Seven

I designed this image for a series on the seven deadly sins at the
Glendale Church of Christ. I wanted the artwork to be simple and convey a sense of loneliness and isolation.

Glendale Church of Christ Post

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Want your church to grow?

I just read this article from ChristianToday.com:

Want your church to grow? Then it’s time to surprise people…

I thought this quote was particularly interesting.

Let’s be clear and honest with ourselves. Most of our friends and colleagues have no idea about how great our churches are. How surprised they would actually be by some of the small, but important things on offer.

A warm welcome. A decent cup of coffee. A chat with normal, nice people from all walks of life (who may or may not be wearing sandals). We have music which might confound expectations. We look out for each other’s wellbeing in a way which is profoundly counter-cultural. Far from being cold, boring and out of touch, we offer the chance to be part of an institution which cares about its local community, and ultimately, an opportunity to experience the love of God.

We need to do a better job telling our story.  

We need to sell ourselves, our experience and our God. 

I think, as a whole, we’ve been doing a poor job of that.

It’s time to reevaluate our plan.

Make Disciples of All Nations

In Matthew 28:19 Jesus instructs his disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations.”

With the internet, we have the tools to communicate the message of Christ across the globe, but there is also a “nation” in our midst that we need to reach.

The results of a study on Teens and Tweens (Ages 8 to 18) by Common Sense Media were released this past week. They found that tweens spend on average 6 hours in front of screens, and teens about 9 hours. Whether on computers, tablets or smartphones 39% of teen’s digital screen time is devoted to watching, listening, or reading, 24% to playing games or browsing the web and 26% to social media. They also found that mobile devices made up 41% of all screen time for tweens and 46% for teens.

With so much time devoted to screens and mobile devices, it’s time to start thinking seriously about how and where we communicate the message of Christ to this young generation. We need to travel to their “nation” to share the message of Christ.

Now, I am not saying we abandon all the tried and true practices of the past. We just need to look for ways these new tools for communication can assist us in our efforts.

Kik: What’s the big deal?

Have you heard of Kik? I hadn't either until this weekend.  

It seems as though it's all the rage in smart phone communications. Personally, I didn't get it at first.  I installed it on my android phone, it apparently scanned my contact list and suggested friends, and that was that.  It gave all appearances of being another simple messenger service which held little interest for me.  Yet, all the while I heard people singing it's praises. Some even announced that it was ushering in the death of BBM (Blackberry Messenger). So what was the big deal? It took me a while to figure it out.

If you have an android phone you can have messenger services like google talk, or aim running in the background all day long which can be pretty handy. But, I guess, if you have an iphone or blackberry you can't. Kik apparently gets around that issue and allows for it's users to receive messages at any time, which makes it much more like text messaging with a few added perks. One of those perks being that it's free.

Another cool perk that Kik offers is that it notifies you when a message is sent, delivered and read. Pretty cool considering you never know where text messages go if the intended recipient fails to respond.  

Kik does seem to have a few limitations though.  The biggest limitation I see is that you are limited to sending messages only to other Kik users. If Kik were to develop a way to message phone numbers or even aim, yahoo messenger, or google talk members that would be huge.  But, for now you're stuck only being able to message the small number of people with a Kik account.  Granted that number is quickly increasing, but it's still limiting the application's usefulness in my opinion.  

All in all, I have to say I'm impressed with Kik. If they continue to grow, and are able to properly scale their service with little or no down time, I think they will be a huge success. If you use a blackberry, iphone or android phone I encourage you to check it out.