Monday, October 30, 2006

TTS StrengthsFinder - Futuristic

My third post in a series based on my specific StrengthsFinder strengths.

"Wouldn't it be great if . . ." You are the kind of person who loves to peer over the horizon. The future fascinates you. As if it were projected on the wall, you see in detail what the future might hold, and this detailed picture keeps pulling you forward, into tomorrow. While the exact content of the picture will depend on your other strengths and interests -- a better product, a better team, a better life, or a better world -- it will always be inspirational to you. You are a dreamer who sees visions of what could be and who cherishes those visions. When the present proves too frustrating and the people around you too pragmatic, you conjure up your visions of the future and they energize you. They can energize others, too. In fact, very often people look to you to describe your visions of the future. They want a picture that can raise their sights and thereby their spirits. You can paint it for them. Practice. Choose your words carefully. Make the picture as vivid as possible. People will want to latch on to the hope you bring.

Action Items
- Choose roles in which you can contribute your ideas about the future. For example, you might excel in entrepreneurial or start-up situations.
- Take time to think about the future. The more time you spend considering your ideas about the future, the more vivid your ideas will become. The more vivid your ideas, the more persuasive you will be.
- Seek audiences who appreciate your ideas for the future. They will expect you to make these ideas a reality, and these expectations will motivate you.
- Motivate your colleagues with things that can be done in the future. For example, include some Futuristic ideas in each of your group meetings, or write your vision for the future and share it with your colleagues.
- Find a friend or colleague who possesses this theme. Set aside an hour a month for "future" discussions. Together you can push each other to greater heights of creativity and vividness.

Be ready to:
- When you have an opportunity to describe the future in a speech, an article, or a presentation, use as much detail as possible, because not everyone can intuitively fill the gaps like you can.
- Partner with someone with a strong Activator theme. This person can remind you that you do not discover the future; you create it with the actions that you take today.

TTS - Futuristic
* Who is my partner with an Activator theme?
* You do not discover the future - you create it. Oh man.
* I need to concentrate on this idea of making sure the future is described in vivid detail.
* MM also happens to have this strength as well - so he's a complement to me with Empathy and another Futurist to dream and vision with.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

TTS StrengthsFinder - Woo

The second in a series of posts based upon my specific StrengthsFinder strengths.
Woo stands for winning others over. You enjoy the challenge of meeting new people and getting them to like you. Strangers are rarely intimidating to you. On the contrary, strangers can be energizing. You are drawn to them. You want to learn their names, ask them questions, and find some area of common interest so that you can strike up a conversation and build rapport. Some people shy away from starting up conversations because they worry about running out of things to say. You don't. Not only are you rarely at a loss for words; you actually enjoy initiating with strangers because you derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection. Once that connection is made, you are quite happy to wrap it up and move on. There are new people to meet, new rooms to work, new crowds to mingle in. In your world there are no strangers, only friends you haven't met yet -- lots of them.

Action Items
- Choose a job in which you can interact with many people over the course of a day.
- Deliberately build the network of people who know you. Tend to it by checking in with each person at least once a month.
- Join local organizations, volunteer for boards, and find out how to get on the social lists of the influential people where you live.
- Learn the names of as many people as you can. Build a card file of the people you know and add names as you become acquainted. Include a snippet of personal information -- such as their birthday, favorite color, hobby, or favorite sports team.
- Consider running for an elected office. You are a natural campaigner. Understand, however, that you might prefer the campaigning more than holding the office.
- Recognize that your ability to get people to like you is very valuable. Do not be afraid to use it to make things happen.
- In social situations, take responsibility for helping put more reserved people at ease.
- Practice ways to charm and engage others. For example, research people before you meet them so you can find the common ground.

Be ready to:
- Find the right words to explain to people that networking is part of your style. If you don't claim this theme, others might mistake it for insincerity and wonder why you are being so friendly.
- Partner with someone with a strong Relator or Empathy theme. This person can solidify the relationships that you begin.

TTS - Woo
* "there are no strangers, only friends you haven't met yet -- lots of them." Can I get an Amen?!?
* Good goal of "checking in with different people in your network periodically." This must contribute to my latest [unhealthy] fascination with Facebook. [Facebook Tony]
* LB and MM both have the Empathy strength. Ah, very interesting. No matter that they are not local.
* "Recognize that your ability to get people to like you is very valuable. Do not be afraid to use it to make things happen." That is definitely something I do not leverage very well.
* "In social situations, take responsibility for helping put more reserved people at ease." I like this one and enjoy doing this when I am aware of people around me that this could help.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Church Plant Virtual Conversation

I've followed the International Mentoring Network for a while now. It "is a custom-made mentoring process and peer network. The Mentoring Process is designed to both offer a full-bodied foretaste of mission and ministry in the 21st century and to create ongoing conversation and partnership in mission and ministry," the brainchild of Alex McManus. One of the cool things they have done is a series of online conversations [another way Alex has leveraged the medium of blogs and comments for immediate feedback and dialog.]

They had an online conversation a few days ago around the subject of church planting. Here are some snippets. If this makes your heart beat a tad faster, check out the whole conversation.

** Symptoms of being a church planter:
"They care more about creating community for others than they care about their own welfare."
"They focus more on those outside the church than on those inside."
"They hear the silent voices of those who've not yet heard of Christ than the voices of those within the church."
"They lose sleep over the lives of people they've yet to meet. [One of my most difficult discoveries was that even within our so-called 'teams' many were not losing sleep.]"
"They see the future long before it's emerged."
"Everyone is seen, nobody goes unnoticed."

** Symptoms of apostolic church planters:
"They feel compelled to live in places based on missional strategy instead of where their family, home and history is."
"They've gotten run out of town."
"They think big –like 'Give me Scotland' or if only Israel would believe or how do we colonize the pacific rim?"
"They're cross cultural."

** What is the goal of a church planter?
"Church planting is not an end in itself. Your goal is not to plant a church. Your goal is to announce this good news to the nations, to ensure that the triumph of Christ resounds in all the earth. Your work as a church planter and the establishing of new churches is a means towards this end. Sure, you may be at home now. But who knows what country you'll be in when you glorify God with your last breath."

** About evangelism
"There no such thing as a church planter who is not an evangelist."
"Think of evangelism as a value and not as a gift or an office."
"There are church planters, like Paul the apostle, who move from one to the next, and then there are church planters who stay with the church they found and make it a sending base sending workers to the ends of the earth."
"Those are the only two postures in the Kingdom: Going and/or Sending."

Thursday, October 26, 2006

TTS StrengthsFinder - Developer

I'm going to start a series of posts [I think] that outline my specific StrengthsFinder strengths with some thoughts about them. Feel free to chime in if you know me.

Interestingly enough, I think this kind of stuff would be really helpful at work and I've thought a little bit about using it with my team. Recently, I've seen someone from my work coming to this blog via my sitemeter. If you are this person and let me know you are reading this, I have a free gift for you related to StrengthsFinder.
You see the potential in others. Very often, in fact, potential is all you see. In your view no individual is fully formed. On the contrary, each individual is a work in progress, alive with possibilities. And you are drawn toward people for this very reason. When you interact with others, your goal is to help them experience success. You look for ways to challenge them. You devise interesting experiences that can stretch them and help them grow. And all the while you are on the lookout for the signs of growth -- a new behavior learned or modified, a slight improvement in a skill, a glimpse of excellence or of "flow" where previously there were only halting steps. For you these small increments -- invisible to some -- are clear signs of potential being realized. These signs of growth in others are your fuel. They bring you strength and satisfaction. Over time many will seek you out for help and encouragement because on some level they know that your helpfulness is both genuine and fulfilling to you.

Action Items
- Make a list of the people you have helped learn and grow. Look at the list often and remind yourself of the effect you have had on the world.
- Seek roles in which your primary responsibilities will be in facilitating growth. Teaching, coaching, or managing roles might prove especially satisfying for you.
- Notice when your associates grow, and tell them. Be specific about what you saw. Your detailed observations of their growth will enhance their growth.
- Make a list of the people you would like to help develop. Write what you would consider to be each person's strengths. Schedule time to meet with each of them regularly -- even if for only 15 minutes -- and make a point of discussing both their goals and their strengths.
- Identify the mentor or mentors who recognized something special inside you. Take the time to thank them for helping you develop, even if this means tracking down a former schoolteacher and sending him or her a letter.
- Make a plan to develop your own strengths based on a detailed understanding of your talents, knowledge, and skills.

Be ready to:
- Partner with someone with a strong Individualization theme. This person can help you see where each person's greatest strengths lie. Without this help, your Developer instincts might lead you to encourage people to grow in areas in which they lack real strength.
- Carefully avoid supporting someone who is consistently struggling in his or her role. In such instances, the most developmental action you can take is to encourage him or her to find a different role -- a role that fits.

TTS - Developer
* I've got a list of people that I've impacted - I want more. I would also love to see it expanded to people that have been impacted by people that I have impacted. And they told two friends... Movements math.
* "You devise interesting experiences" - I *LOVE* this. At least, *I* think my experiments are interesting... Of course, most of SPACE is an experiment. But there certainly have been smaller ones with individuals as well.
* Who do I know that has a strong Individualization theme? [I've got one idea.]
* There are a few people I need to write a letter to.
* I need more guidance and tangible milestones for avoiding "supporting someone who is consistently struggling in their role." There is a limit and how do you define it?

Photo: Some of the SPACE kids at the DC Festival - Oct 2006 - an "experiment" in observing whether big scale evangelism festivals work in our culture today

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Friday night

Friday night at the Warehouse.
Here is an image of the front and back of the cards that were printed up.

[Also, I'm testing with this post to see if an image uploaded on Facebook has a permalink...]

Monday, October 23, 2006

Where is the capital of the future?

One snippet from Infuze Magazine's interview with Erwin McManus.
Erwin: We have very unashamedly gone after what's called the innovators and early adopters on the adoctored categorization. Are you familiar with that grid?

Infuze: No.

Erwin: There's a sociological grid - not created by Christians, just a part of normal sociology - that says that 2.2% of the population are the Innovators and 12.4% are Early Adopters. 34.1 are called Early Majority. 34.1 are Late Majority and 12.4 are what are called Late Adopters. 2.2% are called Laggers, but that sounds mean so we call them Nostalgics. It's just a natural bell curve.

Now, I think one of the cultural dilemmas in Christianity is that for the last 50 years, Christianity has been dominantly led by people on the far right end of the spectrum - the Nostalgics and Late Adopters. I just met with Larry King. I mean, I didn't meet with him but I was at an event where I got to talk with him. And the first thing he says to me is, "John MacArthur. He can't decide whether it's 1936 or 1937." And I thought here's a guy who's like eighty years old. You know, it's Larry King.

But I was so embarrassed because that's the reality that the Christian leadership is the Late Adopters or Laggers. So all we tend to reach are up to this Late Majority. Megachurches tend to reach this 70% - the middle Early Majority to Late Majority. These are the people who love clustering in big groups and they want to feel they are a part of the majority or they're not safe. Does that make sense?

Infuze: Absolutely.

Erwin: So what happened is that this movement of Jesus Christ, which started at the far left end... I mean, the book of Acts was the Innovators and the Early Adopters. These guys were risking everything. They shifted the sacred day from Saturday to Sunday. These guys were not connected to tradition or the past. They walked away from everything.

So they may have been fishermen, tax collectors and doctors but they had a certain connectedness. They were all willing to begin the new before anyone else thought that was right. So what's happened is that the church has lost this front 15% because, for one, it hasn't called people to vocational ministry who are at that end, who are willing to reach those people because they're hardest to reach. They disproportionally cluster in major cosmopolitan cities, which is why I'm in L.A. because L.A. is the capital of the future.
Oh... and here is another...
Erwin: I was just in South Africa and in some of the largest churches in the whole country. The largest is 18,000 people and they just built an exact replica of Willow Creek's sanctuary with 7,200 seats.

Infuze: Seriously?

Erwin: Yeah, they hired Willow Creek's architects and a frisbee throw away, you have informal settlements of people living in cardboard boxes and in bushes. So they're translating the wrong part of what we're doing well. I just thought, "Oh what a metaphor for the dilemma we have and the Western influence in the world."

via Lon

Sunday, October 22, 2006

State of the Gospel PPT

Right click the link to download the State of the Gospel PPT (11MB) presented at YLG06 from the Operation World website. A good summary for the world Christian in ya.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Speaking of Diwali, we had a SPACE rendezvous planned for tonight. Originally it was going to a Brazilian restaurant, but earlier this afternoon I remembered a friend of mine at work inviting me to a big Diwali party he was going to. So rather last minute, we changed plans for our SPACE gathering to go to this party instead. The group in our car kept calling it either "Indianfest" or "Indianpalooza." Uh, right.

It was a lot of fun - we got there in time to see the end of a big theatrical production based on the story of Diwali and then afterwards got to eat some Indian food - which some of our SPACE people hadn't had before. No Tandoori chicken, but the rest of it was good good. The high school that it was held at was packed and everyone was dressed in some very neat looking Indian clothing - very beautiful.

Tonight was great opportunity to expose some of our students to Indian culture - what better way than during their biggest holiday. And it was a good chance for me to build on a relationship with a co-worker by accepting an invitation. It's a shame I haven't accepted more of these kinds of invitations.

And props to the students that came tonight - they live the adventure of new cultures, trying new foods and letting me make some unconventional plans for them...

The Real Festival Of Lights

And no I'm not talking about the Christmas thing they do at Merriwether Post - for those of you that live in Howard County...

Similar to 'redemptive analogy', another missions term is 'dynamic equivalence.' Richard Lewis has a good post about the Indian festival Diwali [many Indians have difficulty with the letter “w” so it is often pronounced Divali] [you did know that was today right?] and the idea of dynamic equivalence in a given culture. Also notice the epic story that the festival is based on.

Some of my Indian friends have told me that Diwali is bigger than Christmas and New Years combined. So go wish some of your friends Happy Diwali today!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Bora Bora?

Ok so most of you know the deal around here - we plan mission experiences mostly in light of strategic connections we have from the mother church already. Meaning that for student teams, our travel preferences take a back seat and we give a really strong preference to a connection with someone GCC has already partnered with in another area of the world. I'm proud to say in the last three summers, 100% of our overseas student teams have served with GCC families. [Well its only been three teams but still. 100% baby!] The benefits for this kind of partnership make it a no-brainer.

But if we were throwing strategy and synergy with our church out the window, Bora Bora would definitely be at the top of my list [just look at that locality.] So would Australia and Patagonia.

Of course, the people that live in Bora Bora need Jesus too. Amen to that - no arguments here. But getting back to reality - let's train up a generation of students that understand culture, context, strategy and partnership - all within the confines of a focus and direction for supporting and serving our existing partnerships around the world. Once we've got some students that graduate and really understand mission movements, then by all means, let's send send send them. When they get it, let's make sure we send them anywhere and everywhere God has laid on their hearts.

Of course, if God really wanted to see student teams in Bora Bora, isn't there a family around that is ready to move there? ;-)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Some Quality E-Newsletters

Here are some e-newsletters I subscribe to. I thought maybe some of you readers might also be interested in some of them:

1. Caleb Project [Initiative 360] Missions Catalyst. New name now
Good quick source of both news briefs, mobilization resources and thought provoking ideas.

2. Brigada Today
Also a good source of the same kinds of things as above.

3. Weekly Word - YWAM Europe
Some good insights are found in a weekly newsletter written by Jeff Fountain, the director for YWAM Europe. See I told you we were interested in Europe.

4. World Focus Weekly
A small localized newsletter for mission people in the Balt-DC area of the US. Published by the Balt/DC branch of the US Center for World Mission. If you wanted to subscribe, send an email to

5. YS Update
Great resource for student ministry stuff. I find an intriguing link to either news or student culture in almost every update.
Subscribe at

6. [print] Mission Frontiers
You get this free if you have gone to the Perspectives class. Phenomenal magazine devoted to missions - published by the US Center for World Mission and the general editor is Ralph Winter [one of the world's great missiologists ].

Here are some things that I don't subscribe to - because they cost a bit of money. [Although I would certainly love to get them...]

* Evangelical Missions Quarterly

* Mission Maker Magazine

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Wednesday Potpourri

** Mark writes about the concept of sustainability
...told me about a church in Germany that applies the biblical concepts of sabbath and jubilee. Every 7th year they have a sabbatical, during which the community refrains from starting new projects. In the 50th year or their existence they shut down the whole church, sell everthing they have (building, music equipment), and release these resources into new start-ups. Cool. Dissolving your own structures is one way to guarantee sustainability and prevent traditionalism.

** Speaking of Europe [from this previous post about our personal investments], from Nigel:
- 98% of Italians claim Roman Catholicism as their faith/religion (though far fewer attend mass), but perhaps the true religion of Italy is the Occult.
- Italy is steeped in the Occult and Satanism. There are over 100,000 full-time consulting magicians (Occult) in Italy. That is three times the number of Catholic priests and 600 times the number of trained pastors in this nation.
- Evangelicals make up less than 1% of the population; there is only one trained pastor for every 350,000 people. The Italian church is weak and divided.

** Alan Hirsch from The Shaping of Things to Come has a new book coming out called The Forgotten Ways. Speaking of Shaping, I'm reading Exiles by Michael Frost [the other co-author of Shaping]. More on Exiles later. More via Steve McCoy
Related - some of my notes on Shaping

** "There is a great man who makes every man feel small. But the real great man is the man who makes every man feel great." - G. K. Chesterton

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

TOTYNTK - Conclusion - Intentional Imbalance

As we’ve seen in each of these roles, the critical skill is not balance, but its inverse, intentional imbalance. The great manager bets that he will prevail by magnifying, emphasizing and then capitalizing on each employee’s uniqueness. The great leader comes to a conclusion about his core customer, his organization’s strength, its core score, and the actions he will commit to right now, and then, in the service of clarity, banishes from his thought and conversation almost everything else...
It takes insight to focus in this way, and discipline, and since lopsided bets can be scary, courage.

"Do first things first, and second things not at all." - Peter Drucker
I think this was the best book I have read all year. Pick it up if you get the chance.

Sheng invest

Some of you might be wondering what areas and ministries we have personally invested in. So here is an inside peek at our personal connections, areas of interest, and investments we make as a family.

* Two families in two different locations in Asia

* Two families that hosted SPACE teams
in Brasil and Cameroon. These are both GCC families.

* A family serving here in Columbia specifically with open air evangelism
I ran one week of beach evangelism with the father at OC, MD in 1992. He is an open air evangelist through and through.

* A family serving in College Park with campus ministry
Before their two kids, they were Dteam leaders with us and then left to pioneer a campus ministry in Melbourne. Back home now with two kids, they work on campus at College Park, MD.

* J - just getting ready to leave for Melbourne

* A GCC family serving in Western Europe
Friends that we met from GCC serving with a missions organization that has a specific focus for Europe.

* A Compassion child in Indonesia

I've been purposely obscure about names, missions organizations and any other pertinent details here because that is important for confidentiality. As you can see our interests lie in a few streams: old friends of ours, families that GCC has invested in, Asian cultures [of course, and I'm being serious here - because I'm Chinese], the 10/40 window, and Europe [because Europe is very post-Christian now].

These are our monthly contributions and don't think they are huge, because they are not. But, they are investments nonetheless, and we have a lot of fun with these connections all over the world. Every once in a while, we will also give away some money - which is also a lot of fun - based on various needs of people we know.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Blogger Beta

So I've been running the Blogger Beta for a little while now and everything seems pretty stable. Here are a few things that might be important to know for people planning on upgrading soon:

- I kept my existing template, since there was a lot of custom stuff I put into it from before. The template will upgrade. But if you want some of the cool stuff they did regarding templates [labels and other stuff], you will have to upgrade your template and start clean.
- For the labels, I acutally just hardcoded some of my commonly used labels and stuck it into my template.
- There is one rss feed that doesn't work anymore. So use this xml file and re-subscribe via your RSS reader. [Thanks LB for pointing this out to me. I didn't realize that feed was dead with the upgrade.]
- I like the labels feature a lot. It's very cool.
- Publishing posts is a lot faster. And when you make a template change, no need to republish.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Speaking of Populations ...

Howard County, MD :: 269,457

Baltimore :: 635,815
Washington, DC :: 550,521
Londrina Brazil :: 476,300
Paris France :: 2,150,000
Yaounde Cameroon :: 1,430,000
New York City :: 8,085,742
Sao Paulo :: 10,333,200

Friday, October 13, 2006

Yunus wins the Nobel Peace Prize

A post from Tom Peters:
Yunus is the father of microlending, one of the most potent tools of ours or any other times. Microlending was long dismissed by the powers that be (the World Bank among them) as being a peanuts idea. Big Loans for Big Projects was the ticket. Yup, big loans for big projects was the ticket for a few good things ... and an unimaginable amount of corruption.

Yunus started Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. A typical first loan is $15. After many a trial and many an error, Grameen ended up granting over 90% of its loans to women. (Women = Reliable. Men = Unreliable.) Lending primarily to women in a Muslim country was, to say the least, no mean feat. Yet Yunus persisted.

A few Yunusisms, from his marvelous 1999 book, Banker to the Poor:

"It's not people who aren't credit-worthy. It's banks that aren't people worthy."

"Conventional banks ask their clients to come to their office. It's a terrifying place for the poor and illiterate. ... The entire Grameen Bank system runs on the principle that people should not come to the bank, the bank should go to the people. ... If any staff member is seen in the office, it should be taken as a violation of the rules of the Grameen Bank. ... It is essential that [those setting up a new village Branch] have no office and no place to stay. The reason is to make us as different as possible from government officials."

"The Grameen loan is not simply cash. It becomes a kind of ticket to self-discovery and self-exploration."

And this from a Client's husband:

"There is one thing [I don't like about Grameen]. I used to enjoy beating my wife. But the Group came to me and argued with me and shouted at me. Who gave them the right to shout at me? The borrowing group threatened they will get really mean if I beat my wife again."
Related : News article, Wikipedia entry.

I first learned of Microfinance from the Perspectives course - in the section on Strategic Perspective.

If you are in school taking any kind of classes in marketing, accounting, economics, business development, or anything of that sort, it would due you very well to learn about microfinance.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

2006 State of Christianity

Alright, I've spent the better part of two hours trying to get html tables to work. Two hours would be worth it though for this information.

It's the ...... 2006 State of Christianity.... You all that have been around SPACE for a while know that I love this thing. It is such a wealth of information and some of the results are eye-popping to a lot of people.

Anyway, in lieu of actually displaying it here, which is what I was actually trying to do, see the full results here at the Center for Global Christianity, associated with Gordon-Conwell Seminary.

Here is some of the good stuff, but please, you must check the real thing out yourself...

Related - The State of Christianity 2005 - somehow I got the tables to work last year...

Global Population:
1900 - 1,619,625,000
1970 - 3,692,495,000
2000 - 6,070,581,000
2006 - 6,529,426,000
2025 - 7,851,455,000

Urban dwellers
1900 - 232,695,000
1970 - 1,362,295,000
2000 - 2,878,861,000
2006 - 3,252,255,000
2025 - 4,572,885,000

1900 - 777,475,000
1970 - 836,256,000
2000 - 990,317,000
2006 - 1,095,879,000
2025 - 934,703,000

Metropolises (over 100,000 population)
1900 - 300
1970 - 2,400
2000 - 4,050
2006 - 4,500
2025 - 6,500

Megacities (over 1 million population)
1900 - 20
1970 - 161
2000 - 402
2006 - 450
2025 - 650

Urban poor
1900 - 100 million
1970 - 650 million
2000 - 1,400 million
2006 - 1,680 million
2025 - 3,000 million

Urban slumdwellers
1900 - 20 million
1970 - 260 million
2000 - 700 million
2006 - 850 million
2025 - 1,600 million

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Upcoming Training and Conferences

Some very good upcoming opportunities - two of them local - for training in student ministry, leadership and missions .

ACMC Mid Atlantic Conference
Nov 3-4
Bay Area Community Church, near Annapolis, MD
Link to pdf schedule
The Advancing Churches Mission Commitment Mid Atlantic conference will be held near Annapolis MD. This is one of the best regional conferences around for mission geeks. I've gone to two or three of them and have gotten some good information and contacts each time. Well, actually, my post from 2004 didn't sound like I had such a great time. But each time is a great opportunity for learning, either from good material or material that you think is bunk. Both are valuable for growth. I might be at this one depending on the Sheng master schedule.
Subjects I've learned about from previous conferences include: core essentials for prepping mission teams, why 1/3 of short term mission trips should stay home, and the huge untapped opportunity that exists in MK schools.

If you are involved with SPACE and want to go, contact me for a scholarship. If you aren't involved in SPACE and want a scholarship, I have some mulching that needs to be done.

See my 2004 and 2003 conference notes.

Also, ACMC has recently merged with the Caleb Project forming Initiative360, both top notch missions orgs.Press release.

Ethos NYC
Nov 27-29
Columbia University, NYC
Put on by the Mosaic crew.
I had plans to go to this but our finances were all spent over the summer. Sounds like it will be a great time though. Ah New York...

Urban Youth Worker Institute - Reload event
Dec 9
Washington Bible College, Lanham, MD
ESunde went as part of her SPACE internship last year - her notes.

And of course, the mothership of all mission conferences - Urbana. But don't go to Univ of Illinois at Urbana - this winter its at St. Louis....
Dec 27-31
The GCC MTF is offering scholarships - if you don't know anyone else on the MTF, get in touch with me.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

MTF around the world

I went to our Missions Task Force meeting tonight. That's that thing that I'm supposed to be a part of but don't really go - unless I need some kind of approval. Tsk tsk tsk. Anyway, they changed the nights of the meetings which works a bit better for me and tonight they were having a few visitors - people that signed up in the latest round of getting people involved in different ministries at GCC. So I thought it would be nice that I go - and it was nice.

After some of the introduction about what the MTF does [budget, missionary care, short term trips, admin, education and promotion] for the visitors, we went around and everyone shared some quick information about our missionaries and what is going on with them. It was kind of a quick tour around the world - India, Cameroon, Brasil, Italy, the UK, Asia - after talking about these families, one person would pray for them. Pretty cool stuff.

It is vital that any student missions activity be linked with what the local church is doing around the world. Strategy and synergy with the adults - and your church's missionaries will love the connection with students.

Tuesday Potpourri

** You've heard of cell church, house church, skate church, - how about a street church? Guy Muse writes about it here.
When we arrived at 5:30 they were just setting up plastic chairs on the sidewalk out in front of their house. Cars, buses and people were rushing by. The noise level was incredibly high and distracting. I kept wondering how do they have "church" in that kind of environment? Well that is their environment, their world. They live in a constant state of noise and have learned to live their lives without becoming distracted by what is to me a high noise level.

Once I began to get over the noise I was introduced to a new believer, Jessenia, who was just baptized a week ago. While waiting for things to get started, I asked her to share with me how she came to know the Lord. With a big smile on her face she related to me that she had had a dream where a beautiful Jesus was calling out to her and saying "come to me..." She awoke and gave her heart to Jesus overwhelmed by the love she had sensed in her dream. I have long ago stopped trying to figure out the mysteries of God's dealings with a world He loves so much. It seems He refuses to fit inside all the little boxes I have for Him!

By then a sufficient number of youth had gathered to be able to start. Right as we were cranking up, part of a gang of 5-6 rough-looking youth walked through the middle of our meeting. The hairs on my head stood up thinking we would be held up, but they apparently had better things to do with their time than interupt a church meeting, so they moved on without incidence.

Two large speakers were set up in a window and loud music began to pour out of them from inside the house sound system. This is what we sang to and believe me we were louder than the street noise! With the music cranked up and our "off key" singing, it was enough to attract the attention of quite a crowd of people in the area. There were about as many by-standers as there were 'church people' present. Talk about a seeker-sensitive service--this defines the term!

** John Wood, ex-Microsoft director and the nonprofit he started called Room to Read:
And he's concerned with one more thing: the fact that more than 850 million people around the world can't read. Wood is the founder of Room to Read, a nonprofit group that builds schools and libraries for children in Asia. "There are nearly 1 billion illiterate people in the world," says Wood. "My goal is to help 10 million children achieve literacy by 2010."

Without question, he has a long way to go. But it's hard to argue with the results so far. In just three years, Room to Read has established 300 school libraries, built 25 schools, donated more than 140,000 books, set up 11 computer rooms, and awarded 100 scholarships to fund the education of young girls. Most of this work has taken place in Nepal, but Room to Read is also building schools and libraries in Vietnam, and there are plans to expand into Cambodia and India. As Wood speaks, a cargo ship steams from San Francisco to Ho Chi Minh City, carrying more than 30,000 books such as Clifford the Big Red Dog, Mary Had a Little Lamb, and Math in Action. In a few weeks, Nguyen Hoai Nam, Room to Read's program director for Vietnam, will meet the ship and, in partnership with the city's Department of Education and Training, deliver books to schools.

Still, 10 million children? Wood is unfazed. Achieving that goal means doubling the number of kids his organization reaches every year for the next eight years. "Why is that not possible?" he asks. "Microsoft doubled every year in its early days. Cisco more than doubled every year. I worked in a lot of different organizations at Microsoft that doubled year to year, and none of us thought it was incredible."

** Polly LaBarre on Southwest Airlines and its sense of mission [during an interview on the book "Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win"]
In the midst of the financial carnage and heartaches of the airline business, there’s one company that keeps growing, keeps creating jobs, and keeps generating wealth. And that, of course, is Southwest.

Southwest didn't achieve these results because its fares were a little lower than Delta's or its service was a little friendlier than United's. It achieved those results because it re-imagined what it meant to be an airline. If you ask Herb Kelleher what business he’s in, he won’t say the airline business or the transportation business. He’ll say Southwest is in the freedom business.

The purpose of Southwest is to democratize the skies-to make it as easy and affordable for rank-and-file Americans to travel as it is for the well-to-do. That’s a pretty commonplace idea today-but largely because Southwest fought the entrenched conventions of the industry so doggedly in pursuit of that purpose. Its unrivaled success is based on its unique sense of mission rather than any breakthrough technology or unprecedented business insight.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Cameroon set Pictobrowser

Pictobrowser - a new Flickr tool for an in-post picture browser of any of your photosets in Flickr. This is my Cameroon 2006 photoset. [RSS readers - the actual post has a flash based viewer that is showing all the pictures in that photo set.]

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Malaria Reading

The Washington Post has an interesting article in today's [Sunday the 8th] Magazine section talking about the US Army's recent efforts to treat malaria.

- claims more than 1 million lives globally each year, 90 percent of them in sub-Saharan Africa, the vast majority children. Young survivors are frequently left with cognitive damage that can cause them to fail at school and work. African adults, while having lived long enough to gain some immunity against malaria's worst effects, often lose weeks of work while recovering from the disease. Western economists estimate that malaria results in an economic loss of $12 billion annually in Africa, the continent least able to foot the bill for fighting the disease.

- In Kenya, the most reliable antimalarial drugs cost about $6, or about four days' earnings for the average Kenyan. The drugs are generally unavailable in shops. Accessible antimalarials in Kenya generally mean cheap antimalarials -- usually ranging from 10 to 30 Kenyan shillings, or roughly 15 to 40 cents -- but they are also the least effective treatments, as the disease has become wholly resistant to many of these drugs once famously effective.

- Heppner [the Army researcher] and his Army colleagues remain serious players in the vaccine research field only because of the largess of other groups. His department received $2.7 million last year from the U.S. Agency for International Development and $1 million from its vaccine collaborator GlaxoSmithKline. But his most critical source of funding in recent years has been the private nonprofit Malaria Vaccine Initiative, created with a grant from the Gates Foundation in 1999.

- Worldwide funding for malaria, last calculated by the research group Malaria R&D in 2004, stood at $323.4 million. Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs estimates it would take $3 billion to vaccinate every African child who needs it.

One of our hosts this summer for the Cameroon team, W Nen, actually got malaria a few months after they first arrived in Cameroon. She said it was as bad as you think it is. The Nens also have first hand experience with people in Cameroon getting malaria, but it being misdiagnosed or not taken seriously at first. It is very real to people living in Cameroon.

There is also a related debate between the environmental concerns of DDT versus how amazingly effective it is against malaria. Read some of these articles.

Photo: The box of the malaria medicine the Nens sent home with the team.

Friday, October 06, 2006

SPACE's Core Score - Oct 2006

In the spirit of last year's State of the 03 post and implementing this idea of a core score....

There are two core scores of SPACE - how we measure how well we are doing. First, let's score how many students after graduation serve in an intentional ministry. Also related, lets count how much of that is cross cultural. Our second core score is how many students we send out each summer and the metrics around those numbers. Let's also see what percentage of leaders have come out of being students.

The first score is important because there is direct function between people that stick around church and people that serve. And within the realm of youth ministry, statistics bear the fact that many students who love student ministries drop their faith after they graduate from high school. The whole intention of following Jesus is to live a life centered around doing something about it. And doing something about it helps solidify faith.

So actually, although we say that SPACE is about student [middle and high school] missions and service, you now you see, like I do, that there is much more at stake...

These core scores also take into account my dteam and the class of 2003. I think it's a fair metric since I actively recruit, when I can, from this class to help me with SPACE. Now that SPACE has been around for 3 years, I'm going to extend the scores to include the set of students that have been part of SPACE that have now graduated. So this is a look at what they are all doing now collectively:

[some of this is repeated from a previous post]
Part 1
** December 2003:
sent 11 of the 03 to Urbana Student Missions Conference

** Summer 2004:
3 - go on a two week long mission trip to Kazakhstan - 2 that also went to Urbana

** Summer 2005:
1 - works with Campus Crusade ministry in Wildwood NJ
3 - help as SPACE mission team leaders - 2 from Urbana
4 - go on overseas missional trips - 2 from Kstan team, 1 SPACE leader, 1 from Urbana

** Jan 2006:
- 3 go to NOLA on relief trips - 2 from the 03, 1 from SPACE
- 1 assist me with SPACE winter expedition - this one from the 03

** Summer 2006:
- 5 lead different teams for SPACE - 3 from the 03 and 2 SPACE grads
- 1 goes to Uganda - from the 03

** Fall 2006:
at least 8 that I know of intentionally serving with students and college ministries around. probably more.

Grand total - since 2003, graduated from the 03 and SPACE
13 - # of unique individuals serving in intentional ministry
10 - # serving in cross cultural contexts

Part 2

[some of you may have seen this also in a previous post]
3 teams (LC, NYC and DC) of 36 people
7 leaders - 5 of those were students - 71%
approx $7,500

3 teams (LC, Brasil and Trinidad) of 37 people
12 leaders - 10 were students - 84%
approx $27,000

5 teams (LC, Merge, DC, LA and Cameroon) of 68 people
20 leaders - 16 were students - 80%
approx $52,000

So that's quite an interesting summary. I'll probably try to this every Fall or so.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Blogger Upgrade

You might see some funny stuff on here as I'm messing around with the blogger beta. In fact, just a few minutes ago, I thought I dumped the whole thing down the drain. HA.

MySpace over the hill?

"A new report by comScore puts more than half of MySpace users at over 35.

Those teenagers are so out of there." via The Business2.0 blog

TOTYNTK - Chapter 4 - Great Leading

Chapter 4 – The One Thing You Need to Know: Great Leading

** The difference between great managers and great leaders:
Great managers discover what is unique about each person and capitalize on this uniqueness. Great managers serve as intermediaries between the individual and the company, and like all intermediaries, they perform their role well only when they perform it one on one.
Great leaders must play a different role. Their job is to rally people toward a better future, and as such, they are not intermediaries. They are instigators. Driven by their compulsion for a better future, their challenge is to do everything in their power to get other people to join together to make this future comes true. So, by definition, they will perform this role well only when they find a way to make many people, regardless of each person's uniqueness, excited by and confident in this better future. If, through their words, actions, images, pictures and scores, they can tap into those things we all share, they will succeed as leaders. If they can't, they will struggle.

** The essence of great leadership:
Discover What Is Universal and Capitalize On It.

** What are the universals of human nature?
[A very interesting discussion on culture, by the way. And.. remember, one significant thing about a culture is how many words they have to describe a concept.]
Anthropologist Donald Brown – Human Universals

1. Fear of death – the need for security
2. Fear of the outsider – the need for community
3. Fear of the future – the need for clarity
We are aware that the future is unstable, unknown and therefore potentially dangerous.
This is why, in every society, we give prestige to those people who claim to be able to predict the future.
4. Fear of chaos – the need for authority
Two universals reveal this fear – first, every society has devised its own story of how the world came to be and in each story, in each creation myth, the world was created out of chaos. Second, one of the most universal of human traits is our need to classify things. Out of our desire for order springs out need for authority. Every society has a word for leader.
5. Fear of insignificance – the need for respect
Usually the need for respect is attended to by an intermediary, by someone who deals with people one-on-one. Today, in the world of work, this intermediary role is played most effectively by the manager, not the leader.

** The job of a leader:
The job of a leader is not to win people's loyalty. The job of a leader is to rally people toward a better future. Winning people's loyalty should be a means to this end, not the end itself. If you have grappled with our fear of the future and somehow neutralize it, even turn it into something positive, you will have positioned yourself to pull off something truly significant as a leader.
[The job of a leader is not based on universal 1, 2, 4 or 5. It is about #3 - leading is about the fear of the future.]
The problem for you, the modern-day leader, is that you traffic in the unknown. All of your conversations concern the unknown, the future, and the possibilities you see there. If you are going to succeed as a leader, you simply must find a way to engage our fear of the unknown and turn it into spiritedness. If great managers are catalysts, speeding up the reaction between the individuals talents and the company's goals, then great leaders are alchemists. Somehow they are able to transform our fear of the unknown into confidence in the future.

** Clarity is the key:
By far the most effective way to turn fear into confidence is to be clear; to define the future in such vivid terms, through your actions, words, images, pictures, heroes, and scores, that we can all see where you, and thus we, are headed. Clarity is the antidote to anxiety and therefore clarity is the preoccupation of the effective leader. If you do nothing else as a leader, be clear.

** The balance between giving people clear direction and yet still enough white space to create and innovate
This doesn't mean that you describe in precise detail all of your tactics and plans and deadlines. On the contrary, as we'll see, to keep your followers challenged and engaged, you must allow them plenty of white space to invest, create and experiment. But it does mean that your ability to be clear and your followers feelings of confidence are causally linked.

** Points of Clarity – Where are your followers crying out for clarity?
1. Who Do We Serve?
You the leader must be clear about whom you are choosing to serve because we, your followers, require it of you. When you do this with clarity, you give us confidence – confidence in our judgment, confidence in our decisions, and ultimately confidence in our ability to know where to look to determine if we have fulfilled our mission.
A leader must not be clear on all points and that one of the areas in which he should allow significant ambiguity is in the strategies and tactics selected by his employees. Yes, he should be clear about whom he is trying to serve, but then he must actively encourage his employees to devise novel and as yet unproven ways of serving them. This is the only way to keep the organization alive.
2. What Is Our Core Strength?
3. What Is Our Core Score?
By zeroing in on one core score leaders brought clarity to their people.
Ideally, this score will be a leading indicator of success, such as employee engagement or employee safety or crime, rather than a trailing indicator, such as sales or profit or tax revenues, but from the perspective of your followers, what matters most is that it's clear.
4. What Actions Can We Take Today?
Two distinct types of actions – systematic and symbolic
Systematic action – interrupts our day-to-day routines and forces us to become involved in new activities. It disrupts us.
Symbolic action – doesn't alter what we do, it just grabs our attention. It distracts us, thereby giving us something new and vivid on which to focus.

** The Disciplines of Leadership – How do the best leaders achieve this clarity?
1. Take time to reflect
2. Select Your Heroes with Great Care
You must remember that the employees you choose to celebrate will reveal the future you are trying to create. When you bring an employee up onstage and praise her performance, this has a management impact. It will make this particular employee feel appreciated and will motivate her to do even better. However, it will also, if you do it well, have a leadership impact. If you can tell us, your followers, exactly what she did to deserve this recognition, if you can show us the people she served, or the strength she embodies or the scores she achieved, or the actions she took, you will make everything much clearer.
3. Practice

** Summary
Effective leaders don't have to be passionate. They don't have to be charming. They don't have to be brilliant. They don't have to possess the common touch. They don't have to be great speakers. What they must be is clear. Above all else, they must never forget the truth that of all the human universals – our need for security, for community, for clarity, for authority, and for respect – our need for clarity, when met, is the most likely to engender in us confidence, persistence, resilience and creativity.
Show us clearly whom we should seek to serve, show us where our core strength lies, show us which score we should focus on and which actions must be taken today, and we will reward you by working our hearts out to make our better future come true.

My thoughts:
1. For such a grand topic as being a good leader, this chapter has given some very clear - get it - and tangible suggestions for improvement. Core strengths, clients and scores are very concrete things we all can work and concentrate on.

2. You can teach a person to be clear and vivid. But can you teach a person to be a visionary? If they get the vision, you can teach them how to communicate it with clarity. But what if they never form their own visions? How do we create visionaries? I suspect there might be something supernatural here - see Joel 2.

3. Some ideas that relate to SPACE --
- I would like to think that I have been pretty clear when I have prepared teams that I have personally led. It usually centers around an idea like - "Our whole purpose is to serve and bless our GCC mission families." For overseas summer mission teams, that is who we serve. And I would think that at least some of my team members got tired of hearing me say it so much. The bigger question is how clear are we on our mission with SPACE on a bigger scope.
- Knowing our core strengths - not just within our teams but the student ministry overall [LC and CpR] - is important especially as we put summer team experiences together. If our mission teams are really put together with a partnership in mind, knowing our core strengths is an important piece.
- I see SPACE having two primary core scores right now: One of them is the proportion of students we send out versus overall students in the ministry and that theoretically, this proportion should grow. The second core score is how many students actually leave the student ministries to serve intentionally. Which reminds me that I'm working on an update for this year to my "The State of the 03" post from August of 2005 - more on that score later.

Related : My notes from Chapter 2

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Youth Ministry in 50 years

Marko posted yesterday about what youth ministry might look like in 50 years, along with this link to an article from CT. Interesting question that I have been pondering for a little while. I thought I would throw my opinion out there - feel free to comment. Also, I haven't read the article yet but will as soon as I post this. I thought it would be more fun to come up with my ideas before I read it.

"Tell me what will be different about youth ministry in 50 years."

1. Your student ministry is no longer pale
You think the world is flat now.... Our student ministries will be full of a mixture of students from all kinds of backgrounds. The global and urban migration will extend into student ministries mixing ministries full of bi-, tri- and multi-racial students who bring all kinds of cultural, emotional and family issues and experience. Third culture kids [who have lived all over the world and in different cultures] will be a larger percentage of the kids we minister to.
The average youthworker will be interested in different cultures, have a vast view of the world and love to eat Sweet and Sour Pork, Tandoori Chicken and rice and beans. Our suburban churches become mixing bowls of world cultures all coming together for the mission of Jesus. The average youthworker will probably not be Caucasian.

2. Serious About Contextualization
Speaking of culture, our student ministries will have a new focus on the idea of engaging culture. Not in the present sense of 'culture war' - not fighting Hollywood, public schools or DisneyWorld.
Instead, our students ministries will be fleshing out the idea of contextualization - how do we engage the culture we live in and the culture our students come from. Ethnocentrism will no longer be tolerated - thinking your culture is the best is not going to get you very far in building relationships and impacting students.

There will be new elements of engaging worship from a student perspective [rebellious, loud, edgy] as well as the cultures that they were brought up in [African, Asian, etc.] Prepare for a cool mix of worship music that is born from adolescents but mixes world music, beats and instruments.

3. Bigger Freaks
Churches will be in decline and the society at large will continue to be cautious of religious extremism. Being an evangelical will be even less tolerated. Students sold out to Jesus are seen as even bigger freaks. The threat of terrorism around the world will continue to shake us - mission teams will have even more to think and plan regarding that threat. People that are serious about following Jesus stick around. The ones that are not serious leave fast. There is an even higher calling of commitment.

4. Creativity and Imagination
Creativity and imagination in student ministries shape a new level of engagement with students. Ministries we have not even dreamed of yet are created and implemented by and for students. Youthworkes are amazed at how vast their students imagaintions are.

5. Precision Missions
Short term missions is going to continue to explode - but it is going to be framed with more precision and strategy - in good ways. Local churches are going to hone this vision and step up to require student missions have a good context and synergy. Many more students are going to understand typically missiologist terms like people group, syncretism and conextualization - and are going to have hands on experience with those concepts.

5. Your present students are going to mold this vision.
And the best one I think - the students you are working with now are going to shape and mold this vision. They are the ones that will build relationships, in the future, with students you haven't even met yet that will be the youthworkers in 50 years. The creative, the committed, the one that brings the African drum to worship on Sunday, the ones that love Tandoori chicken.
Looking at your middle schooler of today and scared about the future ministry they will invest in? Nah - instead, be energized and excited. She will come around, with your patient encouragement, clarity and prayers. The time you invest in her, your modeling and when you both see a life impacted - it will all make a difference in her life. And really, when it comes right down to it, the future of youth ministry needs her.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

In The Light

From the article entitled "How Many Lightbulbs Does it Take to Change the World? One. And You're Looking At It."
The impact of a compact fluorescent lightbulb:
What that means is that if every one of 110 million American households bought just one ice-cream-cone bulb, took it home, and screwed it in the place of an ordinary 60-watt bulb, the energy saved would be enough to power a city of 1.5 million people. One bulb swapped out, enough electricity saved to power all the homes in Delaware and Rhode Island. In terms of oil not burned, or greenhouse gases not exhausted into the atmosphere, one bulb is equivalent to taking 1.3 million cars off the roads.

How really long they last:
Swirl bulbs don't just work, they pay for themselves. They use so little power compared with old reliable bulbs, a $3 swirl pays for itself in lower electric bills in about five months. Screw one in, turn it on, and it's not just lighting your living room, it's dropping quarters in your pocket. The advantages pile up in a way to almost make one giddy. Compact fluorescents, even in heavy use, last 5, 7, 10 years. Years. Install one on your 30th birthday; it may be around to help illuminate your 40th.

And the company that is determined to change the lightbulb industry:
A year from now, chances are that you yourself will have installed a swirl or two, and will likely be quite happy with them. In the name of conservation and good corporate citizenship, not to mention economics, one unlikely company is about haul us to the lightbulb aisle, reeducate us, and sell us a swirl: Wal-Mart.
In the next 12 months, starting with a major push this month, Wal-Mart wants to sell every one of its regular customers--100 million in all--one swirl bulb. In the process, Wal-Mart wants to change energy consumption in the United States, and energy consciousness, too. It also aims to change its own reputation, to use swirls to make clear how seriously Wal-Mart takes its new positioning as an environmental activist.

Much more in the article about business partnerships, CFLs being a classic example of creative destruction - like how digital music transformed the music industry - and how one light bulb you buy may in fact impact the world.
I replaced four normal lightbulbs with CFLs in my house tonight.

Tuesday Potpourri

** Steve Addision writes about Ireland:
In 2003 there were nine ordinations for the whole of Ireland, eight in 2004 and eight in 2005. In 2005, for the first time in its history, the Archdiocese of Dublin, with of over 1 million people, didn't have a single candidate for ordination, and in the whole Archdiocese there was a single priest under the age of 30. In a country that once used to export thousands of priests and nuns and brothers, African and Vietnamese priests are now a familiar sight.
Related - Leslita B's post of her notes from The Celtic Way of Evangelism.

** From Bart Campolo - change in strategy:
So now, instead of a thrift shop, imagine a big, clean, homey neighborhood laundromat, where everyone gets welcomed by name, with good machines and a nice little coffee bar, comfortable furniture, books and toys for kids, and really good music. The kind of place where they'll drive you home if you don't have a car, or pick up and deliver your laundry if you're too sick or frail to carry it, and where the attendant is always ready to listen to your troubles and pray for you. The kind of place where anyone might stop by anytime to talk sports, movies, or politics, where the bulletin board is worth looking at, and where on Thursday nights you get invited to the big family dinner upstairs.

** Sivin posts some video from some worship at YLG06.
Related - my post about leadership workshops at YLG06.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

In A Pit...

Mark Batterson, lead pastor at National Community Church - the church that meets in Union Station in DC, as well as two other locations - has a new book coming out today entitled In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day. Sounds like it's going to be a good one.

Your greatest regret at the end of your life will be the lions you didn't chase. You will regret the risks not taken, the opportunities not seized, and the dreams not pursued. Stopping running away from what scares you most and start chasing the God-ordained opportunities that cross your path.

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day is inspired by one of the most obscure yet courageous acts recorded in Scripture: Benaiah chased a lion down into a pit. Then, despite the snow and slippery ground, he caught the lion and killed it (II Samuel 23:20-21).

Unleash the lion chaser within!
NCC has been a church I've been following on and off for a few years. Being from the DC area, it's very cool to hear how they are impacting the city. Innovation, risk and fun are all terms that come to mind when I think about them. Also, when we took a day team to serve in DC in the summer of 2005, NCC sent us a whole bunch of contact cards in case we met anyone that wanted to connect with a church in the city. I've read the first chapter and I think most of you readers would enjoy the book as well. Click on the graphic to order from Amazon.