Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Urbana09 - Day 3 Twitter Wrapup

Here is a cross section of Twitter posts from December 30 at Urbana:

RT @MeandMyHouse: “Every generation needs its prophets to cleanse the temple like Jesus did.” Ramez Atallah #itsnotaboutyou #urbana09

RT @lovingmercy: Be gracious to the previous generation and their mistakes; be courageous in your own generation. #urbana09

RT @gomer2: Oscar Muriu wrecked my life in 06, he did it again last night at #urbana09. Watch his talk here:

RT @hopeequals: RT @CRCNA: News story about @hopeequals, CRWM's peace-focused initiative launching at #Urbana09:

RT @AskAMissionary: How do I know if God is calling me to be a missionary? 7 answers here: #urbana09

RT @WeyW: Having such a good experience at #urbana09. It's been transformative. Hard to believe it's only a lil more than half finished

RT @MissionTrips: #urbana09 Overwhelmed with mission trip options? Key questions to help select a mission trip:

RT @ckeinath: #Urbana09 Humbled again, bowing to Jesus, thankful...

RT @BustaHimes: Alright, here we go York Moore is up speaking about John 3:1-21. #urbana09

RT @ryanphernandez: Sitting soo close!! Snow + #urbana09 = awesome!!! Expecting great things from this session

RT @Likewise_Books: RT @Chris_Heuertz: If you're at Urbana (#urbana09) today, grab a copy of Simple Spirituality-the Book of the Day

RT @Angelamz40: Urbana 09: Glow sticks in crowd = new believers! And the Angels rejoice in heaven! #urbana09

RT @MaryknollFrsBrs The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get 2 Him, the more intensely missionary we become. Martyn

RT @bensonlee: "Be thankful that hunger is an experience we create at a convention and not your daily reality." -- Greg Jao #urbana09

RT @TWRglobal: At the #u09twtup listening to @lukejesse talk about how the Tweet Up is going to go down. Great team here! #urbana09

RT @MaryknollFrsBrs: "Sympathy is no substitute for action." - David Livingstone, missionary to Africa. #urbana09

RT @USCWM: No one has the right to hear the gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once. -- Oswald Smith #urbana09

RT @fotofreak365: Does anyone else feel like the booths are really intimidating? #urbana09

RT @bensonhines: My first thoughts about what the Urbana conference reveals to outsiders about InterVarsity! #urbana09

RT @decruzp: Wednesday night worship at #urbana09

RT @adamlepp: #urbana09 I have this hope. His name is Jesus. He alone brings healing

RT @lisasharper: #urbana09: Denise Thompson: People of faith need to take up the challenge to help solve the problem of Climate Change.

RT @tanacea: So much praying is repeating back to God what he already knows. #urbana09

You can follow along as I pass on what people are saying from Urbana09 at:

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Urbana09 - Day 2 Twitter Wrapup

Here are some of the tweets that came out of today's conversations and presentations:

RT @Angelamz40: RT @lovingmercy: Love does not reach from afar, it becomes incarnational. #urbana09 (via @mmesachi)

RT @mmesachi: RT @lovingmercy: Evangelism is firstly relational. #urbana09

RT @Angelamz40: Our prayer: open our blind eyes and break our hard hearts. Save us from pride/prejudice/superiority. #urbana09

RT @Liz_Pix: AM bible session. John 2:1-12. Often times we can taste the glory of God but still not give him the glory for it. #urbana09

RT @TheTatar: "May the people here make decisions that will change history." Yes, Lord, help us change history! #urbana09

RT @HeatherTWR: Ramzez Atallah and Dave Ramsey agree- ACT YOUR WAGE and GIVE LIKE NOONE ELSE! #urbana09

RT @michaelkaspar: RT @julioanta: "Build movements, not monuments" - Ramez Atallah #urbana09. #OMbooth1107

RT @RLouisT: The Great commission & Great Commandment go hand in hand. Love by word and deed. This is the Biblical Mandate frm God #Urbana09

RT @sudantweets: RT @simusa: RT @goodsirdavid: There are currently 15,000 people in auditorium in St Louis cheering 4 Wii tennis. #urbana09

RT @hcjbglobal: Come chat with Radio Trainer Allen Graham from Quito Ecuador at 2:15 booth 1100 #itsnotaboutyou #urbana09

RT @USCWM: Keep the conversation going: articles on slave trade, trafficking etc #urbana09

RT @bensonlee: standing room only out the door for the prayer, fasting, scripture and worship 101 seminar at #urbana09

RT @aaivprays: #urbana09 John Perkins: our blessings from God were never meant for us, but to be shared with others.

RT @christian2do: RT @hcjbglobal: chat w/ Singapore based Ty Stakes about engineering music & farming @booth 1100 at 6pm tonight. #urbana09

RT @acjeske: #urbana09 I am one of the urbana photographers. Shots up at ! More soon!

RT @Mexicachel: The bible condemns heterosexual sin at least ten times more than homosexual sin #urbana09

You can follow my messages and RT's during the day at

Urbana09 - Day 1 Twitter Wrapup

Each day of Urbana09 I am going to do a wrap-up of twitter posts that I have made or that I have RT'd. My thought is that this will give you a unique and creative insight into the event. I encourage you to go to the daily Webcast to listen in with much more detail to the great speakers.

Day 1 Twitter Wrapup

RT @Linson_Daniel: Let scripture speak John 1:35-42 manuscript study this morning, Where r u staying? Come and you will see... #urbana09

RT @AndrewPass: #urbana09 Jesus speaks to people in community. The disciples are not isolated!

RT @morganjustin: 'Being criticized feels bad. But, feeling bad always wears off.' #urbana09

RT @IJMcampaigns: Hundreds at #urbana09 take stand for oppressed by wearing shirts

RT @GEMission: #Urbana09: He Dwelled Among Us. Following Christ how can u be missional presence 4 Christ in the community He has u?

RT @djchuang247: #urbana09 splitting an extra-large pizza w new strangers who'll be friends before we finish

RT @jiolasa: RT @OMurbana: Please help us spread the word. A donor will buy 1,000 Iraqi bibles if we get 1,000 people to 1107. #urbana09

RT @philfoell: after his birth, Jesus was forced to become an international refugee to Africa. Jesus identifies with refugees. #urbana09

RT @philfoell: Social action without the Bible only brings momentary change. #urbana09

RT @Mexicachel: People should learn something about everywhere and everything about somewhere. #urbana09

God calls us to go to others in their context and on their terms and regardless of their response. Ramez Atallah #urbana09 - Night 1

RT @jameschoung: "Live to be forgotten ... make Christ visible, not ourselves." --Patrick Fung #urbana09

RT @aaivprays: #urbana09 tonight, stories of God's people: the displaced, the disadvantaged, the oppressed, widows & orphans & foreigners.

RT @Samlopez: The Word: Be a witness, not a traffic obstruction. #urbana09

Follow along as I RT and comment on Urbana09 at

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sharing Twitter Updates from Urbana 09

No, I'm not at Urbana 09 but I am very excited about what God will do through the event in the lives of those who are there.

For those of you who, like me, are not there here are two things you can do:
1. Be praying for the 17,000 young people who are there.
2. You can follow all the Retweets that I will be syndicating from my twitter account at

Have you been to Urbana in the past? What did God do in your life through it?

Why bother innovating if we serve God?

Philip had this great question to my blog post about Ancient Inspiration:

"Why do we need innovation when we have God? Surely He will pass on what he wants us to be innovative about. It is His will and all our fates are determined by Him."

Let me share with you my reply:
Dear Philip,
Great question. I don't think that human innovation and God's revelation are mutually exclusive. In fact, I would say that God created us to innovate and uses the feature in us to inspire us. Innovation is simply us using the brains and experiences God gave us in coordination with Him to bring Him glory.

Now I know that people innovate without thinking about God at all, but I think that God still gets the glory for that since He made those people too. The study of innovation from a Biblical perspective is then our opportunity to see how God moves through us to accomplish things in this earth.

What do you think of my take? How would you respond to Philip?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ancient Inspiration

So many times when we think about innovation, we focus on the new. We look to new industries, new ideas, new perspectives for our inspiration. Think about all the magazines touting the newest trends in technology, business, culture, etc.

But to do that we miss out on a huge "field of meaning," as my partner in ministry Eric Foley likes to say. What does he mean by that? Well, as we search for innovation, we tend to look forward only. We feel that only new things can inform the future. This understanding is at the world view level and we don't even know that we think this way. It comes because progress is such a high value for those of us who are products of modernity. We truly believe that success means always pushing forward to new frontiers, new ideas, new realities.

I want to challenge that perspective on innovation today. I believe that some of our best fodder for innovation may come from our past. You see the past does a few things that the future cannot do. The past has not yet committed some of the errors that we have codified. The past can have a very different perspective on things that we now take for granted. Also, the past is sometimes an amazing lens to see the very mistakes and struggles we are mired in today.

Now the past isn't perfect. Every age is rife with ignorance, prejudice, and faulty thinking. But I would like to impress on you that the past is a source on which we can draw for our innovation efforts. It is a rich story that will give us ideas that no tech magazine could ever draw out. And we need every source we can get in order to effectively innovate in the 21st Century.

So here are some ideas:
1. Identify some innovative thinkers of the past and read their biographies.
2. Read history and look for the patterns that inform our world today.
3. Talk to grandparents and great grandparents and ask them questions about how they see the world.
4. When you find yourself assuming that the future is better, catch yourself and challenge your thinking about progress and it's inherent virtue.

So there you go, are you ready to dive into the past? I pray that God gives you some rich sources of inspiration from what He has done throughout history.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Innovation Ended Up Where?

So you come up with an idea, find your gang of co-conspiritors and launch it. Soon it is a huge success and you are off and running. But that isn't the end of the story. What you birthed could end up leading to many things that you would never expect or dare to imagine. Are you ready for that?

A great example is a wonderfully documented article by Christianity Today about the diffusion of innovation that happened as a result of launching For those of you who haven't experienced Kiva, it is a site that brings microenterprise down to the individual level allowing people to make loans to individuals around the world through qualified partners. In short, it crowdsources relief and development work and allows individual people to be a part of the global solution in a personal and transformational way.

Well, the article shows how a variety of international development ministries have now started similar projects or joined Kiva's network in order to harness the innovation that Kiva identified. 20 years ago the idea of individuals doing something as complex as lending money to a shoe maker in Guatemala would have been unthinkable. But the founders of Kiva saw how the Internet was democratizing everything and acted on that major change in the area of microfinance.

Their innovation has made many new efforts possible that the founders could never have imagined. Here are a few of them:
So now lets turn to your idea. What are you working on? What have you rolled out that is changing your area of minsitry? Are you ready for that innovation to spread?

One of the keys to being ready is to hold it lightly. So many times when we invest so much in a new idea and an innovative project, we close our hands around it and tell everyone to back off. But the rules today require the opposite. The power of your idea and its impact will depend largely on your ability to hold it loosely.

Matthew 6:20 commands us to store up our treasures in Heaven and avoid the great mistake of putting our hope and trust in things that will disappear in the face of Eternity. This means that we will have to hold our efforts loosely. But what does that look like?

Holding your innovation loosely means:
  1. Mentoring those who want to learn from your work
  2. Giving others access to your ideas is wise and sustainable ways
  3. Supporting new applications of your innovation
  4. Being generous in your encouragement of those who enter your arena
  5. Defining your success based on obedience to Christ not in the metrics of finance, fame or personal enjoyment
I know many in the ministry world who have failed to do this and it is important to consider what happens to the innovation. Those that hold their hands tightly closed see the innovations shrivel up just as the innovator becomes old and frail. They see their whole area of ministry become competitive and focused on success and notoriety. They foster all the things that might look successful in earthly terms but lead to isolation, greed and selfishness.

So you can choose how you will handle your innovation and that may make all the difference in how God will use it for His Kingdom.