Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Inside Cook McDoogal's

(click pics for larger image)

Welcome to day 1 of Cook McDoogal's on the square in downtown Kokomo. The service was excellent (ask for Sara). And the decor was everything you could want in an Irish pub.

We only had an appetizer (corned beef & cabbage rolls) but it was great. Someone had thought about it & used good ingredients. (That would be Blake.)

One of the real stars--the 12 tap (left to right):

Hoegaarden Belgian White (since 1445), Bass, Strongbow Cider, Blue Moon, Fat Tire, George Killians, Harp, Smithwicks (pronounced "Smiddicks"), Kilkenny, Murphy's, Guinness

We got to meet Jake & Blake. Jake Young is the front of the house mgr and has a very easy personality.

I asked him if he had Young's Double Chocolate Stout. He didn't, but was intrigued and wrote a note about it. He and Blake take their beers very seriously.

Blake, the culinary mojo, was unassuming and got here through culinary studies in the states and travels in Europe.

Sandra and I had a great time and are looking forward to many more trips. If this is your cup of..."tea"...I highly recommend you try it soon!

Mon-Thurs 11:00 - 11:00
Fri -Sat 11:00 - 1:00 (closed Sun)
no smoking ;-)

Below is a lovely Black Velvet (1/2 Guinness & 1/2 Strongbow)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cook McDoogal's -- Almost Here!

Cook McDoogal's Irish Pub * corner of Sycamore & Main, downtown Kokomo

"Scott Pitcher told me (and he did) I could stop in and check it out," got me a preview of Kokomo's only Irish Pub today.

All I can say is WOW! Pitcher's handiwork in restaurants has never been anything to sneeze at (where did we get that expression?) but he outdid himself on this one.

The bones of this old building didn't hurt either, nor the charming downtown corner location. When they opened up the dropped ceiling it revealed the original late 1800's tin. I can't imagine how much money it would have taken to add the vibe that this gem does, and it had been there tho whole time-- these hundred years. Wow.

The pub is laid out in snugs (seating areas). Each snug is designed to give you a different experience since each snug is unique. I can easily imaging people saying, "Oh, next time let's try to sit over there!"

I couldn't believe how much was done with recycled material; ancient wood beans to vintage elegant light fixtures. The amount of native storied wood in this space is unbelievable. And to top it off, there are various pieces of locally-crafted opalescent glass that fits into this ancient wood like it's always been there.

The "Pub" part of this equation is for real. twelve import beers are on tap! Guinness, Harp, Strongbow and Murphy's to name just four! See related blog post.

It's refreshing in this challenging economy to see the downtown with its recent face lift and now a very cool "Broad Ripple-like" experience like this making a run. Way to go Kokomo & McDoogal's!

They plan to open this Tuesday. It's non-smoking and you must be 21 to enter.

Related CNN article

Confessions of a Church Muscian pt 1

The distance between playing drums 90% of the time for your church to once every two months is a long strange emotional trip.

Church music now is worship music. In the majority of my experience at
Oakbrook it wasn’t. The music was diverse, and in essence needed studio musicians. That was a perfect musical fit for me; blue grass, movie soundtrack, pop, jazz, country, blues, rock—you name it.

It didn’t matter how hard the piece was, I could handle it. I’ve played drums since I was 4, took lessons at age 8 and I would humbly say that even at a young age, my musical ability was a gift from God. To this day, I need to practice little to none to pull off a tune. The big band Christmas services a couple years ago was maybe the only time I practiced on the kit before a band rehearsal. That’s not really the musical norm.

(Please understand, I’m not trying to be full of myself here, just trying to paint a picture—and that ability is not of ME—it’s a gift bestowed to me from God, of which I’m grateful.)

Over the last couple years our church music has slowly flowed into predominantly worship music. For a drummer it’s not complicated; very simple in fact (at least for me). And after playing lots of different styles for decades, the current trend is not very diverse to me. This isn’t criticism, it’s just what it is, to me musically.

I enjoy worship music. (And yes, I understand that worship isn’t about the music.) But I can more easily find God in a quiet room, reading, praying, writing, studying, or in a compelling instrumental tune or non-worship secular song for that matter. There are different worship pathways, and musical worship in the congregational sense is not my primary one.
Maybe it's my non-churched upbringing, but I can find God in the arts seemingly more easily than worship music.

The recent church music trend is also going away from a pool of musicians toward a worship band model whereupon a worship leader will have the same drummer, bassist, guitarist, playing together all the time.

So in the near future, the odds of me being chosen when there are younger drummers with more affinity with a worship leader? Slim. And if I were a 20-30-something worship leader, not sure I'd choose the 46 year old drummer.

And let me be honest: not really sure I have the passion to do it in this current worship music paradigm. And without a doubt-- it would absolutely be best to have drummers playing these worship tunes that really love this current worship style.

And what a great opportunity for these young talented drummers---to enfold them into kingdom impact and allow them to use their abilities for God’s glory! That’s a great thing, friends.

So it’s weird to be here. I have a passion for drums and for music. I have a unique gift to play. Musically, I may be in the best days of a musician’s life: lots of experience, decades of developed technique, musical discernment that only comes with age, knowing how to setup players in a band and help them sound their best. This is the age when most musicians are at their best.

So it’s weird. On the church music scene I’m on the “outs” and don’t necessarily want to be back “in.” But what about the gift? “To whom much is given, much is required,” Sandra said the other day as I was torturing her with this discussion. Dang her! ;-)

And to be crystal clear, church changes. It must. When a church stops changing it starts dying. The current worship-centric church trend seems to be how God is moving now. So perhaps this is all as simple as I was blessed with the run I had; but these times, they are a changin’.

In a cerebral sense, I get it. But perhaps emotionally and even spiritually, it’s a tad sad to see the door closing on 19 years of church drumming knowing a unique gift is still in me.

As I’m writing this I’m remembering the words that a sage in my life uttered just yesterday. “Pastors never retire. They just retool.” Perhaps the same is true for church drummers.

So musically…what now, God? Anybody need a slightly used perfectly aged drummer? ;-)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Even Playing Field? (mac - pc)

I recently spoke with an educator who teaches graphic arts. This person happened to mention that the high schools and Ivy Tech use PCs with their graphics classes. I asked about college programs; did they prefer Mac? (I assumed they did since they have historically been the graphics machine of choice.)

The teacher checked with a former student now at IU studying graphic arts. The findings: "Either (mac or pc) is fine."

This is far from a conclusive study, but I did expect to hear, "Mac for design." Interesting...


Monday, November 15, 2010

Tip o' the Hat: NORM -- Missional Event FTW

Kokomo Tribune photo by Tim Bath.

Friday night and Saturday morning, 900 students, 300 parents and 100 volunteers shared in a world-class offering centered around helping students appropriately navigate sexual situations and cyber pitfalls of our day (that we don't even know exist).

Guest speaker, Katie Koestner, shared one of the most powerful stories and teaching that I've ever heard. She was on the cover of Time Magazine as her date rape store brought national attention. She's a subject of an HBO movie and has appeared on Oprah, MTV, Larry King Live, CNN, NBC News, Good Morning America et. al.

As she shared her personal story (with just the high school students) you could have heard a pin drop in the 1,000+ seat auditorium at First Church of the Nazarene on LaFountaine St.

At the end of the night a worship band comprised of vocalists & musicians from different churches led a powerful worship set. The energy and intensity reminded me of being at BigStuf in Panama City FL. At the end of the night, there was a non-manipulative offer for kids to come down who might need prayer, guidance, whatever. Many kids did. It was powerful...

Saturday morning Koestner led an eye-opening talk on how parents can lead in this digital age that many parents do not understand. I consider myself computer savvy and literate--and I was amazed what I learned about the permanency of everything we text or share on a cell phone or post on the internet. I had no idea...and you probably don't either.

Last week I spent 2 days at the AND Conference that was all about missional movements. This week I was part of one. What's a missional movement? Read on:

1,300 people came together for something powerful and life changing; yet it had no paid leadership. It was 100% volunteer. The information would have made a profound deposit whether one was a Christ follower or not. Two volunteers raised $18,000 to make this happen.

I was impressed. I was thankful and honored that Stacey Tice asked Sandra & I to be on the spiritual team. I was moved by the huge amount of volunteerism that it took to pull it off. That meant a lot of people were doing a lot of recruiting and a lot of people were saying yes. That's powerful. That's missional.

Tip o'the hat to the blush Board of Directors: Janay Martin, Teresa Devaul, Deb Austin, Kara Gingerish, Susan Heaslip, Jennifer Habig, Deoanna Holland, Amy Pate, Evelyn Sherwood, Erin Shultz, and Stacey Tice.

My advice? The next time you see something happening in our community sponsored by blush, highly consider going, inviting others, and getting your kids there. I strongly sense God in this missional movement.

Campus Outreach Services, Katie Koestner exec dir

Blush website

click here to get updates on blush events

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Unsinkable Late Night Talk Show

Jack Paar, Steve Allen, Johnny Carson, David Letterman
Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon

In the last 56 years nearly everything has morphed, if not radically changed. That is, everything except the late night talk show.

Talk show mainstays from 1954 to 2010: The suit, the monologue, the sidekick, the desk, the mug, the couch, the band, and the schticky host comedy bits.

I've tuned in to see Conan's return and have been flipping around other channels to see what I've been missing and my take is, not much. I'm shocked that in half a century, the only change in late night is in essence, more edgy or sophomoric content. It's a 56 year old predictable template:

  • Cue theme song with sidekick voice over.
  • Host comes center stage to CRAZY studio audience applause.
  • Host does "humorous" monologue on current events.
  • Meet my band leader while I sit behind a large desk w/a large mic on it.
  • Comedy shenanigans at desk with/without sidekick.
  • Cut to commercial
  • Bring out first guest.
  • Yet another comedy bit.
  • Bring out second guest.
  • Don't miss tomorrow when we'll do the same thing with different guests!
Yes, some hosts do it better or funnier than others, but it's time for something new. Nah...lets go for an even century!

On the other hand, there are definitely some creative network shows out there that are offering fresh takes on television programming; they just aren't on late night.

It seemed pretty lame the way Coco was treated by NBC/Leno. And it's nice that he got a new show on TBS. Nothing against Conan--I like him, just would have been nicer had he returned with something truly new.


Protege Website Facelift

We're off on a new run of Protege at Oakbrook! Just gave the Protege website a new look for the new season occprotege.blogspot.com.

Alyssa Porter and Elijah Pickett are our two Proteges. You can check out her blog here and his here. Oakbrook staffer Niko Gruber is also sharing in Protege as a mentoring experience and will do some co-leading.

I invite you to follow along, share it with others and maybe even consider being in the Protege Program at some point.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The AND Conference

Click here for a little about the conference including links to sessions.

Here's the essence of the tension: Many churches are based on an attractional model. You do amazing things that attract people to your church. Current research says that of the 100% people who could come to your church, only 40% would ever consider coming (and that number is shrinking).

60% will not be attracted no matter what we do. So it will take a missional model (going OUT to serve the people) to reach the 60%. This conference is about the truth that the church need sto be attraction AND missional going forward.

I thought Alan Hirsh was one of the premiere speakers. Here are some quotes from him:

"The problems of the current church cannot be resolved by the same lines of thinking that created it...digging a deeper hole is not the same as digging a new hole."

"Most churches are fishing in red oceans not blue oceans."

(Market terms: red ocean is a market that already exists and different entities are vying for the same catch - "blood in the water." Blue ocean is a new territory, new paradigm "unfished.")

"'If you can't imagine it, you can't do it.' -Einstein So we first have to make space in our minds to think movement rather than thinking programs." (First step in missional is in the mind--learning to envision a new paradigm.)

"AA is a great movement yet it has no headquarters...exponential movement is always the result of people, not an organizations."

He now prefers the word EXTRACTIONAL over attractional. In the current church model, we attract & convert people, they become involved in the life of the church and eventually live a life extracted from their prior culture of their unchurched world--(and we later wonder why they're not inviting people)."

"I'm hopeful...95% of Americans believe in God...to be an American is to be Christian...atheism is a sliver of the population that has never grown...American is the last stand for Christ and His church...the game is over in Europe unless a miracle occurs...I am called to America..." (He's an Aussie Jew)

"We have to re-Jesus people. He is Savior to Americans but not Lord...this is at the heart of renewal..."

>>>"We're perfectly designed to achieve what we're achieving." <<< "Our ability to birth a movement is directly proportional to our ability to make disciples."

Rob Wegner (GCC teaching pastor)

"We feel like our whole church is starting all over again."

"Deconstructing our people's thoughts about church is going to be a big deal..."

Hugh Halter (Nat'l dir for Missio)

"It's all about disciple making. Disciples by definition will be on mission...for us we use the term apprentice for disciple."

"Biblically the spirit & the flesh are opposed to each other--we don't naturally want to be missional people."

Barriers to disciple making: individualism, materialism (buying things), consumerism (God's here for me).

Jesus' apprenticing included: tension--He put them in tension-filled situations, modeling, action & reflection.

Get 16% of your people to become real disciples and you will create a tipping point. He uses this 8 wk group primer to disciple people.

Dave Ferguson (Community Christian Church)

Only 18-20% of Americans are in church on Sundays.

No spiritual affiliation has doubled in the last 10 years.

Missional people + multiplying churches = missional movement

3 things their church does:

1) Ordain EVERY Christ follower (priesthood of all believers)(anoint w/oil)
2) Lead with a YES (If someone wants to do something that lines up w/your mission and they have resources & vision, say yes.
3) Make heroes of everyday people (tell the missional stories in your church)

Matt Carter (Austin Stone Comm Church)

Last 10 years we've created 1,000 mega churches but per capita, church attendance is down.

"If my churches grows another 3,000 people but nothing changes in my community, that's a big problem...but what if we released 3,000 people on the city of Austin?"

"Jesus didn't model a church growth strategy. He discipled 12 men, gave them His Spirit and turned them loose."

They've based their groups around mission. Found that if groups aim for community they might get it. If they aim for mission they get both community and missional impact!

"Trained our leaders to be self-feeders not consumers...raised the bar in their minds & hearts of what God can do through them."

Tim Stevens (exec pastor Granger Comm Church)

Missional-schmissional: "I've never met an attractional pastor that didn't care for and love the people in his community and was trying to help/impact them."

Attractional -schmactional: "I admit I get tired that this series has to be better than the last and that we're as good as our last ministry offering."

"Four years ago we stopped growing for the first time in our history."

This we know:

1) We must begin to reach the 60%
2) We must reach more of the 40%
3) We must help the 40% reach their 60%

Past: Now:
Get people connected in church. Get the church into the community
Defined by weekend service. Defined by where you are.
Central top-down structure. Decentralized organic quick growth model.
Stats: attendance & giving. Community impact.
No designated giving. Lots of ways to give to your passion.
Ministry is at the bldg. Minister where you are.
Bldg serves the church. Bldg serves the community.
Community invited to join. Church also meets here.

attender: "I like the attractional church--it worked for me & my family in every way!...but I have a friend who I cannot get to come to it..."

Jason Miller (arts & teaching GCC)

"If our people can't see this new paradigm, they can't join it. So we have to make the missional church manifest."

"Imagination is the tool to envisioning what can be real and transforming our current realities."

"The church is God's imagination for the world."

"Beauty matters...it transforms our heart...create something beautiful that resonates with the heart of God."

"Style doesn't change anything. It's just a wrapping."

Eric Bramlett (comic genius)
He did the Q&A Corner w/speakers after their talks. His deadpan humor 100% rocked and added immensely to the conference. A+!