Quote: Winston Churchill on Fanatics

Fanatic

A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject. –Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

That’s good stuff. As a minister, this is how I feel like when it comes to church… like a fanatic for God’s team.

This picture is taken from a great site by a guy named Mark Peacock, a photographer from East Tennessee, who has a whole slew of great Appalachian pictures on his blog, Appalachian Treks (and a lot of great quotes.)

PostSecret Entry – “I just want to be a part of something – anything.”

I just want to be a part of somethingHave blogged before about this interesting, sometimes offensive, sometimes very insightful website called “PostSecret” where people send in homemade postcards with secrets on them. Well, here’s the latest good one I came across. Very telling. Very true. It gets at why I always say everyone should experience the camaraderie of being on a team. It’s the “esprit de corps” we all seek to enjoy together. The victories, the defeats, the maturing influence of suffering together in the trenches. I.e., you think you’re done with the last sprint and you’re giving it everything you’ve got but because one guy is dogging it, the coach screams, red-faced, as if we’ve all greatly offended him, “Start over! Everybody finishes well!”

It’s called participation. And it makes us feel a little more human. A little more alive. And we in the church could stand to leverage this teamwork concept because there are a lot of people out there that just plain wanna be part of something bigger than themselves… and it doesn’t get any bigger or better than the church’s calling to participate in the redemption of the world.

64 Things I Wish Someone Had Shared With Me 10 Years Ago

Brian Jones’ blog, Speaking Out of Turn, recently had a good post. They are all things about church ministry. Not all of them are practical for those of us from churches of normal size, frankly. In fact, here’s one that would be, um, less than well received:

7. Completely redesign the interior “look” of your church building every 3 years.

Something tells me that wouldn’t get anything but blank stares at your average church. I can just see the quizzical looks among Board members, “What the {BLEEP} are you talking about?!” But many of his ideas have good principles behind them. Here are a few of my favorites:

9. Never allow anyone to mention staff kids’ names from the stage or in letters.

I’m not sure what “in letters” means, but it’s a good idea to keep them out of the regular vocabulary of the worship service. It’s not like we’d regularly talk about anyone else’s kids in that way. This fits with another one:

17. Never use negative illustrations about your family—you create the church’s impression of them.

Here are a few good ones about salaries and benefits, etc., for staff:

18. Insist on a competitive pay scale from your Senior Pastor or governing board (in writing).

20. Never publish salary amounts in your church’s budget (unless your board publishes theirs as well).

21. If you don’t have $ to give raises, give raises in time off.

Amen, bro. The idea of a pay scale in any real sense of the word is anathema to many churches. And I totally agree with having salary amounts kept private. It’s not like we expect church members to make us aware of their salaries.

Anyway, just some interesting things to think about.

The Role of the Senior Minister

Here’s a study by the Southern Baptists that highlights the important role of the Senior Minister in churches being effective in outreach: What Standout, Growing Churches Have in Common.

Here’s a good point made by the study:

Most common among the standout churches is the role of the senior pastor. While a study earlier this month by Ellison Research found that 39 percent of American pastors are not highly interested in expanding outreach programs, researchers at LifeWay found the churches that are growing have pastors who prioritize evangelism as the most important. And the pastor strongly sets the tone of the church.

“These pastors do more than stress the importance of evangelism, they lead by example as they are personally passionate about and involved in sharing Christ both from the pulpit and through personal interaction with the unchurched and lost,” said Brad Waggoner, director of LifeWay Research.

How in the world can 39% of American pastors not be highly interested in expanding outreach programs?! And, to state the obvious, LifeWay researchers found that growing churches has pastors who prioritize evangelism and they strongly set the tone for the church. Do ya think?!

“How Fun Doesn’t This Sound?”

A good post by Jennifer Taylor, Christian Standard blogger… “How fun doesn’t this sound?”

From a church paper: “There will be an Easter Egg Hunt and Lunch at the church on Saturday, April 7, from 11 AM to 1 PM. There will be games, crafts, an egg hunt and lunch! All food items will be nut, chocolate, and dairy free.”

Church signs and newsletters are classic sources for this kind of stuff. I like the comment from one guy who said, “They even have the nerve to call them ‘food items.'” Seriously.

What Ministers Really Think

This is hilarious. You might wanna think twice about telling your minister you’re changing churches and asking if he has any good suggestions. Click on the picture for a better view.

Changing Churches?

Here’s the original: “Poor Exit Interview

I’m sure lots of ministers have many good ways to finish the question posed by the first guy. Make sure to read the comments on the nakedpastor.com page.

Baptism Cannonball

This is awesome. This kid gives new meaning to really diving into his faith. Youth group kids, don’t get any crazy ideas…