Unlocking Value for Entrepreneurs

Month: September 2006 (page 1 of 4)

Discombobulated Postings

Number 1: ShallowValley Church To Begin New Series Based on the Songs of Queen – While you may think well-known bi-sexual front man Freddie Mercury would be an unlikely topic for a church sermon series, according to senior pastor, Bill Warren, Queen and Mercury present a great opportunity to present truth in a context people will understand. 

Is it too much of a stretch to use “Queen” as the basis of a message series?  “Not at all,” Warren says, many of Queen’s songs are clouded in mystery, just like the Bible.  Take “Bohemien Rhapsody”, for example.  Who even pretends to know what that song means?  That gives us the perfect chance to pull whatever we like from the Bible and make it accessible for today’s seeker.”

The series will end the second week of October with a special message taken from the Queen song “Fat Bottomed Girls”.  Warren said, “I’m not really sure what scripture I’ll preach that one from, but I’m sure it’s gonna be great!  After all, it’s an awesome song!”

Irrelevant Question: If you were to preach a series on any band, which band would it be?

Number 2: On the topic of preaching, David Allis the author of the article, The Problem with Preaching responds to David Fairchild's comments on my blog. Allis believes we should call the weekly 'sermons people give' teaching & eliminate the implicit ‘we preach because it is biblical’ assumption/confusion, & secondly calls pastors to evaluate the effectiveness of these monologues as an appropriate form of teaching. 

Number 3: I'm always interested in where culture is going and Guy Kawasaki , well known author and venture capitalist hosted a panel of teens entitled Next Generation Insights (Video 9/20/06).  Mainly insight into their habits, thoughts on marketing.  Helps understand a bit what makes them tick.  TomBomb attended the panel and summarizes some of his thoughts on this next generation.

My Blog can beat your Blog up

badge5.gifIn a world of fun competition, now geeks can brag about their (blog) strength!  Find out your blogs Page Strength.  So you can go and get the bragging rights, 'My blog can beat your blog up' here is a tool to find your sites page strength.  I took my blog roll to find out who would have the bragging rights to walk with swagger.

5.0 Goodmanson

4.5  Mark Driscoll
4.5  reformissionary (Steve McCoy)

4.0 Bruce Chant

3.5 David Fairchild
3.5 JoeThorn
3.5 CawleyBlog

2.5 Michael Foster
2.5 Pete Williamson

Can you feel it!  A little blog smack-down for you all!  Michael/Pete come on you two!

Filed Under: How to lose friends and annoy people. 

New Insights to the Depth and Complexity of Religion in the US

american-piety.jpgMost survey studies that include questions about religion only have space to ask about basic religious indicators such as church attendance and belief in God.  Baylor releases a study that claims "it is the most extensive and sensitive study of religion ever conducted, linking up with the pioneering surveys conducted by Rodney Stark and Charles Y. Glock in the 1960s…It plumbs all facets of American religion and spirituality in depth − nearly 400 items cover such matters as religious beliefs and practices, including religious consumerism, as well as nonstandard beliefs (astrology, "Bigfoot," alien visitors, etc.) and practices (meditation, New Age therapies, etc)."

Some interesting findings include:

Nearly a fifth of Americans believe God favors the United States in world affairs.

On the demise of denominationalism:

“We find that just asking about religious preference, 33 percent of respondents said, ‘I don’t know about my religion,’ ” Dougherty said. “But five questions later, they gave us the name of their congregation.”  The confusion stems from the rise of nondenominational churches, he said.  “Denominations don’t mean as much as they used to,” he said.  “People don’t think of themselves as good Southern Baptists; they tend to think of themselves as good members of a particular congregation.” (Source: Nearly 20% in U.S. see God as on America’s side)

The majority (31 percent) of Christians believe in an “Authoritarian God” versus other reponses.. (Critical God 16 percent, Distant God 24 percent).  Great chart of this at American Piety in the 21st Century)

DOWNLOAD the Full Report: American Piety in the 21st Century: New Insights to the Depths and Complexity of Religion in the U.S

Roman Zen Moment


List of Church Technology & Website Blogs & Resources

For those of you who like to follow the latest church web/technology out there, here are a list of blogs & resource sites:

ChurchTechBlogs (An aggregator of Church Tech Bloggers, that has been added to.)

Blog Ministry (A site dealing with web ministry & online evangelism)

Church Marketing Sucks (Church marketing, web and communication)

Godbit (Designing better church websites)

BetaChurch (Church design & technology) 

Church Technology Review (Church websites, technology and web 2.)

Geeks & God (Everything tech audio, web and beyond)

Churchbit (Group of like-minded church tech strategists, many of the participants on in this list.)

Uneeknet (Design, usability & web standards) 

Art of Mission (Web & church/mission)

Godly Creative (Web & church/mission)

Matt Heerema (Web & church/mission)

Nathan Smith (Web & church/mission)

Robert Evan (Web & church/mission)

Tim Bednar (Web & church/mission)

Goodmanson (web, technology, church planting & leadership) 

Gospelcon (the internet ministry/church conference) 

Technology and the Mission: Conference Session

tech & missionI was able to use Microsoft Producer to take my PowerPoint and integrate the MP3: Technology & Mission Session requires IE which contradicts the web standards I advocate, but I have not had the time to coordinate the PowerPoint presentation with the audio mp3 in Flash.  If you know how to do this and want to, let me know.  🙂

Session Description: "There are numerous opportunities for churches to use technology to expand their reach, spread the gospel and gather people to your local church. Come learn practical ways to enhance your ministry and become incarnational-minded in how you do online ministry. Learn from case studies and best practices from churches that have been successful online."

The two main thrusts dealt with (1) how are you as the church communicating to the world online and (2) how are your reaching out to people through the web.  For example, if:

  • – American ages 13 to 24 now spend more time online than they do in front of the TV.
  • – 64% of wired Americans have used the Internet for spiritual or religious purposes.
  • – During usability studies, 88% of web users went to a search engine first to accomplish a task and 53% of searchers didn’t scroll down past the first 4-5 results above the ‘page fold’.
  • – MySpace (in terms of market share) is the top site on the Internet.
  • – 45% of internet users, or about 60 million Americans, say that the internet helped them make big decisions or negotiate their way through major episodes in their lives in the previous two years

What should the church be doing in response to this?  I presented 4 best practice cases where churches used the internet to reach the lost and minister the gospel to them.

New Acts 29 Site

Acts 29 WebsiteThe Acts 29 Network launched their new website.  The previous site, while very sexy, wasn't as functional being an all-flash website.  The new site takes the old look and moves it to web standards (design/content done by Church Plant Media) using Ekklesia 360 CMS as the backend.  There should be a lot more content, media and even a regional focus for those wanting to explore the new site.

There are more tweaks coming, but enjoy!

Tim Keller vs. John Piper Deathmatch

It's gotten to this. djchuang posts on Why I like Keller more than Piper.  A new wave of preacher Deathmatches are sweeping the internet, where will it go?

  • Mark Driscoll vs. Joshua Harris
  • John MacArthur vs. Andy Stanley
  • Rick McKinely vs. Chris Seay
  • Bill Hybels vs. Rick Warren
  • Ed Young vs. Joel Osteen
  • Mark Moore vs. David Fairchild

Oh the insanity… (HT: Reformissionary)

Does God Want You To Be Rich?

time.jpgA growing number of Protestant evangelists raise a joyful Yes! But the idea is poison to other, more mainstream pastors.
When George Adams lost his job at an Ohio tile factory last October, the most practical thing he did, he thinks, was go to a new church, even though he had to move his wife and four preteen boys to Conroe, a suburb of Houston, to do it. Conroe, you see, is not far from Lakewood, the home church of megapastor and best-selling author Joel Osteen.

Osteen's relentlessly upbeat television sermons had helped Adams, 49, get through the hard times, and now Adams was expecting the smiling, Texas-twanged 43-year-old to help boost him back toward success. And Osteen did. Inspired by the preacher's insistence that one of God's top priorities is to shower blessings on Christians in this lifetime–and by the corollary assumption that one of the worst things a person can do is to expect anything less–Adams marched into Gullo Ford in Conroe looking for work. He didn't have entry-level aspirations: "God has showed me that he doesn't want me to be a run-of-the-mill person," he explains. He demanded to know what the dealership's top salesmen made–and got the job.

In a TIME poll:

  • 17% of Christians surveyed said they considered themselves part of a (prosperity) movement.
  • 61% believed that God wants people to be prosperous.
  • 31% agreed that if you give your money to God, God will bless you with more money.

Source: Does God Want You To Be Rich? Time Magazine September 18th, 2006 article.

Only in America would this stuff sell…

Religion Sites Embrace Web 2.0 @ Red Herring

redherring.gifGod might not have a MySpace, but He’s got the web’s attention.

One has Psalms, the other has podcasts. One creates meaning out of Latin, an ancient language; the other finds new meanings through derivatives of common words, like “digg,” “friendster,” or “flickr.” One community meets every Sunday, the other meets with every click of a new web browser window.

Alone, the power of the church is as undeniable as the power of the web 2.0 upswing. While the former has been around for centuries, permeating every inch of the globe, the latter has needed but a few years to make its mark on the Internet landscape. And each, in some ways, is following the same business model: the church wants followers every bit as much as MySpace does.

Full Article: Religion Sites Embrace Web 2.0

Update: List of Web 2.0 Applications for Churches @ Church Tech Review

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