Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Book Review: A Multi-Site Church Road Trip

The first thing that caught my attention about this book is the subtitle, "Exploring the New Normal."  A quick look through the ministry podcasts that listen to reveal that the multi-site approach is becoming a standard approach. In fact Mars Hill Bible Church, with Rob Bell and Shane Hipps, is the only sermon I listen to on regular basis that does not come from a church on a multi-site platform (the others are Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, Mark Batterson, Mark Driscoll, and Erwin McManus).  As the popularity of these speakers rises, I expect that we will see many young leaders follow in their footsteps, and the question we must ask ourselves is, is this wise?
A Multi-Site Church Road Trip tries to help answer that question.  The book makes clear that there are a variety of ways to do multi-site: live video feeds, DVD, internet, campus pastor teaching, satellite, and as technology develops who knows what else. (As Mark Batterson is fond of saying, "There are ways of doing church that no one has come up with yet.")  Topics is the book include:

  • Campus addition vs. Church plant
  • Does an Internet Campus provide Community
  • Choosing the Placement of a New Campus
  • The Structure of Your Network
  • Is This a Sin?
  • plus a few more that you'll have to buy the book to find out about
I admit that my bias as a reader is the fact that I come from traditional that believes solely in independent, autonomous congregations that are lead by a plurality of elders.  That doesn't mean we aren't involved with missions. Our church currently supports 7 mission teams in 5 countries. I have also seen some ways in which multi-site has been used in Churches of Christ (although, to my knowledge it has only been in overflow rooms that are actually part of the same campus).
Because of my background I would have liked to see the authors dig a little deeper in the Chapter entitled "Are You Sure This Isn't a Sin?" It is shortest chapter, but really should be one of the most important. It felt the authors had already decided that it wasn't and only added the chapter in order to say that it was in there and the topic had been addressed.
As a whole, the book is well written, and could be a available tool for those looking at go with the multi-site approach.  I think. however, the authors first book, The Multi-Site Church Revolution might prove more useful for the reader who is trying to figure out how to approach "the new normal."

A couple of questions to end with:
  1. Do you think the multi-site approach is a sin? If so, or if not, why?
  2. Do you know of any Churches of Christ that have used a multi-site approach?
As you comment it might also helpful to know if you attend a multi-site church.

For more information about the book and its authors, check out The Leadership Network.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Best Part of Being a Dad

Over 5 years of being a father has given me lots of hight lights, from the first time I held each of girls to hearing them say "dada" to the first time I have found them climbing something that could get them killed.  I am convinced that the best part of being a dad is watching them succeed.
This weekend, our oldest, Gabie, had 2 soccer games.  She's the oldest on her. She's also the fastest.  In the herd style of play that dominates most soccer games of this age, Gabie stands out as a kid that can create a break away.  But during her first game this weekend I watched as she stopped a break away in order to pass the ball to her best friend, so that some one else could score. I mean she stopped 5 feet short of the goal and waited for others in order to share the glory. I'm not sure where she learned this. I've taught her to share and she has two younger sisters that test her in the application of this lesson... hourly. But it was great to see her take a principle and apply it correctly. It was also great to see her win the game!

What is you favorite part of being a parent?

Recommended Reading: 

Friday, March 12, 2010

Links of the Week

It's #FollowFriday. I do follow all of these people on Twitter (you probably should too) but here are some of their blog posts (obviously more than 140 characters) that had an impact on me this week:

Seth Godin: The WordPerfect Axiom.This is a great look at how everything is changing.
Tony Morgan: Driving the Chevy Impala.If you don't connect with Seth's article, maybe this one of the same topic will do the trick.
Anne Jackson: A Candid Interview.I've included the link to Anne's blog, as well as the direct link to the podcast of her interview. Anne really opens up about her own story and the process of confession in general.
People of the Second Chance: Decapitation and Second Chances. First, great title, it caught my attention right away. It also tags on the forgiveness aspect that comes after confession. This is a powerful story about forgiveness in world that seems hell-bent on getting even and making the other guy pay.
Don Miller: Commericialism and Faith, Part 1. One of my favorite writers starts his new blog with this series. I really connected with it, especially after my post yesterday.
Rhett Smith: ENOUGH.I love reading, as you can tell from the bookshelves on the sidebar of my blog. Here are some thoughts from another minister/therapist that I think every one should chew on.
Jesus Needs New PR: Redneck Jesus and More. Matthew Paul Turner may take it a little too far some times, but everyone needs a good laugh. Check these out and think about what we communicate with our art of Jesus.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Robin Leach Could Be Coming to Your House!

You might qualify to have to Robin Leach, from Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, come to house. Of course you did to be famous, but if you live in America, chances are you meet the qualifications for rich.  I know must of us don't think about how we rich we really are, especially in times of an economic crisis, but the reality is that you need to lose more than your job in order to be poor.
Today I got on the Global Rich List to see how my income compared with the rest of the world.  I found out that I rank in the top 3% of the world!  In fact the median income for Americans in 2008 ($52,209) puts us in the top 0.97% of the world!  So are started playing with the numbers.  What would you guess is the median income of the world? (that's the amount that divides the top 50% from the bottom 50%).  I started a little high, thinking, surely it is in the thousands of dollars/year.  Nope, totally wrong.  The median income for the word is $850.  That's for the whole year! I think I got more money and gifts for my 30th birthday than that.  Which makes me sad. It makes me want to change my life. Then I start to wonder if I really have it in me. No, I don't want to try to live on $850 a year, or a month for that matter. Yet I know there is something I can do to add more balance into my life.
One thing that our family has been doing for almost a year now is supporting a child, Lucia, through Compassion International.  Lucia lives in Tanzania. Her parents are separated and she has 5 siblings.  It costs us abut $30/month to help her go to school. It's not much, but it is helping her. It's a place to start.  The rich and famous had to start somewhere, so this is my call to start somewhere, but to go somewhere else with it. Where have you started?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Little Rock Relay Results

This past weekend my wife and I had an amazing time at the Little Rock Marathon.  First of all, I think it was only the second time since having 3 girls that we have left all of them over night with some one else (Gram and Pop).  It was also a special time because our relay time was made up of members from our small group at church. On Saturday night we had a great dinner with our friends the Earlys and then went back to the hotel, where our team (and spouses) spent much of the night creating running playlist and making jokes about the fact that on one of my tags from the marathon it said I was a girl!
Anyway, the Cloverdale Running Club placed second in our division, running the marathon at an 9:03 pace.  Individually, I ran a 8:30 pace through the hilly, third section of the course (the kind of practice I needed in order to prep for Music City at the end of April).
One of the things that I love about events like this is the stories. We also a lady with a prosthetic leg, pushing a wheelchair smoke pass people on her way to completely the whole marathon.  Another relay people was made of of 3 sisters and one of their daughters (man I hope my girls are close like that) and another team of children whose dad was turning 60 that day (he got to run the last leg). So many encouraging stories that make the pain worth it.

Here is the only picture I have from the actual race:

That's me in the black. My friend Chance (another member at Cloverdale) did a great job of catching me by mile 4 of the 3rd leg. We ran the last 3.8 together, which was a great.  His wife Natasha was able to take this picture before she (and my wife, Meg) started the final leg of the relay.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Prayer as a Father

My Father,

Help me as the father of the children you have put in my care. My greatest desire is that one day they will call you Father just I as have done. Help me as they are learning about you, to share a true reflection of who you are by my own actions. Help me to love my children the way that you love them. May I show their mother, my wife, the love and respect, gentleness and concern that she needs and deserves. One day, if you it is your will, may they seek godly husbands who lead their families in your ways. Help me in my failures as a father to admit them freely, to turn in reptence and to seek from this day forward to live a life that glorifies you and models a worthy life for my children to follow. May they follow me as I follow your Son, Jesus Christ. In whose name I pray, Amen.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Seth Godin's latest book Linchpin is.  In his latest book, Seth Godin takes the principles that he applied to organizations in Tribes and applies them to individuals. This book is a most read for anyone who hopes to have a job one day.  I especially loved read it at this time because the day-to-day tasks of my job are changing, giving me the opportunity to ask, what will I know do with my free time.  Those with a "lizard brain" would say, nothing, while those who are linchpins are asking what they can do to continue to make themselves and their companies remarkable.
If you have read any of Godin's previous works before or checked out his blog, you know that he is a master of the pithy saying that cuts to core.  This book is littered with them, but here are few that stood out to me:

"In a factory, doing a job that's not yours is dangerous. Now, if you're a linchpin, doing a job that's not getting done is essential."
"It's the lizard that cares deeply about grades, and not a bit about art or leadership or connection."
"Trying and failing is better than merely failing, because trying makes you an artist and gives you the right to try again."

More importantly, there are some great concepts that Godin fleshes out that are necessary parts of making yourself remarkable. I would highly recommend getting this book and a notepad and be ready to change your life if you can apply the principles that he discusses in this book.
I would also like to give a shout out to Michael Hyatt, the CEO of Thomas Nelson who sent me a free copy of Linchpin.  Michael is clearly a linchpin, providing copies of the book for several blog readers as well as his staff at Thomas Nelson.


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