this week’s round-up (may 7)

Lovett Weems on membership, finances and the future of Methodism; some sobering stuff in there, especially regarding the coming “death tsunami”.

Lovett H. Weems, Jr. – UMC Realities from Lewis Center on Vimeo.

Really interesting TED Talk from Eli Pariser on the “filter bubble” – how the personalization features built into facebook, google, etc. keep us from seeing a broader worldview. (It’s also cool that Eli uses a screenshot from my old college friend, Scott, as part of his presentation). As Eli talks about the filter that operates “behind the scenes” in the algorithms, I found myself also wondering about the filters we create ourselves – this whole “round-up” thing I do every week is basically a filter, and there are pretty clear patterns about my thoughts on church, theology, social media, and music…

Then from Jesus Needs New PR – Joel Olsteen has never heard of Mark Driscoll – interesting to read in context of Eli Parsier’s talk on “filters.” Where do we place our attention? How does it distract? How does it keep us isolated? How does it inform? How does it broaden our worldview?

Roger Olsen on Deep Church – I love that idea of “urban Amish.”

An account of a return to Methodist covenant groups.

Another hard-hitting post from Dan Dick on Wethodism:

“It is time to take the “me” out of Methodism and replace it with “we”.  Somewhere we lost touch with the fact that this is God’s church and that each of us is fortunate and blessed to be allowed to be a part of it.  The church does not exist to serve our individual needs.  It doesn’t exist to make us happy.  It doesn’t exist to make us feel good about ourselves.  It exists to do God’s work and will in the world, and we are invited to be active participants in the glorious creative miracle of God’s unfolding vision.  We have got to get over ourselves.  At the very limited extreme, church may be about “us” as a whole, but never about us merely as individuals.  The whole “me and my buddy Jesus” mentality that pervades our culture has virtually nothing to do with church, Christianity, or the Bible.  Our boiling everything down to a personal and private religion has a historical name — heresy.  It isn’t all about me — and our denomination is suffering an acute case of “me”-thodism.”

Steven Furtick on Charlie Sheen, Tiger Woods and What it Means to Fall From Grace: “The quickest way to fall from grace is to think that there is an ounce of your life that isn’t dependent on it.”

Craig Groeshel on Being Weird:

Fred Clark on Lawnmowers and $40 Nachos – when do we make allowance for the community good?

Jen Lemen on How to Be Happy (Part 2)

A lot was posted on the whole situation surrounding ben Laden, among the many good and thoughtful posts, I appreciated this one from Becca Clark.

From Julie Clawson on being the Body of Christ:

“Is it possible to call people to be living sacrifices when they can’t even be bothered to know who it is they follow? It’s hard enough to talk about turning the other cheek when there are celebratory flash mobs in the streets because we finally killed our enemy. Or to call the church to love their neighbor when people see giving to others as an infringement on their entitlements. But this goes even deeper. It’s a mentality utterly at odds with the entire way of Christ and yet its adherents still claim to be Christian. I struggle with knowing how to respond. I know this issue is nothing new; it’s just difficult to be reminded of its extreme in such a blatant way. But I keep wondering how can the body of Christ ever be healthy when so many of its members are non-functioning?”

I’m Finite, How Are You? 

Michael Hyatt on The Benefits of Playing Full Out

Maybe Hyatt’s post is an appropriate segway to let my friends know this is going to happen on the Wednesday before Annual Conference at 6:00 – feel free to come and watch.

And I do apologize for embedding this…