Category Archives: Open Tabs

Open Tabs [5/6/14]: Amazon+Twitter; Skip Church; Young Baptists


Surely this was not a difficult deal to make between Twitter and Amazon as it is a homerun for both. Interesting concept, kinda creepy, but interesting.

Eight Reasons It’s Easier Not to Attend Church Today
[Thom Rainer]

Important post from Dr. Rainer.

    1. In most areas, it is no longer culturally expected for persons to attend church. I live in the heart of the Bible belt in the Nashville area. But when I leave for church services on Sunday mornings, I see numerous families out playing with their children, walking the subdivision, or just enjoying the day outside. They don’t feel the cultural pressure to attend church. To the contrary, they are joining the majority who opt out.
    2. Congregational expectations of the attendance of members are lower. In the recent past, the absence of a frequently-attending church member was noticeable. He or she might get a call from another member to check on them. Today, if a church member attends three of four weeks, rarely does another member inquire about their absence. By the way, if every member, on the average, attends one less Sunday per month, the overall attendance of the church drops 25 percent.
    3. Unchurched persons are often very demanding about the perceived quality of worship services. Though some of us bemoan this reality, the entertainment culture is now pervasive. If an unchurched person attends a perceived low-quality service, he or she may not return.

5 Observations about Younger Southern Baptists
[Trevin Wax]

I appreciate how often Trevin focuses on the future of the church. Great thoughts here.

2. Younger Southern Baptists tend to be Reformed-ish. 

Not all young Southern Baptists are Calvinists, by any means, but many of their preaching heroes are, and so young guys tend to settle under the Reformed umbrella by default. I say they’re Reformed-ish because when pressed, I find that many don’t subscribe to all of Calvinism’s particular tenets and doctrines. Like all Southern Baptists, the younger generation is on a spectrum with regards to Calvinism, with perhaps more who are comfortable with that label today than in the past.

It’s interesting to note that young Southern Baptists who reject Reformed theology are in agreement with their Calvinist counterparts that theological depth and biblical exposition are essential to the health of the church, and that our teaching and preaching should be centered on the gospel. They tell me how much they benefit from the vast sermon resources available from John Piper, John Macarthur, and other pastors even if they don’t agree with all aspects of their soteriology. Likewise, I’ve heard this comment (in multiple variations) from young non-Reformed pastors explaining why they frequent blogs and websites from Reformed guys: “The Calvinists are always talking about ministry and mission; the non-Calvinists are always talking about Calvinism.” So, it seems to me that even among the young Southern Baptists who are not Reformed or even Reformed-ish, there’s an appreciation of this stream in Southern Baptist life.


Open Tabs [5/2/14]: Most Played Song Ever; Chandlers on Marriage; Marketing to Millennials

Is This the Most Played Song in Music History?
[TIME Magazine]

What is the song that has been played more times than any other song ever?

 We did the math on the song that’s been played nearly 50 million times over the last 50 years

Nobody famous sang this tune. It was never a hit single and got almost no play on Top 40 radio. There’s even a dispute over the exact title. Yet “It’s a Small World,” also known as “It’s a Small, Small World” and “It’s a Small World (After All),” is very likely the most played song in music history — nearly 50 million times. And it was first heard 50 years ago this month.

Various sources cite the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” (1964) as having more than eight million plays on radio and TV, and The Beatles’ “Yesterday” (1965) with at least seven million in the U.S. alone, and many more in the rest of the world. Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” introduced by Bing Crosby in 1942, has inundated the airwaves ever since, but for only a few weeks each year. There’s little debate that Patty and Mildred Hill’s “Happy Birthday to You” (originally “Good Morning to You”) has been performed more than any other song, but not in public; if you do, and don’t pay royalties, the possessive copyright holders at Warner/Chappell Music will sue your pants off — and take all your birthday gifts, too.

That leaves “It’s a Small World,” composed by Disney staff writers Richard and Robert Sherman for the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair pavilion ride officially known as “PEPSI Present’s Walt Disney’s ‘It’s a Small World’ — a Salute to UNICEF and the World’s Children.” In his authoritative 1998 book Songwriters: A Biographical Dictionary with Discography, Nigel Harrison proclaims the song “the most performed composition in the world.” Richard Sherman, the surviving brother, thinks so too.

Living Out God’s Design for Marriage
[Desiring God]

Love Matt Chandler. Favorite preacher to listen to on podcast. Check out this video of he and Lauren talking marriage for Desiring God.


Marketing to the Mind of a Millennial
[Mobile Storm]

I love studying millennials and marketing, so this infographic is of interest to me. [Click image to enlarge.]


Open Tabs [5/1/14]: Kids Ministry; Millennials in Love; Ian and Larissa

Developing a Kids Ministry Team
[Elizabeth Settle]

Good stuff on children’s ministry here from the Resurgence.

As a church grows, staff pleas often shift from “we have got to get volunteers” to “I really need a new hire.” HR budgets aside, it is a church staff’s job to develop volunteer teams for disciple-making and loadbearing.


The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 2:5, “You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

Each person in the church is a living stone who has a purpose: bearing Kingdom weight so that ministry walls can extend and more people can “come on in.” It’s Christ who edifies us. It’s Christ who assembles us. It’s Christ who bears the weight. But Jesus working in and through us builds our ever-growing spiritual house.


A stone in a wall bears real weight. As a staff member, your role is stacked with heavy to-dos. The more people (living stones) who serve alongside (offering spiritual sacrifices of service), the less likely you are to be crushed by your job.

Each person in the church is a living stone who has a purpose.

So how do we invite people into service? The same way Jesus does.

21 Things That Let You Know You’re A Millennial In Love
[Iz Zakaria]

Funny piece on millennials in love.

1. Risking that 3% of battery life left to text back.

2. Caring about your partner more than you care about your Twitter follower count.

3. Not buying the cheapest wine on the menu.

4. Being able to relate to a Taylor Swift song, no matter how much you don’t want to admit it.

5. Only wearing mascara and lipstick instead of a full face of makeup.

6. Willingly participating in a juice cleanse, or paleo diet, or whatever she/he is into at that moment.

7. Finally deleting Tinder on your phone.

8. And your OKCupid profile.

9. Getting annoyed at every notification that goes to your phone that didn’t come from your significant other.

Update on Ian and Larissa
[Desiring God]

You may remember the wedding video of Ian and Larissa going viral a few years back. Here is an update on their life three years into marriage. Pretty neat. Also, they’ll have a book coming out from B&H here soon!