Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Looking At or Through?

A man that looks on glass,
On it may stay his eye;
Or if he pleaseth, through it pass,
And then the heaven espy.
-- George Herbert

(I found this insightful poem, while reading Thoreau's, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers)

Lest We Forget

Monday, June 29, 2009

Put Your Dream to the Test

John Maxwell suggests asking the following questions to test your dream:

1. The Ownership Question: Is my dream really my dream?
2. The Clarity Question: Do I clearly see my dream?
3. The Reality Question: Am I depending on factors within my control to achieve my dream?
4. The Passion Question: Does my dream compel me to follow it?
5. The Pathway Question: Do I have a strategy to reach my dream?
6. The People Question: Have I included the people I need to realize my dream?
7. The Cost Question: Am I willing to pay the price for my dream?
8. The Tenacity Question: Am I moving closer to my dream?
9. The Fulfillment Question: Does working toward my dream bring satisfaction?
10. The Significance Question: Does my dream benefit others?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

To Rejoice is a Choice

To rejoice is a choice.

The longer I live, the more I’m convinced this is true. We will express joy only as much as we are determined to do it.

It’s commonly believed that rejoicing is simply a response. Certainly, there is some truth to that perspective. If my team wins the game, I rejoice. If I receive some unexpected money, I rejoice. If I experience a happy event (such as a marriage or birth of a new baby) I rejoice.

However, rejoicing goes far beyond the emotional response to life’s happenings.

If it’s only a response to the moment’s event – then it comes and goes – rises and falls – depending on what’s happening now. That kind of thinking makes our attitude a roller coaster – up one minute and down the next.

The Bible says to “Rejoice evermore” (I Thessalonians 5:16.) It also says, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and I say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4.) Now, the Bible does not command us to do the impossible. These verses of Scripture tell us to rejoice continuously – so it must be possible to do so.

The Bible assumes that rejoicing goes deeper than our circumstance and situation. Take a look sometime at the verses in the Bible that speak of joy and rejoicing. It permeates the whole Book! As C. S. Lewis said, “Joy is the serious business of heaven.”

I’ve noticed that the folks I know with the deepest joy are people who have gone through a lot of heartache and suffering. They have learned the secret of choosing an attitude of rejoicing rather than one of grumbling and complaint.

If you want to find something to complain about – you’ll find it.
If you want to find something to rejoice over – you’ll find it.

You get what you look for!

To rejoice is a choice.

Look beyond the present difficulty to the future hope. Seek the solution rather than the problem. Focus on what IS rather than what ISN’T. Whatever comes, make the choice to rejoice today!

Helen Steiner Rice captures this concept with these words that I recently shared at a friend’s funeral:

After the clouds, the sunshine,
After the winter, the spring.
After the shower, the rainbow.
For life is a changeable thing..
After the night, the morning,
Bidding all darkness cease.
After life’s cares and sorrows,
The comfort and sweetness of peace.

To rejoice is a choice.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

More Than Dust

My favorite poet, Naomi Cochran, wrote this poem based on the passage of Scripture (Rev. 3) I used in the sermon last Sunday. She shared it in the services, and the people were really moved by it.
Thanks Naomi!

I was breathed into existence
by God himself,
exhaled from the All into this one vessel,
a temple, a life,
God's fullness contained in me.

God's fullness contained in me,
imperfect, weak,
inhaling dust from the nothingness of want,
my body a vacuum,
my fullness emptied of God.

My fullness emptied of God,
yet glowing, strong,
I work, I live, I give, I have it all,
though all is lost,
my solitude my soul's decay.

My solitude my soul's decay,
yet God himself
breathes into me, reforms, refills, exhales the dust,
his temple cleansed,
till I, unchained, exist in him.

Till I, unchained, exist in him
as more than dust,
or soulless flesh: and I, his child, his hands, his love,
link one to One,
an unbroken chain of brokenness.

Good Advice for Seminarians


Scot McKnight at Out of Ur writes:
At the end of his lecture and after answering a smattering of questions, the pristine and aged New Testament scholar, Bruce Metzger, asked Doug Moo if he could share something on his heart to the seminary students gathered that day.

With the moral vigor and verbal clarity Metzger was known for, he looked at his audience and simply said, "Stay married!"



What About Me?

A great post by Perry Noble on the priority of Children's Minsitry

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Small Churches Can Thrive

Great article by Ed Stetzer on strong, small congregations.

Sail!

Throw off the bowlines! Sail away from the safe harbor! Catch the trade winds in your sails!
-- Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain)

Vanishing Sculptor


Donita K. Paul’s 250,000-plus-selling DragonKeeper Chronicles series has attracted a wide spectrum of dedicated fans–and they’re sure to fall in love with the new characters and adventures in her latest superbly-crafted novel for all ages. It’s a mind-boggling fantasy that inhabits the same world as the DragonKeeper Chronicles, but in a different country and an earlier time, where the people know little of Wulder and nothing of Paladin.
In The Vanishing Sculptor, readers will meet Tipper, a young emerlindian who’s responsible for the upkeep of her family’s estate during her sculptor father’s absence. Tipper soon discovers that her actions have unbalanced the whole foundation of her world, and she must act quickly to undo the calamitous threat. But how can she save her father and her world on her own? The task is too huge for one person, so she gathers the help of some unlikely companions–including the nearly five-foot tall parrot Beccaroon–and eventually witnesses the loving care and miraculous resources of Wulder. Through Tipper’s breathtaking story, readers will discover the beauty of knowing and serving God.

Author's Bio: Donita K. Paul is a retired teacher and author of numerous novellas, short stories, and eight novels, including the best-selling DragonKeeper Chronicles, a series which has sold more than a quarter million books to date. The winner of multiple awards, she lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she spends time mentoring and encouraging young writers. Visit her online at donitakpaul.com.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rootedness

To be deeply rooted in the soil of the past makes life harder, but it also makes it richer and vigorous.

-- Dietrich Bohoeffer

Monday, June 22, 2009

Reputation and Character

Your reputation is what people think of you – It’s who you are when others are watching.

Now, it’s a wonderful thing to have a good reputation. According to the Bible, it is one of the marks of effective leadership. When followers do not respect the leader, he/she has lost the right to lead. This is true of sports teams, businesses, churches, educational institutions, and governments.

With respect, a leader can achieve amazing results. Without it, nothing can be accomplished.

A good reputation takes a lifetime to build, but it can be lost in a moment. One stupid act might wreck and destroy all the good will that has accumulated for years. One hasty reaction, inappropriate behavior, or careless word may wipe out everything.

Thus, it pays us to value our reputation, and to make sure we are following the golden rule: doing unto others as we would have them do to us. Thomas Paine observed that character is “much easier kept than recovered.”

Yes, your reputation is important – but it is NOT the MOST important thing. Character is FAR more important than reputation.

Your character is who you are when nobody is watching. It is your true essence – and not merely what others think.

As Abraham Lincoln said, “Reputation is the shadow. . . character is the tree.”

The real thing is the tree – not the shadow.

If we are consumed with building a good reputation, but do not possess solid character, we are merely playing a silly game. We are only acting a part – and the drama is sure to have a sad ending.

You can fool all the people some of the time. You can fool some of the people all the time. But you cannot fool all the people all the time. Only a fool would try to do that.

It is possible to pretend for a while, but who you really are on the inside is going to leak out eventually. You can’t fake it forever. Sooner or later, the veneer cracks and the truth is known. The Bible says what is done in private will be shouted from the housetops. It also declares, “Be sure your sin will find you out.”

Character, like reputation, is not made in a moment. (Of course, it is DISPLAYED in a moment of crisis – but never made there,) It takes years of honestly seeking what is right, good and true. “Character,” said the Greek biographer, Plutarch, “is simply habit long continued.”

Sooner or later, your character and reputation will match up. If you fail in integrity – your reputation will eventually be a failure too. However, if you take care of your character, your reputation will take care of itself.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Dad's Day

I love Father's Day! It's the day I get to call all the shots about what our family gets to do -- and they have to go along with me without complaining :)

Old Churches!
Cemeteries!
Fishing Holes!
Bluegrass Music!
Here we come!!

O yeah -- I guess I'd better go preach first!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Good Music

Recently found the myspace for our northwoods friend, Wendy Wills, who now resides in Nashville, writing wonderful, heart-moving songs.

I think you'll enjoy her music too: Here it is.

New Rules in Brooksville

Looks like the good folks of Wesleyan Village in Brooksville, Florida, are going to have to shape up now.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Giving Gap

From Crosswalk:

Christian News Wire reports that a recent survey of almost 1,100 church leaders revealed an increasing gap between income and projected expenses for churches. According to the survey results from Your Church magazine, tithes and offerings, which comprise an average of 87 percent of the average church's budget, have declined for 40 percent of the churches surveyed within the past six months. At the same time, 32 percent say budgets have increased between 2 to 10 percent over last year's expenses. "Historically, evangelical Protestant churches tend to be tithe-driven," says Ed Stetzer, president of Lifeway Research. "Effects of unemployment tend to lag a bit for churches that emphasize tithing, but as the unemployment rate continues to increase, more congregations will get hit financially. Churches need to be ready for this impact."

Distractions

“If distractions are good football players, we’ll take all the distractions we can get.”
-- Brad Childress, Vikings coach on the Favre saga.

Application for ministry: If distractions are people, we'll take all the distractions we can get!

Dear pastor, people are not a distraction from your ministry -- they ARE your ministry.

You Can't Advertise Problems Away

Ad Campaigns of the Mainline Denominations ( from CMS -- I'm not too crazy about their name, but they provide good food for thought.)

"Study after study has shown that religions that grow are the ones that are hard-core in some way. They have something that differs sharply from the culture in which they operate," says Boston University's [Stephen] Prothero. "That's the problem with mainline Protestantism: It's not different enough from mainstream America."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

UP

I took Luke and Wes to see the movie, Up, earlier this week. It was a wonderful film, with a powerful message. Two thumbs up!!

I agree with Greg Boyd assessment:

The most brilliant and entertaining aspect of this superb movie is the profound life-messages it delivers and the powerful way it delivers them. The “great adventure” you’re yearning for is the life you’re living right now, not the one you dreamed of living. You must let go of old adventures in order to embark on new ones. It’s the “boring” things in life that often matter most. Life always moves forward and if you hang too long to the past you’re dying.

Kneeling Camel


The camel at the close of day
Kneels down upon the sandy plain
To have his burden lifted off
And rest to gain.

My soul, thou too shouldst to thy knees
When the daylight draweth to a close,
And let thy Master lift thy load
And grant repose:

Else, how canst thou tomorrow meet,
With all tomorrow's work to do,
If thou thy burden all the night
Dost carry through?

The camel kneels at break of day
To have his guide replace his load.
Then rises up again to take
The desert road.

So thou shouldst kneel at morning's dawn
That God may give thee daily care
Assured that He no load too great
Will make thee bear.

-- Anna Temple

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Northwoods Bass


Something We Do

My good friend, (West Michigan D. S.) Mark Gorveatte, recently reported on the amazing church planting efforts of Linwood Wesleyan Church of Sioux Falls, SD.

Senior Pastor, Bill Kinnan, says, "Church planting is not something we've done, it's something we DO!"

A Couple of Good Books


I recently finished reading The Disappearance of God by Al Mohler (President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville.) It was a powerful and convicting read.

Dr. Mohler raises a clarion call for the evangelical world -- Wake up! There's danger ahead!

His concern is that evangelicals are tossing aside essential doctrines of the faith in their quest for a more "generous orthodoxy." He reminds us that we should be in the business of transforming culture rather than being absorbed by it. (or as Tullian Tchividjian says, "Contextualize without Compromise!")

I especially appreciated Mohler's perspetive on three theological circles: (This is my description -- and not his wording)

Level 1: Essential Core Beliefs
Level 2: Doctrinal Distinctives (i.e. the difference between Baptist, Lutherans, Presbyterians and Pentecostals)
Level 3: Personal Preferences and Opinions.

Mohler says that the error of the fundamentalists is that they make Level 3 issues Level 1 issues.
On the other hand, the error of the liberals (and some from the emergent camp) is that they consider Level 1 issues Level 3 issues -- for them, there is no Level 1. Everything is Level 3.

Another good book I'd suggest is Eyes Wide Open by Jud Wilhite (Senior Pastor of Central Christian Church in Las Vegas.)

In a clear and compelling manner, Wilhite invites you to discover the REAL you! (The worst case of identity theft is when satan steals your identity -- and fills your mind with all kinds of lies about yourself.)

He also reminds us that change really is possible with God's power.
I had it all backwards. The main thing was not my love for God, but his love for me. And from that love I respond to God as one deeply flawed, yet loved. I’m not looking to prove my worth. I’m not searching for acceptance. I’m living out of the worth God already declares I have. I’m embracing his view of me and in the process discovering the person he created me to be.
Good sermon ammo in both these books! Preach it good!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Prepare to Be Inspired

This is one of my favorite blog sites -- Random Inspirations from Nellie Dee

Forgetting

"There are three things that happen when you get old," I once heard a gentleman say, "The first one is a loss of memory - and I can't recall the other two!" Forgetting things can be rather frustrating. All of us know the stress of attempting to pull a lost memory from the dark, cobwebbed corners of the mind.

Some people are more forgetful than others. I hate to admit it, but I'm a member of the "forgetful club." We've organized "Forgetters Anonymous" - but nobody remembers to go to the meetings!

Fortunately, I haven't forgotten too many earth shattering things along the way. Probably the worst one was when I forgot to show up for a funeral I was supposed to conduct. I remembered an hour and a half too late. Fortunately, they had a beloved aunt who was willing to step in and give the eulogy. I apologized all over the place, and they forgave me.

Once, I forgot a baptism I was supposed to perform – and there have been a few times over the years when I forgot to write my column for the newspaper. Once, I forgot to take the offering at church! I was finishing the service with a benediction, when the ushers finally caught my attention by waving the offering plates like crazy. (Whew, that was a close one!)

So far, I've done pretty well remembering most of the important stuff like my wife's birthday, our anniversary, weddings, funerals (with the one exception), Christmas and Packer games. Actually, forgetting isn't as bad as it's cracked up to be. Sometimes, it's better to forget than to remember.

It's better to forget the hurt someone has caused you.
It's better to forget to "rub it in" when you were right.
It's better to forget what others "owe" you.
It's better to forget the minor annoyances - the bugs on life's windshield.
It's better to forget your failures, your past sins, and your losses.
It's better to forget to toot your own horn.
It's better to forget your resentment and disappointment.
It's better to forget to complain.

In this regard, forgetting is pretty good medicine for the soul.

"Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on toward the goal towin the prize. ." Phil. 3:13

Monday, June 15, 2009

Thank God it's Monday

Monday is my "Day Off" and I love it!

The whole week ramps up to Sunday -- with everything building towards the worship service. This weekend, I had a funeral and a wedding, on top of all my other duties and responsibilities. So, my Monday was extra sweet today! (Don't get me wrong. I love Sundays -- but it's nice to have the recharge day.)

I read a little -- wrote in my journal -- watched some talking heads on tv -- facebooked -- did some yard work -- planted flowers and jalapenos -- went to the store -- grilled pork chops for lunch -- took Luke and Wes to see the movie, "Up" -- and went fishing. (Caught some nice bass and a couple of less impressive fish.)

Building

Don't use your people to build a great church. Use your church to build a great people!

-- Jack Hyles

Sacred Texts

My friend, Pastor Steve Uhtoff, recently directed me to this fascinating research site: Internet Sacred Text Archive

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Precious Memories

My father, Rev. Andrew Wilson, went home to be with the Lord on June 13, 1991 (18 years yesterday.) I miss him.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Wesleyan Hermeneutic

Last week, several scholars, church leaders and pastors met in Indianapolis for a Doctrinal Symposium on Hermeneutics: How Wesleyans Interpret Scripture.

In limited doses, I love events like this. I was looking forward to attending -- but another commitment (unexpected wedding) derailed my plans.

Most of the presenters are my good friend -- and they certainly do a great job of stretching both mind and heart.

You can find the papers which were presented and a brief synopsis by Dr. Tom Armiger here. Plenty of good meat to chew on!

Keith Drury, in a rare move, emerged from his summer writing sabbatical and posted his perspective here.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Nasdaq Dave

Congratulations to my friend, Famous Dave (best BBQ ribs in America) who rang the Nasdaq Bell yesterday. We cheered along in the Hayward Wesleyan Church office.

Video of the ceremony can be found here




Brothers from Cuba

Pastor Jon, of North Park Wesleyan Church (in Cuba, NY) and Mel (a key leader in their congregation) came to Hayward this week to learn from us. They've been following me around the last couple of days -- meeting with leaders, attending committee meetings and groups -- observing how we attempt to do effective ministry in a small town.

I'm utterly amazed that would want to do that. For instance, they attended our Stewardship Committee meeting yesterday afternoon by choice!

They're meeting with the Paint Daubers this morning, as well as our church planter (Ben) in Minong. That's sure to bless their socks off!

One encouragement for our brothers from Cuba, is that they are discovering we are very ordinary. God uses regular, ordinary people.

Earlier in the week, when I explained to Cathy that brothers from Cuba, NY were coming to visit me, she didn't hear the NY part of it and asked, "Do they speak English?"

Who's Attending Megachuch?

Survey Examines America's Megachurch Goers

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Missional

Either you are a minister or you need one.
Either you are a missionary or you need one.
-- John Huffman (Presbyterian pastor)

NASDAVE

My good friend, Famous Dave, is going to ring the NASDAQ bell this morning.

"Come and Get It!!"

I think I'll have him ring the church bell next Sunday!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

On Earthly Things

"I leave it to your good sense to decide which is better: To say now to all that is earthly, 'What does it profit a person?' Or to cry in vain later on,' What did it profit?' "

-- St. Ignatius Loyola

Take The Time

Sometimes life seems like an exercise bicycle – we spin our wheels furiously and never seem to get anywhere. Often, we are caught up in a rat race of hectic schedules and deadlines. We become some busy with the urgent that we forget the more important things of life.

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone, including you, would stop right now and appreciate the small, but precious gifts each moment brings? Take time for them and they will deliver much joy.

Take Time To Listen: Most of us are self-centered. We need to step back from ourselves and lend a listening ear to others. God has given you two ears and one mouth. They should be used in that proportion.

Take Time to Learn: Life is a classroom always in session. Never stop learning about your world, your God, your friends and yourself. A living brain is a learning brain. Keep the “learning switch” on all day long and you will make many exciting discoveries!

Take Time To Laugh: Laughter is medicine for the soul. Show me a person who doesn’t laugh and I’ll show you a miserable scrooge. How long has it been since you’ve had a good laugh? If it’s been a while, I urge you to stop whatever you’re doing and “go hunting” for something to laugh about. Funny things aren’t too hard to find if you look for them.

Take Time To Live: Some folks are so involved with the business of “surviving”, that they forget to live. We all need to relax and enjoy the journey. Take time for a wide variety of experiences. Meet new friends. Travel. Take a long hike. Join a new organization. Do something unusual every day. Live life to the fullest!

Take Time to Love: Loving and giving bring a sense of destiny to life. When we love, we are doing what matters most. Take time to express how much you cherish your family. Say “I love you” often. Time invested in building relationships is never wasted. The greatest waste is to live without loving.

Take the time for life’s most important matters, and your life will be packed full of joyful surprises! Spread love and cheer to others and they will return the favor.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Good Advice for Congregations and Families


I am convinced that in order to move forward, we must say openly to each other the things we hold in our hearts and that too often are said only behind closed doors. There must be a sustained effort to listen to each other, to learn from each other, to respect one another, and to seek common ground.

-- President Barak Obama in his June 4, 2009 Cairo speech to the Muslim world

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Two Helpful Qualities



Patience and Wisdom

Trouble

Never trouble trouble
Until trouble troubles you;
For you only make your trouble
Double-trouble when you do;
And the trouble — like a bubble —
That you're troubling about,
May be nothing but a zero
With its rim rubbed out.
-- David Keppel

Thursday, June 04, 2009

A Double Blessing

Congratulations to my friend, Candice LaFontaine, who gave birth Tuesday to two precious little girls: Candice Rain Wildflower and Johnni Jo Oak.

Their daddy, John, was a good and godly young man, who went home to be with Jesus just a couple of months ago on Good Friday.

One thing is certain -- their daddy left a beautiful legacy, and his prayers and love will be with them forever.

They also have a wonderful mother, who is truly gifted with an extra measure of faith and grace. I know that the Lord will overshadow her as she raises these little ones.

Please pray that God will pour out abundant blessings upon Candice and her daughters.

Faith Stimulus Package

I think this is an AWESOME idea!

Summer Reading

In the early morning hours, I only read devotional literature, but in the evenings, I love to read fiction. I've found that when I have a good story going, my days are sweeter.

Here are a couple of good summer reads for literature lovers.

Saints in Limbo, by River Jordan:
A heart touching tale that reminds us of how precious life is.

Ever since her husband Joe died, Velma True’s world has been limited to what she can see while clinging to one of the multicolored threads tied to the porch railing of her home outside Echo, Florida.

When a mysterious stranger appears at her door on her birthday and presents Velma with a special gift, she is rattled by the object’s ability to take her into her memories–a place where Joe still lives, her son Rudy is still young, unaffected by the world’s hardness, and the beginning is closer than the end. As secrets old and new come to light, Velma wonders if it’s possible to be unmoored from the past’s deep roots and find a reason to hope again

Stealing Home, by Allison Pittman

This one really grabbed my heart. I laughed out loud -- and wiped a few tears.

It’s 1905 and the Chicago Cubs are banking on superstar Donald “Duke” Dennison’s golden arm to help them win the pennant. Only one thing stands between Duke and an unprecedented ten thousand dollar contract: alcohol.

That’s when sportswriter David Voyant whisks Duke to the one-horse town of Picksville, Missouri, so he can sober up in anonymity. He bides his time flirting with Ellie Jane Voyant, his unofficial chaperone, who would rather hide herself in the railway station ticket booth than face the echoes of childhood taunts.

Ned Clovis, the feed store clerk, has secretly loved Ellie Jane since childhood, but he loves baseball and the Duke almost as much–until he notices Ellie Jane may be succumbing to the star’s charm.

Then there’s Morris, a twelve-year-old Negro boy, whose only dream is to break away from Picksville. When Duke discovers his innate talent for throwing a baseball, Morris might just have found his way out.

Four individuals, each living in haunted isolation, each harboring a secret passion. Providence brings them together. Tragedy threatens to tear them apart. Will love be enough to bring them home?

Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right

I agree with Al Mohler's perspective on the slaying of Kansas abortion doctor, George Tiller.

Violence in the name of protesting abortion is immoral, unjustified, and horribly harmful to the pro-life cause. Now, the premeditated murder of Dr. George Tiller in the foyer of his church is the headline scandal - not the abortions he performed and the cause he represented.

We have no right to take the law into our own hands in an act of criminal violence. We are not given the right to take this power into our own hands, for God has granted this power to governing authorities. The horror of abortion cannot be rightly confronted, much less corrected, by means of violence and acts outside the law and lawful means of remedy. This is not merely a legal technicality - it is a vital test of the morality of the pro-life movement.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Amish Love

What’s all the hubbub about Amish fiction? Major media outlets like Time and ABC Nightline are covering it, and authors like Cindy Woodsmall are making the New York Times bestseller list regularly. What makes these books so interesting?

Check out the recent ABC Nightline piece here about Cindy and her titles When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and When the Soul Mends. It’s an intriguing look at Amish culture and the time Cindy has spent with Amish friends.

And don’t forget that Cindy’s new book The Hope of Refuge hits store shelves August 11, and is available for preorder now.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Rabbit and Elephant


The Rabbit and the Elephant by Tony and Felicity Dale provides an intriguing perspective on "doing church":
Put two elephants in a room together, close the door and in 22 months you'll end up with one baby elephant. Put two rabbits in a room together, close the door, and in 22 months you'll end up with thousands of baby rabbits!

The Dale's, teamed with George Barna, make a case for Rabbit Churches (house churches -- or at least congregations that have that kind of mindset) as opposed to Elephant Churches (or the traditional approach.)

Although they overlook some major advantages to the classic church structure, they bring a refreshing new way of thinking about doing church in a way that is relevent and real.

One concept of the book was absolutely transformational for me -- thinking of church as liquid rather than solid.

Solid church is the structure -- the budget -- the program - -the building -- the policy.
Liquid church is the relationship -- the love -- the flowing with the Holy Spirit.

I have really thought a lot about this and would like to write, speak and blog much more on the concept in the days to come. (My belief is that church should be both solid and liquid -- with the emphasis on liquid!)