It’s hard not to feel a bit envious. Saddleback Church recently launched the Daniel Plan, a church-based diet regimen that includes small group accountability sessions, expert opinion, recipes and exercise classes before Sunday services. The program appears to be working: so far, some 15,000 participants have lost a collective 260,000 pounds. What can mainline churches learn from the Daniel Plan’s success?
The GPS got us lost three times as my wife and I drove over the mountain trying to find a restaurant that our innkeepers called the best in the county. When we finally found the “town,” there was no town to speak of but only a bend in the road, a bridge, a couple of houses, a railroad trestle and an old general store.
“For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.” When Paul appeals to the self-emptying nature of Christ as one of the central Christian impulses for generosity, he is ringing a familiar chord. Generosity for the Corinthians is grounded in self-emptying in much the same way that joy and worship are grounded in self-emptying for the Philippians.
The First Assembly of God in Honolulu thinks it has a partial solution to the homelessness crisis in Hawaii, which has the highest per capita homeless rate in the country. The church is putting up dome-shaped buildings that look like igloos, using land it had once reserved to build retreat cabins. The structures can each house four people, and they keep the temperature ten to 15 degrees cooler than outside. They are made of 21 fiberglass panels that overlap like fish scales and can fit into the back of a pickup truck. The 314-square-foot structures cost the church about $9,500 each, not including a floor or base and shipping costs (AP).