Tag Archives: NazNet

NazNet reborn

I am site manager for NazNet.com.  It’s a great place for fellowship among members and friends of the Church of the Nazarene.  One week ago the server’s hard drive crashed.  Since NazNet is a non-commercial site we don’t have backup redundancy on it, so when it went down we were basically back at the beginning.

Even though I’m dabble with technical stuff, I’m a pastor, so I don’t install server software every day.  I thought we’d be down for several days.  However, as I said, I am a pastor, so as I considered the task ahead of me I prayed, asking the Lord to help me do what needed to be done to get NazNet up and running again.

It was after our Wednesday night disciple group meeting that I came home and went to work on “NazNet reborn.”  I installed stuff like PHP, MYSQL, and other programs that no one ever thinks about but is used by everyone who uses the internet every day.

In a few hours I was surprised to have a test forum running.  Things just seemed to fall into place.  Rather than just open the forums and going to bed, I couldn’t resist staying with it, adding some of the “bells and whistles” I hadn’t intended to install until later on.  I was tired, but I was also on a roll and didn’t want to quit.

When I went to bed late Wednesday (actually early Thursday) NazNet was up and running and feeling pretty much like “home” to anyone who is a regular user of the forums there.

Someone who has a bone to pick with NazNet and, I think, the Church of the Nazarene in general, posted on their blog that “God crashed NazNet.”  I couldn’t help but think that if God wanted to crash a website he could do a better job than take it down for a few hours.

Rather, I think the opposite happened.  I think “God blessed NazNet.”  With amazing speed and capability I don’t even have I was able to put the website back up.  I understood what to do and how to do it even though I was dealing with installations of server software that I’ve only worked with once or twice in the past 10 years.

Tonight, we are just a week past the “crash” and I see that NazNet has over 200 people registered and over 2000 posts.  For God’s help in all the technical stuff and for all the good folks who have good naturedly re-registered and reignited the fellowship I give God the glory.

The value of NazNet.com to the denomination

The value of www.NazNet.com (and the Internet in General) to the Church of the Nazarene.

I’ve been rereading J.B. Chapman’s “Bud Robinson A Brother Beloved” which was written not long after the passing of, probably the most famous Nazarene (at least before James Dobson) who has ever lived. It is an inspirational book and I highly recommend it.

Bud Robinson traveled back and forth across America preaching in Camp Meetings, conventions, revivals, and special services. It is estimated that more than 100,000 people came to Christ under his ministry. Even in his final years he remained in great demand and said, ‘Everybody wants me to take a long rest – just after I come for a meeting with them.”

I think Bud Robinson and other traveling evangelists “evened out” the Nazarenes. Everybody heard these popular evangelists. When they came to town they brought the latest news and they preached the doctrines of the Church. People who were pulling this way or that from the core doctrines of the church heard the basics all over again and were brought back to main stream. Pastors and laypeople alike came to understand core beliefs, like entire sanctification, in the same way. They even used the same terms, all schooled by the evangelists.

And the evangelists kept each other in line. In Camp Meetings there were generally 2 or 3 evangelists who took turns preaching. They listened to one another and discussed the finer points of their theology with not only each other, but with other preachers and laymen as they sat in the dining halls. This also kept the teaching of the church pretty much on the same page.

Get this: I am not about to say that their doctrine was perfect, nor am I about to make a case that we go back to having two two-week revivals a year plus a couple of weeks of camp meeting. I am simply saying that it was these well-known and beloved evangelists who defined what Nazarenes believed.

Changes in culture have made camp meetings only a shadow of what they once were. They have also diminished revival in the local church. I am not writing now to make a case for either one, but I do believe that these institutions shaped the Church of the Nazarene – and kept it in a specific shape “doctrine-wise.”

Without that core of influential evangelists visiting nearly every church in the denomination once or twice a year, I think we are in danger of flying apart. I probably don’t have to keep saying this, but, again, I am not making a case for going back to the good old days – I am simply aware that the evangelists of the Church of the Nazarene for most of its existence were a unifying force.

So, what is it that makes the Church of the Nazarene “one” these days? I think attendance at one of our fine Nazarene institutions is one of those things. However, our Universities are not coming close to touching the lives of our average church attenders that the evangelists did. Also, there are still some talented and dedicated evangelists who labor on. Still, I don’t think anyone thinks they are influencing the denomination like Bud Robinson did.

Here is my idea. I think the Internet has the greatest potential of bringing Nazarenes together. An online community like NazNet is a place where the doctrines of the church can be stated and refined for the average church attender. People who are moving to the fringe find (hopefully loving) correction. Everyone has equal footing – with the small church layperson able to have in depth (for them) discussions with pastors and educators from across the denomination.

I am not saying that NazNet exists to keep some particular doctrinal approach alive, but I do think it can help the Church be united in a doctrinal approach our culture today. I don’t think NazNet always lives up to this potential, but I do think it is the potential of NazNet to help unite the voice of the Church.

Thoughts on a year of blogging

Originally posted 9-4-05

So, I have now been blogging for over a year. My blogging experience has and is a bit of a journey and I have changed my approach a few times through the year. One approach has been to copy posts to my blog that I have done on www.naznet.com. Things move pretty fast there, with one line, “Attaboy” posts having the same life as a 3 page researched and well written effort. Not that I often do such things, but once in awhile I write something that I think is worth keeping available a bit longer, so bringing it to my blog is a good solution. I have also taken a few things that others write and copied them to my blog. However, as blogging has become more popular, most of the more serious NazNet writers have blogs of their own, so I don’t feel the need to copy their posts to my blog.

Another blog starter for me has been related to new equipment, etc. I am a sucker for new gear and have blogged about that.

While I don’t usually have profound thoughts related to current events, some things to stir my thinking. This has been evident as I have had some limited experience with Katrina survivors.

Being a pastor, I am sometimes moved to wax eloquent in devotional ways. My insights probably aren’t especially original, but it helps me to write about them — in some ways writing it down in my blog helps me think through the implications of what occurs to me.

Of course, the real key to my being a regular blogger has been my devotional thoughts I work through Peterson’s wonderful Bible paraphrase, “The Message.” His approach is wonderfully refreshing to me, with phrases that stir all kinds of original thinking. I blog from The Message around 5 days a week.

Anyway, as I said when I started this blog, I mainly write for myself. Thinking that someone else might be “looking over my shoulder” helps me take the effort seriously. To all who read, even on rare occasion, thanks — I consider your dropping by to be a real compliment.