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scattering ideas for the good of humanity

Info about the Table Project Church App — September 20, 2017

Info about the Table Project Church App

The Table Project was a free church-based social network that had a good run from 2011-2016. Their own marketing had this description:

“The Table is a relational, online web application, custom-tailored for the church. Their purpose is to help churches engage their community, empower leaders and move people beyond the pews and into authentic, life-changing friendships.”


In May 2013, Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas, acquired The Table (ht: Church Tech Today; Churchmag; CMS; Press Release). At that time, The Table had empowered more than 700 churches “to take community to the next level.” The church had ambitious plans for this church social network, as described here:

“… the leaders at Gateway began researching ways to merge spiritual learning, active pastoring and community with technology—around the same time The Table began working toward church community building. Now, the two are joining forces, each bringing unique strengths, to see the dream for church congregations to make connections and learn more about the Bible through The Table.”

When The Table was hitting its stride and gaining traction, it was serving over 7,000 churches in 62 countries, mobilized over 24,000 volunteers, and tracked over 2.3 million prayers prayed. Influential churches using The Table included Gateway Church (Southlake, Texas), Granger Community Church, Bethlehem Baptist Church, and Substance Church.


By September 2016, this tweet linked to an “Important Table Update” that most likely announced the shutdown of The Table. (Currently, unable to find an archive or cache of that announcement on the internet.)


In March 2017, Carlos asked a Table team member that replied: “the organization we sold it to shut it down”.


When Josh asked in July 2017 about what happened to the Table Project, the reply was: “it was sold to Gateway Church a few years back and they have begun to shut down service at this point.”


That’s all the information that is available on the internet we can find. If you know of other public chatter, please add a comment so we learn more.

How to share about the Hillsong Movie  — September 11, 2016

How to share about the Hillsong Movie 

So want to make sure you’re aware of the new Hillsong film “Let Hope Rise” releasing in theaters nationwide this Friday, September 16

Three ways to help: 

1. Please share about the film through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Here is a simple tweet/facebook message to share. Just copy and paste. 

Tweet or Facebook message to copy and paste

Can’t wait 2 see NEW @Hillsong Movie “LET HOPE RISE” in theaters this Friday Sept 16th. Get tickets now:

This Friday, Sept 16, be part of a worship experience unlike any other. #HillsongMovie. Get your tickets now:

Post on Instagram. pics for posting on Instagram:

Also, here is a 30-second Instagram Trailer

2. Can you include the following blurb in any emails or blog posts you have going out to your email list/blog/church in the next 7 days? 

Hillsong- LET HOPE RISE, a new movie you won’t want to miss (, opens in theaters across the US and around the world this Friday, September 16. The film captures the on-stage energy and off-stage hearts of the Australia-based band Hillsong UNITED. The film captures a new motion-picture genre- the theatrical worship experience, and explores Hillsong’s humble beginnings and astonishing rise to prominence as an international church whose songs are sung every Sunday by more than 50 million people worldwide. Tickets available at

3. Put up a blog post and use the below Q and A. Just copy and paste. 

Here is the official video trailer for the movie. Please share:


A Conversation with Hillsong about HILLSONG – LET HOPE RISE


Brian Houston, Senior Pastor, Co-founder, Hillsong Church

Joel Houston, Lead Pastor, Hillsong NYC and Hillsong UNITED

Taya Smith, Worship Leader, Hillsong UNITED

Jonathon Douglass (JD), Worship Leader, Hillsong UNITED

Jad Gillies, Worship Leader, Hillsong UNITED

Dylan Thomas, Guitarist, Hillsong UNITED
What Might Surprise People to Know About Hillsong UNITED?

Dylan Thomas: We are literally a band that came from a church in Australia. We were a youth ministry. We never set out to be a band playing big arenas or anything like that. We just truly wanted to make music that could connect people to Jesus. When it started, it looked like 100 people in our youth ministry. We have just always trusted God and put everything into that and He’s made the whole thing happen. But you could take away the stadiums and our dreams are still the same: we just want to connect people to Jesus through our music. And we’re going to give that everything that we have.

Jad Gillies: We believe in the message that we’re carrying. We believe in the opportunity God has given us to actually help connect people with the message of the Gospel. And also encourage people that they can do extraordinary things with their ordinary lives. Our wives, ourselves, and our families believe in it so much that we will sacrifice for it. There is a cost, but we’re willing to pay it.

Taya Smith: I’m not from Sydney, so I grew up in a local church that sang Hillsong songs. I just know what an impact it was to go to a Hillsong Conference when I wasn’t part of Hillsong. Just knowing how much I felt a part of the greater Church—with a capital C—and knowing we were being poured into, loved on, and supported. We are all in this together.
Why did you agree to be part of Hillsong – Let Hope Rise?

Brian Houston: Our goal is that people encounter God. It’s not to go and just watch a nice movie, but to actually really experience the presence of God.

Joel Houston: What blows my mind are that people of faith are encouraged and people who walk in skeptical—even in their skepticism—have been like, “I was strangely surprised. I felt really good when I left the cinema.” That to me is why we engaged in this film in the first place. If ever there were a time when the world needed something to connect us to each other and to God, it’s right now. And if it should be through a film …
What has the reaction been to the film from audiences?

Jonathon Douglass (JD): It’s actually been incredible talking to people who have seen the film! They have walked away with what the heart of this film is all about: understanding the hope that we have in God.  Hopefully they will see from our story that we don’t have it all together, we’re not the best of the best. We’re just an ordinary group of young people—that are getting a little bit older, but still young at heart—that just love God and trust in Him. It doesn’t always make sense, but God’s with us and there’s a reason for us to have hope.
What do you hope audiences will take from Hillsong – Let Hope Rise?

Joel Houston: The one thing I hope that people take away from this film—regardless of what they’re going through, whatever life looks like for them—is that they leave with their head a little higher than it was when they walked into the cinema. This doesn’t mean they have to become a Christian, or believe what we believe, or even love the music. But it means all of a sudden their eyes might see something—a greater truth. In the midst of all life’s questions, in all of the stuff … maybe there’s something greater.

Jonathon Douglass (JD): For us, the one thing we would hope people take away when they come and see Let Hope Rise is they would see what God could do with a life that would say, “I trust You, I’m going to follow You.” I hope they will leave uplifted and encouraged that we have this hope in God, that He’s with us, that He’s good, and His plan is good.

Taya Smith: I hope people come away with hope. Whatever they’re facing, whatever circumstances they’ve been through, I hope that at the end of this film, they walk away encouraged, knowing there’s a God who loves them, who believes in them, and that the best is yet to come. I hope they would walk out different than when they walked in!

HILLSONG – LET HOPE RISE opens nationwide this Friday. (

Purpose Driven Church Tour 2016 — August 11, 2016

Purpose Driven Church Tour 2016

Get ready for road trip PDC! From August 10—September 5, the PDC tour bus is stopping at select cities across the country to connect with ministry leaders and build relationships one church at a time. The PD team is geared up to equip the next generation of church leaders during one-day meet-ups in your hometown!


Los Angeles – August 10
Fresno – August 12
Sacramento – August 15
San Francisco – August 17
Redding – August 19
Portland – August 24
Seattle – August 26
Spokane – August 29
Boise – September 1
Bozeman – September 5

WHEN: Meet-ups hosted Aug 10—Sept 5, 2016
WHERE: In 10 cities across the U.S., and more to come!
HOW: Email


Saddleback Church’s Acrostic, a History of — June 19, 2016

Saddleback Church’s Acrostic, a History of

Saddleback Church’s Strategy and Core Values

“Through the years Pastor Rick would use S.A.D.D.L.E.B.A.C.K. as an acrostic to teach and communicate the vision, values, and strategy to our staff and volunteers. This acrostic changed over the years because we changed over the years. The vision and values never changed, but we did change the emphasis of our work in response to where we were going in the next phase of our journey.” [ed.note: sometimes also called a church’s culture or cultural DNA)]

First Edition (1980s):

  • Simple Structure
  • Atmosphere of Acceptance
  • Defined Purposes
  • Defined Target
  • Lay Ministry
  • Encouraging Preaching
  • Build Up Before Building Out
  • Advertise Good News
  • Contemporary Worship
  • Keep on Learning

Second Edition (1990s):

  • Seeker Sensitive Service
  • Affinity Groups
  • Driven by Purpose
  • Demonstrate Acceptance
  • Life Development Process
  • Every Member is a Minister
  • Behavioral Preaching
  • Authentic Leadership
  • Circles of Commitment
  • Keep Structure Simple

Third Edition (21st century):

  • Second Change Grace Place
  • All Nations Congregation
  • Doable Faith
  • Deliberate Pathway for Growth
  • Love in Action
  • Empowered Members
  • Bold Faith
  • Authentic Relationship
  • Creative Outreaches
  • Kid and Family Focused

saddleback-acrosticvia History of Saddleback Church, produced for the 35th anniversary celebration

Saddleback Church Training – Saddleback Acrostic – Who are we and what is our purpose?  (2013)

How to Understand Progressive Christianity — June 5, 2016

How to Understand Progressive Christianity

There’s a greater and wider diversity in Christianity, beyond the thousands of denominations or the traditional branches of Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox faith traditions, there is also a wide range of clusters known as fundamentalists, reformed, evangelicals, progressive evangelicals, and progressive Christians. The 1st 3 clusters have been very active in publishing and broadcasting their theologies and teachings through books, radio, television, and on the Internet.

To better understand and maybe explain what progressive Christianity is, here’s what emerged during my recent internet searches:

First, a description from (the website of Center for Progressive Christianity):

Progressive Christianity is an open, intelligent, and collaborative approach to the Christian tradition and the life and teachings of Jesus that creates a pathway into an authentic and relevant religious experience.

And this excerpt from the Wikipedia entry for Progressive Christianity:

Progressive Christianity is a form of Christianity which is characterized by a willingness to question tradition, acceptance of human diversity, a strong emphasis on social justice and care for the poor and the oppressed, and environmental stewardship of the Earth. Progressive Christians have a deep belief in the centrality of the instruction to “love one another” (John 15:17) within the teachings of Jesus Christ. This leads to a focus on promoting values such as compassion, justice, mercy, tolerance, often through political activism. Though prominent, the movement is by no means the only significant movement of progressive thought among Christians (see the ‘See also’ links below).

Progressive Christianity draws on the insights of multiple theological streams including evangelicalism, liberalism, neo-orthodoxy, pragmatism, postmodernism, Progressive Reconstructionism, and liberation theology. Though the terms Progressive Christianity and Liberal Christianity are often used synonymously, the two movements are distinct, despite much overlap.

The historical origins of “progressive Christianity” could be traced back to 1994 and the forming of the Center for Progressive Christianity, according to

… founded in 1994 by Jim Adams who was, at the time, rector of St. Mark’s Church on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. At that time, there was no known organization, scholar, or church leader publicly using the term, “progressive Christianity.”

What may be difficult to rationally understand about progressive Christianity is, perhaps, its lack of definition or boundaries. According to

We believe the search for understanding the mystery of God is more important than having absolute answers, and is more important than church doctrine, dogma, and tradition. Many churches demand that you believe certain things about God and/or Jesus in order to be acceptable. A progressive approach to faith finds more benefit in the journey of faith, less in the conclusions of faith communities.

Matthew Paul Turner has also noticed this: nobody seems to define “progressive Christian” the same way.

Bo Sanders of Homebrewed Christianity noted a big difference between progressive Christianity and liberal Christianity: So please believe me when I say that there is as big a difference between Liberal and Progressive and there is between Evangelical and Emergent.

For an introduction to progressive Christianity, there’s this curriculum:

Living the Questions is a source of curriculum and media for both seekers and “church alumni/ae” convinced that Christianity still has relevance in the 21st Century. Providing a variety of flexible resources, Living the Questions can help people explore the future of Christianity and what a meaningful faith can look like in today’s world.

Based on the book titled, Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity by David M. Felten and Jeff Procter-Murphy. Related website at

Found a couple other articles with explanatory things about progressive Christianity:

And what about progressive evangelicals? That’s another story for another day…