Monday, June 15, 2015

Zacchaeus' Tree



One of my favorite texts in the entire Bible is the story of Jesus and Zacchaeus.  It would not be an overstatement to say that I have preached this text over 50 times.  For me, the Jesus/Zacchaeus account is simple the most concrete example of God's love in the entire New Testament.  It is such a powerful demonstration of Jesus' compassion for a man who is far, far, far from all that is acceptable (the law, morality, ethics, religiousness, the heart of God).

Because I have preached this text so many times, it is actually hard for me to find any new angle with which to approach it.  However, this past weekend, I stumbled upon a very significant facet of this story that I had never explored before.  In short, it is:

Zacchaeus' Tree

The gospel of Luke tells us that Zacchaeus was a, "tax collector."  But that is actually not entirely correct.  Zacchaeus was more of a customs agent than a "tax collector."  Zacchaeus is the one who who "taxed" or put "tariffs" on all goods and services that passed through the small town of Jericho.  And what was Jericho's first century cash crop?  It happens to have have been a tree.  The harvest and cultivation of the - Balsam tree - was the largest source of income in Jericho in the first century.  Balsam oils could be boiled down and made into perfumes and medicines.  Balsam was a valuable commodity which could only be cultivated in the region around Jericho.  Zacchaeus as the "chief tax collector" (PUBLICANUM - in Latin), taxed every single Balsam tree that came into and and went out of Jericho.  Zacchaeus literally made millions of dollars (in modern terms) from the taxation of the Balsam tree.

Zacchaeus was like the character the "Once-ler" in the fictional book by Dr. Seuss, "Last of the Lorax".  Once-ler made millions off of the cultivation of the Truffula tree seed.  Zacchaeus made millions off of the cultivation of the Balsam seed.

The part that you surely remember from Sunday school is that in order to see Jesus, who was passing through Jericho, Zacchaeus; "climbed up in a Sycamore tree to see what he could see."  The actual quote is, "Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd.  So he ran ahead and climbed a Sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way." (Luke 19:3-4).

Now, because Zacchaeus earned all of his money on the black market taxing trees, it is very significant in this story that his fall back plan, so to speak, when he wants a quick answer, when he wants to quickly remedy his need to see Jesus is to - climb a tree.  It was, if you will:

Zacchaeus' Tree

Whenever we are in a challenging situation, you and I tend to do the same kind of thing.  We tend to fall back on our comfort zone.  For example, when I am stressed out, I tend to work too hard.  Working too hard is my "tree".  All of us do this in some way or another.  When we are faced with difficulty, we rely on "old tricks", "old customs", "tried and true habits", "customary sins", and "previously relied upon behaviors".

But what is even more significant is that upon encountering Jesus, the Son of God, Zacchaeus, in a moment of instantaneous transformation, comes down out of his tree.  But it isn't just a tree that Zacchaeus shimmies down, it is his entire previous way of being.  The tree for Zacchaeus represents so much more than simply a means by which to more easily see Jesus.  It becomes the central motif of his his life.  And coming down out of the tree means that Zacchaeus is abandoning all of the illegitimate and corrupting behaviors which dominated his life up until that point.

So, here's my question for this week?  What is the tree of your life?  What is that previous behavior, or activity, sin, or central theme of your life which you have relied upon up until a certain point, but which upon examination no longer holds the value or power that it once did?  For everyone the "tree" is different.  For some it's money.  For others it's work.  For others it's control.  For still others it's a particular sinful activity, or a bad habit.  Like Zacchaeus we must come down out of that tree, in order for "salvation" to come into our house.

All For Now,

GB

PS.  For the next two Mondays, my family and I will be taking a summer vacation in the San Juan islands of the Puget Sound in Washington, where there will be no internet service.  So, I will write my next blogpost on Monday, July 6th:-)




Monday, June 8, 2015

Just a Thing



One time, when I was a little boy, I broke a valued piece of china that occupied a sovereign space in the home of my Scottish grandmother (this is the same grandmother who many years before had been interned in a Japanese concentration camp in Borneo).  After the object broke there was a long pause of silence.  And then perhaps sadness.  And then she said, "Oh well, it's broken, but it doesn't matter, it's just a thing."

Just a Thing

This week the Baird family is packing up our apartment here in Camarillo, and moving to a rented house in Oxnard (15 minutes away).  This morning, as I was putting kitchen plates in boxes, and making newspaper sandwiches (plate, paper, plate paper), it occurred to me that I have moved a lot in my life.  Actually, in the past 14 years of our marriage, Star and I have moved a total of 12 times.  Indulge me for a moment as I run through the list:

*  From Princeton dorm to Michigan apartment
*  From Michigan apartment to Michigan house
*  From Michigan house to Texas house
*  From Texas house to Red Bluff, California house
*  From Red Bluff house to Paso Robles house
*  From Paso Robles house to Colorado Springs rented house
*  From Colorado Springs rented house to Colorado Springs owned house
*  From Colorado Springs to Camarillo apartment
*  From Camarillo apartment to Oxnard house

We have moved so many times that I can conjure the chemical smell of packing tape in my sleep.  We have moved so many times that I have stopped memorizing zip codes, and just write them in my calendar book.  We have moved so many times that we have boxes that we haven't unpacked from two previous moves.  It is a literal truth that I have packed and unpacked wedding china more times than we have actually used it.  But wedding china is:

Just A Thing

I have learned some deeper spiritual truths through each of these moves.

Moving or Movement, In General, Is Good For the Soul
Every time a person moves, there is a kind of spiritual inventory that takes place.  As you saunter through drawers of "stuff" that haven't been sauntered through in a while, you come across old pictures, old notes, old letters, old cards.  These old pictures, notes and cards have to be spiritually processed.  Where was I when that picture was taken?  How did I feel?  how has my life changed since that moment?  How have I grown?  How have I remained the same?  Should I save this picture?  Should I throw it away?  Does this thing still hold the value it once did?  Am I moving on?  Of course, a move is not a necessity for a personal life inventory, but it often helps.

Remember that sharks die of they are not in constant motion.  Human souls tend to die as well if they are not regular moving.  These moves do not have to be from house to house, but there must be movement in general.  I wonder if sharks have drawers of things.

Just Things

Moving Regularly Requires That One Accumulate Less "Stuff"
One of the best sermons I ever heard in my life was from Colleen Townsend Evans (the wife of Louis Evans Jr., founding pastor of Bel Air Presbyterian Church).  Colleen's talk was entitled, "Traveling Light".  In it, she talked about having to speak at a church once, and was late getting to the airport after that talk.  Totally "done up" in her Sunday pearls, heals and skirt-suite, she did a skirted scissor-run through the airport.  Getting to the gate just before the gate closed, the attendant told her, "The gate is now closing, too late."  She said, "But I just have this one carry on, I'm ready to go."  Colleen said that the gate agent said, "Go ahead, we wouldn't have allowed you on the plane if you had a big suite-case, but that is a small one, so run and get on."

Colleen then applied the "Traveling Light" image to our souls.  Souls that have a lot of baggage, a lot of things, a lot of life-long accoutrements sometimes have a harder time moving into the next kingdom.

Moving Regularly Helps To Keep Ones Priorities On the Right Things
Prior to moving from Colorado to California, Star and I gave away a lot of things.  The cost of moving extra furniture and boxes across the country was just not worth it.  So we gave some of our best things away: pianos, furniture, paintings, patio furniture.  I am not overstating the matter if I said that we gave away around $50,000 worth of things.  At the time, when we gave it away, there was a part of our hearts that said, "Wow, can we do without that?  That's really a nice object."

But here's the truth.  I can honestly say that I haven't missed any of the things that we gave away.  It isn't that the things we gave away aren't valuable, or weren't meaningful to us at the time, it's just that the absence of those things hasn't diminished our life one bit.  And actually, the thought of those things in another person's life has made our lives more joyful!

Just a Thing

Just a House Full of Things

Just a Life Full of Things

Jesus said, "Consider the ravens:  They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them.  And how much more valuable are the birds?"

Now I'm off to Home Depot to get more boxes to pack up more...

Things

All For now,
GB









Monday, June 1, 2015

Multisite Churches Are the Future



This past weekend, Mission Street Church participated in it's first Multisite test site (wow that's a lot of "sites" in one sentence) worship experience.  While celebrating worship in Camarillo, at our usual time and place, at the Edwards Movie Theater at 9:30AM, at the very same time a totally separate congregation in Winters, California, 650 miles away, (Winters is a small city 40 miles west of Sacramento), were watching a pre-recorded video of our Mission Street worship service.  The results seem to be a success.  One congregant in Winters said, "Mission Street was a big hit in Winters."  Another said, "It was a great message."  Of course, more details and nuances need to be ironed out, but it might appear that Multisite worship is a thing of the future.

There are several specific aspects about this past weekend's Multisite venture by Mission Street that I  am excited about:

First, Mission Street is a brand new church in it's 32nd week of worship (just over 6 months), that is trying the Multisite approach.  Most Multisite churches are built from very large congregations that have been organized for years.  Mission Street seeks to build the concept of Multisite worship into the very DNA of our new church.

Second, the church that Mission Street connected with is actually in a different denomination.  Mission Street is a member of the Presbyterian Church (USA).  The church we did a Multisite in is Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC).  I believe that as denominationalism continues to diminish in America, that this kind of reaching across denominational isles "so to speak" is a goal that should be sought after whenever possible.

Third, in short, it was FUN!  Participating in this Multisite experience as a brand new church, helped Mission Street, in it's infancy, feel like it was a part of something much larger than itself.  It helped our new congregation feel like they were not just one group of believers meeting in one space, but that their worship actually stretched across many miles and cities - and mattered!

Multisite Church can, of course, mean many things.  In our research of the subject, we have found at least 5 different models of these churches (and there are many more):

One, a group of Christians meet in a living room to watch a video or "livestream" of a church service.

Two, a brand new congregation that meets at a separate location to watch a video or "livestream" of a
church service in another location.

Three, an existing congregation that doesn't have a pastor, or whose pastor doesn't want to focus on
preaching, watches a service from another location.

Four, a small group of believers watch a service, and then work on a study guide together.

Five, just one person sits at a computer screen and watches a service and is fed by the worship
experience.

The largest Multisite Church in America is a church called "LiveChurch.tv", which is led by lead pastor Craig Groeschel, and is considered the second largest church in the United States.  "LiveChurch.tv" has nineteen locations in five different states.  That church, with it's many sites around the country, has around 60,000 - 100,000 attendees each weekend who meet in movie theaters, school auditoriums, and community centers to worship.

Recently, in a talk about the future of Christianity in America, Rick Warren, the senior pastor of Saddleback Community Church talked extensively about Multisite churches.  He asserted that the era of megachurches is not, as some have suggested, over.  He said in his talk that the very first church in history, the so-called "Acts 2" church in Jerusalem went from around 120 attendees to around 100,000.  Rick went on to say that 100,000 members is ten times the size of Saddleback.  But, he said, the first megachurch began a kind of first century Multisite dynamic where they began to meet in "temple courts" as smaller groups.  "One church, multiple locations," said Warren, "One location, multiple venues."  The first church in history, the "Acts 2 church" was a Multisite church experience.

In my own experience as a New Church Developing Pastor, and having started three new churches in my ministry (two of which are still thriving), I have seen a vast evolution in the way that people associate with a new church.

*  In the 1960's, a pastor would knock on the door of a person's home, invite them to church, and that person would come to the church.
*  In the 1980's, innovative pastors would send out a postcard to a home and invite a person to church, and that person would come to church.
*  In the 1990's, cutting edge churches would send out a post card that would direct people to a hot website that would get people to come to church.
*  In 2015, leading churches send out a postcard that gets people to the website, and there a person can find video content, and that video content is what many people consider church today.

As we speak, Mission Street is in conversation with a Presbytery in Colorado about the possibility of expanding our Multisite worship experience to several communities there.  Please pray for this exciting possibility!

Multisite Churches Are the Future

All For Now,

GB



Monday, May 25, 2015

A Beautiful Mind



On Saturday afternoon, one of the great minds in the field of mathematics, quite literally in the history of the world -  died.  While driving with his wife Alicia in the back seat of a taxi cab on the New Jersey Turnpike, John Nash (the main character in the movie "A Beautiful Mind" - Russell Crowe's character), inventor of a form of games theory - "an extension of games theory based on the randomness of an individual's maximization of benefits" - and recipient of the Nobel Prize - died.  In a somewhat inexplicable car crash, (vaguely reminiscent of the end of another transcendent and tragic figure, T.E Lawrence - "Lawrence of Arabia" - who crashed on a motorcycle after being lifted to the heights of fame in World War I) Nash's cab driver was trying to pass another motorist, and ran into a guard-rail and another car.  The couple were killed instantly upon impact.

What Nash will most likely be known as much for, after his death, will not only be his mathematical accomplishments, but his lifelong struggle with mental illness.

Largely because of the Oscar winning movie about his life, John Nash's descent into the depths of mental illness are well known to the world.  John Nash's unravelling from brilliant mathematician into the depths of schizophrenia, paranoia, delusion, electroshock therapy, random postcards to friends, and unintelligible mathematical formulas scribbled on chalk boards on the Princeton campus are well known to all of us.  (As a side-note, many years after Nash's recovery in the late 1990's, I can still remember seeing John Nash eat lunch in the Princeton Seminary cafeteria, while I was a student there.  The lunches at the seminary were pretty good!)

But that isn't what I want to write about this morning.  What I want to write about is how Nash eventually emerged from mental illness.

Surprisingly, according to Nash, it had nothing to do with the medication he was taking, the electroshock therapy, or his institutionalization.  Nash's recovery, again according to Nash's own memoirs, had to do with two things:

1.  Time
2.  A Decision - to return to rationality

"I simply decided that I was going to return to rationality.  I emerged from irrational thinking, ultimately, without medicine other than the natural hormonal changes of aging."

These two factors,

1.  Time
2.  A Decision

are so exciting to me as a pastor and a person who works with people through various stages of psychological, interpersonal, spiritual, and chemical challenge.  So often when people come into me with a problem, the desire is to instantly be transported from a place of pain and difficulty to a place of total health.  But this is almost never possible.  Taking the time to work through the processes of loss, heartbreak, anger, and biological makeup are invaluable.  Making a personal decision to not be bound anymore by that thing that binds us is also essential.

Victor Frankl made a similar personal discovery when he was an inmate interned in Auschevitz Concentration Camp in world War II.  What Frankl knew that he had control over, was only one thing, himself, and his decision, his "choice" to survive.  That was it.

Many years ago, a friend of mine who had been struggling with a chronic illness, visited a pastoral counselor that I know.  After months of discussion about how the debilitating illness was a daily struggle, the pastoral counselor said to the woman one morning, "Jane, this morning I want to try something new.  I want to encourage you to pretend like you are are a healthy person.  Live your life like you were healthy rather than a person who has a chronic illness.  Just do the same kinds of things that a healthy person would do with their life."  Miraculously, over time, my friend returned to near perfect health.

1.  Time
2.  A Decision

It would be a great disservice to the many thousands of people around the world who suffer from inherent, intrinsic, unalterable psychological maladies to suggest that we can simply "think" our way through illness.  Psychological illness is the same as any other kind of illness (cancer, heart disease, a virus), it is a thing in and of itself that must be treated with the best medicines, vaccines, and therapies possible.  However, in the end, it is often our own decision about how we will deal with the challenges that each of us face, that makes the difference.

One time when encountering a man who had been sick for over 40 years, Jesus, in a moment of reality and grace asked the man, "Do you want to be made well?"  The man said, "yes, but every time I try to get into the Sheep Gate pool, someone dives in before me - (AKA - I am deciding to live in the world of irrationality)"  Jesus responded by saying, "Get up and walk!"  (AKA choose, after 40 years now, to return to the world of rationality and health).  The man walked!

And we can too!

All For Now,

GB


Monday, May 18, 2015

It's OK To Get It Wrong


Let me begin this blog with a question.  When was the last time you shared your faith with someone else? When was the last time you told someone who is not a Christ follower about how important God is for your every step, how God is a essential to your every move, about important Jesus is in your daily life?

 If you are like me, the very mention of this subject brings you a bit of internal fear.  As I have spoken with people about sharing their faith with others over the years, a usual set of anxieties invariably comes to the fore:  "What if I get it wrong?" "What if I do not say the right thing?", "What if an argument ensues?" and most of all, "What if I don't know the Bible all that well?"  But what I have discovered, after three New Church Developments, a stint as a College Pastor, and 15 years of ministry, is that the exact facts of the faith are less important than the conviction and the passion of the faith sharer.  And that, in the end:

It's OK To Get It Wrong

One of the most compelling faith sharing stories from he Bible is the story of Stephen's sermon before the Sanhedrin.  Don't worry if you don't know it, or don't remember it.  Stephen, one of the first Deacons of the faith, is standing before the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem and being asked to defend himself and his faith.  It's a beautiful speech and testimony (Perhaps one of the most beautiful ever given).  But it isn't perfect.  Actually most scholars think that Stephen probably made a few Biblical errors in his attempt to share his faith.

Not to beat up Stephen, since that is the opposite purpose of this blogpost, and since poor Stephen was already beaten up to the point of death by those who listened to him, but these may be a few of Stephen's Biblical errors.  Stephen says that, "After the death of Abraham's father, God sent him to the land where you are now living" (Acts 7:4).  But Genesis 11:26 seems to say that Terach (Abraham's father) was 70 when Abraham was born, and Genesis 12:4 says that Abraham was 75 when he left Charan.  This computes to Terach being 145 years old.  But Genesis 11:32 says that Terach died at 205, sixty years later.  Perhaps Stephen made a mistake...

Another possible mistake is where Stephen says, "After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy five in all" (Acts 7:14).  The Old Testament text from Genesis 46:27 and Exodus 1:5, however, says that there were not 75 but 70 in all of Jacob's family.  Again, did Stephen make a mistake?

What's quite incredible is that even though Stephen may have made some Biblical mistakes (although some scholars are in dispute about this), in the sharing of his faith, God still used it for great purposes.  Stephen's testimony has stood as a bedrock of faith for centuries of Christ followers and the Bible says that after his sermon, "Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God." (Acts 7:56)

It's OK To Get It Wrong

Not too long ago, I was offering a sermon when I made a mistake of my own.  I said that James, the author of the book of James in the Bible, was one of Jesus' disciples.  This, of course, is a mistake.  There were two James' who were disciples of Jesus (James of Zebedee, and James the Alphaeus) and  neither one of them wrote the book of James.  James, most scholars think, was written by James the brother of Jesus and later a leader of the Jerusalem church.  Incredibly, God used my sermon for good even though I made a mistake.  After the sermon, a woman came up to me and said that she wanted to make a renewed commitment to Jesus Christ and her faith.

It's OK to Get It Wrong

Of course it is optimal to try to get all of your facts correct when sharing your faith.  It's just that none of us is perfect and God can use all things to His glory.  So, don't be deterred.  Share your faith with someone who doesn't know who God is.  God cares way more about lost people than about precision of Biblical detail.  And if you make a mistake, remember, you will be in good company:-)

All For Now,
GB

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The McKinley Mistake


Here's a question to ponder:  Who was the worst President our country has ever elected?  The answer as to who was the best President, is much easier to answer.  The list of the best has many candidates:  Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson are definitely right at the top.  But who was the worst?  Well, since I was a Political Science major in college (and forgive me for this little screed ahead of time) I have had some time to think about this question.  By many scholar's opinions, the worst President in the history of the United States, was a man by the name of William McKinley who served between 1897 and 1901, at the turn of the century.

Now, it's a boring conversation as to why McKinley was the worst President in US history, and it, of course, involves the usual elements: corruption, mismanagement, poor decision-making and lack of vision (to name but a few reasons).  The more interesting question is how McKinley got elected.  In the midst of much turmoil and transition in the country, McKinley was put in office by a hand-full of very wealthy oligarchs.  Known as the American "Robber Barons", a handful of some of the wealthiest people in the history of the world single-handedly and by insider maneuvering, placed McKinley in office.  Andrew Carnegie, Jay Gould, John D Rockefeller, and Andrew Mellon put McKinley in office in order to curb the Anti-Trust movement (breaking up large corporations that make money for a handful) from gaining further power.  Ironically, even the "Robber Barrons" regretted their decision in the end.

But why am I writing about this rather arcane and somewhat irrelevant American election in my blogpost this week?  Mainly because of this.  As we all observe the current American Presidential election unfold, it appears that the American Presidential election of 2016 will shape-up to be the most expensive and costly election in US history.  The last Presidential election between Romney and Obama totaled around $2 billion in campaign costs.  That's 2 BILLION with a "B" dollars.  It is estimated that the election between the two front runners alone, (likely Clinton and Bush) in the 2016 election will equal close to $4 to $6 billion.  Just to give you some context for how much money this is, the entire GDP of the country of Chile is around $4 billion.  Big money in politics does not equate to good leadership.  Let's not repeat the:

McKinley Mistake

Now, let me be clear, the super wealthy are often the key instruments that God uses to bring about incredible change and transformation in any community or group of people.  Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are helping millions of people around the world through their philanthropy and generosity.  Just today, the World Health Organization announced that the scourge of Ebola has now been eradicated from the country of Liberia, in no small part because of the largesse and the generosity of many very wealthy and generous Americans who have pitched in.  Remember that it was one of Herod's wives who helped to finance Jesus' ministry.  God uses all kinds of people to bring about the kingdom.

The main problem with the super wealthy, and the wealth disparity in decision making processes is that money tends to help some votes matter more than others.  An age old maxim of democracy is that, "A man's a man for all that," (Robert Burns), and that one vote equals one vote.  When it comes to making larger decisions and when big money enters the conversation, the room for the Holy Spirit to be able to work and interact and influence a decision making process diminishes.

One time, when Jesus was sitting in the temple after one of His sermons, He noticed an old woman make an anonymous donation to the temple coffers - a donation that would sway nobody's decision, and which would amount to her entire life savings, he said, "Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these (Vanderblits, Carnegies, and Rockefellers), put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had."

We should do the same,

All For Now,

GB

Monday, May 4, 2015

Facebook Church



Here's a confession to begin with.  I am not a huge user of Facebook.  When I was a pastor of a large church in Colorado, I didn't use Facebook because as a person in a very public "call", I wanted to preserve some sense of privacy in my personal life.  Now that I am in a New Church Development, to be honest, I just don't have the time.  But Mission Street has made a concerted effort to have a decided presence on Facebook.  Each week we have a team of people who regularly post videos, quotes, comments, pictures, sayings, thoughts, and queries on Facebook.  And what we have discovered is a whole new avenue and form of ministry that could be called:

Facebook Church

It is incredible how many people interface with Mission Street Church through Facebook.  Chances are you are reading this blogpost through a link on Facebook.  Last week we had over 700 viewers log-on to videos of messages that we produce in house and that are posted on Facebook.  The viewers who watched hailed from Denmark, Norway, Russia, Portugal, and China.  In one of the most exciting Facebook interactions in our church, one of our regular attendees became a Christ follower this past week, and rather than stand up in church to declare their faith (as has been done for centuries), they simply posted their newly discovered relationship with Christ on Facebook.

Many books have actually been written about this recent trend in church life.  Jesse Rice has recently written a book called, "The Church of Facebook: How the Hyperconnected Are Redefining Community."

In case you aren't aware of the latest major conversation that is taking place in church circles (kudos to you if you aren't), according to some experts, there are two kinds of churches in the world: there are "Attractional Churches" and there are "Missional Churches".  Attractional Churches are those that seek to attract people to their church.  Attraction churches often feature the church building itself, the programming, the messages offered, the music program, the staff, or the general church ambiance as a way to lure people to a church.  On the other hand, there are "Missional Churches".  Missional churches seek to send people out.  They attempt to see a community as a mission field, rather than a future pool of attendees.  Missional churches are more diffuse, less easy to enumerate or define.  The weight and preference in recent years seems to have fallen upon the Missional church movement.

Mission Street seeks to be both Missional and Attractional.  We have many Missional elements: we meet in a movie theater on Sunday, we have Bible studies in restaurants, our office is in a public communal business space, our counseling appointments are often in coffee shops, and the list goes on.  On the other hand we have many Attractional dynamics: We send out postcards for big worship services, we have radio ads which invite future attendees to the theater, and we have fabulous music and worship ministry each weekend that we know for a fact people are drawn to.

But here's my question, what is Facebook?  Is Facebook Attractional or Missional?

On the one hand there is certainly an Attractional element of Facebook.  The whole concept of Facebook is who is your "Friend", how many "Likes" do you have, who is "Trolling" your Facebook page.  On the other hand, there is an element of diffuseness about Facebook.  There is a degree of "sending out".  On Facebook you send out information about yourself for the world, not knowing who will really be impacted by that information or what they will do with it.  It could be that in future years, people will drop the whole label of Attractional or Missional altogether.  Future churches, who seek to be relevant, might just seek to be a:

Facebook Church

Let me know on Facebook, if you "Like" this blogpost?

All For Now,
GB