The Ten Commandments of Technology and Team

replenishI’ve been reading Lance Witt’s book Replenish devotionally of late. It’s a wonderful book with short pithy chapters that help to do some soul detox. As part of the book he has a couple of chapters on working in healthy teams. Included in there is some stuff on staff team covenants, but also his ten commandments of technology and team. They were so good I thought I’d share them. So here goes:

  1. Thou shalt not use email to deliver bad news – if you have to say no, or disappoint, do it in person. It may take longer, but relationally it’s worth it.
  2. Thou shalt not put anything in email that you don’t mind being forwarded.
  3. Thou shalt not email during meetings (unless you’re specifically asked to).
  4. Thou shalt not use ‘bcc’ – blind carbon copy is secretive and can have nasty consequences if you get found out.
  5. Thou shalt be more personal than professional – emails tend to come across as impersonal anyway – so work harder to come across as warm and friendly to avoid sounding curt and grumpy.
  6. Thou shalt keep emails short and to the point – nobody wants to trawl through your 3000 word missive – stop it!
  7. Thou shalt not text or take calls while in conversation or a meeting (unless your wife is having a baby) – generally it can wait.
  8. Thou shalt not email people on their day off – we encourage others to take time off properly if we don’t bother them with work stuff.
  9. Thou shalt use email for prayer and encouragement – great for short notes of thoughtful encouragement.
  10. Thou shalt give phone/email/Facebook/Twitter (etc.) a Sabbath – just to put it in its proper place.

What do you think? If you haven’t already got the book I would strongly recommend it. Enjoy!

Bible Verses We Don’t Really Believe

singleI’m thinking of putting together a little series on ‘Bible verses we don’t really believe.’ I’d love it if you could chip in your suggestions for verses to go into the series.

Perhaps one of them would be 1 Cor 7:7 which seems to suggest that singleness is a gift. My own perception of Christian talk on this is that many talk and act as if singleness is a curse. I appreciate that many people struggle massively with the pain of loneliness, unrealised hopes, social pressure, the prospect of never having their own family; and I know that I personally know next to nothing about those feelings as a husband and father. But it seems to me that in Christian world married people are seen as blessed, while singles are seen as being in the blessing waiting room.

Our culture has such an obsession with finding identity through sex and relationships that it’s not a surprise that many Christians buy into it. Perhaps revealing is something I’ve come across a couple of times – a godly single person wondering why God isn’t blessing them, since they are seeking to honour God in their singleness. All of this betrays the basic feeling that singleness is a curse. We must keep taking truth to our hearts and remind ourselves that, contrary to the gospel of the culture, a spouse is not a Saviour. For Paul, a spouse comes with one kind of blessing (and trouble), and singleness with another kind of blessing (and trouble), but ultimately one is no more blessed by God than the other.

Of course I know that many people will nod heartily and affirm they believe this – until it’s them, or their child, or the next peer gets engaged, and then the internal whirring reveals our deepest beliefs on the subject again.

What verses/topics would you include in such a series?

What Creatives Value in Church

My mate Jon’s bbq chicken wings got a mention on Chris Evans Radio 2 Breakfast Show yesterday morning – 10 million people now know his wings are the business – indeed they are. Jon also provided me with this helpful graphic on the sorts of things creatives like and value in church. For me as an introverted nerd this stuff is really helpful to be aware of. So, fellow nerds, read, mark, and inwardly digest. Click on the picture to see it full size.

what creatives are looking for in church

Some More from Batfink

rdA while ago I mentioned that myself and a colleague are trying to keep one another sharp by reading Herman Bavinck’s Prolegomena – that’s vol. 1 of the four volume Reformed Dogmatics. Well, last week we met for the second time – that’s right folks – two get-togethers in 4 months – and we’re now almost 80 pages in – this could take a while. Anyhow, here’s a stimulating snippet from the next section. Bavinck is, in essence, pointing out that there’s no such thing as neutral theology – all of us have a context and we need to be aware of that lest we impose cultural (worse, unbiblical) ideas onto the text:

“While it [any given school of theology] thinks that it is completely unbiased in relating to Scripture and that it reproduces its content accurately and objectively, it forgets that every believer and every dogmatician first of all receives his religious convictions from his or her church. Accordingly, theologians never come to Scripture from the outside, without any prior knowledge or preconceived opinion, but bring with them from their background a certain understanding of the content of revelation and so look at Scripture with the aid of the glasses that their churches have put on them. (p. 82)



Pedagogically the church is prior to Scripture. But in the logical order Scripture is the sole foundation of church and theology. In case of conflict between them, the possibility of which can never be denied on a Reformational view, church and confession must yield to Scripture.” (p. 86)