Thursday, December 14, 2006

Church & Culture Pt. 3

Catalyst just posted a link to the article I blogged on last week. There are some other pretty good articles as well. Here's the link.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Teen suicide

Occasionally I hear a statistic that blows me away. Last Monday's Commercial Appeal contained an article titled "Schools get serious about suicide." Here are the first two lines of the article:

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death from age 15 to 19.

Nearly 14 teens kill themselves every day in the United States.

Larry Legend turns 50

I grew up loving Larry Bird. The great Celtic turned 50 yesterday. The following is a retelling by coach KC Jones of a timeout before the closing seconds of a game. This was Larry at his finest!

We'll let K.C. Jones tell what it was like:

"We are playing in Seattle. Five seconds left on the clock and the score is tied and it is our timeout. In the huddle, I am thinking Xavier McDaniel is guarding Larry.

"So I said, 'Now Kevin, you take the ball out and get it to Dennis and Dennis you can finish that.'

"Larry said, 'Why don’t you just give me the ball and tell everybody else to get the hell out of the way?'

"So I said, 'Larry you play, and I’ll coach.'

"And he said, 'All right.'

"So I said, 'Dennis, you take it out and you get it to Kevin. Kevin you get it to Larry and everybody else get the hell out of the way.'

"That is communication. Before the timeout was over, he leaves the huddle, and I said to myself, where is he going.

"And Xavier was right there and Bird said, 'Xavier, I’m getting the ball. I’m going to take two dribbles to the left. I’m going to step back behind the three point line and stick it.'

"And that is what he did. So when he stepped back behind the line and released the ball, as soon as he released it, his arm was still in the air going to the dressing room. Game over."

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Fast Company's 2007 Social Capitalist Awards

Fast Company recognizes entrepreneurs who are changing the world. They make their decisions based on the following criteria:

Social Impact, Aspiration & Growth, Entrepreneurship (the ability to do a lot with a little), Innovation, Sustainability, and a Customized Approach.


Church & Culture Pt. 2

"...over the next decade, the two most effective expressions of the Gospel will be through social justice and environmental justice."

This statement was made by Clint Kemp, the pastor of New Providence Community Church. Yesterday Jason and I were talking about both of these issues. As I've said before, there was a time when neither of these issues were even on my radar. I'm thankful to God for changing that.

I've often wondered what it would be like to gather a group of friends together and imagine what it would be like to begin, as a community, making a difference, both here in our neighborhood, as well as throughout the world.

In today's paper, there was an article in the Life Magazine pullout section called "What I Prayed For." A fourth grader wrote this: "I'm praying for Darfur. For the people there to get clothes and food and beds. I learned about Darfur on Oprah, and I read books about Africa." Yeah Oprah, and yeah fourth grader. As a side note, I don't remember what kinds of things I prayed for when I was in fourth grade, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't for anything like this.

Church & Culture Pt. 1

I recently read an article about a church in the Bahamas (the island of New Providence) . A few years ago this church, New Providence Community Church, decided to get involved in their community. Before this time they had spent most of their time, energy and money on designing an excellent Sunday morning service that people could bring their friends to. After a few years of doing this, though, they realized that it "was not creating the kind of Christ-followers that could revolutionize the island." They first opened their building up to the community, and began offering Taekwando classes, gymnastics, art lessons, etc. They then decided that they needed to begin doing something about the AIDS crisis on the island. (Nassau has one of the highest concentrated areas of AIDS cases in the first world).

Next, they adopted a section of beach that had been turned into the island's dump. "They believed that as followers of Christ, they had a responsibility to redeem this hideous, corrupted area of the island." They spent two years cleaning it up, then invited local artists from the island to come and help transform this space into something beautiful. They call it Sacred Space. (You can see pictures, along with a five minute video, here). "The breathtaking sunset views create an amazing spiritual experience - but more than that, it's a testimony to the leaders of the Island of how a community can be a significant part of th restoration of all things within their society."

This article was written by Gabe Lyons. It's not currently online, but hopefully will be soon.

Here's one final quote from the article:

"New Providence Community Church is shaping the culture of the Bahamas because they have approached their mission with the belief that they are called to be the Gospel in the context of their community. By deciding not to make their church a place for people to come and see, they have pushed their people to go and do. And they clearly illustrate the influence one church can have when it takes this mission seriously."