March 28, 2009

MCC Message Boards go Beyond the Walls

Posted in better disciples, Beyond, more disciples, tech at 2:14 PM by alexlozada

MCC is introducing a new tool in our mission to be like the church of Acts 4:34-37 and Acts 6:1-7, experimenting with ways “beyond the norm” to care and reach. As congregations like McLean Bible Church have blazed the trail, MCC is starting online message boards to provide space things like: networking for job applicants & openings, business listings, housing, etc. It’s an online site to post, “I need this, can anyone help me out?” AND “Here’s something I can give” – whether it’s free, for sale, or a way you can serve someone else.

This is NOT meant to compete w/ Craigslist, freecycle, local newspaper classifieds, Facebook, etc. but MCC does want to connect BEYOND what we’re able to do in our small groups and, ultimately, reaching BEYOND the walls of our church building.

ANYONE w/ internet access can browse the message boards, but you must register to be able to post messages. Both Mountain members and non-Mountain attenders will be able to register on the site. (This is a DIFFERENT registration than signing up for events elsewhere on the MCC website, but you can choose to register w/ the same username and password if that’s easier to remember). Use the care and wisdom you would use with any site on the internet.

This could also become a way for small groups & ministry teams at MCC to connect w/ others about events, needs, opportunities – especially as MCC continues to grow numerically & geographically. This is a tool we can use to care for own and also a resource to “walk across the room” and take Jesus’ mission “beyond the walls.”


March 27, 2009

Beyond the Walls Mar 29 Resources UPDATED

Posted in better disciples, Beyond, MCC resources, tech at 11:27 PM by alexlozada

Study guide download here or archive of all study guides for this series (and many previous ones) here.  Here are the notes I take during the Sunday morning message.

The Beyond series has an entire webpage of resources at the MCC website, including VIDEO of the messages (I think this is a new feature!).  Audio (mp3 or iTunes subscription) available here.

The poem read by an MCC member from last Sunday’s theme “Beyond Racial Zones” is here.  Here’s a link to guest speaker Daryl Reed’s congregation, D.C. Regional Christian Church.

March 26, 2009

Walk Across the Room goes Beyond the Walls

Posted in Beyond, more disciples at 12:35 PM by alexlozada

MCC’s two most recent message series overlap in the results of this post from Ed Stetzer of LifeWay Research team. He writes about a recent 15k person survey whose key findings included:

  • “ways most willing to receive information about a local congregation”
    • 63% personal conversation w/ a family member
    • 56% personal conversation w/ a friend or neighbor from the church
  • “times you have been more open to consider matters of faith
    • 47% Christmas holiday season
    • 38% Easter holiday season
    • 38% after major national crisis such as 9/11

If people-Jesus-misses are most open to a Christian family/friend/neighbor during holiday season or national crisis, I better “walk across the room” before Apr 12.

March 25, 2009

Follow-up to Beyond series

Posted in better disciples, Beyond, culture at 1:20 PM by alexlozada

My teammate Kristal Dove recommended Francis Chan’s recent message series called Living a Life that Matters.  ” It has been hugely challenging/convicting for me and has just really been tying in to the stuff that ‘Beyond’ has been stirring up in my life.”  Francis Chan is teaching pastor at Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, CA.

These are articles that specifically address last Sunday’s topic, “Beyond Racial Zones”:

Leadership Journal’s “Diverse by Design” on Mosaic, an intentionally multi-ethnic church in Little Rock, Ar.

CNN on “Why many Americans prefer their Sundays segregated”

This Beliefnet-Sojourner’s “A Bias Against Sunday Segregation brings up some different points, while coming to the same conclusion.

March 20, 2009

“Beyond Racial Zones” Mar 22 resources UPDATED

Posted in Beyond, culture, MCC resources at 2:12 PM by alexlozada

The small group study guide is available on-line now, message notes here.

The book my teammate Kristal recommended  Same Kind of Different As Me also touches on reaching outside your racial comfort zone.

The study guide mentions Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, YouTube as several versions, the one below is the full speech.

March 17, 2009

Bible background resources on-line & personal

Posted in better disciples, servant-leader, tech at 10:38 PM by alexlozada

During last Sunday’s small group leader orientation, a new leader had a question about resources for finding out more about the cultural background that helps us better understand Bible details that may seem foreign to 21st century Americans. I mentioned there are some on-line resources that could supplement the resources he already had. He diligently followed up by emailing me today, and I cut-pasted this from my reply to him:

“The IVP commentary here is good, possibly be similar to the Bible Teacher’s commentary you have already. has several online commentaries. Some of these are not print published books, but collections of teaching-preaching notes, for example David Guzik’s and Chuck Smith’s.

This website has so much material that it can be overwhelming, but if you browse around and want my opinion on particular resources you find here, you can email me about particular authors – some I like, some not so much.

AND Ethan Magness & I are always available by email for questions.”

That last sentence about Ethan and I connects to an important point I try to communicate to small group leaders, coaches, and everyday members @ MCC.  Even w/ the advent of the Internet, and before that ready availability of Christian books through local Christians bookstores and mail-order – the most important resources for becoming a better disciple (not simply a book expert) is not any website, commentary, handbook, radio program, etc. BUT instead experienced Christians w/ whom you can interact.   The best way to know the Bible is to find someone you can ask hard questions AND IN TURN will ask you hard questions about the ways you are putting into practice what you learn.

March 15, 2009

“Beyond Words” resources March 15

Posted in Beyond, MCC resources at 3:57 PM by alexlozada

Study guide from MCC’s website here; also back-up version here.  My hasty message notes here.

This is an extended length version of the video clip from conclusion of Sunday’s message.  MCC’s elders and staff first watched it at a simulcast of the Willow Creek 2008 Leadership Summit.

March 6, 2009

Beyond the Great Omission Mar 8 – study guide UPDATED

Posted in better disciples, Beyond, MCC resources, more disciples at 2:48 PM by alexlozada

I finished this week’s study guide on time 🙂 so it’s already on the MCC website or you can download it directly.  Here are my notes from Ethan’s message.

March 5, 2009

Cutbacks and challenges UPDATED

Posted in better disciples, culture at 11:11 PM by alexlozada

Associate Professor of Business and EconomicsAt a recent MCC staff meeting, our senior pastor Ben Cachiaras shared this Top Ten list to challenge us keep moving forward with our mission, even in these tough financial times. Our executive pastor, Rob Kastens, passed along this insightful reflection from Dr. Bill Greer, VP Institutional Advancement @ Milligan College.  Dr Greer is also Associate Professor of Business and Economics.  These kind of resources can help small group leaders be the first responders in the modern church following the model of the early church in Acts 4:32-35.

On a humorous note, a teammate passed along this video clip:

March 4, 2009

Preparing for Easter – Lenten resources

Posted in better disciples, history, Uncategorized at 8:55 PM by alexlozada

Though the traditions associated with the season of Lent do not have clear New Testament equivalents, MCC uses the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter to encourage people to prepare their hearts for remembering Jesus’ death and resurrection.  For those who like on-line resources, has a Lenten reading planthat leads you through the four Gospels.  Eric Olson, one of my MCC teammates, passed along an Oswald Chambers quote from the March 4 reading from My Utmost for His Highest, which inspired me to look for a website that would send a daily email with the Chambers reading for a day. I’ve NOT used this email service for myself because I was already on the BibleGateway reading plan, but these two are only the “tip of the iceberg.”

If you have a Lenten or on-line daily Bible-prayer-meditation resource that might be helpful, put it in a comment to this post. If you lead a small group, consider using this season as a time to encourage your group members to go beyond merely “giving something up for Lent,” but adding something, too.

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