Category Archives: Trends

Pastor Outraged over Song “AMEN” Threatens to Boycott!


The Rev. Jomo K. Johnson, a pastor out of Philadelphia is calling for a boycott of one of Philly’s most popular rappers, Meek Mill on his latest hit called, “Amen,” after being offended by what Johnson calls ‘blasphemous’ lyrics.
Mills thanks God for allowing him to indulge with pretty women a.k.a. ‘bitches’, free sex, money, drugs, alcohol and violence all at the same time referring to such ‘spiritual’ terms as “the Holy Ghost, church, praying to God, forgiveness, etc.

MESSAGE CLEAR. Regardless of Mill’s intention, Johnson points out that the message is clear – pray to your god and he will give you the desires of your heart: women, drugs, cars, money, boats, alcohol, etc. all the while rapping using  filthy words including the “F-word, P-word,’ etc.

It’s no wonder why Philly’s Pastor Johnson flew off his handle and wanted to ‘shut Mill down.’

SUBTLE MESSAGE. As I listened to the audio and saw the video I also heard and saw a subtle message in that Mill cares about people, that he shares his fortune and does some type of service to keep people out of jail and since he’s made it to the top, he shows that it’s important to give back.

NO RECONCILING HERE. Johnson and Mill attempted to dialog on a radio station, without success. It went south and it was clear that Mill was enraged with Pastor Johnson accusing him not only judging and singling him out, but being an opportunist in using that platform to make a name for himself.

Clearly, Mill felt justified in his music as it has opened the ‘money’ door for him to provide services to those who are less fortunate as he distributes: coats, tennis shoes, other tangibles to poor neighborhoods. He challenged Rev. Johnson, shouting repetitively “And where were you while I was doing all this?!”

MILL’S RESUME. Mill felt a need to run down his resume on how he is continually on the streets everyday with the people, helping those less fortunate, talking to the young people to help them change their ways and all of this was possible through his music.

YOU WANT SOME MONEY? Mill, during his ranting and raving also told the pastor that had he (Johnson) attempted to talk to him personally rather than on the radio, he might have agreed to come talk to his young people and may have even given his church some money.

YOU NEED JESUS! Johnson attempted (without success) to let Mill know that it was not about the money, but it was about salvation. Mills interrupted him stating that he was not listening nor did he want to hear what he had to say. Again, shouting at Johnson that while he was doing all the hands-on community service, “..where were you?!”

Why am I telling YOU this? Because it is important for US as leaders to know what the young people in church are listening to – to stay abreast to what is being fed to them every day and to know what they are attracted to.

DISPEL THE ILLUSION. In addition, we need all the help we can get raising this generation and as a body, we need to work together in dispelling the illusion that Money is the ‘fix all and is the key to true happiness.” There are a lot of people in graves today to prove that statement is false.

TWO WRONGS – RIGHT? Furthermore, I commend Mill for his outreach efforts. I believe at the core he has a good heart, but he seems convinced that the only way to make money is by way of compromising values and ethics. Two wrongs do not make a right.

I must say that the song has a great beat and potential despite its lyrics. However, the video does promote the fast and reckless lifestyle. It reminds me of the scripture: “There is a way that seems right, but in the end leads to destruction.”

It’s really too bad because Mill has a lot of talent and I do believe that if Mill could have gotten with Kirk Franklin they could have tore it up!

DISCLAIMER: This song (video too) is filled with raunchy and filthy lyrics – repeated uses of the “F-Word, reference to the woman’s anatomy and promotion of drugs for gain. Both the audio and video should be rated  “R” or even “X” just on the “F-word use alone. and both  should be labeled “Parental Discretion.”


Reasons You Might Want to Get a ‘SMART’ Phone

Last year my family purchased me my first smart phone.  It was the famous iPhone by Mac.  I just could not justify the mandatory $30 extra a month for a smart phone and fought it all the way.  Well what makes a smart phone so smart? In essence, a smart phone is a small mobile handheld computer.

A Smart Phone is known for its multiple features such as: browsing the Internet to check emails, viewing YouTube videos, listening to music and looking at movies. You can also check bank balances, move money around, pay bills and invest right from your phone.  Need a weather report? It can give you that too in your area, in another city or even in another country.

You can take quality high resolution pictures, record videos. (Side note: this is why everyone is getting in trouble lately; someone is always clicking and running footage on you. Privacy invasion LOL!) You can send text message which I hated at first. Okay, you could do that with your old not so smart phone too. However, I like the fact that I can ‘text’ what I want and avoid talking to people who still like to yap on.  I also purchased the “Group Text” option. I paid a one-time fee of $2.99.  Now I send ONE text message out to as little as two people to as many as 200 people.  We had to shut down our church because of power outages recently.  I had 115 member’s cell phone numbers in my cell phone directory.  I sent one message to 115 people in just 2 minutes.  How productive is that?  Do you realize how long it would have been to evoke the calling tree system?  This is so useful for notifying and sending out ‘reminders’ to community groups, choir members, family, your management team of scheduled meeting times.

It’s an alarm clock, a stop watch and even a compass.  The game features are endless.  My daughter just hooked me onto a ‘Pictionary’ game where you have to guess what the other person is drawing. It also has voice memos where you can record yourself, “pick up milk, eggs.”   Can you see why you hardly see people’s faces anymore for them staring down at their phones?  The possibilities are endless.

Programmers are writing sophisticated software that helps people become more productive.  These software applications are either free or their costs are very minimal.  I downloaded a calendar application to help me be more organized.  I set up alarms that will notify me of that day’s appointments as well as that Day’s To Do lists. When I’m done, I check it off.  What a sense of accomplishment!

Oh did I mention you can download an application on the spot wherever you are.  We were in Hyattsville, got lost because of a detour.  I pulled over and downloaded a GPS guide for $3.99.  It directed us right to the place we needed to be.  I guess by now you can see the value of a Smart Phone.

Please note that Mac’s iPhone is NOT the only Smart Phone on the market.  Take a look and find one within your budget and join me on the quest to be more productive. I can’t believe I resisted this purchase at first.  Now I am to the point that I don’t know what I would do without my iPhone.

Do you have a Smart Phone?  If so, what are some features you appreciate?
Join me on for my next blog on The value of listening to Podcasts.

NO More ‘God’ Bless You!

First it’s remove God from our schools, then it’s remove God from our National Pledge and now it’s remove God from ‘God’ Bless you?  There is an active movement folks to eradicate God altogether from our society and our nation.

Traditionally, a 21-Gun Salute is offered in memory and to honor our fallen military heroes.  The shells are collected, gathered together and presented to their loved ones along with a triangle-folded American flag.  During the presentation of these memorials, the presenters use to state, “God Bless You.”  Now they have been forbidden to say “God Bless You,” but just “Bless You.”

Again as pastors, we need to come together on issues that unite us verses issues  that divide us. One of the issues at hand is to fight for our Christian freedoms.  Can you really imagine a ‘Godless’ country?

Currently, The American Civil Liberties Justice (ACLJ)  are challenging this regulation as well as other regulations that jeopardize our freedoms.  The ACLJ is an organization passionate for protecting religious liberty – freedom – democracy.

How can we pastors protest this enactment and what else can we collectively do?

  1. Support firms such as the ACLJ who are designed to protect our religious freedoms both by prayers and financial support.
  2. Sign petitions so we can become one powerful voice on behalf of the Kingdom of God for where there is unity there is strength.
  3. Educate your congregations by placing short announcements in bulletins, sending emails and for those of you who are Internet savvy, please use your social media forums such as Twitter and Facebook to get the word out.

Let’s not witness another infringement upon our rights like the removal of prayer from schools.  There is absolutely no excuse to remain silent,  we simply have too many technological options available to voice our stance and our petitions.

 “United We Stand but Divided We Fall!

Social Media – Can the Church Benefit?

Hope you enjoyed the above video. Take a look at these stats gleaned from the video. 
50% of the world’s population is under the age 30 (this generation is very techno saavy)

  • Years to reach 50 million people through advertising with . . .
  • Radio – 38 years
    TV – 13 years
    Internet – 4 years
    iPod – 3 years
    Facebook – less than a year reached 200 million
         If Facebook were a country, it would be the 3rd largest country
         Fastest growing segment on Facebook is 55-65 year-old female

    80% of companies use social media for recruitment
    YouTube -2nd Largest search engine in the world
    Blogs – There are 200,000,000 blogs (people posting opinions about products, services, movies, events and experiences)

    Churches Need to Get On Board.The church has got to get on board regarding social media.  It is really unfortunate to see just how far the church has lagged behind.  Finally we are getting on board with email and now email is slowly becoming obsolete as many people are using FaceBook to communicate especially through the use of their smart phones. 

    Traditional forms of advertising SUCK!  Let’s Face it, traditional forms of promotion and advertisement don’t give you the bang for your buck anymore. I remember the times when a 2X2 inch newspaper advertisement cost me $250 to reach 30,000 subscribers and I got three responses.  Of course I only ran the ad one time.  Professionals say you need to run your ad atleast seven times before it is effective. I could not afford that! I also advertised on the radio and it cost me $1250 to run a 30 second ad  twice a day randomly for five days. This did yeild me greater results, but was still limited. I was told for effective advertising that I needed to run the ad for two weeks, but again budget was an issue.

    But you can’t beat FREE! The Internet, FaceBook, Podcasts, etc.  – their reach extends as far and wide as you want (I should say if you are willing to work it).  And the good news with all of this is that the services are FREE.  Come on churches, FREE!  You know we like FREE – anything.  Get your youth involved to promote your events using Facebook and Twitter.  Put a 2 minute YouTube video on your website promoting your upcoming event or better yet have your young people send the video on their FaceBook pages.  The average young person has more than 400 friends EACH.  A lot of their friends are adults too. 

    Pastors Connect! Pastors you can also send church member shout outs as a way of connecting  with your peeps. Take a look at how other pastors are using it and GET On Board.  FaceBook – The Internet is NOT a FAD.  It’s here to stay.  Like anything else, it may start out free, but who is to say how long it will be free. 

    The Queen King is Dead! Lastly, I would like to leave you with this  – – the next time you find yourself doubting the influence and power of the Internet, think about the people in Egypt who used the social media influence and power to dethrone their king. 

Cell Phones in Church

A few weeks ago I wrote a post entitled, “They’re Not Praying, They’re Texting” which made a case for the reasonable application use of cell phones during a church service. For example: emergencies, message alerts, evangelism, referencing scriptures, asking questions and even engaging your congregation in contests. Yet with any good thing you got to know when to draw the line. Have you ever forgotten to put your phone on silent? Has it ever gone off in church? It probably didn’t go off while you were in the middle of high praise – like during the offertory, but more like when they say , “Let us pray.” If that were not enough, you don’t have the regular ring tone chime, but the theme song to Martin Lawrence and Will Smith’s “Bad boys, bad boys whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when they come for you” – making everybody burst out laughing. How’s that for embarassment? Of course we need to remind people to put there phones on silent, but we enivitably forget. I recently came across this funny video put together by Westminister Presbyterian Church located in Burbank, California. It truly makes the point on why boundaries are needed.

Enjoy! Have you ever forgot to put your phone on silent? At what point in the service did it go off? What was your ring tone? LOL!

6 MegaThemes Of Churches in 2010 – Barna Group (Church Trends)

The Barna Research Group did a research project resulting in finding 6 patterns developing in the church in 2010. I think it is important for pastors to keep up on trends that affect our churches. This will help us in our planning efforts to meet the needs of the church.

1. Less theologically literate – this means that we have wandered from the basics of our faith and have become biblically illiterate. The report indicated that our young people, although they recognize that Easter is a Holy holiday, they do not associate it with the resurrection of Jesus. What the ….??? Every Christian should know facts about the Birth, Death & Resurrection. Without the Resurrection, there is no Christianity.

2. Grown more ingrown and less outreach-oriented – People are not impressed with the contributions of the average church. Less people are inviting people to their churches even on high recruitment Sundays like Easter. The report even states that many people are becoming Christians as a result of personal crisis or fear of death; not because people are inviting them. Pastors, if people are not happy with their individual churches, they will not invite others to attend. I know of many churches where the members are very happy and satisfied and as a result they are all about evangelizing.

3. More people less interested in spiritual principles and more interest in learning realistic solutions for life. People are more interested in education, friendship, comfort, success and personal achievement than their faith walk. In fact, many consider survival in the present much more significant than eternal life. This is not surprising to me. I think the church needs to demonstrate realistic solutions for life which can be found in the application of spiritual principles. The church needs to do a better job in illustrating that the Bible is relevant.

4. Increased interest in community service activities. The more that churches and believers can be recognized as people doing good deeds out of genuine love and compassion, the more appealing the Christian life will be to those who are on the sidelines watching.

5. Increased tolerance. Our biblical illiteracy and lack of spiritual confidence has caused Americans to avoid making discerning choices for fear of being labeled judgmental. The result is a Church that has become tolerant of a vast group of immoral behaviors. CHALLENGE: There is a place for tolerance in Christianity; knowing when and where to draw the line appears to perplex a growing proportion of Christians in this age of tolerance.

6. The influence of Christianity on culture and individual lives is largely invisible. Christianity has arguably added more value to American culture than any other religion, philosophy, ideology or community. Yet, contemporary Americans don’t really believe this. Partly due to the nature of today’s media, they have no problem identifying the faults of the churches and Christian people. The most influential aspect of Christianity in America is how believers do–or do not–implement their faith in public and private. Bad news about a thing always spread faster, deeper and wider than good news about a thing.

To read this article in its entirety, click here.

Paid Staff at Church?

I was at a board meeting once and when the topic of salaries came up it got a little heated.  Someone stated, “What happened to the time where people would do things just out of the kindness of their heart – service for the Lord?” Now a-days people want to be paid for everything.  What’s your thoughts on paid salary positions at church? Who should be paid and who should not be paid?