If you haven't had a chance to look at some of the questions we received via text message on Sunday, look at the Living Hope blog. 

The text message experience was a great one, but I learned a couple of lessons:

1. Always have a back-up plan. The text messaging software we were using is web-based, and their server crashed about an hour before our first service. It didn't come back up until around 20 minutes before the service began, but our AV guys weren't sitting in a corner sucking their thumb. We were prepared for that kind of thing. 

2. You have to have someone screening the questions that wants to see the pastor succeed. Some of the questions we had come in were off topic, and obvious attempts to bait the "answerer" into a booby trap. I screened Ken's questions to make sure they were on-topic and answerable, without shielding him from the hard questions (question #1 was on Limited vs. Unlimited atonement). Unfortunately, I'm on the hot seat this weekend, and Ken is out of town. I'm not sure I trust anyone I can't pay back...

3. Promising to answer "all" the questions on a blog is not a good idea. We did that this week and when all is said and done I will have spent nearly 30 hours just answering questions. When you put something in writing, it needs to be abundantly clear and referenced because you can't get it back. So, I put a ton of work into answering about fifty questions, and that was way too much - especially when I have other responsibilities... like preaching on Sunday. This next week, I'll only promise to answer "a few" of the questions we don't get to in the service. If people don't get an answer in the service or on the blog, they can call me. 

All in all, this has been a really great experience for our church and a great exercise for me. I found I'm fairly good at coming up with answers to these questions, but need more work on remembering chapters and verses. "Somewhere in the Bible it says..." is not a sufficient answer! 


The Kinley's said...

I think this idea is AWESOME....kuddos to whoever came up with it. I pray that God gives y'all the wisdom for the boundaries that will continually need to be made. It's almost like having your office door open 24 hrs a day, which realistically can't happen.

Again, it is awesome!!!

Aubrey said...


Thanks a lot for your hard work. Your answers really cleard some things up. We all appreciate your shepherd's heart in taking this on for us.