Monday, April 27, 2009

National Day of Prayer is in doubt . . .

It's true! This article in the Washington Post has the story. Here are a few quotes:

"Obama Has Yet to Announce Whether He Will Continue Tradition of Hosting Conservative Evangelicals, Who Now Have Made Other Plans"

"The White House . . . declined to comment on whether it would even hold an event this year, much less who would be invited. "

"[Some speculate] that if the White House does mark the day, it would probably include "lots of different types of religious leaders," akin to the interfaith feel of last year's Democratic National Convention."

I'm wondering, though . . . do we really want a day of prayer hosted by a President who's just not that into it? Do we really want to play politics with prayer?

Finally, if Obama had a taste for the ironic he'd go ahead full steam with the event - and invite the Reverend Jeremiah Wright to lead it . . . .

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Hell Yeah Church of Love and Miracles

No, that's not crass profanity. That's this church's real name.

Now, to be honest, this is not a Christian church. It's a New Age Unitarian church as evidenced by the following quotes:

The foundation of the Hell Yeah Church is connectedness through consciousness.

It's a vibrational thing. We are all comprised of energy; we harmonize with it. We can't help but be moved by it.

I think that it helps you stay aligned with your vision and stay in touch with who you are -- your basic goodness and connection with the whole . . .

You can read the whole story here, but let me say this:

I'm all for a little spunk and even a certain amount of bucking against the establishment (hey, Jesus was quite the rebel, too), but this is what happens when you throw out the Bible and start "doing church" any ol' way you feel like it. God Himself has ordained how He will be worshipped - He didn't leave it up to us to just do as we please. This is the ultimate end of a church that is man-centered and not God-centered - and Evangelical Christianity is in danger of heading down that path.

This highlights the need for us to return to the Scriptures and discern what "church" is really all about . . .

Monday, April 6, 2009

Some Quick Observations on Church Life in America

The guys over at have posted an interesting study on church life dealing with staff, worship, and pastors’ job duties. Here’s a sample:

  • The number of paid staff for the average congregation is three. But nearly half of all congregations have one paid staff member.

  • The median pastor who is paid by the congregation works about 50 hours per week.

  • In almost all congregations, about half of the attendees stay after the worship service to socialize for about 25 minutes.

  • 53.4 percent of congregations have small groups meeting regularly.

You can read the rest by clicking here.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Teenagers Then and Now: A Comparison and Contrast

I’ve been involved in youth ministry for the past 25 years, but driving a school bus for the past year has given me the opportunity to observe the teen culture outside of the church walls. I graduated high-school in 1983, and I’m amazed at how much teenagers have changed over the past quarter of a century. I’m perhaps even more amazed at how much they have remained the same.

Here are a few quick observations without much commentary. Feel free to add your own . . .

The Likenesses

Boy/Girl relationships – You can see the awkwardness when the opposite sexes start to notice each other. Middle school boys chasing girls are like the classic dog-chasing-car scenario – they wouldn’t know what to do with one if they caught it. The maturity disparity is on full display:

  • Middle school girls are young women.
    Middle school boys are big children.

Outcast kids – Some kids seem to be born with a target on their backs

Cool kids – Some kids are born cool, some achieve coolness, and some have coolness thrust upon them (apologies to the Great Bard).

Insecurity – Over school, family, friends, overall social position . . .

Peer pressure – The world still revolves around what everybody else thinks about you.

The Differences

All-access to anything – There are many more entry points into their lives – both good and bad.

Innocence Lost – Kids today are exposed to so much more at a much earlier age. As a teen, my biggest temptation was to sneak downstairs and watch an R-rated movie on HBO when my parents were asleep; today, that’s laughable.

Peer Influence – The internet allows MUCH MORE peer influence – Used to be parents had a certain amount of control over who their kids hung out with and were influenced by.

Language – Language seems to be in a transition. The profane is accepted, and words that were once innocuous are becoming offensive. Seated behind a keyboard, teens today are emboldened to express themselves in ways that only the worst of kids used to.

Order of service at Cornerstone Church Sunday, April 5th

• A44.5 – All This For A King
• G67 – God of Wonders

Special Music

• B57.5 – Blessed Be Your Name
• W135 – The Wonderful Cross
• H152 – Here I Am To Worship

• H195 – Holy, Holy, Holy (Worthy to Receive Glory)

Ransomed – Bluefield College Drama Team

Song of Dismissal
• H195 – Holy, Holy, Holy (Worthy to Receive Glory)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Vending Machine Jesus???

Here's a clever video produced by Community Christian Church that makes a point about our prayer lives. What do you think? Is it accurate?