Category Archives: Uncategorized

What really happened to John James of the Newsboys

I, like so many Newsboys fans, was really disappointed years ago when they announced that lead singer John James was leaving the band.  At the time, the public was told that he was leaving for a preaching ministry in Australia.  Well, that wasn’t exactly the truth.  In fact, it was apparently a flat-out lie.

On the stage, John James was enjoying incredible fame and success, but behind the scenes, his life had fallen apart.  I came across this article as it was mentioned in the YouTube comments for the video that’s in my previous post.  It’s a great read.  In the interview, James gives an extremely honest account of his hard fall, the near destruction of his life, and the subsequent work of restoration God has done in his life in the years since.  It’s powerful.

It kind of makes you sick or maybe ticks you off to realize the money-making machine the Christian music industry has become.  It’s amazing the pressure that puts on artists like John James to keep hidden problems of the magnitude of those he was having.  We have that problem throughout the Church, though.  Right Ted Haggard, and all the rest of us who have hidden sin at one time or another because of the shame that confessing it would bring?  I have a lot of respect for John James for coming clean and sharing the truth about what happened and the powerful testimony of what God has done in his life.

Books are dead

I’ve started reading quite a few business and marketing blogs lately.  I’m not exactly sure why they interest me so much, but they do.  John Moore of Brand Autopsy put me onto an interesting post by Joe Wikert where he reviews Jeff Gomez’s book Print is Dead.  (I know, publishing a book about the death of books is a bit ironic, huh?)

To state the obvious, our modes of communication are changing.  Books are going to be around for a long time, but they will not continue to have the same importance they have had as a communication medium, especially with the younger generations.  Some worried parents commented on Joe’s post, insisting that reading is important and that we should still teach and encourage kids to read books.  I agree with this, but when it comes to propogating ideas, books are no longer going to be the central avenue by which that dissemination takes place.

When there are ideas worth spreading – and I think there are plenty in the mission world right now – we are going to have to find ways other than books to spread those ideas.  Books are a one-way form of communication where the author speaks and the readers listen.  They cost money and are limited in supply.  More and more, people prefer the two-way communication and discussion that is possible through electronic and other means.  That’s what I like about blogs – comments allow a discussion to take place, and blog posts break ideas down into bite-sized chunks.  Let’s face it – these days we’re rarely capable of assimilating information in large doses.

As a blogger, I can start a conversation, receive feedback from others, and present new information as my ideas evolve.  I used to think I would possibly publish a book one day, but now I’m not sure.  I might just stick to blogging.  At any rate, if the ideas I have don’t catch on and start to spread through this blog first, then they’re hardly worth the time and money it would take to put them into book form.

Revolutionaries in the mission world, start using more innovative means of communication!  I have searched for blogs by a number of authors I would like to hear from, but I haven’t found much.  These are authors who, judging by the print material they publish, are finding time to write.  I would like to see more of them enter the blogosphere so that the rest of us could better interact with them.

What do you think, readers?  Do you agree with the above assessments?  If so, drop a comment and join in the conversation!  If you don’t agree, I suppose you’ll be too busy reading a book to comment…

Free rice

I got onto freerice.com while reading Seth Godin’s blog.  You have to read the FAQs to see how playing a vocabulary game online can get food sent to the needy.  I have no idea what impact it will have on world hunger, but I have to hand it to the creators for a very simple, yet brilliant, idea.  Notice the program’s phenomenal growth on the ‘Totals’ page.

As a missionary, it makes me wonder what kinds of innovative ideas we could come up with to get people more involved in the work of making disciples of all nations.  If you have an innovative idea for helping cross-cultural missionaries get the folks at home plugged in, leave a comment and let us know about it!