Phil Chorlian, Senior Pastor, North Jersey Vineyard, Teterboro, NJ and Reg. CPC for Eastern Region
A question that we all wrestle with is “should we be doing more marketing?”. I’m sure that no one in this economy has a lot of discretionary money to use for marketing, so what is the best way we can utilize the limited funds that we have? Here are some thoughts…..
The EDTF (Ethnic Diversity Task Force) recently met and are hoping in the months to come to be able to bring you stories and interesting resources that you can use to start conversations within your church, with your friends, with your leaders, whatever your situation may be, that could be helpful in moving us toward greater understanding of one another.
This month’s question is posted by Nicole McAdoo-Popovich, Denver Hub pastor from Arvada Vineyard, CO and answered by Jeff Heidkamp, co-pastor of Mercy Vineyard in Minneapolis, MN with his wife, Le Que Heidkamp, and editor of Cutting Edge, the Vineyard church planting magazine. Nicole is one of a group of current and potential church planters within Arvada Vineyard, and this is one of the most common questions they struggle with.
A provocative question, asking which race a person prefers.
I have just finished a book by Malcolm Gladwell called "Blink" which I found a fascinating read, and I was captured by this question in one section of his book where he talks about a test a person can take to show what they unconsciously feel toward African-Americans and European-Americans.
When my wife was having our first child, the midwife was very concerned because the baby was in the breach position. If the baby was to try to leave her body that way there would be real damage to the baby and my wife. In the birthing process leaving well is critical.
Leaving well in the birth of a church is important too! We want healthy, strong churches right from the start that have what they need to grow to full maturity. There is a lot of unnecessary pain and agony when the leaving is done poorly.
This year, at the Vineyard 2009 National Conference, we on the Ethnic Diversity Task Force used it as a place to introduce ourselves the larger Vineyard movement -- and we had a great time doing it! Every conversation I had felt like I was making friends with a kindred spirit on this journey toward a multi-ethnic community of believers.
A frequent question for church planters is how to balance church and family. I generally give a two part answer: one answer for the first year of planting, another answer for all the years after that. In the first year I recommend working all out, especially at gathering, in hopes of getting the church to an attendance of 100 or so in the first year-two years at most. This would make all the other things more simple. Which means that in the first year a planter has to get by on minimal family time.
The Ethnic Diversity Task Force would like to invite any ethnic minority pastors and their spouses to attend a luncheon on Tuesday, May 5, during the National Conference in Galveston, TX. This lunch is open to associate and senior pastors.
We would love to take the opportunity to meet you and hear about your interest in the area of ethnic diversity in the Vineyard.
Today a friend told me about visiting a church in another city. The first time he went it was for a Sunday evening service he found on their web site. But when he got there the place was closed - no signs, no lights, no notice, and no people except for three other newcomers who did the same thing - look on the web and come to the stated service time. So eventually he tried again on Sunday morning. But the service was much longer than he expected - he had arranged a ride from someone else and had to leave after 90 minutes and the sermon still hadn't started!
An intriguing challenge that often arises when we have conversations about ethnic diversity is the challenge of what words to use.
Case in point, our upcoming Diverse Pastor Projects had a subtitle using the phrase "people of color" which is a hotly debated phrase. Some people love it. Some people hate it. Some people are indifferent because even if they are an ethnic minority, the color of their skin is white and not a color. But then, isn't white a color too?!