Monday, July 16, 2012

Young Adult Pastor Wanted

Santa Rosa Adventist church---Young Adult Pastor Wanted

     A while back, I read this article about church growth and how a church that wants to grow needs to staff for growth. The article talked about how a pastor can only minister to so many people, the rule of thumb is one pastor for every 150 in average worship attendance, and how churches stop growing once they reach that threshold. The article went on to say that unfortunately most churches staff for maintenance, not for growth…and how a church that wants to grow needs to add a staff member before growth can occur, in order for growth to occur.
     Most of you know that our strategy for growth here at the Santa Rosa Adventist church, what I like to call our growth engines, is children and youth. This is not a new innovation, this is just logical. The reality is that the median age of the Adventist church in North America is 60 years of age. I read a study recently that 60 percent of Adventist churches in North America have little or no children (or youth). We are blessed to have children and youth in our church…and our desire is to do all we can to protect them and grow them up in Jesus. The leaders of this church take seriously what Jesus said, “Better to be cast into the sea with a millstone around our neck than to damage our children.”
     So, we are committed to continuing to grow our children AND youth under the leadership of Pastor Garrison. As a church engine, we want to continue to fuel it with the best volunteers, with financial resources, bathing it in prayer and encouragement, so that engine will run at maximum capacity and efficiency.
     But, there is one generation that is even less present in most churches regardless of denomination…researchers call it the “Lost Generation,” the 20-30 year olds.
We are again are blessed to have a good number young adults in this church. Many who worship and serve with us. And, as I mentioned we put a lot of time and energy into our children and youth, but often they get out of high school, they fall through the cracks, sometimes disappear.
     These days, we have some volunteers who sometimes help in this area, and we have tried to encourage some leadership from within, but we have not been as successful as I would like us to be. So, we, the church board, have decided to change that. We have decided to invest in this age group, to make it a growth engine, which like any engine, if you fuel it right, will run…will help this church grow. How? This last month, the Church Board voted unanimously to locally hire an extra pastor to focus on our twenty-something’s. We have voted to raise 30K a year for at least the next two years to hire a stipend pastor to focus on our young adults…the young adults that have graduated from RAA, and the young adults in our community. These funds need to be above and beyond our church budget. I have already raised 15K from some of our members.
     Because it is not a full time position, our hope is that we will be able to find someone who is looking to transition into pastoral ministry. There are not a lot of pastor jobs available these days, so they might be willing to come join our staff here on a stipend/part time basis. This might not be easy to find, so I invite you to join us in praying that God will brings us the person we need to minister to our young adults.
     I would also ask you to consider investing in this, helping us fund this, over and beyond church budget giving. Think of it as an investment of eternal ramifications.
So far, Pastor Garrison and I have come up with a list of 70+ young adults, twenty-something’s, who are part of this church and need someone to marshal them together, someone to provide weekly opportunities for spiritual growth, to organize social gatherings, to communicate regularly through social media, and develop relationships that will strengthen their walk with Jesus.
     This is our dream. This is our plan. I hope you will join us in doing all we can make this happen.

The Barna Group - Top Trends of 2011: The Digital Family

The Barna Group - Top Trends of 2011: The Digital Family

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Sweet, Leonard. Viral. Waterbook Press. Colorado Springs, CO. 2012

In Viral: How Social Networking is Poised to Ignite Revival Leonard Sweet presents and overview of human history (somewhat lacking, in my opinion), while making observations about how the church faces challenges and opportunities (Really?).

Sweet tells the story of the only course taught by Martin Luther King, Jr., and the only eight students that had the privilege of referring to King as their teacher. Interestingly, none of them saved their course syllabus. None of them saved their lecture notes. None of them still have their papers that were evaluated by King. His point? Those eight students stood in the presence of greatness, and yet they missed their moment. This is Sweet primary focus in this book, his fear that we might miss our moment. Unfortunately, he is very unclear about what that moment is.

Sweet spends the bulk of this book, attempting to give us a “roadmap,” stressing that Christ not only stands above culture, but also works through it in order to redeem and transform it. He suggests that we each generally fall into one of two categories, digital natives or digital immigrants. He chooses 1973 (the year that the mobile phone was invented) as his dividing line. Those born before 1973 he refers to as Gutenbergers, and those born after 1973 he refers to as Googlers. Sweet refers to Googler culture as TGIF, because it is built upon the following tools of relationships and life: Twitter, Google, iPhones and Facebook. Then, Sweet spends the core of the book taking us through each of the four tools.

Sweet tells us that Googlers need Gutenbergers, and vice versa. He says “When we separate ourselves from the inherited memories of our ancestors, when the texts and traditions of the past do not join the present, the future is in jeopardy. There is no future without the past.” (Deep, huh?)

Sweet does not provide many answers or solutions. He just states his thoughts on the subject and then spends the last part of the book trying to figure out how to end the book. What does he come up with? Everything we do should point to Jesus. Thanks, but I knew that.

This is a very poor read. I don’t recommend it at all!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Questions From The Gospel of Mark

Over the last few months, Jeff Heath, Garrison Chaffee, and I read through the Gospel of Mark. One of the things that struck me was the number of questions Jesus asked. I have begun to look at them more carefully and over the next few weeks will be sharing them with you for your own study.

Mark 2:8-9: At once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and take your mat and walk’?

Mark 2:19: Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.”

Mark 2:25: And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food?”

Mark 3:4: Then he said to them, Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save life or to kill? But they were silent.

Mark 3:23: And he called to them, and said to them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?

Mark 3:33-35: And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

Mark 4:13: And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables?

Mark 4:21: He said to them, Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lamp stand?

Mark 4:30: He also said, “With what can we compare the Kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it?

Mark 4:40: He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?

Mark 5:9: Then Jesus asked him, What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion; for we are many.”

Mark 5:30: Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?

Mark 6:38: And he said to them, “How many loaves have you? Go and see.” When they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.”

Mark 7:18-19: He said to them, Then do you also fail to understand? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?”

Mark 8:5: He asked them, How many loaves do you have?” They said, ”Seven.“

Mark 8:12: And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.”

Mark 8:17-21: And becoming aware of it, Jesus said to them, ”Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect? They said to him,” Twelve.“ ”And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect? And they said to him, “Seven.” Then he said to them,” Do you not yet understand?

Mark 8:23: He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, Can you see anything?”

Mark 8:27: Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caes·a·rē´a Phi·llip´pī; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?”

Mark 8:29: He asked them, But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.“

Mark 8:36-37: For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life?

Mark 9:12-13: He said to them, ”E·lī´jah is indeed coming first to restore all things. How then is it written about the Son of Man, that he is to go through many sufferings and be treated with contempt? But I tell you that E·lī´jah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written about him.”

Mark 9:16: He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?”

Mark 9:19: He answered them, You faithless generation, how much longer must I be among you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.”

Mark 9:21: Jesus asked the father, ”How long has this been happening to him?“ And he said, “From childhood.“

Mark 9:33: Then they came to Ca·per´na·um; and when he was in the house he asked them, What were you arguing about on the way?

Mark 10:3: He answered them, “What did Moses command you?”

Mark 10:17: Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.”

Mark 10:36: And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?”

Mark 10:38: But Jesus said t them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”

Mark 10:51: Then Jesus said to him, What do you want me to do for you? The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.“

Mark 11:17: He was teaching and saying, Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”

Mark 11:29-30: Jesus said to them, ”I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin? Answer me.”

Mark 12:9: What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others.

Mark 12:10-11: Have you not read this scripture: “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes“?

Mark12:15b: But knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, Why are you putting me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me see it.”

Mark 12:16: And they brought one. Then he said to them, Whose head is this, and whose title? They answered, ” The emperor’s.“

Mark 12:24: Jesus said to them, Is not this the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God?

Mark 12:26: And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the story about the bush, how god said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?

Mark 13:2: Then Jesus asked him, Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.”

Mark 14:6: But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me.”

Mark 14:37: He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour?