stream of consciousness

Here are some things on my mind this Friday morning:

  • Wednesday was the 2-year anniversary of New Vintage Church’s first small gathering. We didn’t launch for another 5 months, but that won’t keep me from being sentimental about our church anyway. It’s astounding to me what God has done, and believe our best days are in front of us.
  • The hardest thing about starting a new church? 1) Financial hurdles. 2) Being rigorous about church health when you need every person to stay during the “survival stage.” 3) Guarding God’s vision for the church. Other church planters may say something different, but most I know agree with those three, even if they change the order.
  • Since I’ve made the jump to Windows Phone 8 (which I love on the whole) from iPhone, I’ve lost many of my news apps until they arrive on this new platform. This is a mixed blessing. It’s not as fun. But I’m also slightly happier without the negative news and spin.
  • The murder-suicide of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher is such a tragedy in so many ways. It’s hard to know where to begin.
  • I understand the impulse of some players to honor the life of someone who has done terrible things in his life. It happens at many funerals I’ve attended over the years. However, I can’t believe some of the players thought it was a good idea to honor him publicly during a game the next day. Though some may try to cast blame elsewhere, he chose murder. There is nothing worth honoring about that, and some discretion for the sake of the murdered’s family would have been more appropriate.
  • Despite his moment of weakness on Sunday Night Football, Bob Costas is still awesome. I could listen to him cover paint drying.
  • At or near the top of God’s blessings to NVC over it’s brief lifetime is the fact that all four members of NVC’s starting staff are still here and still love working together. It’s hard to imagine a more adverse work environment than the one they endured during year one. They kept their hand to the plow, kept loving each other and the church, and God delivered at just the right time. Kudos to Randy Armstrong, DJ Iverson and Peter Wilson for serving well through a brutal church winter with dignity and grace.
  • When I consult with churches about staff issues and hiring, I encourage them to separate the “paid” from the “called,” and then pay the called. Don’t waste the church’s money on people who don’t get that what they’re doing is of immense importance and worthy of their best.
  • What’s the difference between “paid” and “called”? It’s far more involved than this, but here’s a quick test: How they handle the winter, and how they handle the good weather (spiritually speaking). If they whine in the winter and take advantage in the summer…odds are they are doing a job.
  • Having said that, ministry has a way of naturally separating the “paid” from the “called.”
  • By the way, cruddy pay and a poor ministry atmosphere are not part of “calling.” That’s a part of “falling” for a church–and more the result of sin than anything. We should never force that on people unnecessarily, claiming we’re being Christian. That’s complete bologna.
  • There are tons of great movies out and coming out that I can’t wait to see. The Hobbit should be great. But, the one I’m really eager to see is Les Miserables.
  • By the way, Gladiator is the greatest movie of all time.
  • I still haven’t seen Lincoln or the new Bond movie. Boo me.
  • I love the new Alicia Keys album.
  • I still despise Mannheim Steamroller.
  • I can’t wait for baseball season. Pitchers and catchers report in about 2 months 🙂

What’s on your mind this Friday morning?