I'm a little late here, but better late than never.
This was shown at Coram Deo's Sunday worship gathering on February 21, one week before 2 Pillars Church–Northeast's public launch. In the video I speak with Coram Deo pastor, Bob Thune, about our first church planting conversation, Coram Deo's support of 2PCNE, and some of our prayer needs.
2 Pillars Church–Northeast launches this Sunday. Here's a brief summary of what launch week has looked like so far:
- Monday–Thursday: I was sick for the first four days of the week. I can't remember the last time I was sick and out of commission for this long.
- Friday (Today): Fever free, I finally got to the office this morning to spend some uninterrupted time working on my sermon for Sunday when...the sewer in our building backed up. A few hours later, the water has been shop vac'd from the carpets, box fans are in place, and I'm sitting at my desk once again.
You can't make this stuff up! I'm beginning to wonder if this is all part of some church planter hazing ritual I wasn't told about.
I know God is up to something here, though I'm not entirely sure what it is. At the very least, I suspect it includes teaching me lessons about my sinful desire for control and how critical it is that I trust Him as we launch this 2 Pillars Northeast.
Now, back to that sermon.
We nailed down a start time for 2 Pillars Church–Northeast worship gatherings:
We recently announced our public launch date, but left you hanging regarding the exact time of our Sunday gatherings. Well, we've finally arrived at a start time: 10:15AM.
This is one of the great paradoxes of the gospel. It is the poor he makes rich, the weak he makes strong, the foolish he makes wise, the guilty he makes righteous, the dirty he makes clean, the lonely he loves, the worthless he values, the lost he finds, the have-nots who stunningly become the haves — not mainly in this age, but in the new creation to come.
Last week was an exciting one for 2 Pillars Church–Northeast. We launched a new website and announced the date of our upcoming public launch.
From my post on the 2PCNE blog:
We are thrilled to announce that 2 Pillars Church–Northeast will hold its first-ever public worship service on Sunday, February 28. The gathering will be held at the Joyo Theatre in Havelock which will serve as our new home on Sunday mornings.
What an incredible announcement! We've been praying for this church plant, talking about this church plant, dreaming about this church plant, and planning for this church plant for years. And now, here we are.
Do you live in the Lincoln area? If so, I'd love for you to mark the date on your calendar and join us.
Westminster Bookstore is running a sale on their 2015 best sellers. Give the list a look—you'll find some great titles. The sale ends Wednesday, so don't dally.
Well, it looks like it's that time of year again when my reading list doubles in length.
Bloomberg featured Lincoln today as an emerging tech hub in the midwest. Strong salaries, low cost of living, and reasonable real estate prices are major contributors to the growth:
High prices on the West Coast are making it easier for the fresh crop of computer-science graduates and other techies to choose heartland hubs that are growing, in part, because putting down roots there doesn’t require a small fortune.
You don't have to search long to find evidence of serious growth in Lincoln.
The tech echo-boom is already starting to hipsterize Nebraska’s capital city. The downtown now has three sushi restaurants, a speakeasy serving $12 cocktails and dozens of startups filling once-abandoned warehouses. New workers are pushing up real estate values. Home prices are up almost 14 percent since 2012 and apartment rents have risen 38 percent.
It's an exciting time to call Lincoln home—even if you don't care for sushi.
After controlling for family medical history, age, education, diabetes, smoking and many other variables, the researchers found that compared with eating hot food, mainly chili peppers, less than once a week, having it once or twice a week resulted in a 10 percent reduced overall risk for death. Consuming spicy food six to seven times a week reduced the risk by 14 percent.
This is great news! I'm eating buffalo wings this week to celebrate.
(HT: David Chartier)
Todd Bumgarner, lead pastor of 2 Pillars Church, on his return from sabbatical:
But do you want to know how the overwhelming majority of people have responded? They’ve said, “We didn’t think you would come back.” I’ve had—no exaggeration—over 15 people say something like that.
Fortunately, Todd did come back. But, as he explains, it isn't always a bad thing if a pastor doesn't return to "ministry as usual" following his sabbatical:
Pastoral sabbaticals (whether the pastor is paid or unpaid) are a regular, normal, and healthy thing for healthy churches.
And even when a pastor comes back from a sabbatical and quits… that’s still healthy because the sabbatical revealed the fact that that pastor wasn’t healthy. Something was off. Whether it was his health, his pace, his marriage, his walk with God, or his calling—something was off. And the healthiest thing for that pastor could be, to step back (and possibly down) in order to address that lack of health.
Glad to see you back in the saddle after a restful season away, Todd. Welcome back.
All Christians are sent people. God has given us new life by the gospel, so our lives should revolve around the gospel. And here’s what we need to grasp: believers in the church should see themselves as a missionary family—and the family business is making and training disciples.
Paul is fully alert to the difficulties, however, both internal and external. Timothy himself is inexperienced, infirm and shy. The world’s opposition is strong and subtle. And behind these things stands the devil, bent on ‘taking men alive’ and keeping them prisoner. For the devil hates the gospel and uses all his strength and cunning to obstruct its progress, now by perverting it in the mouths of those who preach it, now by frightening them into silence through persecution or ridicule, now by persuading them to advance beyond it into some fancy novelty, now by making them so busy with defending the gospel that they have no time to proclaim it.
This isn’t an email I work off of, or even keep in my inbox. It’s a one time overview of how much stuff I have to do today. It tells me if I need to say no a lot today, or if I have bandwidth for more.
Looks like a handy AppleScript. It'd be great to see something like this baked into OmniFocus.
Twenty percent of Nebraskans are religious "nones" according to the Pew Research Center's Religious Landscape Study.
Here's how the numbers broke down for the 312 Nebraskans surveyed:
- Evangelical Protestant 25%
- Mainline Protestant 24%
- Historically Black Protestant 2%
- Catholic 23%
- Other Christian < 1%
- Orthodox Christian < 1%
- Mormon 1%
- Jehovah's Witness < 1%
- Jewish < 1%
- Muslim < 1%
- Buddhist 1%
- Hindu 1%
- Other World Religions < 1%
- Other Faiths 1%
- Atheist 1%
- Agnostic 4%
- Nothing in particular 15%
- Don't know 1%
The "Nothing in particular" group was further broken down into two additional groups:
- Nothing in particular (religion not important) 8%
- Nothing in particular (religion important) 7%
Some metro areas were highlighted in the study results, but unfortunately, no information specific to Lincoln or Omaha is given. I would love to see what these numbers—the religious "nones" in particular—would look like in Lincoln. I assume they would rise, but by how much?
Over 900 pages with over 300 articles and conference addresses that respond biblically, pastorally, and passionately to the most pressing and urgent Christian issues of recent times.
The Christian Life looks like quite the resource.
These numbers represent total sermon preparation time per week, and the increase from a decade ago is dramatic. Of the pastors we surveyed, nearly seven out of ten spend eight or more hours in sermon preparation. More than four out of ten spend eleven or more hours; and more than one out of five spend 15 hours or more preparing sermons each week.
I am encouraged. In past studies, I have found a correlative relationship between time in sermon preparation and church health metrics. The greater the time in sermon preparation, the more likely the church is to be evangelistically effective, have a higher retention rate of members, and have a higher weekly per capita giving.
Simply stated, when the pastor spends more time in the Word, the church tends to be healthier.
My personal rule of thumb is not to take most, if any, parenting advice from people whose kids aren’t fully grown human beings yet, and therefore I tend not to dish much out myself.
In anticipation of David Letterman's final show this week, Jason Snell gives his take (an interviews others about theirs) on Letterman's significance and legacy on The Incomparable podcast.
I didn't get a chance to listen until after Wednesday, but I found it to be really interesting. If you're a fan of David Letterman, Johnny Carson, or late night talk shows in general, I'd recommend giving this a listen.