Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sunday AM Breakthroughs!

Why don't more sermons move people like a Steve Jobs keynote address at MacWorld? Are we really leveraging that brief window of opportunity we have with our audience for the greatest and most immediate life-changing, and world-transforming result? If you want to move your audience, and help them move their world, you might want to take some cues from the ace of the keynote talk, Steve Jobs.

Here is a useful powerpoint I found to help wake up your audience...with one caveat: if at all possible use Apple's Keynote, not Powerpoint.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

7 Summers...what would you do?

A few of us have begun the dreaming, planning, and development process for 7 Summers (see video and article). But, the first step in any good plan is to frame the questions. Here are a few of mine (please post or email me your ideas):

1. Can we identify the best catalysts for change... strengthening of family and neighborhood, dream incubators, dream teams, youth cells and empowering networks, business support, school and community partnerships?

2. How do we create the support structure in the church for this kind of vision?

3. How could parents and mentors be motivated to play their key part?

4. Are there many adults whose own calling and dreams would be fulfilled in this kind of movement?

5. What kinds of dialog, brainstorming, and planning models would facilitate rapid development and implementation?

6. How do we engage children and youth themselves into the imagining and planning process early and give this enough force to drive action?

7. How do we enlarge the online conversation and idea-generating process?

8. How can we REALLY get churches to work together in our cities... please don't say it can't be done, what is it going to take?

Watch the 7 Summers video.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Where were you in '64?

I had fun creating this for the 7 Summers article. Not exactly accurate to their real ages (but all are Boomers). Can you ID them all first time through? Where were you in 1964 (I just entered high school, I was 14...and it was a very good year).

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Summer In The City!

If aliens had a way to scan our world and measure human activity, which season would be the most active? I think it's obviously the summer. I don't have any hard data, but also I imagine compared to other seasons, volunteer activity for most community groups is also much higher in the summer. Summer is the time people come outdoors, engage in many community activities, and seem to be most open to meeting new people, engaging in conversations.

So why is this not the best season for reaching deep into our cities? Why do we traditionally think of things slowing down in the summer, when from a connection perspective we get more active? Could we be operating with some upside-down thinking. Maybe with a little creativity, a whole world of opportunity awaits us. Maybe the way to turn it right side up is to switch gears, from outreach thinking to withreach thinking. Maybe.

We're working on some withreach ideas specific to summer (I'll post some soon), but email or call if you'd like to discuss them or collaborate on some ideas of your own. Let's see what we can do to change the way we think about "summer."

Monday, March 15, 2010

Redeeming Dreams From Brothels

I recently read on a mission blog, a quote of Ralph Winter: “You can’t make “a business” out of rescuing child prostitutes in Thailand, or by setting up medical clinics in the midst of extreme poverty around the world.”

...I wonder. Recently, I watched the movie, Born Into Brothels, in which a development worker, who worked with prostitutes in the red-light district of Calcutta, was drawn to reach out to their children. She was also a photographer and she had the idea of giving each of the kids inexpensive cameras and asking them to interpret their world through that medium. It worked wonders not only in creating deep relationships but the end of the story was this: she got many of them into higher education and out of the brothels by showcasing their photography... and assisting them in selling prints of their own work…which completely funded their empowerment. You've no doubt heard other stories of similar kinds of highly-creative approaches.

I wonder what is possible if we reimagined problems with a little more spirit-led creativity. Entrepreneurs focus on hidden value opportunities. As spiritual entrepreneurs, those value opportunities are the God-given treasures of identity, dreams, and purpose contained within. Our part of this empowerment opportunity might be to provide the marketing and distribution channels for those “products” of our Father’s dreams. Could this self-fund community development and mercy missions?

Rent the documentary. Check out their website: kids-with-cameras ... Get inspired. ... Watch this clip...

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Community Dreams Campaign

Here's a sneak peak at a local community project we're working on (in our own backyard). The idea is to facilitate people's dream discovery-nurture-act (DNA) process through a community / church sponsored web site. A full media campaign would promote it and drive traffic to the web site where there would be online helps to guide someone (specifically children and youth) into writing and posting their dreams.

My hopes is that this would be a forerunner of a complete Dream Center (dream coaching, life coaching, career and business incubator, mentoring, after-school programs, and community arts programs). ...stay tuned.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Community of Dreams Overview

Well, it's finally out, the first draft of the Community of Dreams Overview, which even as a 22-page document, only provides a sweeping big-picture of the overall cityreaching vision and the 'Five Synergies' (or paradigms for planning) which we believe form a powerful incarnational withreach approach to cityreaching and transformation.

You can download a free preview (PDF) here.