Five for Friday (9.19.14)

5Have a great Friday!

How to Effectively Reach and Retain Millennials – Interested in impacting the next generation for Christ? This article is a great place to start.

One of the Main Ways that the Earliest Christians Distinguished Themselves from the Surrounding Culture – an important historical read with some intense practical applications for today!

 Stop Preaching and Start Communicating – a great reasoning behind why I preach the way I do.

7 Things I Learned in my First Year of Chasing a Dream Full-Time – Ever thought of quitting your day job and chasing your dream? Learn from someone who’s doing it right now!

Why I Think This World Should End. Great spoken word video that will make you think!

Five for Friday (9.12.14)

5Happy Friday! Before you rush head long into the weekend, take a minute and check out these great articles by other writers.

Truett Cathy and a Life Lived Well – great article about a great man.

10 Ways to Pray for Your Husband – read this ladies!

The Church and Violence Against Women – important words regarding the reality of domestic violence.

8 Ways Your Church Can Be More Welcoming to Guests – I wish everyone in our church would read this. Great stuff!

The Osteen Predicament – Strong words by Al Mohler on the Victoria Osteen controversy.

Five for Friday (9.5.14)

five red button“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” ― Henry Ford

Here are a few articles to help you keep learning!

Learn From my Divorce – powerful words for us all.

How to Help a Grieving Friend: 11 Things to Do When You’re Not Sure What to Do – great perspective for anyone helping someone walk through a loss.

Her Right to Choose – An incredible article on abortion and life.

11 Things You Think are in the Bible, but Really Aren’t – check the list to to see what you’ve assumed about the Bible!

10 Reasons Why the NFL is Better Than College Football – amen and amen.

Five for Friday (8.29.14)

5Here are five good articles that kept me thinking this week. Hope they help you as well!

Pastor David Platt succeeds Tom Eliff as IMB President – here’s the new leader of the Southern Baptist missions effort.

What the ALS Challenge Taught Me about Life – great perspective on the challenge that’s sweeping the nation.

Why I Turn My iPhone Notifications Off & You Should Too – I believe this! I turned most of my notifications off a long time ago.

Census Figures Show More Than One-Third of Americans Receiving Welfare Benefits – This won’t end well for us.

20 Reasons College Football is Better Than the NFL – I don’t buy into this as a rabid Saints fan, but it’s still a good article.

5 Things the Church Can Learn From Jimmy Fallon

I’ve got a morning routine. I drop off my oldest son at school each weekday, then I stop by my gym just down the street for a quick workout before heading to the office. I’ll spend ten minutes on the elliptical, partly to get a good heart rate going, but really it’s an excuse to watch last night’s monologue from the Tonight Show on my smart phone.

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I never used to watch the Tonight Show. No disrespect to Jay Leno, but I just didn’t connect with him. Since taking over, Jimmy Fallon has taken the Tonight Show to new heights, leading in the traditional Nielson ratings as well as online ratings. Always trying to learn from others, here are five things I’ve learned from Jimmy Fallon (and what the church can learn too):

1. The core remains the same. From Johnny Carson to Jay Leno to Jimmy Fallon, the core remains the same: entertainment and making people laugh. For the church, whether it’s traditional, contemporary, liturgical or charismatic, the core should remain the same: leading people to follow and worship Jesus.

2. Jimmy Fallon brought a 20th century show into the 21st century. Many of the elements that Jay Leno did rolled over into Jimmy Fallon’s tenure, just with new names. Jay’s monologue was “what’s in the news.” Since many young people don’t watch the news, Jimmy uses the phrase “Here’s what people are talking about,” referencing the importance of social media. Jay Leno did a bit called “Headlines,” where people sent in funny advertisements from the newspaper. Jimmy does “Screengrabs,” where people pull funny photos off their computer. The essence remains the same, just updated for a new generation. It’s the same essence behind “worship wars,” updating worship music to a style that connects with a younger generation.

3. Jimmy Fallon makes the show interactive. One of Jimmy’s most successful bits is called “Hashtags,” where he sends out a hashtag on Twitter and allows viewers to send in funny tweets with the hope of making it on the air. Today’s generation doesn’t want to simply watch a performance, they want to interact and feel like they’re taking part in what’s going on. This should inform how a pastor preaches and interacts with the crowd during his message. I’ve recently started using YouVersion’s “Live Event” option on their Bible app for their sermon notes, which allows members to take notes, go to church web links and answer questions in real time.

4. Jimmy doesn’t just talk to guests, he plays with them. The traditional late night format was to interview a number of guests with a musical number at the end. Some of Jimmy’s most searched for web clips are of him playing with guests, whether it’s catchphrase with Artie Lange, pictionary with Wiz Kalifa, or a kayak race with Cameron Diaz. The audience loves to see Jimmy and celebrities play together. In churches, we’ve lost the element of fun. While it should never overpower the reverence of worship, there’s nothing wrong with a little fun in church. It’s an incredible way to break down walls and build community.

5. Jimmy Fallon genuinely enjoys what he’s doing, and you can’t help but get caught up in his boyish enthusiasm. In a world of fakeness, Jimmy is the real deal. He loves what he does, and you can’t help but get swept up in it. As a pastor, your enthusiasm, your passion, your enjoyment of what you do each week will be broadcast loud and clear to your audience. You can’t manufacture it. You can’t fake it. If you genuinely love what you do and who you’re doing it with, people will naturally be drawn to it.

QUESTION: What else can the church learn from Jimmy Fallon?

Five for Friday (8.22.14)

five red buttonHave a great weekend! Here are a few articles to keep you learning:

4 Things Every Husband Needs to Hear Daily – read this ladies!

What Made the Situation in Ferguson Escalate So Quickly? – sobering words.

How To Kiss Like You Mean It – for married couples!

Don’t Let Your Comfort Zone Kill Your Church – great words!

What Writers Can Learn From ‘Goodnight Moon’ – I read ‘Goodnight Moon’ to my boys at least twice a week!

Five for Friday (8.8.14)

 

 

Here are a few articles to keep you learning through the weekend:

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8 Ways the Enemy Attacks Church – true words of wisdom from Thom Rainer.

Learning From Young Atheists: What Turned Them Off Christianity – great perspective!

Marco Rubio: Intolerance in the Name of Tolerance is Hypocrisy – grateful for a politician to stand up and say this.

Don’t Overthink It: The Power of an Invitation – if we truly ‘got’ this truth, our churches would never be the same!

The Single Man’s Journey to Sexual Happiness – I wish all of our single men could read this!

Five for Friday (7.24.14)

five red buttonIt’s Friday again! Here are links to five great articles to keep you learning through the weekend.

Medal of Honor Goes to Soldier ‘Who Held the Line’ – This is what a hero does.

Jesus is for Losers – A needed reminder from Tullian Tchividian.

Nine Reasons Men Should Stay Away From Porn – Read this guys!

Can Neuroscience Help Us Disciple Anyone? – Amazing merging of science and theology!

Eight Ways to Help Your Pastor Have a Good Vacation – True words Mt Vernon!

Five for Friday (7.18.14)

5Here are five great articles to keep you thinking through the weekend! Go to church (somewhere) this Sunday!

Balancing Justice and Mercy in Immigration Reform – A great perspective on this divisive topic.

Catalyst’s Brad Lomenick on Secret to Success – Great interview with the guy who helped build the Catalyst Conference, a conference I look forward to going to every year.

The Road to Jericho & the Border Crisis – Another strong perspective on the border crisis from the top Baptist mind on the subject.

The Pastor’s Wife Who Went Crazy – Amazing first-person perspective on mental illness.

Why Are So Many Christians Afraid of Hollywood Bible Movies? – With more and more Bible epics coming out, this is a good word.

BONUS Video – For the guys, a history of hair fashion over the past 100 years.

Five for Friday (7.11.14)

5Learning never takes a break! Here are five articles (plus a bonus video) to keep you learning through the weekend.

Is There a Pause Button for Parenting? – My thoughts exactly!

Six Things You Can Do To Improve Your Marriage – Always helpful words from Perry Noble.

An Acts 17 Moment: What Burger King Has Right About LGBT People – Great perspective for those with ears to hear.

10 Keys to Being a Great Employee – We could all benefit from this!

Why We Won’t Live In Heaven Forever – Just to blow your mind a little.

Bonus Video – the new trailer for Exodus: Gods and Kings is out, starring Christian Bale. Looks epic!