The Review – Cool Veggies and Rick Warren on Politics

Here is the review of the best links of 2009’s 10th week.

Kids (and adults) Prefer Veggies With Cool Names
In a new study, 186 four-year-olds were given regular carrots and, on other lunch days, they were given the same vegetables renamed X-ray Vision Carrots. On the latter days, they ate nearly twice as many. Whether it be ‘power peas’ or ‘dinosaur broccoli trees,’ giving a food a fun name makes kids think it will be more fun to eat. Similar results have been found with adults. A restaurant study showed that when the Seafood Filet was changed to Succulent Italian Seafood Filet, sales increased 28% and taste rating increased by 12%.

Brain Differences Found Between Believers In God And Non-believers
Believing in God can help block anxiety and minimize stress, according to new University of Toronto research that shows distinct brain differences between believers and non-believers. They’re much less anxious and feel less stressed when they have made an error.

Rick Warren on Politics
“Politics is always downstream from culture. If you want to influence culture, you have to change hearts. And, you can’t change a heart with a law.”

Food Stamps Skyrocket
A record 31.8 million Americans received food stamps at the latest count, an increase of 700,000 people in one month with the United States in recession. Also, here’s a map of the geography of the U.S. recession.

Worried Workers
Workers are spending an average of 2.8 hours each day worrying about job security.

People Overpromise and Underdeliver
Researchers discovered that people were consistently overly optimistic when asked to predict their own future behavior. And another study discovers that power can cause people to think they have more personal control over outcomes than they, in fact, do.

1 in 31 U.S. Adults are in Jail, on Probation, or on Parole (Full Report PDF)
The total correctional population is 7,328,200. (Prison = 1,512,576 // Jail = 780,581 // Probation = 4,293,163 // Parole = 824,365)

How the Weak Economy Has Affected Americans During the Last Year
70% cut back on entertainment. 40% put off major purchases. 40% cut grocery spending. 39% pared down vacation plans. 16% went without medical or prescription drug care. 9% chose to not purse their educational plans.

Teenagers do listen to their parents when it comes to smoking
Teenagers are more positive today towards their parents’ attempts to discourage them from smoking, regardless of whether or not they smoked, than in the past. The most effective actions parents could take include dissuading their children from smoking, not smoking themselves and not allowing their children to smoke at home. Younger children were more positive about these approaches than older children.

Media Images of Alcohol Can Drive You to Drink
Young men who watched the movie American Pie with accompanying commercials for alcohol were more apt to grab a beer or glass of wine from the refrigerator, compared to those who watched a movie without the drinking prompts. Also, U.S. teens that have items with alcoholic beverage brands printed on them seem to be more prone to end up being binge drinkers.

Five Things to Do Before You Advertise Your Church
(1) Put more effort and thought into your communication planning. (2) Define what you want to accomplish with your promotional efforts. (3) Advertise who you really are, not who you are not. (4) Fix what is broken in your church. (5) Do your homework before you launch any kind of advertising outreach.

Watch Sessions from The Idea Camp
Get free video excerpts from The Idea Camp conference, a free hybrid conference for idea makers.

OneBody Church Social Network Software
Get a free open source download.

The Intersection
7 Innovative Church Buildings in America
- The Sticker Lamp

- Craig Groeschel’s 3 Questions for Church Evaluation
Republicans vs. Democrats :: Religious Differences
Bobby Gruenewald’s 5 Tips for Studying Lists
Church Marketing with a Twist ::’s New Billboards

Rick Warren on Effective Discipleship

At this year’s Exponential Conference, Rick Warren of Saddleback Church (Lake Forest, CA) agreed to be interviewed by Todd Rhoades, Scott Hodge, and Chris Elrod. Rick Warren begins with eight minutes of valuable insight into creating effective discipleship. Below are highlights from the interview, which began with the following question:

Have you read the Reveal Study, and what is your take on the whole thing? (4:05)

The first year of the church I focused on growing the church. But then after I crashed and burned at the end of the first year, I said, “Okay, Lord. What do you want me to do?” And He said, “I want you to grow people.”

(5:10) The Purpose Driven strategy is not a church growth strategy. It is a spiritual maturity strategy. It’s bringing people closer and closer to Christ. First, you get them to know Christ, then to love Christ, then to love Christ’s family, then to grow in Christ, then to serve Christ, and then to share Christ. We’ve been doing this process for 28 years.

(6:00) The biggest mistake that churches make is we think that sermons will produce spiritual maturity. If people don’t take notes, they forget 95% of what they hear within 72 hours. That is not going to produce spiritual maturity.

(6:25) There are simple tools that Saddleback developed early on that have produced spiritual maturity. One of them was the outline. In our church for 28 years, people take notes every week, which means they go home with far more than they would if they didn’t take notes.

(7:10) The second thing is Saddleback is built on a series of five covenants. Jesus had a process by which He took people from no faith in Christ to deep disciple. The very first words of Jesus that He says to His disciples are “Come and see.” Now that’s the entry point for faith. What is the commitment level of “Come and see?” Nothing. Just show up. Sit in the back. Don’t sing anything, say anything, sacrifice anything. Just show up. But Jesus never left them there.

(8:10) And from “Come and see,” He took them through consistent steps. And all through the three and a half years of ministry, he is turning up the heat. And as they begin to follow Him, He starts saying, “You’re my disciple if…” And He redefines commitment. “You’re my disciple if you love one another.” “You’re my disciple if you bear fruit.” “You’re my disciple if you take up your cross, deny yourself, and follow Me.” And on and on, He’s turning up the heat.

(9:10) In those days, nobody took up a cross unless the Romans were going to nail him to it. So He’s saying, “Come and die.” There’s a huge difference in commitment between “Come and see” and “Come and die.” He doesn’t say “Come and die” at the very first. He takes three years into a relationship with them. And He’s moving them.

(9:50) Churches have not understood that commitment is sequential, systematic, and processed. And to move them from “Come and see” to “Come and die” is what Purpose Driven is all about.

(10:10) What happens is churches tend to be one or the other. You’re either a “Come and see” church or a “Come and die” church. And the “Come and see” churches bring them in the front door and win a lot of people to Christ, but they don’t deepen them to deeper levels of maturity. The “Come and die” church doesn’t reach anybody for Christ, and they’ve got their frozen chosen that they keep taking deeper and deeper and deeper. But those people have koinitis. They’re so close no one else can break into it.

(10:40) What a church has to do is see that “Come and see” and “Come and die” is the whole spectrum. And how do you get people from “Come and see” to “Come and die?” There are classes. There are covenants. There are commitments. There are cells. There’s coaching.

(11:05) It’s not just one-on-one. It’s not just one to small group. It’s not just one to big crowd. There is a combination. And you have to take into account that people learn in different ways. Most churches have not built the levels of learning into discipleship.

For more insights, watch the interview video. It also includes Rick Warren’s thoughts on the Southern Baptist Convention’s membership decline and more.

For Discussion:
- What are your tips for effective discipleship?

Further Reading:
View upcoming church conferences.

Rick Warren’s 12 Insights on Worship

Rick Warren of Saddleback Church (Lake Forest, CA) wrote a two part article on Saddleback Church’s 12 convictions about worship (part 1 & part 2). Here is the list:

  1. Only believers can truly worship God.
  2. You don’t need a building to worship God.
  3. There is no correct style of worship.
    The truth is God loves all kinds of worship styles – as long as we worship him in spirit, in truth, and in an orderly fashion.
  4. While unbelievers can’t worship, they can watch believers worship.
    Non-Christians can’t worship, but they can see the kind of joy worship brings us.
  5. Worship is a powerful witness to unbelievers if God’s presence is felt and the message is understandable.
  6. God expects us to be sensitive to the fears, hang-ups, and the needs of unbelievers when they are present in our worship services.
    Whenever you hear people talk about being sensitive to unbelievers, that is not watering down the gospel. It’s called love. You’re just being nice to them.
  7. Worship services do not have to be shallow to be evangelistic, and the message does not have to be compromised. It just has to be understandable.
    Remove the unnecessary barriers, so people can hear the often-uncomfortable gospel.
  8. The needs of believers and unbelievers often overlap.
    For instance, both believers and unbelievers need to know what God is really like.
  9. It’s best to specialize your services according to purpose.
    It’s best to design one service to edify believers and another to evangelize non-believers. Most churches try to do both at the same time. But if we send mixed signals, we’re going to get mixed results. You can’t aim at two targets at the same time.
  10. A service geared toward non-believers is meant to supplement personal evangelism, not replace it.
  11. There is no standard way to design an evangelistic worship service.
  12. It takes unselfish mature believers to offer an evangelistic worship service. This is the most important of all.
    Paul says it like this: “We would put up with anything in order not to hinder the Good News of Christ in any way” (1 Cor. 9:12b GW).

For more thoughts on each of the twelve be sure to read the original article (part 1 & part 2).