Sep 302009

Being a post-college adult means different things to different people. And being a married (spouse) and a parent means even more. More responsibilities. And that’s a good thing, because now people can count on you to deliver on your commitments, trust you with their goods, and might even pay you for your products and services. The latter is a bit too monetized, for me, but that’s how the exchange of value goes in a free-market economy. Of which I’m totally ignorant, I confess.

One thing that’s nearly gone for being an adult is spontaneity. There’s no more going on a whim and doing something with someone else. Sure, I could do something by myself pretty freely any time. I have a choice to make every moment of my waking hours. I don’t get to call up a friend at random when the spontaneous urge surfaces. Life is good when the muse shows up and inspiration flows oh so freely…

No more being spontaneous. That’s a bummer. I personally don’t like having a scheduled and planned life. Interruptions are okay by me. But I’m a responsible guy. So I’ll do the planning stuff, the calendaring stuff, the scheduling phone calls. And so the work day goes on.

Sep 252009

In this video conversation with Becky Knight, a sexologist and sex educator in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, we breach an often uncomfortable topic, “Why talking about sex is so hard?” Her website is and she twitters at

There you have it. Sounded to me like just do it, and start the conversation. No magical how-to. How have you talked about this subject with your peers? Your children?

Sep 232009

In tonight’s class about multi-site churches, I mentioned a number of resources ::

Back story :: my pastor friend Ray Chang (Day 1 video) is in Taiwan on a vision trip with Ed Stetzer. Ray’s teaching a church planting couse at Talbot Seminary this semester. He graciously invited me to substitute-teach his class tonight for 3 hours. I didn’t think I could use that much time, and turns out, we did. Lively discussion ensued after I gave an overview of what a multi-site church is, 5 basic models, and examples of what it looks like. We explored why a church would use a multi-site strategy, how it could complement (or compete with) a church planting strategy, and ended the evening talking about internet campuses.

And, I see that there’s a new interview video of Ray Chang by Ed Stetzer about second generation Asian Americans and God’s global mission.

I hope the conversations can continue — add a comment below.

Sep 222009

2 highly influential church leaders are offering one day with them at a global leadership conference called Unleashing Beauty on October 10th, 2009. The 2 leaders are Erwin McManus and Dave Gibbons. Both have been keynote speakers at large conferences for church leaders like Willow Leadership Summit and Catalyst. Now they’re taking a day to share their insights for free and give themselves away!
Continue reading »

Sep 192009

Here at Chicago O’Hare Airport with a couple hours before my flight back home to SNA. Was at Connext, a South Asian Christian leaders conference. Great connections. Energetic passion. Listen to my thoughts here. Lots for us to learn together as 2nd generation bicultural people; you might even call it 3rd culture.

On this trip, I did not take my laptop. Just a shoulder bag for the 2-nights stay. My only connection to the outside world was an iPhone 3g. That’s what I’m typing on now. A couple of learnings, even if i still travel laptopless:

- get an extra external backup battery; the iPhone drains pretty fast at a 12-hr day conference; we go from 9am-9pm each day
- bring a video camera, be it a ipod nano or flipcam
- use a roller bag instead of shoulder bag; no point going without laptop shoulder bag if i’m still shouldering the load

More in the audio: listen here. Easier to talk than type on iphone.

Sep 142009

Beginning to find an up-tick of more people using — a very easy-to-use web app to record video interviews. (e.g. @jdblundell, @marcpayan, @decart w/ @charlestlee about Idea Camp Portland …)

Here are 3 good tips for how to do an interview well from 2 veteran radio interviewers:

  1. Listen to who you’re interviewing
  2. Don’t ask a question and then give an answer
  3. Give time to answer

[Parental advisory:: 1 example mentioned in this video may be too much for the easily offended]

Video via How to do a good interview with @docrock & @LanaitheDJ and linked at wetoku blog. And there was 100 invites to private-beta wetoku over there for the takin’.

[update: unfortunately, went dark and offline in Q1 2011, so this video interview is gone too]

Sep 112009

I first met Jim Belcher at the Catalyst West conference in Irvine, California. We had corresponded over Facebook prior to that about mutual interests, so it was great to meet in person to put a face with the name. While I haven’t yet made a visit to the church that he pastors, I am that much more motivated after reading his new book, Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional.

The book, Deep Churchdeepchurch, offers a refreshing perspective in contrast to the bickering during the past decade about the “emerging church” — debating what changes did the church have to make in a fast-changing culture in order to be effective with its Gospel ministry. The author, Jim Belcher, does not write as an academician who is analyzing words from printed publications, although he certainly is qualified with academic credentials. Nor does he position himself in an adversarial posture against any church leader. He writes as a peer of the younger leaders typically actively involved in the emerging church conversations.

What I love is how the book is written in a narrative style that retraces Belcher’s own theological development and how to incarnate that into the form of a church. The book plays this out with conversations and stories of changed lives, showing the implications of theology in real life. Much better reading than propositional rhetorics of a typical theology book.

What he masterfully does is to listen carefully to what is written and what is said, and delves behind those assertions to surface the assumptions and presuppositions. In so doing this deconstructioning, it helped me to better understand and not give in to knee-jerk reactions and mischaracterizations. In other words, it”s not what is said (or written) that matters, it’s what is meant by what is said (or written).

This was the first book I’ve read that labels the contemporary mainstream evangelical church as the “traditional church.” That day has come far sooner than I ever anticipated. Traditional church used to refer to the parish church with pews, hymns, and Sunday school. Could this book mark the turning point of what we call the American evangelical church of the late 20th century?

Belcher addresses 7 areas of contention: truth, evangelism, Gospel, worship, preaching, ecclesiology, and culture. He finds value in what the traditional church asserts, and also in what the emerging church asserts. Plus, he draws upon value from the great traditions of the church as well as the church’s role in culture. The author takes all that’s valuable and weaves it together into what C.S. Lewis calls the deep church. “Deep” is not to connote superiority. “Deep church” is a richer and more wholistic picture of what the church can be, both organizational and missional, both traditional and innovative, both relevant and yet set apart.

I won’t be writing a book summary here. You really ought to read the book to get the full thought process of finding this third way of a deep church. For more about the book, see

As Tim Keller is quoted on the cover, “This is an important book.” Jim, thanks for being a great mediator and writing this book.

Sep 072009

[update 4/2013] Flamingo Road Church is now Potential Church and their internet campus is now at, and wetoku is gone and so is this video

Talked with Ileana Ortiz from Flamingo Road Church via wetoku. You probably know her better as @countrycuban — that’s how I best know her too. She is the new Director of Online Community and works with the Internet Campus of Flamingo Road Church. As you’ll see and hear when you watch the video interview, @countrycuban has a lot of energy and passion for connecting with people using social media on the interwebs. (aside: Not sure who coined the term interwebs, but I’m beginning to hear it used more and more.)

Thrilled to hear of @countrycuban‘s new job and how they’re fearlessly trying all kinds of things to help people reach their potential. To join in on Flamingo Road Church’s new stereo sound, go to this weekend !

Do you have any questions for @countrycuban ? Add a comment below and I’ll make sure she stops by to answer.

Sep 032009

Being on vacation, I’ve resisted making plans — I find planning to be drudgery work. So I’ve been quite spontaneous, even though that makes it hard to sync up with others who aren’t able to be spontaneous with me at the same time. Nevertheless…

Got to connect with Mary Beth Stockdale on this wetoku video chat interview today. We talked about her experience in being a part of a community with the online church, and how online relationships are just as real as their offline counterparts.

Continue reading »