Monthly Archives: October 2010

things I should hate more than I do: #7 Movie Endings

Who hates movie endings, right?

This is an absurd idea… or, is it absurd that we all don’t hate movie endings more than we do?

Think about it.  You invest hours of your life into following a story, only to have it end happily, tragically, or ambiguously.  Every movie, good or bad, has an ending.  If nothing else, a time comes when you have to leave the theater and drive away.

I’ve been thinking a lot about transitions and saying goodbye… and I’ve decided that movies set us up to expect something from reality that we seldom ever get.
I’ll resolve that thought in a moment.

A few months ago, a dear friend of mine passed away.  If you’ve lived, then, chances are, you’ve lost someone at one point or another.  It’s hard for me to get past a week without thinking of things that were unresolved in our relationship… and, I find myself wishing that things would have played out differently.  I have no regrets about our friendship – I’m just shocked (for lack of a better term) at the stark finality of death.  I want to share more stories with my friend.  I want him to grow old and get to know his grandchildren.  I want him to have another tomorrow – a chance to hear birds, love his family and take a Sunday off from volunteering as a Sunday School teacher to play a round of golf.

It’s been nearly 5 months since a colleague and close friend of my family resigned from her position on our church staff to become a chaplain at a private school in the heart of Los Angeles.  I know that transitions happen, but, after years of investing in a relationship and a ministry partnership, it’s hard to lose the results of the effort and relational capital that’s we’ve both invested in each other.  Sure, we’ll still be friends… but, she’s moved on to the next exciting chapter of her life and has left us all behind.

So, I was listening to an author by the name of Don Miller talk about what makes a good movie a good movie… or what makes a good story a good story.  Basically, he was able to put into words and name for me what I hate about movie endings – a good story has closure.  Even if the movie ends and you know that the story goes on, you know that there has been some sort of conflict that’s been resolved and you can rest, knowing that resolution has happened and the movie world is a better place because of it.

Now… I’ll tie it all together, because that’s what the expectation is, right?

There will always be something else you could have done/said/fought for… but, at the end of the day, the day ends with things undone.

At the end of every movie, when the screen fades to black, we need to remember that the story goes on.  Our stories go on.  Long after our life here fades out, our story will continue.  Movies set us up to expect closure – but I’m beginning to doubt that it ever actually happens or exists in reality.

Anyone else feel this way, or am I just getting bummed out by the week of rain we’ve had in Southern California?

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Posted by on October 23, 2010 in Los Angeles, Uncategorized


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my favorite things: #31 Good News Clubs

One of my favorite things that we do as a ministry is a little thing we like to call Good News Clubs.

My assistant, Staci Travisano (@Stacitrav) and I put together a little video that we’ve been sending out to potential volunteers for this booming ministry.  Could we have done a better quality video for this?  Absolutely!  But, after multiple takes, and taking into account that we both hate being on camera, we felt like the people watching this already like us – so, it was more about giving them a head’s up for what Good News Clubs are like in our community.

Currently, we provide support for 4 clubs in Glendora (3 directly and 1 in partnership with another amazing church down the road from us) and I’m starting conversations today to launch a 5th club at the only public school left in our city that doesn’t have a GNC on campus.

Want to know more about running gospel-centered programs on public school campuses in your neck of the woods?  Drop me a line in the comment section and I’d love to follow up with you!


Posted by on October 20, 2010 in Kidmin, Los Angeles


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Orange Week: Registration is NOW Open

The good news: Registration opens today for the 2011 Orange Conference.

The sad news: Today’s posts will wrap up Orange Week 2.0.

The awesome news: You can help us promote this year’s conference and keep the Orange conversation going!

You can copy and paste any of the banners and badges below to your blog, website, facebook – wherever you want to spread the news.

But, before you do that – make sure you sign up! See you in Atlanta, friends.


Posted by on October 5, 2010 in Kidmin, Orange, Resources


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Orange Week: Orange Failing

(making something look Orange doesn’t automatically make it awesome… in fact, it makes some things a little terrifying)

Last spring, I wrote a series of articles about the importance of sharing ideas – even the ones that fail.  Our team’s biggest failure this year came as a result of trying to make something look “Orange” without actually going the distance when it came to actually partnering the church and local families.

You can read about that Epic Fail here:

You see, you can’t just expect that adding a parenting component, a kid’s activity, or hip language to an event makes the event Orange.  In fact, by doing that and not delivering, we risked throwing away momentum that we had built up in the arena of parent/church collaboration.

So, again, as I pointed out in THIS recent post, you should never just paint something Orange because it’s trendy.  If you’re going to make Orange shifts in your ministry – do it well and do it on purpose.

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Posted by on October 5, 2010 in Uncategorized


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Orange Week: The Yellow Side of Orange

(Somebody tell the people at Orange that I want an All-Orange Rubik’s Cube when I head out to Atlanta for Orange 2011, k?)

As I said in an earlier post, Yellow Initiatives are instances when the church tries to leverage it’s resources to reach families with the light of the Gospel.  At Glenkirk, we’ve recently shifted our Sunday morning strategies in our pursuit of connecting families to the church community and reaching them with the Gospel of Jesus.

252 Basics and First Look

I truly believe at the core of my soul, that what happens at home matters more in the life of a child than what happens at church.  And, though I’ve been saying that for years around my church, our Sunday morning experience didn’t reflect that philosophy.  Instead, we invested a lot into making Sundays a super-fun and exciting event for kids to experience while their parents were in big church.

Over a year ago, I began to think about what our church might look like if we switched strategies on Sundays and began to look at what happens on a Sunday as a launching point for the rest of the week.  As our team began to embrace this shift, we noticed that our Sunday curriculum didn’t assist us in equipping parents to continue and lead the conversations we were starting once they left church.  We realized that we were going to have the change up a curriculum that our kids, volunteers and parents liked for something that we felt would be a more Orange Yellow.  That is, we felt like we needed to launch a Yellow Initiative that had an Orange philosophy at its core.

It took a year of baby steps, but we finally made it – this last August marked the beginning of our use of First Look and 252 Basics.  We didn’t make this shift because we wanted to be trendy and switch to the newest/fanciest curriculum on the market… what mattered most to our team was the partnership that was at the core of the Orange strategy.

I want to wrap up by saying this: making the switch was a huge deal for us, but it has been totally worth it.  In the two short months we’ve been using it, we’ve noticed a dramatic upswing in parent involvement in faith-centered conversations at home.  In fact, just a couple weeks after the switch, I received this email from a parent:

hey guys,

just wanted to tell you thanks for the awesome programs you put on.  funny story…so sunday i thought i’d use the papers from sunday school and ask [my son] the questions on them (great idea, huh?).  i did not anticipate it going very well, as he doesn’t know the difference between yesterday, today and a month ago, nor does he often know the difference between making something up and telling something that actually happened.  so when i asked what did you learn today? i was not surprised when he said, “i don’t know.”  so i prompted him using the paper, “did you learn that someone loves you?” and he said, “yes–GOD!” and then i asked him if he remembered the story about the 2 men named paul and silas.  he said “yes, they were in jail.” i almost fell on the floor.  then i said, “what happened to them?”  he said, “they blocked out of jail.  god did it.”  close enough, buddy.

thanks for helping me discover that my kid can actually learn bible stories now–if it weren’t for you, i might not have discovered this for another year.  🙂

My buddy, Jonathan Cliff, wrote a great post this week about his recent shift to 252 Baics and First Look… you can check it out by clicking HERE.


Posted by on October 1, 2010 in Kidmin, Orange


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