I love the pastors who proclaim that alcohol has never touched their lips when it’s obvious that a treadmill has never touched their feet. – Perry Noble

Food for thought.

Tough Skin

For the past several weeks I have been have been following Perry Noble’s post on dealing with criticism. Perry has whole websites dedicated to criticizing him and his leadership style. They mainly focus on how he is too over evangelistic… wow… How can you not be excited about a ministry that is bringing people to Christ.

If people who spend hours creating websites to criticize pastors wasn’t scary enough, Oak Leaf Church Pastor Michael Lukaszewski had even scarier people come out of the wood work with comments on one of his latest post.

Michael is right on target with his views on children in the church, but this subject created teeth gnashing and scathing comments.

TJ writes

“This is utter hogwash……what in the world are you doing showing the last samuari in the service anyway…..Jesus said let the children come to me…if the service can’t be for the whole family maybe you should rethink CHURCH….FAMILIES and CHILDREN…….USE THE BIBLE and get rid of thse stupid movies in the serivce…..we left a church because they showed the Incredibles to BABYSIT ths kids instead of have a WORSHIP SERVICE…we left another church becasue they had THE EMPEROR’s NEW GROOVE on the screen…what does that have to do with Jesus…some flip, lame mumbled answer of “there’s a lesson in it”……the children’s “minister” told me…..we have sex in the church services, 3-D movies in the services, American Idol backdrops in the services, coffee bars, cafe’s, bowling alleys…DO WE HAVE JESUS IN THE SERVICES…..I AM HIS PRESENCE……
NO!!! WE HAVE A 3 RING CIRCUS…..clowns on PARADE from the Pulpit to the nursery workers….

Please note how TJ says “I am his presence” – I know this has to be a typo but I can’t help noticing the implications behind that statement.

Shannon Ledford writes

“You sir as the pastor of your church ought to be ashamed of yourself for snipping back at your congregation through your blog. The word childish comes to mind.
The whole tone of your post is sarcastic. That is really juvenile coming from a pastor. However acting juvenile seems to be the latest fad in some churches.
Also you claim in a rather sarcastic way that there is nothing honorable about having your child in a service that is not designed for children.
Your ignorant. You can’t even realize the foolishness of what your saying. Little children can’t come to your morning worship sevice because the content might be to crass or to off color etc….. I ask you sir Where is the honor in that?
In a world full people that are bombarded by the filth of our present culture we have sharp dudes like you giving them more of it in church.
I know this flies in the face of the poor current state of what is considered “Ministry” today in evangelical circles but have you and those of your ilk ever considered the thought that maybe just maybe people out there are looking for someone and something to rescue them from the world the flesh and the devil? Instead all the hip , cool, so called relevant folks are doing nothing but becoming another avenue for the devil to spread his deceitfullness.
Maybe if you preached the Bible instead of videos and movie clips from stupid movies you might not have to put a rating on your sevices.
How pathetic.”

Wow… How scary is that. It’s amazing what somebody can write hiding behind a computer screen.

Jack writes:

“Does the church really need relevant series on SEX??? Preach the word and quit conforming to the world pastor.
When I read rubbish like this, it makes me sick! Apostasy has arrived!”

Yes the church needs relevant series on SEX! Sex is in the bible – just read Song of Solomon. It is scary that people don’t think that biblical teaching on sex has no place in church. Where else are people going to learn about God’s plan for sex? Jack’s statement is scary to me on so many levels.

Donald writes:

“Now we know why you were not called of God to lead anyone…

you are a selfish child yourself (evident from the tantrum you have put on display…typical American, child of a boomer, who was spoiled and is now a little selfish, degenerate, who is in rebellion to the Lord God and to busy worrying about me, me, me… (and showing many biblical signs that you may need to “check yourself”, for those who can understand that means “examine oneself” to see if you really are in the faith…
I think the kiddie room with crayons and fun and toons, may be the place for you!”

Does self-righteous describe this… No comment from me except – SCAREY!

Jen writes:

“I sat through many adult church services (old fashioned ones) and I remember a lot of things that I didn’t realize until later.
Yours is not a church; it’s an ex-rated entertainment centre.”

Wow Jen! I am impressed she remembers things… The few things I remember from “big church” have never realized themselves to me. If Jen wants to see an ex-rated entertainment centre… I’m sure I could show her one, but I know that Church wouldn’t be in any of there names.

I didn’t mean to belabor these statements over and over again… I just wanted for yall to get the scope of how rampant this critical problem is. Fortunately later comments to the article were positive and uplifting. Not everybody is in the business of pulling people down.

Be positive and encouraging in your comments.

Pastors… follow Perry’s lead in not wasting time responding to critics. When I first learned that Ed Young has his assistant filter his letters, emails, and notes I didn’t fully understand why, but if you are being bombarded by criticism this is a great way to help deal with it.

Lay people… be encouraging and uplifting to your leaders. There is a huge weight on their shoulders, and they need to be supported.

Just a few late night thoughts on some things that have been bothering me.

I’m tracking you…

Well kinda…

Tony Morgan recently exposed me to the world of Google Analytics. So now bradchristian.blogspot.com is analyticing (thats not a word) you.

This is just another sign that google, which as I have stated before, is taking over my life.

Football is in the air…

It was so refreshing tonight when I flipped on the HD NBC 7.1… Sunday night football was on – Seahawks vs. Chargers. I know its pre-seasaon and nobody cares but just watching the HD made my football sense start tingling. It was like an energy rush of excitment for the upcoming fall season. Subconsiously I am hearing “First Down PIRATES” being cheered over and over.

I have entered the lottery for the student pirate club’s VT tickets. Some how the pirates like to get involved in tragically significant games. The game before the We Are Marshall tragedy, and now the first game post VT.

I am pumped football season is almost here, but I have a feeling I will see more Viking football this year then ever before… I think Jason will have something to do with that.

Next week at Discovery…

After three weeks with our guest church Integrity Baptist, Discovery is getting back to normal. Next week we will be kicking off a new series… The DNA of Discovery. Here is the preview –

A lot of surprises next Sunday. You will not want to miss it!

Happy Birthday Claude!

Claude Cannon, family pastor at Discovery Church, is now over the hill. In celebration of this milestone Jason and I put together a video tribute for during this service this morning.


Oh HELL NO! They just didnt…

I just spent 78 mins and 2 seconds watching Newspring’s latest service.

It was mind blowing.

Normally I only watch a few mins of Newspring’s service every week. This week I didn’t move for 79 mins, and watched the whole thing nonstop.

Fire, ACDC, Bright lights, Coffins, New set

I had heard rumbling in the blog world that something big was coming… BUT it was definately more than what I was expecting.

More thought to come…

In the flow…

The word Outflow has recently been brought to the top of my vocabulary pile. It’s an upcoming series at Discovery. The word outflow has three definitions.

First: A large flow of money, liquid, or people that moves or is transferred out of place.
Second: The flowing out of liquid from container or cavity
Third: The outward flow of air from a weather system.

While Marvin, Phillip, and Skip (only Eastern North Carolinians would understand) would focus on the third, I focus on the liquid parts of the first and second. The word flow itself brings imagery of water to mind. Maybe a flowing waterfall, or a flowing stream. However, all I can think of is flowing rain. Does rain even flow? I hear the word flow all the time. Tonight on the late show Matt Damon talked about the Ebb and Flow of his career. Everything in the world can have flow applied to it – Cash Flow, People Flow, etc. For some reason I keep thinking of water though.

A particular song has reemerged into my music world. “Holy is the Lord” by David Crowder… Its classic Crowder. I found it while looking at some old videos I had edited. Then I saw that Ridgestone Church recently featured it in the worship set. The highlight of the song is when David breaks out into these lyrics.

Rain Down your love on us
Rain down your love

Rain down your greatness
and cover me
rain down your love on us,
rain down your love
rain down your peace

Maybe we need to focus on the flows that really matter. Sometimes I think we are distracted by cash flows, people flows, career flows, or other flows. Maybe we should focus on the flows that are everlasting. The never-ending flows of greatness, love, and peace.

Though the outflow series is about outward focus living in an self focused world. The word outflow some how reminded me of some classic Crowder.

Sunday Reflections

This morning was my first time experiencing Discovery Church. I had no clue that they even existed until I had a late night Dairy Queen crave that took me from Greenville down Firetower to the closest DQ to Greenville. I was focused on filling my craving for Blizzard, but I caught a sign for Discovery Church out of the corner of my eye. I am a long time subscriber to Vision Magazine http://www.vision-mag.com. They recently featured Discovery Church down in Orlando, Florida so the name got my attention. So I jumped on google and tracked down their website at http://www.discoverychurchonline.com. The website got me all the info I needed.

The experience was perfect (especially for a new portable church). The signage made me very comfortable and guided me right where I needed to go. The greeters were very welcoming and well placed.

The music was great! “Contemporary” churches around Greenville seem to be stuck in the early 90s with their music selections. The worship set this morning was awesome – Great modern worship music.

Discovery Church is a young but exciting church. I know that their ministry is going to continue to expand and grow in the future.

Port City Weekend Video…

This evening I check in on Port City Community Church’s website. While I was there I became excited after seeing that they had all of their messages on the website in VIDEO form. Check out their site at http://www.portcitychurch.org – I was able to attend all of their “What If” series.

In a YouTube world – almost everybody watches video online. Recently I watched Les Moonves talk about local CBS stations complaining about CBS’s Innertube. Innertube allows you to watch full episodes of our favorite CBS shows (basically CSI – are there any others?). Les boiled it down by saying that if CBS was going to survive then they would have to meet people where they are at, even if it takes away people from watching CBS in the traditonal TV form.

Some parts of the church world are actually ahead of the game for once, instead of trying to catch up like we normally have to do. Fellowship Church was one of the first to embed Windows Media Video into their website. This was way before embeded flash video or viral videos even existed. Since lifechurch.tv, Granger Community Church, Newspring Community, and many others have began broadcasting their services on the web.

Fellowship Church, after evolving from windows media to a short lived run with quicktime video, had their services available in three different qualities in flash video until their recent move to audio only. (More on Fellowship’s video evolution to come in a later post)

Unfortunately many churches don’t take the step into video and only feature audio clips of the sermon on the website. While Podcast have there place in the world – VIDEO is not the future… its the present.