Surprisingly Surprised

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

Dr. Thom Rainer wrote an article several years ago called, “Ten Surprises About the Unchurched.” In the article Rainer tries to motivate the Christian understand the mind and heart of the pre-Christian.

Dr. Rainer for close to 3 years did an extensive research on the unchurched. Rainer and his team of researchers covered all 50 states and even Canada just listening to the unchurched and recording some of their comments.

As I first read this article in its entirety, I was shocked by some of the surprises but at the same time there were some things that were just common sense. It is important to note that some of these surprises have some qualifying comments, therefore as you read through them there are reasons behind them.

Here are the surprises:

Surprise #1: Most of the unchurched prefer to attend church on Sunday morning if they attend because there is so much going on in their lives on the other days of the week.

Surprise #2: Most of the unchurched feel guilty about not attending church and church intimidates the unchurched person because they don’t think they can fit in a place they have never attended.

Surprise #3: Ninety-six percent of the unchurched are at least somewhat likely to attend church if they are invited. Simply put: More than nine out of 10 of the unchurched said they would come to church if they were invited. But the sad fact is only 21 percent of active churchgoers invite anyone to church in the course of a year.

Surprise #4: Very few of the unchurched had someone share with them how to become a Christian. And Christians have not been particularly influential in their lives.

Surprise #5: Most of the unchurched have a positive view of pastors, ministers and the church. If the unchurched see the church in a positive light, why are they still unchurched? First, some of the unchurched have visited churches, but their experiences have been negative. Unfriendliness, unkempt facilities, poor signage, and general confusion have been some of the descriptions about the church from the unchurched. The second reason goes back to the third surprise – most of the unchurched have never been invited to church.

Surprise #6: Many of the unchurched have a church background. Some had previously been members of churches and left for various reasons. Others visited one or more churches for a season.

Surprise #7: Some types of “cold calls” are effective; many are not. Showing up at someone’s home without an invitation was one of the biggest turnoffs articulated by the unchurched.

Surprise #8: The unchurched would like to develop a real and sincere relationship with a Christian. Most of the unchurched can easily tell the difference between ‘drive-by’ evangelism and a person who rally cares.

Surprise #9: The attitudes of the unchurched are not correlated to where they live, their ethnic or racial background, or their gender. The unchurched are not a monolithic group.

Surprise #10: Many of the unchurched are far more concerned about the spiritual well-being of their children than themselves.

After discovering these surprises, we, as believers in Jesus Christ have a responsibility.

Doing One’s Best

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

Eric Liddell said, “In the dust of defeat as well as in the laurels of victory there is a glory to be found if one has done his best.”

This quote inspires me.

The end result should not supersede the importance of the process. But how does a person know when they have done their absolute best? There are times when I do something and then at the end I am thinking to myself, “I know I could have done better.” This is the plight of a perfectionist.

– How do you motivate people not to settle for mediocrity?

– How do you press people beyond what they are comfortable with?

– How do you exhort people to give their 110%?

Where do you find people like Eric Liddell (in the movie, Chariots of Fire) who said, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.”

When we do what we were created to do and we do it well… we can sense God smiling.

I don’t know about you, but I want him to laugh in sheer delight!

Easter in the Theater

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

That’s right… We are schedule in!

By God’s grace, we were able to get the historic Michigan Theater for our Easter Celebration. Out of the myriad of facilities that we have occupied on campus over the last 10 years, this is going to be historic and special.

We are going to start a new series called, “Vintage”. Appropriately, part 1 on Easter will be titled “Reels.” Some movies have truly endured the test of time. Many of these films transcend time and culture due to the message that it conveys. But there is one story that has some of these universal themes – the Gospel story.

I hope all of us will be able to invite someone for this special Sunday celebration.

Remember to invest and invite!
Michigan Theater.jpg

New Coach for UM

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

It is official. The University of Michigan Men’s Basketball program will have former West Virginia coach John Beilein as their head coach.

You can read about it here.

In the article, a person made a post. He said, “This is sad that a University has to pay this amount of money to a coach, the coach does not make the team, the players make the team and how well they play a game and if they win, it is not the coach that will win, it is the players.”

In some sense that is true, but I beg to differ and say that everything rises and falls with leadership, and usually when a team does poorly, it is because of the coaching. This principle has been proven time and time again, not only in the athletic world, but also in life.

How many teams had a losing season one year, and then with the same players but a new coach, they were able to do much better the following year?

Rain Capital Update

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Vision

It has been a privilege currently serving on the board of Rain Capital. Personally speaking, I feel a bit under-qualified as all of the other board members have business degrees of one form or another. I think this is God’s way of letting me live vicariously a life that I might have gone into if I was not called to be a pastor.

It is exciting to see people who are able to integrate business (the marketplace) and their faith in order to fulfill the Great Commission. I believe this is going to be the next wave of the future when it comes to missions. We are going to see more lay Kingdom workers who will be equipped in this global economy to enter into uncharted territories to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This past weekend we had our quarterly board meeting. I am proud of these guys who took a step of faith and envisioned something great for God’s Kingdom. They are truly paving the way for future business people to use their gifts and talents to build up God’s Kingdom.

But with starting anything from scratch, it requires focus, fortitude and flexibility. I believe these guys have it and as they press on, God will bring forth the fruits.
Rain Capital Board.JPG
Ed Chao: Works for General Electric and MBA from Ross
Moses Lee: Works for William Davidson Institute and BBA from Ross

Eric Svaan: Operations Management Professor at Ross School of Business

David Parzen: Works for NSF and MBA from Ross