Lisa Taylor is the founder and Executive Director of Collective Overflow, a ministry that ministers to ministers. The focus of Collective Overflow is supporting church planters in the western part of the United States.
In this interview you will hear Lisa share her experience with church planting and how the Lord really gave her a heart of ministering to church planters. In the interview we talk about many different topics from ministry, to church planting, to walking through depression, to family.
This is a great conversation and I am sure you will be able to hear her love for the Lord, her ministry, and her family. I hope you enjoy this episode of Planting Mars.
A moonshot, in a technology context, is an ambitious, exploratory and ground-breaking project undertaken without any expectation of near-term profitability or benefit and also, perhaps, without a full investigation of potential risks and benefits.
Google has adopted the term moonshot for its most innovative projects, many of which come out of the Google X, the company’s semi-secret lab. Google moonshots include Google Glass, Project Loon (a balloon-based Internet service project), the driverless car, augmented reality glasses, a neural network, robots for the manufacturing industry and Project Calico, a life extension project.
Here’s Google’s definition of a moonshot:
A project or proposal that:
Addresses a huge problem
Proposes a radical solution
Uses breakthrough technology
The term “moonshot” derives from the Apollo 11 spaceflight project, which landed the first human on the moon in 1969. “Moonshot” may also reference the earlier phrase “shoot for the moon” meaning aim for a lofty target.
Over the next five years, as we see more automated machines take human jobs are we prepared for that as the church? You may think it’s a silly question at this point in 2016. But I think it’s a very important question that we need to ask now. We need to be asking and answering these tough questions today so that we can be prepared for the arrival of these new technologies.
If you do not think it is a possibility for new robotics technologies to take more and more human jobs then check out the following video from Boston Dynamics, a robotics company that is now owned by Google. The machines they have created are amazing to say the least. The following video shows just one of their creations.
Now are you thinking, “WOW I didn’t realize there was a machine that was so human like?” A time is coming when people will lose their jobs to machines that are more efficient, can work 24/7, don’t need to be paid, nor do they require food or breaks. What will we do as the church when this happens?
An article published in September on theguardian.com titled “Robots will eliminate 6% of all US jobs by 2021, report says”estimates that by the year 2021 6% of the US workforce could be eliminated due to automation. That is 6% of the entire US Workforce. The article says that this “disruptive tidal wave” will affect areas such as customer service, transportation, and logistics. People who have been working in these industries for many years will lose their jobs and will either need to be retrained or look for work in other Industries. It is staggering to think that 6% of the US Workforce will lose their jobs to automation by 2021.
Are you prepared to minister to 6% of your local community who just lost their jobs? Are you prepared to lose 6% of those persons who give to your church financially? Are you prepared to help these people who have lost their jobs and have limited specialized skills to find new avenues of work?
According to experts that is only the beginning. What do we do 2030 when 15% to 20% of the workforce has been displaced by automated machines?
Interestingly the article says, “The challenge posed by automation is not being taken seriously enough at a policy level, Stern added. ‘Politicians would rather talk about getting a college degree and technical skill training, things that are probably five to 10 years too late. We don’t really have a plan and we don’t appreciate how quickly the future is arriving.”
“…we don’t appreciate how quickly the future is arriving.” Is the article about politicians or about the church? In my opinion the church is more like 20 to 25 years behind the curve. We need to be ready. We need to be thinking, planning, and preparing. We need to be taking action.
As further evidence another article in the Washington Post titled The Brave New World of Robots and Lost Jobs says, “Politicians need to begin thinking boldly, now, about a world in which driverless vehicles replace most truck drivers’ jobs, and where factories are populated by robots, not human beings. The best way to cushion this future is to start planning for how Americans will be able to take care of their families — and find meaningful work — in a world where most traditional jobs have vanished.”
That same article suggests that “The “automation bomb” could destroy 45 percent of the work activities currently performed in the United States, representing about $2 trillion in annual wages, according to a study last year by the consulting firm McKinsey & Co. We’ve seen only the beginning of this change, they warned. Currently, only 5 percent of occupations can be entirely automated, but 60 percent of occupations could soon see machines doing 30 percent or more of the work.” I’m not sure if you read that or not but we are going from 6% of the workforce to 45%. If 6% was not staggering enough this research suggests almost half or the US workforce will be without work.
I don’t want to belabor the point but we must plan for the future.
Is this something you have ever thought about? Is this something you have prepared for?
I’m not offering any solutions at this point, I may do that later. Right now I would like to suggest two possible outcomes. Now these are only two outcomes that come to mind. There are probably many more. I would love to hear your feedback.
Here’s what I’m thinking at this point:
The church sees people losing their jobs to automation and isn’t prepared for it. This in turn has two outcomes of its own.
There is an abundance of ministry opportunities as families are hurting and looking for ways to provide for their basic needs.
There is a significant reduction in financial giving to the church and ministries have to be cut to the bare bones. This may include the loss of current church buildings and meeting places as well as a significant reduction in staff.
Therefore the church falters in its ability to minister.
It will be interesting to see, if this happens, how the church responds.
Or, and I do not want to try to place spin on this but I do not see this outcome as entirely negative. Here is what I mean. If churches have had to reduce their staffing to the bare minimum then the personal ministry will be reverted back to the individual members of the congregations. This will be a good thing as it will help Christ followers take up the task they were called to do.
As churches have gone through the process of reduced income they will have had to identify the absolute necessities for ministry (Unless one of your church members owns all of the robots). That is a really good thing. That means, well I hope it means, that churches will have gotten in their Bibles and prayed to God to identify what it is that they are supposed to be doing and then put all of their limited resources toward that ministry.
I think the church then begins to look a lot like an Acts 2:42 church, “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
In no way am I trying to make light of a situation where so many people have lost their jobs and their livelihoods. I am simply saying that one of the possible outcomes is the church gets back to being the church. This would be a good thing in my opinion.
2) The church is prepared for a situation like this and stands out as an embassy of love and hope.
Just think about the opportunity to step in and show love to all of these people who have lost their jobs and were not prepared for it. It will take a lot of planning and preparation but if we start now we can be ready.
Being prepared means we have thought through how to minister to many people who are looking for work. Being prepared means we consider how the church can be a part of reeducating these workers into new areas of work. Being prepared means we have already taken a hard look at our ministries and identified the essential aspects of ministry as opposed to the nonessential.
The list can go on and on. I know that the church in the US has a lot of problems as it is that we are working through. But I see the next 5-10 years of technological advancement potentially as a defining moment for the church. It is a defining moment that we are just not ready for at this point.
Like I said before, I see it potentially as an opportunity to get back to the task of being the church. Winning the lost, making disciples, fellowshipping together, praying, and showing Christ to a lost and dying world.
What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts.
“It is not until the point of surrendering and I open my hands to God and say ‘God, I’ve tried please take this over. I am surrendering it to you.”
Welcome to episode 7 of Planting Mars. In this episode I interview Katie Treptau, an entrepreneur/realtor from Minnesota. I came across Katie’s story in an article published in The Bethel Clarion a Publication of Bethel University. The article is called The Business of Hope. It is the same article where I found Trent Anderson’s story from episode 5.
I really wanted to visit with Katie because of the connection she has made between business and mission. In the interview you will hear her passion for her business Olive Branch Boutique and for the mission projects that she supports through her work.
I really enjoyed this interview. Throughout the conversation we hit on subjects from overcoming fear in order to get started on a project, to overcoming her biggest challenge in life, to the bible verse that keeps her motivated each day. I hope you enjoy this interview.
This is just a thought that hit me this morning. How many bible studies have you been to this week?
Three or more.
I know of many people that hear the bible taught, preached, and proclaimed more than three times per week. Awesome! Right?
Well my answer depends on the answer to another question.
What is the purpose of bible study? Most would answer to learn or to grow. Which is true in part. But ultimately the purpose of bible study is equipping for action.
1 Timothy 3:16-17 comes to mind here. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
The success of the teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness hinges on the SO THAT. Why are you taught, reproved, corrected, and trained in the word? SO THAT you are equipped for every good work. It is training that leads to action.
What if our military provided a 20 year boot camp for our military folks? They could put in their 20 years of training and never get in the battle.
Our current approach to bible study in many cases seems to take this same approach. Train, and train ,and train but never enter the battle.
I am afraid that we have many people who will go to their graves with heads full of biblical knowledge with no fruit to show for it. They never moved on from boot camp. They never entered the battle.
One solution for this is not to study the bible less. I would never take that position. The word is life. We must be in it and get it in us. Allowing it to take root and to prompt us to take action.
The solution is found in a discipleship strategy that I came across several years ago called Truth 4 Trainers or T4T for short. T4T has a lot of great principles and teaching strategies within it but I want to share one with you that I believe could be transforming for the way we currently do bible study.
That principle, which I offer as one solution here, is to have an accountability portion of the bible study with the question, “Who are you going to tell about what you learned today?” The learner then must identify a person by name (preferably a lost person) and share that name with the group. Now that person is accountable to the group and the group prays for the persons named.
At the next bible study gathering when the accountability time comes up the follow up questions is asked, “Who did you tell the bible story to?” followed by “What happened?”
This is a very simple solution that only involves asking a few questions and then holding the group accountable. This encourages the learners to see the word not just as a source of information for themselves but as a source of life for those that they share the story with each week. It is a simple question that leads the learner to take action with the information they have learned.
So my answer to the first questions, “Is it awesome that people hear the word taught, preached, and proclaimed more than three times a week?” Absolutely, as long as it leads to a life of actively living out the truths that they learn.
I know that there is so much more to be said on this idea but I just wanted to get it out there for today.
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.
If you would like to read more about T4T I have provided a link below.
If it is true that “The Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.” Then we should strive to be interacting with the word on a daily basis. So many people I know struggle with taking the time to study the word on a personal level. So they struggle in life because they walk about in darkness.
For some it is because they have never been taught howto have a personal Bible study time. For others it is busyness. Or maybe even laziness. The list could go on and on. If you, or someone you know has struggled with maintaining a consistent Bible study time then I would like to offer some ideas to maintain consistency.
Here are 5 ways to set your personal Bible study time on fire
1. Be consistent. – You immediately think, “Right! that is the problem. I am not consistent.” A great way to develop consistency is to set aside the time and guard it with great tenacity. You may be a morning person. You may be an evening person. Whatever is best for you commit to a specific time that you will study the word. Write it on your calendar, save it in your phone, and then guard it like a dog guards his favorite bone. Do not let this time be taken away. I wake up early and give 15 to 20 minutes each morning to personal time in the word.
2. Have a Plan – So now that you are guarding the time to be consistent you have to have a plan. A plan that guides your study time. You can search the web to find specific Bible reading plans. Some take you through the Bible in a year. Others take you through specific topics in scripture. I would like to recommend that you simply pick a book to work your way through. I just finished up 2 Thessalonians. Pick a book and get to studying.
3. Write out the Scripture – It is good to read the word and to underline or highlight it in your copy of the Bible but there is something to be said about writing out the passage you are working through. I normally work through 8-10 verses per day in the book I am working on. This is very manageable and allows me to remember what I have studied for that day. I have a designated notebook that I write in. You can write wherever you want and you can write out as many verses as you want. Try this for a week and you will be surprised at what takes place. The Lord will begin to enlighten and enliven your Bible study time.
4. Underline, Circle, Highlight – Another advantage to writing out the word is that you can then mark it up in any way you like. I normally write the passage in one color pen and then mark it up in another color pen. This allows me to see the areas that the Lord showed me were important during my study. There is no real process to this. You can underline, circle, and highlight in any way that helps you remember and act upon the word. Remember, being in the word is not just about information but also about relationship development with the Lord. The word of God will change you and marking it up will help identify those areas where you need the change.
5. Ask questions and write out the answers – A good way to know what to mark up and underline, circle, or highlight is to ask some questions about the passage of the day. These questions can help identify important information that will lead to transformation. There are many questions you can ask of the passage but I would like to share 4 very simple and straight forward questions with you.
What does this passage say about God?
What does this passage say about man?
What does this passage say about sin?
Should I change anything in my life based on this passage?
These are five very simple ideas to help you see your personal Bible study time set on fire. There is nothing more powerful than sitting before the word of God and allowing it to inform and transform your life.
For some additional insights into how to have a quality Bible study time as well as ideas on journaling the Bible check out Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S Whitney. I revisit this book each year as it provides valuable insights into consistently being in the word and allowing it to inform my life.
“Our Story is probably not what you would expect. So maybe this story will be helpful to others.” – Brian Shepard
Welcome to episode 6 of Planting Mars. In this episode I interview church planter Brian Shepard. Brian is from Oklahoma but is currently planting a church in San Francisco, California. As you listen you will find that Brian’s story is unique in that his approach to ministry in San Francisco has transitioned over time. He will explain that transition to you in this interview.
It was really informative to hear Brian share about the four different approaches that church planters take when planning to plant a church. He explains the four approaches and then explains why they are taking the Amos Priority in their church planting efforts.
I really enjoyed visiting with Brian and I believe you will enjoy all that he has to share. As you listen you will really hear and understand Brian’s heart for ministry, his family and his love for the Lord.
Ultimately the goal of the podcast is that you will hear something that is encouraging to you and help your relationship with the Lord grow deeper and stronger.
I hope you enjoy this interview with Brian Shepard.
The Antioch Priority- Strong Sending Based Churches
The Acts 2 Priority – Multiplying Indigenous Missional Communities
The Amos Priority – Engaging the Gospel in Ministries of Justice
The Athens Priority – Starting Churches Among the Least Reached People Groups
24:30 “No one really wants to hear about the Gospel. And I think more importantly they are wanting to see the Gospel lived out.”
27:00 “What non-Christian people do you have that are asking you not to move?”
27:55 What is the key quote or scripture that motivates you each day?
37:30 Brian explains how he is taking in the scripture at this point in his walk.
43:00 Brian share how he guards his time with his family.
55:10 “Don’t pigeon hole yourself into thinking it is the only context of a church and I need to get paid full time at the church.”Here Brian talks about how ministry may lead you to a place that is not traditional church work.
55:40 “Wherever I land I am on mission. No matter where I am.”
“God do you want me to go around the world or do you just want me to go across the street?
1:00:20 What is your favorite book of all time?
1:01:00 What tweet would you send that everyone in the world would read?
Jesus loves you. He really does save. Trust him today. I’m praying for you.
As I returned from the activities of the past summer I was burdened for those who are lost. I was burdened for those who serve false idols. As I prayed about what to do the Lord showed me this message in 1 Thessalonians 1. My prayer for those that are lost is that they would turn form their idols and serve the living God.
I am in favor of the exploration of space. Not as a means to the propagation of our species (as Elon Musk Promotes) but as a continued exploration of the vastness of our creator. To call oneself intelligent and then conclude that the universe came to be by chance is an absurdity. Everywhere one looks there is a framework that was designed for the balance and function of the universe. The continued exploration of that creation only leads us closer to the one who created it.
“The heavens are telling of the glory of God;And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands” Psalm 19:1