s Kingdom”

Systematic Theology replaced by “Worldview”

Missions replaced by “Missional”

The New Lingua Brands that are being made new by the Emerging Culture:
• Communal
• Radical
• Revisionist
• Social Activists
• Tribal
• Revolutionary
• Emergent
• Participatory
• Image-Driven
• Apostolic

Rethinking Ministry for the Emerging Culture

October 13, 2005

Last year I wrote a series of messages for Josh on the emerging culture. I have some other ideas for it and would love to hear your reaction as you read this broad stroke outline. Does it spark your interest? Make you want to read more? (wish I could figure out how to use my fonts – but I’m still blog-illiterate)

Rethinking Ministry for the Emerging Culture
“…exploring ministry in a post-Christian world…”

Contents

Outline

Goals

1) Understanding Emerging Generations
A foundational look at our emerging culture, where it is heading and how it influences where the church is heading

2) The Heart and Role of Leading Emerging Generations
Ministries suffer from a great lack of quality leaders; this generation has to rethink how leadership is done

3) Spiritual Formation and the Emerging Church
Thinking through how this generation experiences and connects with God

4) Conversation and Communication with the Emerging Culture
Rethinking how to dialogue with this culture

5) 8 Postmodern Branding Trends You Can’t Afford to Miss
As these eight key church culture trends show, brands are less and less about what we do, and more and more about who we are

Appendixes

Bibliography

Branding and Evangelism

September 21, 2005

We must learn to leverage a copious of traditional and non-traditional stories alike to make a connection with the most people possible. We’ve got to leverage every potential point of contact between Christ and hearer. That’s why we use experimental marketing. Use muti-faceted, multi-sensory, multi… The greatest ministries are the best storytellers that tell it in a way that never completely tells it. They just keep adding value to them – week after week, filling up their thirst tank and they keep wanting more. That’s what Jesus did. He didn’t sit down and tell the whole thing at once, rather, he wetted their appetites to keep them coming back. That was the genius of Jesus. Everything we do is a means to a greater end. The problem arises in our strategy or lack of. You’ve got to be strategic when you evangelize. We’re good at presenting the problem, but bad at offering solutions. And we wonder why so few evangelize. The ones that do are the rare ones who maintain the right perspective.

We have the job of creating such powerful emotional ties that stick with people in a way that overlooks our humanness. That’s why the Scripture is so powerful – it takes us into a different world. We have to be careful how we handle that kind of power. Jesus did. He maintained a dependent humility even as his power with people increased. As he spoke the word his fame grew, but his dependence on God also increased. With that in mind, it’s not what we do, but how we do it. It’s not what we say, but how we say it. That’s what keeps the unsaved coming.
Whether you like it or not, we are a brand.

We must continually keep asking the questions: what are the intrinsic core values that are fundamental to our ministries? What are our guardrails for growth as we emerge into a new era? It’s important to have a deep understanding of sound doctrine and Jesus’ methodology before we develop our own dynamics for ministry. Otherwise, the brandwidth of ministry can become dangerous. As we grow into an era of globalization it’s ever so vital to keep all this in mind and sense. We must learn how people not only view us but feel us – an ever more intimate understanding of our target. As brand expert Scott Bedbury noted, “Success in the future will be achieved not just by doing things right, but by also doing the right thing.” I’d wholeheartedly agree.

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