What the church can Learn from Ted Haggard

I watched the Ted Haggard interview on Opera yesterday. I was very conflicted in my emotions. I feel very bad for those in his church whose faith he had a hand in damaging. I also felt very bad for him and his family.

For YouTube Friday I usually show a funny video but I wanted to take this opportunity to challenge the church to learn from Ted.

One of the biggest things the American church can and needs to learn from Ted and this whole situation is the importance of true Biblical community. True community is something that Ted never experienced to be facing something so serious and wanting to talk about it and instead he got the push back. How sad.

How is it that in the church we have levels of sin. What Ted did was wrong make no mistake. But, why did he get pushed back when he reached out. Psudo-Community, Psudo-Transformation. We prefer the sterility of Psudo-relationship to genuine gut level dirty relationship. We have become so good at casting stones and not so good at kneeling in the dirt with adulterers.

If we can learn anything from Ted it is that we need to get real and get accountable to someone. If you are not being real or accountable do it and do it now.

The missing link.

I have been thinking a lot the past few months about the importance of partnering with parents to see life transformation take place in every life that comes through the doors of Uptown.

I have prayed, thought, and sought council and I am very excited to begin a new journey of collaboration with the parents of Uptown kids. If you are a parent of and Uptown kid this is the first of many conversations I will have with you about a powerful partnership that I believe will transform you and your child as well as Uptown. If your child faithfully attends uptown and you want to join 365family please read the following information and sign up for our email, and text message groups.

What is 365family?

365 family is a group of families who have kids who attend Uptown and are connected to the same goal and purpose to raise Godly families.

No matter what your background most people agree that family is one of the most important gifts we are given. Here in Uptown we want to partner with parents to help kids and families grow to become all that God has for them.

We understand that your kids are with us for an hour each week and while we want that hour to be as impacting as possible we also want to give you tools to make all the other hours of your child’s week life transforming as well.

What is the commitment?

The commit you would make to join 365family is the following.

1. Sign up for email and cell phone updates
2. Commit to doing 2 family nights a month (resources will be provided to you via email)
3. Commit to eating dinner together as a family at the dinner table 3 times a week.
4. Commit to reading at least one scripture each night. (There will be a weekly scripture sheet your child can download, print and bring in for points to the uptown store. Feel free to use that sheet or do a devotional of your own.)

How do I get started?

Subscribe to the email group as well as text “follow uptownkids” to 40404

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You can join the Uptown Parent email list.
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Voluntwitter

I have begun a process trying something a bit different with our volunteer communication. I am going to try and use twitter to communicate basic and important information.

The Problem: I used icontact to track how many of my volunteers opened emails i sent them and was amazed how many didn’t. I have been looking for a solution to the info gap. So the other day i learned that you don’t need a twitter account to receive updates from twitter. You can follow someone by texting “follow (persons username)” to 40404. It got me thinking. Many teens are not emailaholics  so I have made the move posting our lessons to a volunteer blog and now twitter it seems would would be the perfect complement to that move.

Why I think it will work is even though twitter is still very unknown. Everyone has a cellphone and to avoid anyone getting blitzed with unnecessary info I created multiple accounts. One is for Small group leaders, another for Logistics (the check in security crowd), a large group one for our producers and communicators, and a preschool one. At a campus level I created one for each campus for updates on a broader scale that would be helpful for parents and volunteers.

I used to do email groups -HATE them keeping them up to date is a nightmare. With this system the burden of keeping the group updated lies on the individual to connect via sms or twitter.

Updating multiple accounts is very easy with tweetie on the iphone, twhirl on the desktop and web based via brightkit. Sending an update to each group once a week will be cake.

One bonus i am hoping for is that many of my workers make twitter accounts and we can start a 2-way collabritive diolog about ministry stuff and best practices.

Let me know if you have any ideas. I haven’t fully implamented it yet. I have all the twitter accounts up now just have to get the word out.

What makes small groups connect?

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We have been doing small groups in our kids ministry for about 8 years and they have been amazing for the most part. I love the interaction and application that takes place in a smaller setting.

Our first time guest numbers have been very high the past 8 months and this has gotten me thinking about every aspect of what we do like never before. One thing that I have been thinking a lot about is how why when where we do our small group. I love most of what we do. The one thing that I am praying/thinking about is how to boost connections with kids on a personal level with the kids in our kids ministry.

Here is what I am thinking about doing?

1. Have small group leaders be more specialized. – instead of working 1 weekend a month. I would have them serve more often.

2. Have a separate volunteer team send cards a call help the small group leaders make connections.

3. Help current small group leaders multiply themselves and have more small group leaders and assign a few kids to be their relationship connections.

These are my crazy thoughts. Let me know if they are good/stupid or in-between also if you have an idea better than mine (very possible) let me know.

A Thin Man's Guide To Losing Weight: Introduction

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One thing that people who are trying to lose weight do that has always mystified me is that when they are looking for advice they often seek it from those who themselves are trying to lose weight. So instead of hearing what are the things that help you maintain a life of thinfulness. They are often caught in the latest get thin quick scheme. Many of which perplex me, one of my favorites has to be the diet that tells you that for breakfast 1 piece of toast is evil and should be replaced with 3 pounds of bacon and 12 eggs.

Over the course of the next few months I will give you chapter summaries of what i believe to be the proper ways to lose weight and keep it off. As someone who didn’t weigh 100 pounds till 9th grade and currently fluctuates between 140 and 145. The last thing I thought I would ever do is give diet advice but after having many friends diet and hearing everyone’s diet techniques over the years that are mostly cheap marketing ploys to sell more books based on the word of mouth buzz created by rapid weight loss. I decided that I think the secret to thinness is found within the lifestyle choices of the thin.

Lastly I realize that I do not want to bore all of you who stop by to hear about Uptown or children’s ministry I will try to keep my “Thin mans guide” posts short and pithy.