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Apr 17, 2012

Morning Roundup - April 17, 2012

Start with Perfect and Work Backward -- Mark Howell

Do you see the preferred future when you're thinking about your small group ministry? I think that is probably the key question for most small group point people. Can you see the way your small group ministry could be? Can you imagine the preferred future?

I was inspired by an article in Fast Company on Airbnb, one of their 50 most innovative companies. An imaginative idea, Airbnb's business idea is to build a "digital accommodations marketplace that people use to rent out their homes or spare rooms (or igloos, castles, or private islands) like a hotel." Wild? Before you disregard the idea as crazy...keep in mind that in 2011 the company had "more than 4.5 million bookings on 100,000 active listings in 192 countries-facilitating a reported $500 million in transactions."

Stop. Read that again. Still sound like a crazy idea?

I love CEO Brian Chesky's comment when asked about the motivation behind a simple, but innovative, tactic that resulted in a dramatic boost to bookings (renting a $5000 camera and snapping high-resolution photos of as many New York host apartments as they could. Bookings soared. By month's end, revenue had doubled in the city.")

"Do things that don't scale. We start with the perfect experience and then work backward."

Can I challenge you today? If you're not thinking about perfect experience and then working backward...you're unlikely to see the preferred future.

Hansen on Douthat's "Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics" -- Justin Taylor

Collin Hansen has provided a review of the book. Here is an excerpt:

Bad Religion reads like what you'd expect from a skilled and tireless columnist: lots of interaction with books, essays, and studies to explain how great minds and dynamic leaders have changed culture from the top down. The book does not display the full wit of David Brooks, theological expertise of David Wells, or the sociological sophistication of James Davison Hunter. Yet I don't doubt Christian thought leaders will and should read this book cover to cover. The only question is whether they can do anything about the problems Douthat had identified. As he admits, the influence of institutional church leaders has diminished relative to the upstart prosperity preachers and pop psychology writers.

And the conclusion of Collin's review:

Whether Americans realize it or not, the country needs an orthodox, prophetic church. But the church today, bloated by a smorgasbord of heresy, is not fit to fulfill this calling. Heretical nationalism--whether vested in the markets, military, or government--has stifled our public testimony. For the sake of America, we must forsake the various heresies of Americanism.

Odd Christian Picture of the Day

We're starting a new feature on the blog for the odd things you see with the "Christian" label on them. Send me your best pics on twitter @EdStetzer.

Today, I present a van touting the existence of what it calls "Biblical UFO's." Special thanks to John Cade for this one. (click on the picture for a larger view)

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Posted:April 17, 2012 at 12:00 am

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Morning Roundup - April 17, 2012