Goodmanson

Unlocking Value for Entrepreneurs

Month: December 2006

Looking back on 2006

drew-roman-06.jpg The year 2006 has been a full year for our family.   Some of the events that shaped us were:

  • Our family grew with the adoption of Roman in January.
  • Gideon, our 3 year old spent two months in a full body cast February through March.
  • Monk Development doubled in size, including 100's of churches now using Ekklesia 360 Church CMS and the launch of Sermon Cloud, with 1000's of users and sermon downloads.
  • Kaleo Church doubled as well.  We launched Kaleo SDSU in the Fall and are preparing to launch a 3rd location in El Cajon beginning in 2007.

We are excited to go into 2007, many of the above events will still impact the new year. I look forward to learning from you the blogging community, sharing more insights and getting feedback and building relationships with many of you in my virtual community.

Have a great New Years and for now, here are a few Goodmanson December photos to wrap up 2006.  (Images include Christmas, Disneyland, my Birthday, friends & family.)


Blog added to 9rules

9rules.pngA few bloggers I respect were part of the 9rules Network, so I decided to apply.  Goodmanson.com was accepted. About 9rules:

9rules is a community of the best weblogs in the world on a variety of topics. We started 9rules to give passionate writers more exposure and to help readers find great blogs on their favorite subjects. It’s difficult to find sites worth returning to, so 9rules brings together the very best of the independent web all under one roof. [source: 9rules About]

My blog tends to be both about 'religion' and web/technology so it seems a good fit.  Other 'religion/tech' blogs I enjoy include: Godbit, SonSpring, Open Switch amongst others… Some of the general blogs are: Wisdump, Ordered List and others. 

NPR Interview – Rocky vs Drew Goodmanson

 For those following the recent posts, I am going to be on NPR (National Public Radio) regarding the Rocky movie being marketed to churches & pastors.  If you'd like to catch it, it is going to be on NPR's Day to Day National Show (at 11:30am on KPBS radio here in San Diego).  From what I've been told, it is going to include TBN founder and president Paul Crouch, Sylvester Stalone and me.  Again, this all goes back to the post Hollywood: Turning the Christian Faith into a Marketing Gimmick.  The audio from the show will be posted 'Rocky Balboa' Born Again in Christian Theme'.

 UPDATE: I interviewed for 20 minutes and they took a two sentence sound bite.  My main points were:

1. Christians should use film and all forms of art in sermons.  At our Kaleo Church we have a whole area dedicated to art/culture.

2. To me, the Rocky marketing crossed the line when they said this was a 'Christian Film' even preparing sermon series for pastors to use in their preaching.  For example, one study suggests, "Involve women and girls in your study…noting Rocky's high regard and respect for women – a powerful theme." Or they suggest preaching using an illustration where one of the tallest in the congregation is faced by a junior high kids with gloves on for "an underdog meets Goliath" sketch.  Again, a misrepresentation of the thrust of what this story means.    

3. Additionally, the message/theme behind Rocky is NOT the gospel.  The good news isn't about our faith and courage, but about Jesus.  Jesus was courageous, he is the one who was perfectly faithful.  He lived the life we could not and paid the price for our sins so that we can be reconciled to God.  He was not just an example (as Rocky's marketing tells us) but he is our Savior. 

Sadly, I communicated the gospel through my interview 3 or so times, but it managed to find itself in the editing recycling bin.

Selling Sponsors some Pulpit Time

givemoney.gifThe post Hollywood: Turning the Christian Faith into a Marketing Gimmick continues to gain steam as people take sides on the use of marketing/art and the church.  There are a lot of strong opinions on this.  In a related post at Church Marketing Sucks, Your Church, sponsored by Crest White Strips, points to Wharton's online business journal, Knowledge@Wharton and an article last month "about the increasing amount of products and services being marketed in partnership with churches".  The article points to an opportunity for businesses to tap into a "network or "word-of-mouth" marketing, a strategy that capitalizes on social relationships to spread product information and influence purchasing…Pastors make "great connectors," adds Wharton marketing professor Christophe Van den Bulte, "because they reach a large audience once a week, and their words carry extra weight."

In the Church Marketing Sucks post, Brad Abare endorses this opportunity as he writes:

This is not about increasing revenue for the sake of money, it's about pursuing ways to expand the Kingdom of God here on earth. If Jiffy Lube wants to sponsor a sermon series about the road less traveled, imagine the exposure and curiosity that is piqued from the very people you want to be inviting to church in the first place. 

This post has attracted several comments of support and active opposition to the idea.  Brad argues that if churches became the 'cultural centers' they once were, how might that change the way businesses operate.  This is dangerous and messy stuff to think about.  Many will reject this relationship as a return to Constantinianism that failed to promote an authentic faith.

Yet, talking with many church planters, they speak about creating churches that are shaping the culture, science, art and media.  Redeemer has it's Faith & Work center and Keller often preaches that to change a culture you can't just change an accountant, you must change the accounting industry.  So should churches seek out this type of 'sponsorship' and partnerships with businesses?  I think the question we need to answer is, where is it going too far?  Churches are filled with informal networks of people marketing to one-another, but is it too far for a church to partner/endorse products or companies based on the companies values and ethical practices that are rooted in our cultural mandate?  In our culture steeped in a consumerism driven by wants, its hard to imagine this happening in a way that is anything less than really creepy for a church.  But at the end of the day if our church could influence economics, industry and business practices, I would not be opposed to it as long as it was done for the sake of the gospel.  But this is a slippery slope that I'm afraid many churches will lose their integrity within the local community as they are seen as sell outs with nothing more than commercial interests in mind.

Rudolph the anti-Gospel Reindeer

rudolph.jpgRudolph is the anti-gospel.  For years we've song Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, but have you ever considered the message?  

Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw him,
you would even say it glows.

All of the other reindeer
used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Rudolph
join in any reindeer games.

Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say:
"Rudolph with your nose so bright,
won't you guide my sleigh tonight?"

Then all the reindeer loved him
as they shouted out with glee,
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,
you'll go down in history! 

All the other reindeer laughed at him, called him names and excluded him.  It was only when he became 'valuable' in the world's eyes that Rudolph found acceptance. This song typifies the positional authority of the world.  In our culture, you are only as valuable as what you contribute.  We struggle to be respected, to achieve positions of power and to be loved.  But ultimately in our culture if we do not uphold our end of the deal, our position will fall.  Everything is dependent upon our self righteousness.  Rudolph's acceptance was in his achieving value.  This is what makes the song the anti-gospel.

This is what is so radical about the Christian faith, none of us can earn it (and thankfully, our salvation is not dependent upon our own performance).  In religions, we are required to give God something in order for God to accept us.  As Christians, God earns our right standing, our being in good relationship with Him through the finished work of Jesus.  If you add anything to Christ as a basis for your salvation and acceptance with God, you completely reverse and pervert the order of the gospel and make it useless.  This is why Paul is saying in Galatians when he says the Judiazers have created a “different gospel,” which is no gospel at all.  

Sadly, so many Christians struggle and fall into the same anti-gospel idea as Rudolph.  We fall into the trap of works-based-righteousness.  Martin Luther writes, “…the real evil is that we trust our own power to be righteous and will not lift up our eyes to see what Christ has done for us…So the troubled conscience has no cure for its desperation and feeling of unworthiness unless it takes hold of the forgiveness of sins by grace, offered free of charge in Jesus Christ, which is the passive or Christian righteousness.”  We all can use some of that passive righteousness Christ gives, knowing we are accepted in spite of who we are.

Are you like Rudolph, seeking the approval of others through your own works?  It's something to think about the next time you sing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

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