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Unlocking Value for Entrepreneurs

Month: August 2007 (page 1 of 2)

Tentmaker Group graduates first class…

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Church Planters, missionaries, ministry leaders and kingdom-minded business people flew in from across the country (and drove in from the SoCal area) to attend our three day Tentmaker Group training.  The training went great and we all left encouraged as we begin to create a new funding mechanism to plant churches, send missionaries and invest in city change.  Tentmakers is launching in cities like Seattle, Cincinnati, Detroit, Tacoma, Portland, San Diego, Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Bloomington, Las Vegas and we are in discussions with several other cities.  We plan on scheduling an information session for those interested in learning more & an internet training session in September for those who were not able to attend.

My Cat Blog Post

It's been a while since I've posted some pictures.  Here are  a few shots from the last few months that are mainly family pictures.    I typically don't do many 'personal' posts since I'm not wanting to have a 'cat blog'.

Cat Blogs are blogs for and by and about the person blogging. All sorts of posts about you and your cat, what you did today, how you feel, what you ate.  You get the picture.

Boss Blogs are blogs used to communicate to a defined circle of people.  Some pastors write most of their post for their congregation as a communication tool.  These would be boss blogs.

The third kind of blog is the kind most people imagine when they talk about blogs.  These are the blogs that are changing the face of marketing, journalism and the spread of ideas. Godin calls these Viral Blogs.

You can read more about this from Seth Godin's book, Small Is the New Big183 Other Riffs, Rants, and Remarkable Business Ideas (Or in his free e-book) where he classifies three types of blogs: Cat Blogs, Boss Blogs & Viral Blogs .   As more and more people people (including pastors, ministry leaders, etc) start their blogs, you need to determine what type of blog you want to have.  Who are you looking to communicate to?  What information are you willing to share?

Transforming Cities – The Church beyond the Spiritual Box

church.jpgWhen most people think of church, they envision a place where Christians gather on Sunday.  A building dominates the mind of both Christians or non-believers.  Today, the concept of church has been de-clawed of it's full of meaning.  The gathered people of God (who once overthrew the most powerful empire that ever existed, without political, military or economic power) are now house broken.   

Sadly, even most Christians have reduced the Church to a spiritual box.  It's a place where our spiritual needs are met.  We have compartmentalized our faith and removed it from the rest of our life.  This is something more of us are thinking through, not how do we grow our church, but how are we going to change a city.  At Kaleo Church we seek to re-capture a broader scope of being the church in our city.  Here are some ways we want to express being the church and seek to change our city:  (because of U.S. law some of these would be separate legal entities.) 

Launched

Metro Church Alliance – [Church Partnering/Kingdom] The Metro Church Alliance was created to facilitate partnerships between churches in local cities.  The San Diego Alliance is our relationship with several churches in San Diego to partner in the gospel to see the city changed.  We meet with other churches (12-20 pastors) once a month and seek to continue to broaden this.

Tentmaker Group – [Employment, Education, Resources & City Investment]  The Tentmaker Group allows us to fund church planter/planting but it also lets us re-invest in the city.  Part of our goal is to provide jobs in a company that will bless the city.  Many of the things we seek to do (stripper ministry, homeless work, etc) requires money.  The Tentmaker Group will be a company that use it's profits for the good of the cities we are in.

Kaleo Counseling Center –  [Counseling] This ministry seeks to provide gospel counseling to both people in but also outside of the church.  Counseling is the modern hope and we would like to be able to provide free (or low cost) counseling to those in need.

Church Bootcamp – [Church Planter Training] conferences to train church planters.  We believe church planting is the best way to change the city through effective transformation of individuals by the power of the gospel.

Church Planting Resources – [Church Planting Resources] A site to provide resources to assist church planters.

Developing

Think San Diego – [Social Concerns, Government/Politics, Society & Awareness]  Think San Diego will be a vehicle to create awareness to the issues surrounding our city/county.  The goal would be to influence thought on laws/voting, to help foster positive social activism and to present issues (eg. illegal immigration) through the lens of the gospel.

Imagine San Diego – [Mercy Ministries, Environment, Cause]  Imagine San Diego is an gathering of people to mercy ministry.  It will call businesses, leaders and churches to participate in city renewal.  We have begun to gather groups in other cities for the Imagine City Group, an umbrella non-profit other churches and cities can participate in.

Gospel @ Work – [Vocation & Stewardship] Gospel AT Work is is a ministry that will offer programs, groups, and ministries focused on integrating the Christian faith with our work.

Geneva San Diego Academy – [Education] Classical Christian Education to train the next generation with a gospel worldview.

San Diego Artist Forum – [Culture & Art] Engaging culture and the arts through the lens of the gospel.

the Courtyard – [Performance & Art] Events/Performances and shows hosted as a 3rd place to engage the city.

The Cloud Network – [Technology] Using technology and search engine optimization to connect & gather Christians and be on mission to the world online.

Gospel Sales Cycles – Redemptive Historical Selling

Can there be a gospel sales cycle that follows the pattern of redemptive history?  This idea came to me as we discuss the Tentmaker Group and seek to launch our Gospel@Work ministry.  We believe that not one square inch of all things isn't claimed by Christ.  Let me give you an example.  I recently spoke to a person who worked at a 'custom closet installation' company.  Her job was to sell, design and install custom closets.

Creation – God created the world and it was good.  Mankind was called to cultivate the earth to reflect God's glory.  Communication was good.  Life was in order.  There was no 'clutter' or chaos.  From this creation, customers sense their 'ideal solution' and that there is a 'better way'.

Fall – Through sin all of our dominion has been marred.  Chaos enters.  The fall leads to waste, messy lives and cause us to toil against the constant degradation of our self and our surrounding.  Customers now know that something 'is wrong' with the way things are.  There is a constant struggle and problem with their life and needs.  Their closets become a mess and the sense a 'lostness' to their things.

Redemption – We are still called to steward this earth.  Custom closets seek to fight against the fall and chaos.  The sales person seeks to point to 'a better way' that brings a solution to the 'fall'.  It is points to God's redemptive plan.   A good sale is a redemptive picture that points to the necessary and finished work of Jesus Christ.  (The sale never is a 'perfect solution' though.  We live in an already/not yet tension) 

Glorification – Ultimately, we know the solution is only a sign.  One day we will not have messy closets and lives.  We will not hoard possessions and live in chaos.  We must wait until Christ returns to set all things in order.

How does your sales motivation change when you see it as part of God's redemptive history?  Is the gospel everywhere….even in sales?  I think so…

Church Planting & Movement Training

We believe it is important to provide potential church planters a new kind of missional training through the Tentmaker Group and discussions with the Porterbrook Network (created by the authors of Total Church and the pastors of the Crowded House.  They have put together a great 2-year program to equip a person to plant.  Porterbrook Curriculum pdf).  Our goals would be the following:

Planting a different kind of church

We want to create a different kind of church – one which is gospel-focused in every area of church life and at the same time emphasizes the centrality of the Christian community as the context for Christian life and mission. (source: Total Church Conference documents)

Equipping a different kind of leader

We want to equip missional leaders (eg see: Missional Movements, Plurality of Leadership) who are triperspectival.   This means we are equipping them NORMATIVE with gospel applied theology (not just theory/systematics), EXISTENTIAL we are applying the gospel to their lives to bring gospel transformation and SITUATIONAL we are working along side them as they do this in a real church planting context.

Sending for a different type of model

Through the Tentmaker connection, we want planters to leave with 3-5 years of their salary covered and with money to plant.  The model we want to send people with isn't to plant a church, but to start city movements that seek to address every area of life with the gospel. 

We are excited that so far 7 cities are represented in our Tentmaker Group launch, which is a key component in the plan.  The goal is the have this training in every city interested…

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Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition

making-room.jpgI highly recommend Making Room: Recovering Hospitality As a Christian Tradition by Christine D. Pohl, Author.  At the GCA conference, Martin Ban recommended this book and I see why.  Simply, this is another must read.  A few points:

  • Christians should regard hospitality to strangers as an expression of the gospel.
  • History reveals the importance of hospitality to the spread and credibility of the gospel.
  • As Christians, identifying our self as strangers and sojourners is part of what it means to be the people of God.
  • The New Testament portray Jesus as a gracious host, welcoming children and prostitutes, tax collectors and sinners in his presence.

Description: Although hospitality was central to Christian identity and practice in earlier centuries, our generation knows little about its life-giving character. Making Room revisits the Christian foundations of welcoming strangers and explores the necessity, difficulty, and blessing of hospitality today. Christine Pohl traces the eclipse of this significant Christian practice, showing the initial centrality of hospitality and the importance of recovering it for contemporary life. Combining rich biblical and historical research with extensive exposure to modern service communities–The Catholic Worker, L'Abri, L'Arche, and others–this book shows how understanding the key features of hospitality can better equip us to faithfully carry out the practical call of the gospel.

Making Room discusses Old Testament stories of Abraham welcoming angels, Jesus’ commandment to love those unable to reciprocate and the early church’s emphasis on sharing meals with the poor. More than a product or a service, hospitality may be a transformative spiritual practice. We are particularly encouraged to share ourselves with those not like ourselves—without requiring that they become like us to receive our attention and care. 

Here is an example of the cost of community/hospitality from Francis Schaeffer:

"Don't start with a big program. Don't suddenly think you can add to your church budget and begin. Start personally and start in your home. I dare you. I dare you in the name of Jesus Christ. Do what I am going to suggest. Begin by opening your home for community…

How many times in the past year have you risked having a drunk vomit on your carpeted floor? How in the world, then, can you talk about compassion and about community – about the church's job in the inner city?

L'Abri is costly. If you think what God has done here is easy, you don't understand. It's a costly business to have a sense of community. L'Abri cannot be explained merely by the clear doctrine that is preached; it cannot be explained by the fact that God has here been giving intellectual answers to intellectual questions. I think those two things are important, but L'Abri cannot be explained if you remove the third. And that is there has been some community here. And it has been costly.

In about the first three years of L'Abri all our wedding presents were wiped out. Our sheets were torn. Holes were burned in our rugs. Indeed once a whole curtain almost burned up from somebody smoking in our living room. Blacks came to our table. Orientals came to our table. Everybody came to our table. It couldn't happen any other way. Drugs came to our place. People vomited in our rooms, in the rooms of Chalet Les Melezes which was our home, and now in the rest of the chalets of L'Abri.

How many times has this happened to you? You see, you don't need a big program. You don't have to convince your session or board. All you have to do is open your home and begin. And there is no place in God's world where there are no people who will come and share a home as long as it is a real home." 

America's Most Innovative Churches of 2008 – Really?

0807_feature_innovative.gifWhy are America's Most Innovative Churches also some of the largest in America?  Northpointe, NewSpring, Saddleback et al are nominees for the award in 2008.    Is this like when Taco Bell wins best Mexican food because it's the most voted place in town?  Aren't there small churches who are doing innovative things too?  It seems like smaller churches should have more freedom to be innovative.  House church movements?  Harbor's multi-site, multi-congregational non-video venue model?  Soma's multi-congregational, involved discipleship (street walking) and dialogue based services?  How about people who are doing amazing mercy ministries, changing a city, Tentmakers, re-thinking church structures based on changing paradigms? 

Hmmm…according to the survey these aren't considered as much as podcasts, blogging, websites, social networking, film production and video venues …. 

Ekklesia 360 Church CMS v2.0

ekklesia-360.gif Ekklesia 360 Church CMS has launched our new design.  The old design had run it's course and we decided to give the site a fresh look.  The website uses the Ekklesia Website CMS.  The website was designed by Designwise and Shane Thacker developed our new logo.  (see blue/white logos)

It's been a great year so far, we have had 20 different design companies use our CMS for their clients.  (View a few of our website design partners)  We now have over 800 churches, ministries and companies using our backend to manage their website/content.  Our team has grown to 12 people who are passionate about helping use technology for God's glory.

 Learn more about Ekklesia's:

Kaleo Church Website v 5.0

Kaleo Church has re-launched it's website for the 5th time.  Our website has been a significant tool in our ministry as an effective way to connect our community, communicate with people who visit our church and non-believers.  Through our website we've seen people attend events/services and become Christians. 

kaleov5-small.gifTo commemorate the launch, I thought I'd talk about why we have done this now and in the past and other decisions involved.

Kaleo v5.0 –  As Kaleo seeks to launch it's third and fourth locations, we created this design to reflect our multi-site church planting strategy.  We also wanted to change the style of design.  Our previous website designs were typically black/dark.  We wanted to change this to a more clean/white-space design. The functionality is powered by the Ekklesia 360 Church CMS.  Some of the changes included:

  • Design: A new clean design was used, created by Mark Priestap at Designwise.  We partnered with the Journey in St. Louis in sharing the cost for the design and we each customized our one layout to reflect our community.  Mark's design was influenced by Mars Hill and we spoke to them to ensure it was ok that we moved in this direction.
  • Design: We wanted to put more people and stories on the site.  We now have 3-types of Kaleo Stories: Gospel Stories (how the gospel is changing lives), Mission Stories (how people in our community are living on mission) and World Stories (how people internationally are spreading the gospel.  The persecution of believers and the church planters we support/pray for.)
  • Content: Changed a lot of content, such as the gospel, added Mission, Serve & Connect sections and other pages.
  • Media: We centralized all sermons (previously on three pages) to one Media & Messages page.
  • Blog: We added a blog to the home page for better updates/communication.
  • Social Networking: We added a backend for community members to create their own page, blog, galleries, commenting on content, participate in groups, discussions, etc.  As part of the previously mentioned Mullet Strategy – "business in front, party in the back".
  • Event Registration: The site now has event registration both for free and paid events.

kaleov4.jpg Kaleo v4.0 – While we had this site, we moved into AMC Theaters for our Mission Valley service.  We had the site up less than 2 months when we launched our 2nd site at San Diego State University (SDSU).  We had decided to move to a multi-site, multi-congregational church planting strategy.  The site was designed by Church Plant Media and the flash was done by AM Design.  This was our first transition to the Ekklesia 360 Church CMS.   (click on design for screenshot) Some of the changes included:

  • Content Management System: CMS to manage content (sermons, articles, events, pages, etc.)
  • Design: First design not created by me! 

kaleov3.gif Kaleo v3.0 – This was the site we had when we moved into a church building because we outgrew our warehouse.  The design was created by me and used a php/mysql database.  We managed it through phpMyAdmin.  Chris Livhdahl and I did most of that.  Click on the image to the right to view an interior page.

  • Dynamic – We moved from a static, hard-coded site to php-based. 

kaleov2.gif Kaleo v2.0 – While we had this website, Kaleo 'went public' in 2004 with a move to Sunday morning service in a warehouse we rented.  We went public when we had about 50 adults attending the church.  This design was created by me (man I'm glad I don't design anymore).  It is a static site that better laid out content to view.  Click on the image to the right to view an interior page

  • Flash – Each interior page had a unique flash header. 

kaleov1b.gif Kaleo v1.0 – This is our first site ever.  We launched this site as we began to do services with a core group of a dozen or so people in the 2002-2003.  I had 7 or so images for the home page that were selected at random to give it a changing appearance.  Click on the image to see another home page.

Triperspectival Benedictions

Each week I (or an elder @ Kaleo) end our worship service with a benediction.  I used to do these benedictions based on verses in the bible.  In the last 6-months I have transitioned to Triperspectival Benedictions that follow the sermon.  The three elements of the benediction are:

Normative/Information: What was the passage, topic or emphasis we examined from the Bible.

Existential/Transformation: How, as Christians, are we changed by God in this area?  What is God's grace doing in our lives?

Situational/Sending: What is our call to now live in response to this new reality.  How are we a sent people to be on mission and proclaim/live this reality?

This was today's benediction based on a sermon in Acts chapter 9 that dealt with Paul's conversion and his radical life of faith through the gospel.

Kaleo, may you grow in faith in the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ, 

May you see yourself as the children of God.  That you are forgiven, that you are more loved, accepted and approved than you dare imagine.

May you go and live as the children of God, rejoicing and telling everyone the good news of what God has done.

Go in peace. 

Just another crazy triperspectival idea from the Kaleo guys. 

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