Archive for February, 2010

Administrative Woes

February 24, 2010 3 comments

I have a low tolerance for non-mission critical tasks.  Maybe Jesus wants me to learn patience and perseverance through these tasks but I really hope not.  One of the things that drives me up the wall is the way we track people.  It’s not the tracking that makes me crazy, it’s the method.  I do not find the software we use to be particularly helpful in this regard because it lacks simplicity.

Here’s what I need to be able to do simply.  Simply is the operative word if you haven’t figured that out yet.  I don’t want to nor do I need to spend hours learning how to use another system.  I need an intuitive program in the cloud.

What I need church software to do simply:

1) Attendance.

  • Input attendance from communication card
  • Input information requests from communication card (want info on baptism, membership, serving, etc).
  • Input volunteer offers from communication card (want to serve communion, work with children, etc).

The last two would be even better if I could get a weekly E-mail report after the data has been entered.

2) Financial

  • Input giving information
  • Input commitment information
  • Print giving reports both quarterly and end of the year statements that comply with the IRS

3) Communication

  • Ability to send mass e-mail
  • Ability for receivers to unsubscribe
  • Ability for me to see who has unsubscribed

The software I’m currently using probably does these things, but as the only pastor and only full-time worker, it’s a complete waste of time for me to spend the necessary time learning how to use what I have to it’s full potential.  I need an intuitive program in the cloud.

Any suggestions?

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Repost from the BHT

February 18, 2010 Leave a comment

I shared this earlier at the Boar’s Head Tavern.

The Ghost(s) of Ash Wednesday Past

I don’t know if anyone has ever had the weird experiences I’ve had on Ash Wednesday but I had another one last night.

When I was 18, I went with some school mates to the Catholic Church across the street from our school. I thought getting ashed would be cool so I kneeled, stood, sat, and genuflected as best I could. When it came time for ashes, the classmate next to me said, “You can’t go up there. You aren’t Catholic.” I was steaming mad so I stomped out and went back across the street to our cafeteria for breakfast. One of my friends asked me what was wrong so I told her. She said, “Come with me to our Ash Wednesday service. I’m Episcopalian. We’ll let you do whatever you want.” I never knew what a broad statement that would turn out to be. The evening ended with my best-friend and fellow Methodist nearly spitting the wine back into the common cup because “It’s NOT grape juice.”

In my first church, I helped with my first Ash Wednesday service in 2004. I waited till the morning of to burn the palm fronds. At 6 AM before a 6:30 AM service, I could not get the palms to catch fire. I needed an accelerant. The only thing that was available was a can of WD-40. Worked like a charm. We have the service and use these truly greasy ashes that will prove difficult to wash off. A young woman who has waited her turn stands before me. Being inexperienced, I had no idea that I should use my fingers to hold back a person’s bangs as I smudge their forehead. So, this very blonde woman spent the rest of the day with a huge black streak in the middle of her bangs. It probably took days to get it out.

Last night, this seasoned pastor started imposing ashes on foreheads. It was like clock work until I very nearly Benny Hinned a lady with static electricity. The pop was loud, too. We both shook it off and went on until another lady came up and ZAP! I got her, too. It ended up happening one more time. I’ve never done that before. If static electricity were more powerful, I bet a revival would have broken out.

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Update from the Road

February 11, 2010 Leave a comment

We are *hoping* to return to the US tomorrow after several days visiting my wife’s family in Spain.  I say that we are “hoping” because of all the gross winter weather back in the states.  I think we’ll be able to make it, though.  Instead of snow, we got to hang out on the southern coast of Spain this week and got this family picture by the Mediterranean Sea.

I’ve been able to not only enjoy our time in Spain with our family but also to get a lot of reading and writing done.  I’ve also started the process of pre-writing some essays for this blog which will hopefully have its own domain this spring.

While we’ve been gone I’ve been able to keep up with my friend, Michael Spencer, whose book you can now pre-order at  Michael was recently diagnosed with cancer and is currently undergoing chemotherapy.  I hope you will pray for him and his family.  He’s been one of the biggest influences I’ve had in my walk with Jesus and in ministry.  Here’s his most recent post called Real Apologetics.

Speaking of influences, here are a few of my favorite posts from my seminary professor, Lawson Stone, in his 365 Day photo blog.  They are all good, but I like these the most:

The Improbabilities of Grace

Not Afraid of the Dark

(Second) Birthday

Morning Person

Preventing the Morning

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