Friday, January 30, 2009 Podcast

In the last year or so, I became "friends" with Gabe Taviano from the website or follow him on Twitter [@godsmac] where he talks about faith and technology.  Although, we have never met in person, we communicate all the time through the different social medias... Twitter, Facebook, etc.  I have been a big fan of what Gabe has been doing through technology here in the Columbus, OH and online at his different blogs, social medias, etc.  

The other day, Gabe twittered me and asked if I would like to be on the 50th podcast to discuss some aspect about faith.  I gladly accepted and last night he released the 50th podcast where Sam Soffes [@samsoffes] from, one of the most innovative churches in America.  If you don't know about then you need to check them out.  Personally, their Sr. Pastor, Craig Groeschel is a current day pastor that has made a HUGE impact on my spiritual and personal life.  Their Innovation Pastor Bobby Gruenwald has also impacted me to get me thinking and pushing the bar when it comes to innovations within the church.  

I would invite everyone to go to and download & listen to the 50th episode of their podcast.  Also, on Tuesday, February 3 @ 9pm we are having an online meeting of people that follow we would enjoy you coming online there and praying with us, discussing with us faith issues and even what it means to follow Jesus in our day to day lives.  

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Blog moving URL to

Hey everybody, 

I am switching my blog over to it's own domain AND url...

so over the next few days the blog will be spotty but soon the new address will be

I am moving most of my entire digital world over to Google... most of it... calendar, contacts, email, web has been on Apple's MobileMe platform.  Soon I will be moved completely over to Google on my MacBook, iPod Touch, etc.  


Test blog post

This is a test to my blog from new email address

Thursday, January 22, 2009

MLK and the Missional Church

This is some what of a follow up to my last post on change within the
American church. I just saw this article about Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr. and the missional church.

Good article, especially the part on social justice within the church.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Can Churches & Christians Change? Yes We Can!

In the last couple of days, I like millions of Americans have watched the changing of the presidency and the historical inaugural of Barack Obama as our first African American President. I love history, I love justice, I love when people realize that they too can have hope for the future. That is what I saw in the eyes of "Black America" on election night and again yesterday, as I flipped through the coverage and saw CNN, Fox and others talk with the people on the ground. The one that was the most touching is the one on Larry King Live, when they interviewed a little girl [from Chicago] and her grandfather [a judge, from Detroit]. The little girl was excited about the future, the hope that was out there, but in contrast her grandfather was part of the civil rights movement and was at the "I Have A Dream" speech that was delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr. two miles away from where Obama, became our 44th President. To see this grandfather weep... made me think about the suffering that his people went through to get to this point. Yesterday, this man saw change... it took sacrifice, hard work from thousands, even millions of people,... it cost some people everything they had... but they saw change.

Sometimes, i think of churches in the same manner, and even the Christian walk. Some thing has to change. Look, if Obama's presidential campaign can motivate millions of people to get out to vote and to make an impact in this world, in this culture, in their society... then why can't the church and the people in the churches do the same thing? As President Obama said yesterday, it was time to use new tools & methods with the same values of old to change this country & this world. Through out the campaign, we all the heard the chants, "Yes We Can!" Churches, it is now time to ask ourselves, can we, will we, do we want to make a difference in this world? Do we want to impact this country, this world with the influence of Jesus Christ? It is going to take change. It is going to take change of our methods & tools to communicate the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. Do we have churches that are willing to change everything if they have to reach their communities, their neighborhoods, their cities, this country and this world with the Kingdom of God? For churches to change, it is going to take church leaders and people in the pews to change as well.

It is time for Christians, Christ followers, to "take up their cross" and follow Jesus. It is going to mean, that we must make a commitment to change our attitudes that church and Christianity is for Sunday morning only... and for us to start living out this Christian walk. It is time for us to make time in our schedules for more of Jesus, more room for the Holy Spirit to move in our lives. For some this is scary. For some of us, we are going to be called names like heretic, apostate, and even have our loyalties questioned. I believe that the church is being called to sacrifice like the leaders of the civil rights movement, to sacrifice it all... to take up their crosses and to follow the one and only Jesus. For us to make impact our culture with the Kingdom of God... it is going to take us, taking up our crosses and following Jesus. It is going to take us losing our lives, for the sake of Jesus and for the Gospel. This type of change is going to demand things from us, that we have never thought of... it is going to take a willingness to drop our will... our agendas for the sake of Jesus.

Can the churches of America change? Can the Christians in those churches change? YES WE CAN!

What will changed churches look like? We will stop and reverse the epidemic numbers of people leaving our churches... we will start to go places that we have never been before. We will take an honest look at our selves, our church's ministries, at how we are impacting the culture around us. We will never be satisfied when injustices continue in our country... our churches will broaden their social agenda, past the two biggies and make a stand against the injustice of poverty in the inner cities and the hills and hollers of Appalachia. We will start to be salt to our neighbors and communities around us. We will change the flavor of our workplaces because we look to shed light, where there is darkness. We will change our churches because of prayer. We will sacrifice to move the Kingdom of God forward in our communities... we will leave our church programs behind and move toward going and making disciples... we will go everywhere and become the messengers of Jesus. Our churches, our kids... will see hope in us. They too will be excited about the future of the church... they will be excited about what it is that God is doing in front of them.

Can the church of America change? Can the Christians in those churches change? YES WE CAN?

I will leave you with a quote from VineyardUSA's Church planting magazine, Cutting Edge in the Autumn, 2007 edition... "Many Christians continue to think that America really is the last best hope of earth. I very clearly want to contradict that and say, "No. It's not America. The church is the last and greatest hope on the face of the earth."

Friday, January 16, 2009

What are you doing for the homeless during these cold temps?

Here in Central Ohio tonight the temperatures are heading down to -20 degrees or colder. On any given night in Columbus, there about 500 homeless people. Most of these people live in homeless camps, that are fairly easy to find. Here in Lancaster, the homeless are night as easy to find, but you can find them. Plus one of the shelters requires everyone to be out by 8am.

So why am I telling you this?

Yes, there are a number of concerns that you have to work through when you do ministry with the homeless... I have been there and done it and know. Now think about how many churches are sitting empty these last few nights... with the heat on... just sitting there heated and
empty. Many of these churches have enough room where you could put some sort of mattresses in a room... and get many of these homeless people out of the dangerously cold temperatures.

Most of the churches talk about being good stewards with what it is that God has give to us... but do you think that God may ask us... what did you do with the church building when the temperatures where below zero? Did you open my house to house my children that were
cold? Did you feed my children that needed fed? What kind of difference could you have made for my Kingdom, if you would have opened the church to the homeless? I gave you this building and what did you do with it?

So I am asking churches and church leaders... what are you doing with your church buildings during these times when the temperatures are this dangerously cold? Is there something else that you could do for the poor? Ask ourselves honestly... is what you are doing for those
in need enough? In this scenario, it would literally cost you not much more if anymore... just by giving some body a warm place to sleep.

If your church is doing something... please let me know.

What is in your heart?

Right now I am studying my way through the Gospel of Mark.  I would say that the Gospel of Mark is my favorite of the four Gospels.  

It is much like me, straightforward, direct, to the point and does not pull much punches.  It was written to the Romans, who was interested in power.  So he goes through the miracles, the power encounters of Jesus.  

One of the topics that I have studied on a good bit, and may work on blogging through it over the next week or so is that what comes out of us... comes from our hearts.  No matter how good, how bad... much of it is a matter of the heart and that was even a theme that Jesus talked about.  The Pharisees were hard hearted to the working of the Spirit and even the scripture that they memorized.  Many times, we are like that too... our hearts become hard to certain things, our hearts become hardened to what it is that the Spirit wants to do in us because of situations in our lives, in our current circumstances, because of pride, etc.  

In the Gospel of Mark, he talks many times about hard soil... hearts... and what even comes out of our hearts... for instance in Mark 7, Jesus talks about inner purity.  The Pharisees were legalistic about the traditions that they added to following God and they thought that their traditions is what was a sign of their holiness, but once again Jesus turned their thinking upside down.  He told them, what comes out of us is what makes us unclean or sinful.  In Mark 7:20- 23, Jesus said, "... What comes out of a man makes him 'unclean'.  For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.  All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean'."  

Now don't say, well I don't do any of these things.  That is a whole other blog post... but study through this list and look to see what Jesus says about adultery, murder, etc.  It is the root of these things start in our heart.  As followers of Christ, as Christians... reality is that our hearts wants what is contrary to what the Holy Spirit wants.  We need to look at our hearts, and see if our hearts are in line with what it is that God wants.  We have to check ourselves and see what are our motivations in life are.  

When we give our lives over to Christ, that means that we need to give each and every part of our lives, our hearts over to the one that gave us the ability to overcome the evil of this world.  It is only when we let the Holy Spirit to come into our lives, to every part of our lives, into the deepest, darkest part of our lives and let the Spirit change us... transform us... then our hearts become changed.  When our hearts are changed and we seek to do the will of God in our lives and we surrender every thing in our lives... then what will come out of us will look more like the one we are to be disciples of... Jesus.  Not the world... not dark, but light.  Evil thoughts will no longer come out of us... but we will start to live out the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22- 26.  Also, take a look and compare the lists above [Mark 7:20- 23] and the list in Galatians 5:19- 21.  We will talk about that in a day or so.

Ask God today... to transform our hearts to reflect the nature of Jesus.  Invite God into your heart all over again and allow the Holy Spirit to come in and change you in the deepest parts of your life... the parts that we don't want anybody else to know about.  God already knows about them... let Him and transform you.  

If you want to get in contact with me, do so with one of the ways below or look me up on Facebook.

Video conference & mail-
Skype Me: malcolmlanham

Thursday, January 8, 2009

We need broken leaders

Boy has it been a week.

Have you ever gotten to point emotionally and spiritually where you
can't take anymore?

That was me this last weekend and Monday. For those of you that know
me, knows I have been in a spiritual battle for a time in my life.
That is why in part my family moved back to Ohio.

This last weekend and Monday many things came to a head... Spiritually
I was at the end of my rope and emotionally I was fried... It was even
starting to effect me physically. I was struggling... I needed a
release, something to break . So I did.

It started at church Sunday... Then as things continued Sunday and
Monday morning... I just sat and weeped. I hurt.

I think that as Christ followers that are trying to make a difference
we are going to have times like this. When you put everything you
have into following and serving Christ... And love God with everything
that we are... Then we are left vulnerable in this sinful world.

I'm today's world of church and church leadership... Some may think
that this blog post is something that should not be shared. But I
think that leaders in churches today need to be transparent and
authentic... When we struggle... Be honest about it.

I watch a ton of church leaders and the ones that I respect the most
are the ones that are honest and transparent about their issues.

To connect... Minister with people today... It is going to require
church leaders to go to a whole new level of honest... Transparent...
Open relationships with the churches that we lead. The people in our
churches need to know that we don't have it all together and that we
are not "super Christians" with a cape and a cross on our chest.

I realize more and more that churches need more pastors that can admit
they are on a journey and don't have it all together instead of more
degrees and more titles.

What about you?

Our churches are full of broken people that need Jesus... I like the
saying... How can we lead somebody on this journey of following Christ
if we have not? How can we encourage the broken of our church if we
have not been broken ourselves? Will we lead the broken on this
journey... Can we lead them if we have not let God break us lately?

This is a call to drop our pride and dependence on ourselves and to
let God have it... This is a call to myself as much as it is to
anybody else!