Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Revolution Church - One Punk Under God

Have you heard about Revolution Church, Jay Bakker's church? I just heard about it on CNN. That's right, son of Jim and Tammy Faye has his own ministry and now TV show - One Punk Under God. It looks very cool. Check out some of these the slogans from their merchandise page:

"Equal Rights is a Moral Issue"
"Jesus Is The Saviour, Not Christianity"
"Religion Kills"

I love that Jay is working to move beyond whatever the church has been (and his parents) and is getting to the heart of Christian teaching. Can we UU's do that? Please pretty please? Oh wait. We don't need anyones permission. All we need is some institutional BS to cut through. Wow! We've got plenty.

I know. Peter, you say it over and over. True. But I'd still love for us to do a better job as UU's figuring out - bottom line - what we are about and go do it. And not only do it, but evaluate and measure our success. If more of our congregations new what they were trying to accomplish and how to evaluate THAT we would see a lot of changes.

What do you measure in your congregation? Anything? People and money? Make sure you keep the ones you got and get'em to give more? What? I'd love to know.

My favorite idea person and marketing guru is Seth Godin. In his book Purple Cow he talks about the importance of being remarkable. Good doesn't cut it these days. Life and time are short. Want to grow? Want to matter? If you aren't worth talking about why should any of us bother?

In the book Creating Community Andy Stanley shares that his church is focused on being a relational church. They KNOW what matters and focus. Specifically there are 3 relationships they focus on:

1) Connection or relationships within the congregation
2) Relationship with God
3) Influence outside the congregation

Maybe those are good things for us to do in our own little UU way. We can go with 1 and 3 as is. First, keep track of relationships - make sure everyones connected, caring for others and being cared for. Second, we help people learn to put their faith in action to help in the larger world and to be one more UU voice in the world. Bill Sinkford's voice isn't enough. As for #3, do you know what your equivalent is? Can you state it 50 words or less? If you can get it down to 50 please tell me. The fact that most can't is a stumbling block for us. The point, the objectives need to be clear.

Back to Revolution. Looking over this Revolution Church website I first felt annoyed that we didn't grab the name. I'd love Revolution to be a UU church. That name does more to communicate our values and ministry than anything I've seen. Even more than that little purple alien preaching the cosmic UU principles with a chipmunk voice.

Second, I started thinking about how close our churches are to what a church would look like if some of our younger ministers and/or members were to go out and start new churches. I've heard about the Church of the Younger Fellowship that CLF has. What would happen if that turned from a cyber church into a cyber church planting boot camp?

Tell me what you'd do if you were going to start your own UU Revolution Church. What would it look like? Contact info & anonymous feedback form here.

Check out Bakker's Revolution Church:

Check out the show: