Showing posts from November, 2019

3 Books on Current Dangers and What We Can Do About Them

I was thinking about the books that I've read this year. One theme is commonplace dangers. Not the dangers of a terrorist threat. Not the dangers of a car crash or airline flight--the chances of those are still very small. These dangers are online, in animals, and in the future of our environment. Online Dangers In Future Crimes  by Marc Goodman, we see the dangers that lurk online for us all. Stolen money out of our accounts, hacks that lock us out of our devices, etc. are so common now. I was talking with a friend about problems that my parents had with their computer fraud and he described the exact same situation with his parents. It's all over and will continue to be all over. This book has some super intense descriptions of criminal activity. You probably should skip the section on how organized crime uses and makes money from online sex trafficking. But Goodman explains what can happen with technology and some simple and easy ways to stay safe online. Health Dan

Cosmic Crisp is coming next week!

If you want to know what passes for excitement in my life: I've been waiting like a comic book fanboy for 2 years to try the new Cosmic Crisp apple. And it releases in stores next week! I went home the other to tell Emma and said, "you wouldn't believe what I found out today!" She rolled her eyes when she realized what I was so excited about. I heard about it a couple of years ago and have been reading about it and waiting ever since. You wouldn't believe how excited I am to try it.

Perfect Workouts or Just Good Workouts?

I passed a kickboxing-style fitness gym while running errands the other day. I've seen them for several years and always wondered about them and what kind of workout they give. I actually started thinking that it is a gimmick and not a very good workout. I imagined the workout was a gimmick. When I was a trainer, I knew the perfect workouts. I worked hard on learning the best principles and figuring out the perfect method for each client. For some people 20 minutes was all they needed for the right workout. But my workouts were at least 45 minutes. They were perfect. Now, I don't live in a gym. Working out has to fit around other priorities. And a 45 minute workout doesn't work or sound fun anymore. I've had to adjust my workouts. I've had to stop letting the perfect workout be the enemy of a good workout. I used to be paralyzed planning my workouts because I knew what should be in a perfect workout. Now, I just plan for good workouts. What's in a good w

4 Cheap Digital Tools for Small Churches

The average church is 73 people. If you pastor a smaller church or a church plant, resources and money can be tight. Here is a list of cheap digital tools. Last week, I posted 4 free digital tools for small churches. Soundstripe--This is a yearly subscription for music that you can use for videos and podcasts. We pick theme music for each new series and then put that as the background to a sermon bumper, series trailer/invite, podcast introduction, and sermon quote videos. Having professional music that you are licensed to use is awesome and totally worth $135 per year. If you make your own creative, then this makes everything fast, professional, and short. Above is an example of a sermon bumper we did this fall. Breeze ChMS--This is a simple, powerful, and cheap Church Management Software. This helps you keep track of people, events, giving, etc. A few things we do with it: plan volunteer schedules, track attendance, keep a list of guests so we can invite them back at holidays o

4 Digital Tools for Solo Pastors or Small Staffs that are Completely Free

Here are a few digital tools that I love. They help me as a solo pastor of a small church to do ministry. I'm not always in my office. Even when I am, there are a lot of things to juggle. And cost is always an issue. Chrome Remote Desktop--This allows me to control one computer from another location. This is useful for setting up the service slides and presentations without having to be in the building at the tech desk. This morning, it allowed me to fix the text for the sermon without having to run up to the building to do it. You can give the login info to a volunteer and they can set up the presentation without having to be in the building. This empowers volunteers. Google Cloud Print--This allows you to turn a simple printer into a network printer that you can print from any office or from home. If you have volunteers that need to print something, you can give them access to the printer and what they need can be ready when they get to the building. Planning Center Serv

Proposal for Small Church Website

I wrote up a list of suggested changes to the website of a small church website. I thought it might be helpful to understand what a church website should have on it, especially a small church. Design the website with guests in mind. More than likely, the people attending don't use the website unless they are downloading sermons. So prioritize anyone in the community who might be spiritually seeking or looking for a church. Right now, visiting your website gives little indication of what going to ____ is like. I would like to redo the website to answer the major questions someone has and do most of it on the front page. (An example is our church website: ). I want to make it as easy as possible. I would do a big photo of your church on the front (something like the one I attached from google maps below). And I would put a headline on top that says something like "A Safe Place to Grow." Something that is focused on the website visitor; we'll put th

Takeaways on Millennials and Conflict

Noah Rothman wrote this week on "ghosting" in the workforce. Ghosting is when someone does not show up or communicate when expected. They just disappear. It happens in relationships. Rothman wrote about how it happens at work. He said that it comes from conflict avoidance and is typical of Millennials. Let's just be clear; Millennials are between 20-40 years of age. So when someone says Millennial, think of the 30-35 year-old you know as the middle part of that group. I just want to respond with a couple of takeaways. For millennials: On one level, conflict stinks. It is really hard and feels like your guts are being pulled out. But it can be an opportunity to grow personally. When you face conflict and hard conversations or difficult people, try to see it as an opportunity to prepare for the next 50 years (you do expect to live until you are 90, right?). Learning to address conflict now means that you will be better prepared to deal with it in the future. Becau