18 November 2010

Confusing Faith and Religion

Posted in Spirituality, Church

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin

imagesI’ve just finished reading Seth’s Godin’s book, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us.  It’s a good, quick read, full of Godin’s unique wisdom and perspective.  I recommend it.  One of the things I like is how he describes our confusion between “faith” and religion.”  I’ve heard this distinction made many times before, but what’s unique in Tribes is how Godin speaks of these terms in what I can only describe as a secular way.  He’s not a church guy, so he’s not trying to defend a particular position within the church.  This stance offers church insiders a good perspective on our own assumptions and use of religious language.

17 November 2010

Zero Percent Chance

Posted in Social Media, Church

Hanging at True North

While sitting in my church office there is a a zero percent chance that I will...

  • overhear a conversation that willimg 1746 drive me to prayer
  • become known in my community
  • meet new people
  • have church members introduce me to their friends
  • support a good locally owned family business
  • see God on the move in the world
  • get a great grande non-fat latte (bonus!)

11 November 2010

Naming It Holy: God on Tap

Posted in Culture, Spirituality, Church

Last night we had our first "God on Tap" night at Grumpy Doyle’s Pub in Reading.  We had a great time with about twenty people at two tables.

img 0994I have to admit I was a little anxious about it.  I wasn’t sure who would come or what we would talk about.  And so, leaving nothing to chance, I had a plan for focusing our conversation.  It was this picture I saw on the door at Starbucks· couple months ago.  When I saw it, it immediately struck me that when Starbucks says “Take Comfort in Rituals” its totally cool.  When the church says it just sounds old, boring, and placating.

But it got me thinking about the rituals in our daily lives we take comfort in - and that reminded me of the wonderful reflections from Kathleen Norris in The Quotidian Mysteries, about how the the rituals in our daily lives function much they way that the liturgy does.  They create a rhythm, they bear us along.  Oftentimes, even the annoying rituals and routines of our lives give it shape, meaning, and focus.  In short, our lives are a liturgy, and the liturgy of the church is one part of it.

Yeah, we didn’t use any of that.  And if you want me to send you the cards I printed with the picture and some questions on the back, just give me your address.

But here’s the thing.  We talked about God all night.

08 November 2010

Facebook and Cake

Posted in Social Media

It's That Easy

Today, with the help of Yelp!, I discovered a great local bakery called La Cascia's, where I found the most amazing German Chocolate Cake that I bought for an upcoming church gathering.

img 1717

As they were boxing up my gorgeous cake, I noticed this on the bakery counter.

screen shot 2010-11-08 at 8.45.37 pm

And then, when I took my cake over to the register, I saw this.

02 November 2010

Going Public

Posted in Social Media

Tweet for Your Life!

openI've had a disappointing realization about my work in social media.  I realized that for all of my thinking and writing about it, and for all of our congregation's efforts in it, what we essentially have, for all our work, is just a really good internal communication system.

Let me explain.

Redeemer and I are active on at least half a dozen forms of social media from Facebook to Foursquare to Wordpress.· We share a lot of content - but we are pretty much only sharing it with each other.· I would guess that current church members comprise 95% of our audience.· People from beyond the congregation probably only make up 5% - and many of those are relatives, friends, and former members of the congregation that live far way.· Okay, maybe its 90/10.

The question is: how do we connect with more people?· How do we get this good stuff in front of people who may like and act on it?

29 October 2010

Intercessions

Posted in Spirituality, Social Media, Church

Praying on Facebook

On most Thursdays I can be found at the True North Coffee Company.  When I arrive I check in with Foursquare, a·location based social media.  On this particular Thursday I checked in with Facebook so I could tag Pastor Mark Huber, our guest for the day.  I had a feeling he might be the only guest, and so I tried to expand the conversation through social media.  Inspired by a recent conversation with another friend of mine, I simply asked in my post, "For what shall we pray today?"  The responses were beautiful.  There were only six, but their were poignant...

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