Pursuing Good: Interesting

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Everyone loves to talk about creating and being excellent. I’m not so into that, you could say. Instead, though it is not nearly as impressive, I like to consider what makes my work as a church technical artist good. Excellent is about being extremely good. In my opinion, if you have not mastered good, you should stop talking about excellence. Also, I am tired of the one-upmanship, the bigger and better, surrounding the idea of excellence. When God created the world He declared it good, pleasant, agreeable. That’s good enough for me.

So instead of sounding off about what I don’t like, I am attempting to flesh out a better way. A way of good. I am applying this to how we do our work around the Sunday morning service, but these characteristics create a framework for any endeavor. In no way am I advocating for shoddy work. As we uncover these characteristics, we’ll see that they are challenging and demand more from us than perhaps we are doing now. Even if we call our work excellent.

So far, I have discussed that a service is good when it is authentic, surprising, and exposing vulnerability. Today we are talking about the next characteristic, a service is good when it is interesting. [FYI, I have 10 in total!]
If you’d like to discover where this framework came from, I talked about the backstory in my first post in this series.

Keep thinking! Continue reading.

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The Business of Church Part 5

freeimages.com/wynand van niekerk

What do you think is the way that God intends for the church to make disciples?
Can you state it clearly in a sentence?
What is the goal of your church and what are you doing to reach that goal?

When you answer these questions, you are revealing strategy.

If you are going to lead people from one place to another, by definition, you have a strategy. You must know where you are starting from and know where you are going and how you are going to move from one place to the other. Even if your plan is to just flow with the Spirit, you still have a strategy, albeit a very fluid one.

A strategy is a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.
In ministry, our mission is to make disciples and teach them to become mature followers of Christ who then make more disciples. All of our ideas about what we could do should point towards this ultimate goal.

I love talking strategy. Buckle up. This is my longest post to date.

Keep thinking! Continue reading.

Fresh Air and New Eyes


As I look back on 40plus years of my walk with Christ, I am mindful of some big twists and turns in the road. The journey has not been a straight line. Please allow me to indulge in some personal reflection and then I’ll bring this back into a local church framework.

Have you ever heard a story of a child caught smoking cigarettes by a parent, and in order to “cure” them of the desire to smoke, the parent forces them to smoke an entire pack? Of course, the child becomes so sick, they never smoke again. The unpleasantness of the experience cures them of any future desire.

This is one picture I would use to describes my ministry journey. God has placed me in some toxic environments. They have each made me sick in their unique way. But I’m not throwing the baby out with the bath water. The toxic atmospheres have made me desire good air even more. I long for the purity and health that is the Kingdom of Heaven, that Jesus inaugurated, that God promises us now.

Keep thinking! Continue reading.

Pursuing Good: Exposing Vulnerability

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The world looks completely different.

Sometimes it lasts for a day or even a week.

After reading a really good book it can take time to recover, to reorient oneself to the world outside of the world of the story. The same is true of a concert that elevates us to a new level of heightened experience and emotion.

All of us have had experiences with art that enable us to transcend reality, if even for a few short moments. Whether a theatrical production, film, music, a painting, a book, or design; art resonates with us in a deeply satisfying way. It also connects us to those with a shared experience.

We cannot always put our finger on what it is that is creating this reaction when we feel it, sense it, and experience it. For those of us who do this for a living — crafting experiences and art to move people into closer relationship with and obedience to Jesus — we cannot afford to not know. We cannot afford to guess.

Keep thinking! Continue reading.

Pursuing Good: Surprise

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In my recent post Pursuing Good: The Backstory, I began to process what makes something good. I ran into a couple of articles that really helped propel this idea forward. I even started to address the bad press we give good as opposed to great or excellent. I’ll continue to focus on that tension.

We already looked at authenticity. In this article I want to tackle the second characteristic in my master list of what makes something good:

A service is good when it is surprising.

As usual, let’s define this word in an effort to get on the same page.

Keep thinking! Continue reading.