Apr 232012

Charles Wear has published his faith journey as an e-book on Kindle = “No One Turns Down the Blessing.” It’s a fascinating read of an ex-pastor’s faith adventure with many unexpected and unconventional turns. Here’s what people are saying:

You’re about to read a dangerous book…” — Steve Sjogren, author, Conspiracy of Kindness, Kindness.com.

“Can our churches have an impact on the community around them? What does it look like to be Jesus to a group of skateboarders? In his first e-book, Charlie Wear–ex-pastor, editor, lawyer–shares his fascinating insights and experience of what it looks like to be church outside the walls, to “be Jesus” to people without the religious trappings. If you want to maintain the status quo, don’t bother to read this book…” — Felicity Dale, simplychurch.com, co-author Small is Big.

This is Charlie’s story about himself, a “recovering pharisee”, and his adventures from being a burned out, divorced, depressed church dropout; more church life in which he accidentally became a pastor, trying to look good as a preacher; another miserable failure; then how, out of the ashes of his attempt at church, true ministry was birthed. … It’s about how God uses a broken man with a broken heart to take the gospel to places the traditional church could never go. If you’re tired of normal ordinary “church”, this will inspire you. — Robby Charters, author of Pepe

One particular quote sticks with me and keeps me searching my own heart: “I used to think I was a Christian, because of what I believed, how I behaved and perhaps, because of how my associates thought of me.” If you’re interested in being liberated from this brand of “Christianity,” get Charlie’s book.Scott Bane

But you’ll need a Kindle to read the e-book (or you could use a Kindle app, I suppose.) How about this: Win a brand new Kindle e-reader by entering the contest below. Odds are really good that you’d win a copy of the e-book (100 winners). But you don’t have to take a chance and just go buy it for 99 cents.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

[this is a sponsored post + contest by Charles Wear]

Dec 032011

There are so many reasons people want to attend Verge Conference 2012. And this week is the open poll for you to vote who gets to go for free (1 gets a free trip to Austin and 5 gets a free registration) — here’s the excerpts of the reasons why these candidates want to attend and your vote will determine who gets to go!

  • Matt Cote mattcote.net “As a future church planter I would love to be a part of this conference. Francis Chan, David Platt, and Alan Hirsch will be there! Connect with others who will be attending. Learn and be challenged.”
  • Michael Rich in-formatio.com “… Verge 2012 will be an opportunity to hear first hand from some of the leaders of this movement, to network with folks who are at the forefront of the movement, and to prepare myself for working in my own community and the world in a missional way.”
  • April Salvant salvant7.blogspot.com “… I would love to see a movement of missional communities spread throughout Haiti. Why? Because they (MCs) have literally changed my life on numerous occasions MORE than any church service EVER did.”
  • Allen Smith allenandsandi.com “… I’d love to go with a band of like minded brothers who are striving to connect the gospel with mission and community.”
  • Tim Hoeksema timhoeksema.com “I desire to connect with other like minded folks. Verge 2012 is such a gathering of people. People united around the Gospel. Learning to live it in community and on mission in this broken world.”
  • Frank Friedl theoppositepc.blogspot.com “… to fellowship with others who are like-minded to seek and save the lost, make disciples who make disciples, and practice the pure and faultless religion of taking care of orphans, widows and our communities in need. I’ve already been piling on to my reading list thanks to Verge: For the City by Darrin Patrick and Matt Carter and Building a Discipling Culture and Covenant and Kingdom by Mike Breen. Now I want to learn practicals- hands on and first hand from those doing it.”
  • Blake Thompson blakethompson.net “I want to be able to know more, to experience more, and to be able to cast the vision of what it means to live on mission in all areas of our lives. … I need help in figuring out how to practically lead our current community group ministries into understanding the heart of Missional Communities. “
  • Miguel Labrador pathwaysinternational.org “Having Served in the Cloud Forest Communities of Ecuador as a missionary for nearly six years now, I’ve only attended one conference and produced one. Both were edifying experiences and seemed to take place in that perfect time between the need to be encouraged and the desire to equip others. … we work in remote areas as Missionaries to the Marginalized, but often, this produces a debt of the “Wisdom of Many Counselors.” “
  • Hal Khalaf missionalmotorhome.com “”
  • Dawn Carter chroniclesofdawnia.com “I am a mom who needs help. … I crave hearing more. I want to learn from folks who live this out, who share the good news of Christ’s love in tangible ways. I need to see how others wrestle with living out love each day to people who are different. I suck at it, but I’m learning.”
  • Aaron Clayton aaronandcharity.wordpress.com ” in learning what it means to live this way and rubbing shoulders with those who have been living this out, this is a good place to be.”
  • Josh Collins nycdisciples.wordpress.com “I have attended a few lectures and conferences and benefited from the leadership in the missional community, my wife however has not been able to attend these with me. This year we would like to attend as a couple. We really feel that our community, our church, and our neighboring communities will benefit from our attendance.”
  • Nicole Quiring nicsdays.blogspot.com “… to choose a conference each semester to attend in addition to his seminary classes. He has picked one out for the Spring. It’s called VERGE. It’s one that hits where our hearts have been the last 5 or 6 years. It resonates with the journey God has us on right now. It has a line up of some phenomenal speakers. It’s in a great state. We could talk ministry, future and dream with each other for several days without the normal responsibilities of life.”
  • Jeremy Davidson jeremydavidson.org “I want to go to Verge Conference 2012 to discover how Harrah Church can begin embedding ourselves deeper into the fabric of our community. How can we weave our small group strategies around serving the neighborhoods where our groups meet? What kind of ministry can we do within the daycare centers in our community? What can we do to help the schools improve student achievement test scores and graduation rates? What established groups within our city can we pull up to and begin working beside? What kind of ministry is taking place in retirement and nursing home communities? How do you support foster families who are taking in the kids displaced by addiction? How do we increase awareness and bring solutions and education to our community about the social problems that are affecting families? How can we connect the faith communities in our town with the needs of our neighbors? I want to go to VERGE to find answers, to meet practitioners, to discover solutions to our community’s issues, to discover answers to questions that I don’t even know to ask yet.”
  • Benjamin Titsworth iamnotbutyouare.wordpress.com “to partake in the great teaching and fellowship. But that’s not all this conference is about… This conference is about the GOSPEL of JESUS CHRIST and making that GOSPEL known.”
  • Allen Kleine Deters allenkleinedeters.wordpress.com “… now that I’m the senior pastor in a long established 107 year old little country church, I am even more aware of the DNA of entrenchment. But these folks are different in that they want to be more missional. … We recognize that we live in one of the poorest communities in the country with the two poorest counties just south of us.”
  • Sean Peters creatinggrace.blogspot.com “The honest truth is that trying to plant a church that goes against the grain of traditional church planting models is difficult to say the least. There is very little support and encouragement, and there is a great deal of pull to simply jump on the status quo boat and simply do things that way they’ve always been done. I need to be reenergized, reinspired and reminded that the picture of the church that God has laid upon my heart is right and true. I think that having the opportunity to attend this conference would do the trick. “
  • Steve Allen thejourneyofachurchplanter.blogspot.com “Having spent the last four years teaching church planters here in Zambia, we find ourselves embarking on a new journey as scary and exciting as the one that led us to Africa four years ago… as a missionary coming back in December 2011 to church plant, I need this weekend in Austin, Texas to continue networking and learning. “
Feb 022011

There are popular social networks. And then there are private social networks. Both have their place. Some churches are only in one of those places. Some churches show up in both places. Some churches aren’t anywhere online.

For churches with people who may be more cautious about communicating online, a private social network could be a safer place to get started.

The Table is a private social network that’s free for churches. And as an web app, it doesn’t require any software installation. Its features list looks nice. Just a web browser and internet connection. Here’s their video describing what the Table is:

The Table is coming soon. February 23rd. On that day, the doors will open and The Table will be made freely available to one and all. You have to wait for it.

Unless you win. Here. Being translated, you don’t have to wait!

You can win a free account to The Table here and beat the crowds! (kinda like getting in the amusement park or Costco before everyone else.)

To win a free account, add a comment below with your church website address and describe how your church could use a private social network like The Table. I’ll award a free account to The Table Project to 3 commenters on February 7th at 7:59am PT, to: (1) one at random, (2) one with the most interesting story (based on an “interestingness” factor), and (3) a church that’s giving voice to its church members & attenders, not just the pastor’s. Winners chosen at my discretion and decisions are final.

[CONGRATULATIONS to Marc Payan and Bumble Ho for winning early access!]

(As an aside, methinks comparisons to commercial offerings like The City or SoChurch is unfair. Each church has to discern what’s going to work in their context.)

Feb 262010

It’s the weekend and that means fun, especially for those of you who have an Xbox for indoor use and don’t have the balmy Southern California weather to go outdoors. (confession: I don’t have an Xbox, though I do have a Wii and a Mii, and I’m out of town this weekend to Nashville for NRB REACH — follow @djchuang247 for my live tweets.)

For those of you with an Xbox, you can win a free copy of the Bible Navigator X right here! Bible NavigatorHow to win: add a comment and describe one creative way you would use the Bible Navigator X. Winner will be selected by random drawing from the commenters. Comment must be submitted before Sunday February 28th 11:59pm Central, when the weekend ends. One entry per person. Multiple comments okay, but only one contest entry counts per commenter.

Bible Navigator X: HCSB is the first app on the XBOX 360 that allows the user to read the entire Bible from their 360. All the essential Bible functions are there: easy navigation, bookmarks, search, concordance, and themess. HCSB = Holman Christian Standard Bible translation of the Bible; press release; watch video intro:

Prize is courtesy of Aaron Linne (a self-described video game aficionado with an entire room of his home dedicated to gaming.[1])

Dec 072009

A brand new Bible was recently released: The Poverty and Justice Bible. Published by the American Bible Society in collaboration with World Vision, the Poverty and Justice Bible gives more insights into what the Bible has to say about today’s toughest topics: from homelessness to healthcare, literacy to wages, immigrants to abuse.

This Bible literally highlights the verses about social justice and fighting injustices — more than 2,000 verses. It’s the Contemporary English Version and the cover is printed on 25% paper recycled content paperboard.
Continue reading »

Apr 152009

Today is that big deadline day for filing income taxes in the United States. Not the most exciting day, unless you’re getting a refund.

Here’s something much more exciting: win 2 free tickets to Exponential Conference 2009: Art of Movements (aka 2009 National New Church Conference). Love the interviews they’ve posted in their podcast [rss or iTunes], with leaders like Tim Keller, Erwin McManus, Dave Ferguson, Perry Noble, and Francis Chan.

2009 National New Church Conference
Continue reading »

Aug 292008

Viral marketing. Buzz marketing. A trendy business idea that’s still emerging, and apparently very difficult to implement and fan into flames. Needs much more costly research and development. Or, perhaps, organizational transformation.

Cefiore launches this “Fro Yo Yourself!” online video contest on July 28th that’s ending on September 15th. The pitch: “Create a 30 to 60 second video showing America how much you love Cefiore for the chance to win $2,500 and free frozen yogurt for one year!” [via]

There’s a promo banner at the top of the fro yo franchise home page, there’s a Facebook fan page, there’s a YouTube promo video, detailed contest rules with legalese.

It’s August 29th. Just 2 weeks left. How do things look?
Continue reading »

Aug 092008

ShareYourStoryNow.org is hosting this Flips Ahoy contest for a free FlipCam! Enter the contest this month by sharing your story of how the Bible has changed your life — using your phone, webcam, or email.

The rules of the Flips Ahoy contest are really simple… either videotape, write or call in your story on our site and you are secured your entry into the contest. At the end of the month (from August 4th – September 1st) we will pick a winner at random.

The winner will receive a Flip Video Camcorder AND… the American Bible Society will donate $1,000 in your name to the Light of the Amazon project happening in Brazil! Without having to leave the comforts of your own home, you will have impacted the lives of thousands!

flips ahoy

[disclosure: I participated on the launch team of ShareYourStoryNow.org back in 2006]