Friday, November 28, 2008

Top 50 Indy Blogger?

Wow. I'm honored.

**unfolding a wrinkly piece of paper**
"I would like to thank the Academy, and...."

Seriously. thank you. [Those who know me best will probably be contacting you shortly. Pay no attention.]

Actually, my whole purpose in blogging individually is to encourage the Christian community to engage in citywide conversation and networking, especially for urban/suburban teamwork. That is, help bring together 'The Church @ Indianapolis'... not unlike the city-churches we read about in the Bible. Be the Church. Bless the community. Thus our collaborative blog... is really more at the center of my focus.

But it's always nice to be recognized personally from time to time. Thank you.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

7 Ways To Bring About Change

Innovation, renovation, reformation, renewal, revival, transformation... it's all about 'change'. We all desire change, yet are so little able to bring it about... even in our own lives. [Sorry to say, I speak from experience. Thus I've become a student of the topic over the last twelve years, in search of accelerated change.]

Being born-again is about radical change and life-long sanctification through God the Spirit, and into the image of God the Son.

"...continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,
for it is God who works in you to will and to act
according to his good purpose." (Phpns 2)

So whether you're Barack Obama -- our Christ-professing U.S. President with a mandate for change -- or you're a church-leader working for the transformation of lives in your neighborhood... or you're even just an individual Christ-follower anxious to see radical change in your own life in the coming year... we all have the same basic question...

"What are the key drivers of change?"

Let me propose 7... and you tell me how to improve this list...

  • 1. Humility, repentance & prayer. Profess Jesus as Lord. Confess the ways we have failed Him and each other... individually and corporately. Communicate with Him accordingly. Come boldly to the throne of grace. Lay the foundation that it will be GOD who gets the glory for change. "We are more than conquerors through him who loved us." Pray regularly for your community & leaders.

  • 2. Adversity & Diversity. God sharpens us as we persevere in faith. He calls the body of Christ to be together. We cannot begin to know the fullness of Christ if we segregate into self-serving homogeneous groups. John 17 commands us otherwise. Our harmony is a testimony to our testimony. The multicultural church is the only church we read about in scripture. The parts of the body are given to benefit the whole.

  • 3. Study, Research, Learn. The Bereans were called 'noble' because they went home daily and searched the scriptures. Do you read & re-read God's Word? Cover to cover? Over & over? He equips 'teachers' to make things clear -- do you listen? Do you read existing research? If not, chances are you're quite content being unaware that we, the Church, are only 4% effective in this country.

  • 4. Goal-strategizing. Set your heart on things above. Lord, teach us to number our days aright. The apostle Paul always had a plan, and adapted as necessary. Do you have a plan? If you aim at nothing, you're sure to accomplish it. Are your goals measurable? If not, you've built-in your own loophole. Pastor Rick Warren intimates that if your mission isn't measurable, it's just a PR piece.

  • 5. Train for gain. Self-discipline. Train yourselves to be godly. Sharpen one another. Stimulate one another to love and good deeds. Be prepared to make the most of every opportunity. Spread the good news rapidly. Learn new tools. Try new approaches. Test everything -- hold onto that which is good.

  • 6. Mentoring & Accountability. Seek wise-counsel. Get a mentor or coach. Change won't occur naturally -- the human heart hates accountability. Commit to report your progress (or not)... to others. Then do it. Btw, Paul commanded Timothy to be a mentor to others. Are you mentoring others? Bonus: Teachers always learn more than the students.

  • 7. Extend yourself. Partnering... it's a great way to effect change in our ministries & community endeavors. Are you sown into the citywide tapestry of believers? They'll help effect change in your life too.
Sharpen me. Your thoughts?


[visit the 'Change' topic in the CityReaching wiki]

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Why Johnny Can't REVEAL

Commentary by Neil Cox, Ministry Support Services

Top Ten Reasons The Church Can't Multiply...

  • #10 "That can't be right. We're multiplying just fine."
  • #9 You're way too short of data to prove otherwise.
  • #8 Besides, we'll do anything to explain facts away.
  • #7 And if we can't explain 'em away, we'll deploy an ad hominem defense.
  • #6 Rhetoric serves us well... and especially if that's what the masses are atuned to.
  • #5 Stay away from me with the facts. Me and my mission are just fine; and I have lots of stories to 'prove' it.
  • #4 My experts are righter than your experts.
  • #3 My people are happy. We must be doing things right.
  • #2 [Thankfully it's my microphone. Please step away from the mic.]
  • #1 The effectiveness of The Church is not an appropriate question to ask about.

For those of you that survived these ten 'reasons'... you may be interested in following the discussion going on during the REVEAL conference this week at Willow Creek.

And for those of you believing the Church is multiplying mature disciples just fine... check out Barna Research reflecting 4% of American adults hold a 'biblical worldview'... CityReaching RESEARCH

Recent 'METRICS' articles & discussions

[a sermon I'm testing out.mp3]

Monday, October 13, 2008

Where Did All The Money (Really) Go?

I had coffee recently with an out-of-town ministry friend whom I greatly respect for his 30+ years of urban ministry in NYC and beyond. At the end of our conversation, he gave me only this parting observation...

"Neil... I look at you as a servant
to help people navigate change."

The jury's not in just yet, but Lord knows I try.

So I've altered my journal slogan here, to keep his advice ever in front of me. And perhaps I'll write a little more often here if it's helpful to anyone who truly is trying to understand the change we see in our world today. I'm not the expert; but I have intentionally studied 'change'... both academically and biblically... and might be able to speed you along by simply sharing what I've learned so far. And you can take it for what it's worth. Fair enough?

Frankly, I didn't really expect to start writing today, but my financial genes have been actively buzzing lately with all the Wall Street talk and the ensuing political rhetoric. Then as if almost divinely directed, this morning I read a local theo-blogger (James Kubecki) write on the financial topic... "Where Did All The Money Go?"

James found a Yale economist's notion 'fascinating' that it's only a fallacy that we lose a pile of money when the stock market tanks.

My blog-post today is not at all to castigate fellow Christ-followers as they venture into the blogosphere world of conjecture. I'm an avid believer that we SHOULD have such discussions at the speed of Light... and accordingly, learn from each other. And since my career background includes a reasonable amount of financial training and practice... especially within a ministry context... perhaps this IS the time to venture a bit further toward 'serving people as they navigate change'.

There's little time or space here to comprehensively address this question of market value; so let me just offer a few items for your reflection...

  • Just like courtroom testimonies, we see there are plenty of 'experts' on all sides of an issue. And in the final analysis, it's the responsibility of the jurors to discern truth from fiction. Similarly, there are all sorts of 'experts' about global finance, but it's your decision to make about which expert to listen to. Think back to how many of these tv experts predicted $5 gasoline. If anyone really has the ability to know that a stock or commodity is going up tomorrow, they would be wealthy beyond imagination. And a few are. But only a very few. Most aren't. Why not?

    My advice... take expert advice (and mine) for what it's worth... a perhaps-insightful opinion... and gather more facts & insights. Then weigh them with some good, biblical, common sense.
  • The proverbial 'market'... is not just the U.S. market -- let alone just the Dow Jones set of indicators. It's the global marketplace of things considered to have 'value'... including your home... and other financial instruments held around the world. And standardly, U.S. television and other media outlets concentrate your attention only on the U.S. forms of expressing that value. As a result, while you're alarmed at the DJI falling last week, few people even discussed the 25% per-annum devaluation of the dollar from September 2007 to May 2008... as compared to the euro. Why not? Because our news and financial media only express value in denominations we understand... ie, the almighty dollar. Meanwhile, Europeans ate our lunch.
  • While media now focuses on individual Americans overspending their budgets, who is talking about our government overspending (really)? What do you think happens to the dollar in your wallet when the U.S. government prints billions more than it takes in? Yet which political candidate is telling that 'dirty little secret'? None of them. Not really. Dare I suggest it's because they TOO want to be able to use that printing press in the back room when THEY might become president?
  • If you're willing to swallow the Yale economist's comment hook, line & sinker... that your portfolio loss is just some ethereal 'fallacy'... I have a little piece of land in Florida I'd like to interest you in.

    Friends, if you can turn your portfolio into cash at any moment, then the change in the valuation of your portfolio is indeed going up... or down... with each tick of its market indicator.
Where did all the money (really) go?

For every transaction on Wall Street, there's a buyer at the table believing the price is going up, and there's a seller believing the price is going down. Indeed someone is going to be right, and someone's going to be wrong.

Sorry to say... if you paid someone for an investment that is now worth something less than it was, then it's easy enough to know who's got your money.


If your ministry needs some common-sense help with navigating 'change'... give me a call. (317-490-1255)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Church Metrics.... An Outstanding (Upcoming) Innovation

Introducing ChurchMetrics from ChurchMetrics on Vimeo.


IndyChristian Commentary...

Awesome innovation !!!

I love seeing this being promoted by an innovative church, too. That could greatly help its chances for success.


We have an expression in the business world... "Ya get what you measure... and little else." (because organizations tend to MANAGE what they measure... and little else).

So WILL we measure the right stuff.... ie, indicators of TRUE CHURCH EFFECTIVENESS at what Christ gave us to do? (the Great Commission) And hopefully, the DRIVERS of the Great Commission... eg., Bible, Prayer, Care, Share, Dare, Discipling (replicating), Multicultural, Connection, Communication... etc.

[Or will they only measure pew-sitters and money-givers? Remember, churches have been measuring that for years... and thus we now have accomplished what? Uh... pew-sitting and money-giving.

It's an exciting day, when churches start begging these kinds of great questions, and developing innovating solutions. I guess we'll soon see -- at the speed of Light -- whether in fact we're actually DOING what we say we're doing... ie, the Great Commission.

Let me be the first (that I know of) to suggest that as driven Christians start STANDARDIZING some of these measures, we will someday soon see the advent of a new addition to the accounting field... called... "Mission Auditor".

Let me paraphrase Pastor Rick Warren... "If you can't measure progress re your mission statement, it's just a PR piece."

ECFA... Are you with us on this?


Friday, July 11, 2008

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Don't Blame Me... It's The Power Of Untamed New Media

I have 'no idea' how this sudden phenomenon got started, but I suspect one of my mischievous, e-capable friends.

[And you know who you are... so BEWARE... LOL.]

Related (real) story at IndyChristian.TV

Monday, June 23, 2008

Do You Have Luddite Ears?

Do you still have rabbit ears? I do.

And sure, I try to hide 'em.

Does that make me a closet-Luddite? I try to hide that too. LOL.

At the same time, all this is very much at the heart of why I do what I do.

Free is good. Free is scalable. So I like to promote free things... like free learning opportunities, free Bible-reading, free prayer and free/easy internet capabilities everyone can have.

But sometimes 'free' is very costly... in terms of your time.

Take free tv, for instance. To get 11 minutes of pure content during the evening news, I may sit through 7 minutes of news-teasers... to get me to sit through 12 minutes of (OMG, Andy Mohr) commercials.

And on-average, broadcast TV's programming really stinks... at least for 'driven Christians' to be watching/digesting regularly. I won't begin to name all the examples, but you know what they are.

Accordingly, I find myself watching less and less television. And more and more internet videos. Apparently so are other 'average Americans'.

Thus our move toward delivering 'IndyChristian.TV' to you. The point is for us to go 'pre-surf' for you, and find the best video content for LOCAL Christians who are actively engaged in the (whole) Great Commission. And increasingly, we're finding great videos produced by churches, ministries, and even by youthful individuals with e-capabilities.

So we're off and running now... adding new videos nearly every day now. How about YOUR favorite videos? Email us the link for consideration...

"Friends, Romans, Neighbors... lend us your videos."

P.S.... Anyone need some rabbit-ears? I'm just about done with 'em altogether.

Monday, May 26, 2008

'Let our gentleness be evident to all.'

Inspiration for the following should go FIRST to God, according to the story's author, Melanie Reed, a writer (and friend) here in Central Indiana...

"A man was walking down a street at night and had no place to go. He was cold and hungry and he was lost. He saw 2 houses next to each other who still had their lights on. One had a cross in the yard but loud angry voices echoing out into the street. He caught part of the conversation. How could he not? The still night air amplified every sound. They were cursing out one of their brothers for having done something they thought he shouldn’t. One said he hadn’t done it. The other said he had. No one was really sure of the facts but they were awfully sure of how they felt about it. The second house had no loud voices, just pleasant music floating above the air. An occasional low voice was heard asking what sounded like a question and then another sounding like it was answering. He thought he heard what sounded like a door shutting very softly as if from a different part of the house maybe farther away from the front where the lights were. And then he looked up just in time to see another light go on in a tiny room near the roof. He smiled as the voices became hushed and gentle while the music continued below. He thought to himself, how dignified. I will go up to that door because I know they will treat me the same way when I enter."


Neil's Ed. Note.... Melanie's story reminds me that our comments, our blogs and our other forms of public internet interactions should be 'seasoned with salt'. And that's easier said than done, given our human tendencies to take advantage of the moment at the microphone.

So let's all pray and work toward Christ-honoring conversations online. When 'hard things' sometimes need to be said, may they be done in private insofar as possible. And when public... for the sake of dispelling significant error... may they always be edifying to the whole body of Christ, and at the very least gracious at all times. And may those few occasions be greatly outweighed by our posts of encouragement as we 'stimulate one another to love and good deeds." (Heb 10).

My cousin Lynda uses an email-trailer that might serve as good advice for us here as well...

"People may quickly forget what you've said or done in this life. But they will always remember the way you made them feel."

"Let your gentleness be evident to all."
(Phpnns 4)

Monday, May 12, 2008

An Evangelical Manifesto?

What's all the ruckus about the recently unveiled 'Evangelical Manifesto'?

Here's a background article -- "Clarifying the Evangelical Manifesto".

And here's the site itself -- An Evangelical Manifesto. Check out the document(s). And watch the interviews.

What should we think of this -- is it significant? Yes. At the very least, it's a stimulus toward some serious reflection & conversation that needs to take place.

Do I concur with the 'manifesto'? Before answering, let me first refer you to 'An Evangelical Response' posted today by Dr. Al Mohler -- a non-signer of the manifesto -- so you can get another point-of-view.

In fact, here are all the 'EVANGELICAL & MANIFESTO' items that I've tagged around the internet recently.

And lastly, my thoughts...

  • I'm always leary of something generated by a completely 'pale' group of folks. Apparently there were no African Americans are among the early-signers.

  • Nor were there signers from the blogosphere. [...not counting the signers who are primarily pastors, albeit now blogging pastors] This manifesto is founded among the Christian MSM... the mainstream... the majority voice... current leaders of the Church today... which is 4% effective. [Read on, I'll validate that below.]

  • I wince when I read a 'scholarly' document using the term 'idiots'.

  • I wince when I compare the concise 'Summary' document which attempts to make a cogent argument, with the rambling Manifesto itself which seemingly adds 'something for everyone', much like any stump speech.

  • And I especially wince when I discover it buried a highly significant line of demarcation drawn in the sand of the fuller manifesto, yet without mention in the summary. [read on below]

  • However, like Dr. Mohler, I appreciate the document's objective, and a great deal of what's said therein. But a signature is not a vote of general confidence; rather it's advocating the entirety of what's written.

  • And I agree with Dr. Mohler who effectively asserts that the document's ambiguity does NOT clarify -- thus missing its target.

  • "Evangelicalism must be defined theologically and not politically; confessionally and not culturally."

    Hmmmm. Scripture leaves no room for an intellectual faith lacking practice. Thus a true theology absolutely must be evidenced by our actions. And individual practice always has corporate implications. Our neighbors may have little knowledge of what we think or believe; but they can see our practice. And if our practice walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, we can disavow all day our being labeled as a duck, but our actions on the whole define us.

  • And btw, why do our neighbors not define us according to acts of compassion, and concern for their eternal enjoyment of peace with God? Dare I suggest we ourselves created the definitional vacuum and our neighbors simply filled it in according to what they've observed?

  • Nor are we known as 'a house of prayer', as Jesus indicated we should be. Hmmm. Does this at all relate? Maybe we'd better move on and not think about that. Let's get back to politics.

  • In the political realms, any label worth consideration must have big numbers in tow. And a mere 4% demographic slice isn't worth labeling. But let's get honest here. According to Barna Research, only 4% of Americans hold to a 'biblical worldview'. [And btw, thankfully those 4% tend to reflect a high degree of living out their faith transformatively.] Even Barna's reasonably-narrow theological definition for his 'evangelical' category encompasses only a few more percentage-points -- now building the total up to appx 8% of all American adults. But Pew Research and others count self-described evangelicals upwards of 25% or higher. Now we're talking! This 'notional' label is worth political consideration.

    My point: The small amount of theologically-defined, practicing evangelicals are seemingly willing to be conglomerated with... and even out-weighed by... the greater numbers of non-practicing, notional evangelicals... in order to be recognized as 'successful'. After all, what pastor in his right mind preaches about the ineffectiveness of the Church? He'd be fired before lunch. But talk about the 42% of Americans professing to be 'born-again', and he can keep his job another year. Aha! We're successful! No need for repentance. Long live King Notional and Queen Status-Quo! And by royal decree or manifesto, we're declared 'free' of cultural accountability. Silence that young lad. The 'dirty little secret' of evangelicalism's invisible outworkings must remain unspoken in this legendary kingdom called the American Church.

    Translation: The small number of staunch evangelicals holding to a biblical worldview CAN demonstrate transformation. But 4% is inconsequential politically. Unfortunately though, in order to merge with others and thus attain politically significant numbers, we have to sacrifice evidence of a transformed characterization. Thus the only remaining characterization of the label is a political one. And evangelicals are seemingly too vested in the status quo to actually rebel, revolt, repent, or otherwise bite the paradigm that feeds us.

  • And what shall we think of this paragraph buried in the manifesto yet without mention in the 'summary'...

    "All too often we have disobeyed the great command to love the Lord our God with our hearts, souls, strength, and minds, and have fallen into an unbecoming anti-intellectualism that is a dire cultural handicap as well as a sin. In particular, some among us have betrayed the strong Christian tradition of a high view of science, epitomized in the very matrix of ideas that gave birth to modern science, and made themselves vulnerable to caricatures of the false hostility between science and faith."

    Wow. Did they really say that in writing and sign it? Ironically, despite apparently being one of these anti-intellectual caricatures, Dr. Mohler surprised them by actually reading the fuller blah-blah-blah manifesto, and noticing for us that we've been denigrated. [That means insulted, folks. I looked it up.] Maybe this is a clue why they didn't seek out any signatures among the African-American community who frequently tend to read their bibles at face-value.

  • Even if we can lay aside misgivings about the framework of the document, and its insults to some of us wanting to simply read & practice what we think we understand God is communicating to us plainly... what about the core of the manifesto's argument for the leveling of the civic playing field?

    "In a diverse society, it will always be unjust and unworkable to privilege one religion."

    Wait a minute. Our American sense of civility did not somehow evolve via a survival-of-the-fittest principle. It is not the purely secular concept these signers conceive. Rather, it was designed in the early years of the American Experiment as the result of a Christian understanding of good & evil. That is, our version of civility comes from biblical instruction about God's perfect (and patient) sense of love, mercy... and justice. It is NOT a product of a humanistic 'majority rule' mindset. Rather, the majority may be trusted to rule only when adhering to the altruistic principle of looking out for your fellow man: "Do unto others...", knowing you'll end up giving more than you'll receive. [You cannot count on others treating you equally well.] Jesus knew that. And our fore-fathers knew that. And many self-sacrificially died defending that principle.

  • "Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." How can we pray this in private, yet advocate for a perfectly level playing-field for all religions... preferring none in the public square. I full well accept for the moment that we live under a compromised constitution; I'm not calling for its overthrow. But I question aloud whether Christian leaders should be heralding a high goal of some concept of sterile civility, absenting themselves from overt advocacy of Christian principles over those of other world religions.

    [Subsequent Note: FINALLY! Someone else is raising this issue. See N.T. Wright's article in the Washington Post.]

  • Ok, so let's try to apply the theory espoused by signers of the manifesto...

    What are we to think of, and do about, opportunities to right certain societal wrongs... such as abortion-on-demand... or exploitation of the poor, the aliens, the widows, the orphans? How 'civil' would we have been during the Holocaust? Who gets to define 'civil'?

  • Even 'theocracy' needs to be better-defined by the document. Who wouldn't want a community governed by God? So I'm assuming the signers are only referring to the poor use of the term... ie, the one with a negative connotation of the word... a community governed by the Pharisees, for instance. Alternatively, true 'theocracy' is what we pray & work toward... and would never be considered 'sinful' or 'unjust'. Would it?

    Dr. Huffman's video interview says "We're people of the Book". So I ask: Does the Book in any sense teach the positive practice or goal of pluralism? Or the unjustness of a truly-Christian nation?

    "Blessed is a nation whose God is the Lord." How much do you really love your neighbor? Do you want that for him or her?

  • It's interesting that the signers recognize an inability globally to implement this 'civil public square' goal. Does it betray a practical unwillingness to place their faith so ultimately in mankind? So why be so willing to do it in the U.S.? Perhaps it has something to do with their subconscious reliance on our Christian sense of civility, as founded by our forebears.

  • Letter to Diognetus -- It may be instructive reading for all of us, as relates to the issue at hand.

  • Or this great article by Marvin Olasky, including the excerpt below... [ht: Barry Bowen,]

    A reading of the New York Times through the mid-1870s shows that editors and reporters wanted to glorify God by making a difference in this world. They did not believe it inevitable that sin should dominate New York City or any other city. They were willing to be controversial. One Times anti-abortion editorial stated, "It is useless to talk of such matters with bated breath, or to seek to cover such terrible realities with the veil of a false delicacy . . . From a lethargy like this it is time to rouse ourselves. The evil that is tolerated is aggressive."

    The editorial concluded that "the good . . . must be aggressive too."

  • Or this Colonel Doner article taken from the book, "The Samaritan Strategy". [ht: Barry Bowen,]
Consider these scriptures as they may apply... Eph 6:10-20... II Cor. 10:4-5.

Bottom line: 'An Evangical Manifesto' has brought a great conversation to the surface -- thank you. But I can not at all agree with it in entirety.

Jesus is Lord... and I believe we're called to pray and work on earth toward that certainty. To be an early sign-off is to suboptimize the (whole) Great Commission.

I have a small number of friends among these early-signers. If you're reading this, I hope you'll reconsider.

[Speaking of 'friends', here's a related post by a friend from my Coral Ridge days. I suspect many of you can imagine Dr. Kennedy's input, were he alive today. He undoubtedly would have devoted an entire Coral Ridge Hour presentation to denouncing this 'manifesto'. After all, he too was apparently among these 'anti-intellectual caricatures' and 'useful idiots'.]

[My followup article... "Evangelical Elite?"]

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Have You Heard?

Here's the 'piece de resistance' of my typical week. It's 'Ask Anything Saturday'... at the Unleavened Bread Cafe...

Special hat-tip to this segment's producer...

Ellen Spencer, Graphics & Design. Ellen was one of our completers of Crossroads Bible College's "New Media for Urban Change" course -- learning to implement today's tools to help transform lives & communities in the name of Jesus Christ.

The 'Ask Anything Saturday' internet-training program is just one of the weekly activities at the cafe, which is a multicultural ministry serving their neighborhood (truly) in the heart of Indy's inner city. At 10am each week several volunteers come have breakfast with cafe neighbors, and get to know them as they interact, asking many questions about the internet. And we tend to learn from each other along the way.

It's a lot of fun as you can see from the video. In this particular case, while we're waiting a few weeks for construction in the community room to finish, we were test-driving a new little camcorder and taking turns with it -- could you tell? LOL. Lots to be learned from this first venture with it, huh? *smile*

These volunteers have become known fondly as the 'Indy Christian Geeks', deploying the 'Each One Teach One' methodology... and thus neighbors now are showing other neighbors how to surf, email, and even publish online using the wiki.

Catch the vision: If you look across the citywide 'Church @ Indianapolis' and see the digital divide, the multicultural divide, and God's eternal divide... all starting to close... you might be seeing just a little of the impact of this little cafe in the heart of Indy.

[Stay tuned... it will also soon be felt on the eastside, as two new community computing centers are joining in... Victory Village Shoppe and the Kingdom Cafe.]

And it's (nearly) all for free. While you have to pay a little for the best pancakes in town, the cafe offers free hugs, free smiles and free wifi. And the training is also free. Oops, I mean $1 million... unless you train someone else. And anyone can help. Or Ask. Any Saturday.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

"How To PAY ATTENTION... in an Information Explosion"

[click to the slideshow] [or the video]

Thanks to Scott Wilder creating video-clips from today's BarCamp Indy 2008... thus making this post possible...

My presentation was deliberately scheduled to the be last one of the day, hoping that we'd be able to consider all the new technologies we learned today -- and it was a ton -- yet still be able to be able to distill it all down to the 'useful few' that can truly help us prioritize our daily actions.

At least that was the goal. *smile*

In an interesting twist of 'fate' (providence), my friend Alex Conner presented immediately before me... on virtually the same topic... called "Simplifying Your Life... In Spite of Technology". Alex took the exact opposite approach that I took... LOL... primarily running his daily activities through his MS Outlook. So, you'll see, as the video starts, we're kidding about starting the "First Annual BarFight Indy". LOL.

Enjoy the video (no slides).

Enjoy the slideshow.

[Subsequent note: We cover this topic in "New Media for Urban Change" course, and have now inserted another academic video there which you'll very likely want to see, as well as some emerging articles on the topic.]

Comments anyone?

It's finally here... 'BarCamp Indy 2008' !!!

'BarCamp Indy 2008' is finally here!

Welcome. It's an 'unconference'. It's unconventional. It's unexpensive. We ARE the presenters. We make our own rules. And we pay ourselves -- ie, it's FREE!

And it's all about LEARNING from each other... about TECHNOLOGIES. We have short presentations, each followed by intense fast-paced discussion.

And it's about trying something different -- practicing our flexibility, to enhance our ability to 'innovate'.

You can see more in the wiki today. And stay tuned at

You'll see there, for instance, that we're STREAMING LIVE TODAY... and we plan to archive videos from today's presentations.

And everyone who's blogging, photo-blogging, video'ing, etc.... is tagging their items as 'BARCAMPINDY'. Check out who's doing what!


Me personally? I'm blogging & tagging things a number of places.... but actually taking notes in our 'Ask Anything Saturday' wiki as SHOW-NOTES for today's internet-tv broadcast.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Jesus said it first: "Tweet Others...."

[Lord forgive me... but surely you knew it was coming....]

"Tweet others... as you would have them tweet you."

Ok, I've been following some of my innovative friends who are major advocates for Twitter. It's not merely my 'monkey-see-monkey-do' mentality -- sometimes I just don't understand things right off, but I greatly respect the person strongly recommending it. [You ever do that?]

So I signed up at (as 'indychristian' -- what else?). And I've toyed with it from time to time, not really catching on just yet. And frankly, I'm STILL not positive I know how the Lord would want me to use it in my own personal information strategy. But again, it's because I so highly respect these guys ahead of me. So sometimes I somewhat blindly stand on their shoulders. 'Faith', huh? But not BLIND FAITH... they have a reputation of coming-through for me. [Got any friends like that?]

And btw, in the past, that's usually worked out really really well. Choose your friends wisely, my parents always told me. When I've done that, it's worked well. When I haven't, it hasn't.

Ok, so Twitter is incredibly simple. Too simple even, for me to catch onto very quickly as to why it could POSSIBLY be so valuable. If you go there and sign up, you'll see it pretty much allows you to make a one-line message available to anyone who 'follows' you... ie, your group of friends. Think of it perhaps as a status-update. "I'm headed to", for instance. Or... "We just went live at http://AskAnythingSaturday.TV." These 'tweets' can even go through to my friends' cell-phones, if they've set it up to do so.

Seems innocuous enough. Nobody has to 'follow' you if they don't want to. So really, it's only for those who really MIGHT, for who knows what reason, WANT to 'follow' me. Funny thing though -- innovators LIKE to follow others, to see what's fresh, new and should be tried. After all, the speed of life has accelerated -- and the only good way to stay up on important matters is to collaborate with others who prioritize similarly... and share their lives with you.

Hmmm. There's bound to be a Bible lesson here somewhere.

Anyway... today perhaps I understand a little more about the value of Twitter as a quick communication tool among social-connected innovative types. I realized that it MIGHT be a great tool for quickly spreading an important message, and helping it to then spread virally further. I'll tweet a short message and cite a particular site to go to. And whoever believes it's important enough to pass it on, does so.... and adds their link at the bottom of the page being tweeted.

Example: Today I tweeted... "Tweet Others..."... alerting them to the Community TV concept that just went LIVE... [and it's using national collaborative wiki so we could work TOGETHER on it.] If anyone cares, they can likewise pass it on, and add their link at the bottom, effectively endorsing the concept. AND... it's an indication of who are our most 'collaborative' types who like working together to reach our cities for Christ.

In fact... visit "" to follow the crowd to whatever site might be spreading virally at the moment. [You'd like to help?]

Oh, oh oh oh oh.... here's a Bible lesson...

"Jesus, thank you for taking the weight of my sins and letting me stand on your shoulders as the only way I could ever hope to reach heaven. May I someday learn and be able to emulate your self-sacrificial nature. Amen.