Podcasts

So I’m getting into this whole pod casting thing. With iTunes it is real easy. Here’s what I’m subscribed to right now:

All in the Mind Which is a show about psychology and is interesting. They had a neuro-scientist on there recently talking about what is art from the brains point of view. One interesting thing he said was some people are opposed to neurosciences because they break everything down to the neurons. Then they can go up to two lovers and say you are in love because this part of your brain is stimulated this way and they chemicals are flowing. And people think that means love doesn’t exist, but in reality it proves it does. You can look at the low level stuff in the brain and see what you are feeling is really love.

KCRW’s The Treatment Is a podcast of an NPR show that interviews movie makers. Fascinating stuff. I got it first because the director of Momento was on there. Recently I enjoyed the interview with Penn Jellette and Paul Provensa about the Aristocats. But everyone I’ve listened to has be facinating.

This Week In Tech or TWit is a bunch of TechTV people talking tech stuff.

I’ve also got an Odeo feed that includes Endurance Radio.

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New iPod

Did I not mention I got a new iPod yesterday? Yeah, see the Mrs washed my shuffle this weekend. Really it was my fault for not taking out of my pocket after the race on Saturday.

Then I offered it to my youngest son, who had asked for one for his birthday in October. And his face just lit up. Rarely do our jaded, money flush, kids get that excited Christmas morning look on their faces. It was the kind to look that brings the joy of giving back to a parent. But I was offering it as a joke, knowing it didn’t work. Kind of broke my heart to have to tell him I was joking. And he was almost in tears, though he tried to pass it off.

Its one of those moments when you know God is trying to tell you something.

Anyway, so we decided we needed to make it up to him. Like God wanted to make it up to his children in Isaiah 61:7, NIV.

“Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs.”

At first we thought we needed to double or triple the cost of the item. But that was going to be a stretch for us. And it would be a full size 30 gig iPod. The boy doesn’t have anything like that much music. Then I went looking at the iPods and realized the base Mini is 8 times the capacity of the 512MB shuffle, for twice the money. So we decided to get a mini.

I needed something to replace the shuffle and the deal looked good to me, and I’d get a display. So I went to the Apple Store at lunch and bought two 4GB iPod Mini’s, one blue the other silver. Mines the blue one.

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Group Think Characteristics

From KMYoung:

Eight symptoms that he said were indicative of groupthink:
1. Illusion of invulnerability
2. Unquestioned belief in the inherent morality of the group
3. Collective rationalization of group’s decisions
4. Shared stereotypes of outgroup, particularly opponents
5. Self-censorship; members withhold criticisms
6. Illusion of unanimity thereby creating false consensus
7. Direct pressure on dissenters to conform
8. Self-appointed “mindguards” protect the group from negative information

Yes I’m still thinking about church. The only thing I’d say my church doesn’t have is a strong leader causing this. The churches of Christ are ruled by committee. I think people in other denominations don’t understand just how much. The minister/pastor is not the leader of the church, even the famous ones. The elders are. They decide what is right and wrong, they decide what happens and what doesn’t, they decide who is a leader and who isn’t.

The good thing is that our church recently went through the process to select new elders. They’d had a very bad process the last time they did it so they wisely came up with a better method for picking this time. As a matter of fact they let non-elders develop and run the process. One of the parts of the new process was that the old elders needed to be reconfirmed by the membership. But when asked, all but one of them said they no longer wanted to be elders. The one who stayed on was not confirmed.

Anyway, I say that to say we currently have a very diverse and “liberal” group of elders. When I say liberal I’m not talking politically or theologically liberal. I’m saying they are willing to let the church change. Probably not as much as I want it to change, but they don’t have a strangle hold on every decision.

So I feel now the biggest barrier to change in the congregation is no longer the leaders. Its the people’s groupthink.

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The Good Stuff Must Be Only Taken in Small Doses

I was reading this very interesting article about this very cool sounding church in Seattle called Mars Hill.

But I had to stop.

I like to go to Lakewood church on Saturday nights. Worship is fun, message is insightful and encouraging. But I don’t go every weekend.

Because if I keep taking in these things I will be so filled with dissatisfaction I’ll really want to leave the path I’m on now.

One of the minister’s wives suggested “Don’t listen to Lakewood CDs on the way to church.” It sets the expectations so high. I very much try to mediate my expectations.

On the other hand I heard Joel Olsten say in a sermon. “People get on to me, saying you get people’s hopes up. I reply I have to get their hopes up. Because with out hope how can you have faith?”

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)

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Fastest Growing X

I was checking out a new blog today in my addition of Church blogs. I’m reading an article and it uses the phrase “one of the fastest growing churches in the country”, which caused me to threshold and need to say something.

One of the things from my Domestic Missions* training that has really stuck with me is the first line in C. Peter Wagner’s book, Church Planting for a Greater Harvest. It’s a little book aimed at the average church goer, not the seminary student. But the first line is “The single most effective method of evangelism is starting new churches” (That’s from memory).

He goes on to explain that if a church plants another church they may send out 30 people. Its totally reasonable to expect that church to be 60 people in a year. That’s a 100% growth rate. Now big church does that. So when I hear “fastest growing churches”, I think there are a dozen new churches that will grow at a faster percentage this year and few will know.

Now its possible they are talking raw numbers. This church may go from 2000 to 2500 in a year. 25% growth, but 500 people. Which the little church won’t do. But if you had 25 50 person churches double in a year you’d have more church growth. My stock broker says you always watch the percent, not the actual amount. Same principle for a church.

Lakewood Church here in Houston is the largest church in America. Its gone from 6000 to over 10,000 30,000 in 6 years. That’s incredible growth.

But Lakewood could have hived off 500 people a year and seen even greater growth of the kingdom. There could be 6 1000 or 2000 member children.

I used to go to a church in Austin that planted a new church about every other year. Every time they lost 20% of their best and brightest. And in under a year, they had all been replace. The church was full again. It works, its convincing people of the concept that holds it back.

* Went to ACU to look for the graduate domestic missions program, and couldn’t find it. I hope this doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

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