Archive for April, 2007

Decline/Growth, Marketing

Organic Growth vs. Marketing/Advertising

As I sit in a friend’s Third Space I am thinking about growth of Veritas. We are very small and have been for a while. We have talked about Organic growth vs. Marketing/Advertising. Obviously, we want to be about organic growth. Growing from relationships,etc… but we still are looking at doing traditional marketing/advertising. I am wondering what types of things have you done to help your ministry/church grow? What have you done as far as organic growth? What have you done in marketing/advertising? What has been the best thing you have done?

Any and all help/comments would be great.


Change!?!, Community

Organic Community

I just bought some books today and one of them was “Organic Community” by Joseph Myers (author of The Search to Belong). I have a feeling that this book will help the development of the Veritas community ( as we are striving to be an organic community formed and grown more by relationships than programs and grown by those relationships and not so much by advertising (though we are still doing some of that). The first Foreward is by Randy Frazee and I was struck by two quotes he uses. The first one being, “He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils” (Francis Bacon) and the second is “There is nothing more perilous than change” (Machiavelli). I am struck by these two statements. We in the church seem to be stuck in the middle of these statments. Some don’t want to change but by not changing they bring, what Bacon calls, “new evils” and others want to change but don’t always see the effects of said change. Frazee goes onto say, “Because change is so difficult, we often delay moving in the new direction due to the mistaken notion that while things may not get better, they certainly won’t get any worse. Now, instead of making the necessary changes, we also must deal with the negative effects of postponing that change.”

That I believe in a nutshell is where I am right now. (see my previous post) Somewhere between risk, change, and the status quo.

But aren’t we all?



Leading from Imagination vs. Leading from memory…

What a great concept. See Mark Batterson’s recent blog on this very topic…”Decoding Culture”, in it he talks about the concept of doing ministry from imagination vs. doing ministry from memory. I love the concept and highly recommend the blog. The older I get, the more I see how easy it is to slip into doing ministry from memory and not from imagination. But the real fruit is when we keep doing ministry from imagination. It’s a constant battle!


Don’t Hold on to me

Yesterday  (April 15) I preached at our morning services with the title “Don’t hold on to me” from  John 20:10-18.  I talked about Jesus wanting Mary not to cling to him so that the Holy Spirit could come and also that she would let him go and share the resurrection story with others.  I talked about Mary being told to let go of the known (the resurrected body of Jesus) and to embrace the unknown.  To let go of the tried, the true, the safe and to set out in faith and in risk.  I used a song before the sermon and a prayer at the end of the sermon.  The song is called “Painting Pictures of Egypt” and the prayer is the Prayer of Saint Brendan.  These 2 things speak to me in profound ways.  I hope they will speak to you as well.

Painting Pictures of Egypt by Sara Groves

I don’t want to leave here
I don’t want to stay
It feels like pinching to me either way
The places I long for the most
Are the places where I’ve been
They are calling after me like a long lost friend

It’s not about losing faith
It’s not about trust
It’s all about comfortable
When you move so much
The place I was wasn’t perfect
But I had found a way to live
It wasn’t milk or honey
But then neither is this

I’ve been painting pictures of Egypt
Leaving out what it lacked
The future seems so hard
And I want to go back
But the places that used to fit me
Cannot hold the things I”ve learned
And those roads closed off to me
While my back was turned

The past is so tangible
I know it by heart
Familiar things are never easy to discard
I was dying for some freedom
But now I hesitate to go
Caught between the promise
And the things I know

If it comes too quick
I may not recognize it
Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?
If it comes too quick
I may not appreciate it
Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?

Prayer of Saint Brendan

Shall I abandon, O King of mysteries, the soft comforts of home?Shall I turn my back on my native land,and turn my face towards the sea?Shall I put myself wholly at your mercy,

without silver, without a horse,

without fame, without honour?

Shall I throw myself wholly upon You,without sword and shield, without food and drink,without a bed to lie on?Shall I say farewell to my beautiful land, placing myself under Your yoke?Shall I pour out my heart to You, confessing my manifold sins and begging forgiveness,tears streaming down my cheeks?

Shall I leave the prints of my knees on the sandy beach,a record of my final prayer in my native land?Shall I then suffer every kind of wound that the sea can inflict?Shall I take my tiny boat across the wide sparkling ocean?

O King of the Glorious Heaven, shall I go of my own choice upon the sea?

 O Christ, will You help me on the wild waves?If you want to know more about Saint Brendan, let me know or do a google search.

Let’s take risks for the kingdom of God.


Easter, Spiritual Formation

Thinking about the Resurrection

First, I hope that your journey through holy week is bringing you more fully into the Jesus story and deepening your hunger and thirst to pursue God’s justice and righteousness in the world. Blessings as you walk through these final days and the celebration of Easter.

Ah, Easter morning. How to help a congregation engage the story of the resurrection. Diana Butler Bass in her blog for Sojourners when she overheard someone ask the Rev. Daniel Corrigan if “he beleived in the resurrection?” He looked at the questioner and said firmly, without pause, “Yes. I believe in the resurrection. I’ve seen it too many times not to.”

I think that his answer requires us all to stop and think about what we believe, know, have experienced. It is easy to say Christ is Risen! but to have experienced or seen the fruits of resurrection in the world today is a different thing. If we cannot give testimony to the power of God, the presence of Jesus, by talking about where we continue to see and experience the newness of life that the resurrection story bears evidence to, we are telling a dead story that has no power to transform, make whole, and save God’s world. I think that people are waiting to be invited into their role and experience in that kind of living, ongoing story. May our Easter messages and worship services be ones that celebrate the power of God’s spirit to change and transform, to resurrect and make new, still today!