Lie About Going to Church? There’s an App for That…

A new app for your smartphone promises big things! Couch Cachet promises the ability to “finally be who I want you to think I am.”

According to the website:
“Wouldn’t it be great if there was an app that showed you all of the cool parties, bars and restaurants that you could be hitting tonight? Of course it would. But you know what would be even better? A social application that will lie and say you are already doing those things while you sit at home in your pajamas.”

So what do you think?


In this episode of Ministry Briefing we discuss the app: whether it could be useful in the church, whether it is already at work in the church, and whether we’d use it.

Would YOU be interested in using Couch Cachet?


Todd Subscribe to me on YouTube



$3 off Ministry Briefing TODAY ONLY!


There’s really nothing else out there like Ministry Briefing.

(Of course every author thinks his book is the best thing since sliced bread).

But many of you who have followed my blog here for the past 10 years (believe it or not) know that I love the church… and I love the people who serve in the church.

I love the church’s quirkiness. I love the church’s diversity. And I really get charged up when I see stories about how the church is being effective.

That’s why I blog… to encourage, to inform, and yes… at times to entertain.

I find the church fascinating. What’s working? What’s not? Where is culture taking us (and how is the church responding to it)? How can we learn from each other’s shortcomings and failures? These are all things that interest me about the church.

And I think they interest you as well. That’s why you visit the blog.

Believe it or not, my writings here at the blog are just a small sampling of what’s going on in the church and ministry world. There’s just not time enough in the day to share all the news and events that I find interesting… things that I think every church leader should at least have a basic knowledge of.

That’s why I think there’s not really anything else out there like Ministry Briefing.

And that’s why I joined up with my friend Matt Steen to produce this monthly ‘briefing’ of all the things that are going on in the church world.

As church leaders, it’s really important that we keep up with what’s working, what’s not, and the ways the culture and trends are heading.

In the past 10 days, we’ve just released our newest March edition of Ministry Briefing. Matt and I scoured over 15,000 ministry headlines and articles and chose only the best (about 175 of them) that we think every church leader should know about.

For each identified story, we provide a short one-paragraph synopsis of what you need to know about it… as well as a link to the full story so that you can read all the details if you’re interested.

The end result is really an ‘intelligence briefing’ type document that we think gives you a bird’s eye view of what’s really going on outside the ministry of your local church… and what is affecting the church around the country and around the world.

I really think knowing these things will help make you a better leader in your local context and ministry.

So… for the next few hours (until midnight Friday night), I would love for you to purchase and download a copy of the March edition of Ministry Briefing for just $6.99. That’s $3 off our normal price.

Just use the coupon code ‘$3 off’.

A couple things to note:

1. You can download in any format: pdf (great for viewing on your computer); or you can download for your iPhone or iPad, Android phone or tablet, or for your Kindle or Nook. The choice is up to you. (Download all formats if you like!)

2. Once you purchase, you can share with up to nine other people on your staff or leadership team for free. (If my math serves me correctly, that brings the price down to under $.70 per person).

3. And if you purchase Ministry Briefing and think it’s a total waste of your time, just email me directly, and I’ll gladly refund your $6.99. No questions asked. (OK… I might actually ask you a question or two about why you hated it so much!)

So… the clock is ticking… You can download now and instantly download Ministry Briefing, but you need to do it by midnight to get the $3 off.

I really do think you’ll find it valuable for your ministry.


For those of you who have read my blog for years (or even months or days)… I thank you. I always appreciate hearing from you, reading your comments, and even many times taking your well-deserved criticism! And I appreciate those of you what will help support this new Ministry Briefing venture!

Have a great weekend!

Todd Rhoades
Ministry Briefing

How to Deal with Incredibly Negative People

Serving in ministry, we work with all different kinds of people. Some are positive, some aren’t… While we would all love to work with people who give us warm fuzzies, and are always positive, sometimes that just doesn’t happen. Fortunately, we found an article on Life Hacker about how to deal with negative people, so today we talk about dealing with negative people, while maintaining our sanity.

How do YOU handle negative people?


Todd Subscribe to me on YouTube




Maybe we DO need to dumb down the gospel

Mark Morford writes:

Six percent of Americans believe in unicorns. Thirty-six percent believe in UFOs. A whopping 24 percent believe dinosaurs and man hung out together. Eighteen percent still believe the sun revolves around the Earth. Nearly 30 percent believe cloud computing involves… actual clouds. A shockingly sad 18 percent, to this very day, believe the president is a Muslim.

Question:  How do you reach someone with the Gospel that believes in unicorns or that cloud computing involves actual clouds?


Maybe your church should pull a ‘Google’

Google instantly confused and irritated (and profusely angered) millions of people yesterday.

It announced that it is shutting down Google Reader.

I did not see this coming.

I love Google Reader.  I use it to aggregate all the feeds that I use to find great stuff for this blog, and for Ministry Briefing.

How could they do this?

Why could they do this?

And I was not alone.  Do a search on Twitter, and you’ll see the rampage that people went on.

It was not pretty.

People are PLEADING with Google not to do this.

Please don’t take away something we use and love.

Why did Google do it?

“While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined.”

Google evidently saw something that I (or a few million others didn’t).  Most people were NOT using Google Reader… in fact, less and less.  And to continue putting leadership and resources into this program did not make sense.


Sometimes as church leaders we have to make the same determination.

Canning a program that some people absolutely LOVE… yet it’s taking up too many resources, or has dwindled over the years.

People will be upset.  They will plead.  They will cry.

But you still know it’s the right thing to do.

Maybe you need to pull a Google in your church.

You’ll make some people upset… but you know it’s the only way that you can do what you really think you need to do.

QUESTION:  Where could your church free up some resources by stopping something that some people think is working?

Todd Subscribe to me on YouTube



Ministry Before and After Cell Phones

It hasn’t been all that long ago that there were no cell phones.

In high school, we had one pay phone.  And that one phone didn’t work half the time.

I remember waiting in line to put in my dime to call my mom to pick me up… many times.

I remember at my first job, we had a cellular phone (kind of) in our company vehicle.  It was like a CB, and you shared the  ’line’ with other businesses (so everyone could hear what you were saying).  When it worked.

And I remember my first real cell phone.  Yeah… try sticking THAT in your pocket.

So I was a little amused by this pic:



But I wonder… has ministry used the cell phone well?

I mean… how has ministry changed over the past thirty years when it comes to the phone

How NOT to argue like an idiot

Ever argued with an idiot?  You know… someone that will not listen… someone that only wants to prove his point… someone that will not listen to reason?

(Because… after all… we’re right!) offers a list of 15 ways NOT to argue like an idiot.

Truth is… we’re all idiots.

And we all use some of these methods sometimes.

(I find that I use them more when I’m losing the argument though.)

In fact… I’ve heard some of these methods used in preaching.

Yes… preaching!

(Please don’t be THAT guy).

Anyway… here are some of the ways NOT to argue like an idiot:

1. Ad Hominem – Attacking someone’s character rather than their argument. I was sitting with my friend a few weeks ago, debating the significance of a Greek word when he blurted out: “Well, they all translate it that way because theologians want people to go to hell!”

2. Straw Man. This essentially comes down to stating the argument of your opponent in a way they themselves wouldn’t have said it. I’ve heard countless sermons in hyper-conservative circles portraying non-Christians saying things I’ve never personally heard a non-Christian say.

3. False Analogy. In our age of creativity, this is probably the most common – how many times have I heard a debate “settled” because one person uses a beautiful analogy to illustrate their point? All analogies break down at some point; we need to know when and how in order to analyze them.

4. Slippery Slope. The argument that the extreme of a position must be true as well. I heard a Catholic radio DJ say that if we didn’t take the “body and blood” of Christ literally, we’d have to throw out his deity and the gospel itself as well. Or we might say, “If we allow homosexuals to marry, we must allow humans to marry dogs and cats and multiple partners, etc.” This is a different argument than the lesser to greater argument (by the very same principle, this also must be true) – sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.

5. Confusion equals Cause. This argues that because we don’t understand something, God must be the solution. Because science can’t explain ______, God must be responsible.

6. Argument from Authority.  I need to be careful here, because I believe ultimately, all of us argue from authority – whether it’s the authority of logic, experience, emotions, tradition, or the Bible. But still, we are to avoid arguments purely from authority; I must have a reason why I believe my authority is authoritative! Maybe a better way to say it is: “Argument from human authority”. After all, if our premise that God is omniscient and omnipotent is accurate, He doesn’t need to give us premises. That’s the whole point of the book of Job. We would do well to recognize as well that the reformation debate was over whether humans could claim Divine authority, with the assumption that Divine authority dictates truth.

And that’s just the first five, you idiot!  Find the last ten here…

HT:  Trevin Wax

Todd Subscribe to me on YouTube



How Far Will People Travel to Attend YOUR Church?

Do you know how long the average commute time is for someone in your church? A recent CNN story claims that over 600,000 people have a commute of 90 minutes or more, 61% of those making that monster commute do it alone. This got us to thinking about what this means for the church world, and what we can learn.

In this edition of Ministry Briefing, we discuss how to redeem the commute, how far people are typically willing to drive to a church, and how this information could impact YOUR church’s strategy.

How does YOUR typical member handle their commute?

Link | Link | Link

Todd Subscribe to me on YouTube



Sunday School Kids make ‘assault pop tarts’ and ‘combat cupcakes’


This past Sunday, a Chicago area church sponsored a Second Amendment Sunday filled with “assault” pop-tarts, “combat” cupcakes and a sheet-cake that featured a chocolate semi-automatic Glock handgun with a quote from Jesus that read “Blessed are the peacemakers.”  John Kirkwood, Pastor of Grace-Gospel Fellowship in Bensenville Illinois said the idea came to him after reading a column by Doug Giles entitled “Christian Parents Should Have Their Kids Play With Toy Guns.”

“Giles has a way of exposing the absurdity of the left,” said Kirkwood, “his article was in response to some Pastor from St. Louis and his ‘toy gun’ buyback program.   That and the news about 7 year olds getting suspended for threatening pop-tarts and menacing cupcakes led me to stand up for true American values and the Biblical wisdom that underlies them.”  The Pastor, referring to two recent cases in which a pop-tart shaped like a handgun and cupcakes topped by plastic soldiers brought on what many felt was over-the-top school discipline, decided to respond in kind.

 “We had an ‘assault’ pop-tart challenge in our Jr. Church where each child who wanted to participate chewed a pop-tart into the shape of a gun and the top four would win prizes; in this case a toy gun,” said Kirkwood, “the guns were named for celebrities.”

“Second runner up received a double barrel shot-gun that we nicknamed ‘The Biden,’ and when we presented it we made sure to say what ‘not’ to do with it in a real situation.  The prize for runner up was a Navy Seal sniper rifle that we named ‘The Chris Kyle’ in honor of the American Sniper.  We felt that it was appropriate,” added Kirkwood, “given the insulting way that this administration ignored the death of this American hero, yet had the crust to send a delegation to the memorial service for Hugo Chavez.”

What was the top award?   Kirkwood smiled and noted, “You know, I stood in the toy aisle for a good half an hour to choose just the right one and it turned out to be the biggest Nerf gun that I could find, and the kicker – the box was marked ‘semi-auto’ and ‘high capacity,’ so we named that one ‘the Feinstein.’”

Read more here…

Todd Subscribe to me on YouTube



Your church’s most valuable employee

I don’t know about you… but this guy should make AT LEAST twice what you are paying him.

He very well may be your church’s most valuable employee:


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