Thursday, June 29, 2006

Big Mo-balls

As we look to plant a church in Paris, I believe one of the most important things that we must do is "be creative." I have spent a great deal of time thinkg about this. In order to develop an atmosphere of creativity, I have thought a lot about what we don't have (like more resources: human and financial). It is easy to think about the big churches and all of their assets that make creativity easy. But, while reading The Creative Leader, by Ed Young, I was reminded that the big church machine that goes with those big church assets can also create an environment in which it is more difficult to be creative.

As I thought about it, I came to this conclusion: Creativity in a growing organization requires the "Big Mo" (momentum). If you develop an environment of creativity when you are small it can continue to grow with the organization and can utilize the greater resources that come with a larger organizational structure. If you don't have a creative environmant when you are small, it will be very difficult to develop it in a larger organizational structure in spite of the bigger resources.

A small snowball at the top of a steep hill is easy to start rolling. As it rolls it gets bigger and faster. When it stops it is a heavy beast to get rolling again.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Family Vacation

Family is the key word here. A couple of years ago with 3 children under 4 years of age I left the family vacation at the beach thinking that this was a vacation for the kids. The parents were just there to baby-sit. Now with 4 kids under 6, I knew it was a vacation for the kids before I ever left home. For mom and dad it is pretty much one week of working over-time in a cool place where you can take a short walk through the sand and take a dip in the big pond ("Atlantic Pond").

I pray that the Lord will use this time away from home to stir my creative juices a little bit. In the middle of the ocean and the wind and the waves I want to experience the Lord in a new way this week. I want to stop and smell the salt air and know the complex and wonderful God spoke it into existence for a purpose I will never understand. I want to know His unknowable love and for all the fullness of God to permeat my heart (Eph 3:19) so that when I speak out of the overflow (Luke 6:45) I will actually have something say.

Lord, speak to me in a fresh new way this week.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Jesus was Cool

I just got an email from Jim Kearns, a church planter friend of mine in Cincinnati. I have included part of his email here:

A youth pastor in our association at a lunceon was talking about Christian Rock and how it was wrong to listen to heavy metal music. I did not hear the whole conversation so I asked what groups he was talking about and they told me Third Day and Casting Crowns.

This got me a bit worked up. Here is my response:
You are the man! Don’t let those guys think that you are going to quit listening to your Casting Crowns “metal.” I want to ask those guys if they have ever read about a revolutionary who questioned the religious leadership of the church, hung out with unchurched sinners and told creative stories so that people who didn’t understand the church lingo might understand what he was getting at; a guy who would make time to hang out at a well so that he could be in a place where regular people regularly go. While the church leadership were waiting for people to clean up their lives, obey all the rules and come to them, this guy took God to the market place (wherever people are). I know that there is a tendency in the church to say we don’t need to be relevant or cool, but Jesus was cool. He was the great physician. He looked for people who needed healing and not only gave them a cure but hope for a better life; life to the full. Jesus cared for people. It was about relationship not rules.

Theater Church & TF1 French Television

I had a great weekend at NCC in DC. I got a chane to meet Mark Batterson and love what they are doing. I really connected with these guys becuase the 'Theater near Metro stations' idea is a great method for Paris. We have been looking at that concept for a while and I really wanted to meet the pros in DC. I heard that they were going to have TF1 French television there so I figured that this would be a good weekend to do a little recon. They had an awesome worship time and service and they have a very cool coffee house, Ebenezers. Mark introduced me to Julie from TF1 as a guy planning to plant a similar church in Paris. She was very interested and interviewed me for the story. How cool. I don't know if any of my interview will make the story but what an awesome God thing if it does. Maybe God will start a little Buzz before we get there. I could never have planned such a God weekend.