The Hacker Thread about Absolutely Nothing Particular!

Twisted

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Vince Massi said:
There is a Sally Sweat, age 80+, that lives in Atlanta.

See if you can contact her.
Are you some kind of fruitcake?  You're the one looking for her.  You contact her.
 

16KJV11

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Twisted said:
Vince Massi said:
There is a Sally Sweat, age 80+, that lives in Atlanta.

See if you can contact her.
Are you some kind of fruitcake?  You're the one looking for her.  You contact her.
You might be close to the truth here...  about the fruitcake thing...  :p
 

prophet

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16KJV11 said:
Twisted said:
Vince Massi said:
There is a Sally Sweat, age 80+, that lives in Atlanta.

See if you can contact her.
Are you some kind of fruitcake?  You're the one looking for her.  You contact her.
You might be close to the truth here...  about the fruitcake thing...  [emoji14]
Or maybe long distance from Mexico doesn't fit the budget?

Sent from my H1611 using Tapatalk

 

Vince Massi

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THEY'RE FIGHTING OVER WHAT?
Over the decades I have written on Christian, technology, gaming, history, and model railroad forums. And there are often fighters who show up, traveling from thread to thread insulting people. The most successful forums ban them.

But most forums leave them alone, watching as their membership declines because people are quietly leaving, but not stopping the trouble-makers. The victorious fight-starters are left triumphantly crowing over their victories.

I have enjoyed posting on a large model railroad forum, but today I left a fighter crowing over his victory. There are things worth fighting over, and this isn't one of them. His actions hurt me, the forum, and others, but that's what strife-lovers do.

And what, pray tell, is the fighting about? Lionel HO train tracks.
 

Vince Massi

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A TALE OF TWO FORUMS
or
SO THEY RAN YOU OFF, DID THEY?

Ever got run off by a church? A forum (I just did--it was because of Lionel HO train tracks)? Any type of Christian organization?

Over the decades, I have been able to help a lot of Christians who have been hurt by churches, and I have listened to ( or read) a lot of stories. When I moderated the "Battered Sheep" forum, I was able to talk to a variety of Christians with a variety of stories.

Have you got a story for us? What happened, and how did you deal with it?
 

Vince Massi

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We need  a little background here.

The traditional Lionel electric trains are "O" gauge. And O Gauge Railroad (OGR) appears to be the largest model railroad forum on the web.

Model Train Forum (MTF) appears to be the second-largest, and I enjoyed learning and writing there. They cater to every size of model trains.  I have a lot of good memories, good friends, and a pile of useful knowledge from them.

Both forums have excellent set-ups, good servers, good moderation, and knowledgeable posters. And they hate each other. There is constant ripping into each other, although many people are members of both forums. And OGR has about ten times as many posts (I even counted to make sure it is true) as MTF.

And what is the problem? OGR does not permit scorning, insults, hatred, name-calling, etc., and several people whom they banned are now on MTF.  One fellow travels the forum insulting people, and after I had a particularly sucessful thread, he latched onto me. I left after I had enough.  Half-consciously, I used the methods I have  learned from helping Christians who have been driven off, and three days later, I was a successful, popular poster on OGR.

These methods really do work.
 

Vince Massi

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1) Don't even dream that they will collapse without you

Others will take your place. The victors will either go around proclaiming their victory (bad move, by the way) or quietly let things settle down before they strike again.

One school collapsed several years after running me off--but grew for two years after I left. In another school, the principal ruined everything before leaving to ruin another school. Decades later, the school has recovered and I am friends with several of the folks there on Facebook.

Since God predestines His children to become like His Son, He will not destroy a church to make you feel better.
 

Vince Massi

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2) Don't go out fighting

Phil 2:3 tells us "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

The question of whether you should leave a church quietly or with a fight has been burning on Christian forums for decades--God says not to fight.

And I was amazed to learn that fighters rarely accomplish anything. The people in the church already know about the problems, and they have decided to stay. If you succeed in taking people with you, the leadership will blame you, not themselves, for all future declines in attendance, and that will help the leaders stay in power.
 

Vince Massi

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I was on the interview committee at the paper mill. And they taught us not to recommend anyone who ripped into his boss. Maybe the accusations were true, but they didn't want to take a chance. And I quietly explained this to my co-workers: don't quit because your boss is a jerk. Find some other reason to quit.

Because other bosses are afraid to hire people who criticize their boss.
 

Vince Massi

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Ed was a devout Christian and one of the team leaders at the paper mill. Frustrated by his boss, he began secretly looking for a job in another paper mill. I told him what they told us: don't criticize your boss.

On vacation, Ed flew to another state to be interviewed, Things went well, and it looked like he would be hired. One interviewer was a friend from a previous paper mill, and the friend took Ed out to dinner. He told his friend "My boss is a maniac," and told stories about him.

As he prepared to go in the next morning, they called him at his motel room and told him not to come in; they had found somebody else.
 

Twisted

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Vince Massi said:
Ed was a devout Christian and one of the team leaders at the paper mill. Frustrated by his boss, he began secretly looking for a job in another paper mill. I told him what they told us: don't criticize your boss.

On vacation, Ed flew to another state to be interviewed, Things went well, and it looked like he would be hired. One interviewer was a friend from a previous paper mill, and the friend took Ed out to dinner. He told his friend "My boss is a maniac," and told stories about him.

As he prepared to go in the next morning, they called him at his motel room and told him not to come in; they had found somebody else.
When I was 19, I worked for a very high-end office furniture manufacturer.  My foreman was very odd and played all kinds of practical jokes on me, making my job very difficult.  One day another manager type asked me what I thought of my foreman, so I told him.  A week later they fired me.  The two men were brothers!  Lesson learned.

Oh, but don't be sad.  I got another job working for a small company that made batteries for emergency light systems.  A great job.
 

Vince Massi

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Good post, Twisted. Brethren, we need more good posts like that to improve this series.

My home church had fallen on hard times when they called Roger as their new pastor. But Roger made something unconditional: he would interview prospective new members before the deacons, and no one could become a member without his approval.

Taking the church from twenty to over 200 in five years, Roger, in confidence, explained to me his reasoning. Once a church starts succeeding, Christians from other churches want to join. He would ask these people why they left their old church. If they ripped into the pastor, he wouldn't let them join until they had gone to their previous pastor and tried to work things out.

Obviously, this cost Roger a lot of new members. But with about 1,000% growth, he wasn't having the infighting that other churches were having
 

Twisted

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Vince Massi said:
Good post, Twisted. Brethren, we need more good posts like that to improve this series.
What "series"?

This thread is not your "series".
 

Vince Massi

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James 1:8 "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."

3) You need to realize the seriousness of what you are doing--both before and after you do it.

Leaving a church is not a light decision. You need to take the time to carefully weight the consequences and the benefits. You don't have to leave the first time you see a problem. You are allowed to look around and study the situation .
Understand that complicated decisions are rarely 100% right vs. 100% wrong. Be aware that there will be problems regardless of what you do. Therefor...
 

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I was getting rid of some old saved paper files today & came across the 1987 PS postcard sized handouts of the face of JH on it with the nose hole that would attach to a person's nose.  ::)

A reminder how JH was self-promoting...... :-\
 

Vince Massi

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...you might encounter members of the church you left. They might even visit you at home. And I'm going to give you a very important Bible doctrine: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO EXPLAIN YOURSELF.

Graciously explain that God has called you to move on. Say nothing negative about their church. Do not rip into a particular person (I'll be back the first Sunday after So-and-So is gone").

If you rip into your old church, they'll describe you as a bitter, disloyal person. If you praise your new church, they'll describe you as a loving, loyal person.
 

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4) Focus on new growth--not old problems.

You need to succeed as part of the family of God, and also as an individual. On your own, you need to seek spiritual growth. Read the Bible more, but also read it more carefully. Ask God to point out and work on sin in your life. In your new church, look for opportunities to serve more than you had been serving.

The past is over--now grow into the future.
 

Vince Massi

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"Focusing on new growth" won't work if you have to focus on new problems. There are two overlapping problems you need to be careful about when choosing a new church.

Be careful about joining a dying church. It might not be the pastor's fault, but the pastor is unable to stop the trend. The temptation here is that by joining a dying church, you ARE a revival--literally. The increased attendance and giving really is needed and appreciated, especially if you have a large family. You really do help the church, and you might be able to get a leadership position quickly and easily.

But your membership probably will not solve the problems causing the church to die.
 

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You also need to be wary of a church that is a family business If the pastor's son-in-law is the assistant pastor, you will be assured of his competence--whether or not it's true.

I was teaching in a Christian school where a competent and Godly principal was run off after they hired the daughter of a powerful family as a teacher.

A colleague of mine was teaching at a school that fired the principal after the pastor's daughter was hired as a teacher. She began seizing power and rebelling, and teachers who opposed her were fired.

And far too many Christians have tales of leaving a church after the pastor's wife seized pastoral authority that she was not qualified to handle.
 
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