I had the opportunity recently to watch Joe Champion, pastor of Celebration Church in Austin, Texas rehearse his weekly sermon from the sanctuary stage – something I’d never seen before. It’s a fascinating concept, and here’s how it works:
When Christians get critical about Hollywood, the gay community, environmentalists, or others, we always bring out the “agenda” card. “Beware the gay agenda.” “Hollywood has a secret agenda.” “This global warming agenda.” I actually saw a comment on my blog recently warning me that “Hollywood’s agenda is to sell tickets.” Duh. What a surprise. Here’s the truth:
A few years ago, I was confronted with that question while I was speaking to the International Mission Board media team in Richmond, Virginia. They’re the men and women responsible for documenting, filming, and creating media for and about the more than 5,000 Southern Baptist missionaries in the field throughout the world. They also have the significant responsibility of creating media that local churches can use to generate financial support for
Last night Kathleen and I attended the Oscar party at Bel Air Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles. Beacon is Bel Air’s ministry to the entertainment and media industries, and they partnered with the Hollywood Prayer Network, The Greenhouse, The 168 Film Project, and Christian Women in Media to host the event. More than 1,000 people showed up to see the Oscars, discuss the films, and have a really fun night. We even had a huge contest to see who could predict the winners. The question is – Why should churches host Oscar parties?
At a Christian media seminar recently, someone asked what I thought of having a Bible verse on the back of their business card. I’ve been asked similar questions recently, and it brings up something worth discussing. Here was my answer (and I’d love to know your reaction):
In spite of calls from various Christian leaders and even our commanding general from the Army, Pastor Terry Jones of the 50-member Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., will continue with his plans to burn copies of the Koran on Saturday. The pastor of a small, evangelical church in Florida on Tuesday rebuffed a plea for restraint from Gen. David H. Petraeus, who warned that a plan to burn the Muslim holy book could provoke
For most of my life, Christians were laughed at or ridiculed for the wrong things. The non-believing culture made fun of boycotts, our protests over irrelevant issues, or crazy promotional stunts in the name of the gospel. Far too often, some Christians took the “peculiar people” scripture way out of context and actually prided themselves on how wacky they could be perceived. Sadly on Christian TV, it was our big hair, cheap suits, or tacky furniture. But what really should separate us from the world are the things that
I often make fun of what I call the “Christian media bubble.” For those non-believers in the audience, that simply means people who live inside Christian radio, publishing, TV, or music. For an earlier generation, people of faith actually interacted with the surrounding culture. But 30-40 years ago, when we noticed the Christian audience was a buying audience, we stopped preaching to the world, and started preaching to each other. As a result,