Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The American Idol Church

The other day, I was flipping through the channels when I saw one of those idol type shows. I think it was "so you think you can dance" had 3 of whom was British. It had music and staging strangely familiar. The whole thing basically looked like American Idol. It was a complete American Idol rip off. And you could tell that's what they were doing. And it was lame. There is nothing worse than a rip off of some other show. You can almost smell it a mile away.

So this got me thinking about our church.

In 1997, I read Purpose Driven Church and thought it was amazing. I wanted to try to "catch a wave". I thought Rick Warren was the smartest pastor ever.

Then I read "when God builds a church" and became convinced that all a church needs is to have great preaching and worship and then it will grow.

I read Brian McClaren's stuff and met him in 1999 (before he was all famous and awesome) and went through my emergent phase. I started using words like "conversation" and "journey" all the time. After journeying for a few years and not getting anywhere I got tired of the journey and moved beyond that.

I've learned from Andy Stanley that vision leaks so now I want a clear vision, that sticks..or is sticky.

I've read Mark Driscoll and thought that I should probably cuss more.

Over the last dozen years, I've figured out what color my parachute is, I've developed my purple cow and taken it from good to great. I've identified my 5 dysfunctions on my team, and have been wowed by the latest leadership parable. I've seized my divine moment, fell in love with the divine romance, practiced the art of the start. I've pushed the flywheel in an effort to find my tipping point. I've orbited the giant hairball and overdosed on Nooma.

All these things have been just fine. But none of it is authentically me.

If I try to Frankenstein all these things together and hope it builds a great church here in Richmond, I am doomed to fail.

I want to start a church that fits Richmond. This church is not being planted in mine or anyone else's head. It's being planted in the city and culture of Richmond.

So, in the next few weeks I'll be fleshing that out a little bit on this blog. I'll be talking about what our church will look like based on the vision God has given us here.

I'm done reading the books. I'm done going to the conferences. The temptation to rip off everyone else's ideas and make them my own is too great. I want to plant an original church.

The day our church has three judges, one of which is the day I quit.

Cartwheels and Coffee is Open for business!

After about 64 days, thousands of dollars, hundreds of hours of volunteer labor, 20 or more gallons of paint, and about 5 city inspections, Cartwheels and Coffee is now open. Thank you to SO many great people who all pitched in to make this happen. I looked around today...saw kids playing in there for the first time and I was soooo happy. This whole process has been incredible. I want you all to see. Check out the pictures of the finished product. I used my built in camera on my laptop so all of the pictures are reversed...whoops.