Top Posts for the Month of October

book

If you missed them, here are the top posts for the month of October:

  1. What our Family Does on Halloween
  2. What Now for our Family (And How You can Be a Part of our Lives Now)
  3. Beauty Comes out of Brokenness
  4. The Beginning of The End
  5. Sometimes, This is How Introverts Feel 🙂
  6. My Journey of Losing Weight
  7. When Eating Becomes a Sin
  8. 10 Gospel Truths about Homosexuality
  9. This is the End (Why Most Sermons Fail)
  10. A Simple Time-Management Principle

What our Family Does on Halloween

I get asked each year at this time if I let my kids go trick or treating. Within the Christian community, there has always been a polarizing debate about halloween. Do we as Christians reject it, receive it or redeem it?

Because Halloween is next week, I thought I’d share what we do as a family.

Rejecting it would mean we turn our porch light off, pretend October 31st, does not exist and shun those who participate in a day dedicated to eating too much candy. Receiving it would mean we simply go along with what our culture does, participating mindlessly. I think both of these fall short of what God calls us to as his followers.

While there is some history about the origins of Halloween that Christians should be aware of and Justin Holcomb has a great look at that history here.

Practically, the question remains what you’ll do on that day. For our family, we’ve chosen to participate with our neighbor and seek to redeem Halloween. Here are some things we’re doing:

  • Stand out in our driveway. Be out front to say hi to everyone, talk to them. This is a great opportunity to meet your neighbors. Everyone is out walking around. Not sure how often that happens in your neighborhood, but it isn’t an everyday occurrence. Being present in your neighborhood is a great step forward in being on mission in your neighborhood.
  • Build a fire in your fire pit. It makes people hang out longer when there is a fire. Put some chairs around it and invite people to sit down with you.
  • Have the best candy. Your house as a follower of Jesus should be the house kids want to go to 5 times because your candy rocks.
  • Have something great for the adults. We often have hot apple cider or some other treat that adults can take with them. Maybe bottle of water. Something they can take with them.
  • Include your missional community. Because the mission of our MC is our neighborhood, many from our MC will come and trick or treat with us and spend time helping to hand out candy.

[Image Credit]

Top Posts of September

In case you missed them, here are the top posts for the last month:

  1. Before You Criticize Your Pastor
  2. Revolution Church 5 Year Anniversary Video
  3. The Biggest Sin in Adoption
  4. A Mother’s Heart (From a Husband’s Perspective)
  5. The Most Important Minutes to a Guest on a Sunday Morning
  6. Does Homeschooling Deny the Missional Life?
  7. What to do on “Fat Days”
  8. Redeeming Halloween
  9. Get the Men, Win the War
  10. Rex Ryan: The Model Father?

Top Blog Posts of October 2012

In case you missed them, here are the top posts for the last month:

  1. My Journey of Losing Weight
  2. 15 Ways to Improve Your Marriage
  3. Accountability
  4. Before You Criticize Your Pastor
  5. Saturday Afternoon Book Review: Creating a Missional Culture
  6. Is Love a Choice or a Feeling (And Why it Matters)
  7. Redeeming Halloween
  8. Q: Why Doesn’t Revolution Have a Women’s Ministry
  9. 10 Gospel Truths about Homosexuality
  10. A Simple Time-Management Principle

Redeeming Halloween

I get asked each year at this time if I let my kids go trick or treating. Within the Christian community, there has always been a polarizing debate about halloween. Do we as Christians reject it, receive it or redeem it?

Rejecting it would mean we turn our porch light off, pretend October 31st, does not exist and shun those who participate in a day dedicated to eating too much candy. Receiving it would mean we simply go along with what our culture does, participating mindlessly. I think both of these fall short of what God calls us to as his followers.

While there is some history about the origins of Halloween that Christians should be aware of and Justin Holcomb has a great look at that history here.

Practically, the question remains what you’ll do on that day. For our family, we’ve chosen to participate with our neighbor and seek to redeem Halloween. Here are some things we’re doing:

  • Stand out in our driveway. Be out front to say hi to everyone, talk to them. This is a great opportunity to meet your neighbors. Everyone is out walking around. Not sure how often that happens in your neighborhood, but it isn’t an everyday occurrence. Being present in your neighborhood is a great step forward in being on mission in your neighborhood.
  • Build a fire in your fire pit  If you have one, do it. It makes people hang out longer when there is a fire. Put some chairs around it and invite people to sit down with you.
  • Have the best candy. Your house as a follower of Jesus should be the house kids want to go to 5 times because your candy rocks.
  • Have something great for the adults. We often have hot apple cider or some other treat that adults can take with them. Maybe bottle of water. Something they can take with them.
  • Include your missional community. Because the mission of our MC is our neighborhood, many from our MC will come and trick or treat with us and spend time helping to hand out candy.

[Image Credit]

Links of the Week

  1. Jeff Vanderstelt closed our series Uprising at Revolution and what spiritual power means, how to tap into it and how it can change a city. Definitely worth a listen.
  2. Hollywood is suddenly hot for the Bible.
  3. Does Joel Osteen not know or not care?
  4. Tony Morgan on Knowing who should be on a senior leadership team.
  5. Involving children in a missional community.
  6. Rick Warren on 3 ways to overcome loneliness in ministry.
  7. On mission this Halloween.
  8. Ed Stetzer on What to do with “issue Christians.” Great advice here.
  9. Church attendance ceilings.
  10. Grace Driscoll on Being a Pastor’s wife.

On Mission this Halloween

Found this on Jeff Vanderstelt’s blog about how to be on mission for Halloween. I’ve already heard some of Revolution’s missional communities and how they are planning to serve their neighbors on Halloween. Don’t miss this great opportunity to be the gospel in your neighborhood and build relationships.

Here is some great advice from Jeff:

This coming Monday offers a great opportunity for many to engage in new relationships with those around us or to revisit some old relationships with new missional intentionality. Regardless of what you think of the holiday and it’s roots, the culture we have been sent by Jesus to reach is going to celebrate Halloween this Monday. We all have in front of us a wide open door for missionary engagement in our neighborhoods. I want to encourage you not to miss out on the opportunity.

If you are looking to be more intentionally engaged this year, I want to present you with a few ideas for how you can more effectively walk through the open door that Halloween presents to us as Jesus’ missionaries.

BE HOSPITABLE…Don’t just give out candy

  1. Give out the best Candy. Please, don’t give out tracks or toothbrushes or pennies…kids are looking for the master loot of candy. Put yourself in their shoes.
  2. Think of the Parents. Consider having some Hot Apple Cider and pumpkin bread or muffins out for the parents who are bringing their little kiddos around the block. Make your entry-way inviting so they want to come closer and hang for a bit if possible.
  3. Be Present. Don’t hide out all night. Come out to the door or hang out on the porch and if they stop to have some cider, get to know their names and where they live in the neighborhood.
  4. Be Encouraging. Tell the kids you love their costumes and to have a great night. Practice building others up with words.
  5. Party. If you’re really into it, you may want to throw a pre-Trick or Treating party. Provide dinner and drinks. Then, send the dads out trick or treating with the kids while the moms continue hanging with some hot apple cider, coffee or tea. Then reconvene with the parents and kids together to examine all of the loot (kids love to show their parents and other kids the loot).
  6. Learn the Stories. If you are out T or Ting with the kiddos or staying back with the other parents, ask questions…get to know their stories. Pay attention to their hearts and their felt needs. Look for opportunities to serve them later. This is how I first got to know Clay (while Jayne was hanging with Kristi and the other moms). I learned his story while we were with the kids and Jayne got to know hers. This led to both of them eventually coming to faith in Jesus.

GO TO THEIR PLACE…Join what is happening elsewhere

  1. Attend the Party. If others are throwing parties, you may want to join them. If so, bring drinks, food or whatever is needed. Then, serve by helping to clean up.
  2. Join the Community. If your community has key events, join them and invite some neighbors to go with you (then get to know their stories along the way). Our area has a trick or treating event on a main street where all the businesses give out candy, the firemen give tours of the fire engines, etc… We go with a group of friends to this each year and consistently meet more people to reach out to.
  3. Head to the “Watering Holes”. If you do not have kids or are not going to engage in the Trick or Treating activities or events, consider going to the local pubs, restaurants or clubs near you for their events and get to know the people there. Make it your goal to learn the story of at least one person who needs Jesus and walk away with some next steps on how to serve them. You will want to do this with others so that you don’t go it alone.

BE PRAYERFUL…Ask for the Spirit to led, guide and work

  1. Pay Attention. Ask the Spirit to open your eyes and ears to the real needs around you.
  2. Stay Dependent. Ask the Spirit to help you listen, care and serve those around you.
  3. Open Doors. Ask the Spirit for open doors for new relationships and gospel conversations

SHARE YOUR IDEAS…Let us know what you’ve done or are going to do. Please share your ideas with us…what have you done? What are you planning to do? Let’s learn and prepare together…

Saturday Night Mind Dump…

  • Unbelievable night tonight
  • Revolution to church to the city tonight and served our city through HalloWiin Revolution 2009 at Lincoln Park
  • We had over 600 people come through
  • Awesome
  • I am blown away and humbled by all of the work put in by our volunteers
  • So many people did so many things to make tonight a HUGE success
  • Jennifer did an awesome job in pulling off tonight
  • So many great comments and thank you’s from people coming through and the smiles on kid’s faces were awesome
  • Got lots of questions about who paid for tonight and lots of people were surprised it was a church
  • Awesome
  • Love blowing people’s ideas of church
  • Had a ton of people take How to be Rich cards from the registration table
  • Excited to see what God does through this event
  • Here is what our kids looked like tonight
  • Definitely the cutest kids around for halloween
  • You don’t want to miss next Saturday at Revolution as we kick off a brand new series, we are going to take Revolution to the next level with this series
  • Read easily one of the best books on preaching I have ever read this week (2nd only to Andy Stanley’s Communicating for a change)
  • Then, I picked up what might be the best book I have read all year
  • (More on that later)
  • I get a lot of questions about what missional is and whether or not Revolution is a missional church
  • I did my best to define what I think here
  • Low key family day planned for tomorrow
  • No Steelers game tomorrow, so I’m hoping for 2 – 0 in my fantasy leagues
  • Seriously, you DO NOT want to miss next Saturday
  • Come, ready to see God move and expect big things in the next month at Revolution
  • We will be doing a challenge as a church in this next series that will take your relationship with God to a level it has never been
  • Tonight is one of those nights that I love what I do and love the church I get to pastor
  • The line running through my head tonight “I get to do this”

This Weekend: Hallowiin Revolution 2009

This weekend is going to be a first at Revolution.

Because Saturday is Halloween, in place of church we are going out to serve and love our city. On Halloween, everyone goes trick or treating. What most parents worry about is safety. So instead of inviting them to a festival at our church parking lot, we are going to Lincoln Park where they go to play and providing a safe, fun, free place for families to have fun together. We are doing it early enough so you can trick or treat afterwards if you want or just go home.

We would appreciate your prayers as we serve and love our city as we try to redeem Halloween.

HalloWiin Revolution - Logo

If you would like to be involved or donate anything to HalloWiin Revolution 2009, please contact Jennifer Ingram.

Saturday Night Mind Dump…

  • Awesome night tonight
  • The music was right on
  • The band nailed the second set, really capped off the night well
  • Hard topic to preach on, but incredibly important
  • I think if couples actually got roles right, so many problems in marriage could be avoided
  • And if singles knew who they were looking for and who they were trying to become, that would really head off a ton of problems
  • Lots of fidgeting in the seats tonight
  • Love when that happens
  • Had a couple of guys come up to me tonight and tell me they didn’t like my definition of headship because it sounded like more work for them
  • Uh, Yep
  • If you missed tonight, you can listen here
  • If you want to get male headship right, be a servant leader (here are 25 ways to do that)
  • Had our first Revolution 101 tonight
  • Love hearing how people found Revolution and the excitement about what God is doing in our church
  • I could tell the story of Revolution endlessly
  • If tonight struck a chord with you and you want some resources about roles, male headship and submission, check these out
  • I got a question tonight about whether or not male headship always works. It should because it is biblical, but here are some examples of guys who blow it
  • Great song after the message tonight, Paul nailed it
  • Not sure of the title, but it wrapped the series up perfectly
  • Really excited about having a week off from preaching because of Hallowiin Revolution
  • It is going to be awesome to serve our city next week as a church
  • If you haven’t signed up to help, contact Jennifer Ingram
  • November 7th is going to kick off our next series with a bang
  • It will take Revolution to a new level
  • Huge Steelers game tomorrow
  • Going up against the undefeated Vikes
  • Feel pretty good about our chances tomorrow
  • 5-2 after tomorrow
  • This week is all about resting and doing a lot of prep work for upcoming series we start in January
  • It is going to be the biggest and most important series we have ever done as a church
  • It will seriously take Revolution to a whole nutha level
  • Yep, I did just say that
  • And yep, it will do that
  • Thinking about doing a retreat day this week, just to unplug with my journal and Bible
  • Try to do that a few times a year and it is definitely time
  • Lots to think about, dream about and pray about for Revolution
  • God is doing so much at our church right now and the future looks awesome
  • Got asked what I took away from this series
  • The biggest thing I took away besides trying to serve my family better, but that Katie and I need to make a priority of connecting relationally with other couples as friends
  • Started working on that this past week and really excited about that continuing
  • I’m just excited right now about the future of Revolution, it is bright and God is doing some awesome things in the lives of our church as well as preparing us for the future
  • We are on our way to becoming a force in this city of helping people find their way back to God