Tuesday, June 10, 2008

David Baroni Releases New Book and New CD

David Baroni is a true minister of Word and song. His roots run deep in the church with a dedication to ministry.

His new book is titled, "The Jazz Preacher." It is his story and you will thoroughly enjoy it.

An excellent musician and songwriter, David Baroni's new CD is titled, "Finger Paintings: Dream."

Check it out at http://www.davidbaroni.com/.

Archaeologists Unearth "World's First Church"

Archaeologists unearthed in Jordan what they believe to be the world’s first church, according to a report Monday.

"We have uncovered what we believe to be the first church in the world, dating from 33 AD to 70 AD," said Abdul Qader al-Hussan, the head of Jordan's Rihab Center for Archaeological Studies, to The Jordan Times.

He added that the discovery was “amazing.”

The nearly 2,000-year-old church was discovered underneath Saint Georgeous Church in Rihab, Mafraq, in northern Jordan near the Syrian border. St. Georgeous dates back to 230 A.D., and is considered the oldest “proper” church in the world.

Hussan said his team has evidence to believe “this church sheltered the early Christians – the 70 disciples of Jesus Christ.” These 70 early Christians are said to have fled persecution in Jerusalem, particularly to Rihab, and founded churches in northern Jordan. Historical sources, according to Hussan, suggest the 70 Christians lived and practiced their faith in the underground church and only left when Christianity was embraced by Roman rulers. “It was then when St. Georgeous was built,” said Hussan noted.

The underground church has been described as a cave with several stone seats believed to have been for the clergy and a circular shaped area, thought to be the apse – an area which usually contains the altar. “A wall with an entrance is the only partition separating the altar from the living area,” Hussan reported. There is also a deep tunnel in the cave thought to have led to a water source, he noted.

Bishop Deputy of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Archimandrite Nektarious described the discovery as an “important milestone for Christians all around the world.”

"The only other cave in the world similar in shape and purpose is in Thessalonika, Greece," the bishop said, according to The Jordan Times.

Officials at the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism said they plan to use the discovery to promote tourism in the area in the near future.

Some 30 churches have been discovered in Rihab, according to Hussan, and Jesus and Mary are believed to have passed through the area.

[By Ethan Cole, Christian Post Reporter]

Man Sues His Church After He Hits His Head After Receiving the Holy Spirit

[Orginally published by Todd Rhoades]

According to The Smoking Gun, last June, Matthew Lincoln was attending an evening service at his nondenominational Tennessee church when he approached the altar where a visiting minister was offering individual prayers for parishioners. Assigned "catchers" were present on the altar in case congregants fainted, fell, or otherwise lost control.

When the minister, Robert Lavala, slightly touched his forehead, the Knoxville-area man "received the spirit and fell backwards." Except nobody was there to catch him, Lincoln charges in a $2.5 million lawsuit filed yesterday against Lakewind Church and its pastors. Lincoln, 58, claims that he fell backwards, striking his head against the "carpet-covered cement floor," according to the Circuit Court complaint, which was first reported by Courthouse News Service. A copy of Lincoln's lawsuit can be found below.

Since he already suffered from a "degenerative disc disease of his neck and back," Lincoln, a former church board member, contends the fall exacerbated the pre-existing condition and has caused him "severe and permanent" injuries.

You can see the actual lawsuit filed here (at The Smoking Gun)...

Any thoughts?

Church Guests/Visitor Followup

(A Sample Process)
  1. Collect guest cards and connection cards.
  2. Act on the cards immediately. After service, if possible. Go to the church office and process the informationand writing cards. A list could be built on Google Docs. Make a phone call on Monday. Mail a first time handwritten note signed by the pastor. The children's department could send out a stamped bag of unpopped popcorn. The youth department could send out a CD. Mail a second letter to adult guests asking people to serve. Service is a high value. The expectation is set at the outset. People rally to serve. Look at prayer requests on the cards. Pray over all cards in staff meetings and prayer groups.
  3. Close Open Loops. Collect data in a Google Docs spreadsheet, listing assignments with an “X.” As each assignment is completed, turn the X into a “C,” meaning closed. An item is closed when a first or second time guest is mailed a response. In the case of info request, a sign-up, or a prayer request, the loop is closed after a conversation has been had yielding a “yes,” no,” or a “not now.” The information received can be gathered and placed in the comment box in the spreadsheet.
  4. One month call back. Place a call four weeks after the initial guest visit to make sure the guests have received the information they’ve requested. This call will successfully help people make the next step into service, membership, and group attendance. This occasionally re-activates someone who visited once and didn’t come back after their first visit. This call also serves to ensure that the process is working and that there are no holes.


Many other steps could be added. This process can be adjusted to fit your church or community.

Have you discovered other steps that really work? Share them. Click "Comments" below.