Posts Tagged ‘Community’

Committing to “One More Place At The Table”

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

Thinking towards commitment this year and this commitment is one that strikes me as so important to live into…

There will always be one more place the table.

Starting this coming Sunday at 10:30 AM, that will be our first series for NewChurch LIVE of 2018.  And maybe it should hold a primary spot in our hearts as well.

It means a simple revolution, one in which we remember people are not interruptions.

From Father Gregory Boyle….

Gratitude keeps you anchored in the present moment, and we’re saved in the present moment, so I think that’s an essential place to be situated all the time. In being eternally grateful. Delighting…is kind of the flip side of that. That’s the action verb.

It’s being attentive to who’s in front of you.

Somehow transforming interruptions into great adventures. This place [Homeboy Industries] is packed with interruptions. If you can correctly consider them then suddenly they become adventures that are delightful as opposed to things that pull you from your tasks.

So who are we going to gratefully welcome to the table in 2018?  What interruptions can we open to?

There is nothing easy in this per se.  But what joy!

That space is my commitment for 2018.

And imagine, my dear friends, a church where new people feel as soon as they enter … “It was like they were waiting for me all along”, a space where there was always one more place at the table.

Creating Time to Think In A World of 571 New Websites Per Minute

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Within our culture, little effort goes towards time to think.  Look at the graphic below and how it speaks to the online explosion of information.  This graphic will look obsolete in a few short years.

On the eve of General Church Clergy Meetings the above is germane.  The General Church is the parent body under which NewChurch LIVE was established and generously funded as way to live into the world the graphic speaks to.

The good news of the above is that Churches, Synagogues, and Mosques with an online presence can now reach many times the people they preiovusly.  With our services, over the past 2 weeks I have heard from folks watching in California, Florida, Canada, as well as locally.    Some of the contacts have been rather dramatic. When people are in trouble, serious trouble, many search the web.  As the graphic notes, “Data Never Sleeps.”  A good thing in the case of those searching.

And there is a shadow side.  I remember pulling out of a parking lot, listening to Rob Bell, the best-selling author of “Love Wins” speaking.  In 2 sentences, he put it out there.  His church at that time, Mars Hills, was committed to never doing videos of services.  Why?  Because the last thing he wanted on his conscience was the knowledge that he had put a small church congregation “out of business” as congregants chose to tune in vs. join in.  His point was stark, we need to fulfill Christ’s message in how live, in community, and in relationship, not in video.

I don’t know how the future will unfold.  Does a church embrace technology as a way to share its message?  Or does it eschew technology as a way to build alternative community?  These are very hard questions, ones clergy and laity will wrestle with as we seek to do God’s work.   The future I would imagine will be some all-or-nothing approaches spanning the continuum of purely web based models to resurgent home churches.  For the time being, NewChurch LIVE will be an amalgam of both.  And if I was humbly to offer what a “True North” of sorts might be, it would be this.  Christ I believe would be far more concerned with community than with clicks.  How do we build that?

Caught between Worlds

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

We live in a world of unintended consequences. Education in the US focused on ensuring that computer access for all children. The result? “Despite the educational potential of computers, the reality is that their use for education or meaningful content creation is minuscule compared to their use for pure entertainment,” said Vicky Rideout, author of the decade-long Kaiser study. “Instead of closing the achievement gap, they’re widening the time-wasting gap.”

Such information is sobering. And we could apply those same words to many areas of our lives outside of the education arena.    We eschew “meaningful creation” for “pure entertainment” over and over again.  I wonder if even the presence of the dichotomy is apparent to many.  I know for myself, presented with “pure entertainment” or “meaningful creation” I will chose pure entertainment more times than not.  There is little choice or decision making as it were.

And that is why, in a rather old fashioned sounding way, church remains an important cultural counterweight for families.  Churches must work more diligently at the craft, work at nurturing environments of “meaningful creation.”   And the communities that shape churches/ synagogues/ mosques must forward the impetus, the energy, the agenda behind and within that endeavor.  There is no “Church” and “Community.”  Theres is the “Church Community.”

We are caught in the world between “creation” and “entertainment.”  ”Entertainment” is not a ‘sweaty toothed madman.’ Its danger lies in it very appeal.  We slide into it unconsciously and with all pleasure centers on high alert.  The result?  A deadly, numbing sleep.

So do we want to get on with creation or not?  There is room for creativity.  There is room for old and new.  There is room for meaning.  There is room for us to raise our hands. I believe a lot of us are tired of the time wasting gap.