Introducing the IKEA BookBook

A few days ago the internet was abuzz over Apple’s biggest keynote in some time.  All this shiny new technology wrapped up in the mystical power of a fruit was a sight to behold.

But now, something even bigger and better has already been introduced.

It’s the IKEA BookBook.

Created to mirror Apple’s famous product videos, IKEA created this amazing video as an incredibly creative way to introduce their 2015 catalog.  It’s even got a man with a strong accent trapped for eternity in a stark, white room!  Brilliant.

 

Four Things The Church Should Never Apologize For

Four Things The Church Should Never Apologize For

The Church has messed up in the past, it’s messed up today, and it will be messed up in the future, simply due to the fact that it’s made up by a bunch of imperfect people trying to be used by God to have an impact on the world.

Saying that, there are some things that I firmly believe the Church should never apologize for.  Here are four of them.

1)  Being “Too Big”

I’m confused by the term “megachurch.”  If we’re willing to call a church with 2,000 in attendance “mega” while more than 230 million Americans find more fulfilling things to do on any given Sunday, we’ve set pathetically low goals for ourselves.  “But I won’t know everybody,” you say.  I doubt you know everybody in your 200 member church either.  I’m convinced that a lot of Christians want their churches to stay small for the sake of convenience.  Every church should be concerned about reaching more and more people for Jesus, like Matthew 28:19-20 commands us to do.

2)  Talking About Uncomfortable Subjects

An awkward hush falls over the crowd every time a pastor mentions sex, drugs, divorce, and pornography.  A favorite one of mine is doubt, which churches love to ignore or brush off with a simple “you just need to have more faith.”  Psst!  Even the strongest Christian has doubted their faith at one point or another, and they’re probably lying if they claim they haven’t.  The Bible is full of them.

The fact is, people aren’t asking if you’re reformed, if you preach exegetically, or if you’re post-tribulation or pre-tribulation.  We love to answer questions that nobody is asking.  Don’t get me wrong.  Deep Bible study is important, but we have to ask ourselves if what we are saying and what we’re known for even has a chance of being understood by people outside of the Church who are looking for a way in.

People ARE asking where God is during their struggle or how God can use them for greater things then they are experiencing now.  We don’t have to “dumb down” services or talk shallowly through Scripture to accomplish this.  We just have to get better at explaining ourselves and stop using “Christianese” for the sole purpose of sounding intelligent.

3)  Talking About Money

I’ve mentioned things like sex, divorce, and pornography.  But the worst of all is money.  “Hold your purse Greta!  The church is after our money again.”  It’s incredibly awkward.  However, the Bible talks about money more than prayer and faith combined.  It’s important because it’s so powerful, and we have to be careful not to let it take over.  Besides, getting financially invested into a solid and active church is the best investment you can make.  Because when the world ends and there’s no more Apple, Wal-Mart, Disney, governments, borders, or anything else we have today, the Church of Jesus Christ will be the only thing left!

4)  Experiencing Excitement Among Members

Nobody thinks it’s weird to love a football team, Krispy Kreme donuts, or the beach.  But it’s weird to love church.  When’s the last time you heard somebody say that they love their church?  And if you get too excited, people will start saying that you go to a cult.

That’s just wrong.  It’s fine to love eleven guys that you don’t even know chasing around an asymmetrical “ball” in spandex on a field, but it’s weird to love the only thing on Earth that actually has the power to change things.  No real, lasting change will ever come through legislation or the United Nations.  It’s going to come through the Church.  We’ve got reason to be excited, because no matter what the world throws our way, God is still God, He’s not going to change, and He is still on His throne.  And if we can’t be excited about that and the way that God changes people through the Church, then I don’t know what we can get excited about.

Don’t Be Deadweight

Every organization has people who simply act as deadweights, doing nothing except slowing down progress or making it more difficult.  Usually these people fit into the three following characteristics:

  • They complain about everything but find any reason not to do anything about it
  • They never fail at anything because they never try anything new
  • They are not involved physically, personally, financially, or spiritually into anything except themselves

If you’re involved in anything, I’ll bet you can name several right now.  So what I want you to do is grab the phone and give them a call.  Just kidding.  Don’t do that.

In a church or religious organization setting, the Bible isn’t kind to deadweights.  2 Thessalonians 3:8-10 says “we did not eatanyone’s food free of charge; instead, we labored and struggled, working night and day, so that we would not be a burden to any of you. It is not that we don’t have the right to support, but we did it to make ourselves an example to you so that you would imitate us. 10 In fact, when we were with you, this is what we commanded you: “If anyone isn’t willing to work, he should not eat.”  

Yikes.  Not the most gentle words ever spoken, but it’s for a purpose.  The Church works best when everybody works together, regardless of personal preferences, to glorify and spread the name of Jesus throughout their communities, regions, states, and country.

The best Christian testimony is a solid Christian.

A deadweight isn’t helping anybody.

A Commercial People Want to See

Nobody likes commercials, except maybe during the Super Bowl.  And in a world where advertising is expanding into everything and all things, companies are finding it increasingly difficult to stand out.

The Canadian bank TDCanada has stood out in a big way, and they’ve created an advertisement that you actually want to see.

They’ve turned an ATM into an Automated Thanking Machine, and it’s brilliant.

Six Southern Baptist Stereotypes That Are True

I was raised baptist and have spent my entire life (a whopping nineteen years) as a member of a Southern Baptist church of some sort or another.  There’s a lot of misconceptions and myths about us out there, but there are some things that truly happen only within the confines of an SBC church.

This isn’t one of those deep thought lists that will make you think.  This is meant to be a fun, reflective look at some Southern Baptist stereotypes that actually appear to be true.

Here are six of them.

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A Quick Church Pre-Service Checklist

That time period from when the auditorium doors open to when the service starts is one of the most important times for guests at your church.  It’s awkward.  People kind of wander around until they find a seat that they like, some save seats, they talk amongst themselves, and for guests (and sometimes regulars!) it’s a strange time.

But there are some things you can do to minimize the awkwardness.  Consider it a condensed pre-service checklist.

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Church Dying Thom Rainer

Preferences Versus The Gospel

I read that quote in a Facebook post tonight and it really hit me.  It’s a sad reality in churches today where arguments seem to pop up about everything, from the style of worship music to the placement of a new water fountain (and yes, that one is true.)

Maybe some of you are looking for a church that checks all of the things on your list.  You want the music, preaching, small groups, environment, kids program, youth group, and everything else to be exactly the way you want it to be.

You’ll be dead before you find that church, because it doesn’t exist.

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Get Your Name on Social Media

Getting your actual name in your social media accounts is hard.  For example:

My website is mitchellkarr.com

My Facebook is facebook.com/mitchellkarr

My Twitter is twitter.com/KarrMitchell

Find the one that is not like the other.  That last one is probably one of the most irritating things that has ever happened to me.   To make it worse, the individual who “owns” my name on Twitter hasn’t tweeted since October 30, 2012.

Consistency in this area is incredibly important now that profiles are being used more and more for practically everything, from resumes to getting connected in a company.  If someone is looking for you, their going to look for your name, not “dancergurl22″ or whatever stupid name you picked out in the sixth grade.

Luckily, there’s a tool that I’ve recently found very useful in determining what’s available and it’s called NameCHK.   Simply type in your desired name and it scans over 80 different networks to see if your name is available on each one.  You get instant and easy to read feedback and it is a great tool.

For starters, you should own your real name on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.  Those are the “big five” in my opinion.  If you can’t get your real name, use something logical like your last name first.

So go see if your name is available and if it is, snap it up before someone else gets it!