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Apr
01

reJADED keynotes

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Here is a bit more of several of our keynote speakers / vendors at this year’s reJADED conference:

Bam! Media is helping to make the medium the message. Good and well-done are two adjectives that should never be used regarding media in the church. Instead, we strive for superb, stellar, unparalleled, first rate, oscar-caliber, unbelievably creative, out of this world descriptions for each piece we prepare.

Our research shows that when using top-shelf, highly professional productions, the viewer gets caught up in the experience. Time stands still, distractions disappear, and the piece will be remembered for a long time after the viewing experience. BAM! Media productions are the post-worship conversation. As an added bonus, 93% of our church clients report significant increases in guys that are being called to plant media productions in their communities.

Twitter Salt produces enough creativity for both of us. Twitter salt helps you live in the Twitterverse with a message. The company has a range of services that help users be salt and light to those they are leading and to other leaders in a broad, digital community. 4 key packages are available for purchase today. Also, for the person really seeking to be salt and light, use of multiple packages can help further your efforts and results. Our four highly valued packages are:

  • #BringIt! – features 3 different ways to communicate each Sunday how good your message or song set are going to be. To really get noticed, you need more than “I’m really excited about what I’m sharing today,” or “(our guest speaker) is going to bring it.” While you may not be able to do better than that, we can.
  • #Promote! – helps bring creativity to 10 tweets a day that will promote your latest blog post. We both know it’s important because you wrote it. Let’s get the world to read it.
  • #EchoEchoEcho! – through proprietary algorithmic software, this package provides 2 tweets a day that are guaranteed to get re-tweeted by your followers and help you generate new followers with historical facts, quotes, witty sayings and off the wall thoughts that will improve your Twitter rating and make you one of the cool kids in the Twitterverse.
  • #Tell! – this disciple-making service provides each user with a database of Tweets, each of which compresses the full gospel into a 140 character Tweet. This enables all of your followers to have repeated exposure to the gospel to aid in evangelism or be a key part of a discipleship process. In addition to the 140 character Tweets, there are more than 500 Tweets that communicate aspects of the gospel in a 120 character format making each post more likely to be re-Tweeted.

Mighty Escort enables tomorrow’s big deal to step it up by a day. We can see when a star is rising, but sometimes they need a little help. Mighty Escort (ME) has a full range of services that can be made available for a day, a week or longer. ME supplies a fully trained “Band of Mighty Men” to escort you from your office or a green room to the stage so you can remain focused, ready to bring it without distractions. The band can consist of as many trained bodyguards as you need to provide protection and communicate the message. Some other select services include limo and jet rentals helping you make a subtle statement. Because ME is all about you, we help you arrive.

Holy Stix, we rock your worship! Our clients tell us that our completely original repertoire sticks better than any other songs they have used. We like to think that our lyrics are the holiest, while our tunes are the catchiest. Some of our great hits have included: “I Thought It Was All About Me And Then I Met You And Realized That I Was Badly, Badly Mistaken” and “I Saw Two Sets of Tracks, But Then There Was One; I Knew That It Was Your Footprints In The Sand.”

Projecting Right helps the church look like a church should look in today’s world. Projecting right helps your church campus communicate the right message through making culturally appropriate, architect-designed facades for your buildings. For campuses that need a little missional sprucing up, we can make the most elaborate of facades to announce the new, improved church. Our clients often share that thanks to our re-design, their people are prouder of their church than ever before. Not only are people glad to come to a place with one of our new facades, they are likely to stay minutes longer after the service, begin inviting their friends to special events and hold more key family celebrations on the campus.

Inspired by Mike is the leader in creating the right environment, atmosphere and systems for working with children. Michelangelo was the master of the church mural for centuries. Drawing from his creativity, Inspired by Mike (IbM) prepares children’s areas that are highly creative, fun for children and comforting to moms. With extensive padding embedded into each wall and covered over with hand-drawn murals, rubberized floors with sedating hues, tranquil music and pleasing vegetable aromas, IbM creates a sensory experience that allows for a rowdy, crazy good time, but helps restore order and calmness so that your church can teach your kids the important stuff of life during the children’s hour or two each week.

Categories : church, fun, trends
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Apr
01

reJADED is finally here

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Last year’s JADED conference–yada, yada, yadawas such a success, that 2Good2BeTru Productions is thrilled to announce the 2011 theme of this year’s reJADED conference–turning the tables. This year’s exciting event will feature those that never have a chance to share from the front, the vendors. Each keynote and breakout session will be led by leading vendors in different areas as they educate on trends and provide insight on opportunities to meet the core needs of today’s church and its leaders. Some of the key presenters and their mottos include:

  • Bam! Media – Helping to make the medium the message.
  • Twitter Salt – We have enough creativity for both of us.
  • Mighty Escort – Enabling tomorrow’s big deal to step it up by a day.
  • Holy Stix – We rock your worship!
  • Projecting Right – Helping the church look like a church should look in today’s world.
  • Inspired by Mike – Leaders in creating the right environment, atmosphere and systems for working with children.
  • Top Flite Search – Finding the candidate that’s a cut above to take your organization to the next level.
  • Book Junket – Turning each “significant” thought into a weighty book.

As the conference progresses throughout the day, there will be an updated post to share some of the key points of these keynote presenters. Be sure to check back to be enriched with what they have to share. Also, be looking for quotes from the event on Twitter as the #jaded conversation continues.

Finally, please note that 2Good2BeTru Productions is passionate about clean water for those in need, we are glad to announce that all of this year’s proceeds and donations will go to drilling a new well. This well will enable others to have clean water at our new Augusta, Georgia offices and conference center. We are very excited that the water for next year’s conference will be potable.

Categories : fun, trends
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Jan
25

road trip

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This week I have the privilege of traveling with some of my favorite guys to participate in the regional RCN meetings throughout the sunny peninsula as we talk about what it can look like for the city church to think and participate globally. For those that will be at these gatherings, I look forward to meeting you. For those that will not be able to participate, I ask for your prayer for God to bless these conversations and would encourage you to learn about the city church through an interview at the Upstream site as well as at the Reproducing Churches Network site.

In Lakeland on Monday, we had a great time of prayer, encouragement, and seeking to learn and meet where possible the needs of others. This group, the start of city church as it is being expressed here in Florida at present, was one of the healthiest groups of leaders living out the New Testament that I have seen in the U.S. It was a blessing to hear some of what the church is doing regarding orphans, the homeless, those living in projects and others.

Several shared with me that God is at work in the I-4 corridor which runs across central Florida. This is evident through what was shared and consistent with the reality that some 20 plus guys were meeting together in one group meeting this month and spread out in smaller groups most other months to pray for their city. These leaders have consistently lead their respective gatherings to be in prayer every week for other churches in their community whether or not they are participating as an active part of the city church group.

It is beautiful.

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Dec
17

rethinking church

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Thanks to the UMC, here is a well-done piece about reThinking Church.

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Nov
23

city church. so much more

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From the beginning of the church in Acts 2, the gospel went out to the nations. After a short period of time, the believers were scattered and the gospel went again to the nations in Acts 8. Undoubtedly, God’s plan for the nations is essential for the city church. Whether a church is the oldest, most traditional church in the community or the newest church plant, it is part of God’s plan to be about taking the gospel to the nations. The city church is blessed with the calling to take the hope of Christ to its community and beyond.

Scope

When considering the scope of the call for the city church as she seeks to live sent, it may prove helpful to have thought about what did and did not happen in Scripture. If God’s desire was only for a small, homogenous group to live in obedience to Him, the Old Testament would have been significantly different. For example, no mention or model would be found in Melchizedek. Neither Ruth nor Rahab would play a special role. The Ninevites would be left to their own devices and certain peril. Other altered stories would have included Balaam, Nebuchadnezzar and Darius.

If His plan was for only a select number from one ethnolinguistic people group in one geographic area to walk in the transforming love of Christ, then the New Testament would be radically altered–even more so than the Old Testament. If God’s desire was not for the nations, then Jesus would have dismissed the woman at the well, the Syro-phoenician woman, the Roman centurion and the thief on the cross. He would not have pointed to a good Samaritan as the hero in the story….

(this is the start of a chapter posted on reproducing churches.com’s discussion of City Church. Check out the whole piece and the other contributions on City Church starting on Sept. 22. They are all worthwhile!)

Categories : church, missiology
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Nov
04

confusion

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Here are some of the more recent quotes from church leaders and consultants that have caused me to wonder if maybe there was a bit of confusion somewhere:

Shared with church leaders during a seminar:
“You need $100,000 to get into the game.”

Tweeted:
This is a good time to launch with a core group “followed by public grand opening…”

One pastor to another regarding his church’s effectiveness at developing future preachers:
“I just beat you….”

And, finally, here is signage that is spread throughout a seminary campus:

This is the fourth post in this Say what? series. Some previous quotes and an image may be found here.

Categories : communication
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Oct
28

shrinking reality

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This past weekend I happened to catch part of 60 minutes. The piece I saw was heavy and difficult. It was the story about a city and a few lives. Scott Pelley relays the story of the 99ers. A story about one city and a few lives. A story that is representative of many cities and many people throughout the US. This story is and will continue to be with us for some time. Church leaders must be aware of what is happening…

There are additional 60 Minutes stories on those facing the completion of their 99 weeks of benefits. These other stories give up close looks at a struggling family and the difficult circumstances with which the mayor of San Jose, CA wrestles.

Along this theme are four recent posts sharing about the challenges we are facing and some recommended responses for the church.

the obvious

prioritization

toward building programs

pursuing conversion

Categories : social justice, trends
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Oct
20

mac, pc and mission

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Mac or PC? I switched over in 2003 and have loved my Mac experience ever since. The first few years I used a Mac, many would ask me why I chose Apple over PC. After sharing my reasons and how pleased I had been with my user experience, there was usually a litany from the other side regarding how PC was superior. To that I would ask if or when they had used a Mac. The usual line was that they did not need to try Mac to know that PC was superior. And I share this because….

This post continues a discussion of a question Billy Mitchell is posing (addressed on this blog in the previous post): “Can a Christian ‘live out Acts 1:8 ‘being witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth’ without a passport?’” Justin Woulard answers this question in the affirmative. Because of the flattened earth that is now the USA with a confluence of ethnicities, financial constraints and other factors that are difficult or impossible to change, he states that there are times where a passport is not needed.

To this I would share that “I agree, but….” In fact, Justin has excellent points of which churches need to be aware. For example, I agree that the nations are around us and we are to make disciples where we live. I agree that we can resource with finances and prayer those that do have passports and are able to go. BUT it is my experience that it is easier to find ways and reasons not to go rather than to find ways and resources to go. It is easier to be content with what I already know than to put myself in a situation where nothing will be familiar. It is easier to find excuses and more pressing things than to be about the nations.

I encourage pastors, planters, leaders, and disciples to find a way to be disoriented through going to another nation in obedience to the Great Commission. The outcomes will vary. Some will become consumed with it and have to reorient their lives for this purpose. Others will benefit from it as they have a new awareness and drive to engage the nations locally. Still others will be so glad that they are back in the U.S., resolve that they never want to leave again and commit to praying for and helping others go. All of these are good outcomes.

So use a Mac if you want to. But I implore you to find a way to go on mission internationally for some period of time. It will change you. It will change your church. For the church to think and act like a missionary, she must at least dabble in cross-cultural missions. Otherwise she will be content to know what she knows as it has to be superior to what she has never experienced. Huh?

Categories : missiology
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Sep
23

could i survive in poverty?

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From time to time I post original writings of guests from around the world. In this post,  a lover of Jesus, poverty advocate and devoted believer in social justice for the world shares some of her experience in identifying with the impoverished in America.

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How can we truly be Jesus’ hands and feet to the poor? What does it look like to truly serve the marginalized, oppressed and lost? Like many of you, I want to make a difference in this world so I went searching for a job with meaning after graduation. I enrolled in a volunteer corps program for one year where I worked at a local non-profit. In my particular program, I received a small stipend that was the equivalent to what a single person in poverty would make. This was the challenge: could I live like a person in poverty lived? Could I survive on $26.00 a day?

The answer is no. If it weren’t for my gracious parents, savings and a lot of free church meals, I wouldn’t have made it. Yet I learned an incredible amount in that year and I began to see a glimpse of what poverty truly looks like from the inside out. I didn’t just read about it, I lived it.

Part of my experience included applying for food stamps. I wanted to better understand the system and personally go through the process, not to mention I was hungry. I never imagined that it would be so difficult. It took a total of four months to receive my benefits.

My breaking point came when I visited the food stamp office for the fourth time. I asked the clerk why I had not received my EBT card in the mail and she informed me that I had been denied. At that moment, I started crying and yelled at her, “You’re telling me that even though I make less than $800 a month, I can’t get on food stamps!?”

It wasn’t my proudest moment, but it was a life changing one. I was frustrated that I would have to reapply for the second time. But even more so, I was heartbroken for my brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends who would never be able to get on food stamps even though they desperately needed them. I watched a system that was designed to help the poor, fail them.

I don’t claim to understand what it truly feels like to be in poverty nor do I claim to understand the agony of going to bed hungry, but from this experience I have come to better understand the challenges the poor face on a daily basis. More importantly, it got me thinking about how I could be an advocate on their behalf as a believer in Christ and a proponent of social justice.

Food security and hunger are growing concerns across the United States. It is no surprise that only 65% of Alabamians who are eligible for food stamps receive them according to the USDA. Additionally, food stamps only provide $3 per person per day for a family of four. That’s simply not enough.

We then must ask ourselves: What is the responsibility of the Church? What role do we have to play? It is time to rethink how we do ministry and find more effective ways to defend the weak and fatherless and uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed (Psalm 82:3.)

Categories : church, social justice
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Sep
21

pursuing conversion (4 of 4)

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Due to financial difficulties in the U.S. at present, many people are losing jobs, realizing reduced values in home prices, experiencing reductions in investment income and retirement savings, and seeing a rise in scenarios where banks are calling in loans as a period of extend and pretend is coming to a close. These factors combined are leading to a major rise in home foreclosures. More than 95,000 homes are reverting back to the banks through repossession in August 2010–this is the largest number of homes repossessed in one month so far. For the first time in generations, large numbers of people are losing their homes. Some of those have nowhere to go….Absolutely nowhere.

One recently homeless man, Butch, shared with me this week that he thinks “we are close to being back in the Great Depression.” He continued, “people don’t see it, but there are more [homeless] on the streets everyday.” The reason these suffering are unseen is because they are sleeping in their cars, spending the last of their savings on cheap hotels, and living in tent villages or in the woods just out of sight of others. Some have taken their lives before facing eviction or their own personal financial catastrophe.

So what might the church do? There are, I believe many ways to positively address this growing plight. A couple of unacceptable options, though, would include ignoring the problem or promising our prayers and best wishes while taking no action.

What if we pursue a major conversion? If a church with property were to take some rarely used or unused property and convert it into dormitory-style living, a good number of people could have shelter and experience a daily, grace-filled blessing. Space normally reserved as educational space could be utilized with great effect in terms of size and fulfilling the objective of making disciples. Those living there and those who had previously met in those rooms would have an opportunity to experience the love of God in a whole new, profound way. Other options may include having families seek to rearrange living arrangements to free up a bedroom or living area for those that are struggling. There are a growing number of situations already in cities the hardest hit by the housing crisis where people are living in community with multiple persons or family units in a home as people seek to align their income and expenses.

Undoubtedly there are challenges to undertaking such drastic conversions dealing with logistics, how to oversee, etc. At this point, Butch’s thoughts are vital to embrace. He shares that the homeless are just seeking to maintain some of their dignity. This may be expressed in basic ways by providing some monies even if there is a chance that it may be squandered on alcohol. He suggests that this is not a time for moralizing or preaching, but showing the unconditional love of Christ.

This is the 4th in a series on ever-growing economic realities in the U.S. and some practical ways for the church to respond. In the next post and others in the future, we will continue to look at aspects of this challenge. The next post will be a guest post–Could you survive in poverty?

Categories : church, trends
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