A Rant

I suppose I’ve beaten up on what I call the Attractional model for doing church a bit. Probably because it beat me up fairly badly, and being a biblical person, I believe in revenge. I must say, the attractional model does work in a small percentage of cases. I’ve been to worship services with fifteen to twenty thousand people indoors and one numbering around 50,000 outdoors, and I have to say, I light up. It’s inspiring, it’s exciting and can be life changing. I was in the nose-bleed seats at Hillsong when Joseph Prince talked about grace and it impacted me so hard I could have been in the front row and being hit by a baseball bat wielded by Prince himself. The issue is, that it only works in a tiny percentage of cases – the ones we know about. Saddleback, Willow, Dream Center, Potters House… The list of greats seems long, but the unpublished list of tiny churches struggling to put a half-decent band together and get enough children’s workers to run the Sunday morning program is longer than a pastor’s offering talk who’s struggling to pay the mortgage.

I don’t really rant on this blog because I’m a generally positive person, and I don’t see why anyone should have to be subjected to anyone else’s rants unless they’re very humorous, but I’ve had my hand forced, I can’t take it anymore.  The thing that I’m ranting about today, is the Facebook updates of pastors. When I have a pastor as a facebook friend, I expect updates about church, but I also expect to see updates about their personal life, and the general banal ramblings of your average newsfeed. But many pastors are notoriously one-dimensional and beige. Usually the updates only relate to the most amazing, signficant, exciting and not to be missed meetings that they’re holding, or a re-post of a John Maxwell tweet.

I know, I did it too. Facebook it could be argued, is simply another communication tool that can be harnessed by any pastor to get their message out. Granted. But why not just set up a Facebook page for the church as a fan page, and post awesome, amazing church news there? The problem is that if the pastor runs his own page only as a megaphone for exciting, supernatural, moving events at church, he’s hijacking his own shot at being viewed as a normal person that others could relate to that has any semblance to a normal human life. I’ve resorted to “hiding” some pastors from my newsfeed. I mean seriously, how many meetings can’t be missed? Will the meeting really be amazing? Will it be life changing as promised? And whatever happened to that age-old “under sell, over deliver” ethos? I find it as annoying as the spruiking of politicians at election time, or the man with the microphone in the mall yelling about why this once-in-a-lifetime sale will never be seen again and is not to be missed.

Not convinced? I decided to unhide the pastors, and collect a few of their updates, so you can make your own mind up. Maybe it’s just me going mad, but I doubt it.

WORSHIP SERVICE this Sunday …. going to be S.I.G.N.I.F.I.C.A.N.T!!! Don’t miss it people….

MIRACLE OFFERING SUNDAY – Be part of the MIRACLE. PRAYFULLY and FAITHFULLY consider your part in this MIRACLE see you in church!

So much is happening so fast…. 1 thing I know, Sunday is gonna be so wonderful. Can’t wait to see all my Church Family. I love ’em.

New songs tonight. They r AMAZING. Something HUGE is gonna happen tonight. 7pm

Miracle offering today at Church. Lets be part of bringing justice to our world!

We’re going for a World Record for the Biggest Bonfire. Talking to Fire Brigade soon to see how HUGE we can go. Gotta beat 40m high.

Just finished my message for Vision Sunday. I was so excited that I did a HUGE air punch. Get ready for some air punching on Sunday 9&11.

This Weekend at church an amazing new series starts.  you dont want to miss this, invite ur friends to church. S’gonnabetops

Huge news 4 Church 2b announced at KI lunch nxt wk. Also this Sunday is Vision Sunday, an exciting look @ our future.

It’s only been a week but I miss my Church Family. I have something very special for tomoz. Can’t wait to share it.

Youth Planning meeting tonight…. great things ahead – so excited and encouraged by those who wanna be involved in reaching the next gen !!!!!

church rocked the city yesterday – love it!

Love our Yth Pastor Timothy: so excited for our youth ministry. What an honour to be a part of what God is doing at Church!

Hey Church you’re gonna love church on Sunday. Make sure u invite and bring someone. This could be their weekend.

An EPIC w/e & week ahead…tomorrow Church “Message” continue to be unveiled & my Leadership Intensive next wk…bothnot2bmissed!

“Message” launch Sunday …so anticipating “new series” God outcomes…Also Parachute Band 9.30am / Holy Spirit night 6pm!

Puting the finishing touches on my msge for Ldrs Vision Summit 2night. So looking forward 2 catchin up w/ all our ldrs. U guys r amazing.

Huge day2day @church – final msg in the series this morning & then amazing Watoto choir 2night – who r u going to invite?

Just finished preparing for Team Meeting – Tonight 7:15. Going to be so good! Love doing life together!

First Suday back after operation. So looking forward to church & preaching tomorrow – going to be so good. Also MIRACLE SUNDAY OFFERING!!!

PS Wilson preaching brilliant this morning. Tonight Connect Time 5:15 – Pizza -PS Wilson preaching & encountering JESUS. Love it!

Amazing Mother’s Day Services – AMAZING MOTHERS.

Exciting new launch coming soon… Put June 1 on your calendar & stay tuned!!

Opening of new Centre in our building yesterday! Vision happens. Great community partnership. Will feature on TV tonight 7.30

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One step forward, two back

I’ve been feeling really despondent lately. I’ve lost motivation, I feel a heavy heart. I really don’t want to do anything but hibernate. I didn’t want to go pick tomatoes this morning but went anyway. I don’t really want to force myself to do much, because I’ve found that forcing myself to do things costs me in terms of energy and authenticity… how do I know if what I’m forcing myself to do something is best for me?

I think turning 40 – something I haven’t been looking forward to – has made me think about how useless I feel again. I’m really struggling to deal with this usefulness issue. Maybe that’s just it… it needs to be dealt with. I can’t seem to decouple the issue of being and doing. I can’t seem to discover significance in who I am in Christ and the fact that I’m valuable to God regardless of what I do for Him. So, here I am, doing nothing with my life and struggling to feel like my life matters.

Interesting news out in the last few days from British scientists…

PEOPLE who spend a lot of time surfing the internet are more likely to show signs of depression, British scientists said today. But it is not clear whether the internet causes depression or whether depressed people are drawn to it.

Full article here

Hmmm maybe I should log off! No seriously, I’m pretty sure that depressed people are drawn to the internet, rather than the opposite. I recall the worse I was, the more I wanted to be distracted, to escape and to relate to people on my terms hence surfing the net, and using social networking sites was a place that meant I had no responsibility. My wife thought I was addicted to facebook. The irony is that now with her workload and recovery from depression, the kids did a little acronym for their mother and the letter “A” stood for “Always on Facebook”. The other thing she does is watch mandarin speaking soapies on YouTube. Once she did it for a whole weekend while I was away and the kids met me at the door distraught that mum had locked them out of her bedroom and watched clips all weekend.