Monthly Archives: April 2016

The Church’s Business Model: Reminders From Facebook

facebook modelI recently read an article about how Facebook attracts and keeps great talent. Perhaps we, in the church, could use a few reminders from their business model. Consider the following:

#1: The CEO Is Facebook’s Chief Recruiter

Zuckerberg is a known CEO, and he is very involved in attracting others to Facebook. Jesus is the most attractive CEO. And when His church puts Him first, people see Him and want to know more about Him. While fellowships, activities, etc., are all great, knowing they work for Jesus is why people stay.

#2: Facebook Is More Than Just A Cash Machine

While Facebook is a business, it is known for being socially conscious. The company is built on connecting people. How about your congregation? Are you known for making connections with people or just for collecting their money? The church has a positive social initiative – “connecting people to Christ” is our main purpose.

#3: Facebook Respects Its Employees

Facebook rates a 4.7/5 on Glassdoor for benefits, and their employees have the highest job satisfaction. In the church, we should respect our brothers and sisters in Christ more than any company. The church is always most attractive when people see how we love one another and others.

#4: Facebook Is Flexible

Despite being a large, multinational company, Facebook remains flexible without jeopardizing its purpose. The church must maintain its fundamentals of the faith; and it cannot waiver on Biblical doctrine. But in matters of opinion and in areas of expediency, we must remain flexible. “We’ve never done it that way before” is not a Biblical answer for rejecting an idea.

#5: Facebook Pays Well

The average intern at Facebook makes $6-8k/month – more than most Americans make. People are attracted to great benefits. Of course, money isn’t the benefit of the church, but we have something far greater. Salvation is truly the greatest compensation, and God offers it for a life given to Christ.

I love the church, the body of Christ. And when we operate as we should, we can make the real difference in people’s lives. Help someone choose Jesus today!

Burying Our Idols

leninVladimir Lenin, the famous leader of the Bolsheviks, is considered by many Russians to be a hero. Today, his body remains one of their national treasures. And ever since 1924, when Lenin’s body was placed in Moscow’s Red Square, Lenin has been on display in an open mausoleum.

The Russian Biomedical Technology Research and Training Centre is the organization tasked with preserving Lenin in “lifelike condition.” But Lenin is, most definitely, not alive. Lenin is never coming back to life in this world. And keeping a body in “lifelike condition” for that long is very expensive!

In fact, the Russian government recently revealed that it is spending about 13 million rubles ($200,000) this year just to keep Vladimir Lenin’s body preserved. And people are questioning whether it makes sense. In fact, a recent poll showed that over 62% of Russians favor giving Lenin a “proper, final burial.”

Sometimes we cling to things far too long. In the Bible, we are told of a bronze snake that was crafted in the days of Moses as a way to save those who were dying (Numbers 21). It was raised up, and those who looked at it were saved, while those who refused perished. It served a purpose.

But hundreds of years later, the people had clung to this artifact for too long. When we cling to things of this world for too long, we often idolize them. This is what happened to Israel. They named the serpent, Nehushtan, and they worshiped it (2 Kings 18:4). It took a brave leader, Hezekiah, to destroy this idol and turn people back to God.

We all have Lenins and Nehushtans in our spiritual lives – idols that need to have a “proper, final burial.” What about you, friend? Is there anything you have clung to for too long? Are there idols in your life? If you say, “I could never let go of __________,” perhaps some “spring cleaning” is in order.

Remember: things of this world are not made to last. Spend time focusing on God’s ways and His Kingdom. Preserve what truly matters…and bury the idols.

Birds Who Sing Together, Stay Together: Monogamy Lessons From The Fairy-Wrens

duet fairy wrenBirds of a feather flock together? Perhaps. Birds who fight off suitors stay together? On occasion. But, according to a recent study, birds who sing together are the most likely to remain monogamous. Or at least that is the case for the red-backed-fairy-wren.

The red-backed-fairy-wren has been called a “highly promiscuous species with high rates of extra-pair paternity.” Or, in other words, they “sleep around.” But a recent study conducted by biologist Daniel Baldassarre, an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Miami‘s Department of Biology, revealed that some pairs are far more successful than others at remaining monogamous.

How do the successful pairs remain monogamous? Surprisingly, it wasn’t the ones that spent their time fighting off other suitors. Wrens that displayed physical aggression toward an intruder had no statistical success at keeping their “marriage” pure. But pairs who sang a duet with their mate had a surprisingly high rate of monogamy. Singing! Who knew?

Now, let me admit: this is the animal kingdom. And all of this might be, quite literally, “for the birds.” But I can’t help but wonder if there is an application for the humans as well.

You see, the Bible tells us that “marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4). So, perhaps…just perhaps, many marriages could benefit from the “bird brains.” Basically: worry about others less, and sing together more.

A duet is defined as “two people performing together.” Most often, duets are musical, but a duet is also a beautiful description of a properly working marriage. A marriage is a song being sung by a husband and wife – together. Their song tells the story of their commitment to each other. Those who seek to please God will pray together, love together, and submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21).

When the duet is strong, the marriage will be too. So…as the song says:

Sing and you’ll be happy today, Press along to the goal,… (give it a listen; the song is a blessing)…

All Things Are “Leaked” Eventually: The Pages That Truly Matter

panpaperThe cat is out of the bag. Rumors have been confirmed. There is no hiding it anymore. Rich people use loopholes to avoid taxes and get richer. Shocking. No one knew.

Well, actually the entire financial system knows. The bankers, lawyers, and electronic transferring agencies that exist for these purposes…yup, they all knew. My guess is, you’ve always suspected too.

Yet, it was swept under the rug. It was “winked” at. It may even have been “technically legal.” It is the kind of thing that people get away with as long as it isn’t out in the open. But now it is out, and it is causing havoc!

Of course, I’m talking about the Panama Papers, the name given to the documents leaked by an inside “whistle blower” at international firm, Mossack Fonesca. This firm has handled billions of dollars for Chinese, Russian, British, Pakistani, and other world leaders and the extremely wealthy.

The outcry is to be expected, especially, in America, where millions are currently preparing their taxes. The fact that the super-rich have been secretly avoiding taxation is turning countries upside down. Iceland’s Prime Minister resigned; Chinese and Russian leaders are taking heat; and in Britain, the Labour Party is demanding justice.

In all of this, I see a few good reminders for the church:

Remember that nothing is ever truly a secret. No matter what remains hidden in this world, it will be revealed in the next. There is no hiding from God. “If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there” (Psalm 139:8).

Remember that gaining the whole world is of little consequence if one loses their soul in the pursuit. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).

Remember that “fairness” is an illusion. Whether you have wealth in this life or not, keep focused on the righteousness of God and not on the wickedness of others. Asaph reminds us in Psalm 73 that focusing on others almost caused his own destruction. “My feet came close to stumbling. My steps had almost slipped. I was envious of the arrogant. As I saw the prosperity of the wicked” (2-3).

Our job is not to expose sin in other people or to root out their secrets. Some secrets will see the light of day in this life, and others will not. Our job is to comfort those in pain, hear the confession of one another, and to rebuke, admonish, and encourage with the truth in love and spirit.

As significant as the names in the Panama Papers appear to be, the Book of Life has a far more important list in it. Is your name written there? If you don’t know, or you would like to be sure, get in touch and let’s discuss!