Tag Archives: media

Who are Our Daniels?

Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom…When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. Daniel 6:3, 10

DanielOur circumstances are similar to Daniel’s in some respects, aren’t they? Babylon was not his home. Rather, he was exiled there for a lifetime, instructed to invest, make a home, and seek the welfare of this lifetime home. As Christ followers, this world is not our home. It is merely where we are for this lifetime. And we are instructed to invest, make a home, and seek the welfare of our lifetime home. God expected Daniel to be salt and light in his new home. God expects the same from us. Finally, like Daniel, we find ourselves in a culture that is increasingly antagonistic toward us and toward the God we worship. So, what does Daniel have to teach us about these circumstances?

When the opposition organized against Daniel and created laws which his walk with God simply could not abide, what did Daniel do? How did he respond? Here’s a list of ways he did NOT respond:

  • He did not take to his loud, proud social media voice and begin slamming those who had conspired against his God;
  • He did not stoop to his adversaries’ political ways by mobilizing his own political action committee to fight the battle in the world’s arena;
  • He did not create a bunch of hateful protest signs and organize a march on King

Truth, Bias, and the American Way

Tuesday Re-mix:

Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.  2 Peter 1:20-21

oathAs a trial attorney, I suppose I have said it to at least a hundred or so jury panels during the voir dire examination of them, when the parties are trying to decide whom to strike from the jury panel.  That’s the way our system works.  The parties each get to strike a certain small number of prospective jurors, and the first 12 left comprise the jury.  It is an examination for one purpose…to determine any relevant bias which may make a juror the wrong juror for a particular case.  So, I have said this to all of them: “We all have biases.  They don’t make us a bad person.  They don’t make us liars.  They don’t make us deceptive.  In our area of bias, they just make us an unreliable finder of truth in that area.”

Those words rang so very true, I think, as little as 50 years ago in our culture.  Truth cannot be found in bias.  But, in more recent years, I fear that our bias-rich American culture is making it more and more difficult for us to explore truth without bias.  I have stopped watching national news, pretty much completely.  Why?  Because every single national news syndicate in our country is hopelessly biased, whether by choice or by accident.  I’m certain it does not matter which.  What bothers me most about that sad fact is that real journalism was our last secular hope for knowing truth.  Then again, maybe that was false hope from the …

Foreigners in Our Own Country

Tuesday Re-mix:

…live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.  1 Peter 1:17

Every year my ministry takes a team to South Africa. It is always a Spirit-filled time with old friends and new friends alike.

SA FlagOver my years of making this trip, I have come to know some things about that country…things about it’s people, it’s society, and its politics.  I’m still learning the right questions to ask and the ones not to ask…when to ask them and when not to ask them.  In so many ways, it is not unlike here in the U.S.  Like here, there is within the church a degree of discontent with the moral and political directions that country seems to be headed.

When our team finds ourselves in those conversations, there is always some “freedom” in being able to say, “We’re not from here.”  We can still have an opinion, even a Biblical perspective on the issue, but we are not in any position to impose those opinions on a country where we are only visitors.  We have now grasped what it feels like to be “ambassadors for Christ” in a foreign land.  We have the freedom (and the responsibility) to speak the truth, but no freedom (nor responsibility) to try to force it or to impose it on anyone.  That is not our business.

In the end, the distinction between those two postures can be a thin line. Somehow, being foreigners in that land, it is an easier distinction to grasp.  Speak the truth, in love, but do not seek political power to impose that truth on a country where we are mere visitors.

US FlagAs I meditate on Peter’s words above…live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fearI feel just a little more clarity about …

An Answer to Jesus’ Prayer

Tuesday Re-mix –

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” John 17:20-21

I don’t know how you feel about prayer and its power…or God and His willingness to answer prayer.  But if you are a follower of Christ, I know this about you: you are pretty sure that God will at least answer Jesus’ prayers.  Right?  Yes, me too.  So it is with great interest that I watch the church today to see how God answers Jesus’ prayer for unity in John 17.  I watch, fully expecting that God will work to bring it to pass…the unity of His people, that is.

I have spent the better part of the last two years on a “communications task force” for my church, charged with the responsibility of mapping out a course for our church to update, renovate, and (in some cases) completely re-think how we communicate both outside our walls and within our congregation.  I have loved it.  It is one of the most rewarding assignments I have ever had at my church.  The discussions have been rich as we contemplate an infrastructure for virtually every level of communication.

While much of our focus thus far has been on how we communicate outwardly (I call that “branding”…see, I am not a marketing professional, so I get to use that word any way I like), I remain primarily concerned with how we communicate within the congregation.  I feel strongly about that, because communication is the currency of relationships, and relationships are the …

Cultivate ’09: The Church’s Story is in Good Hands

Cultivate ’09 was a one-day conversation held at Park Community Church in Chicago among a hundred or so creative minds (some of us were less creative than others) about church communication.  Born out of conversations among some highly respected consultants in this field (Dawn Nicole Baldwin, Tim Schraeder, Kem Meyer, among others), Cultivate was the first of what I hope will be many similar gatherings.  This post is the first in a series on my impressions.

cultivateLogoIt has been a long time coming, but there is finally a bit of a ground-swell in the American church of a “new” staff position: Director of Communications.  It is not so new in the mega-church world, but more and more smaller churches across the country are beginning to realize the importance of having someone on their staff whose entire job is to coordinate communication efforts both inside and outside the church.  Different churches are coming to this realization in different ways, but they are in fact coming.  Even the mainline denominations, who are often the last to follow church trends, are beginning to make the journey.  They are realizing that telling God’s story effectively, both among church members and to the world outside the church, requires an increasingly wide range of skills and creative abilities, from verbal communication, to the written word, to video production, to web design, all the way to social media and beyond.

At Cultivate ’09, I was reminded that this community of church communications professionals is growing.  I was encouraged that more and more of the American church is taking seriously its responsibility to tell God’s story in languages and formats in which it can be understood by our culture.  I was seriously impressed that God has called young professionals out of their respective secular media worlds and has …