Friday, 25 February 2011

10 Ways to Become a Plastic Church by Chad Missildine - - Christian Leadership Blogs, Articles, Videos, How To's, and Free Resources

10 Ways to Become a Plastic Church by Chad Missildine - - Christian Leadership Blogs, Articles, Videos, How To's, and Free Resources

What is a Plastic Church? A Plastic Church is a church that looks like church from the outside: building, services, staff, etc. Who knows, there may even be a steeple! On the inside, however, the Plastic Church barely resembles a church at all. No real community of believers, no prayer, no real concern for people, no application of Scripture in real life, no transformation. These are all signs of a real, authentic church. Could you have a Plastic Church or be on your way?

Here are 10 Ways to Become a Plastic Church:

1. De-value authenticity. Don’t create an environment where people can come as they are, baggage and all. This is easy when you, the church leader, are not authentic and genuine. Act like you have it all together, and everyone else will act the same way!

2. Don’t push people to serve out of obedience to Jesus.Talk instead about what’s in it for them. Better yet, don’t encourage people to serve at all.

3. Be a fake Follower of Christ. There is no better way to have a fake church than to be a fake follower of Christ as a church leader. Talk the talk, but don’t get off your tail to walk the walk. Be a Plastic Church leader.

4. Don’t ever talk about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Stay instead on the perimeter- the safe stuff. You don’t want to get into confronting people with their need for relationship with God. Smells like Plastic.

5. Don’t be relevant at all. Instead, confuse people with your lofty scriptural explanations. Make it so complex that only the spiritually elite like you can follow. Make application of Scripture a low priority and your methods of teaching the highest priority. Make people depend on you as a leader instead of empowering them. For bonus points, show off all your Greek and make people feel guilty for not knowing as much as you.

6. Care more about your agenda than about honoring and loving people. Push, push, push your church-centric agenda. Don’t respect and honor the role your people have in the community, in their neighborhoods, in their workplace, and in their families. Make it all about the four church walls. This has Plastic Church written all over it!

7. Make spiritual growth a low priority. Spiritual growth is so tough to track, why even bother? Focus instead on the programs you’ve been running for the last decade. They are way more predictable than diving into a new arena like authentic spiritual growth. Plastic.

8. Don’t invite God into the picture. Instead, create everything out of your wisdom, your resources, your understanding. Christ as head of the church? Forget that, you’re the head, baby! Take it and run with it.

9. Don’t talk to other churches or community organizations. You are too busy, too important, and have too many of the answers. Everybody should only think about your church and your name, not what God may be doing down the street.

10. Do all the talking. You do all the talking, all the time. After all, it’s your show, right? Don’t think at all about using other message resources, telling stories through video, letting others cast vision. People need you; they want you. You. You. You. Plastic.

Do you see these in the church today?

Saturday, 29 January 2011

12 bizarre real-life places that are stranger than science fiction

12 bizarre real-life places that are stranger than science fiction

Science fiction is home to some fantastic societies, from Cloud City to Bartertown. But you doesn't have to leave reality for this—our own world has places so abnormal, they make alien societies seem ordinary.

Here are 12 remarkable locations in which people once lived (and some still do).

1. Izu Islands


Off the coast of Japan lies a series of volcanic islands. Due to the air being full of sulphur, they were evacuated as recently as 2000. However, citizens moved back, despite having to wear gas masks for most of their day. This is mainly due to a pension provided by scientists studying the debilitating effects of the environment. When the alien zombie virus hits Earth, these will probably be the only people left alive.

2. Neft Daslari


Neft Daslari is a functional city built 34 miles from the nearest shore. Located in Azerbaijan, the town began as an oil platform before growing into the sprawling megaplex it is today. It kind of resembles one of those apocalyptic Kevin Costner films, except it's not called "Oil World" and it doesn't go on forever.

3. Sedlec Ossuary


One of the creepiest places on Earth, Sedlec Ossuary is a Roman Catholic chapel in the Czech Republic. A popular burial site for nearly 1,000 years, the church eventually found itself with a bone storage problem. In 1870, a man was hired to arrange the bones, and he made the whole thing look like the love child of LEGOs and death metal.

4. Coober Pedy


Temperatures in this Australian mining town reach well into broiling, so the opal miners who live there have built most of their town underground. Attractions include subterranean chapels, a metal tree and a golf course open only at night. This town is our first warning system against an invasion of Mole People. (More great pics here.)

5. Centralia, Pennsylvania


In 1962, a huge underground coal deposit ignited beneath the town of Centralia, Pa. It has been burning steadily ever since. Still, the hearty town residents stuck around until 1981, when sinkholes forced a near-total evacuation (probably because drunk people kept trying to pee on the fire).

6. Gate Tower Building


It's funny how something as boring as zoning regulations could lead to one of the most exciting office buildings on the planet. A conflict between highway builders and skyscraper builders led to a unique compromise and an eye-popping piece of architecture. The highway is completely separated from the tower; otherwise the entire building would be constanty vibrating. Building employees are encouraged not to spit out the window.

7. Barcelona Supercomputing Center


Inside a spectacular Spanish church sits an enormous glass box. Inside that glass box is one of the world's fastest supercomputers. The public research center provides invaluable data to the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science. We argued against this, insisting the computer would become sentient and attempt to start a brutal religious regime.

8. Thames Town


Nestled near Shanghai, China, is a quaint-yet-fully-functional re-creation of a classic English market town. This is just the start, as plans call for similar towns themed after Sweden, Italy, Holland, German, traditional Chinese, Spain, the United States and an ecologically-themed town. That's a lot of different places to stash No. 6 from The Prisoner.

9. Manshiyat Naser


On the edge of Cairo lies a community whose entire economic system centers around collecting and sorting garbage. The bustling area has shops, houses and even the largest church in the Middle East. We're also guessing it probably has some of the largest homemade forts in the Middle East, too.

10. Linfen


Originally nicknamed "the modern fruit and flower town," this Chinese city was home to the worst pollution of any metropolis on Earth. Before reform, belching coal plants continuously choked out the sun and citizens often had difficulty seeing their own hands. A crackdown on pollution and a switch to natural gas has resulted in dramatic improvements to air quality, which means citizens no longer have to wear black every day.

11. Karni Mata, Temple of the Rats


This Indian temple is home to the belief that reincarnation occurs as a rat. As such, thousands of rats roam freely among worshippers. Being barefoot is a must, probably because shoes are the rat's natural arch-nemesis.

12. Kowloon Walled City


Due to an invasion by squatters, lawmakers turned a blind eye to this section of China from 1947 until 1973. Notorious for being completely run by gangs, the lack of building codes created haphazard structures never seen before. The sun never touched many of the narrow streets until the city was demolished in 1994. This was as close to lawlessness as non-celebrities could ever get.

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