We had such a great time gathering last week with staff and friends from around the country. It was our first time to do something like this and we learned much that I hope to share with you in the next few blogs. We broke into smaller groups and did work around tables. One of the first questions people interacted over was, "What delights you about Churchteams."
Helping people connect to groups has been a core feature in Churchteams since the beginning. We started using the term Groupfinder for this feature back in 2001. You customize the search options to fit your church and the questions you would ask to help someone find a group. Then categorize the groups accordingly and people looking for groups can find a match themselves. This removes staff from being the bottleneck for connection, but notifies staff when connections are made to keep them in the loop.
My pastor's message this week was on the historical, Biblical perspective of Advent. It grew out of a longing of all creation for the coming of a messiah to bring salvation, hope, and joy to the world. Into this darkness the light of the world came. What if all the lights on our streets were not turned on until Christmas eve? It would communicate something different I think. I love that we celebrate Christmas for weeks with such festive shopping, parties and other environments, but wouldn't it be cool if we waited, really waited for Christmas eve to turn on the lights? I think that delayed gratification, that longing would give us a better feel for the coming of the Christ Child.
Last week's blog verse was based on the gospel of Matthew. Mark doesn't do anything with the birth of Jesus. Mark's advent of Jesus though is more like this.
One of the reasons I love technology is that everything about it is designed for life application. If I were going to write the story of the coming Christ with my technology hat on, it might look like this.
We use Google Apps including email, calendar, drive, sheets, and docs; and I recommend Google every time people ask me about a calendar. So, I want to show you how to use Google for your church calendar. Thousands of businesses of every size use them and so do thousands of churches.
I often talk with church staff and pastors about the discipline of taking attendance and why it matters. Neither, "because we've always done it that way", nor "we've never done it before" are persuasive arguments.
You've probably heard of a Gratitude Journal. It was referenced in the repost/retweet of a blog from Lifeway I sent out yesterday. I'm looking forward to thinking more about the benefits of gratitude this week. But for this Thanksgiving week post, I want to do a short journal of things I'm grateful for. In no particular order, starting with the biggies:
Last week I had the opportunity to speak at our weekly men's gathering. About 150 to 200 of us have been working on spiritual disciplines that last six weeks, my topic was reflection. Here are a few things from 1 Timothy 4:6-16 that I think are relevant for any leader.