Ask Me Anything, Part 1

I'll make this a multipart response in case anyone else feels like asking questions going forward, but I thought I'd answer the ones I got already instead of keeping the askers waiting.

What is your favorite type of cookies and your favorite meal? Hmmm. I shouldn't answer the first part lest someone bring me some! I really don't need to eat cookies, but if there were no food on the planet except cookies and the only option for survival was to eat cookies I'd say chocolate chip with some kind of nut in them, like walnuts or pecans. (I really love cookies but they make me swell up.)

Favorite meal? Medium rare ribeye. A great big one so that no sides are needed.

What book have you read lately that was meaningful; Besides God's word. I've read a lot of books lately as I have to prepare for the two classes I'm taking this summer but I wouldn't label them "meaningful" in a heart sense. Those haven't really moved me. The last non-school, non-cycling book I read was Walking with God by John Eldridge. It was a needed read for me and it really helped as I tried to discern from God was his will was for us moving to Saint Paul.

We have an awesome youth program but we need more young families involved. Do you have anything planned for this? Two thoughts immediately come to mind, one passive and one active. The passive is that most new people to a church look like the leader. I've read this statement several places in the past few years and my experience has been that it's true. Most of the new people in the church I currently serve are 30somethings with kids. It may not be fair, but it's often the case and will probably happen at Saint Paul, too.

On the active side, the temptation is to say, "Look at what X and Y church are doing! They're bringing in the demographic we're looking for. We should try what they're doing!" I think we should resist that temptation to a degree. I don't know who said it first, but many people have repeated the idea, "What you win them with is what you win them to." In other words, if there's a program or a worship style or an event that you win them with, you're going to have to sustain that, increase the flash, and hope they don't get bored. I want us to win people to Jesus with Jesus. That will sustain. What does it look like? Primarily it means fulfilling the words of Paul in Ephesians 3 "equip the saints for the ministry of the church" which means investing time and discipleship in the ones already in the church as well as everyone else with a heart for reaching our community.

I also think connecting with people through social media is very important. I have extensive experience with this, as does Cody, and I look forward to using those tools to reach out to and connect with young families.

Newsletter

Hey, in addition to the transition information, I set up a mail list through MailChimp if you'd like to receive irregular communication from me. Give it a go!

Ask Me Anything

Yesterday, I attended a workshop in our conference office for pastors in the Arkansas Conference who are moving this summer. One of the pieces of advice I felt like I could follow was "create a transition blog" to include things like "an FAQ, updates on the move, reveal some of your favorite books, etc." (those are direct quotes from the handout). I thought this might be a great tool to introduce myself to Saint Paul UMC in Searcy with a little more depth than the handout I supplied to the District Superintendent back in March.

The Frequently Asked Questions idea grabbed my attention. I've not been asked too many questions so here's your chance. Ask questions in the comments and I'll try to answer them as best as I can in subsequent posts, kind of like an AMA on Reddit.