I know that you are aware of my obsession with comic book movies. I’m here to tell you today that it doesn’t end there. It extends to TV as well. I watch all of the CW/DC shows. You know, The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and, next year, Supergirl. I also watch Agents of SHIELD and I have all of the Netflix Marvel shows queued up. Yeah, you don’t have to tell me, my obsession is far from healthy.
The Mac Daddy of comic book shows, though, is The Walking Dead. It has gone from being an obscure comic not produce by Marvel or DC to being one of THE shows over the last few years.
During the fourth season of TWD, the characters started doing something a little different. When they met someone they would as them three questions:
1. How many walkers have you killed?
2. How many people have you killed?
That’s it. Before they would let someone into their group, those questions had to be answered to their satisfaction.
I wonder if similar questions wouldn’t be good in the church.
You get to know someone and ask them a couple of questions:
1. Have you ever gone to church?
2. Do you go to church?
Imagine the responses that you would get? And here’s the thing. You don’t get defensive or aggressive when they answer. You just nod along, talk to them and love them. If they want to come to your church, great. If they don’t, love them anyway and be their friend. Maybe they will come later because, well, you loved them and were their friend.
Let’s not stop there, though. You could modify the questions for those who are already a part of your church.
1. Have you ever been part of a small group? (Or Sunday School for some)
2. Are you part of a small group? (Or SS)
The answers to those questions will probably let you know what is keeping people from being part of your small groups or Sunday school.
Take those questions, modify them for anything that your church is doing. It may help you reach people for whatever mission or activity your church is taking up.
I don’t know about you, but I’m off work today. I hope you are doing more than just sitting around reading blogs.
I hope you take some time to be thankful and remember those you have given their lives serving our country.
Have fun today. It is the unofficial start of Summer. Dance in the streets, since the time is right.
Let’s make this the best Summer ever. We can do it.
I listen to a lot of podcasts. One that I listen to is 5 Leadership Questions. One of the questions they ask, and in turn ask you, is this:
Who are you learning from?
It is easy to get distracted. You’re going along in life, heading in a particular direction and then a squirrel shows up. Often, a pretty big squirrel. Often, again, a very pretty squirrel.
We look at distractions as bad and, yes, they can be. But often distractions don’t look bad. In fact, they can be very good things.
Perhaps you have a purpose in life to be an expert in a certain field. Maybe you want to master a musical instrument. Maybe you want to maximize your talent in golf. Perhaps you want to spend the time it takes to lead people to Christ.
No matter what, you will have to say yes to the things that matter and no to those that don’t.
If you want to get good playing an instrument, you will have to spend hours practicing scales and such and cut some things from your life. Good things. Things that you really like or want to do. Same thing with golf. And with leading people to Christ.
I recently read about a couple who had raised wonderful children. They were asked how they had done so well. Their response was probably not what the person asking wanted to here. They had given up almost everything that would distract them from being great parents. They didn’t join clubs. They didn’t spend time with friends without their children. They gave up certain hobbies and interests. Anything they did, they did with their children.
That seems extreme, doesn’t it? The thing about is that they had a vision for what they wanted their family to look like. They weren’t going to let anything stand in the way of their vision, not clubs, hobbies or friends. Now? Their adult children still spend time with them in many activities.
We can sacrifice the great in the name of the good. Or we can do the opposite. We can sacrifice the good in the name of the great. It’s really our choice.
I went to see Captain America: Civil War a couple of weeks ago. When I say that I went a couple of weeks ago what I really mean is that I went to the first showing available in my town. Yeah, I know, you already know about my obsession with comic book movies. Yes, it’s a bit unhealthy. But I want to tell you something that struck me as I have reflected on it after watching it.
Captain America: Civil War is like church.
Wait, what? At least that’s what I imagine some of you thinking as you read that line. So, yes, that’s what I wrote and I stand behind it. That movie, and quite frankly, every Marvel Studios movie is like going to church. Let me explain.
About a month or so before I saw Civil War, I saw Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. You might recall that I loved it. It was exactly what I wanted and needed. It was different from what has been coming from Marvel. And don’t get me wrong, I love Marvel movies. But I don’t want my DC Films to be Marvel Studios films with different heroes. I want them to be different.
However, the majority of moviegoers disagree with me. That’s fine. We can all like different things. How this applies to church is simple.
Marvel Studios have a formula. They follow a pattern. If you have seen enough of them, you can tell what the story beats will be. They give you enough familiarity that you are satisfied with the sameness even when they do something different.
We like that in church, too. Oh sure, some of us will say that we don’t like tradition. We go off and start different types of churches that are structured differently, but eventually we create our own tradition, our own sameness. People come to church with a certain expectation and freak out a little when it things go differently.
Why is this?
Our world is changing constantly. The speed of changes in the world increases all the time. Some days it feels like we’re being battered from all sides by change. We want a place to go where things aren’t changing constantly.
We want to sing hymns tha our grandparents sung. We want to sit in the same pew that our family has sat in for generations.
We simply want a rock to stand on that doesn’t sway with the changes of time.
We have a rock, right? Jesus talks about building on a firm foundation instead of sandy ground. In reality, He’s our Rock. He doesn’t change.
So, while we put a lock of stock in all of these unchanging things, something is always going to change. We do have lights and AC in our churches here in America, after all.
Let’s lean on Him instead.
The most popular tattoo in the world is, wait for it, the Harley-Davidson logo. 112 years of building a tribe has led to this.
If you had one product to have tattooed on your body, what would it be? Don’t worry, this is hypothetical. I won’t hold you to it.
Mine would be the DC logo. I love comic book movies and I would go with this one instead of Marvel.
Eighteen years ago we received some unsettling news. There might be a problem. We needed to think about options. Of course, there was no option in our minds, everything was fine and we soon had a baby boy.
A few years later kindergarten came. We had to pry him off our legs a few times, but we made it through.
Baseball came first, then football. Basketball came around for while, but most of our hours were spent waiting for football to end. A lot of waiting.
We had to argue and fight to get into honors classes. After all, the standardized tests didn’t look good enough. Plus football would take time. It would be better to just take standard classes, right?
Tonight Andrew graduates with honors. He finishes ninth in his class. It’s ending of a journey begun twelve years ago. It’s the beginning of a new one.
It’s graduation day.