Archive for June, 2009

Self check-in kiosk

Posted on 30. Jun, 2009 by .

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VGA_8_LCD_Touch_Screen_For_CarI need some ideas.

I’m thinking of launching two self check-in kiosks in August. At my last church, we switched to all self check-in and it was a really good deal. It was so much faster. Here at Gateway we’re using Fellowship One and they have a great self check in mode. I want to start with two stations and eventually move to three of four as I think it will really streamline our check-in process.

So, here’s where I need your help. If you have self-check in kiosks that are permanent installations, tell me about them. I have more than enough mobile kiosks and I may use them to begin with, but I really would like to install them on the walls. At my previous church I had two stations on a wall with a closet on the other side. I mounted touch screen monitors on the wall with a small shelf from IKIA that held the printer and bar code scanner. I ran all the cables through a hole in the wall behind the monitor and the computers sat on a shelf on the other side of the wall. This worked great and I think I can do this again at Gateway, however I do have one place where I’ll need a check-in station where there is not a closet. I think I’ve seen (or at least heard of) computers that were small and attached to the back of a touch screen where I could mount the whole thing to the wall.

So, what does your set-up look like? What equipment are you using? Do you have any pics of your check-in installation? Is anyone using the mounted CPU/touch screen thingy I mentioned. What size touch monitors for self check-in do you have? I’d love ideas and pictures.… Read the rest

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Faith development of a child: Episode 4

Posted on 30. Jun, 2009 by .

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Thank you for being patient with my random thoughts about faith development. Usually when doing a series like this, I’ve got a plan and a place I’m trying to take the reader. This time; however, I’m just emptying my head of many different thoughts I’m trying to sort through.

Education + Evangelism = Responsible faith development.

There is a certain amount of education that needs to happen regardless of a hearers age, but it seems that this is even more essential for kids. Let me explain.

When communicating salvation to adults, the emphasis seems to be more on persuasion. It’s crafting the message in such a way that combined with the prompting of the Holy Spirit, a person wants to give their life to Christ. Again, there is some education involved as the story and situation are created, but the crux of the opportunity is in the ask.

When communicating salvation to kids, it seems like there is more emphasis on education. Kids are eager to learn. They need to learn about how the world was created, how sin came into the world, how this created a problem, what God’s solution was and then how we can make things right. There is a lot of stuff a child needs to know. Like I said yesterday, the emphasis doesn’t need to be on persuasion. Why, because it’s really easy to persuade a child. They’re sponges for information and their very trusting and willing to be persuaded. In this case, we need to educate them on what salvation is and how the scriptures teach this and what it means for our lives. When a child understands this, then it’s very easy for them to take the next step and choose to follow Christ.

I can easily call for a decision at the end of a message or have an evangelist come in and tell kids that they can choose Christ and tons of them will.… Read the rest

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Collaboration: One Prayer

Posted on 29. Jun, 2009 by .

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one prayer

I’ve talked a lot about collaboration this year. It’s my favorite word. How do you collaborate? How are you collaborating right now? Does your church collaborate?

Right now our church is doing One Prayer with nearly 2000 other churches. Hundreds of churches have uploaded video teachings. Thousands of people will hear the words of guest pastors speaking into their lives and into their situations. This is collaboration on an epic scale.

How else are you collaborating?… Read the rest

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Faith development of a child: Episode 3

Posted on 29. Jun, 2009 by .

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Last week I wrote about kids believing blindly.

Give me ten minutes with a kid and I can make a child believe just about anything. Kids trust. Kids believe. This is a beautiful part of their nature. But in this respect we have to understand that kids and adults are different. If I met an adult who didn’t know Christ, it would take me some time to lead them to faith. I’d have to show a lot of evidence before someone was ready to believe. I’d have to take them on a journey through scripture and share stories from how God worked in my life. After presenting all the stories, leading him through scriptures and showing him Christ’s love, he may decide to follow Christ. This is difficult. It’s hard. But the payoff is huge!

Kids are different. I can sit down with a child who doesn’t know Christ. I could literally lead them in a prayer in 10 to 15 minutes. Why? Because kids trust. Kids believe.

Here’s my problem though. Just becasue a child will believe doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take the time to walk them through the decision. What are the implications? How will my life be different? What does living for Christ really look like? If we don’t take the time to walk with kids through their decision, are we taking advantage of their trusting nature?

This places huge implications on children’s evangelism. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big fan of children’s evangelism. However, is the evangelism without a little bit of discipleship (explaining the theology of following Christ) dangerous? This is a totally subjective question, but if 79-80% of Christian teens are walking away from their faith after their freshman year of college, do you think that any part of this statistic is attributed to kids who came to faith as a child without a proper understanding of this decision who managed to stick with their faith through high school but once questioned about it in college they left it at the door?… Read the rest

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-06-28

Posted on 28. Jun, 2009 by .

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Is your orginization on twitter?

Posted on 28. Jun, 2009 by .

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IMAG0146Today I ate lunch at a new restaurant and this on their menu made me really happy. Two months ago I was in the elevator at the Dr. Pepper museum in Waco and they had a sign saying they were on twitter. I just love it when I see little businesses like these showing up on twitter. If it’s a company or organization I like, I want to get updates from them.

I’m just curious. Is your church on twitter? How about your ministry?

I love it when I see ministries jumping on twitter. Is it making a significant difference? Probably not. Is it niche marketing hitting a specific market? Yup. It’s too easy not to do.

I did snatch a twitter account for our children’s ministry several months ago although we don’t really use it… yet. Last month we brought in a new staff member who will launch our web campus. He quickly snatched up a twitter account for Gateway.

You may not be an early adopter, but it isn’t too late to get on twitter!… Read the rest

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Faith development of a child: Episode 2

Posted on 24. Jun, 2009 by .

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I’ve been thinking more about Mark 9:42 that I referenced in yesterday’s post. Although I don’t see this verse as speaking to those who carelessly lead children to faith, I have a healthy fear of careless evangelism. Are there children that I’ve led to faith by having them repeat me in saying a prayer who are not right with God but they think everything’s okay because they said a prayer? Or they think everything is okay becasue they got baptized. Did I enable this false way of thinking? I know, I know. I can’t control everything. It’s still the choice of the child to live out their faith. But was I clear? Did I clearly communicate that following Christ is more than saying a prayer, but daily living for him. I have a healthy respect for this. As I talk to children about coming to faith, I try to make sure they understand this.… Read the rest

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Faith development of a child: Episode 1

Posted on 23. Jun, 2009 by .

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Well, it all started with talking about baptism and then moving on to leading a child to faith. For some reason I don’t feel completely done with the subject. Maybe this is more or me than you, the reader of this blog.

There are a lot of ideas swirling in my head and I’ll try to grab them and formulate coherent thoughts concerning them.

The other day Henry Zonio wrote a post discussing the idea of careless evangelism being equated to child abuse. Henry wasn’t saying this, just responding that idea.

Henry did reference Mark 9:42 about the heap of trouble we’ll be in or leading a child toward sin. I can’t quite get this verse to completely fit in this context. I don’t condone careless evangelism, having kids raise their hand and repeating a prayer to fulfill the greatest decision in life, but I can’t quite believe that this is the same as the action described in Mark 9:42. HOWEVER, as a rational human being and a Christ Follower with a brain, I can’t see careless evangelism as something that God’s crazy about. I imagine that it makes him sick, but that’s just my opinion.

Again, that’s one of the factors that bugs me about rushing baptism. We’re in a rush to make sure a child is a Christ Follower just so they can be baptized. I’ve prayed with several children minutes before getting in the water and it bugs me that they’re making the greatest decision in life because it’s something they’re supposed to do before they get baptized. If that’s the case, we’ve cheapened the thing that’s most precious in life. I came to faith as a four year old. Why? Because I didn’t want to go to Hell! For the next two weeks I prayed in tears that Jesus would come into my heart every day becasue I didn’t want to burn.… Read the rest

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Church for the interweb

Posted on 23. Jun, 2009 by .

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pape-courriel

Exciting things are happening at Gateway. We’re making plans to launch another campus in 2010 and we will be launching an internet campus by the end of 2009. Our internet campus won’t just be live streaming of our Sunday services, but an actual campus/community with a dedicated campus pastor.

A few months ago we hired our web campus pastor, Vince Marotte. He just relocated to Austin this month, although he started working before he got here. It’s really exciting to see how our website and our internet strategy will develop over the next 6-12 months. Vince is an incredibly talented guy, but he’s also closely connected to some of the strongest leaders in this community. It’s going to be incredible. See some recent guest posts on Church Crunch.

What I’m most excited about is how we will be able to utilize the web to be more effective in ministry. How will our web presence and tools help us to better connect with volunteers and leaders? How will our web presence and tools help us better equip and train paretns. How will our web presence and tools help us continue the Sunday experience with our kids? So many possibilities out there, I look forward to seeing with this leads.… Read the rest

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How much do you matter?

Posted on 22. Jun, 2009 by .

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Last week a friend from church sent me this link. She sent it to me and another friend who serves as a first grade boys small group leader here at Gateway. She thought of us in regard to point seven, “When kids grow up wanting to be you, you matter.”

These kinds of things touch my heart. I don’t need my ego fed to get me going, but these kinds of things certainly do invigorate me. I’m sold on my mission and I’ve got my cross hairs on what I’ve been called to do. However, hearing these things from others is great confirmation that I’m doing something right.

Take a look at the list for yourself.

  • When you love the work you do and the people you do it with, you matter.
  • When you are so gracious and generous and aware that you think of other people before yourself, you matter.
  • When you leave the world a better place than you found it, you matter.
  • When you continue to raise the bar on what you do and how you do it, you matter.
  • When you teach and forgive and teach more before you rush to judge and demean, you matter.
  • When you touch the people in your life through your actions (and your words), you matter.
  • When kids grow up wanting to be you, you matter.
  • When you see the world as it is, but insist on making it more like it could be, you matter.
  • When you inspire a Nobel prize winner or a slum dweller, you matter.
  • When the room brightens when you walk in, you matter.
  • And when the legacy you leave behind lasts for hours, days or a lifetime, you matter.
After looking at this list, I see plenty of room for improvement. A helpful exercise is to take some time and rate yourself in each of these areas?… Read the rest

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