Secret Shopper

secret-shopper

I mentioned last week that I’m beginning a new project with ARC. This is something I’m pretty excited about and hopefully will lead to me meeting you and your team.

ARC now offers a very informative, encouraging and fruitful experience for your church: the Secret Shopper (mystery worshipper). Beginning August 2009, ARC will be lining up visits to churches across the country by one of the ARC’s staff – me.

Here’s the info that we’re sending ARC churches:

The Secret Shopper has produced worship services for a mega-church for the last 6 years and has served on a Worship & Arts staff for the last 15 years. The Secret Shopper also produced several large conferences including Leadership Network’s Innovation3 Conference, Catalyst OneDay and the Rebecca St. James’s SHE Conference.

This service to your church will include an eye on everything from your church’s parking lot, lobby, nursery, facilities, signage, restrooms, overall feel and a main focus on the worship experience including music, technology/media and preaching.

For a small, one-time investment of $750 (plus travel expenses) for a church of 300 or less OR $1000 (plus travel) for churches of 300 or more, your church can have a trained professional with a heart for ARC DNA churches come into your church and critique, encourage and challenge your team. Feedback will be given in a meeting after the last morning worship service.

I’m blogging about this here because this is a service that I’d like to do for any and all churches interested, not just ARC churches. For more information and to book me as a Secret Shopper for your church, email me at greg@gregatkinson.com.

Draw Near

God will do whatever it takes to get your eyes on Him – to get your focus, desire, trust and hope in Him; in that way, He is relentless and can go to extremes (as Scripture, myself and countless others can attest to) to get our attention.

In light of our recent economic situation, it occurred to me that God may be at work all around. I travel the country speaking on innovation. One of the ways that I teach innovation is birthed is by desperation, but I go on to say that “it’s a desperation that leads to a dependence upon the Holy Spirit.”

When you hit the bottom in your own way: maybe lose your job, your retirement, your house, your savings, your stock portfolio, your (you fill in the blank)… Could it be that it’s by design by our Creator to bring us back to trusting in Him alone?

To quote two spiritual giants and long distance mentors: “God is most satisfied in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.” – John Piper. In The Problem of Pain, CS Lewis says, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Deaf world are we listening? Because I believe God is shouting. Please understand I’m not a gloom and doom person. I don’t believe this is the end of the world and I don’t believe this is like the Great Depression. I got to hear Dave Ramsey live at his Town Hall for Hope and appreciate his sound wisdom and advice. I appreciate his perspective and the truth that he spoke that night.

However, though it may have been worse in times past, this is rough on our generation and this is a reality that we have to deal with. On my blog a while back, I spoke of God’s “pruning”. I talked about a situation that was extremely difficult, humiliating, humbling and really put me in my place. At the same time, it was wonderful, Spirit-filled, God-ordained and edifying. Our God takes the tough times and makes something beautiful out of it. Scripture is full of exhortations like this.

Now please know I’m writing this after having lost my job due to the economy; so I don’t write from theory, but from my heart. I sincerely believe that it’s in these hard times that God wants us to run to Him and run to Him first. Not to our banker, our broker, our real estate agent or even friends. First and foremost, He wants His children to call on His name and fall to their knees in worship. The Bible teaches us to “seek Him first. (Matt. 6:33)”

Also from personal experience, I know that God pursues us. He is very jealous of our idols and He, as I said before, will be relentless in getting our focus on Him. He’s constantly molding, shaping, pruning and refining us. The good news is that He has promised to draw close to us when we draw close to Him (James 4:8).

So in these days of trials, allow God to complete His work IN you. Seek Him first, draw close to Him and place your hope squarely on Him. These are days for us to truly be men and women of faith, trusting in the One who is sovereign and unshaken. God, if you let Him, will make something beautiful of the mess you’re going through. Trust Him. Listen to Him. Worship Him.

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Last Chance For Huge Q Discount

I’ve blogged about this before, but the time-sensitive huge discount for Q runs out Dec. 31st!!!! You have 1 week to act on this opportunity. You can register later, but it will cost over $150 more.Â

I’ll be hosting a Church 2.0 Tribe this year at Q. Q was held in New York last year and I couldn’t make it – I really wanted to . This April 27-29 it will be in Austin, TX. I and many other friends will be there. I’d love for you to join us. 

Q is a unique conference for leaders that “get it” and are interested in highly relevant and missional things. Q does cost more than a lot of conferences, but if you register with my coupon code (Church20) – you can register for $525 until 12/31.

More about Q: Q is a gathering where church leaders and cultural influencers from the fields of business, politics, media, education, entertainment and the arts are exposed to the future of culture and the church’s responsibility to advance the common good in society.

Q TALKS are 18 minute presentations given annually at the Q gathering by thought leaders and practitioners on the topics of the future, the church, the culture and the gospel. Be inspired by their big ideas and find ways to discuss and process them with your closest friends and inner circle (the Church 2.0 tribe).

I hope to see some of you in the wonderful city of Austin!

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MERRY CHRISTMAS to all you!!!

Our Testimony

I can’t help but cry every time I watch this video. I watch it again and again. Yes, I love the song (“Everything” by Lifehouse), but to see what Christ did for ME acted out is amazing. Watch it until the very end. It’s worth it… especially if you know the song. WOW – Did I mention I cried? Thank you Jesus for redeeming this life from destruction (Psalm 103).

David Crowder’s Guitar Hero Guitar

David Crowder Band rocked Dallas last week at our new House of Blues. Here he is playing the guitar from “Guitar Hero” for one of his songs. Gotta love it!