Saturday, May 31, 2008

Oprah Winfrey: Jesus Did Not Come To Die On The Cross

Here is the video I referenced in this weekend's services for those of you who have not yet seen it. - Thanks, Joel

Friday, May 30, 2008

I Miss My Snowbirds...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ever Google Your own name?

I know it is a bit egotistical, but this morning I was reading some blogs and typed my own name into the search box. I always thought Joel Johns was a bit of a unique name but maybe not so. Did you know that...

  • "I" also work for Willow Creek Community Church.
  • Here is a picture of "me" with Charlie Hall
  • Here is the bio from "my" Internal medicine practice in Chattanooga
  • Here is my page from when I was a rocket scientist in Clearwater
  • Here is the "me" that beat me to the .com web address Whoa....
  • Here is where "I" produced a death metal song for the French version of headbangers ball
  • Here is "me" on the bio page of my web design company
Back to reality..... Here are some strange things, I notice that 2 of these six are in the music industry. The other strange thing is that I used to live in Chattanooga and in Clearwater. Now, I wonder if people who knew me then think I grew up to be a Doctor or a Rocket Scientist? As far as the Joel who beat me to the .com web address, well he looks like he could use a few in the win column. GO Bengals!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Swarm Theory and Church

Scientists have been studying swarm theory for many years, and today I came across this article dealing with how they are now applying that same theory to human behavior. I want to ponder some of the conclusions they came to and apply them to our church experience.

  1. Harmony – Swarms are such because a group of birds or bees or fish find benefits to harmonious relationships. Church has been likened by some to a herd of porcupines, but Jesus still thinks of us as sheep. I like that.
  2. Instant Messaging – Under this heading National Geographic gave three simple rules. (referring to a school of fish)
    1. Stick together – I know this because when we would fish for Mahi-Mahi in the Keys growing up, you always left one fish on the line until another was hooked. The school had a no fish left behind policy. I wish our churches would learn that.
    2. Avoid collusions – I am sure that in every situation, collusions happen. But they should be avoided at all costs.
    3. Swim in the same direction – Kind of a no brainer, but how often do we see churches divided over individuals expressing themselves, rather than expressing Christ. For this purpose we strive to get every newcomer into a 6 week “who we are” class so they can opt in or out.
  3. Natural Leadership – Under this photo researchers state that wildebeests “may be able to follow a migration route even if only a few of them know the way, … Never mind that the informed animals aren't trying to lead. The rest follow anyway.”
    1. What many believers fail to realize is that they are leading people. Even if they do not try to lead, others take cues from them. Some ways that happens in church may be…

i. Evangelism – You may be the only Bible some people read.

ii. Attitude – Bad attitudes in church are very contagious, by the way, so are good ones.

iii. Worship – One of the best ways to arrive at a place of worship is to realize that others around you are worshipping. I am not saying that we close our eyes and raise our hands for show, but when someone observes it in authenticity, it definitely transfers.

iv. Generosity – Have you ever been to a fundraiser where some guys got into a bidding war over a cake. Duncan Hines box cake sells for $50. Why? Because of natural leadership.

Well, that is all I have time for this morning. I will try to do a few more later this week. I’ve got a high level meeting with some other pastors this AM. We have an 8:30 appointment with God, that I cannot miss.


Got a truck. It's a 2005 F-150 with 4 doors. I bought it because trucks are cheap right now due to the price of gas, and without a commute I don't put many miles on. Also, as a church planter, every weekend I help my Best Friend move. For what it's worth, I estimate it will cost me $30-$50 in gas a month more than the KIA, but with AC, radio, etc.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Some quick thoughts for Tuesday

  • I am consistently amazed at the things we blame on global warming, but now they have gone too far!
  • Find you inner geek here. (No comments please)
  • My brother and I were pondering this over the weekend..."If your church or group were a character on the office, which one would it be?" (I may have to do some demographics)
  • Favorite Quote from the weekend: "I am even starting to like your...what do you call them?" (Answer: Sermons)
  • Louie Giglio and Chris Tomlin are starting a church! (Dream Team for speaker and music, and I am sure they will round out the rest of the team with some more all stars. I hope they rock Atlanta in a whole new way!)
  • Jonesin for a truck today. (Please pray)