stream of consciousness

Here are some things on my mind this Friday morning:

  • This Sunday will be the grand reopening of New Vintage Church. By “reopening” I don’t mean we were ever shut down. I mean “reopening” to full capacity based on our worship center being under remodel through the summer.
  • The entire thing (a capital campaign and remodel) brought with it some risk for our young church, which is still only two years and four months old since our launch. We inherited a facility in dire need of help and the people rose to the occasion financially and in terms of service. Attitudes stayed positive through a very hot summer with pretty Spartan surroundings.
  • Having been through capital campaign/remodel before a few times, I was expecting some decline and negativity. In fact, we held fort and trickled up a bit over the summer—even as attitudes stayed generally positive.
  • I really hope we can stay out of Syria and yet help be peacemakers in some way other than tough talk. Sometimes, even usually in these kinds of situations, talk isn’t enough. Then again, sometimes talk is all that’s required to move things in the right direction. Other times, it’s talk and some measured action that does the trick. There is social responsibility that comes with power, and America has that. So, we’ll see what happens. Christians should pray fervently about this.
  • My early Super Bowl pick of San Francisco vs. Denver feels good after one game.
  • Still picking Dodgers vs. Red Sox in the World Series—though Detroit looks pretty good as well.
  • Congregational “bullies” can be recognized the same way playground bullies are. They are full of threats but flee when confronted.
  • There is no shame in a congregation dissolving after many years of faithful service—provided they dissolve wisely. In fact, there is greater shame in hoarding resources out of pride than in dissolving for the sake of the Kingdom.
  • I still believe in the power of preaching—because I believe in the power of God’s Word—and true preaching is the exposition of God’s Word delivered through one of God’s people.
  • I’ve read hundreds of books on leadership and the best I’ve read, other than the Bible itself, is still Edwin Friedman’s, A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix. It’s dense for the average person, but the harvest is well worth the plowing. I also recommend Friedman’s earlier work, Generation to Generation—also tough but worthwhile plowing.
  •  I’ve still never tried avocados.
  • Don’t judge me for that.
  • Stop.
  • A simple but powerful tool that will keep your church in financially strong position: save half of the offerings of your leading giver and do ministry on the rest. Do it year after year, and set a spending trigger, such as, “When we reach X dollars in emergency reserves, we will do X.”
  • X doesn’t need to be that much, but it should get bigger as the church gets bigger.
  • I think the leading gift a successful church planter possesses is resourcefulness.
  • I had a friend who has been through an extremely difficult ministry season ask, regarding his feelings of woundedness, “How long is this going to last?” I don’t know. Sometimes, it never totally goes away. I suppose the key is to truly forgive and then allow the battle scars to serve you in future battle rather than disqualify you.
  • I just dribbled coffee down the front of my shirt. Thanks, lid.
  • Thanks, Evernote for adding reminders to your features (finally) and coming up with a better looking design for Windows.
  • Emily and I celebrate 13 years of marriage this Sunday!

What’s on your mind this Friday?