this week’s roundup (march 19)

Back from a break last week to attend/officiate my brother’s wedding in Iowa. Good times… of course the weird thing about going back and seeing people you haven’t seen for a while is that I find myself thinking, “Wow! They are starting to look old…” and then realize that they are probably thinking the same thing about me.

Kem Meyer shares a friend’s thoughts on using social media within the church. Some good points are made – 1. Most church folk aren’t actively using twitter 2. Most people outside the church aren’t going to randomly follow a church twitter feed. The solution, according to the author-

There is a lost and suffering society all around us without hope. A high percentage of them actually use Twitter and Facebook. Since I know they don’t have an interest following our church, I’m going to follow them instead. Using the search tools, I’m going to purposely follow anyone and everyone who posts anything on Twitter within 10 miles of our zip code. I’m going to do this with the prayer that some of them will in turn follow us. And even further that some of the people who follow the people we follow will want to follow us (confusing I know…draw a picture if you need to).

In all honesty, much of what is posted on the twitter accounts I’m now following is very objectionable. I want to lead old school believers to an understanding that not only is it okay for the church to do this, we’re supposed to. What I know to be true is the best way to fill your own cup is to fill someone else’s. Since I know these people are not going to come to me, I’m going to go to them.

I like the idea, and would add to it that I think there is value in listening to those “outside” (even if they are objectionable) simply for the sake of knowing what people are saying/doing/thinking. It is way too easy to get locked inside the church bubble and not realize that our experiences and perspectives can sometimes be very different from our neighbors. We can’t connect with our neighbors until we understand our neighbors.

Jeremy Smith has some thoughts on Thursday night’s episode of the Colbert Report. I had seen the part on Glen Beck, but I missed the interview with Mary Matalin.

(As a side note I’m actually glad I wasn’t writing last week so I could avoid the hype around Beck’s comments. I certainly disagree with what Beck was saying but I also think some people have gone a little overboard with their objections; it seems to me like their is a point where you just have to let Glen Beck be Glen Beck, fully expecting him to say things that are controversial and move on).

David Byrne writes this week on the topic of collaboration, he speaks of the challenge and benefits of collaborations, noting (in part):

Another reason to risk it is that others often have ideas outside and beyond what one would come up with oneself. To have one’s work responded to by another mind, or to have to stretch one’s own creative muscles to accommodate someone else’s muse, is a satisfying exercise. It gets us outside of our self-created boxes. When it works, the surprising result produces some kind of endorphin equivalent that is a kind of creative high. Collaborators sometimes rein in one’s more obnoxious tendencies too, which is yet another plus.

But the other fascinating thing, to me, in the article is Byrne’s comments on the songwriting process – I always assumed you generally started with the lyrics and built the melody around it, but Byrne (generally) does it the opposite way. There isn’t any deep meaning for “lesson for the church” in there just the personal revelation that the process is usually done opposite the way I always assumed.

This week at The Jesus Manifesto there was also some powerful thoughts on following the Abstract Jesus as opposed to the “real” Jesus who has a way of entering in, getting personal, and “messing up” our lives. Good food for thought.

RIP, Alex, thanks for the music –