Joseph Kony and Invisible Children: Where I Stand

Wow I am amazed at the response this video is getting.  If you haven’t seen it you should at least go watch it to see what all the hullabaloo is about.  What is amazing to me is how the desire to see the world made a better place can start so much controversy and discord among people.

“It’s a scam!”
“They call themselves filmmakers and drive really nice cars around now! The nerve!”
“They are just greedy, if they really wanted to help they would…”
“Ugandan’s are irate and wish the video would go away!”
“There are invisible children in America too! Why focus only on the children in Uganda!”
“The abductions have dramatically decreased over the past decade plus he’s not even in Uganda anymore!”

There are more critics of what a group of people did to try and change the world than there are of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

I think we are missing the point here.

We are so ready to point the finger at the missteps of an organization than understand the power of what is really happening here.  Social media has given us more power as a people than ever before.  Here is how I see it.

I am sure that there is some misappropriation of monetary donations to the company but that doesn’t negate the great social media campaign aimed to make this war lord known and hopefully captured.  Are they a perfect organization – No. Do I think they could spend their money better – probably (but so could compassions and other well known charities). Do I support their overall mission to keep these children from being abducted and forced to kill – absolutely. I do wish their financials reflected a bit more heading towards uganda and the greater area but I do want to see continued support from the U.S. in helping capture Kony.

Let’s all pray that through this (corrupt financials or not) that God’s work can be done.

To make this about money is to miss the point as to what’s going on here.  We can debate all day about how you would run their organization but we’d be missing the point.  People doing what they know to do to help other people.

You see what this campaign is really doing is showing the powers that govern us that we care about this issue.  And the way our government works – for better or for worse – is if enough people make enough noise and enough potential votes could be lost then action is taken.

Yes there are other just as worthy causes to be fighting for.  I predict that if this Kony 2012 campaign is as successful as it is appearing to be then you will see this same thing employed to bring and end to sex trafficking, provide clean water, stop genocide, and more.

That is what I am excited about – action can be taken when it is outside our nations “financial and general interest.”   All we have to do is stand up and say that’s what we want to see!

 

Also Charity navigator actually ranks them rather high (http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=12429) and they post their financials online for everyone one to see (http://www2.invisiblechildren.com/financials) and have responded to the recent critiques that come with recognition (http://s3.amazonaws.com/www.invisiblechildren.com/critiques.html)

This post was written extremely quickly and not proofed – please excuse any incomplete thoughts or spelling errors, I will check my work when I get home and have time – I have to get back to work.

Marriage and Ministry: Day Off

It’s not a 9 to 5 job.

Ministry is one of those jobs that has the ability to consume every aspect of your life.  It comes home with you after your workday ends.  You rarely have a free weekend.  And you are on call all the time.

That makes the day off – a true day off – an incredible challenge at times.  There is a difference between a day not at your job and a day off; a big difference.

My wife also works full time.  But we have always had at least one full day off together.  It’s a day that I have to admit at times (too many times) I have not fully been “off of work.”  I have too many times been off of work but still connected with my phone, laptop, or in thought at the least.

It really is a tough proposition – at least for me – to completely disconnect from my job and truly give my full attention to my wife and what we are doing.  She deserves it but doesn’t always get it.  But in the short time I have been in full time ministry I have learned that time disconnected is just as important if not more so than the time spent at work.  I have purposefully not connected my phone to work email and though I have given everyone in my ministry my cell phone I gave it to them with the instruction that on my day off and after hours it will go straight to voicemail.

It’s tough to balance marriage and ministry.  But we are called to be loving husbands and wives as well as worship leaders and ministers.  If we can’t learn to balance them and treat our spouses the way they should be and the way God has intended then well both our ministry and marriage will suffer.

Let’s be honest there are times when we just can’t escape ministry creeping into our personal time.  It happens.  But for me the key is to make the most of those times I do have with my wife and strive to completely disconnect from my normal day.  I have a great spouse who is very understanding but that doesn’t mean I can take advantage of her.

I can over-spiritualize the neglect of my spouse all too easily.  “It’s not just a job, it’s a calling.”

Yes it is a calling, a calling to be the best worship leaders, ministers and spouses we can be.  That means finding whatever balance we can to respect and honor our wives.  For me that means remembering my day off and keeping it holy… and yes maybe even turing off my phone.

*For more posts from other pastor and leaders on Marriage and Ministry, please check out the hashtag on twitter #marriageministry and check back the series page Marriage and Ministry!

Elevate Night of Worship: Set List

I am excited about another Crossing Church night of worship! (Jan 29th @ 6:00pm) The inspiration for this night came from G.K. Chesterton and Brennan Manning as they described the idea of God’s love and longing for us as furious.  Chesterton’s was one of quick mention while manning expounded into definition.  Furious is, rightfully so, associated with anger and rage.  However it is synonymous with ferocity and fierceness.  And as Manning expounds, a growing intensity and emotion.  While this is most definitely not a systematic theology that exhaustively explores the vastness of God’s love and longing for His creation it is one aspect on which we can meditate upon and within find solace.  For ours is not a story of man searching for God rather a story of God searching for His creation that has gone astray.

I like the correlation we find in a God whose longing for union with His creation is compared with the swelling intensity of a raging storm; one that compares with the same passion and ferocity – a Furious Love.

We will be meeting in our gym rather than the comfortable surroundings of our sanctuary.  The thought of hundreds of voices bouncing off the hard surfaces, resonating around the room like the gathering heaviness of clouds about to burst with rain, gives me chills.  It will be a much different night than those in the past as we drive with a very low key set up and acoustic arrangements to let our fierce passion shine.

Sunday January 29th @ 6:pm at The Crossing Church

Furious – Jeremy Riddle
Came To My Rescue – Davies, Joel | Sampson, Marty | Thomas, Dylan
Hallelujah What A Savior – Philip Paul Bliss and Tommy Walker
Take The World But Give Me Jesus – Fanny Jane Crosby and John Robson Sweney
Always – Jason Ingram and Kristian Stanfill
You Never Let Go – Redman, Beth | Redman, Matt
Lead Me To The Cross – Fraser, Brooke
How He Loves – John Mark McMillan
With Everything – Joel Houston

The Top 10 Reasons I’m Not Making An End of The Year Top 10 List

It’s that time of year again when every blogger new and old floods the interwebs with top ten lists of their favorite this or that.  Lists of the top 10 ways to do this or overcome that or get better this and become a more that.  I’ve done it too. But this year I am rebelling and not giving into the easy way out of blogging my 10 favorite moments from last year or top 10 things I did or any end of the year top 10 lists.

And here is why.

10. Everybody does it.  It’s really just an easy blog post that every blogger in the world does so why follow suit.
9. There are probably way too many great albums that I purchased last year to leave in one list of 10.  Maybe if I broke it up by genre I could do it but one list means too many hard choices.
8. I don’t know if I even saw 10 movies last year.
7. If I wrote 10 blog posts last year that were popular enough to list again then they probably are still getting views and there’s really no need to repost them. (however this one was extremely popular – you should check it out and share it)
6.  10 books really? That’s like asking me to pick my 10 favorite children.
5. It would cause me to re-live the last year and I worked really hard to forget certain things.
4. It seems self indulgent
3. I always forget some seminal work that is so clearly pointed out by the first person to comment.
2. If I was a more committed blogger I probably would cause all the experts on blogging say you should make lists – people like lists.
1.  Too many times I can’t actually think of 10 items in my list and have to have a top 9 or just one item there as filler.
-1. Sometimes I have too many items. Ours goes to 11…

I Am Humbled and Blessed

This past weekend was our Worship Choir presentation of We Have Our Savior (the least Christmasy Christmas project I could find ha ha)  What a tremendous weekend we had 60 choir members singing their hearts out celebrating the God made flesh born to rescue a lost people.  It was a phenomenal weekend and I can’t say enough about how well they did and how great they sounded!  It is truly a blessing to be part of such a great church and a great worship arts department!  And to my surprise they took the time to put together a great poem of thanks and gratitude for me and used it to make fun of me in front of everyone ha ha; it was epic.  I am blessed.  See poem below.

Crossing Church Set List Dec 3/4

We wanted to start the day off a little differently so we went Sing Off Style with an a cappella arrangement of Hark the Herald Angels Sing by the Blenders but we had a little fun with it and added a beat box!  whoop whoop! Oh yeah we were beat boxing in church ha ha.  It was really fun to see the smiles as well as the deer in headlights looks of “what’s going on?”  Overall it felt like a really good day and had some fun with the creativity of it all.

Hark the Herald Angels Sing – The Blenders
Joy to the World (Unspeakable Joy)* – Chris Tomlin
Forever Reign* – by Jason Ingram and Reuben Morgan
Come Thou Found, Come Thou King* – by Miller, Thomas | Robinson, Robert
O Come All Ye Faithful – Chris Tomlin

Check out what other churches are doing at “Sunday Setlists” or TheWorshipCommunity.com.

 

* Denotes songs where loops were employed.