Archive for October, 2006

why i love halloween

October 31, 2006 1 comment

I wish I had a camera. Right now I am the happiest guy on the planet. Sitting right on front of me is my half eaten steak fajita burrito from Chipotle. It is stuffed with lettuce, hot salsa, sour cream, pinto beans, rice, and guacamole. Oh man, it is so good. And even better because it was free.

Just wrap tinfoil on your arms and go into the store looking like a burrito and your food is free! Chitpole must be taking a huge hit but I am loving it. I’m taking the whole family there tonight. We’re all dressing up! I love Halloween.

Ok I gotta go. This thing is staring at me and begging to be eaten…

Categories: Food

free Chipotle

October 31, 2006 Leave a comment

I love Chipotle. So obviously I was super pumped to find out that there are free burritos on Halloween to anyone who goes into the stores dressed like a burrito. I’m doing that for sure!

In the mean time, check out these videos. Chipotle did an advertising gig at Universities where they asked students to create 30 second video spots. There are some pretty funny ones.

Categories: Life, Marketing

NFL football round-up

October 30, 2006 1 comment

Some great football yesterday.

Two of my favorite quarterbacks went head on, with the old vet (Brett Farve) showing the young rookie (Matt Leinhart) how its done. Rounding out my Top Three was Payton Manning doing what Manning does – win. What a great finish against Denver.

L.J. finally made some noise for Kansas City. McNabb and the Eagles (and Steeleres as well) continued chocking their season away.

Finished off the night watching the Cowboys rally and ultimately destroy the Panthers. What else can I say? T.O. is the man.

Categories: Sports

the changing face of youth ministry

October 30, 2006 3 comments

As a former Youth Pastor I was intrigued by this quote from Time Magazine on the changing face of youth ministry.

The transformation in philosophy and programming that the quote mentions are things that I wrestled with often. How do people who work with youth reach out and attract non-churched kids, while at the same time building up youth of faith so that that faith matures instead of withers as students age?

Youth ministers have been on a long and frustrating quest of their own over the past two decades or so. Believing that a message wrapped in pop-culture packaging was the way to attract teens to their flocks, pastors watered down the religious content and boosted the entertainment. But in recent years churches have begun offering their young people a style of religious instruction grounded in Bible study and teachings about the doctrines of their denomination. Their conversion has been sparked by the recognition that sugarcoated Christianity, popular in the 1980s and early ’90s, has caused growing numbers of kids to turn away not just from attending youth-fellowship activities but also from practicing their faith at all.

Covenant Life Church is cited as an example.

Categories: Ministry

Charles Spurgeon on Attractive Preaching

October 29, 2006 Leave a comment

Joe Thorn recently wrote…

Many, if not most, of my readers are in seminary or ministry so I thought I would share a few quotes on preaching – again. This morning I was reading, “Preaching for the Poor,” an amazing sermon by Charles Spurgeon. Later in the week I want to get to his thoughts on preaching the Gospel to the poor specifically, but today I wanted to share what he had to say about preaching itself.

The “Prince of Preachers” argues that when the Gospel is preached it “must be preached attractively…,” and that means following the example of Jesus. He said, “we must preach as Christ did; we must tell anecdotes, and stories, and parables, as he did; we must come down and make the gospel attractive.”

For Spurgeon, what makes the Gospel attractive is a combination of earnestness and comprehensibility. He said,

Christ Jesus was an attractive preacher; he sought above all means to set the pearl in a frame of gold, that it might attract the attention of the people. He was not willing to place himself in a parish church, and preach to a large congregation…, but would preach in such a style that people felt they must go to hear him. Some of them gnashed their teeth in rage and left his presence in wrath, but the multitudes still thronged to him to hear and to be healed. It was no dull work to hear this King of preachers, he was too much in earnest to be dull, and too humane to be incomprehensible.

Of course, when one makes the argument that preaching should be attractive/relevant it is generally well-received or rejected outright. I find little if any middle ground. To many critics it sounds like unhealthy accommodation; an inappropriate desire to be “cool,” or “relevant.” But Spurgeon knew of this kind of reaction and explained,

If we adopt such a style they will call us clownish, vulgar, and so on. Blessed be God, we have long learnt that vulgarity is a very different thing from what some men suppose. We have been so taught, that we are willing to be even clowns for Christ’s sake, and so long as we are seeing souls saved we are not likely to alter our course.

He goes further and says, “Why is it that God has blessed other men to the stirring of the people, to the bringing about of spiritual revivals, to the renewal of the power of godliness? We believe it has always been owing to this — under God’s Spirit — that they have adopted the phraseology of the people, and have not been ashamed to be despised because they talked as common people did.”

This is about relevance and contextualization. Despite what some critics would have us believe, these are good words. I agree with Spurgeon when he said, “Preaching must reach the popular ear; and to get at the people it must be interesting to them, and by the grace of God we hope it shall be.” Of course this is a form of cultural accommodation, but it is not the corruption of the message, nor the abandonment of the Gospel. Yes, in every generation there is the danger, and the present reality of, loosing the Gospel. But it is the Gospel itself that moves us to preach comprehensibly to our culture, because we want the good news to be properly understood and received.

So, with Spurgeon, when we call for relevant, or “attractive” preaching, we are simultaneously calling for a preaching of the pure Gospel.

There is such a thing as preaching science and philosophy attractively, but not preaching the gospel. Mark, it is not preaching, but it is preaching the gospel that is the mark of Christ’s dispensation and of his truth. Let us take care to preach fully the depravity of man, let us dwell thoroughly upon his lost and ruined estate under the law, and his restoration under the gospel… Let us take heed, then, for it is a serious matter, that when the people listen to us, it is the gospel that we preach.

You can find an online copy of this sermon at the Spurgeon Archive.

Categories: Preaching, Quotes

we need to read

October 28, 2006 Leave a comment

I love reading. It is a passion that my mother helped foster in me as a child and it is something that I will forever be grateful for. Sadly my passion for books is a dying passion among the greater culture as people’s addiction to television, movie watching, sports viewing, video gaming playing, and other mindless activities takes over.

People just don’t put a premium on reading anymore. This is even true in the church as pastors are designating more and more time to developing marketing strategies and thinking up catchy sermon titles. I have spoken with pastors who tell me, “I just don’t have time to read.” I think this is a tragedy. And apparently so does the great preacher Charles Spurgeon.

Justin Taylor posted this except from a sermon preached by Spurgeon in 1863 on 2 Tim. 4:13 (“The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchment”):

How rebuked are they by the apostle! He is inspired, and yet he wants books! He has been preaching at least for thirty years, and yet he wants books! He had seen the Lord, and yet he wants books! He had had a wider experience than most men, and yet he wants books! He had been caught up into the third heaven, and had heard things which it was unlawful for a men to utter, yet he wants books! He had written the major part of the New Testament, and yet he wants books!

The apostle says to Timothy and so he says to every preacher, “Give thyself unto reading.” The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains, proves that he has no brains of his own. Brethren, what is true of ministers is true of all our people.

You need to read. Renounce as much as you will all light literature, but study as much as possible sound theological works, especially the Puritanic writers, and expositions of the Bible.

We are quite persuaded that the very best way for you to be spending your leisure, is to be either reading or praying. You may get much instruction from books which afterwards you may use as a true weapon in your Lord and Master’s service. Paul cries, “Bring the books”—join in the cry.

Categories: Books, Ministry, Quotes

9 Lists for Web Designers

October 28, 2006 1 comment

I got this list off the Church Marketing Sucks site. I know a few web design people check out this blog and thought maybe something here could benefit you. I love looking at these sites and I wish I had the time/talent to do web design myself.

From CMS: Some of these lists and resources are older, but they age like fine wine and can still offer some help and hope to church web designers.

Categories: Web design