Nov 302006

The local news this morning alarmed in big bold red letter, “Arctic Blast,” as the southbound interstate in front of my hotel was shut down for hours when a tractor trailer flipped over on the icy roads. The temperature has dropped almost 40 degrees overnight, but it’s not That Cold. Come on, it’s in the 30s, a little ice and sleet on the roads, not that hard to maneuver, and nowheres near Arctic cold. Now, explorer Ben Saunders would know what cold really is – his TED talk about solo skiing across the North Pole was most inspiring!

So, been on the phone for 4 hours, after 2.5 full days of liveblogging. Loved finding out what’s happening with 2 churches that are responding to the move of the Spirit in personal transformation and empowering leaders. Shared an overview of the self-publishing print-on-demand process I’ve gone through 2x this year with someone who might use that process to get a book published. Checked-in with a colleague on a forthcoming blog on leadership books. Launch date is December 11th, and we’re on schedule. And, dinner in 15 minutes with Jason “el mol” Mitchell. Life is good – and I’m wearing one of their long sleeve tees today too!

Nov 292006

Yes, it really is free. I was so excited to see this, and I’m sure many church planters would be happy about this too!

Journey Church (NYC) Hosting Free Church Planting Conference

In conjunction with the release of the book Launch: Starting a New Church From Scratch, authors and pastors Nelson Searcy and Kerrick Thomas of The Journey Church will host a free National Church Planting Conference, January 22-23, 2007 in metro New York City.

During this two-day event at The Korean Church of Queens, Nelson and Kerrick will explore from scratch to success in launching a new church. The conference is designed for church planters, pastors and church leaders planning to start a new church or anyone looking for the latest insight into church planting success.

Nelson started The Journey Church of the City in New York, NY in 2002. The congregation has grown from a handful of people to more than 1,000. The Journey is an innovative, multicultural church in Manhattan and is one of the fastest-growing churches in the Northeast.

The conference is FREE with RSVP at the website ($35 at the door). For questions, contact Lauren at (212) 730-8300 x212 or lauren[at]

For my church planting friends in DC (or Philly or Boston), you can hop on a Chinatown bus to get to New York City on the cheap. I’m thinking about doing a 1-day trip to NYC myself to celebrate Joseph Tsang’s ordination (a long time a coming!), but haven’t decided yet.

[update 12/7] found another one, hosted by Pastor Ron Sylvia (who I’d met in Oregon in October, great guy) –

FREE “Starting Churches on Purpose: Strategies for the 21st Century” Conference – Tues & Wed, Feb 27 & 28, 2007 in Ocala, Florida (note: $15 fee per person during registration to cover the cost of snacks and drinks)

A successful purpose-driven church is launched, not planted. Every stage of a new church is essential for a successful launch and each of the five stages of a new church should be fully understood and developed for a successful first year and beyond. This conference begins with the drawing board and takes you through developing an actual weekend service: from dreaming about to actually leading a church that impacts this generation. This conference will take you from the drawing board to developing an actual weekend service, and it is a great opportunity for you to bring your entire team! For planning and registration control, there is a $15 registration fee per person to cover the cost of snacks and drinks.

Nov 282006

I don’t have a handy link to such a resource, and I’m just ramping up with my Leadership Network work, so I don’t know the best resources right off. But I do know that it takes processes and infrastructures to run a church, especially as a church grows in size. I hope you can help us find some helpful resources that would address this topic. I’m posting this inquiry with permission, and we both would appreciate your help in locating this specific Keller article, as well as other related articles and books.

From: Rebecca Chapman
Message: I was given a copy of a Tim Keller article some time back called ‘Process-Managing- church size’. I’ve since lost that article, but have not been able to find it again. Could you help me? It’s about the challenges that churches may encounter depending on their size.

Nov 272006

Rick Warren who? 72% of Americans haven’t heard of this best-selling author; 63% of Christians haven’t heard of him. James Dobson who? T.D. Jakes who? Tim LaHaye who? Joel Osteen who? According to the latest Barna Update, Major Christian Leaders Are Widely Unknown, Even Among Christians. The email teaser also noted this ethnic distinction: “This week’s update shows that black Christians are more in-tune with their spiritual leaders than are white, Hispanic or Asian Christians.”

Maybe Christian people have heard of Jesus Christ or Billy Graham, at best, but the majority don’t know who’s who. The majority seem to only know celebrities and politicians. And if you’ve seen one of those Jay Leno street interviews, many people don’t even know who is the Vice President or Speaker of the House. Plain clueless. Don’t even try asking them about a blog or podcast.

Nov 262006

No, Santa’s not part of the Red campaign. I heard on the morning radio with Casey Kasem that Santa Claus was a popular folk lore for decades, dressed in blue or yellow, often skinny and tall. And then in 1931, Coca-Cola did an ad campaign with a chubby red-suited Santa Claus, which matches the Coca-Cola colors, and now it’s become part of pop culture. The power of advertising at work — not only is the Coke brand (one of?) the most recognized around the world, it’s also shaped the image of Santa Claus as we know it.

This excerpt is from the Coca-Cola website:

Most people can agree on what Santa Claus looks like — jolly, with a red suit and a white beard. But he did not always look that way, and Coca-Cola® advertising actually helped shape this modern-day image of Santa.

2006 marks the 75th anniversary of the famous Coca-Cola Santa Claus. Starting in 1931, magazine ads for Coca-Cola featured St. Nick as a kind, jolly man in a red suit. Because magazines were so widely viewed, and because this image of Santa appeared for more than three decades, the image of Santa most people have today is largely based on our advertising.

But the crack research team at Snopes deconstructs the legend and declares it not entirely true:

This legend is not true. Although some versions of the Santa Claus figure still had him attired in various colors of outfits past the beginning of the 20th century, the jolly, ruddy, sack-carrying Santa with a red suit and flowing white whiskers had become the standard image of Santa Claus by the 1920s, several years before Sundlom drew his first Santa illustration for Coca-Cola. As The New York Times reported on 27 November 1927: “A standardized Santa Claus appears to New York children. Height, weight, stature are almost exactly standardized, as are the red garments, the hood and the white whiskers. The pack full of toys, ruddy cheeks and nose, bushy eyebrows and a jolly, paunchy effect are also inevitable parts of the requisite make-up.” … All this isn’t to say that Coca-Cola didn’t have anything to do with cementing that image of Santa Claus in the public consciousness. The Santa image may have been standardized before Coca-Cola adopted it for their advertisements, but Coca-Cola had a great deal to do with establishing Santa Claus as a ubiquitous Christmas figure in America at a time when the holiday was still making the transition from a religious observance to a largely secular and highly commercial celebration. I

Now I’m off for Dallas for 10 days…

Nov 242006

WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association) has a mid-December conference coming up in Washington DC and I’d love to be there with a blogger press pass. I know I’m not an A-list blogger, but I can be a good live-blogger and generate buzz for this Word of Mouth Marketing Summit & Research Symposium on December 11-13. I’ve put my name in the hat and maybe I’ll be one of the lucky chosen. Wouldn’t you like to see me liveblog this summit and learn the latest & greatest ways of marketing online by reading this blog, which is the next best thing to actually being there yourself?

Not only are they giving out the Wommie Awards, I’d love to see Ted Leonsis‘ (AOL vice chairman) keynote, Debbie Weil (author of The Corporate Blogging Book, Typepad’s featured book for October 2006, plus she has great CEO blogging tips at and Greg Stielstra, author of PyroMarketing: The Four-Step Strategy to Ignite Customer Evangelists and Keep Them for Life and its blog). And, being a Starbucks fan, to hear John Moore, author of Tribal Knowledge: Business Wisdom Brewed from the Grounds of Starbucks Corporate Culture, and blogger at Brand Autopsy, that’d be the trifecta, even without Seth Godin or Guy Kawasaki!

For those of you new to WOMMA, WOMMA brings together professionals who have mastered the art and science of creating genuine customer enthusiasm, amplifying it, and sharing it with future fans. WOMMA’s mission is to build a thriving profession based on best practices, effective standards, and ethical leadership.

On a tech note here, I’ve upgraded to WordPress 2.0.5, and migrated my permalinks from my previously cryptic numeric permalink to a more search-engine friendly title-based permalink, with the assistance of this Permalink Migration so both old and new permalinks work and nothing is broken. I’ve also activated the popular vPIP plugin (Cinegage Utilities’ videos Playing In Place), which let’s you play videos of all kinds within a web page or blog post.

Nov 222006

Our monthly episode of the Asian American Emergents skypecast is just around the corner, this coming Sunday 11/26 at 9:00pm Eastern (GMT-0500) / 6:00pm Pacific. No particular topic or special guest yet, but we’d like to keep the monthly rhythm and momentum rolling along, even through the holiday season. I’ll run the recorder just in case an insightful or provocative conversation spontaneously combusts. This will be episode # 5 for those of you keeping score at home.

By the way, a skypecast is like a conference call, but people have to dial in via Skype using the above link. And barring any technical glitches, we can have up to 100 participants join in; this is already fast becoming a global and international conversation.

[update 11/26] I chatted with Yuling Lee for most of the hour, and then Peter Ong joined in towards the end. We will probably close this skypecast and resurrect it without the emergent label to make it friendlier for the masses; and besides, we didn’t do all that much emergent conversation stuff anyways.
[update] pomomusings made a raw MP3 audio recording of a panel discussion that revisits the question, “What is Emergent?”, again, this time with Brian McLaren, Phyllis Tickle, and Pete Rollins, at AAR/SBL. At 23:30, the panel is asked why the emergent conversation seems to be so white. Listen in to hear how they answer that hot potato, though in the subtext, you can almost hear them wanting to mention this skypecast…

Side note: some provocative sound bites I overheard during my afternoon at AAR/SBL ::
Continue reading »

Nov 212006

My friend Dan Cotter is putting on a special event, and he said to invite my friends, and if you’re reading this and you’re within reach of Germantown, Maryland, you can get in on this special pre-release screening!

Come to a special pre-release showing of The Nativity Story movie; bring your family, friends, and co-workers too. :: Thursday, November 30th @ 7:00pm, Germantown Regal Theater (20000 Century Blvd., Germantown, MD 20874). Email [email protected] to reserve tickets $9.00 each or call 301-515-8555. I’m going to be out of town, so I can’t be there myself, but you can be. :) [update 11/28] this special advance screening is SOLD OUT!

This unofficial blog is tracking a lot of the buzz. And, wikipedia already has a robust entry for The Nativity Story. Looks like a potential blockbuster for the Christian audience, and a lot less violent than the megahit The Passion of the Christ.

Nov 202006

Here’s the official news about the new book from L2 Foundation:

New book on Asian American TheologiesCONVERSATIONS

A newly published new book titled “CONVERSATIONS: Asian American Evangelical Theologies in Formation” provides distinct theological reflections in an Asian American context with evangelical perspectives. This book is edited by DJ Chuang and Timothy Tseng, and published by L2 Foundation.

L2 Foundation’s founder Paul Chou observed that Eastern cultures say “control yourself” while Western cultures say “express yourself.” But Jesus Christ says “offer yourself!” Asian Americans have a unique vantage point to extrapolate from both Eastern and Western cultural perspectives in light of the Word of God. L2 believes that an integrated and contextualized theology is foundational and critical for the health and future of the Asian American church.

This book brings together the conversations that are starting to form Asian American evangelical theologies. Various perspectives are shared along the themes of identity and community. This compilation consists of works from Peter Cha, Timothy Tseng, Paul Lim, David Yoo, Lori Pierce, Paul Spickard, James Zo, and Jeffrey Jue.

I feel I’ve run out of creative juices after editing and publishing a 2nd book in less than a year. So the above short announcement is to get the word out and get the ball rolling. I’m doing lunch with my co-editor Tim Tseng in 15 minutes, so we’ll chat about this and other exciting things happening with his Institute for the Study of Asian American Christianity.