Tuesday, February 23, 2010

FBC Facebook vs. FBC Google wave

Comparing church models and operations to businesses and platforms appears to be in vogue these days.  I have been no exception; I have talked about the implications of Starbucks, Twitter, and Facebook.  If you are not interested in such comparisons, you should probably stop here.

The following comparison might not be worth making as Google wave is relatively new.  I go through phases of purging people on Facebook.  To be honest, many people are stalkers of Facebook.  Ok, so I went to camp with you once ten years ago.  But we didn't talk then, and we don't talk now.  You friended me on Facebook and I added you cause I am a chump.  We still don't talk on Facebook, so why are we Facebook friends?  This is kind of like a mega church where I see a lot of people with whom I have some kind of loose connect but don't really know more than a dozen or so beyond a superficial level.  So basically, on Facebook, people have e-shrines unto themselves, which their friends could check if they actually cared.  Oh, and there are all those meaningless causes we can sign up for which make us look like we actually know and care about the world but won't get our hands too dirty.  The problem with Facebook, as it relates to church, is that it is simply a big gathering of friends but lacks any direction and mobility in the real world.  Sounds like many churches I know.

Google wave, on the other hand, is a whole different animal.  Organic, collaborative, and participative are three words I would use to describe it.  If you don't have anything to do in the real world, wave is boring.  Try the mega church of FBC Facebook if you just want to lurk.  However, if you have friends, with whom you actually have real connections and need a place to plan and collaborate about how to operate in the real world, then FBC Google wave might be what you are looking for.  You can add people to conversations and edit, text, message, chat, etc in real time!  It is completely free flowing.  There is no one there to control {dominate} the flow of information and communication.  It is open source so that people may freely modify interaction.  It is as if Facebook is suffering from the curse of the sound system.

The main difference between Facebook and Google Wave have to with mission.  One is simply a happy fellowship.  The other only works if it is used by people who are going somewhere.  I tend to get bored fast at the "country club" churches.  There is nothing to do.  If I simply needed something to fill my time every week, I could find a more entertaining group with whom to associate.  I am interested in churches and groups who are "on the go" because we share something in common: the body of Christ is bigger than the individual.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

kingdom building

Check out these two photo series by Travis Schaeffer. I don't know what he is trying to accomplish. The first link is a series of 11 Mega Churches and the second is 41 Wal-Marts. I love the quote he has on the first one: "
The result is a wash: rather than making America more Christian, the mega churches have simply succeeded in making Christianity more American"

When you look at the photos from the air there are many similarities. The differences, so far as I can tell, are as follows:

1. Wal-Mart is a business.

2. The churches appear to try to do something with symmetry and shape. Wal-Marts are square and the churches deviated more.

3. Churches also have larger parking lots.
4. Then again, the churches have to put all their "customers" in there on one day in a few hours. Wal-Mart has people there every day of the week.

From the pictures it appears that church facilities are a lot of wasted space in the city in that they cover huge tracts of land and are only used a few times a week by a special set of people. Why do we always build our own things and start our own programs? We would be better served--not to mention that we would better serve the community--if we simply used what space was available and used existing programs. Imagine the impact that thousands of dedicated Christians could make if they started invading YMCAs, inner city community centers, and soup kitchens rather than expecting people to come to a facility out in the suburbs one or two days a week to have their needs met. How many of the parents who actually need a parenting class come to the church for it? We would reach more by infiltrating existing structures which are neutral in their orientation.

Our gross appropriation of land use is necessitated by our addiction to cars. My town would be well served to have a metro. We spend gazillions a year trying to build roads fast enough (and they don't build roads fast enough!) and expanding the footprint of the city, thus making driving more and more a necessity, and it seems that the job is never finished. My town typically makes it to the top few spots every year on being the most expensive town in which to operate a vehicle. The problem is that we have a massive, predominately poor, immigrant community which cannot afford vehicle ownership. This means that they all settle in the densely packed low rent district. This has a domino effect on schools, crime, and other public services. There are over 300 languages spoken in my town. When all of those people clump up together they no longer try to integrate and adopt the host language and culture. This is a problem which will soon spin out of control and have far reaching, devastating, effects. One answer is better transportation infrastructure. But that is just crazy talk....

While we are on the topic of mega churches, here are a couple of videos about some stuff going on in the DFW metroplex. This is a news story about Ed Young Jr. They are going after him hard.

Here is his response. IMO, his response is worse than the allegations.... He says he didn’t see the news piece, but he is commenting on everything in it. Does he have political advisors?

-they don’t own a plane, they lease it [@5:00 min]

-And his house isn’t 10,000 sqft it is only 7820sqft [@7:00 min]
That is so much better than before…

What Dallas needs is more mega churches..... (/sarcasm). The money that falls through the cracks at his church and FBC Dallas would be enough to support a small country.

And I am gonna quit before I get nasty.

Here are some posts on similar topics:

eccleastical greed: a lack of ethos in urban space


Athens, Jerusalem, Wall Street and the Church

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

the tractor

A friend sent me this video.  There is a lot to unpack there, but explaining a parable kinda misses the point.  Enjoy.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sunday, February 7, 2010

reminder: feed change

Just a reminder that the feed url is now

missional living vs. evangelism

I have yanked these videos from various missional blogs.  Most of my evangelism experience to date has been with atheists, post-moderns, agnostics, "cultists," neo-pagans, and adherents of far eastern religions.  For some time now I have been studying evangelism as it relates to the Arab Muslim worldview.  I am amazed how many parallels there are between how one should reach a postmodern and how one should reach a Muslim.  One of the biggest keys has to do with building genuine relationships and not just "mugging" them.  Here is a collection of videos relating to the topic.  Some are from other voices on how to do evangelism.  Some are videos from our own side which poke fun at how we do things.  Enjoy!

The post modern perspective:

Christians Trying to Convert Non-Christians from Rethink Mission on Vimeo.

From the Navajo perspective:

How we come across part 1:

How we come across part 2:

How we come across part 3:

Just for free:

Friday, February 5, 2010


I have been sitting on this video for some time now.  I have never figured out how to pull it into a missional discussion or a discussion about my personal life.  Never that is, until today.  I have contracted a stalker.  There is no need to be worried.  I am not in any danger as he is of the cowardly variety.  Nevertheless, here is my opportunity to share that video.  Enjoy:

Does he look a little like Ed Stetzer to you?  See, it is missional ;)

Psalm 38

19 But my foes are vigorous, they are mighty,
and many are those who hate me wrongfully.
20 Those who render me evil for good
accuse me because I follow after good.

Psalm 71
12 O God, be not far from me;
O my God, make haste to help me!
13 May my accusers be put to shame and consumed;
with scorn and disgrace may they be covered
who seek my hurt.
14 But I will hope continually
and will praise you yet more and more.
15 My mouth will tell of your righteous acts,
of your deeds of salvation all the day,
for their number is past my knowledge.
16 With the mighty deeds of the Lord God I will come;
I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Just wanted to let all of my readers who use a feed reader know that I will be changing the feed next Monday.

The old feed is http://feeds.feedburner.com/blogspot/rjfd

The new feed will be    http://feeds.feedburner.com/rastis

From what I can tell from feed burner this will require you to change the feed.

*fingers crossed*