Archive for March, 2009
A few years ago I read a shocking paragraph in Thom Rainer’s book, The Unchurched Next Door:
82 percent of the unchurched are at least ‘somewhat likely’ to attend church if they are invited. Perhaps we need to pause on this response. Perhaps we need to restate it: More than eight out of ten of the unchurched said they would come to church if they were invited.
This seemed astonishlingy high, yet also encouraging for those of us who would like to see our friends, families, and neighbors discover a relationship with God. Is it really true?
Well, a few years later, the research has shown Rainer’s estimations are slipping. Nonetheless, recent statistics are encouraging. A recent survey discovered that 63% of people are somewhat or very willing to receive information about a church from a family member and 56% are somewhat or very willing to receive information from a friend or neighbor.
Additionally, 38% (almost 4 out of 10) have said they are more open to considering matters of faith during the Easter holiday season.
None of this is really too surprising. But it does mean that if there was ever a time to invite a friend or family member to church, this would be it. Click here for information about Second Mile’s Easter Celebration, and pass it on to someone you love.
I recently decided to start using Twitter. So far it’s been a great way to share information, good resources, and stay up to date with some friends and others that I like to keep up with and learn from.
You can follow me at @lukedsimmons.
Here’s a remarkable story of forgiveness from Cindy Winters, whose husband was gunned down in his church a few weeks ago.
Nightline recently did a debate about the existence of Satan, featuring Mark Driscoll, Annie Lobert, Deepak Chopra, and Bishop Carlton Pearson that will air in part tonight on ABC. You can watch it in full at the Nightline Face-Off website.
Here’s a great story about a guy who’s overcome some significant obstacles and achieved something really impressive. It’s definitely worth your time.
Yesterday was an awesome day for Second Mile. We had a great worship gathering centered on loving God with everything and loving your neighbor as yourself (sermon here). We prayed, sang, and celebrated.
Then we joined together in the afternoon for our first baptism celebration. 13 people were baptized and shared their story of God’s grace. There were stories from people who had been religious and those who hadn’t. It was a great picture of God’s grace and a huge encouragement to the packed house of people who came.
We’re praying for more grace as we anticipate our move to Perry High School in April. God has been so abundantly kind so far. May his grace abound in your life today as well.
About their name and this project, the band writes:
For all of you who were wondering where our name “Page CXVI” came from, we’d love to share with you a little bit about it. Page CXVI is a reference to page 116 of our personal copy of The Magicians Nephew by C.S. Lewis. It is a poignant passage where Aslan begins to sing Narnia into creation out of a black void. One of the characters, Digory, describes it as,
“…it was the most beautiful noise he had ever heard. It was so beautiful he could hardly bear it.”
As the hymns project began to form, our hope was to wrap the strong lyrical content of the hymns, with music that portrayed our personal reactions to the life that God has brought to our “black void.” The most personal song on the album is by far “Joy” with the counterpart, “It is Well” was written by Horatio Spafford after losing his son to scarlet fever, all of his real estate investments to the Great Chicago Fire, and his 4 remaining children to the sinking of a boat. The contemplative turn from “Joy” into the lines from “It is Well” comes out of our own personal tragedy this past year and combines a Psalm like lamentation with hope. Our intention with all of these songs is to be a source of comfort and encouragement to all who hear them.
It’s time again for the NCAA Basketball tourney…I’m inviting you to participate in a FREE and friendly competition through ESPN.com called “Tournament Challenge.” The group is called “AZ Bracketologists” and our motto is “Where total morons think they are geniuses.” Please feel free to invite others who you think might like to play as well.
If you’d like to participate, simply do the following:
2. You will be prompted to either enter your existing ESPN.com member name and password or create a new one for FREE
3. Create only one bracket for this group (give it a name and pick some winners!). All selections must be finalized by the morning of Thursday, March 19. For additional rules and scoring info, go here.
4. If you have other friends you’d like to invite, pass this to them.
5. Check back along the way to see how you’re doing.
May the best moron win!
Check out this informative and motivating post from Dave DeVries about the history of St. Patrick.
It’s sort of silly to talk about things that God won’t forget — after all, he knows everythin (past, present and future) and always will. But Scripture does say that there’s something that should be an encouragement to those who are doing loving, heartfelt, behind-the-scenes ministry. I know at Second Mile, these are the people who really make a difference in a bunch of ways that aren’t always seen or known.
Here’s the promise:
For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. (Hebrews 6:10)
This is a great encouragement to do things today to please the Lord and serve people even if it doesn’t earn us immediate recognition or thanks. God won’t overlook it.
May the Lord bless you with the joy of doing unknown ministry that only he will notice. That will be a much better reward anyway.