June 30, 2009

Hand crafted not mass produced

Posted in better disciples at 11:39 PM by alexlozada

Frank Chiapperino twittered this John Ortberg quote “Disciples cannot be mass produced, they have to be hand-crafted.” Interestingly, the quote linked to a software tool for customizing spiritual formation to each Christian’s personality, existing relationships, schedule, etc. – another example of the tension / balance between tech tools & ministry 🙂

Two conversations at this year’s North American Chr Convention in Louisville connected with the thread of “hand-crafted not mass produced.”  Eric R, a Cincinnati Chr University friend, is planting a church in Charlotte, NC. Though he joked about not knowing the buzz-words to describe it (organic, simple church, house church, intergenerational, relational) – I could sense his passion for a ministry calling that was a “good fit” for him, rather than a mass produced model of “this is how to ___”.

A few moments later, I talked with Shawn McMullen.  When I worked at CCU in the 1990s, Shawn was first my co-worker when he was campus minister, then my boss when he was Dean of Students.  Now, he’s editor of the Lookout, and director of Energizing Smaller Churches Network, author, and a minister at Milan Christian Church.  In the nearly twenty years that I’ve known him, Shawn continues to live out the concept of hand crafting disciples, whether Bible college students or ministers in the field.

I need constant reminders that small groups can become just another program to mass produce church goers, OR groups can nurture the meaningful relationships through which the Spirit hand-crafts better disciples.


June 29, 2009

Tech + ministry – two year blog anniversary

Posted in better disciples at 11:24 PM by alexlozada

Two years ago this week I started blogging, partly motivated by Arron Chambersworkshop at the NACC in Kansas City‘. From early on, I’ve felt the tension between the blessings of tech (the accomplishment that comes from expressing myself through blogging, reconnecting w/ old friends and new ones through Facebook, using database to shepherd a numerically growing congregation) -v- the pitfalls (neglecting my “day job”, ignoring opportunities to reach people).

Last Saturday’s Mountain’s Got Talent event was a great example of balancing tech and personal touch.  Thanks to MCC volunteer Dana Hanna, we used http://v5v5.org text message live-polling to collect some of the votes.  But I mishandled my beta test, and gave my teammate Kristal Dove the wrong text number.  Thanks to Kristal, and especially Rodney Ross as the MC – the voting still happened properly.  So even when human error multiplies tech glitches, human humor and graciousness carry the day.

June 26, 2009

Message Resources “Find Peace when life is Stressful” June 28

Posted in MCC resources at 4:11 PM by alexlozada

MCC is continuing our weekend message series on Philippians, “Rebel With a Cause”  Here is a final draft of the small group study guide for this Sunday.  This is the MCC webpage for the series, including links to mp3 / iTunes of the message audio AND Ben Cachiaras’ series intro video from behind the bars of a prison cell.  My notes jotted down during the message here.

June 21, 2009

Messages resources “Be Content when life stinks” June 21

Posted in MCC resources at 10:29 AM by alexlozada

MCC begins a new series Rebel WITH  a cause June 21 – July 12.  Study guide here and message notes uploaded later on Sunday (incomplete draft here, more to come).  Adapted from the series overview:

A Rebel WITH a cause is someone who doesn’t fit in – but he or she has reasons: a non-conformist on a mission.

Jesus was a rebel – WITH a cause.  So was the early Christian leader Paul. And if you are a disciple of Jesus, you are called to march to a different drummer. We are non-conformists who have our reasons.

Written from a jail cell, the book of Philippians is a Rebe’s Guide.  Digging into it will unearth the secrets to living a life of resistance so you can be a Rebel for God who now how to:

  • Be CONTENT when life Stinks
  • Find PEACE when life is Stressful
  • Size JOY when life is Sad
  • Cling to JESUS when life sucks you in

June 12, 2009

Message resources – Whee! June 14

Posted in MCC resources at 4:48 PM by alexlozada

MCC is wrapping up the “We” message series on June 14 by learning about the rhythms God designed in us: rest, recreate, and relationships with others.  Small group study guide draft here, with message notes here.

June 7, 2009

Message Resources “Me to We” June 7

Posted in MCC resources at 7:32 PM by alexlozada

Final draft of small group study guide (minus graphic) here. Rough draft of message notes here.  Here’s background on Abby & Britney Hensel, and the TLC (via YouTube) video: