Monday, October 25, 2010

The Strategically Small Church

We can't all be mega-churches. In fact only half of one percent of churches qualify for that prestigious title.  Yet they influence nearly all of the church growth and strategic planning material that is consumed by the other 99.5% of pastors and churches.  The ironic thing is the effort and resources that those mega-churches put into trying to be like a small church.  The Strategically Small Church is a must read for pastors.  It sets out to encourage pastors and church leaders to view a new way of doing ministry.  It sets out to destroy the myth that bigger is better, and that growing numbers means a successful ministry.  I think that it is a very encouraging book for pastors of small churches, and should encourage a paradigm shift in the way that we think about our churches.  O'Brian will undoubtedly be criticized for not giving enough steps for small churches to practice what he has talked about, but that is the point.  The Strategically Small Church is not a how to manual.  It is a book that should encourage pastors to seek new ways of serving in the church they have, not the one they wish they had.  It is a book that will challenge many pastors, but one that is well worth the time to read.  I give it 5 Stars!    

Friday, October 01, 2010

Confessions of a TVholic

I love TV.  I watch lots of TV.  Probably more TV than I should.  I am pretty sure that there are better things that I should do with my time, but I don't.  However, that aside, the last two weeks have been premier week.  All the studios have released their new shows for us TVholics.  I remember a few years ago when I discovered the high attrition rate of new Television shows.  You find something you like and then two weeks later it has been canceled and replaced with something else.  That said there was one new show that I watched this last week that I liked.  No Ordinary Family is the story about a family that is falling apart and no longer connects with each other.  While on a family trip to try and 'reconnect' and build a stronger family they end up in a plane crash and all receive super powers.  Think The Incredibles but as a live action show.  As a TV show it is alright.  It isn't great... maybe slightly above average.  What I found most interesting is the portrayal of the Dad.  Dad's are not liked by mainstream television.  Think Peter from Family Guy, Hal from Malcom in the Middle, and by far the funniest, but also maybe the worst father, Phil from Modern Family (This is just a snapshot, the list goes on forever).  It isn't just comedies either.  Shows like Private Practice and Grey's Anatomy also tell stories of fathers who have been absent from their children's lives and are completely clueless.  This is where No Ordinary Family is different.  It is the father character who has been holding the family together.  It is the father who knows what is happening in the kids lives.  The father in No Ordinary Family is a genuinely good guy who loves his family and wants them to be together.  It is refreshing to see a good father on TV.  I really hope that this is something that we will see more of and that this show isn't canceled next week.