Life Group Update

Things are moving and shaking with Life Groups at Four Corners. We really started asking for people to join a smaller community of people about 10 weeks ago and since then over 22 Life Groups have formed and are meeting consistently.

I'm convinced that a smaller community of people set within a larger church helps you get the connection we all hunger for and need. Church is not church without community...you'll be only getting the bare bones. It would be like going to a great restrauant and eating only an appetizer. You've sampled but not really tasted what makes the place memorable.

Here's how we're defining Life Groups at Four Corners:

"A Life Group is the best place for sustained life change to occur. In a Life Group, people study God's Word together and discuss the issues and challenges of life, and simply connect with each other. It's also where they pray, care for one another, and are missed if they don't show up.

Practically speaking, there will never be a way for the staff to personally minister to everyone who attends our church. That's why we place such a high premium on group life. It's how we minister effectively at Four Corners."

Wherever you are in life, whatever church you attend ...get into a group at your church. Let yourself be known and get connected!



We're about to start a new series this week at Four Corners called "Launch Pad" with the sub-title "Giving lift to the next generation". We're going to be talking about the importance of leaving a legacy of faith through good parenting, mentoring, and simply being available for those younger to live life with you.

The photo shoot for the bulletin artwork was a blast (no pun intended). We shot at a local park in a natural ampitheater with a small crowd of kids looking on. We asked the kids participating to make their own astronaut suits from things around the house...they looked great! As always, Paul's photos look amazing and capture the moment in every way. Come this weekend and see us LAUNCH!


Parenting = Joy and Maddness

My buddy Paul and I were talking about raising kids yesterday. We joked about how we both get driven crazy by the "peachy-keen" parents....ones that always talk about the joy of parenting, how wonderful the time with their kids is, and how their kids are always excelling. I don't know about you but that is not my experience. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids BUT my kids get my nerves a lot. The whining, the nagging, the meltdowns and temper-tantrums all wear on me. So it was refreshing for me to hear another parent talk about keeping their sanity in their crazy kid world. So never fear parents pulling your hair out...there are others like you.


Death's slow hand reaches out for us all

I have lead a life relatively sheltered from the harsh and devastating blow of death's grip. Sure I have had death find me at times. I have had two of my grandparents die but I cried more for my mom's loss than mine. I had two classmates die in high school...one fell from a cliff while drunk and another was murdered but I had only distant connections with each. I have put two dogs and two cats to sleep, but they were only a night of grief before I forgot about them as I romped around with my other childhood friends the next day. For the most part my life has been free of true grief.

But death finds us all. I know that as my parents age and some other relatives begin their twlight years, death's knock is coming soon. I have several close friends that are dealing with life threatening illnesses in their families, and I see the wear and tear it causes their heart. They are heavy with the potential fog of death. It makes my own heart mourn for the place they find themselves.

And as a Christian I wonder, have I really processed what Paul talks about in the New Testament. "Death has lost its sting." Why do I still often fear it? Literally quake at its potential. I hope I continue to grow in this life and find death something I see as something like Paul, "to die is gain..." instead of the bedrock of one of my deepest fears.

Distinctive. Memorable. And timeless.

Those are some of the criteria Church Relevance used for a "Top 20 Church Logos in the United States" list. They also looked at (all common designer sense when making a logo): aesthetically pleasing, scalable, and most importantly, a good logo communicates the unique qualities of its brand.

We're proud to announce Four Corners made the list. Well done creative team...you all are amazing!


You want to hear about your life

Seth Godin has long been someone I have respected and followed. His keen insight into the marketing and the culture at large. One of his latest postings was provoking (as usual) but left me wondering about actual application. If my blog is about me then many will find it "boring" and "unrelatable" in many ways, at least that's what Godin says. But if I know nothing better than my life what should I write about.

This then makes me look to Four Corners and what we do. We share often from our personal experiences and stories because we know our stories best. But in sharing those do we alienate many in the audience who want "universal" appeal in the stories that they can apply? It seems like a tightrope to walk...sharing what we know and have experienced balanced with an appeal that moves the truths of the stories beyond one life to the masses.

Free Vector Art

We all love free stuff. I've talked about a few places offering free stuff before and here's a design site with a heart full of altruism...and God love 'em for it.


Amish Barn Building

I remember watching the movie "Witness" when I was a kid and being struck by the scene where literally 30-40 people come over to help build a neighbor's barn in a matter of a day. Community in action. Well, out here in the 'burbs my HOA will not allow barns but they do allow playsets for kids.

So today was our modern day Amish Barn Building of sorts with a few of the guys coming over to lend their handyman know-how (God knows I have none) to Nolan's long delayed birthday gift. It's amazing to watch community in action (with a little beer and pizza as extra incentive). Thanks to those who helped. Remember...you too can have the 'Amish-way' visit your place...just call some friends.


Where did the middle go?

Leadership Journal has an insightful blog entry about the disappearance of the middle. It's the bell curve becoming the "well curve". At Four Corners this is as true as any other suburban church. We struggle with this immensely and it often is a mystery to handle properly. I look at the articles main points and realize we are in the middle of turbulent times both within the church and culture at large. People are either all in or simply just there...the middle ground is disappearing.

Most people who are new attendees to church are either very active or hardly active. This creates substantial problems in many areas such as 'membership', money, manpower, and overall movement of people from anonymous to connected.

How does losing the middle effect us as the church?



Look into someone's life when they think no one is looking? That's the basis of an incredible new web site by HBO. We just simply watch the mundane and ordinary (or in some cases extraordinary) events.

The site has us watching stories unfold before us all as a voyeur and it sucked me in. A clever and ingenious way of telling a story.


The next generation

Two of the coolest things we do at Four Corners are baptisms and dedications. There's nothing worth more celebration than people standing in front of a crowd acknowledging what God has done and will do in their lives.

We literally have a party atmosphere for baptisms...with whoops, shouting and wild applause. It's electric. And with dedications it's a celebration of what God is going to do with a new generation of Jesus followers. Check out some photos from the past 2 weeks when we did baptisms and dedications..


Michael Moore is a demagogue

Michael Moore...the name alone conjures images in many peoples minds. To conservatives, a blight on the political landscape and the perfect representation of what's wrong with the extreme left-wing. To liberals, a beacon of awareness and truth to those who so easily consume whatever is spoon fed to them by the news or government.

Personally I have a like/hate relationship with him. I appreciate his early work such as "Roger and Me" and "Bowling for Columbine" for its candor and insight into the landscape of America and issues many of us had not dug into deeply. But despised his uber-political film "Fahrenheit 9/11" and have many wonders about his current film "Sicko".

He comes off as a self-proclaimed "servant of the American People" who is just trying to save this country from going to hell. But the problem is the man cannot converse or debate civilly. He is a demagogue.

Merriam-Webster defines it as: a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power.

Watch this segment and interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN about "Sicko". It is remarkable how Moore does not address the issues CNN's medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, puts forth. Instead Moore decides to ask Wolf to apologize for CNN's doubt about "Fahrenheit 9/11's" accuracy.

Where's the rationale debate if these issues speak for themselves? Where's the conversation instead of the constant accusations of everything non-left being conspiratorial? The divide in America will never be torn down in any way, shape or form if we only continue to yell at each other. The art of debate needs to be revived so we can listen to both sides...not just the loudest.

Moore wrote a letter to CNN claiming bias toward his film by them and other 'mainstream' media outlets. Read the CNN response.

Who doesn't love free stuff?

As a Creative Director for a church I'm constantly looking for resources to enhance our worship experience. There are quite a few places to find great material such as Worship House, Igniter, Sermon Spice, Work of the People, and Highway Video.

Also...Igniter is offering 20 FREE downloads over the next 20 days. Take advantage of their well-done pieces for your church or ministry.


My PersonalDNA test

I found a great site tonight called PersonalDNA. It is a comprehensive personality testing site well-worth your time. Try it and see where you are.

My results: Advocating Creator. Read more about what this means here.


Purple mountains majesty

Our trip to Colorado has been interesting in many ways but a beautiful one in every way. I still have the desire come back here some day after living out my entire childhood here. The mountains are always arresting and the active lifestyles many lead here draw me (as well as have me despise even more the 12 lbs I've gained since my second kid was born).

We visited Avon, CO with my family and then headed to Castle Rock, CO to visit some great friends of ours that moved a few months ago. Check out some of our photos of the trip as we head home tomorrow.

I believe in evolution

...of design that is. Check out Apple's design evolution in this chart. Just when we think nothing "new" can inspire us (no thanks to Hollywood and its love affair of sequels and remakes), a small market share rattles our collective cages.