Figure it Out
I've been fascinated these last couple of weeks with the question of "why?".
Why do I do some of what I do?
Why do I feel a certain way (angry, frustrated, perturbed) when someone does something that I should consider as plain ignorance and let it go?
Why haven't I had a few discussions I know I must have to move our church forward?
I've spent a lot of time in introspection and have even gone out of my comfort zone to find some answers. Today's post isn't about all the answers I have found... It's more like the beginning of a journey.
I don't want to simply go through life and react.
Read a book, react.
Have a conversation, react.
Get offended, react.
Go to a conference, react.
I want to go through life understanding not just what I'm doing in the present but how it connects with things like God, My Future, My Past, My values, etc. I'm sure over time I've considered these concepts but certainly not for two weeks.
It's healthy for all of us to process some of the why's in life, to check our motives, to embrace our pasts and to pave the way for a new future.
Lord willing, in 2015 you will be 10 years older than you are today. The question is who will you be when you get there?
I personally want to make an investment in the Tally of 10 years from now so I'm going to consider more of what makes me tick today so I can be a greater leader, husband, father, child of God in the future.
We all are a product of Nature and Nurture. I believe that there is a healthy balance of the two at work in our everyday lives. You and I do things or react to things based on experiences in our past. Some of which we have embraced and other parts we've tried to ignore. Many times as leaders we don't have the "time" or the "quiet" to contemplate these things. Everyone is looking to YOU for answers and they want you to have it all together. So, you're either forced to pretend you have it all together or supress some of this introspection for another time when you're "less busy".
My encouragement? Be proactive. When you get bent out of shape or when you begin feeling nervous or insecure... Take a walk down that path. Find out what's up with your wiring that makes you feel that way. Find out if what you've embraced about yourself matches up with the way God sees you. Rob Bell (while speaking at Fellowship Church at C3) even recommended that we consider grabbing a counselor... He has one.
Romans 12 deals with the issue of 'transforming your mind' and considering yourself with 'sober judgment'
2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is; ?his good, pleasing and perfect will.
3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
Now, I completely understand that Paul goes on to talk about how we look at each other in the body of Christ. For us to look at ourselves with 'soberjudgmentt' however, we need to be honest with ourselves and have a healthy Christ-esteem. Truth is, we all could use some time to consider our view of self and how it relates to HIS view of us.
No matter how you do it,n and questioning everything to the point of being paralyzed. I'm just saying...Think about who you are and what you do. Grab a friend to tell you honestly or just have the courage to face those things about yourself that you try to ignore. It will lead to a healthier view of you and a more contented relationship with God... After all, he knows every answer to your 'why?'.
I love this Kid!
Caleb is the coolest. My wife Kristy took this video with our digital camera the other day when he was very active. He giggles at the end. It lasts just about 1 minute. Take a look at this cool kid!
This is just an informative post for those of you who read this blog (or others) by going to it directly. If you do this you have to type each blog just to check for new content.
Beacause there are days where I won't post, this may cause you unnecessary stress and constipation. This may lead to heat rash and small bluish-green bumps on the back of your neck. You may then begin to develop a sudden change in your taste buds which gives you an alergic reaction to your own morning breath.
I'd like to save you from all of these symptoms. Subscribe to my blog using bloglines!
It's simple. You go to bloglines.com and create an account. Then you simply tell bloglines which blogs you want to check out. What happens next is amazing. You can download this little icon that will tell you if your blogs have new content. So you get to avoid the feeling of having to hurl chunks and have the security to know that you are on the bleeding edge of the blog world.
If you have Bloglines... Click here to subscribe to my blog.
We've started to re-design our website. Although I've been pleased with our site thus far, we want a better solution for content managment. With our new site we will be able to assign log-ins to some people who can easily update from anywhere. If someone knows how to use a basic text program (Word, etc.) they'll be able to keep the content fresh. A site (especially for a plant) MUST be kept up to date. This is our attempt to ensure we do that.
You can click on this image to get a screen shot. We have some work remaining (going to a flash header, some new categories, etc.) but we're coming along in the design process.
I don't normally like sharing something before it's finished but I figured I'd hear some of your input. If you think it completely sucks I don't want to hear from you (you're probably not in our target anyway). But if you have some helpful suggestions, I'm all ears.
This is an amazing story. If you get a minute, read what Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis did over the weekend.
Trust the Pilot
You have heard illustrations I'm sure about church leadership and polity.
In our denom especially so much of what we do can become "vote this, vote that". The leader becomes a figurine who does nothing but what the congregation tells him to do.
My friend John and I have used an airplane analogy.
Would you want to get on a plane where the pilots had a decision to make and they turned to first class to have a meeting and a vote? Then if approved they would take the vote to everyone in coach (and give the same presentation and ask the same questions).
Last night was a great example of "If you don't trust the pilot, don't get on the plane. Once you're on the plane, let the pilot do their job."
This is the most amazing landing I have ever seen. The pilot of a Jet blue plane took off from LAX to NYC. 15 minutes into the flight the pilot explained that the landing gear in the front wouldn't come up. They had to go and fly down to Long Beach at a close range to let the tower get a look at the gear. They found that the gear was turned SIDEWAYS. This isn't good for landing a plane.
Ultimately they had to fly around for 3 hours making a circle between Los Angeles and Long Beach to burn off fuel. They shifted people to the back of the plane and moved luggage to help lighten the front nose. I then watched on CNN last night as they brought the plane in for landing with the front wheels turned sideways. This could have been very ugly. The pilot however turned it into one of the smoothest landings ever. I can't tell you how amazing it was. You must get the video!
Check out the story and video: HERE
Last night at the "SAW you at the pole rally" where I took some of our students I was able to observe Dawson McAllister working with students from the stage.
Dawson set up microphones on either isle in the front of the room of about 800 students. He then described how everyone has a story and everyone needs prayer. He asked for students who wanted to tell their story to receive prayer and some help to come forward. Obviously the first person was difficult to get but once one student went up, the floodgates opened!
I heard so many honest stories of abuse (self and outside abuse) and depression, feelings of worthlessness... but I want to tell you about one girl named Katie.
Katie came up and wanted to talk about how she's angry all of the time b/c she can't forgive her father for beating her and sexually abusing her sister. Katie explained that her dad is now in jail until she turns 17 for the sexual abuse. She said "No one before tonight knows about me. I don't think anyone cares." In passing as Dawson talked to her she said that her mom walked out on her and she now lives with her grandfather. She mentioned (in passing) that they can barely get by financially on his social security and $100 from her mother per month.
Dawson keyed in on this need (as he also dealt with the other concerns). He asks for two leaders to bring boxes up front and he hugs the girl and says "You're about to see Christ in action." By this time hearing this girls story I'm tearing up (and I honestly never cry). Well, tons of people jump out of their seat (obviously mostly teens) and bring money to the front.
A few students later Dawson asks the leader to bring the money back up and tell how much was given to this girl. They announced a little over $900 was given. In addition the event and a local radio station had been giving out tickets and cds so they gave her 2 tickets to Audio A and Pillar with SuperchicK. Dawson gave the stuff to Katie's Youth Pastor (she was meeting with a counselor). It was amazing.
Some things he talked about:
For "cutters"- "Christ took the scars so you don't have to." and "When you cut your flesh, you're cutting your soul."
For bitterness- "You become what you focus on. Bitterness leads you to focus on your abusive dad." and "You re-live the abuse every time you get angry with him." and "You're taking the poison hoping he will die."
It reminded me that although we're not counselors, we are responsible to remind people of the power of Christ. He can heal people's wounds and provide hope and strength through the storm. If we aren't careful we can overlook the lives of our people and focus on the three B's: Budgets, Buildings and Butts.
Today was See You At The Pole around the country. I went to Great Bridge High where most of our students attend. There were about 57 kids there in a school of nearly 1900. I thought to myself how challenging it is for the kids to stand and pray together as all of their friends are being dropped off or driving by in their cars going to the parking lot.
It's one thing for students to sing and clap and pray and read the bible in private or in a church service but to stand up in front of their peers is a huge deal. I didn't get very confident in public with my faith until late in my Senior year so I'm always appreciative of teens who take a stand while they are still in the middle of the worst of the peer pressure.
Be sure you encourage the Christian teens around you this week and remind them of all that God promises to those who are faithful. Those teens will grow up to become active adults in your church one day (and they're willing to be active teens if we let them). They'll (like you and I) look back to remember how much encouragement they got when they tried to do the right things. Also take a moment to pray for the kids within your sphere of influence. They are truly on the front lines.
This was one day. Most students have another 170 days to go.
Humbled and Challenged
Today I've made a day of study, prayer, reading, meditating. During a reading break I went back to check in on Rick Pearson's site. I wrote about Rick's story a few weeks ago. [here and here]
Today as I sit and read the updates from the memorial service my heart cannot help but to be moved. Rick truly lived every moment of his life and God was made famous through Him. The ripples of his life may never be known but I for one am shaped by the testimony of this man.
Several years my younger, his spirit of trust and worship to the very last moment of this life beckon (even demand) me to live more closely with my God.
I love this kid
I put a few more pictures of Caleb up at WilgisFamily.com today. He's a great kid. Each day I see more of his personality. He's awesome!
As fall begins to settle in we have some exciting things on the horizon as a church and I have a few things that have me looking forward as well.
Things I'm looking forward to Personally:
Next Sunday begins the new season of The West Wing
Lunch with Dawson McAlister
My Fantasy Football Team to get our 1st win
I'm going back to school
Things I'm looking forward to with the church:
I can't talk about the biggest one
Outreach, Outreach, Outreach
We'll be sending out mailers, doing door hangers, business cards, etc all to begin reaching our community.
Speaking in October
October 31st Community Event
What do you get from blogs?
No post... just comment below. I'm interested.
"I think I may need a Bathroom Break. Is that possible?"
- this note was passed from President Bush to Secretary of State Condelizza Rice at a meeting of the United Nations.
And you think that you and I live in a fishbowl.
He just got married.
He has his name as a dot-com.
He is 25 years old with 38 year old credentials.
He comes from a terrific family.
He is... Tadd Grandstaff!
Tadd is a fellow LU'r and former TRBC staff member. Tadd helped plant Ridgestone church with the famous Gary Lamb and is now on staff with one of his mentors at Big Sky Church (ATL has it going on!) He recently married his sweetheart Becki who is a teacher in Roswell, GA.
Tadd is a cool kat who understands ministry. He's been in a Pastor's home and he grew up in a mega-church. His father is the High School Pastor at Thomas Road and his older brother is a Youth Pastor at West Ridge Church. He 'gets it'. He's definately a guy to keep your eye on and he provides some great thoughts on his blog. So stop reading and check out one of his TWO sites:
His Blog: TaddGrandstaff.blogspot.com
His Personal site: TaddGrandstaff.com
One of the great things about many of the blogs I read is that there is an openness to share ideas and encourage one another.
Recently a friend and I talked about how difficult it was for him to get his church into a local denominational association. My friend filled out all of the paperwork including doctrinal positions, history, leadership, structure, etc. When he arrives at the meeting an older gentleman begins to give him grief about how some of the information isn't on church letterhead and how he'd have to go get someone to sign off on the statements since they aren't on the letterhead. My friend offers to sign right away as he is the Pastor of the church. This man goes into a tirade about "Young man you do know that YOU are not the church!" and so on.
After pushing back and politely telling this guy to use the bathroom in someone else's pool, my friend is encouraged by some other Pastors in the room who step up and remind the gentleman with the problem what the organization is there for.
This leads me to my thought about churches in general. Why are we so stinkin' competitive with one another? Why do we have to be better than the guy down the road? Why can't we work with the guy down the road and improve both churches (assuming you can get along at a basic philosophy of ministry level).
You see on blogs we share openly. We're encouraging and we help one another. Lets keep this in mind as we work with other churches in our community. Fortunately in times of crisis the church gets back to being the church as evidenced in the gulf coast region. Let's keep this in mind when we consider each day that people in our communities may have an earthly home but they lack a heavenly one. Surely we can work together to accomplish that vision.
Senators, Judges and Pastors
If you've observed Judge John Roberts in action you may have the same observation as most who have observed the hearings. That observation? "Wow!"
He knows his stuff! He's extremely intelligent, solid when pushed and firm. He doesn't show what I'm certain is frustration at the prodding by the Senators. He sticks to his principles and message. Finally he has successfully pointed out that he's not up for election. He won't bargain with the Senators.
As I'm observing the hearings I find myself challenged. In so many ways this man is demonstrating exactly what we should have in our positions. We're not confirmed by the Senate but rather by God. We should strive to read and grow in our understanding of church history, the bible, and even the psychology of our people in addition to the statistics, marketing and business that we all dive into. If we were confirmed by the Senate (far more difficult than most of our ordination counsels) as to our grasp of all issues concerning the Pastorate, how would we fare?
I may be the only one but somehow I doubt it... I'm challenged today. Keep up your growth... keep learning. By reading blogs I know you're already a person who desires to grow and take in information... When you find yourself comfortable, get uncomfortable. We should all continue to push to have the depth of understanding about what we do that John Roberts has of his profession.
What do you do on a regular basis to grow in your knowledge?
What do you read?
Does your church have a line-item for your growth?
Do you have a mentor?
You're going to think I'm stupid...
... but I tried an experiment today.
I dressed up to go to the office. That in itself may not surprise many of you.
Here is where it gets funny:
1. I'm the Pastor. I teach in jeans. I don't have to dress up.
2. I didn't have a special meeting today.
You know why I wore a tie to the office? An experiment.
I wanted to test the idea that I could get more work done dressed up than relaxed. In college I had to wear a tie to class everyday. I must say that in college the dress code did help me wake up for classes a little earlier. It also made guys actually take a shower. But my personal experiment was about productivity, not smell (although I do smell like roses).
So you may think I'm stupid... but I did give it a shot. I mean, a day can get boring doing everything the same anyway so why not?
You want my observations?
1. I'll be back to sandals and jeans tomorrow.
2. Distractions eat me up (in-box, bloglines notifier, phone calls, hunger, too much noise, too much silence, mail man, etc.)
3. Although I looked pretty sharp, my productivity was about the same.
Does anyone have family or friends in Gulfport, MS?
If so, how are they? How are the roads?
It looks like I may take a group (4-5) guys down there with some supplies on the 19th (16 hour drive). We're hoping to help a local church clean out their building so they can then use it to continue helping rebuild their community. The building had 6 feet of standing water in it for a few days. We're also going to help whoever we can in the community.
1. Do you know anyone there?
2. Is anyone wanting to meet us there? We'd be glad for the help and it'd be cool to meet some of you.
3. Keep this trip in your prayers... we'll need supplies to come in and a few people to get off of work.
Gary, you can breathe now
Our blogging friend Gary Lamb as well as the rest of the state of Georgia can let out a sigh of relief as Georgia defeats South Carolina.... barely.
South Carolina had at least 4 mistakes that cost them an opportunity to tie or win. I'm excited for Gary and the rest of Georgia but it looks like future meetings with the "'Ol ball coach" will make for more tough games. I think everyone expected USC to bow down.... I was impressed.
At least Gary's team won... my Liberty Flames (Division 1AA) got spanked 59-0 by UConn and my hometown Maryland Terps lost to Clemson 28-24. If the Ravens lose tomorrow night to the Colts I'm all washed up for the weekend... but I guess I could fall back on my Fantasy Team.
Heaven's Band gains a Terrific talent
Gary passed along the message that Jeffrey B. Scott has reported on with regards to a powerful worship Pastor and Lord-lover, Rick Pearson. Brother to Candi Pearson, Worship Leader at Big Stuf camps, and most recently Mountain Lake Church, Rick has gone on to be with the Lord.
We can absolutely be assured that Rick is experiencing a joy that we cannot comprehend. He is alive with Christ and his body has been made whole. Join the Christian community in praying for Rick's family.
I've never had the privilege to meet Rick but his story has captivated me. He's one of our own. It reminds me that God is sovereign and that every day you and I have to serve the King should be done with true honor and thanks for one day in his sovereignty he will bring us close to Him. By all accounts Rick lived a life worth modeling and was a passionate example to all of us in the ministry.
Please visit Rick's site and contribute.
Did I copy and paste your town from today's hit list?
Co-Pastoring. Is anyone doing it well?
For you multi-site guys I'm interested to hear how it works with you. How much influence over your campus do you have? What are you responsible for?
Does anyone know of a true Co-Pastor situation (aside from husband/wife combos)?
I've taken the "vs." out. It gives the wrong impression about the issue. What we're talking about are pros and cons. In many ways a multi-site campus IS a plant (new target, new facility, new leaders each weekend, etc.) but there are some advantages to multi-site that most church plants will not have.
One such advantage is vision overlap. Multi-sites are able to take "what works and where we are going" and spread it around much quicker than a plant. In a plant you usually have 1 or 2 people who start the church and they spend their time trying to develop "who we are" and trying to get "buy-in". When you go multi-site it is pretty well established "who you are" and the "buy-in" happens when people can easily look to your other campuses and see where you're taking them. In a plant so many people lose a ton of their core because the people don't see where the Pastor is going until he tries to go there. No matter how articulate one may be there is still a huge advantage to a new site being able to say "we'll have a unique feel to our area but overall we're going to look like _______ (Grapevine, Charleston, OKC, etc.)
In addition you have a staff who understand the overlap between the main campus and the new church campus. There is a vibe and a way of doing things that translates. In a plant the Pastor has to guard "the vision" like it's the Holy Grail because people want to take it away... if you're starting a multi-site you may have complainers but people know that it's useless trying to get an extension campus to buy into something else completely. They aren't just taking on the church planter... they're taking on big momma (the established mother church). Many planters get beat up because people try to shake up the vision and chop at the new pastor like a parana. With a multi-site there is a built-in overlap and support that prevents the vision from getting beat up so badly.
The following post is something I feel strongly about and have considered blogging about before. I'm now discussing this topic as a result of a current discussion over at MMI. (thread)
I'm a church planter and I love church planting, church planters and all-things church planting. I'm also a HUGE fan of multi-site churches.
I've planted a church from $0 and 2 people (my wife and I). I'm also friends with some people at multi-site churches so I feel I can bring a clear perspective from actually 'doing it' and seeing it up close from both sides.
After having planted (and still planting) I have to disagree with someone arguing that planting from scratch is more effective than going multi-site.
Argument 1: A new plant raises up leaders better than a multi-site plant.
The idea that somehow immature or poor leaders will magically become the strong leaders you need in a brand-new plant is an ill-informed pipe dream. The truth is that even in current church planting most leaders are not indigenous... they are hired guns. Truth is that giving someone a title does NOTHING to grow them. In fact, good leaders reproduce themselves. This is why at growing churches you will see people change positions regularly. Most good leaders work themselves out of a job.
Exibit A: Fellowship Church
They are a VERY current example of what I'm saying. If you read blogs of their staff (some are below) you will find that they have done a MAJOR overhaul of their staff. Their CTO and COO (Terry Storch) is now a Campus Pastor. They have hired new staff FROM WITHIN THE CHURCH and they've gotten people to change where they attend. People LOVE that place.
Exibit AZ: LifeChurch
They've got 150 people MOVING ACROSS THE COUNTRY to Pheonix, AZ to help start the new campuses. I'm sorry but I don't know how much more commitment and depth you can get out of someone. With 100 people or more seeking God to see if he'd like them to give up their lives and become missionary families...
So multi-site haters I'm sorry but the leadership argument doesn't hold water. Planters are doing a great job growing and adding leaders but we can't say that we are "better" then our multi-site friends. In fact in many ways (as I'll discuss in future posts) they are in far better position to reach the lost than new church plants.
Fellowship Bloggers: (Thanks to TerryStorch.com)
Today Gary had to turn off anonymous posts from his blog. Last week I wrote a post supporting another church and at the end I made the statement "Quit getting freaked out over HOW someone reaches out. Look at your own efforts and spend time making your efforts better."
Often guys with blogs people actually read are getting attacked and it bothers me in a big way.
Kevin asked a relevant and honest question in his comment on my blog:
"I understand what you are saying about people looking at their own efforts, but one thing that happens on blogs is that people share their thoughts/critiques on good and bad stuff. Where do we draw the line? Some blogs are set up to turn everyone into a critic of sorts. They mention something a church did and then ask, "What do you think?". "
I agree, some blogs are set up that way. To me it's not appropriate and seems to be a garbage way to drum up traffic on a blog.
I honestly don't give much time to blogs that do that as a matter of practice. I enjoy reading and commenting on blogs that expose the author with a solid mix of professional and personal. I enjoy reading blogs where the author shares nuggets of truth that provide 'take away' to enhance my own leadership. When I see/read blogs that bash churches on the regular I get frustrated because it's like watching the local evening news. I live in an area where there are 1.6 million people but it never fails, the first 6 stories on the news are negative. They are about rape, murder, car accidents, etc. It's not until the end of the show for 30 seconds do we see that there are great people in our community.
I'm not saying that we should not be honest on blogs, I'm saying that we have to have a governor on our opinion tossing. I'm saying that we shouldn't pile on and bash guys who are attempting to make a difference. When a church is about rescuing souls, I'm supportive. When a church is inward focused and lazy... I'm not.
There are a lot of guys out there trying a lot of things and through their blogs they are sharing them. The rest of us need to be considerate and "eat the meat and toss the bones". But if all we do in this still relatively small network of blogs is bash each other, we'll prohibit a lot of guys from sharing their risks and failures with the rest of us.
The blog world (and church world for that matter) would be so much better if people put the energy into their ministries that they waste on creating a clever attack.
I got to thinking this morning as I'm praying...
"We need to stop asking God to bless our plans... we need to ask him for the plans he will bless."
I'm almost certain it's not origional (or new under the sun)... but it's none the less valid.
Today I spent "Labor Day" resting. I've often thought it funny that in America we celebrate our ability to work by having a day when we don't work.
Anyway, I took today to rest and spend with my son. Caleb and I spent most of the day together while mommy and his aunt (mommy's sister) went to the beach.
Caleb and I did lots of cool stuff like talked baby talk and walked around the house and cleaned up spit and smiled at each other. It was grand. It seems silly but I enjoyed doing basically 'nothing' by adult standards with my son. Even though he doesn't know it or have the ability to acknowledge it back to me, I love my son.
Detailed Images of Hurricane Damage
MSNBC just shared a story about a site where you can get hi-res pictures of the damaged areas (literally thousands of pictures) from Hurricane Katrina.
If you are familiar at all with the area and want to see how a specific neighborhood faired, you can go to Weather.gov and find the picture that is relevant to you. If any of you are working with victims from the Hurricane or have displaced family, this site may be good for you.
The site: Weather.gov
Via Slacker Manager I came across the pocketmod. It's basically a PDA for people with only a pencil and paper. If you have a few minutes to be entertained and say "huh, cool" then check out the pocketmod.
Get a Banner and a Group
(AP- Sept. 3: Tanisha Blevin, 5, holds the hand of Nita LaGarde, 105, as they leave the Convention Center in New Orleans. )
When I see pictures like this it makes my heart melt. To see what is left in the wake of this disaster compells me to action. As you may know by now, we've created a site where you can gather and register a group to volenteer for Hurricane relief. At this time we're attempting to assemble groups to go into the affected regions in 2-10 months and help with rebuilding of homes through Habitat for Humanity.
In addition we will be looking to team up with other relief organizations who need volunteers.
I'd love to see all of my readers partner with us in this effort. You can basically do 3 things right now:
1. Pray for our efforts. (WeWillGo.net)
2. Sign up on the site to gather and lead a group (read the FAQ's for details)
3. Spread the Word. Host a Banner (also on our site) and send out an email to your friends on our behalf.
I urge you to do your part this Labor day. As we relax in our homes with family we must remember our fellow citizens who no longer have their family or a home. Please take a moment to get involved in this grass-roots campaign.
Today we had several accept Christ as their Leader and Forgiver. I will never get tired of seeing it. The joy I felt at the end of service today completely made me forget the sweat and energy that went into making the service happen!
God is so good. Those of us who get to work in the ministry are more privileged than we realize. Yes it's a very difficult and often thankless job but God ALLOWS us the ability to see life-change and eternity change on a regular basis as long as we're faithful.
Go to church, Get Gas
Apparently a discussion is going on around the blogosphere about this church giving away gas vouchers to first-time guests.
Some people are angry about it and say that we shouldn't bribe people to come to 'God's house'.
Bob has a good point comparing this to a bus ministry.
My take is this:
It's good stewardship.
Whoaaa? Good Stewardship? Yes.
Churches regularly spend 5k-10k on direct mail and get a response of up to 30-50 families. Assuming 5k of direct mail (about 20-30k cards) gets you 30 families, you've spent $167 per family.
By spending $10 per family (assuming the whole reason people come is the gas--which almost always is never the case) this church is using it's resources much more wisely. Not to mention the free publicity they've gotten from this story. So assuming they gain 30 visiting families this month, they would have spent approximately 300 dollars and have gained more than most churches in the way of guests attending their services.
Quit getting freaked out over HOW someone reaches out. Look at your own efforts and spend time making your efforts better.
WeWillGo.net is LIVE!
In a matter of days we've created a site dedicated to lining up volunteer groups to go into the Gulf Coast to help with clean-up and rebuilding. There are hundreds of thousands of people displaced and many are without the ability to rebuild. WeWillGo.net will be a virtual 'Staging Area' to assist in matching organizations with the volunteers necessary to get the job done. Our initial partnership is with Habitat for Humanity. We will be working with them to recruit groups to sign up and plan a trip this fall and winter (and throughout 2006) to go in and rebuild homes.
This effort is important because the immediate efforts going on now are the first wave. It will be vital that relief groups and private citizens step-up to form a second and third wave of support.
It is our challenge to you to spread the word about 'WeWillGo.net' and tell people to Get a Group! The site has more information about our efforts as well as banners to add to your blog or website. In addition we have a FAQ page with specific instructions on the process. Our site will provide you with promotional material as well as forms to begin signing up your particular group. Please visit now and begin spreading the word. We are NOT taking funds at this time because we believe the funds must go to IMMEDIATE life-saving needs. We aim to operate the site and connect volunteers with opportunities at no cost to anyone. This is our way of contributing to the cause at hand.
We believe this site has the potential to enlist thousands of compassionate volunteers to aid in the recovery of the Gulf Coast region.
Visit the site now: WeWillGo.net
We Will Go!
Yesterday I posted about my passion to use our blogs as a network to make an impact in our country for those who have lost everything in the wake of Hurricane Katrina...
Today I bring you more details of the plan.
With the help and support of some other Pastors and laymen we will launch "WeWillGo.net" over the weekend. "We Will Go" will be an action-minded site dedicated to providing the answer to the question "What can I do?" In addition to providing links to donate funds to other organizations, we will concentrate our primary efforts on gathering people who are willing to go into the devastated areas and help rebuild communities one home at a time. "We Will Go" is partnering with Habitat for Humanity to provide them with the hands and feet they need to accomplish these goals.
We are working with Habitat for three key reasons:
1. They have the know-how: We won't re-invent the wheel. As Christians we should be engaged in our culture and in relief we don't need new organizations that double-up on efforts currently underway.
2. Homes are long-term: Many people will immediately respond. It is our vision to see "We Will Go" become a sustained effort of finding and placing willing volunteers with great organizations who are in need. By working with Habitat we can keep our focus long-term. Rebuilding homes for the millions affected by this storm certainly provide us with a long-term mind-set and mission.
3. Immediate cash should go to Immediate needs: By taking on a long-term project we will not interfere with the immediate efforts currently underway. We do not wish to divert funds from willing donors to organizations such as The Red Cross, Salvation Army, or other groups.
I've received many supportive emails about this effort already from people ready to partner with us. If you are interested in partnering with "We Will Go" please email me at Tally.Wilgis@Gmail.com or leave a comment and we will get back with you. In addition you can use your blog and email list to alert others to this long-term solution. There are so many people who will need our help and message of hope for such a long time.
Give now, Give later.