Friday, November 20, 2009

Chocolate Rain.

Let me preface by saying I started this blog to express experiences, frustrations and thoughts that I have and have had. However, I don't know very much. I absolutely did not start it to say that I am correct in the way that I think or observe. I am very well aware of many of my shortcomings, perhaps over aware. However at this time in my life, I have decided to stop harboring and trying to edit them. Okay, disclaimer done.


I read an article today about a shortage of pumpkins due to what's called a 'wet harvest'. The commonly known chocolate company NESTLE, who also produces many of the nations pumpkins products said there would be a pumpkin shortage. This comment was released - "Heavy rains made it nearly impossible to pick the pumpkins during this year's harvest. The longer the pumpkins sit in the muddy fields, the more they deteriorate."

Because I have been thinking about the church a lot lately, it made me think of the different streams of Christianity and their emphasis. I tend to roam the charismatic realm of Christianity. Why? is a question for another time, but within this realm is an emphasis on rain. For any of the following to make sense, you must understand there is also a huge emphasis on symbolism and likening things spiritual to those in the natural. Depending on who is preaching, Rain signifies a refreshing/renewing/reviving and sometimes even revelation-all coming from the Holy Spirit. Let me say, I am down with all of that. I need it and embrace it.

But within the charismatic realm there are what I would call 'Rain Chasers'. This group communicates a belief that there is no other season but refreshing/renewing/reviving/revelation. They chase the rain as if there were no other season.

I thought of all of the friends and people I know who have literally rotted in these circles and "fields" underneath banners of constant rain, and it made sense.Most times they are just looked at as not 'getting' the deeper refreshing. But without the appropriate amount of sun, or time to dry out as well as absorb nutrients, the harvest rots. Not to mention, you can't work in the rain. It's miserable to work in the rain, especially labor intensive jobs!.! The earth needs the rain. We need the rain. I personally need the rain. It gives me time to recharge. I usually stay inside and read, write, or watch movies guilt free(thanks for that Luke S.)

People who want to live and work in constantly muddy fields don't bother me, but when they make it out to be the best and only way, it digs at me like a swiss army knife under my thumb nail. Our mission as the church should be to connect people to Jesus and any method or emphasis stressed above that, becomes worthy of a good old fashioned Nintendo RE-start.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Superimposed Church of Michael Jackson

There is a thought in the back of many church leaders minds. That lie goes something like" People just aren't hungry for God". Some are investing tons of money into multimedia and church branding with the idea that people will respond to cool advertising. In fact I saw a sign on an old church building that said "You can't judge a church by its cover, just like people." There was a superimposed teenager playing an electric guitar on the sign with cool graphics. I don't think marketing is wrong. I read recently a blog that used this phrase " Marketing is the currency of communication". I agree. But this sign made me feel sorry for the church. People outside of the church are not stupid. They do not look at a sign with a teenager and an electric guitar and think"all my life this is what I have been looking for. acne and fenders". It seemed superimposed and somewhat desperate.

The last year I have been thinking about, like that sign, how superimposed the church feels most times. Are we really communicating what we are hoping to communicate? Or are we trying to hard, by dubbing ourselves relevant. The 'sign' church was trying to communicate, "we are cooler than you think", self dubbing themselves cool. The problem is you cannot self-dub yourself. Only Michael Jackson got away with self-dubbing when he claimed to be the King of Pop. But he had the voice and the moves to back it up. Figure out who you are and what your strengths are. Then you can determine who you reach and who you want to reach. If you, as a church have Michael Jackson's voice, sweet! Sing away. But people are weary and wary of churches trying to sing like Michael Jackson with the voice of Bob Dylan.