Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Click to visit the site and read some of the hilarious entries there.]
Those of you who know me know that I have a special affinity for helping train our senior citizens. After all, I AMMMM one according to AARP -- but unfortunately not per my favorite restaurant or the IRS.
So I've been asked to do an internet presentation for our friends at the Mid-North Shepherd Center, February 27th. Come join us. But you'd better bring your ID -- They card! *wink*
Monday, December 17, 2007
If you're reading this page, chances are good that you already know my heart for helping 'driven Christians' learn & leverage the power of this new ministry tool we call the internet.
Neil Cox, Founder, IndyChristian.com
Blews.Network, and CityReaching.org
If you recognize a need for getting your skills sharpened, perhaps a $50 house-call could help you get a jump-start toward one or more of these proficiencies...
- email efficiency.
- wireless at home or ministry.
- getting your ministry site seen.
- or your sermons heard.
- obtain an online 'spokesperson' for your site.
- understand 'why' Facebook... and help you get started.
- save & share 'tags' with your ministry staff or even with your church members.
- starting your own blog, podcast or video-cast.
- We'll develop an RSS feed for your ministry TODAY...
to help people automatically stay abreast of new articles, announcements, sermons, photos & videos at your site.
[Guarantee: How far we can get in any one coaching session varies person-by-person. But satisfaction is guaranteed for any session -- we're trying to create a situation where there's virtually no way for you to lose.]
Group training rates available.
And we have a ton of other technologists available depending on your needs.
So just call... 317-490-1255 (cell me anytime)
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Or at least, it used to.
Also read... "The Audience Is Up To Something"... at The Long Tail.
And importantly, some of us discuss it in the setting called 'The Church'... ie, the body of Christ-followers.
The stereotypical discussion has gone like this... Pastors holding the Sunday microphone are being drowned out by blogging members who are often cynical of that highly-controlled institutional voice... and its staid consequences: mediocrity and ineffectiveness in the (real) mission at hand... the Whole Commission.
Seven days a week, these bloggers comprise 'the long tail' of The Church... and some even foretell of a coming 'revolution'... a day of reckoning... when the (not really) 'local' church will become more accountable to the scriptural model we read about in the New Testament. They describe an 'interactive' model of The Church. One where multiple inputs and spiritual gifts are valued.... and made available to each other throughout the congregation. You know, like the Bible describes.
Remarkably, to their credit some pastors have readily embraced this new user-level tool. They've created blogs themselves. And some have become very popular -- their digital voice now reaching many times more listeners than their church microphone.
But allow me to ask for your discernment about the heart and hinge of this very matter...
Question: At what point does a 'blog' become just another controlled institutional voice?
That is, when does it become just another ONE-WAY mechanism? (albeit cleverly leveraging this low-cost, hi-speed tool-of-choice of the common man)
I suggest this may well occur when its sound becomes as finely tuned as their microphone, such that no feedback enters the sound-system. It's a pure stream. The signal-to-noise ratio is superb. And the blog-er is elated.
But is the Church? And is the mission well served?
This week, a USA Today article [ht:MondayMorningInsights] references SBC President Frank Page -- who soared to power on the wings of the blogosphere... but now has "soured on the blogs' incendiary approach to issues of church governance and religious expressions."
Page: "For Christ's sake, stop."
Sure, Frank. Now that blogging has served your purposes. You're now atop the SBC leadership hill. Let's turn off the comments.
Not dissimilarly, popular reformed blogger Adrian Warnock reports... "It is now almost a week since I made the decision to stop comments here on the blog. In the next few days I will also be deleting all the old ones. I have to say that, so far, I have not missed them."
And he goes on to make the stereotypical case of 'the guy who buys ink by the barrel', or the pastor who preaches from a one-way microphone. He's busy. He can't be bothered by the masses who follow him.
Adrian says II Timothy 2:22-26 has encouraged him in this approach. Interesting... What about this portion of it...
"And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness."
Ok, we all realize 'comments' can be troublesome at times. [translation: time-consuming]. But likewise emails. And phone calls. And children. And hospital visits. [...not to mention that thing of the past called 'home visits'.]
So where is wisdom here? Perhaps the same place it's always been...
"Be quick to listen. Slow to speak. And slow to become angry."
Listen to this perhaps... 96% of American adults have spoken. They don't hold to a biblical worldview. [Barna Research]
Given 200 years of 'the American experiment', the traditional church model has become at best, 4% effective. And our cities look like it. Something has to change. And that something is us... the Church.
So I ask you, pastors.... Have you been deploying the best possible learning mechanisms in your church or blog? Research has consistently shown that 'lectures' produce very little 'learning'. Even using the best of technologies, one-way communication is seldom particularly effective. Apparently the best learning styles include 'interactive' participation.
And if that takes more time and energy... well? No, let me instead pose the issue this way...
Pastors... while you're preaching to tens or hundreds or maybe even thousands... what is to be learned from the millions of young people on your back rows (or not in church at all), who are all the while 'texting' each other? Who is the REAL leader? And what is REAL 'leadership'?
Something has to change. And that something is us. The Church. And the way we (ALL, TOGETHER) 'do Church'... 7 days a week...
Monday, November 05, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Ok, it's official now -- CityReaching.org has now grown into the "Wiki Encyclopedia of City Reaching".
Make sure you contribute what YOU know about YOUR CITY... as respects the Great Commission there. The goal is to accelerate the mission by being better connected & knowledgeable about what's going on in our cities & neighborhoods.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Twenty years ago my Illinois pastor
Sunday, August 19, 2007
[more later... stay tuned... but not here -- go to Facebook and ADD me as a friend.]
Monday, June 18, 2007
Well.... THE JURY IS IN !!!
It's EVERYTHING I expected and MORE.
Here are the high-level answers why...
- You can't help but love the folks that run it. Joe Suh and the whole gang are personable, authentic and truly innovative Christ-followers anxious to make a difference in the way we 'do church'.
- It's totally web2.0... and thus the functionality improves as web functionality in general, improves.
- Unlike MySpace, you don't have to put up with a ton of garbage. Or even lots of ads. A number of MyChurch folks also have MySpace sites to be 'salt & light' out there; but much of their real blogging takes place at MyChurch.
- And unlike MySpace, you're not just an individual blogger there... you can easily attach your blog to a particular Church of bloggers. [Visit my church's start-up site there, for instance.]
- And they use community-mapping features to identify churches (and the bloggers associated with them) here in your own community. This is more important than most people realize, even!
- It's really really easy to blog there.... personally... and also add your post to your church's collaborative set of blogs for the day.
- And because of using RSS feeds, I can also automatically pull in my IndyChristian.com's posts into my blog-posts at MyChurch. Fantastic flexibility!
Friday, April 06, 2007
It's now trapped in my LCD screen and I can't get it out !
[Nancy... I'm gonna get you for this. LOL. That is, once I figure out how to get it out of there.]
Monday, April 02, 2007
Somebody please help me understand... 'random'.
I looked it up at Wikipedia...
"The word random is used to express lack of purpose, cause, order, or predictability in non-scientific parlance. A random process is a repeating process whose outcomes follow no describable deterministic pattern, but follow a probability distribution.
The term randomness is often used in statistics to signify well defined statistical properties, such as lack of bias or correlation."
'Random' lacks a cause?
Show me something... ANYTHING.... anything at all in the whole universe that you can absolutely say with confident certainty... "There is NO 'cause' for such & such."
So if I click Wikipedia's 'Random Article' link in the margin... it will somehow generate a page... for which there is no cause or predictability as to the outcome?
Whoa. Dude! Amazing! Presto chango... Page X !!!
How many of you believe that? [I have a little piece of ground in Florida I'd like to interest you in. Email me.]
Might we meet the creator of such a program? Would he agree that there absolutely is no cause nor predictability involved?
A 'random-numbers generator' has a creator. And he knows the cause (and pattern).
There are three possible camps of people who DON'T know the cause or pattern:
- Those who cling to their belief that there absolutely is 'no cause'.
- Those who admit to simply being ignorant of the cause, and don't care to find out.
- And the inquisitive, who see it all as a riddle, and look diligently for the answer.
Oh... and there's one more thing that troubles me...
What does that other thing mean there at the Wikipedia entry...
"Randomness has an important place in science, philosophy and religion." ?
[Much of this sort of thing has driven me to start writing out my own personal 'Science Apologetics' thought-train. That is, document out loud what I believe in this realm, and why. It's been an interesting endeavor -- one I'd advocate. Try writing a cogent apologetic yourself, and let me know what you learn along the way.]
[Subsequent Note: R.C. Sproul has apparently written on this very topic in his little book called "Not A Chance". Click to read the first chapter online. Maybe even watch this video-clip as Sproul interviews Ben Stein. Ht: Tony Kummer, Said At Southern]
Monday, March 26, 2007
Listen in this morning, as Jeremy podcasts a presentation that he & I did with other CCDA folks in Indy, to present/discuss technologies to help change the urban world in the name of Christ
[click to see his site and listen/learn] [Comments anyone?]
Friday, March 09, 2007
Ok, Indy... we won the Super Bowl... But what's the score in the LARGER contest?
The Baseball Box Score... innovated... sharpened... and helped baseball rapidly develop into the 'national sport'. Key statistics continue to sharpen the sport... In fact, they have now driven the innovation we call "Fantasy Baseball"... ie, fictional teams, games, and whole seasons of fun enjoyed by millions of baseball enthusiasts across the country.
Henry Chadwick, often called the Father of Baseball, innovated the sport and helped it blossom by the use of statistics... the Batting Average, Earned Run Average... and the publishing of the little 'Box Score' that quickly summarized the game.
What's to be learned about this innovation... and how we might deploy the wisdom contained therein?
Or how similar is it, to Jesus telling the parables of the 10 Talents, the 10 Cities, or the 10 Minas? Wasn't his point, that our goal is to be found being faithful stewards of what we've been given -- ie, EVERYTHING we've been given; not just money, not just physical capabilities, but everything -- and thus maximizing our 'return'... ie, productivity/ROI? On what basis will we expect to stand in front of Him and hear "Well Done, Good & Faithful Servant"... especially if we're getting beat 96-4.
Btw, simply building some statistics is not the most important part of Chadwick's innovation... The real genius of his box score was WHICH STATISTICS... ie, he went on to invent the Batting Average, the Earned Run average, etc. That is, he knew which things would become the real key indicators that would ultimately drive success.
And isn't that our goal here? Find what keys work well, to drive godly change in lives & communities? E.g... Bible, Prayer, Worship, Gifts, Humility, Harmony, Loving Action, Justice, Service, Witnessing, Fellowship, Leadership, etc.
The 'Christian Scorecard' is a scoring model to beg the big questions and help drive accomplishment of an organization's (or individual's) mission. Anyone could adapt it to their situation... in business or ministry.
"You get what you measure... and little else." It's an ageless axiom not unlike "Inspect what you expect."
Pastor/Author Rick Warren says... "You must be able to look at your purpose statement and evaluate whether your church is doing it or not. Will you be able to prove you've accomplished it at the end of each year? You cannot judge the effectiveness of your church unless your mission is measurable. A great purpose statement will provide a specific standard by which you can review, revise, and improve everything your church does. If you can't evaluate your church by your purpose statement, go back to the drawing board. Make it measurable. Otherwise your purpose statement is just a public relations piece."
Or conversely stated... I say... "Show me what your ministry is measuring... and I'll show you what its REAL mission is."
The uniqueness of the 'Christian Scorecard' is the division into 4 Quadrants (perspectives)...
Q1 God's Perspective... The all-important perspective... What is our mission... ie, the mission of the Church? The Church @ Your City, perhaps? How will we know if we really are accomplishing it? What objective statistic(s) might symbolize progress toward our ongoing mission?
- Example: Biblical Worldview... held by less than 4% of American adults. What about our city? Our neighborhood?
Q2 Neighbors' Perspective... If we carry out God's mission in our lives and ministries, will it transform people around us too? Our community? What objective measurements might validate if that's true in our communities or not?
Q3 Internal Process Perspective... What value-chain processes should we excel at, in order to best accomplish God's mission? How will we know we're making progress in sharpening our processes? What could we measure along the way?
Q4 Change Perspective... How can we change... individually & corporately... to accelerate our capabilities to carry out God's mission for the Church? What metric might symbolize our improving ability to CHANGE? After all, isn't sanctification a synonym for 'change'? And isn't it the promise of God that He will sanctify His own... over time?
The Christian Scorecard deployed as part of any Strategic Plan needs to demonstrate the status of your plan succinctly at any month-end or year-end. That is, "What's the score now?"
Here's one application of the Christian Scorecard... as we're developing the "State of the Church at Indianapolis" Report. It has helped as we started talking about the 'Indy 400'... and the fact that here at the beginning as we start, we're getting soundly beaten... 96-4.
So how can we sharpen this concept to be even more helpful in driving CHANGE in our city or community?
The 2007 Reclaiming America for Christ (RAC) conference took place this past weekend, motivating and equipping Christians to fulfill Christ’s call to be salt and light in their everyday lives.
[continued at ReclaimAmerica.org]
I only accepted is as a representative of the growing team here in Indy, of driven Christians... each of whom is actively involved day to day in great ministries... urban & suburban... and each of them are deserving of this honor way-ahead of me. I'm just doing the clickity-click easy stuff. They are the real heroes here in Indy.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Wish you could help transform a community? You can. With the power of the Holy Spirit, everyone can do something to change the world. And your efforts of faith are multiplied if they help leverage the collective Church impact in your city. We call it 'fishing our city together with a net'.
- Community Prayer: Here's what one pastor wrote... "Living In A Prayed-For Community". You can pray and encourage others to pray for their neighbors and the community, its leaders, teachers, pastors, and other civic heroes. In our community, we spread the word that the local Friday siren was a great time to stop a few minutes especially to pray for the community. And we let our civic leaders know it was also a signal to remind them they're being prayed-for regularly.
As you look for opportunities for change, consider the tech capabilities now being put in the hands of everyday users like yourself, making it easy to create impact in just a few minutes per day. It's as easy as email !
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Thursday, January 25, 2007
What a great story. And what an epic clash in the offing.
An epic clash to be sure... between two Christian coaches... with God teetering on the 50-yard line... obviously having to soon choose sides... right?
But how about the epic clash brewing in my own conscience?
After all, we raised our sons in Illinois to be lifelong, die-hard Cub fans, Bears fans, Bulls fans, Blackhawks, Illini... and so on down the line. Yet now our sons are grown and we find ourselves living in Indianapolis and embracing the Colts, Pacers, (BobbyKnightlessPTL) Hoosiers, Boilermakers... and every other Indiana team (well, nearly. Go WPND!).
So what's a father to do in such cases?
Especially now that both these coaches are solid professing believers. What will heaven be like when we're confronted for all eternity with these two dear brothers... having chosen one over the other?
It got me to thinking. We all know that there apparently will be a Baptist section of heaven, a Presbyterian section, a Pentecostal section, and as some might admit it, even a Catholic section. But will there be an Indianapolis section? A Chicago section?
And btw, earlier in my life when I shifted from being quasi-Baptist to being a quasi-Presbyterian, did God put his foot up onto the dugout rail and pencil-in a lineup card change?
Ok, so in the eternal scheme of things, what happens now if I end up rooting for Tony instead of Lovie?
After all, as lifelong Bears fans, we of course have a "SuperBowl Shuffle" album on our shelf... having already won a SuperBowl once. My Indianapolis Colts though, have yet to reach this super-status. And having heard Tony's testimony first-hand as he shared Christ with over 500 of our city leaders here in Indy -- not to mention countless times since -- ya gotta love him. And hoping someday to spend eternity in the Indianapolis section of heaven with all my friends... and Tony... I guess I have no choice, really. [And it appears that God, too, has tipped his hand.]
Go Colts ! [And Go Bears!]
And more importantly... win, lose or draw... As Hoosiers are up there someday celebrating with our Savior in the eternal end-zone...
Visit... BeyondTheUltimate.org -- Tony & Lovie... their thoughts on all this.