November 2009


“They” will only change the world if you won’t.

I’m amazed at how easily people are inspired by what someone else does but sits on the sidelines and just watches as the world changes.  Thirty years ago, listening to the stories of missionaries from around the world compared to reading a fictional tale.  But today, with news being instantaneous and the Internet expanding our backyard into the four corners of the Earth, we have a connectivity that has never been experienced before.  I can hear the excuses welling up already, “But what can I do?”  I’m going to stick with three simple examples.  There’s thousands, but here’s three.

Blake Mycoskie, while on a reality TV show fell in love with the people of Argentina.  He combined that love with a need for footwear and created a company called TOMS Shoes that gives away a pair of shoes for every one sold.  This has been mimicked by countless other organizations now and may not have been new with TOMS.  TOMS has now provided shoes all over the globe and there’s no end in sight.

Austin Gutwein, at the age of 9, inspired by kids orphaned by HIV/AIDS, began a program called Hoops of Hope to make a difference in their lives.  To date, the small program that he began has enlisted tens of thousands of participants and raised more than one million dollars for the cause.

Craig Gross and Mike Foster banded together a few years ago to offer the love of Chirst to the porn industry.  They’ve been documented in film, print and on video as being the porn pastors.  Together, they created a software accountability tool that nearly every one of my pastor friends is running on their computers.

Leverage what you know, enjoy, surrounded by, and what you’ve been gifted with.  Join with a few other people and make a small difference to someone.  Grow with a vision or try something else.  Just don’t give up!  Americans spend more on their morning coffee than most people live off of for an entire day.  We have an abundance of resources available.  What are you doing with them?

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“Christian” is not an adjective.

At which point did we begin using the noun as an adjective?  I understand that in America, we’ve created this nice little bubble of all things related to Jesus and tied it up into this little bundle labeled “Christian”.  We’ve defined music, films, clothing, educational institutions, sections of bookstores, whole bookstores, types of tattoos, and on and on as “Christian <insert item here>”.  I understand that this probably occurred in a very innocent manner trying to make items of similar content easy to identify, but as a follower of Chirst – a Christian – I’ll stand up and ask, if we’re supposed to be going into the world, why do we bundle all of this stuff together and market it to only those that are already followers of Chirst?  And where’s the quality control?  And originality?  If we’re just going to change out a few words and create lame knock-offs of yesterday’s fads then can’t we label it with some title other than the name of the unique Creator of everything?

Martin Luther changed the course of Christianity when he nailed his 95 Theses to the door at Wittenberg.  I’m going to take the next 10 days and address each of my 9.5 theses individually.  Some of these have been mantras of mine for some time now, and some are a bit newer to my journey.  In tackling these one-by-one, my hope is that you’ll wrestle with them as well.

The church is not a neighborhood social club.

I have a problem with the idea that the church is nothing more than a place where like-minded people gather together.  At a gym, like-minded, athletic people gather together.   At a restaurant, like-minded, hungry people gather together.  At a movie theatre, like-minded entertainees gather together.  Isn’t the church more than just a gathering place?  Acts 4:32 may suggest differently if that’s the only place you look for a definition.  I go back to Matthew 28, where Christ tells his followers to “Go into all the world making disciples…”  That was, has been and remains the command that He gave to us.  If the church is nothing more than a gathering place for people attracted to Christ to gather, how does that fulfill the command we were given as followers of Him?  The church has got to be more than a social gathering.  It has to love, inspire, restore and send people out to make disciples.  If I had a succinct little formula to make that happen, I’d be a rich man.  I don’t know how a gathering of people take on this mindset, but because I don’t know, I’m going to default to thinking it is done one person at a time – and that has to begin with me.

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