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Current Events
The mother of a Florida pastor who was found dead in a hotel room in New York City’s Times Square has sued the city to keep his cause of death hidden from the public. Zachery Tims, 42, was the founder and pastor of the New Destiny Christian Center, an 8,000-member megachurch in Apopka, Fla. He was found dead on Aug. 12 at the W Hotel when housekeepers attempted to clean his room but found it latched from the inside. A law enforcement official told The Wall Street Journal that police found a glassine envelope with a white powdery substance inside the right pocket of his shorts. An initial autopsy on Tims was inconclusive. According to the New York Daily News, His mother, Riva Tims, filed a lawsuit Friday against the city of New York and its Medical Examiner’s Office to keep his cause of death from being revealed to the public. The Medical Examiner’s office is forbidden by law from making full autopsy results public, but releases cause of death information upon request. via Dead Pastor’s Mother Wants Cause Secret. // There was speculation that there were drugs involved with the Pastor’s death… but I’m not sure what good not releasing any cause of death would do, other than confirm or deny that fact.  If drugs were involved, then there would be closure.  If drugs were not involved and it was natural causes, then it would put the whole ‘drug’ thing to rest. Your thoughts? Todd
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Current Events
A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 14 at 2 p.m. ET at Times Square Church in Manhattan, N.Y.  Doors will open to the public at 12 p.m. Wilkerson, founding pastor of Times Square Church in New York City and author of the well-known book The Cross and the Switchblade, was killed a week ago Wednesday in a head-on collision in Texas. He was 79. Wilkerson’s wife, Gwen, was also involved in the crash.  She is in fair condition and expected to recover.    
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Leadership
Tony Morgan had a great post over the weekend. It starts with this quote from Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson’s book “Rework”:
“When you stick with your current customers come hell or high water, you wind up cutting yourself off from new ones. Your product or service becomes so tailored to your current customers that it stops appealing to fresh blood. And that’s how your company starts to die.”
Read Tony’s thoughts here… I think Tony makes a great point.  When a church slips into maintenance mode, and is more concerned about maintaining ministry than reaching people, a little part of the church dies. The root cause… if you really dig down to it… for death in most churches:  inward focus. It’s like an ingrown toenail.  You don’t even notice it at first, but the pain it brings makes itself known over time; and before you know it… you’ve got a painful and serious situation on your hands. I have this theory.  Most churches don’t die from a sudden heart attack.  It’s not sudden AT ALL.  And many times you can’t put your finger on what went wrong.  It’s hard to go back and actually define the origin of the problem. I think most churches die a slow death… one that starts with simple decisions that may make sense.  Decisions to protect the flock.  Decisions to make things a little easier.  Decisions to make or keep people happy.  Decisions to hide or keep people from embarrassment.  Decisions to cut corners or bury your head in the sand, thinking, hoping, (and even) praying that things get better. Here’s the problem:  churches can do that for short periods of time and get away with it, but the problem always grows. And by the time many church leaders even know there’s a problem… it’s too late. What do you think of my theory?  Too simplistic?  Altogether wrong? Is YOUR church dying a slow death?  If so… what are you doing about it?
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