The Unofficial Guide to Composing a Quality Facebook Status

I found this on one of my best friend’s Facebook profile and thought is was definitely “blog worthy.”? Daniel McKenzie is a student pastor in Johnson City, TN.? He and I went to seminary together, have done some ministry things together, and have kicked around some “what not to do in youth ministry” books.? As you can see in the body of the Facebook note, Daniel is hilarious!? Enjoy!

In the literary realm of facebook stati, there are many acceptable practices for composing a quality facebook status. Here are some of the more common quality practices?

Hidden Meaning ?
Any good Facebook status should have hidden meaning, causing readers to assume a depth of insight for the composer. Simple phrases can have such duality. For example, ??is tired.? This simple statement has multiple layers. One might think the person is simply physically tired, but such a statement begs for further examination. Maybe the person is mentally, emotionally, or spiritually tired. Perhaps it?s a cry for help, masking years of pain and addiction. Whatever the case ? the status laden with hidden meaning portrays depth and poetic insight that will inspire and win friends.

An Inside Joke ? Inside jokes tell many positive things about the composer. First, of all it says that this person has people around them that they consider to be on the inside with socially. Popular phrases for this occurrence are ?has friends? or ?has a life.? Another positive sign from an inside joke is that the person often jokes about with said friends or friend. This indicates a jovial quality about the person signaling to readers ? ?hey, that person likes to have fun with at least one other person who gets the joke.?

Song Lyric ?
A quality fall back for a Facebook status is the song lyric. The song lyric can accomplish several things for its composer. First it lets people know of the composer?s musical tastes. For example, from, ??is stop collaborate and listen.? readers might be able to quickly identify ?wow that person also enjoys Vanilla Ice.? But for those readers who may not recognize the lyrical jaunt by Rob Van Winkle this status also has positive implications. They might assume the same poetic insight for the composer that a ?hidden meaning? invokes, not realizing the phrase has been lifted from the lyrical giants of our time. It might also cause a reader to ?google? the phrase and be exposed to finely crafted song. Either way you really can?t lose with a song lyric status.

Begging for Comments ?
A status that begs for comments is similar to a hidden meaning status but is less subtle in its attempt at duality. For example, the status ??is ready to give up,? begs sympathy from all who read. Surely, the composer needs a glimmer of hope that all will want to provide with a comment. Likewise, a status like ??wants a piece of cake,? can induce the same sort of sympathetic leanings. Readers might ponder the issue and respond with ?what kind of cake do you like?? or even ?I have a piece of cake, I will bring it to you.?

Paranoia Inducing ? Many a Facebook status can cause feelings of paranoia from its readers. Initially this might appear as a cruel use of the status, but upon further examination this reveals the true power and value of the Facebook status. One of the best methods of behavior modification is a carefully crafted disparaging comment that invokes guilt and paranoia. For example, the status, ??is sick of EVERYONE!? can cause readers to ask in their mind, ??am I one of those included in everyone??? The sweeping generalization that is chosen with precision can speak to all of your Facebook friends, including those who are in your inner circle of ?inside jokes? and those who you wonder how a friend request was ever requested or confirmed because you really don?t know the person. Either way, this status will cause everyone to step lightly around you resulting in more peaceful interactions with all. If everyone made such broad statements we could all be conformed into a joyous, massive brethren of Facebook friends.

And then a comment on his note that follows has one more “Quality Practice:”

What about the literal status update? Let’s not overlook the obvious, my friend. In this virtual realm of networking, we too often log on with expectation of layers. We dig to find the root. The misplaced gold filling. “He says he’s standing in the rain. Does that mean he is depressed? Overjoyed? Is he attending a figurative boot camp with a figurative drill instructor making him complete 75 figurative pushups?” Sometimes we really are standing in line at the DMV. Conflicted over pillow shams. What’s interesting is that the literal status could fit snugly with all of your other acceptable practices. Round peg, round hole.

What are some of your “Quality Facebook Status Practices?”? Inquiring minds want to know!! (hidden meaning intended!)

Take advantage of Drive-In Conference


Tuesday is for Training . . . Drive-In Online Conference

I got the opportunity to go to the first DRIVE conference several years ago and it was a life-changing experience. It just really began to put some of the pieces together for me of church planting and especially creating “irresistible environments.”

The beauty of the Drive-In Conference is that you can sit in your boxers on your couch…you don’t have to drive or fly to Atlanta to go to the conference. Simply go to, register, and “attend” the conference. You can also see the archived sessions and join in on the conversation on the blog.

The even better part than boxers…it’s free!


Only in Joplin, MO…Man shoots TV in DTV Rage!!

I was in the local Radio Shack the other day and overheard an older gentleman grousing about the move to digital. It was quite comical honestly. Finally, he chose to go with the “middle of the road” model of “DTV converter box” for a grand total of ten bucks after government coupon! Angry, he left the shop…blaming the lady at the counter for all the evils of technology–as if she had anything to do with the decision!

Saw this link tonight…I’m not saying that it is the same guy…but it sure looks suspicious anyway!!

Sunday Night “Sum Up!”

Each Sunday night I will be summing up the previous week’s events in a “numbered” list, along with the “sum total” of our attendance for the week…even though “I’m not very good with numbers.”

  1. Had an extremely busy week of lots of meetings with architects and the like for our new building plans.
  2. Absolutely love the people that I work with–both in Carthage and Joplin!
  3. Drove to Springfield to meet with a group of pastors and church planters. Those guys help me so much!? I probably wouldn’t be in ministry still if it weren’t for this group of guys supporting me and helping me through a really difficult time.? Thanks guys!
  4. One of my heroes, Daryl Eldridge, came to Forest Park Carthage last Sunday to visit and give us some insight on how we can improve our church.
  5. Drove back to Springfield with Kevin and JB to meet with our audio-visual, lighting, and techno whizbang companies to design A/V and lighting for our new building.
  6. Most importantly, we had Qdoba for lunch…mmm…Chicken Fajita Three Cheese Nachos!
  7. Oh, and we also had a Strawberry Concrete from Andy’s Frozen Custard!
  8. The house on the new property was demolished!? Check out the video in an earlier post!
  9. Our Student Ministry had our DNOW this weekend, called ELEVATE!!
  10. Two students from Carthage found Christ this weekend!! They will be baptized soon!
  11. My friends, The Radiance Effect, were the band for the weekend.? Cool to catch back up with them…they were at a DNOW I spoke at last spring…and I went to church with the drummer growing up (he was just a little boy when we went to church together–his dad was one of my Sunday School teachers in college.)
  12. We had a great attendance today…292!!! Had a boost in attendance with guests from ELEVATE.
  13. We had 4 new students come to Collide tonight!!? We are going to need to get another vehicle to transport our students….GREAT problem to have!!
  14. Worked on our taxes…worked on some remodeling stuff…had a great time hanging out with Taylor boy on Saturday night and Sunday night at ELEVATE.
  15. Watched the end of the Oscars…I’m exhausted.? Big week coming up!

House Demolition Video

We have began the long process toward our goal of having a new worship facility in Carthage!!? Yesterday, we demolished the house that was on the property.? This video is in fast motion, but it didn’t need to be in too much fast motion–it only took about 10 minutes to have the house completely torn down from when the big Cat started!? That is a shower that he “tossed” to the side!? Amazing power in that equipment!

Check out the video that Aaron made for us!? I can’t wait to hear the cheers when we show the video at church on Sunday!? Here is the sneak preview–pays to read the blog!

Awesome Life Group Testimony

Found this life story on the Buckhead Church blog.

Enjoy Eric’s story…

One year ago today, February 6th 2008, put changes in motion which would affect my entire life. This day was my first Oasis Divorce Recovery Class, my first experience with a church in over two years, and my first real attempt to talk about my divorce.

I walked into a room full of 13 total strangers and was asked to talk about something I didn?t even want to talk to my family about. I looked around the room and saw all these people, some looked like their world had been ripped from them, others like it was just another day. I wondered if i had anything in common with these people.

I wondered if I was normal.

The first question of the night ?Who here attends one of our church campuses, or attends a church in the area?. I was the only person in the entire group who didn?t raise their hand. I was scared to death of what would come next but nothing happened. They didn?t chastise me, try to convert me, or even give me the ?you poor soul? look, I?ve come to expect from most Christians.

The rest is another story.

Those 13 people quickly became the most important part of my week. I would look forward to my Wednesday night meetings, the sharing, the community and the family feel of the whole process. I made great friends from this little group. I found a ministry in which I?m so passionate about that I think some people think I?m obsessed.

They challenged me, convicted me, showed me how to heal, how to love, and most of all that I wasn?t alone.

We all have hard times in life. Times when we think we are the only ones who can deal with what is going on. We feel no one can really cope with us, understand us, or be able to offer us any counsel.

You are wrong.

We are surrounded by people who are willing to listen, to talk, to share, and to understand us. Do not go through the problems or hardships of life alone. We all need support and if you believe nothing else written in the posts on this blog, know that God doesn?t want us to go it alone.

So reach out, talk to one another, encourage each other. Look what 13 strangers did for me, imagine what you can do with someone you know.

To those 13 amazing and strong people I say ?Thank You?. Every day is a blessing and a testimonial to the love, kindness, and compassion you showed on Wednesday nights.

Hebrews 10:23-25 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

1 Corinthians 12:20-21 But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, ?I have no need of you?; or again the head to the feet, ?I have no need of you.?

There really is HOPE for YOU if you are hurting! God wants to do an amazing work in your life…He wants to give you peace! I love to read and hear about stories like this one, whether it is from our church or another! The bottom line…there is hope for you no matter what is going on in your life…and there is a group of people that God made especially for you to “do life” alongside!

Do you have a story about God using a small group of people who have helped you in your journey? Jump on and tell your story!

Reaching the Next Generation

I am trying to get on to more of a schedule with this blog…if I don’t, then you get a random post once every two weeks, or one when John or Dinwiddie bugs me about not seeing any posts lately!

Today, TUESDAY IS FOR TRAINING. . . I am going to include something that I am learning and will write something or, like today, steal from someone who is smarter than me that is teaching me!!

Joshua Hedger, our Youth Pastor at the Joplin campus, sent this out to our staff and his youth staff and I thought it was really good about how to reach the next generation.

Reaching the Next Generation (from LifeChurch)

To reach the next generation for Christ, we must be three things:

? Conversational.

? Missional.

? Generational.

Let?s start today with conversational. This generation craves intimacy in relationships. They want to know and be known.

Too many Western Christians are turned off (or intimidated by) the young, tech savvy, tattooed, and pierced young adults.

Some churches preach against these outward appearances. Others are striving full-time to be ?cool? and ?relevant? believing the right environment, best light show, or hot sermon series will win the young adults to Christ.

Both these strategies miss a key ingredient. This generation wants to talk. Conversation matters. Relationships matter. Intimacy matters.

Here are some rules of conversation:

? Before they listen to you, they want to know if you?re listening to them. If you?ll get to know them, they will listen to you.

? If you?re quick to judge, don?t bother trying to connect.

? It doesn?t matter if you?re cool or relevant. It matters if you bring the real you. Fake is the worst thing you can bring.

? The fifth conversation might be the difference maker. In my ?Christian Witness Training? course at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, we were trained to knock on doors, present the gospel, and ask people to pray the sinners? prayer. While this might occasionally still work, it isn?t a likely path to life change. This generation builds trust slowly. If you don?t plan on having a third, fourth, or fifth conversation, you might not want to spend a lot of time on the first.

? They want to be loved. My most consistent conversations with 20-somethings happens in the gym. After getting to know some young men, I genuinely care for them and believe in them. I try to tell them often, ?I?m proud of you? I?m pulling for you? I believe in you? I love you.? They seem hungry for acceptance and affirmation and respond well to sincere Christian love.

Monday is for Missions…Phnom Penh, Cambodia

I am getting ready for my first international mission trip this March.? It is actually only the second time I have been outside of the country…the first time was a few years back for Brad and Nora’s wedding in Montreal.

I am heading to Phnom Penh, Cambodia with four others from Forest Park.? It is going to be a medical mission trip to (tenatively) a village called Srai Chan.? It is on the Mekong River and we will be staying in the providential capital and traveling to the city each day to set up clinic.

I am going with a doctor, two nurses and Brock Cummins, our missions pastor.? I asked the doc that is leading the trip if he could call Brock and I “doctor” for the trip–“Spies Like Us” style!? I am doubting that is going to happen…but it is always worth the try!

Actually, Brock and I are going to be the “gophers” for the trip–which is awesome!? We are going to be doing whatever they need us to do…anything from helping with the medical exams to playing with the children.? Probably going to be a lot of playing with the children…which is cool.? There is going to be another national doctor that will help Dr. Blake set up clinic in the village, so we are hoping to see several hundred people over the 5 days we are doing clinic.? All the while, we are able to share with them the hope we have!

Please pray for the Cambodian or “Khmer” people that we see in clinic…that they would find medical answers to what ails them.? Pray also for them to find answers that only the Gospel can bring!

I will give more updates in the coming days, but for now, check out some of the articles on Wikipedia concerning Cambodia and their history.

Watch the film, “The Killing Fields” to get a good idea of the where we are going to be…in the villages right around the Killing Fields.

Here are few pictures of the people and places of Cambodia…be in prayer for them please.

Fireproof Special Showing at Forest Park Carthage

This Saturday, February 7th, at 5:30 p.m. at Forest Park Carthage, there will be a special showing of the motion picture “Fireproof.”? We are going to have a full house at our old renovated movie theater where we meet!? I am really excited about the marriages that are going to be improved with the showing of this movie as well as the date night that will happen afterwards!? We are kicking off our marriage ministry called “Married Life” with this event!? Ronnie and Kristie Sanders are going to be leading this powerful and needed ministry in our church.

You can also check out a bunch of tools on If you have any friends or family members that would benefit from this movie–get them there this Saturday!

Here is the trailer of the movie….

Importance of Sharing

I am really not good about sharing the love of God as much as I should.? I always seem to make excuses for why I don’t share more of “the hope that is within me.”? How about you?? Do you “always make the most of every opportunity?”? I have seen this clip several places on the blogs I read, but was reminded again of it tonight as I was thinking about some future sermon series.

Penn, from Penn and Teller, has a video blog that he talks about a myriad of subjects.? One of the entries he talks about a businessman that came back to his show the next night to give him a Gideons New Testament.? It really made an impact on this athiest that this man would share with him.? It would be really cool to see each of us to share Christ in this same respectful and effective way, wouldn’t it?? Notice that Penn didn’t change his views, but I pray that God will continue to work on him and change his heart.

Here is the video testimony of this man’s gift: