Say What?

In case you haven’t done the math, my kids are preacher’s kids, sometimes referred to in the churchiverse as “PKs.” They get top billing anytime I preach (whether the illustrations are true or not), they spend a lot of time hanging out at God’s house (“No running in God’s hallways!”), and sometimes I dream that we’ll be one of those powerhouse multi-generational pastor families where I’ll eventually pass my legacy down to them (current legacy includes a couple of Mark Driscoll books and a clergy parking pass to Duke Hospital).

But I realize that my kids aren’t like the PKs of my youth. Nope, my version of PKs – my friends Bobby and Tommy – had it way rougher than my kids do now. They had to walk a whole 75 feet from the parsonage to get to church. Their preacher daddy didn’t embrace his baldness like I am, and they were subject to the scourge of his toupee. They didn’t have a coffee bar, a plethora of campus choices, or worship leaders who wore skinny jeans. ‘Twas a rough life, yo.

Over the years, Merriem and I have discovered that we’re raising a different breed of PK. These are kids that have never really known traditional church. They’ve grown up in a multi-site, band-driven, set up and tear down, high school and warehouse church environment that doesn’t really lend itself to the flannel graphs and three piece suits of our day. As a matter of fact, they don’t always recognize (or understand) traditional church when they actually see it. For example…

Several years ago we took Jacob and Austin (then 9 & 8) on a road trip to visit the first church we served way back in the early 90’s. We were there for a Wednesday night prayer meeting, and Jacob grabbed a hymnal out of the back of the pew and examined it the way a monkey examines a nuclear warhead. “Mom,” he whispered “what is this?” Merriem looked at me as though we’d completely failed to bring our child up to love Jesus. “He’s a Southern Baptist’s pastor’s kid!” she said. “He should know what a hymnal is!”

A few months back Jase (then 8) told us that we ought to go and plant a church in a nearby small town. His reasoning: “All the churches in that town don’t look right. They all have those pointy things sticking up from the roof.” (God bless him, he doesn’t understand steeples and thinks warehouses are God’s chosen church design spelled out in Leviticus.)

And just last week, Austin (now 14) attended a friend’s birthday party in her church’s fellowship hall. When I picked him up, he said “Dad, it was one of those old churches, with tinted windows and pictures on them.” (Yep, stained glass.)

So how about you? What are your stories of being a traditional church parent raising emerging church kids? Comment below.


Our Topical Tuesday series will return next week. Meanwhile, this video just couldn’t wait another day.

For the last few days I’ve been hanging out with the staff team and church family at Wynne Baptist Church in eastern Arkansas. We’ve been talking guest services, bringing outsiders in, structure, strategy, covering the mouse, rice farming, skunk coffee…you name it.

There were lots of great things that came out of our time together, but my greatest takeaway was the video below. This is actual video from an actual church service where my buddy Matt Pearson has a little…well, I’ll let you see (and hear) for yourself:

Matt swears it was “a glitch in the sound system,” but I think he’s a stinking liar…if you get my drift. HUGE thanks to Lisa D. Love for tipping me off to this!

There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t weep bitter tears over the demise of the Crummy Church Signs blog.  The guy who ran that thing gave voice to a truth that I’ve always known: church signs are a bad idea.  Giving a church a marquee is like giving a dingo a baby…eventually, something’s going to go horribly wrong.

I was reminded of that truth earlier this week while driving down a rural road in the deep south.  (In the south, summer doesn’t officially begin until a church sign says, “Brother, if you think it’s hot here…”)

So I was thrilled / mortified to see these signs, all on the same road, all within 2/10 of a mile of each other:

“Are you sick and discouraged? Come inside to meet the healer.”

The  poor health theme continued on the other side of the street.  I repeat: directly across the road was where I saw this sign:

“Sick and tired of being sick and tired? Come in for some life meds, no appt. needed.”

Not to be outdone – and just in case someone didn’t recover from their sickness –  let’s go back ACROSS THE STREET, where the flip side of Church #1’s sign said this:

“The death angel knows your address.  Are you ready?”

(“Gee, Doctor, it’s the strangest thing.  Timmy’s night terrors started just about the time we started attending that new church.”)

And finally, entry #4 comes from a church just down the street from these two.  I think it’s an appropriate benediction for this post:

“Without the bread of life you’re toast”

I heart flash mobs – especially those that make snooty European bystanders do the awkward Macarena.

Like it? Check out this post.

In case you missed it, one of our covenant members hit the big time on ESPN last week.

Jon Lunn is one of our First Impressions Team leaders.  He’s also a NC State University student.

And a rabid Duke fan.

So it was pretty awesome when Jon showed up at the Duke / NCSU game and sat in the NCSU student section wearing his Duke jersey.

Incredibly stupid, but pretty awesome.

Even better was when his mug went on national TV…at the end of the game…as Duke was getting spanked.  The picture says it all:

Moral to this story.  Jon is fearless.  So if he tells you you’re gonna scoot in this Sunday to make room for guests, you’d better do what he says.

(Disregard those instructions if you happen to be wearing this.)

It’s time, dear readers, for the semi-every-other-little-while list of weird search terms…those odd descriptors that people typed into Google and ended up right here on ye olde blogge. (No extra charge for today’s British flair!)

Here are the actual search terms, followed by bonus commentary…

  • What to say on Fridays (How about, “Hey!  This ain’t Wednesday!”)
  • Difference between stuff and staff (Hint: just one letter, Einstein.)
  • Fellow believers who “get on your last nerve” (I sense a church split brewing here.)
  • Sick and twisted (Thank you.  I do my best.)
  • Electric razor for a St. Bernard  (Ummmm…I got nothin’.)

Want to see the other list?  Check it.

Preach the gospel at all times.  When necessary, use words.

But don’t use your words obnoxiously, or shout them while you’re 30,000 feet in the air.

And definitely DO NOT pause from using your shouting words in order to bite fellow humans on the leg.

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Bible Quoting Passenger Causes Delta Plane Diversion
Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Delta airliner en route from Seattle to Atlanta made an unscheduled stop in Nashville after a passenger reportedly began quoting Bible passages. No one was hurt.

According to a police arrest warrant, “The suspect would not allow the person sitting next to him to leave her seat to use the restroom. The suspect kept telling her that his blood would be on her and he was not going to let her leave no matter what happened. Several passengers restrained the suspect and the suspect attempted to bite one of the passengers in the leg.

[Read the full article on Fox News.]

On the way to school this morning, my boys and I were talking about the news that General Motors will shut down it’s Saturn line later this year.  I was explaining the impact this would have on many friends and even some family members back home in Middle Tennessee (home to Saturn’s manufacturing plant).  Here’s how the rest of the conversation went down with my 12 year old:

Austin: So why are they shutting it down?

Me: Well buddy, my thoughts would be that they weren’t making the money they needed to off of that particular brand [insert three minute lesson on supply and demand here].  So, they are just going to stop making the car.

Austin: Man, WHAT is going on with this economy?  First it’s Saturn, and then the phone companies are buying each other, and Tony Stewart doesn’t drive for Home Depot anymore!

Ummm…yeah.  That’s the natural progression I made, as well.  But this kid is in the gifted program, so somewhere in that genius brain I’m sure it made sense.

Any of you care to connect the dots?

…at least I’ve never sat by while one of my children sang a song that included the words, “I shot a man just to watch him die.”

Still, she’s so cute when she says it.  Check it out:

Thanks to Amy Kendall for the tip!


A New York city teen came face-to-fang with a 3-foot boa constrictor Sunday that slithered uninvited into the youngster’s home — a jarring confrontation that had the whole family in a panic.

“The snake was just staring at me,” said a shaken Kareem Lewis, 18.*

The close encounter came around 10 a.m., when Lewis was waking up in the family’s first-floor apartment on Sherman Avenue.

“I started to panic when he started to slither at me,” said Lewis, whose mom was at church.**

The teen called 911, and police held the snake inside a pillowcase until animal control arrived.***

Lewis guessed that the snake slithered in through a window.****

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Here are my thoughts:

*Maybe Spence’s post wasn’t an urban legend, after all.  That dude was getting sized up!

**See there?  If you had gotten up off your Star Wars’ sheets at your mom’s house and gotten to the Lord’s house, you could have averted disaster.

***No word on whether the pillowcase was soaked with Kareem’s fear-induced urine.

****Yeah, that would be the first thing I would think about too.  I mean, it’s New York City.  Three foot snakes crawl in through windows all the time.

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