Thursday, December 06, 2012

New Podcast

My partner in crime and in ministry, Gil Flores, and I have started a podcast. We aren't good at it yet and I don't think you can subscribe or anything at the moment until we figure that out, but give it a listen and let us know what you think.

  New Podcast

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Artisan Church

I saw this picture recently and it made me think. The images of school and work are even outdated. But our image of church is often behind even those images. In "contemporary services"we try to do what I call "arena rock"church that probably fits into this picture well. These ideas are moving forward however and we can't just do a better arena rock show. We must always be moving and adapting. In the music world, arena shows are getting more and more rare. Now the trend for a big show is in festival form where  you have many different bands playing shorter sets. How can this apply to the church? In the business world we have more and more people working from home and commuter campuses and buildings and location are less important. Things are becoming more local and more global at the same time. Dr. Leonard Sweet coined the term that I have been looking for these last few years. He calls the next kind of church the "artisan church." We have artisan bread at fast food chains, artisan coffee, artisan shops, etc. The idea is that these things come out of the local community and are unique to it. The franchise church will be around for a long time, just as the franchise business will, however new businesses are following more of an artisan model, while the church continues to try to build a franchise. I think we can do both, I think we need to do both. John Wesley did both when the United Methodist Church began, or to be more accurate, it was the very idea that birthed the United Methodist movement out of the Anglican franchise. Let's move into the future together as we respond to God, our heritage, and to the world around us.

Friday, February 24, 2012

We don't need no thought control...

Two of the industries that are behind the curve of our culture are also, in my mind, two of the most important. I am talking about the American Church and the American Education system. I know that there are a lot of different things going on all over the world, and I seriously think that we have a ton to learn from all of that. However, I am much more familiar with what is going on locally and I have only the ability to influence that. This video is about American Education but it doesn't take much effort to apply it to the church as well. (It's a little long, but totally worth it! Trust me!)

So if we are behind, we have 2 options... or 3 I guess. The first one, that I want to avoid at all costs, would be to just stay behind the culture and become voiceless and irrelevant. If we do nothing, this is the road we will be on. The other 2 options are to try to slowly change the current system/congregations or to start a new form of the industry with the new DNA in place. If we don't do enough, we are in danger of becoming like the first option, and if we try to do to much we can predict the future wrong or be ahead of our time. I believe we are called to lead the culture and to create culture so to be ignored or to be unimportant to the world around us is to fail. So what can we do to change the culture of our institutions and change the culture of the world? And how can we create new ways of being the education or church industry, while creating the DNA of future?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Times are changing and as the cultures continues to move forward we have no choice but to pay attention and learn from the world around us as we help to create the culture of the future. If the Church is behind the culture, the culture will certainly not be looking to the church for guidance into the future. The Chipotle Restaurant recently put out a great video that illustrates where the world has come and where it is going.

We must learn from this and see what direction the world is moving in and we must embrace it as the Church as we strive to move forward. We have to look back past the 1950's, the 1920's, the 1800's the 1700's to the Ancient World to learn about how to adapt to the future world. History cycles and we are in the middle of a cycle. The current cycle we are in goes back farther than what we remember. Phyllis Tickle writes in her book, "The Great Emergence," that every 500 years or so the culture goes through a kind of yard sale where we get rid of some things but we find treasures in the attic that we forgot we had. We must embrace the ancient past and adapt it to the future to have a voice in what the future is gong to be. Let's look back to discover and create the future together!