Ears to see
by Guest Author on November 21, 2016 in innovation
Good Brunches are a series of conversations developed by an organization called Matryoshka Haus. Their purpose is to draw a diverse group of people around a common table to talk about meaningful things in healthy ways. The blog post below references the conversation that took place during the San Antonio Good Brunches around the topic of “tolerance.” Click here to read the intro post for Good Brunches.
Picture this: A space with a mash up of people where diverse ages, races, socioeconomics merge. I’m envisioning the streetcar I rode last week in New Orleans, which operates as both tourist bus and public transportation. Imagine...
Brief thoughts on restoration
by Elizabeth Biedrzycki on September 15, 2016 in innovation
Good Brunches are a series of conversations developed by an organization called Matryoshka Haus. Their purpose is to draw a diverse group of people around a common table to talk about meaningful things in healthy ways. The blog post below references the conversation that took place during the San Antonio Good Brunches around the topic of restoration. Click here to read the intro post for Good Brunches.
- Brokenness mended.
- Illness healed.
- Dirty cleaned.
- Destruction rebuilt.
- Lost returned.
- Depraved redeemed.
- Weak reinforced.
- Uselessness given purpose.
The above are some initial thoughts on restoration. They sound...
What does hope mean to you?
by Elizabeth Biedrzycki on August 25, 2016 in innovation
Good Brunches are a series of conversations developed by an organization called Matryoshka Haus. Their purpose is to draw a diverse group of people around a common table to talk about meaningful things in healthy ways. The blog post below references the conversation that took place during the San Antonio Good Brunches around the topic of “hope.” Click here to read the intro post for Good Brunches.
“What does hope mean to you?” It can be a daunting question, especially if you have not spent much time thinking about it. I am intimidated by it, in fact. And because of that, it is intimidating to think about joining a table of people...
Good Brunch: How healthy relationships can change the world
by Elizabeth Biedrzycki on May 31, 2016 in innovation
Good conversation about meaningful things leads to healthy relationships and healthy relationships can change the world. I didn’t want to lead this post with too bold of a statement. How did I do? All sarcasm aside, I genuinely believe in that statement. I believe that healthy, authentic, transformative, life-giving relationships can change families, neighborhoods, communities, cities and ultimately the world. How much different would our election season be if those types of relationships were a pillar of campaigns and debates? How different would American families look if we took relationships more seriously as a nation?
Rhythms of a Sacramental Imagination
by Elizabeth Biedrzycki on November 4, 2015 in innovation
When I was a young girl, I took piano lessons. My least favorite part about class was when my instructor, Ms. Escobedo, took out the metronome. I despised not being able to play the song as fast, or as slow as I wanted. To me, as an eight-year-old, I was a better pianist if I could play a piece of music equally as well at a rapid tempo as I could a slow one. However, Ms. Escobedo and the metronome thought otherwise.
Through years of practice, I began to appreciate the guidance of both. In fact, I became so enthralled with rhythm that I began trying to hear it everywhere. I would close my eyes in my backyard and listen for a...
Lessons from a London learning lab
by Joshua Seth Minatrea on October 26, 2015 in innovation
The London I'd heard of was damp and dreary, but the London I experienced on the first Texas Baptists Learning Lab was anything but. I found the city awash in mid-summer sunlight, broad rays bouncing off weathered stones and gilded storefronts, illuminating bustling faces full of energy and thought. There wasn't the slightest hint of a fog. My expectations proved to be amiss.
And in a way, that's exactly why I was there. Fourteen of us – men and women, young and not-so-young, pastors and lay leaders – banded together from across the state to embark upon the 7-day voyage with the express purpose of learning. Through a series of...
Why new ideas are as important as old ideas
by Rand Jenkins on September 28, 2015 in innovation
I love new, creative ideas. Apparently so does society. But I'm beginning to believe society's love of new ideas comes at the cost of established ideals.
A new idea or a person's new identity is praised for being a bold voice. It does take courage to pioneer a movement. However, in a rapidly changing society it also takes courage to be a bold voice on one's traditional values of God, His Love, His Son and His desire that we come to Him and follow Him.
A respect for people's opinion is not the same as accepting one's opinion as truth. As the percentage of Christians gives way to the rising number of "nones" sharing ideas and opinions...
How to broaden our moral imagination?
by Elizabeth Biedrzycki on August 13, 2015 in innovation
My whole life, my dad shared a metaphor that has never meant more to me than it does right now. He would say:
"Picture a vulture flying over a desert. As it flies it sees dead carcasses all over the ground. However, a hummingbird flying over the very same desert sees desert flowers. They see different things because they only see what they are looking for."
This has challenged me to look at my world differently lately. Sometimes it takes letting go of the world you know to imagine one that has yet to exist. And to change society for the better, it takes expanding our moral imagination. The story of the vulture and the hummingbird...
Trouble with first-timers
by Joshua Seth Minatrea on August 6, 2015 in innovation
Do you tweet? I don't. There. I said it. I've tried a few times but never really stuck with it. I like the challenge of finding something witty to say in 140 characters or less, but it's not something I can have running in the background of my mind while moving through the day. For me, tweeting takes too much time and attention, and like other social media platforms, it is hard to measure the ROI.
After listening in on an earnings call this week, CNN Money reported that Twitter has acknowledged it is facing a significant problem. It appears that people who know how to use the micro-blogging site seem to love it, but nubies are often...
An introduction to hospitality
by Elizabeth Biedrzycki on July 16, 2015 in innovation
My grandmother breathes hospitality in and out all day long. Preparing and serving food for others gives her purpose and happiness. She brings people together, no matter their background, around a common table. I have and continue to learn a lot from her. She inspires me to wonder, dream and imagine what hospitality is and why I, and people in general, struggle with the concept.
In his book "Reaching Out", Henri J.M. Nouwen says, "Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can...
What happened to the church in the UK and why is it of value?
by Elizabeth Biedrzycki on July 9, 2015 in innovation
What is the church? If modernity was boiled out of how I know church, what would be left? What is true biblical community?
These are the question I am left asking after a recent trip to London where I spent a week immersed in fresh expressions of church.
About 20 years ago in the UK, denominational leaders were asking questions similar to these anticipating a generational tidal wave of rebellion from what church had been for the last several decades. And the communities of Christians I experienced three weeks ago are the result of these questions and the movement, which answered them.
What excites me about the movement of a...
by Jay Netherton on April 16, 2015 in innovation
The challenge of staying culturally 'relevant' as a church and as the Christian faith has become like a bi-athlete trying to hit a moving target. The exhausting task of trying to figure out what "the kids are into these days" can be confusing, deceiving and hopeless for the ill-equipped. Merely locating the target is no longer sufficient, the mark must be struck on the bulls-eye, and the race must be finished ahead of the other competitors, which in the real world translates to: whoever thinks up something like Ice Bucket Challenge first wins. So then, how do we take all of the lessons, tips, hints and best practices of the secular...
Crack of the bat
by Joshua Seth Minatrea on April 2, 2015 in innovation
Sporting goods giant Wilson has acquired the iconic Louisville Slugger baseball brand for $70 million cash. What does this have to do with the Convention and its churches? Quite possibly everything. Here's how.
The Louisville Slugger brand was established after Bud Hillerich made a bat for Pete Browning, star of the Louisville Eclipse, back in 1884. Bud identified a need, developed a quality product ball players liked, and a successful business was born.
But, after decades of popularity the market changed. Youth and college sports became astonishingly more popular, their players began using metal instead of wooden bats,...