Professional opinions

Posted by & filed under General.

“I never allow myself to have an opinion on anything that I don’t know the other side’s argument better than they do.” — Charlie Munger “We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can… Read more »

Macroeconomics and the church.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Bart Barber’s excellent post on “a bloated Baptist bureaucracy we could do without” bumps against an issue that isn’t  discussed much:  are American churches, like other American institutions, locked into more programs, real estate and employees that they can really afford? We easily talk about our American problem with spending.   For most Americans,  inflation-adjusted wages… Read more »

Cooperative Program Giving and Inflation

Posted by & filed under General, Polity, SBC.

I’ve seen lots of discussion about Cooperative Program giving and inflation, but couldn’t find any numbers or charts.  So I made this one (click it for a larger version), covering 1973 to 2009: The green line is “nominal” Cooperative Program giving to the SBC (i.e., the amount forwarded to the SBC).  “Real” giving is shown… Read more »

Your ‘church of the future’ is already uncool

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

FYI: the hipsters are already hating on your church of the future. I spent far too much time laughing at http://www.stuffchristianculturelikes.com/ and http://stufffchristianslike.blogspot.com/ this week. But only after the sting wore off.   Jumbotrons?  Leading worship barefoot? Coffeehouses? Bono?   That stuff signaled a quality church in 1999, when I was in college. And Twitter?  Apparently,… Read more »

Rick Warren on Congregational democracy

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Do congregations make good decisions?   Rick Warren says, no, we’ve just imposed American democracy on church: “what do the words committees, elections, majority rule, boards, board members, parliamentary procedures, voting, and vote have in common?  None of these words are found in the New Testament! We have imposed an American form of government on… Read more »

Do congregations make good decisions?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Toward a Great Commission Resurgence identifies six “distinctives” of Baptist churches :  regenerate church membership, believer’s baptism by immersion, the priesthood of all believers, congregational church polity, local church autonomy, and liberty of conscience. One of these, I note, is almost never debated in Convention life.   “Your church membership is unregenerate” is a real insult. … Read more »

SBC 2009

Posted by & filed under Polity, SBC.

I just finished the 2nd of 3 annual conventions as a member of the  Southern Baptist Convention’s Committee on Order of Business.  The Committee is charged with setting a schedule for the Convention, and handling motions made by the Messengers.  Unpacking the whole convention will take weeks or years, but here are few thoughts: It’s… Read more »

Church Franchising: Inspired by Starbucks.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

The Wall Street Journal has this interesting article about church “franchises,” based on “brand” models — the pastor is at one location, and appears at the franchises through DVD or video-link.    The focus of the article is Flamingo Road Church, in Florida (f/k/a Flamingo Road Baptist Church), “loosely affiliated with the Baptists.”  Flamingo Road hopes… Read more »

Stewardship weak.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

A new study finds that $40 billion is being stolen from charities each year, on the order of 13%. Most likely culprit? “A female employee with no criminal record who earned less than $50,000 a year.” On average, she steals less than $40,ooo. The most costly embezzler? Male executives earning $100,000 to $149,000 a year…. Read more »

Praying for Caelan Cross

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Caelan Cross, son of SBC-blogger Alan Cross, will be having a lymph biopsy this week. Please pray that it is not a return of cancer. More here. Update: Cancer free!  Hallelujah!