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It may be old news that coloring books for adults are in vogue again. And some believe it is due to nostalgia. Perhaps, but here are a few other possible reasons and their implications for communicators:

1. People are visual but they also learn more when writing and drawing. How many handouts describe ideas visually? In a “fill in the blanks,” word-centric teaching format, learning is limited. Walking on hot coals is a very different learning experience than writing an essay.

2. Learning often involves emotional engagement, and shared experiences are the stuff of which experiences are made. To the degree we allow others to co-create, and color outside the lines, we foster creativity and flow. “Think different” isn’t just a marketing strategy, it is the mindset of the spirit-led leader. Jesus said the door into spiritual life is seen with a child’s eyes. Beware the barrenness of the hood; adulthood that is. 

http://www.vox.com/2016/4/7/11379952/adult-coloring-books

Wisdom Comes from the Heart and the Mind

We have neurons not only in the brain but in the gut (enteric nervous system). Thus the expression: Gut feeling.  We also know the heart plays a role in wisdom. It’s fascination in that we deal with whole people and how we eat, connect with others and take care of ourselves affects our spiritual condition. 

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-04-wisdom-heart-mind.html

Hail the Maintainers and the Invisible People

We all know how the unsung heroes do so much of the work in the church. I’m a big believer in big ideas, innovation and programming. But saying “yes” to anything is saying “no” to something else. Day-to-day maintenance (processes with follow-through, relational consistency) is where habit formation and all lasting change occurs.  Sometimes the best approach to upping our game is making improvements to all that we are doing before half-tackling one more agenda item. 

https://aeon.co/essays/innovation-is-overvalued-maintenance-often-matters-more?preview=true

Mistakes Are Gifts

We learn from our mistakes what we could never know from unbroken success. Google “Why are Christians…” and it auto-finishes, “So mean?” Which means thousands or tens of thousands of people associated meanness or unpleasantness with those who identify as “Christian.

It is important to make a distinction between sin and mistakes and between sin and going against cultural (or church) polity or paradigm. It is very easy to fall into the trap of creating religious systems that do no allow for the strange and embarrassing experiences that are–truth be told–common to all of us. 

Let us champion the kind of daily living that invites the strugglers and the mistakers into a place of grace. The crazier the experience, the better the story. Mistakes are gifts and Jesus came to save sinners.

http://bigthink.com/robby-berman/we-cant-make-mistakes-on-purpose-so-we-have-to-take-what-we-can-get

Jesus, Rap Music, and Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez recently “lead worship” at a Christian event. Justin Bieber is regularly seen in church. Kanye West’s popular new album (Life of Pablo) features a black choir and several songs would fit nicely in a Pentecostal church service. 

I know that Kanye’s wife (Kim Kardashian West) is known not only for her for church experiences (enough said). And I know that Kanye’s songs feature language that wouldn’t go over too well in most churches. There are plenty of judgments to be made, but there is a spiritual hunger here. When is the last time we listened to rap?  Or read about the struggles of the young men and women who are influencing this generation? My son told me that the rap culture was one of the most honest scenes in music because the artists were speaking about the injustices of their times and the struggles of real people. As I always say, Jesus was a friend of sinners, not an acquaintance.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/selena-gomez-first-time-leading-worship-hillsong-concert-perform-song-nobody-160390/

Cliff Notes World View

How often do we gauge the world view of our listeners? And how good are we at framing and reframing (in easily digestible ways) our redemptive worldview? We’re starting from scratch in this culture and adults–like the aged kids we are–learn by repetition too. 

http://thirtysecondsorless.net/genesis-1/

“I love Jesus, But I Hate Church (or Christians)”

How often have we heard a variation of this theme? And what are we doing about it? Here is a great article title in the link below. It’s a reminder that we always have to be about the main thing and not all the plate spinning around the main thing. We have one job: To be alive spiritually by loving God and loving our neighbor as ourselves. 

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/just-visiting/i-love-learning-i-hate-school#.VvzVQ3SHvaM.twitter

New Missions Approach: Don’t Think Country, Think City

“The 21st century will not be dominated by America or China, Brazil or India, but by the city,” writes Parag Khanna.

http://bigthink.com/strange-maps/the-city-states-of-europe

Herman Miller’s 12 Rules to Design By

These are so good for the church (building and programs). 

http://www.archdaily.com/784690/herman-millers-12-rules-to-design-by

An Aging Planet

“When the global population reached 7 billion in 2012, 562 million (or 8.0 percent) were aged 65 and over. In 2015, 3 years later, the older population rose by 55 million and the proportion of the older population reached 8.5 percent of the total population.” Census

Many denominations, groups and pastors are feeling the weight of an aging population. What are you doing to reshape the conversation? What is your church or organization doing to engage older adults to keep learning, mentoring, growing and serving?

“When the global population reached 7 billion in 2012, 562 million (or 8.0 percent) were aged 65 and over. In 2015, 3 years later, the older population rose by 55 million and the proportion of the older population reached 8.5 percent of the total population.” International Population Report

http://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2016/demo/p95-16-1.pdf

No Van Gogh Without a Gauguin

Here is a hat tip to the Barnabas Blasters and Mentoring Men and Women. Greatness often manifest in the co-creative space of loving and grace-filled relationships.

http://www.vangoghgallery.com/influences/

Crucial Terms Every 21st Century Futurist Should Know

Because faith leaders are future-centric not fatalistic.

http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2016/03/20-crucial-terms-every-21st-century-futurist-should-know/