Archive for the ‘Ministry’ category

How Social and Multi Media Helps Me As a Pastor

February 13, 2009

1. MySpace helps me see into the lives of teenagers. Many of them cannot believe I have a MySpace page.

2. Facebook helps me with young adult connections. I use an iConnect card in class. Then I use that to make friends on Facebook. I’m able to send an immediate “glad you came, come back” note. Creating groups helps too.

3. Text messaging has been a great way to communicate on the spot. I’ve been leading a small group now for 10 weeks. The group was born out of my young adult SS class. The small group sends text messages to each other throughout the day. They send book quotes and scriptures encouraging each other. It’s amazing.

4. Twitter connects me with other leaders I would normally not have access to. Twitter can be set up to change my Facebook status. My Facebook page stays functional all day. It’s interactive. Twitter also connects me to information I would normally not get. Articles and blogs cross Twitter a lot. You could get many in your church to follow you on Twitter and communicate with them through out the day.

5. Mass email in Google is still trustworthy. I use it weekly to communicate to my class. They like getting the reminder for class and encouragement through the week.

iPhone is simply great for doing all these social media things. It’s amazing how many people can be touched anywhere, anytime.

If you’re a pastor, get with the program Let media work for you.

Fire, Life, and Ministry

January 10, 2009

When a fire breaks out, opportunity strikes.

I have been working some in my Sunday School Class through Purpose Driven Life. It’s amazing how these young adults have come alive in the last 8 weeks. Every day they are sending text messages about the book and what it means in their lives. Fire has broken out and is spreading. 

Life is funny. Much exciting can happen when we are willing to take risks and be available. There’s a great difference between satisfaction and holy discontent. I understand there are seasons in life. But taking initiative to relate to people has become fun and gratifying. Seeing change up close is wonderful. 

3 Steps to Ministry Freshness

1. Invite some to eat at your home.

2. Listen to their story.

3. Minister out of the listening. 

Have a big day tomorrow. Worship the Lord. Pray for your Pastor to preach with power and evangelistic passion.

Disaster Relief: An Opportunity for Churches

September 13, 2008

Disaster is a fact of life. Just a few years ago hurricane Katrina caught everyone off guard. We blamed a lot on the government, but the fact is this. We all tended to act as if we could ride Katrina out. This time we were wrong. We got caught at ease in America. Right after Katrina, we had Rita. The anger over Katrina stifled the publicity over Hurricane Rita. The next year was quiet on the hurricane front. Now, 2008 has been a year to remember. Hurricanes Hannah and Ike this year have thrown Florida and the Gulf Coast in a serious natural disaster zone. Let’s face it. Disaster is a fact. What’s the answer?

Churches need to have disaster relief teams. There’s not a legit reason why every church in America shouldn’t have a disaster relief strategy. After Katrina, I was not pleased with my not getting down to New Orleans with people and resources. Praise God for all the money sent. Your church should have a set amount of money to be used for immediate relief. Missions money, with no strings attached, could really help people in a time of need.

There are many good agencies churches can partner with in providing disaster relief:

Operation Blessing

Samaritan’s Purse

Texas Baptist Men

One great way to use retired church members is to find the Patriarch’s and let them lead in disaster relief ministry. Hurricanes are not the only disaster opportunities. A Disaster Relief Team could also have a strategy to reach into the local community. When a family needs help after their house or apartment burns down, whose going to help? When a family in your church needs help to move, why not have a predetermined team ready to help? The team could also help people with yard work? 

Hurricanes will continue to be a fact of life. So will earthquakes, tornados, and severe storms. Internationally, tsunamis, earthquakes, and other disasters will effective people. One thing every church should do is be able to reach into its own local city, state, nation, as a well as international neighbors. Disaster relief is really all about missions. Not just giving money missions, but also “Jesus in shoe leather” missions. There is no replacing boots on the ground in some situations. People, and churches, in New Orleans are still putting their lives back together.

We have a great opportunity to apply the word with disaster relief.

Social Media and 21st Century Ministry

August 22, 2008

In the last year I have been following a friend of mine, Pastor Kerry Mackey, in his use of Social Media as a means of community, communication, and commitment to making disciples. Kerry’s site is www.streettotheseat.com. Check it out. Kerry’s an expert at social media and assimilation. I’ve found social media to very gratifying and effective for communicating with younger people especially. There are many social media outlets out there and they can be addicting. So, if you should jump in, be careful not to spend all of your time doing it. However, effective use of these technological mediums can bring great benefits to your ministry and family. Ignoring the power of social media is a mistake. In one sense you don’t have to have it. In another sense, you cannot live without it.

MySpace is for mainly for teenagers. If you want to reach into the world of younger students, this is a must. You will have to setup a free account, but be ready to do some set up work. My advice is for you to set up for a few weeks before actually jumping into the online community. I had a MySpace account, but get rid of it recently. The reason I got rid of it was two-fold. First, I wasn’t keeping up with it. Second, it has some rather appealing adds. They are not pornographic, but are seductive. The adds are at the same level as you TV commercials, so don’t panic. But you will have to make a decision to be careful for the sake of reaching into “their world.” Young people are using MySpace as an alternate community. They either don’t have any real, healthy community, or they want to have a community where their parents are not looking in. If you can get into their community, there’s a respect and interaction that will build confidence and respect. You will want to interact, but not preach or condemn them for what’s on their sites. This will be hard, but it’s worth it. After a while, you will be able to make headway with them.

Facebook is used by young adults. It’s an online community that’s not as seductive, but still has adds that are not what you want on your face book site. Tony Morgan has a great post on why he left face book here. It’s something to consider. One way I’ve benefitted from Facebook is that 90% of my young adult small group  Sunday School class is in the Facebook community. I’ve gotten into their community. It’s allowed me to learn a lot about them and it shows them I care about their world and them as individuals. If you get into Facebook (or MySpace), I suggest if your married, have a page with your spouse. Don’t do it alone. If you’re single, it’s all good.

Twitter is a kind of micro-blogging. I have just begun to use it, but I love it. It’s simple. It can be run through your phone or from your computer. It creates a community based on the question, “What are you doing?” It’s a place where you can communicate ideas and let friends in on what you’re doing through the day. It allows you to follow some people who you may not ever get access to. I’m presently following Ed Stetzer and Dave Furguson. I’m learning a lot from just following their “tweeting.” I’m trying to get my friends to join Twitter. Twitter, like MySpace and Facebook, is free if you have an unlimited text messaging. If you don’t, Twitter is not for you, at least via phone. If you have iPhone, you can use Twitteriffic. It’s pretty cool.

I was slow to acknowledge the power of social media. I’m now catching up and passing some by using Twitter. What’s next? I don’t know. Maybe nothing. What I know is a good blog or website is crucial for churches and ministry leaders. Pastors should have a blog link on the front page of the church website. Link a weekly question to the previous or upcoming weekend message. I know of some churches that have internet campuses and have hired “Internet Campus Pastor’s.” At Christ Fellowship they have an online chat after the service. If someone cannot attend the service, they are challenged to watch online and participate and interact within the church community online. I love that! One other medium I’ve used to communicate with my Sunday School Class is “mass email.” I use a “Connection Card” to update constantly. I ask if the person is MySpace, Facebook, and get email address with birth date. I send an email to my class twice a week to encourage them to keep up their “walk with God.” It helps keep community during the week and helps them remember to come to class (I send one email on Saturday).

How are you using social media to create and enhance biblical community for the unreached and reached within your church?

Highlight Church: 242 Community Church

August 11, 2008

I’ve been researching churches across the nation that are a little different but are doing the right things. I stumbled across 242 Community Church. I love this church! Last month their home page feature a video on ServeFest. They did servant evangelism in their community. The web doesn’t say it, but this has to be an Acts 2:42 church. Look at their home page now. What do you think this church’s priorities are?

http://www.242community.com/

The Power of Acts 2:42

July 29, 2008

I’ve been a Christian for 20 years and I’ve been in leadership in ministry for 15 years. What is the bottom line of walking with God?

Bible and prayer. There are many other things, but Bible and prayer are the foundation.

If I were going to ask Christians to do things here’s what I would ask them to do first:

“They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, the fellowship, the breaking of bread, and the prayers.” Acts 2:42

You show me a person who practices the four things above and I will show you a person who does ministry and missions.

There are churches built on this kind of model. consider www.242communitychurch.com. Notice the video on the front page. Hello! They have got it right. What do you think of Acts 2:42 as a guide for spiritual maturity?

Hello world!

June 18, 2008

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