Thursday, May 13, 2010

Contemporary Worship services?

Northpoint in Atlanta made a video parody that has been making its way around the internet and is on vimeo. It's called "Sunday's Coming". I couldn't believe how much it sounded and looked like some contemporary worship services I have seen. It was interesting to me that there were no women on stage, all men. Does that say something? And what about "Christotainment Sunday morning services"? Is that what they have become? How about contemporvant? What is that? And what about Growtivation? Are we guilty of that. Any hoo, how much does your contemporary worship look like this? And how many times have you gone to a workshop where there was worship like this and thought, man if only we looked and sounded like that in our contemporary worship? Well don't.

Where ever you start your contemporary/alternative/whatever you call it worship service, make it indigenous. Make it what the Holy Spirit leads you to do. Make it one that worships God and not just entertains. Make it meaningful. Make it real and not just bait and switch.

Here is the video

"Sunday's Coming" Movie Trailer from North Point Media on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Are you a woman of the Kingdom?

In the Next-Wave April issue, Felicity Dale has written an article titled Women of the Kingdom. In it she discusses her experience as a minister and being an author.
She is a minsiter with her husband of House2House Ministries She has authored some good books on House churches; An Army of Ordinary People, Getting Started:A Practical Guide to Church Planting and co-author of The Rabbit and the Elephant,and Simply Church. She blogs at Simply Church . She writes about her experience as a woman in ministry, how she has been treated and things said to her. Here are some of the things said to her: • A woman can lead—she just does it through her husband.
• A woman is equal to a man. It’s just that her role is different and, by implication, not as important. Kind of like George Orwell’s “All animals are created equal but some animals are more equal than others" (Animal Farm).
• God will use a woman—but only when there is no man available to do the job (my personal favorite!)

I have had a few other choice words said to me in my ministry as some others have had also.

She says that the body of Christ is actually The Hemiplegic Body. She goes on to explain that Hemiplegia is a medical term used to describe a paralysis of one side of the body, as for example, after a stroke. The voice of the female half of the army has been silenced. Obviously there are notable exceptions to this, but in general women are not allowed to develop to their full potential within the church.

But she goes on to say historically that it has not always been that way going back to the women at work in the early church.

Her final question causes me to stop and think; What could happen if women took their rightful place co-laboring alongside men in the Kingdom? How would you answer her? Can you imagine the body of Christ that is not a hemiplegic body? Can imagine?

Take a look at her whole article.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Six Subtle Moves That Hold Woman Back From Success

Lisa Johnson Mandell over at Dime crunch has written an article about the Six Subtle Moves that Hold Women Back from Success.. Here is the opening paragraph; "It's not that women are supposed to act, dress and sound like men to get ahead in the workplace, but there are a number of gestures women commonly use that denote vulnerability and fragility, rather than power and authority. In a blog post called "7 Behaviors that Keep Women from Getting Ahead," Dan Erwin cites an article by Mary Ellen Drummond many years ago, which still applies to many women today."

She does say that most of these behaviors are learned and can be unlearned.

And here are the Six: 1. Nodding your head a lot when listening. Apparently, men don't do this unless they are nodding in approval whereas women nod to encourage and denote that we are listening. We end up looking like a bobble-head doll and thus look like we have no authority. Try practicing only nodding if we approve.

2. Not taking up enough physical space. Here, women apparently acquiesce space, men spread out. By this we mean stand firm and tall, shoulders out, head up. When sitting at a table or desk, spread out -- your papers, you laptop, your pad and pens. Let everyone know you're there -- don't try to blend in. Take ownership of as much space as possible; that sends a powerful message.

3. "Up talking." Men end their statements on a down note, women go up on the end of their statements. Men sound sure whereas women sound questioning and unsure. Most women are not aware that they do this, and it's a particular habit with the young -- students and the freshly graduated. Speak with authority and periods, not with tentativeness and question marks.

4. Fidgeting. When women enter a room, they make 27 movements. Men make 12. These extra movements make women appear less confident because we are often fidgeting with our clothes, hair, or appearance. When you appear calm and contained, you appear powerful. Fidgeting implies nervousness.

5. Tilting your head. We think we are showing we are listening, it appears as if you're distracted or trying to deflect the message.If looking directly into some one's eyes is disconcerting, look just below their eyes at their cheeks or nose. But look directly at them and don't tilt your head. This, again, is something most women don't even realize they're doing

6. Introducing yourself too quickly. It's common for a woman to say, "Hi, I'm Jane Smith," right off the bat. But studies have shown that people seldom remember anything that's said in the first 5-7 seconds because they're too busy checking each other out, and visually processing whoever is in front of them. When meeting someone new, wait a few seconds before introducing yourself. Instead make a comment about the environment, event, etc. first, then introduce yourself.

Here is the 7th according to Drummond: 7. Women let men finish sentences for them. Fading out at the end of a sentence is more common for women than men, so is being interrupted. You need to complete your sentences and your ideas. So, keep talking, a bit louder and hold up your finger to signal you're not finished. Never, never, never let men get away with interrupting you. On occasion, you can also interrupt right back to make your point. And keep talking. As Drummond says, stick to your guns and your sentences.

You can laugh at these or say; I don't want to act like a man or that's just me. It does remind me of the book I read when first starting out; How to Dress for Success. But the thing is; I hear more women, especially clergy women complain that they can't get any higher, they can't succeed, or break through the glass ceiling. Maybe there is something from this article we can learn to improve ourselves while not giving up our selves. I read some of these as well in a book on preaching and I can't remember what book or what author. I have tried to work on the up talking, and it is a real challenge for me. I am going to try to pay attention to the rest.

She also lists More Telling Features with links to the articles:
■Body Language
What other features would you add? What are some of your thoughts? What are some of your ideas?

Monday, May 03, 2010

My Heart Breaks for the Gulf Coast

My heart breaks for the Gulf Coast. I have loved the Gulf coast from my childhood. I have spent time on the Southern Florida Gulf coast as a child. I grew up on its nature coast. As an adult I learned to love the Panhandle of the Gulf Coast. My heart breaks with this oil spill, because of the devastation it has already caused and that it will cause for generations to come.

I read an article today about long term effects from the oil spill of the Valdez in Alaska. One of the heart rendering aspects of the article was what happened in the town of Cordova; Jones' group commissioned studies to see how the spill affected people in small communities where fishing gives people their identity. Cordova was probably the most painful example because its fishing industry was hurt so much by the spill.

"The community exhibited every kind of social stress you can imagine," Jones said. "Alcoholism went up. Suicide went up. Family violence went up. Divorces went up. Of course, bankruptcies and various kinds of financial failures went up with the attendant stress on families."

I want to run down there and fix it. I want BP to fix it. I want somebody to fix it. And if Alaska since has a whole manual written on how to handle a disaster like this and whole team on standby, why don't they call in those people to be involved.
It looks like it will be a long time coming and it may never be fixed, so I thought I would write a prayer.

Oh God,
For those who died on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig,
receive them into your care, comfort and protect their families.

For the sea where oil has already poured forth,
protect it's creatures, it's ocean floor, it's very life.

For the fishermen who make their living by the sea,
watch over them as they anxiously await what is to come.

For families whose lively hood and well being is in its path,
provide the needs and sustain them.

For your very creation bring forth your breath of life
and your creation's powers to heal and restore.

For those trying to stop the oil and clean it up;
Give them the wisdom, the strength and the resources they will need.

For those who are responsible hold them accountable and inspire them to do
everything within their power to do what is right.

And for those of us who can't live without oil,
once again you speak to us; may we now listen, see and learn
to change our ways to live.