Close the Museum

When Steve Jobs came back to Apple in 1997 – the first thing he did was clear out the “museum” of old products and gave them to Stanford University.  He cleared out the archive because the company was stuck at looking at what it had done in previous years and trying to make changes FROM there.  He reminded them that the future is what matters THE MOST and thier job is to LOOK FORWARD and invent tomorrow.

I think the church could use some clearing out of past methodologies (practices) and stop trying to tweak the already ineffective and LOOK FORWARD.  Most people disagree with this because of some rant about history or heritage of those before us.  I’m not suggesting we remove “baptism” or “communion” or “worship” from our methods – these are clear in scripture and are essential to our faith.   I am suggesting that more churches remember that the time as ambassadors of Christ is NOW and our future success of living out HIS MISSION of the Fame of God and Freedom of Men is NOW.  This will require us to “invent tomorrow” the paths, methods, and practices we engage in to reach every man, woman, and child with the gospel.
Can you think of anything in the churches “museum” that we need to stop analyzing (or tweaking)?   What are some great examples of people or churches that are “inventing tomorrow”?



Okay, so this will be a short post.  It is for all those “doubters” out there.  I don’t mean the ones that live in a constant state of worry, anxiety or hopelessness – those people have other issues I can’t address at this time.

I’m talking about seeing God move in your life, maybe in some amazing ways – but you are doubting.

“16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.” – Matthew 28:16&17

I am always amazed at this passage.  Jesus has risen from the dead, walked and talked with folks for several days, and right before he ascends into heaven by way of mountain top – “some still doubted”.

So… The only question I have for this post today is –

“What is God doing that you are doubting?”

Is he actively at work in your marriage… but you doubt if he can take care of you financially?  Is he nurturing the hearts of your kids… but you doubt he cares about a problem you have a work?  Is he growing you in areas of your faith and helping you take a risky step in following him… but you doubt that He’ll come through in the end – even though HE is the one who initiated the risk?

“What is God doing that you are doubting?”

Does God want us to be Efficient?

www.usnewsOkay, so it’s a strange question.  Does God really want us to be efficient?  This question comes after a hour long session today of a Google Docs tutorial on Calendar and syncing it with our Macs and phones.   We were all very excited at the end of it because there was a feeling that we would be better organized, communicate better, and overall our efficiency would increase exponentially!

So I thought – Does God want us to be efficient?  Is time management a question of stewardship?  Here are my simple thoughts.

The Cook or the Crop

8114896287_9d48006ea8_bWarning – I stole this example!!! (with permission of course)

During my first visit to NC back in 1993 – I remember going to Tracie’s Grandma’s House for Thanksgiving dinner.  It was a different culinary experience to say the least.  I remember looking at a big pot with leaves in it – wondering why they were boiling the salad?  I remember grabbing a hand full of what I thought were banana chips – and being told that it was cut up squash.   I remember being introduced to food I had never seen before – okra, pinto beans, collard greens, and much more.  I of course didn’t appreciate any of this because I don’t like vegetables – but the family loved it and no one could cook it like Grandma!!!  All hail Grandma!

However, no one complimenting the farmer on this particular day.  Grandma had spent a few long hours in the kitchen preparing the food, but the crop of fruits and vegetables that she prepared took weeks and months to grow.  The farmer toiled over each one of those crops with sweat and hard labor to grow them from seed to end product.  Occasionally you were hear the phrase – “that was some good fruit right there” but most of the time it’s more like “Grandma made the best apple pie today!!!”.

Freedom vs. Grave-Tending

9TzrLLjTEStrange title?  Maybe…  or maybe not!

I was reading in a small men’s (men of all sizes actually) S.O.A.P bible study this morning Romans 8: 1-17.  I recently purchased this amazing parallel bible that gives me the NIV on the left hand and the message paraphrase on the right of the same verses.

I have always loved this passage because of the freedom in the spirit of Christ that it reveals.  However, some new words and thoughts occurred to me this morning as we read it together.

The first part is a great contrast between choosing to “live in” the Spirit or “live in” the desires of the flesh.  It then quickly sets us free that we are not “controlled by” by the flesh if we have the Spirit within us.  However verses 12 – 15 jumped out at me today as I looked at both the NIV version and the Message paraphrase.

Church or Airport – What’s the Goal?

CD Riegel mit A 380 Lufthansa Maschinen und Vorfeldkontrolle

CD Riegel mit A 380 Lufthansa Maschinen und Vorfeldkontrolle

I heard an amazing talk on “Missional Leadership” this past week by Reggie McNeal.  He made a comparison on the church and an airport and that we sometimes get confused on the goal.

If an airport gets confused on its role and goals – it might begin to think that the Airport –  is the destination.  If all the planes are on the ground and the concourse is full of people all gathered in one place – then the airport has lost its goal!  What is the airport’s goal you ask???  Great question!

The church sometimes gets confused in its goals as well.  We tend to start looking like an airport with all the cars in the parking lot, buildings and programs full, and people gathering in one location (and counted!!!).  We’ve missed it.  What is the goal? Also… Great question!

The Rules of Men…

RulesSo, I’ve been praying about the future and about churches in general.  I am doing some study on John 4 right now and it has taken me back to when Jesus quotes Isaiah and says “these people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  Their worship of me is made up only of RULES TAUGHT BY MEN!” (caps added by me)

The woman at the well was also caught up in what religious practices where supposed to look like (we worship on the mountain, you worship in the temple…)  As I pray about what a future church looks like I am feeling more and more trapped by the RULES I’ve been taught about what church is supposed to look like.  I mean, what we see on Sunday’s is not exactly taught in scripture, and what’s even more perplexing is that we even argue among believers which RULES are better.  Traditional, Contemporary ::  Reverent, Relaxed :: Deductive, Inductive.  The more I prepare my heart for the future, the more I see the trappings of the RULES I’ve been taught by men.