let’s face it.   the church is into marketing itself.   it’s pretty big business these days.

now i’m not really against marketing,  even though it can make my stomach start to knot a little.

we love to define ourself.   and the words we use have changed a lot over my years in church leadership.   here are some of the more popular terms churches…especially the newer and hipper ones…like to use to make people want to come through their doors:

  • we’re relevant
  • we’re authentic
  • we’re missional
  • we’re real
  • we’re friendly
  • we’re uplifting
  • we’re inclusive
  • we’re contemporary

i actually kind of like some of those words.   over the years,  i’ve defintely used a few of them to describe and promote our church family.

not so much anymore.

not that they aren’t true on some level.   i think they are.   but labels can be a little misleading.   is everybody in our church missional?   what are we an authentic brand of?   are we really inclusive  of everybody?   relevant  to whom?   contemporary…by whose standards?

i think what i would really rather put on our website home page…or on the literature we hand out to guests…or,  better yet,  on our building signage…in big,  bold letters is:   WE’RE NORMAL.

now don’t go all psycho-babble crazy on me.   i know there is no normal  when it comes to personality development and family orientation and the like.   i’ve gone to school.   how i use the concept of normal is a lot simpler.

i think sometimes church people come off like we’re really different than everybody else.   but we’re not.   we have financial pressure.   our kids get sick and puke.   we have to mow our lawns.   our cars break down.   our in-laws come to town.   we still have a lot of spiritual questions.   our marriages are not perfect.   neither are our kids.   we have favorite television shows and we go to the movies.   we have doubts.   we like to laugh.   we’re on facebook.   we yell for our favorite teams.   we want to be better.

and for me,  that’s what normal means.   we’re not super spiritual…as if any of us know what that means.   we don’t have all the answers.   we are who we are…warts and all.   and we don’t try to come off as something we’re not.   we don’t hide it.   we don’t flaunt it.

it’s probably not very attractional  by today’s church growth standards.   but i think it works for us.

in our effort to live up to our high calling…and our push to be everything the example of christ demands…we are simply regular folks.

and for some,  that’s exactly what they are looking for to help them take the next step on their journey with…or to… jesus.


after the first week of team competition,  the results are in:

team madre – 36.5  total pounds lost

team padre – 31.5  total pounds lost

great job,  losers!

if there are any of you out there that want a little help and accountability to lose some unwanted poundage,  just give me a shout.   let me know here in the comment section,  or send me an email  ( 

it’s all private and all about the teams.   we even have our own Padre’s Biggest Loser facebook groupso you can meet some of the others on the journey.   Come on…get out of your recliner!


2 thoughts on “Normal

  1. we don’t have all the answers. we are who we are…warts and all. and we don’t try to come off as something we’re not. we don’t hide it. we don’t flaunt it.

    In a nutshell that is why I have stayed at North Point. We are all sinners, We are all broken and We all make complete freaking messes of our lives.

    It is Normal to need Jesus to fix us just like everyone else does. The mere knowledge of Jesus doesn’t make us better than anyone else. Broken is broken and it doesn’t matter how pretty we look we are still broke. Only Jesus fixes that brokenness. If you somehow think merely claiming Jesus as your Savior or plopping your butt in a seat in a church building makes you better than someone else you have completely and totally missed the point of the greatest sacrifice this world will ever see.

  2. Dear Mike,
    I like reading what you have to say. How about “normal”, being a family with a daddy and a mommie. When we can’t have that how about a family with aunts and uncles and grandmas and grandpas who love JEsus and try to be the best they can be. How about a church that actually helps you be the best mom and dad to your children?
    Just some thoughts. Carole

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