Feb 272008

So, I’m at the National Pastors Convention. I missed Tuesday’s main session, where Erwin McManus spoke cleverly, in fine form, confounding many of the older people in the audience, and jazzing up the (fewer) younger crowd. I’m told by a reliable source. And, then, I hear comments like these:

Erwin looking emo

See for yourself. What would you say?

Erwin McManus at NPC

[update] you can listen to a 5-minute excerpt of Erwin McManus, saying he was nervous, Speaking of Faith‘s Krista Tippett interviewing Greg Boyd in a panel, and many other NPC speakers too.

Feb 272008

Delighted to hear Scot (jesuscreed.org) McKnight in person this afternoon, talking about how in the world we can have the confidence to know what parts of Bible apply today and what doesn’t. He suggests that there’s a third way to read the Bible, less of a pick & choose, and more of an adopt & adapt discerning kind of way.

In the middle of the talk, he observed 5 shortcuts to Bible reading, implied less-than-ideal::

  • Morsels of law
  • Morsels of blessings and promises
  • Rorschach ink blot
  • Piecing together the puzzle of God’s mind
  • Maestro approach

They’re selling MP3s for $6 each, probably more of a production quality. I recorded a raw unofficial audio a few minutes after he started ranting about blue parakeets — listen to 2-part audio below:

Part 1 of 2

Part 2 of 2

Scot wanted to be quoted saying: “Calvinists, who believe most in the Noetic impact of the Fall seem to believe it has affected their system the least.” the Noetic effect that has affected all humanity, somehow has affected Calvinism the least?!

Scot McKnight belives that the Bible is a collection of wiki stories. That, we construct the story based on the wiki stories in the Bible, based on wiki stories of The Story.

His 3 keywords to reading the Bible: story, listen, and discern.

Scot’s closing mantra: In moses day in moses way… God speaks today in our way, as we discern together in community.

Feb 272008

I over-estimated the attendance here at the National Pastors Convention 2008 in San Diego– it’s closer to 1,800 than 2,000. Got here last night, after taking a detour off of Interstate 5 which was a parking lot, came down on PCH, grabbed a quick dinner en route.

Sat next to headsparks (Daniel So). Listened in on compelling remarks from the Bishop of Rwanda last night. He started with re-languaging that it is much more correct to say that Jesus accepted me, than to say I accepted Jesus. He went on to say how we are partakers and partners in God’s kingdom, and experientially see God at work in people’s heart and soul.

Was live-blogging that on my Blackberry, and then the battery was too low. The radio auto shut off. My entire blog entry was lost. I’m trying to reconstruct it with this re-enactment.

Staying with Daniel So for the 2-nighter, appreciate his family’s hospitality very much. And, congrats to David + Sunita, and their newborn baby girl! Born 21 hours ago!
David + Sunita

Wearing my bright orange shirt today. Saw James Choung here working at the Intervarsity sales booth. Just ran into James Yu before hopping on here at the Digital Cafe. Will try to connect with those guys later. Andy Crouch is here too, haven’t seen him yet, but hope to.

Feb 242008

I don’t think it’s the turn of the economy as it is that it just so happens that I know people seeking jobs, and churches seeking pastors. But those 2 circles often don’t connect. What makes this connection harder to make is geographical preferences — not every company knows how to manage telecommuters + not every worker can relocate.

Internet strategist & online interactive marketer Rob Williams is on the job search, using both his blog and LinkedIn to get connected to a web worker opportunity, with preferences in Orlando, Greenville, or metro Washington DC.

Presbymergent progressive pastor Adam Walker-Cleaveland and his wife Sarah are both looking for ministry jobs– for Adam, being an Associate for Youth/ Young Adults or a College Chaplain/Minister; for Sarah, she’s a solo pastorate and/or Ph.D. studies. Both of them would probably want to be in the same place, and both want to go west while they’re young. Not sure what they mean by west, but being progressives, probably Pacific Northwest would be a red hot locale. They’ve posted their PIFs (personal information forms) online – maybe that’s what progressives call their resumes. Adam’s claim to fame is his pomomusings blog post that provoked Andy Stanley to comment on his visit to North Point about his 1st megachurch experience. I still get click-thru referrals from there to this day.

Churches with openings:

Plus, I also know of at least 2 pastors who are between jobs. But, as it is with pastoral searches, many of those are done covertly rather than in the open space of the world wild Web 2.0. Exception noted for Pastor Bruce Reyes-Chow and his campaign run as the PCUSA moderator, in a web 2.0 kind of way, even too progressive for the progressives.

Tim Keller conferences

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Feb 212008

Dwell Conference, an urban church planting conference, is slated for April 29-30, 2008, in the city of cities, New York City. This’ll be a premier training event for urban church planters with attendance limited to 350. So this’ll be a cozy time with Tim Keller AND Mark Driscoll, along with Ed Stetzer, CJ Mahaney, and Darrin Patrick. Not often do you get to see both Mark Driscoll and Tim Keller up close; the smaller attendance size will give this a more personal feel than being one in a thousand like it’d be at their home churches.

Spread the word! I’ll be there at the Dwell Conference; hope to see you there. (I’ll be extending my stay in The City to take in more of the foods, sights and sounds.) I’m still waiting for my pre-ordered copy of Keller’s new book, The Reason for God. Bumble already got his, so I got to touch one yesterday.

Dwell Conference in New York City

For a bigger venue, there’s also the New Churches National Conference in Orlando, Florida, on April 21-24, 2008. Tim Keller and Ed Stetzer will be there too, along with 2,000+ in attendance. Many other A-list speakers, pastors, and church planting organizations / resources will be there. Mark DeYmaz and George Yancey will be leading a pre-conference session on planting & developing the multiethnic church.

2 phenomenal conferences for church planting pastors, leaders, and church planting churches.

[update] Tim Keller, his church, and his new book, are featured on CBN (Christian Broadcast Network) today. See write-up, video clip, and an watch his January 13th sermon “Miserable Comforters” from Job 5:1-7; 6:1-10.

Feb 192008

This is my first blog entry using jott.com. I am here in Hot Spring(?) on other side at the Saddleback mountains. I am getting ready for bed now and tomorrow morning, I will be making a presentation to Vietnamese Pastors — see the L2 Foundation Blog

listen to audio

Powered by Jott

[update] I made a quick phone call to Jott, and it transcribed what I said into the above blog entry. Incredible!! I’m anticipating this kind of a voice recognition technology to be a game-changer.

Feb 162008

The multi-site church revolution continues to flourish all over the country, and parts around the world too. I’m now involved in this too, as I’m working with a great team at Leadership Network to form a new Leadership Community for multi-site churches. I follow the pioneering efforts of Greg Ligon, 1 of 3 co-authors of The Multi-Site Church Revolution : Being One Church in Many Locations, along with Warren Bird and Geoff Surratt. Yes, very big shoes to fill, and Greg has been a great empowering coach. It hasn’t felt a bit anxious at all. So far. The butterflies must be scheming to swarm in later.

This Leadership Community will connect multi-site churches with at least four (4) campus locations to increase their ministry effectiveness by reaching more people at more locations. Leadership Network’s leadership communities are dynamic, peer-to-peer learning experiences that enhance the innovation process. Take a look at this 2-minute overview video about the Leadership Community process.

Know of a church that should be part of this group? Please email me at [email protected] or call Julia Burk at 214-754-9718.

Feb 142008

Today’s the release date of Pastor Tim Keller‘s new book, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism. Even an author who is reluctant to talk to the press will pretty much have to mention and promote his book, because that is a big part of how a book sells. Word of mouth, advertising, and book placement will take the book sales even farther. And that’s the way the publishing industry works — they publish a book because it has the potential to sell many copies. That may not be why an author writes a book, but it is why a publisher publishes. [update 2] The Reason for God official website [ht: setsnservice]

Here’s the unofficial Tim Keller book tour info — book signings, Q&A discussions, media junkets, what have you (constantly updated):

7 sermons related to the book that Keller preached at Redeemer is now available for free download. Westminster Bookstore will be carrying an audio book version of The Reason for God (abridged). [ht: alexchediak]

Not sure if Keller will do a blog book tour, but Justin Taylor did get this (short) interview with Keller about his new book.

Keller’s book, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, answers persistent questions like: Why is there suffering in the world? How could a loving God send people to Hell? Why isn’t Christianity more inclusive? Shouldn’t the Christian God be a god of love? How can one religion be “right” and the rest “wrong”? Why have so many wars been fought in the name of God?

Someone who got a pre-release quoted this excerpt (I didn’t get one):

The purpose of Jesus’ coming is to put the whole world right, to renew and restore the creation, not to escape it. It is not just to bring personal forgiveness and peace, but also justice and shalom to the world. …

[update] also see Dr. Warren Bird’s early comments on this book — Tim Keller Follows in the Footsteps of C.S. Lewis + Tim Challie’s review over at amazon.com

Feb 122008

Starbucks customers will get 2 hours of free Wi-fi daily beginning this Spring. All’s you need is a Starbucks card! Finally, a perk for those who have a Starbucks card, like me. And for T-mobile hotspot subscribers, a roaming arrangement will be made with AT&T so that subscription will still work at Starbucks.

From the official announcement at Starbucks.com:

In addition to the free Wi-Fi access for qualifying AT&T customers and any Starbucks Card holder, customers will be able to purchase tiered access to the AT&T Wi-Fi network at Starbucks at attractive price points. For a two-hour period, customers will pay just $3.99 per session. Monthly membership will also be available for $19.99 per month, and will include access to any of AT&T’s 70,000 hot spots in 89 countries around the world.

NYT Bits blog Cheaper Wi-Fi Access at Starbucks and Beyond comments on this switch:

… as many as 60 hours of access for the price of one $2 cup of coffee. The offer comes as Starbucks switches the company providing it with wireless service to AT&T from T-Mobile. Most of AT&T’s broadband data customers will also have unlmited free access to Wi-Fi at 7,000 Starbucks. They have already been able to use AT&T’s other 10,000 hotspots free.

And NYT carries the AP article, AT&T Joins Starbucks to Provide Store Wi-Fi. Wired’s title is more provocative: Starbucks Ditches T-Mobile and Brings in AT&T as Exclusive Wi-Fi Provider. Plus, AT&T’s version of the announcement.

[update] when free Wifi will actually roll out to a Starbucks near you:

T-Mobile will transition network operations to AT&T on a market by market basis starting this spring and ending in early 2009. … T-Mobile HotSpot customers can continue to enjoy Wi-Fi access at Starbucks locations for at least the next five years under an agreement between T-Mobile USA and AT&T.

AT&T says that, beginning this spring, anyone who uses a Starbucks Card (a prepaid gift card, like one you would give to a friend) will be able to get up to two hours of free WiFi service per day at any Starbucks location with WiFi service. Better yet, if you’re an AT&T broadband or U-verse subscriber, you’ll be able to use unlimited WiFi at Starbucks for free. For everyone else, paid service will begin at $3.99 per two-hour session, and monthly membership will go for $19.99 per month.

[update 6/1/08] I’m noticing Starbucks with wifi signals on both SSID’s tmobile and attwifi. Each have different login, but seems to work equally well. I’ve been able to login to attwifi in Laguna Hills/ Aliso Viejo, CA, as well as Dallas, TX. For AT&T DSL Pro or Elite customers (like I am), you get attwifi login included free with your DSL plan. To login, “Use your primary High Speed Internet, DSL or AT&T U-verse username and password on the hotspot’s webpage.” I did have problem getting my DSL login credential to work with the attwifi hotspot. It took 4 tech support calls to find someone who knew how to sync it up and fix it.