Monday Morning Insights

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    All the news that’s fit to print…

    All the news that’s fit to print…

    I found myself in the middle of a little firestorm (again) last week with one of the stories I published at MMI. It wasn't the first time, and it probably won't be the last (Todd says jokingly).

    At the center of the issue was a post about Benny Hinn and Paula White. I simply gave some personal thoughts on the issue that had recently hit the tabloids (and some mainstream news outlets as well).

    I was immediately greeted with comments about how terrible it was that I would even mention the subject (sinced both Hinn and White had denied its truthfulness); and how I shouldn't write anything negative about people. (Oh, I was also accused of slander, and of name dropping for the sole purpose of increasing twitter and blog numbers).

    That leads me to a couple thoughts this morning; both about MMI and about how we communicate in our Christian 'church worker' subculture.

    MMI has always been a personal blog for me. It's a place that I share my personal thoughts... things I like, my pet peeves, and most importantly, a place that I can share things that interest me. That could be anything from something on leadership; to something on technology; to something on church trends or leadership. All of those things interest me.

    Communication and relationships are also something I have a lot of interest in. Serving on a church staff for nearly twenty years taught me that working at a church was probably the toughest job I ever had. The good and bad relationships, the politics, and the positive momentum and personal scandals make church work the most interesting, difficult, and at times, rewarding work in the world.

    That's why I'm drawn to the positive, leadership-enhancing resources that I share. I love a good article or post that challenges me to be a better leader. That's why posts like 7 Questions that will lead to a stronger partnership between you and your senior pastor, or Is your church an equipping church or a non-equipping church? catch my interest (as they did this week). They allow me to become a better leader and learn from other's experience; and even their mistakes. My thought in sharing these types of resources is that if they can help me, they may be able to help someone else.

    To be honest, that's probably why I'm drawn to the negative, shake-your-head, or typical church scandal type article as well. In my church staff employment, I saw many things that made me sad, angry, and simply want to give up. I've lived through the scandal of a watching a good friend in ministry disqualify himself from ministry right under my nose. I've dealt with churches that don't know how to deal with conflict and take a bad situation and screw it up even more. It happens over and over, everyday, in churches all across America. When I read an article on a church conflict, or scandal, or something that makes me shake my head, I seriously look to see what I can learn from that. That's why stories like Benny's or Ted's interest me. When I see a leader with negative traits, or someone who finds himself in a conflict that instigates a public press story, I am interested because I want to learn what has happened... if for no other reason that so that it doesn't happen to me. I think this type of analysis, at least for me, is very helpful.

    I also enjoy watching trends in the church and culture. When a foundation donates $400K for Episcopal gay liturgies, I think that's something I should know about. Not because things like this infuriate me or stir emotions, but because it's part of the church world and the culture in which I live. Call it 'shop talk' or whatever you like. For some reason, I'm interested in comparing my property tax bill to Joel Osteen's. I think as church workers, we have at least a working knowledge of things like the house church movement or church planting. It's part of our 'trade'. We need to be knowledgeable.

    Other stories... I just find interesting. Like why Ed Young, Jr. would make this video. Or about the church that claims it invented the vuvuzela.

    Some people think that only positive stuff should be highlighted... that anything negative or personal should be avoided in the church world. I disagree. I think there has to be a proper balance. While I've not always acheived the balance I'd like here at MMI, I think overall, it features a good balance of the 'good', the 'bad', and the 'ugly'.

    Whenever I've written a post like the Benny one, some people accuse MMI of being sensationalistic. In fact, a friend once described MMI as one half Bible, and one half National Enquirer. To be honest, that doesn't bother me. In fact, you only have to open your Bible to the old testament to find stories that they couldn't print in the National Enquirer!

    So... as you read MMI, remember... you're reading my personal blog, not the New York Times (or Christianity Today for that matter). You are reading a compilation of things that interest me. In fact, that's always been my standard for what I write about and link to here. I'm silly enough to figure that if I find something interesting, that maybe someone else will as well.

    And, above all, I hope you find the links, articles, and posts to be helpful, in some way at some time, to your local ministry. That, at least, is my prayer!

    Have a great week!


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    1. Leonard on Mon, August 02, 2010

      Todd,  I appreciate many of the articles you post here at MMI.  I have chimed in more than my share on many of them.  Thanks.

    2. David Richardson on Mon, August 02, 2010

      Todd -

      I don’t comment much here, but I do enjoy reading the blog.  Keep up the good work.

      A Pastor in Florida

    3. Craig on Mon, August 02, 2010

      Keep at it Todd.  People will always disagree, but you give those of us a much needed break on Monday mornings.  I for one appreciate your attitude and approach.  Thanks

    4. CS on Mon, August 02, 2010


      “I simply gave some personal thoughts on the issue that had recently hit the tabloids (and some mainstream news outlets as well).”

      Didn’t you know that you should never give personal thoughts on your own blog?  =)

      Thanks for letting us use your forum and enjoying all of the things you put out there.


    5. Pastor Rick on Mon, August 02, 2010

      I looked back at your comments in the article, to see if I thought it was “salacious” in any way, and found that it was not. It was certainly a matter of interest to those of us in ministry. Even if we don’t follow these “evangi-tainers”  (entertain-elists?), we all probably know some in our churches who do, and some of them may ask about this. I probably wouldn’t know about it otherwise, so thanks.

    6. Rod Gauthier on Mon, August 02, 2010

      Keep up the good writing, Todd. I look forward to your blog each Monday, up here in Canada!

    7. Brian on Mon, August 02, 2010

      I get all my best church news of the day from this site! Often times I laugh, sometimes I’m forced to think, and sometimes I just shake my head but in any case I learn something from reading what you post.  Thanks for taking the time to find this stuff and post it on your blog.

    8. missional girl on Mon, August 02, 2010


      Thanks for sharing and keep doing what you’re doing.  I would rather discuss an issue like the Hinn-White drama or the Haggard situation redemptively than to hear about it on some sleazy tabloid show.  We learn nothing when we stick out heads in the sand about issues impacting the Church of Jesus Christ.  Peace.

    9. Bob on Mon, August 02, 2010

      The only time I am frustrated with your blog is when there is too long of a gap between posts.  Good stuff.  You challenge us, make us laugh, think and almost cry.  Great job.

    10. Andymcadams on Mon, August 02, 2010


      I used to be a regular here at MMI and the only reason I haven’t been around much is my busy schedule and working on my own ministry type blog also.

      I must say that I have agreed with you 99% of the time on the things you report and the articles you post.  Your comments are most often “right on” and I have great respect for what you do.  In fact, you and MMI has inspired me to do some of the same, but nothing that can hold a candle to MMI.

      The reason your comments got reaction is because they were aimed at some people’s hero.  I have to say that “Benny is not a hero of mine” but I understand why people respond when someone we respect takes a hit.  However, with that being said I’ve got to say, “Benny has made himself public and his issues and scandals public as well” and scripture gives us freedom and responsibility to discern and respond. 

      I’m certain I didn’t make any points with that comment…but truth is truth and I have respected you for standing by the truth.

    11. kjc on Mon, August 02, 2010

      You are doing a great Job Brother Todd, If you did not post this stuff at least half this stuff I would never know, a great source of info. Keep us informed and keep up the good work. He a jolly good fellow, he a jolly good fellow…...Thats Brother Todd.

    12. Andymcadams on Mon, August 02, 2010

      Oh…I forgot to say “YOU ROCK TODD”

    13. Oliver on Tue, August 03, 2010

      this is a third rate site at best, articles are so-so, not much more than what anyone finds just perusing the web.  I think the Hinn article speaks for itself, most articles have about 1-5 comments, Hinn has 60 hits.  wonder why that was posted?

    14. Funny Levity on Tue, August 03, 2010

      There goes Oliver again…if you keep on sweet-talking like that, it’s gonna make Todd blush…  smile

    15. Jerry on Tue, August 03, 2010

      Todd, keep up the good work. I enjoy the things you post here and it gets me thinking about things I might not have explored otherwise.

      Oliver, followers of Christ are called to build up and encourage, not to tear down. We are supposed to celebrate the success of others in the kingdom, not be critical of it. To be sure, there is nothing wrong with pointing out shortcomings if the goal is to help someone overcome, but snide comments and derision do not exemplify the character of Christ.

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