How can the church use Google+

Well Google+ is now all the rage. I thought I would talk a bit about the good the bad and the ugly and how google+ could effect the church world. But first the Good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good.

– Overall I like it quite a bit. I feel they took the good of facebook (did I just type that) and the good of twitter and made space for themselves.
– The interface is clean I like that.
– Sharing what you want with who you want is drop dead simple. I HATE FACEBOOK when it comes to groups, fanpages, people all that each thing does one part of who what you want but none of them do all of what you want. I love how simple Google+ is to share what you want with who you want.
– I think the amount of people joining and the type of people joining are both pointing to a much more viable product than WAVE (dislike).
– Circles also let you control how much info you get in your stream love that.
– Group video chat for FREE – Yeah that’s right skpersoft free group chat.
– You can edit your comments for typo’s which if you read my blog for more than one post you realize I need.

The Bad

– Google owns it – All they need to know completely everything about you such as how many pets you own, your relationship status and the regularity of your bowl movements they now will know with a viable Social network.
–  FB is still and will continue to be the Social network of choice for a long time.
– You can’t play farmville on this badboy….oh wait that should have been on the list above.
– Getting people to switch Social Networks is not easy. How do I know? I was on facebook by myself when Myspace was “awesome”

The Ugly

– There is no option to nest comments like you can on a blog.
– I can’t find a secure way to update twitter and or facebook from Google+
– I am concerned with what they will do to make money with Google+ in the future.

How can the church use Google+ ?

– Connecting information to various groups from one account would be drop dead simple
– Multi-site video meetings via Huddles
– Communicating with parents sharing pictures of kids at events would be much more secure
– The mobile app is already better than FB’s – So uploading pictures on the fly from your phone at camp or an event would be  much easier with plus than FB.
– Google has a whole sweet of office products this would be a great interoffice communication tool.


Just say NO!

This is something I struggle with given my personality I don’t like to let people down so I always end up doing to much. I have found the more knowledge and giftedness you have in any area of life will always lead to people wanting more and more of your time and energy. I have to be better at knowing my limits and knowing my priories.

Here is a steller blog post from Michael Hyatt the CEO of Thomas Nelson who I am sure has to say no like it’s his job. I always appreciate Michael’s blog posts his leadership stuff is great and I to am an Evernote fanboy. Here are a couple of points he had from his blog post make sure click on over to his site and read the whole thing.

I have now resolved to say “no” to everything unless there is a really, really compelling reason to say “yes.” In other words, I have switched my default response from “yes” to “no.”

Sure enough, I have getting plenty of opportunities to practice!

As I was thinking about this today, I was reminded again of why it is so important—not only for me, but probably for you as well. I wrote down five reasons.

If we don’t get better at saying “no,”

  1. Other peoples’ priorities will take precedence over ours.
  2. Mere acquaintances—people we barely know!—will crowd out time with family and close friends.
  3. We will not have the time we need for rest and recovery.


Spotify: Spot on

I don’t know if you have heard of the new music resource out there on the inter-webs but there is a new WAY better than Pandora music source out there called Spotify. Spotify has been in Europe for a while and was just released in the US recently and is still in limited release. I got an invite by signing up for a Klout account here is the link.

Here is what I love about Spotify:

1. CD quality sound
2. Every CD you can remember they have it
3. Brilliant desktop interface as good or better than iTunes
4. It’s free (if you can put up with banner ads, and I can)
5. They have everything you can think of from Yancy, The Lads, Hillsongkids to MXPX, Petra and even The Beatles.

How I plan on using it?

1. I listen to music when writing and editing (like right now actually)
2. I got a free trial of the 9.99 a month mobile version and play music in my car through my iPhone it’s amazing.
3. Preview new CD’s to see if they are worth the 10-15 bucks.
4. Listen to old CD’s you can’t find anymore.

Spotify hurry up and don’t change a thing – well maybe make your mobile version free or at least cheaper than 10 bucks a month.


Legacy Path: An Interview with Brian Haynes.

About a year ago I picked up a book called “Shift” it was Brian Haynes’ book written to church leaders explaining this idea of creating milestones. The basic idea was as church leaders you would use the big moments in the life of each family “Salvation”, “Baptism”, “Baby Dedication” etc. to partner with the parents and to equip parents to use those Milestones in the life of their kids to infuse the message and essence of the Gospel.

As a complement to “Shift” which was aimed largely at church leaders Brian has written his newest book called “Legacy Path” which is aimed largely at parents. If you are a parent or a ministry leader you are going to want to pick up a copy of this book. I so appreciate the discussion Brian has started and how he has challenged the though process of church leaders as to how we are going to empower parents to intentionally disciple their kids. Head on over to Amazon and pick up a copy for yourself and one to give away.

In the spirit of full discloser I was provided a free book and a book to give away. The questions listed below where not provided for me I came up with them and Brian graciously answered them for me. I was not paid by the publisher for this blog post.

1. I remember a tweet you tweeted where you said if everything is a milestone than nothing is. Could you unpack what you mean?

If I remember that correctly, the tweet was in response to ministry leaders who were designing strategies that sometimes included 30 or 40 milestones. I think too many milestones makes it impossible for the average parent to understand where to step next and can be overwhelming. I typically encourage ministry leaders to try and keep the process, strategy, or plansimple. An everyday, busy parent has to be able to read, understand, and apply the principles of the path without being overwhelmed. To make everything a milestone takes away from the most important ones. I decided to choose the milestones that I considered most important in the spiritual development of a person from infancy to adulthood without cluttering the strategy with extra.

2. Why did you choose the milestones you did?
This concept began in my mind as I was working on my D.Min project titled “TheIntegration of Church and Home.” As you can imagine I read every book and studied every model I could find to determine how a church might connect with the family to disciple the next generation. One of the books that I read by Jim Wideman and Otis Lebetter is called Spiritual Milestones: A Guide to Celebration your Children’s Spiritual Passages. In their book they detail a set of milestones that parents can use to celebrate with their children.
I began to ask myself this question: “What if the local church had a plan for discipleship that made sense for a family to practice?” My team began to explore Jim and Otis’s milestones and came to the conclusion that most of the milestones they identified would also work in our ministry context. Our big tweak to their idea was making it work in the preschool, children, student, and adult ministries at church so families would be encouraged and equipped to walk this common path of milestones at home. We changed a couple of the milestones to fit our context and theology but basically Jim influenced much of our thought around which milestones are important.

3. What in your mind is the essence of each milestone?
This question has a long answer. I will simply refer you to You will find a description of each milestone there as well as supporting resources foreach milestone.

4. In order for the milestone strategy to work, who needs to be the main champion of it?
This is a changing variable dependent upon staff structure, etc. in a local church. The best-case scenario is that the lead pastor champions the philosophy and theology of the path as part of the vision and mission of the church. He then empowers a spiritual formation pastor, family pastor, or discipleship pastor to oversee or champion the strategy from milestone 1 to 7. At the same time a Children’s pastor must champion milestones 1-3. A youth pastor should champion 4-6 and someone focused on adult discipleship should champion milestone 7. If you have the staff (paid or volunteer) you can meet consistently to develop alignment and ensure that you are helping people move along the path. This too has to be customized to fit your church.

5. From what I know of youth pastors and kids pastors, I would say kids pastors would love this and youth pastors would not. How would you overcome the objections of those in youth ministry?
I find two objections typically from youth pastors: (1) We can’t trust parents to disciple their kids and (2) If the parents did not start when their teenagers were children, their kids certainly will not listen to them now. On the first count, youth pastors are right to a degree. Some parents can’t be trusted to disciple their kids. This however, cannot be an excuse to ignore the theology of spiritual formation beginning with Dt. 6:4-9 in our practices. The only way to trust parents to disciple their kids is to equip them to do it. So the youth pastor has to overcome this trust obstacle by encouraging and equipping parents of teenagers. I know, not all of the kids’ parents come to church. So use your youth ministry to help them walk the path.When their parents are even a little engaged, reach out and overcome the obstacle by equipping.

It can also be true that parents of teenagers who have never trained their children spiritually will find resistances from their skeptical youth who wonder where all this is coming from. Youth pastors can overcome this obstacle by helping students understand the plight of a parent. I remember many times that our youth pastor had intentional talks with our students in mass about how their parents were going to ask them to participate in a weekly faith talk at home. He taught the kids about this parental responsibility and then asked the students to approach the whole idea with the understanding that their parent is trying out of love. “Give them your attention and give them some slack,” he suggested. Of course lots of kids said, “my parents won’t do that”and some of them were right. They get the best efforts of our youth pastors, leaders,volunteers, and they still walk the path.

6. Is the milestone strategy a principle to be tweaked or a formula to be followed?
I think the principle behind the milestone strategy is the important thing. Churches need to grapple with using family as a vehicle for discipleship. Each church should find away to mesh the theology of Dt.6:4-9 and Mt. 28:18-20 in their practice. Lots of modelsare emerging. If I were you, I would study them all. “Milestones” is just a plan to be
tweaked. The formula to follow is found in Dt. 6:4-9.

Thanks for making it all the way to end of this long post as a reward tweet the following for a chance to win a free copy of Legacy Milestones.

@samluce is giving away a copy of “Legacy Milestones” from @brian_haynes over at  #kidmin