Posts Tagged ‘ innovation ’

A Seattle Tribute

I sit in an apartment surrounded by boxes, along with other items that will soon be in boxes. It’s reality check time. In less than two weeks (which is six years and eight months after I arrived in the Seattle area) I will leave this city. Not forever, but for a long time. And even though I’m not necessarily leaving Seattle for good, it has left good in me. I could write in a number of different directions about the things I’ve loved and will miss about living here, but here are five: Seattle is globally aware. Many cities in the U.S. have a large mix of people groups living in them, but few are as consciously connected to issues and events around the world as Seattlites. I can have conversations about financial aid to Africa, food shortages, Burmese monks, or Bollywood stars with people at the produce market, park, […]



How to Know When a “Cool” Church Isn’t

I was reading a book recently, in which an essay author was quite transparent in disclosing the nature of his own existential angst during his college years.* He was extremely self-conscious, to the point that he would sometimes have difficulty holding normal conversations with friends. As a freshman, he wrote a letter to a friend, which said, “Now about awareness, and awareness of awareness. A bit of review: when you are smelling a flower, or tasting tea, or reading, you are not aware of doing these things. At moments of awareness of what you are doing (when you suddenly think, ‘I am smelling this flower’), then you are not doing it . . . But what has happened to me is that in each present situation, I am aware of all this. I have an ‘awareness of awareness’ that I have been looking forward to such and such, or have […]



Tech Geek Robert Scoble on Church Planting (accidentally)

Even though I’m significantly out of my element, I often stumble through blog posts by Robert Scoble, who is a self-admitted “tech geek.”  He’s always got a strong opinion on what’s going on in the high tech world – some people like him, some don’t.  Though he’s seems to be a much nicer guy, you might think of him as the Chris Matthews of tech. He posted an interesting entry today on what he calls “The Silicon Valley VC Disease.”  He mentions some current thinking by venture capitalists when it comes to funding startups that make applications for trendy, potentially flavor-of-the-month things like the iPhone and Facebook. What is the disease? That you must make bucketloads of money (or at least have a shot at doing that) in the first two years of business. If you have a plan to make just a reasonable amount of money, or if it […]



On Spontaneity and Improvisation

I have a young friend, a student that lives at The Purple Door.  This person, by admission, dislikes the unplanned life.  As little spontaneity as possible is the rule.  Instead, there are lists – lists about everything.  Lists of schedules, meals, books to read, graduate schools to consider, everything.  This student once told me about the process of selecting which college to go to – it involved something like 200 schools, and an extremely intricate matrix of decision making, which ultimately narrowed the decision down to one.  As it turns out, for all that planning and listing, the school selected was the wrong one for this person, and after one year, the student made the choice to transfer to UW . . . which actually wasn’t even on the original list of 200! Now, I’m not Mr. Spontaneous or anything, but I do like to mix it up once in […]



The Wacky Emerging Church: Reason #54

This post is part of a continuing series. You may want to read my list of disclaimers and intro remarks here, if you haven’t done so already. Reason #54: Walking backwards One thing I enjoyed about the recent New Conspirators gathering was that they kept asking the question, “What in the world is God doing?”  Sadly, much of the time, the emerging church walks around with a different question, which goes a little something like this: “What in the world is the church doing that we wish it would stop doing, so it can get back to the business of doing whatever in the world God is doing?”  The difference between these two questions is not subtle. Yes, a big part of this “conversation” is deconstructing the church, and providing a prophetic critique to the many broken systems and structures that have been added over the many years.  It’s a […]



How (Not) To Rethink Church

I attended a breakfast meeting this morning, sponsored by the international missions agency of my denomination. Amid all the frustrating things that make me wish I wasn’t part of this denomination, this agency has consistently been one of the brighter lights – I’ve met tons of people that really get the Kingdom of God . . . primarily because they’ve served in situations where they weren’t the comfortable majority, and developed some humility and respect as a result. While at the breakfast, I got to talk to some good folks, in particular, about the Church in Latin America. Good times. During the “meeting” portion of the breakfast, some good, encouraging things were said. But mixed in with them were some things that made me scratch my head. Here’s an example: “We need to help Christian in North America rethink church. What is it? A building? A worship service? What? We […]



The Rise of Facebook

Interesting article over at Fast Company on Mark Zuckerberg, one of the brainy founders of Facebook. Three years ago, he was a 19 year old Harvard sophomore. Today he’s running a company that reportedly turned down an offer from Yahoo! valued at $1 billion. I know from working in a college environment how powerful this thing is. It’s a good illustration of how fast things move these days. From literally nothing to being the sixth most trafficked website in the U.S. in three years. Social networking . . . whatcha gonna do about it?