Saturday, January 31, 2009

Back From Innovation3 & Shout Out

We just got back from Dallas for Innovation3 Conference. It was mind blowing to say the least, more later, but in meantime, we got a shot out during their "live" sessions. Check out what Greg Atkinson has to say about Whipple Creek Church and it's SkateChurch:

Free TV Show from Ustream

Friday, January 23, 2009

Update On the Jung's Arrival in Poland

For those of you following the Jung's, Christian was our Worship Pastor & his wife Christy was our Children's Worship Arts Director, they arrived safely in Poland. They will be serving along side our sister church there for at least hopefully one year. Here is the letter I received from Pastor Daniel:

Dear Brett,
This is just a short note to let you know Christian, Christy and the kids have arrived safely in Piotrkow. WOW! We are so thrilled, man!
We left them in the church now to have some rest but tomorrow we will start introducing them to some new challenges of daily living in Poland :). First, they will have to cope with some Polish food they will be having with us in the afternoon :). More challenges are to come soon.

I am so very much looking forward to what God is going to do through them and through us working together among the people of Piotrkow. We do count on your prayers! We need them, brother! Thank you for standing with us in this battle for the souls of Polish people. Man, we live in such spiritual darkness over here, despite the label of a Christian country we have but "the one who is in us is greater than the one who is in the world"!

I am planning to stretch Christian out :) by involving him in different type of ministry and I am hoping he is going to do the same to me when we work together. I do pray this challenge will be of mutual benefit and blessing to both of us, which does not necessarily mean it is going to be easy! :). Please, be a part of it through your prayers! I will value your support deeply!

Give our love to everybody in the church but especially to those we know and do stay in touch, pal!
In Him

Please be praying for the Jung's (Christian, Christy, Jonas, Jordan, Justin) as they adjust to a new life, new food, and a new culture. They hit the ground running as they start a Winter Vacation Bible School Next week. For updates on the Jung's, visit their blog Here. We will miss them, but for now, they are needed to reach one person, one country, one nation at a time.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

National Human Trafficking & Modern Slavery Awareness Day Sucks


These are the emotions I went through, over time, as I’ve discovered over the last 5-6 years that human trafficking is a wider spread problem than I realized. I really liked hiding in my protective, Christian, hole-in-the-sand world. I had heard it was happening in “other” places, but what could I do? I thought, “it’s that countries problem.” Boy, was I wrong.

About 6 years ago, one of my youth pastors, who had done some missionary work in Nepal, had a woman from Nepal come and talk about the condition of human trafficking in that country. She told a story of how a family sold their daughter, because they needed the money. Thinking it was going to get her a better life, they then found out she was to be a prostitute. The woman who was from Nepal was talking about how they were trying to raise money so that these families could start cottage industries to be able to support themselves without having to go to these drastic steps.

My thought was, “Gee, I'm glad I don’t live there.” And “Gosh, that’s a good idea. I hope THEY can do it.” You see, I thought it was a problem THERE. Besides what could I do, I’m HERE.

In recent years and months, my eyes have been opened really wide. My worship pastor’s cousin, Justin Dillion, has made a hugely successful documentary that has brought a lot of attention to trafficking. It’s called Call and Response. (You can be apart of of this group by clicking This.
I have to admit, I have not seen the movie yet, but have seen the clips, read all the articles, and have since, done a lot of research. I am shocked at how it is happening HERE in the U.S.A. If you haven’t see the trailer for the film, you need to see it.

Fast forward the clock a couple of months. A friend of mine (one who has become a great friend-check out Greg's Blog) who I meet through Twitter came to Vancouver/Portland to lead a conference. As we sat in a coffee shop and talked about life, Church and social justice, we talked about this movie. He then made a comment I totally blew off. He said, “Brett, it’s happening in your city. If you don’t think so, you’re not looking.” 

I thought “Yea, right Greg, maybe in Dallas or even Portland, but Vancouver? Come on!” A couple of week later, I became very embarrassed when I read THIS in our local paper. It was happening HERE!

Later that week, I received a newspaper article from my mother-in-law in South Dakota. You know what the headlines were about? Human trafficking in South Dakota! WHAT? South Dakota? It’s supposed to be a part of the Bible belt–how could this be happening?

Now, I’m angry & heartbroken over THIS. This shouldn't be happening on "our watch." And by "our watch" I mean I don’t care if you are a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Atheist, Agnostic, Hindu, Buddhist or whatever. It’s not about a religion, it’s about a human condition.

In this day and age, we, as conscientious, aware people should rise against such things. There should not have to be a day that brings awareness to it. This day needs to be abolished, and the only way it can happen is by all of us uniting together, doing what each of us can, and abolishing human trafficking.

Here are some great resources to check out:

Dian Scimone: a modern abolitionist

The Somaly Mam Foundation

Facebook Groups You Can Join
Call and Response
End Sex Slave Trade and Human Trafficking
International Justice Mission
National Human Trafficking Awareness Day - January 11th
Stop Human Trafficking

Statistical Stuff
Human Trafficking
The State Government
Human Trafficking.Org
Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Doug Nichols

Yes, it sucks that we have to have a day to make us aware of this problem. But we must do something. We can’t just think it’s happening everywhere but in the good ol’ U.S.A. We need to respond. Pray, give, write, do whatever you feel you can do to help abolish this travesty in our lifetime. Let us be the generation who wipes out slavery.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

What Does The Bible Say About Effective Leadership?

I have been leading a group of emerging leaders through a real cool process this past year (my 4th or 5th year doing it) and one of the things we always address is "What does the Bible say about leadership?" So, here are 10 things the Bible says about effective leadership (that is a leaders who leads Christianly) that comes from what we are studying and reading. Do you agree?

1. They model a Christ-like lifestyle.
What this means is that the they seek to serve out of an intimate relationship with God, and in doing so, invites others into the same sort of relationship. The most important thing is to understand is that "who you are" and "whose you are" are infinitely more important than "what you do."

The world says, "lead because you've got what it takes. You've got the skills, the charisma and you've got the drive. You go out there and make it happen, because it's all about you and then you'll get what you have coming to you."

Paul says in Galatians 2:20 "It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

Paul knew that the "Christian" leader follows Jesus first, dies to self, and lets Jesus have control in order that others might find the same path. 

If we are to lead effectively and faithfully, we must pay attention to how our modeling influences. For ultimately who you are is what others will receive and respect and follow, not simply what you say or command.

Next: They See the Way to Go