Monthly Archives: February 2009

Pure Worship Institute

Pure Worship Institute is already filling up. If you register before March 1st you can get the whole week for $150. The normal price is $250. Amazing deal. As we mentioned we had an opportunity to attend last year, and this is one of the best as far as hands on Worship Conferences. Jeff Deyo’s heart to reach out to the upcoming generation is so powerful, you will be refreshed and pumped up. Be sure to visit http://www.pureworshipinstitute.com for more info and to register.

Team IML

Great Quote from Dave Browning

We are currently reading a book called Deliberate Simplicity. Expect a review in the coming weeks. This is an amazing book on how the church can do more by doing less. 

We wanted to share a quote that we firmly believe in from Dave. “We believe if we can get God’s people to simply love God and love people, the church cannot be stopped.” Simple words but so much truth.

Be sure to stop back by for a full review on this book in a few weeks.

Team IML

Frustration with Conferences

We keep hearing that many of you have frustration with conferences and training events across the county. Many of these frustrations we hear have to do with:

1. High Costs

2. Travel

3. Same thing, year after year

4. Great motivation but no next step.

We would love to hear some more of your insight on what you are truly looking for when it comes to investing in a Leadership, or Worship Conferences. Let us know your thoughts.

Team IML

Check out Craig Groeschel’s post on the Next Generation

Craig Groeschel the pastor of Lifechurch.tv, is doing a post on reaching the next generation. Great stuff. 

swerve.lifechurch.tv

Team IML

The Divine Commodity

divine

The Divine Commodity by Skye Jethani

In light of some of our recent postings, The Divine Commodity written by Skye Jethani, has been a great resource for our team. If you are a huge reader, this book needs to move to the top of your list. Unlike most books, Skye Jethani does not provide 10 ways or 12 steps to anything. Skye takes a deep  look at where we currently are as the Church, and how we have institutionalized something that was once so relational. 

Consumerism is something that is heavily going on in our churches today. It has begun to create a distortion to our element of faith in Jesus. Skye uses the art and testimonies of artist Vincent van Gogh, throughout the book as examples of how even hundreds of years ago, christ-followers were dealing with the same struggles of when it comes to the church. One of the greatest examples of this is from the famous painting Starry Night, where the church is the only building with no lights. 

Skye uses a quote from Richard Halverson, former Chaplain of the United States Senate. “In the beginning the church was a fellowship of men and women centered on the living Christ. Then the Church moved to Greece, where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome, where it became an institution. Next, it moved to Europe where it became a culture. And, finally it moved to America, where it became an enterprise.” Wow! How true is that statement when we look at the evolution of the church.  

Throughout the book there will be many concepts and thoughts on how we are using the Church as an entertainment platform to attract people. It looks at how churches have placed a emphasis on controlling staged environments to be their true meaning for advancing Christ’s mission. Consumer Christianity is turning shepherds into showmen.

The book will also point out some interesting research of how American Christianity has largely failed since the middle of the twentieth century because Jesus’ modern day disciples are not acting like Jesus. Although we are seeing many large mega-churches grow across the country, Christianity is only consolidating, not expanding. 

Innovative Ministry Leader strongly endorses this book, whether your a Pastor, Worship Leader, or just a pew sitter. We admire that Skye Jethani is bringing an important issue that us leaders need to be aware about. He is not providing solutions or ways to improve, but bringing the insight so we as leaders can take action. This is a great resource that will get your mind expanding and hopefully thoughts of how we can build more authentic relationships for Christ in our communities.

You can purchase the Divine Commodity direct from Amazon by clicking here.

Team IML

The Divine Commodity is published by Zondervan

You can also visit Skye Jethani’s personal website by clicking here.

Dark Places of the World

After our post on In Technology We Trust yesterday, we got a few post on Dark Places of the World. Many people say technology is great for reaching people in dark places of the World.  And yes we agree. 

But where are some places that technology is reaching that we need to go? Not only go but build relationships?

We passionately want to be a community at IML that is passionate about going into dark places to reach the lost. 

What are your thoughts?

Team IML

In Technology We Trust?

First thing before we discuss this topic is we must clarify that we are huge advocates of the uses of technology. We are writing this post as our own personal convictions.

We get numerous posts and emails stating all the time that we have to continue to adapt to mobile and technological changes for the upcoming generation. For most of that is true, but we are coming to realize how much we are conforming to technology verses conforming our hearts to Jesus.

The bible says in John 17:14-19

I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world , just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself that they also may be sanctified in truth.

Yes we alway summarize this verse as live in the world and not of the world, and for the most part that is true. 

But when are we sharing the real truth of Jesus?

So many churches today are hiring huge teams to build internet campuses, mobile applications and more, but we are losing the real aspect of relationships with our people. Yes we live in a culture that is becoming more and more reliable to technology, and having all these applications are great. Most of the time, churches that create mobile applications, are only being utilized by other Christians and Pastors around the world. But take a second to look at the real world we live in.

Look at some of these numbers. 

Nearly 1 billion people in the world live on less than one American Dollar a day

Another 2.5 billion people in the world live on less than two America dollars a day.

1.6 billion people in the world have no electricity

Nearly one billion people in the world cannot read or sign their name.

Every seven seconds, somewhere in the world a child under age five dies of hunger, while Americans throw away 14 percent of the food we purchase.

Where are their Blackberry’s? Computer’s? or any mobile devices?

We are spending thousands of dollars on technology in our church to conform to technological culture while people are falling of the earth by the second. And to top it off we are acting as ring masters to a circus of our own Christians.

We are called to be disciples of Christ. We feel in the American Church today, we are far from this. We rely on so many aspects of technology to reach out to people, we have lost touch of what it is like to have a real relationship with someone. (Inviting someone to our homes, giving freely to someone on the streets, etc)

Technology is becoming our lazy antidote  to manage relationships with people in a world that makes it acceptable. It is so easy to hide your real feelings behind a mobile device, verses standing face to face of someone that really loves and cares about you. The more we allow people to hide, the more easy it is for them to fall into darkness. In case you don’t know the web and mobile world is filled with more darkness than light. 

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. There is no other way. We need to stop making Technology our God and start putting Jesus first.  It has to stop being “Jesus plus this and Jesus plus that.”

Jesus clearly said “love one another as I have loved you.” “Love” is universal. More powerful than any form of technology on the market. It can save the poor, the starving, the rich, and so many more. Try it. People are hurting in this world and they need Jesus more than anything to save them. 

Here are some questions that leave us pondering.

With the money we spend trying to make church applications and other advances, how could we use that to reach out to the billions that have no electricity, no money, or no food?

How can we use technology, but prioritize real relationships first?

Team IML