Manic Monday – Web Campuses & Small Groups

One of the recent advances in the church world is the web campus. Churches planting a “site” on the internet where people can attend weekly services online, interact with other church goers via an exclusive chat room, and even respond to the message. Two churches that are doing this the best are and more recently Newspring Church.

I think this new technology is a great use of ingenuity and creativity on the part of the church world. This truly takes to heart the principle of reaching as many people as possible by whatever means necessary short of sin. However, as is true with any new technology, there is one weakness – the lack of true face-to-face interaction.

Well, I have an idea to counter that.  I don’t believe this is being done, but if it is, awesome!  If you’re out there and have a web campus or are thinking of starting a web campus, feel free to use this. (just remember us little people when you make it big!)

Here’s the ‘Manic Monday’ idea: In addition to the weekly live broadcasts on your web campus site and the additional online connection tools, release another pre-recorded video in the middle of the week. This video would be focused on discipleship and would include relevant discussion questions. Weekly attenders to the web campus would be encouraged to recruit 5-10 others in their community/neighborhood to a weekly small group. This small group would consist of showing the pre-recorded video and going through the discussion questions. In providing this additional video, the campus would encourage the needed face-to-face interaction, provide a discipleship & accountability solution, as well as reach new people the web campus isn’t reaching.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts or additional ideas?

Manic Monday – Balloon Evangelism

I like to use my ‘Manic Monday‘ posts to throw out creative ministry ideas, and this would be no exception. While many of you may not use this approach exactly, it is rather creative. I came across this article on Paul Grabill’s blog and it highlights an approach South Koreans are using to share the hope of Christ with those in the closed nation of North Korea.

What they are doing is launching balloons from South Korea across the border into the closed nation of North Korea. This by itself wouldn’t be that big of a deal, except the balloons are carrying some 10,000 gospel tracts that are contained in three compartments that have a time release mechanism which helps distribute the tracts to a wider area. Not a bad way to get around the whole idea of being a ‘closed’ nation!

Do you have any creative ministry ideas? Submit them to and I’ll post them in future Manic Monday posts.

Manic Monday – High School Outreach

The youth ministry at Allison Park Church did something this past month that I thought was incredibly creative. Worthy of a Manic Monday post! (Read about other creative Manic Monday ideas here) Here’s what they did:

As a promotion for their outreach series The Big Event, which takes place throughout the month of October, they set-up a tailgating party at three local high school football games three weeks in a row. At the tailgate party, they had giveaways, invites to The Big Event outreach and a huge banner advertising the outreach. It worked really well to create some buzz about The Big Event, but what I think was the most genius aspect of this whole idea is that it met students on their turf.

Now you might be thinking, “Is this allowed?” Well of all the schools they went to, only one asked them to leave. My thought is – you never know until you try!

You can read more about this on our youth pastor’s blog here.

Manic Monday-Create

Here’s my latest ‘Manic Monday‘ idea.  This really was birthed out of a talk Earl Creps did on ‘Ministering to Cultural Creatives’.   As I listened to it, I realized the American Church as a whole doesn’t do a real good job engaging the creative segment of our communities. We are often very good presenting concrete thoughts and principles but what about engaging our imaginations?  Understanding that, here’s the idea – it’s a sermon series entitled ‘Create’.

FIRST MESSAGE: Created in His Image | Big Idea: We are created in the image of God, therefore we should be creative as He is creative. [Gen. 1:26-27]

SECOND MESSAGE: Creating Spiritual Growth | Big Idea: Being creative begins with being empowered. [Ex. 31:1-6]

THIRD MESSAGE: Creating Disciples | Big Idea: Creativity is meant to be shared.  [Matt. 5:13-14]

FOURTH MESSAGE: Creating Culture | Big Idea: Followers of Christ aren’t meant to adapt or conform to culture, but to create it.  [Gen. 1:28]

Additionally, previous to the messages to engage the creatives within your church or even community, you can allow people to create sermon graphic designs.  If you have enough designs submitted, you could actually use a different graphic each week.  Also, you could present the general topics for each message and allow individuals to create short video illustrations for the messages.

Manic Monday – Neighborhood Groups

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a creative idea for Manic Monday, but here we go. For those of you that pastor or are a part of a reproducing church this is for you! Starting next month we are launching a couple new small groups – they are called Neighborhood Groups. These groups are less devotional and more outreach-driven. The goal is to equip followers of Christ to impact the world around them. Here are some of the details:

  • They will meet weekly using an outreach-oriented curriculum (Full Flame, Go Fish, Becoming a Contagious Christian)
  • Weekly meetings will take place in a community of need, preferably in a home.
  • After meeting for at least a month, they will begin doing monthly outreaches in the community they are meeting.
  • The purpose of these groups is to provide mature Christians the opportunity to advance the Kingdom of God in their own community.
  • A second purpose (this is where it gets good!) is should a group begin to flourish and see both numerical and spiritual growth, we can connect them with a church planter and begin the process for planting in that community.

If you want more details on the concept of Neighborhood Groups, feel free to e-mail me at

Manic Monday – Phenom

phenomlogo.jpgThis week’s Manic Monday idea is a new sermon series. With the continuing trend in our nation of a fascination with celebrity this series capitalizing on this idea. The series is called ‘Phenom’ and deals with true phenoms throughout Hebrews 11. Each message would deal with different character traits that have led to their “Celebrity Faith”. Here are a few suggested message titles:

  • Abel, the Phenom Giver (v.4)
  • Noah, the Phenom Builder (v.7)
  • Abraham, the Phenom Father (v.17-19)
  • Moses, the Phenom Leader (v.24-28)

Manic Monday – New Location

Well, here we are again – another Manic Monday!!  This week is a great idea only if it’s pulled off right.  Let me explain.  Often through our preaching or our services we are trying to convey some important point.  That can be challenging people to reach their neighborhoods for Christ or to get involved in a small group.  It can be frustrating sometimes when people don’t quite respond the way you had hoped.  Sometimes you might even feel as if no one’s listening.  Well, here’s an idea that will definitely eliminate the number of ‘non-listeners’.  Now, I wouldn’t try this too frequently, but here’s the idea:

Depending on your service topic, change the location of where you are holding the service for that week.  Whether that’s a different area in or outside your church or maybe even off-site.  This could include having service in a gym, on a flat piece of property, in a warehouse, or even at a high school.  The sticking point here is that changing location actually makes people less comfortable – meaning they will pay more attention.  That can be good and bad – do your best to be meticulous and make it good!!  A couple tidbits of advice here:

  • Don’t change the location just to change it.  That would be a lot of work for no real reason.  Choose a location for a purpose – something that would tie into the message you are sharing.
  • Have someone other than yourself coordinate this whole service.  If you are coordinating it, you’ll be so overwhelmed with all the details your message (the whole reason you’re doing this) will suffer…and so will your congregation!  Make sure you work out the little details like sound, parking, directional signs, staging, seating, etc

I know it’s a crazy idea, but hey, that’s why it’s Manic Monday!  Just pushing back what is the norm!!

Manic Monday-Just Say No

This week’s creative ministry idea isn’t really all that creative, although it is abnormal and really rather difficult to pull off.  It is something that we all hate to do (for some really odd reason).  It is increasing the frequency we use two little letters: ‘N-O‘.  Try it sometime.  Just say no.

Everyone has a new ministry your church should start.  Everyone has a creative idea that sounds like it would work really well at the church down the street, just not yours.  As a pastor, you are the brick wall that everyone in your church bounces their new ideas off of.  Now understand, it’s a really good thing when people in your church are brainstorming new ways to reach the lost, but in a loving way, you have to say no to many of them.  As I said yesterday in a post, if you try to do everything, you won’t do anything well.

So this week, rather than giving you something new to try to pull off, I figured I’d help you take a step toward health and sanity.  Try subtracting rather than adding.  Just say no.

Manic Monday-Neighborhood Cook-Out

Sorry I didn’t actually post this on Monday, but here’s this week’s creative ministry idea: A Neighborhood Cook-Out. The idea isn’t all that cutting edge, but is geared toward helping a pastor get to meet people in the community.

This Neighborhood Cook-Out would be organized by an individual or individuals in your church. They would have a normal cook-out at their home and invite all their neighbors. This could coincide with a neighborhood block party, but it would actually work better a part from any kind of overly organized activity. You can have neighbors bring a covered dish or dessert to ease on costs. Now here’s the kicker: In addition to neighbors being at this cook-out, so is the pastor. It’s a great opportunity for a pastor to not only meet new people in the community, but also to be seen as a normal, everyday person.  The pastor doesn’t need to stand up and preach a sermon or really do anything except get to know some of the neighbors that are there.

It’s a simple idea, but is based strongly on relationships, which I believe is one of the greatest tools to seeing people coming to Christ.

Manic Monday – 4LTR Words

Beginning today, every Monday I am going to offer some kind of creative ministry idea. I’m calling it ‘Manic Mondays’. I know this can be a down day for many pastors – if you’re going to feel like giving up, Monday’s are usually that day. So allow this weekly creative idea to inspire you to press on. You can do it!!

4ltrwords.jpg With that said, this week’s Creative Idea is a sermon series concept.  As you can see with the rough design to the left, the series idea is titled, “4LTR Words“.  Now before you throw something at the screen, let me explain the concept.  Each week will deal with a different basic Spiritual Discipline.  The reason it’s called four-letter words is because disciplines are often ‘hush, hush’ – we don’t want to offend or push people too much.  Thus the ‘four-letter words’ – concepts that are unspeakable.  Here’s the four week breakdown of the series:

  1.  PR*Y:  Topic would be addressing the importance of prayer in a believer’s life.
  2. G#VE:  Topic would be addressing the need to sacrifice and give of our time, money and talents for the good of the Kingdom of God.
  3. LOV%:  Topic would be addressing the need to love those around us.  Not only loving God, but loving our neighbor.
  4. T+LL:  Topic would be addressing the need to tell and share the gospel with those around you.  Whether that’s a co-worker, neighbor, or loved one.

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