Monday, April 19, 2010

Quick Hits #6

#1 Francis Chan is leaving the pastorate. Or at least, he's leaving his current pastorate. Check out the video interview with Catalyst here. He says, "I'd love to be obscure again." What an anomaly in the celebrity pastor world.

#2 On a related note, you can now watch the Band of Bloggers presentations on "Gospel Fidelity and Internet Idolatry" at Tim Brister's blog. My bit was on incarnating integrity and blogging gospel exultation. The feedback was great, and I was grateful for all the hard work Tim, the Sojourn crew, Owen Strachan, and other volunteers put into making it all come together.

#3 One of the attendees, though, who received a copy of the leader kit for my new book Abide wrote me this past weekend to complain about the warmed-over Catholic mysticism and New Age spirituality in the book. I was perplexed. Some of the stuff he put in quotation marks in his email aren't even actual phrases from the book. The other things he seemed concerned about didn't sound familiar as something I'd write. As I pressed deeper, I realized he was objecting to some of the language used in the exercise sections of the book, which weren't written by me, but by Threads editors. Still, my name is on the book, so I am responsible for all that's in it, I know. Some of the stuff recommended seems kinda frou-frou to me, but I don't see how one could get "New Age spirituality" from it. The other thing the guy didn't like was a sidebar quote from Bill Hybels. I totally own that, as that came from my text. I understand the impulse to reject anything somebody says if we disagree with their approach to ecclesiology or what-have-you. But I don't share the impulse. Anyone who reads my stuff long enough knows I have serious issues with the seeker-driven, attractional mindset. But I can recognize when a brother in Christ I disagree with on some things says others that I find helpful. (The quote in question was about prayer.)

#4 So before the T4G conference last week I posted something about dudes not watching porn in their hotel rooms, and it got a lot of traction. Now I wonder if someone should have posted something about not being idiots at restaurants and cafes, because while I was in Louisville I kept hearing horror stories. One waitress told us that one party she waited on left her a $7 tip on an $80 bill but also left one of those fake million-dollar-bill gospel tracts. Another got "Way of the Master"ed while she served a table. She was in tears relating this to another pastor, who ministered to her more gently. I abominate whoever left the fake money tract. The lines for service were long last week, so there was a lot of sighing and eye rolling and short temperedness from Christians who forgot they were there to serve.

#5 Celtics are up the first game against Miami in first round of playoffs. Game 2 is tomorrow night but no Kevin Garnett. :-(


Our Love Story said...

I've waited tables myself, and Sunday 'Christians' were some of the worst tippers, most demanding, and obnoxious people I waited on. It's no wonder the world is so turned off to church and more importantly Christ. I think a lot of times 'Christians' are their own worst enemy.

Philip said...

Best way to "witness" to a waiter/waitress I've ever seen is this:

1. Be friendly. Tell them you will be praying before your meal, Ask if you can pray for them. If body language, tone of voice and time permits, ask if there is anything specific.

2. Pray for them.

3. Leave a good tip.

And that's it. The Holy Spirit will do the rest. You'll be amazed at how many actual opportunities to minister to people in Jesus' name comes from this.

Greg Wilson said...

Well said, Philip. I don't usually comment on these things, but I agree with everything you said. This is what I do as well...

Anonymous said...

The Outback where I waited tables in college had a corkboard in the back for people to pin up tracts they'd received as "tips". The sign over the board read "Hallelujah! Jesus pays the bills!"

My favorite thing was the group of choir members from my own church (where I lead the worship team) would come in every Tuesday and leave tracts instead of cash, even when I was their waiter... which I tried to make sure happened each week.

A big "Amen" to Philip, though. This goes a long way toward counteracting the poor witness of so many, and is appreciated by servers more than most anyone can know.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Philip. Those are good common sense guidelines. We try to pray for our waiters and even ask some questions. Sometimes we even get to share the gospel with them. There are times when our waiter may be so busy that he/she doesn't have time to get into a conversation. In that type of situation we would give them a gospel tract and a "big" tip.
Don't leave a tract if you are not going to tip well.

Joe Selness said...

Vernon, a hearty AMEN. Don't leave a tract without a hefty tip (and hefty be even the cheapest standards is over 20%).

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the Band of Bloggers luncheon, as I listened to you, I never heard you introduce yourself, so I was very tempted to stand and say, "Excuse me, but I'm from Vermont. Could you please tell me your name?" I finally figured it out. Actually, I live and work about 9,000 miles from Vermont: Vanuatu.

Jared said...

To the anonymous commenter who is insulting me and calling me a coward:
I have rejected your comment b/c you did not include your name.

Brendt said...

An anonymous commenter called you a coward.

Dude, you've hit the irony mother-lode.