30 Life Lessons from “The Cosby Show”

30 life lessons from the cosby show

Over the weekend, “The Cosby Show” celebrated the 30th anniversary of its debut on NBC. Yes, just typing that makes me feel old.

While this is not a perfect TV show, I believe it is the best regular series in this history of television. It was legitimately humorous, and didn’t feel the need to be scandalous. It was morally clean almost all the way through, and even gave families something positive to talk about, instead of trying to sheepishly avoid certain topics usually discussed on television.

So, in honor of the 30th anniversary of “The Cosby Show,” today we share with you 30 life lessons. Some are humorous and some are serious, but all are better learned wearing a colorful sweater and with cool jazz playing in the background.

Enjoy!

1. Respect Your Grandparents. One of the greatest aspects of the program was how often the grandparents were involved in the lives of the children. They were present for the major events in life, and were always talked about with respect.

2. Never Let Your Sister Make Your Clothing. A Gorden Gartrelle shirt–or Ichy Amarada–or whatever should never be left in the hands of someone with so little experience.

3. Reading is a Key Part of Life. I love the emphasis in the show on reading and learning. Cliff and Claire were constantly reading books or magazines, and the children were often told to “go to the library.”

4. Husbands and Wives Should Stay Romantic. Flirting was constant between Dr. and Mrs. Huxtable, and they were always doing things for one another. Such should be the case with husbands and wives. Keep the romance bright!

5. Kids are Rich, but Not with Money. “Your mother and I are rich; you have nothing.” What a great line! But, the children were also told that they were rich, just not with things. They were rich in love and relationships.

6. Be “the House” that Others Want to Visit. Almost every episode featured someone coming to the house. Some were family. Some were friends. Some were friends of friends. And they were people of all ages. I want to be “that house”–the one people just feel drawn to by hospitality.

7. Education is Invaluable. The final episode is Theo’s college graduation, and the show constantly focuses on the schooling (elementary, high school, and college) of the children. The parents regularly talk about their own college experiences. They build in their children a love of learning.

8. Volunteer in Your Community. In later years, the show featured Cliff and Claire helping at a local community center. This “giving back” was a key message of the show, and one more people could take to heart.

9. Zrbtts are Great Signs of Affection. What is a zrbtt? It is blowing on the cheek of someone you love, instead of kissing them. While zrbtts were seen early in the show, there was a touching scene near the end of the last season where a now-teen Rudy zrbtts her dad to show her affection.

10. Talk about Family Heritage Often. I love how often family stories are told, and how family heirlooms are part of the weaving together of the show. Doing this helps children feel grounded and part of something larger than themselves.

11. “The Government Comes for the Regular People First.” Monopoly money and a boy who thinks he has it all figured out. When Cliff teaches Theo that taxes come off the top of a paycheck, life starts to sink in for the boy.

12. Dads are to be Old Yeller. Cliff was famous for how “rough” he was on the boyfriends of his daughters. His explanation? “I’m like Old Yeller.” Boys will be careful when they come by that house. (Of course, he’s then reminded that, at the end of the movie, “They shot Old Yeller.”)

13. Celebrate Purity. We are never shown “the talk,” but it is obvious that it was given. When a decision for purity was made, it was celebrated. When Cliff finds out that Denise was a virgin on her wedding night, he celebrates. Would that every parent had this same attitude!

14. Spend Time with Children. I love the interaction that the family has with children. There are so many episodes where kids are being treated to something nice (dinner, a show, or just a party) by the Huxtables. While the kids are not in charge, they are being shown that they are special, and are gaining life skills through this intentional time.

15. Wear Old Clothes when Buying a Car.

16. When You Try too Hard to Impress a Girl, It Will Backfire. The more Theo tries to impress girls, the more it blows up in his face. From trying to talk more mature to opening his shirt to show his manly physique, it just never works. When he is just himself, he gets the girl.

17. It’s Okay to Say the Word “Cancer.” One of the more poignant episodes is when a friend of Theo’s is in the hospital with cancer. Theo can’t bring himself to say the “c word” until the friend says it to him. I like the humanity of that exchange.

18. Go to Church. While church was not a focus of the program, they did not hide it, either. There are a few episodes set in church, and they talk regularly about going. Would that more programs at least mentioned church in a positive light.

19. “Go Discover America” is Not a Bad Thing to Tell Your Got-It-All-Figured-Out Teenager. This may be Leah’s favorite line ever on the show.

20. Modesty is Important. When Vanessa and her friends form a new girl group, they select outfits that have them “flinging parts from one end to the other.” The simple statement from Claire is to go “put some clothes on.” Amen!

21. Junk Food is a Man’s Best Friend. Cliff and junk food. How many running jokes did this show have about hoagies, chips, and desserts? And he was a doctor!

22. Sometimes–Not Often, but Sometimes–You Have to Tell Your Kids Exactly What’s On Your Mind. When Vanessa and her friends lie and travel to see the band The Wretched, she is left with no question as to how her parents feel about it.

23. Get Away Sometimes. Cliff and Claire live in a house with five children (and more people as they years go by). Yet, they took the time to go on dates, take vacations, and have get-aways. Every couple needs these times to reconnect and unwind.

24. The Salary of Early 1900s Coal Miners Will Mean a Lot to You When You Have Children. I love how Cliff often tells his kids what people earned before he was even born. It was a way to help them appreciate what they have without complaining.

25. It is Okay for Parents to Laugh at Themselves. There was a lot of laughter in the Huxtable house, and sometimes it was the parents realizing they had done something dumb. That’s okay. However……..

26. It is Not Okay for Parents to Lose Control of the House. One of the major features of “The Cosby Show” was that the kids did not run the household. There was never a question as to who was in charge, and that needs to be reinforced in our homes today.

27. Talk. A Lot. Have you noticed how often the TV was on in the show? It wasn’t much. But there were a lot of conversation around the dinner table or sitting on the couch.

28. When You Argue, Make Up Quickly. In one episode, Cliff and Claire argue and decide to go to bed angry (for the first time in their marriage). It only takes part of the next day before they make up. While the way in which they make up may be a bit strange (“desk dancing” over the phone), it just shows that couples need to make up quickly instead of letting bitterness grow.

29. Make Your Home the Safest Place in Your Child’s Life. In reality, outside of the humor, I think this is the overall message I take away from “The Cosby Show.” The kids just want to be at home, because they feel connected and safe.

30. Lip-Syncing is a Perfectly Acceptable Form of Entertainment. Just watch the video. It is, in my mind, the single greatest scene in the history of American comedic television.

By the way, if you have never bought the 8 seasons on “The Cosby Show” on DVD, do so! Enjoy them with your family. Here’s a link to the first 2 seasons for less than $10.

QUESTION: What is your favorite “life lesson” from “The Cosby Show?” Share yours in the comments below!

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I Want My Kids to Know Grace

I want my kids to know grace

I am 41, married, and have three children, ages 13, 10, and 7. I am a Christian. I am ready for Jesus to come today. I am ready not because I am perfect, but because I have obeyed the gospel according to the grace of God. I am also ready because I will admit I have some safety about it in my mind. You see, my wife is a Christian, my oldest son is a Christian, and my two youngest are still sinless and therefore safe. The 10 year-old is heading to the place where innocence will soon be lost. But for now, I have the selfish confidence of knowing that according to God’s promises my family will live in heaven eternally.

After I was diagnosed with cancer, I began to almost beg for Jesus to come back. I did not like the prospects of dying and leaving my family without a husband and father. I knew that if He were to return, everything would be solved. This is my human side. I know that in reality, for every Christian, whether Jesus comes today or 10,000 years from now – the minute He comes everything will be better.

But I would like to share with you a thought I have had for years now concerning my kids. In their younger years they have no worries about anything spiritually because they have no sin. What a comfort for a parent to know that all of their children are going to heaven! It is easy for me to pray for Christ to come right now when my children cannot be lost!

However, there is one thing I think I want my children to know that I now know. It’s called “Grace.” I love God now more than I ever have before because of grace. I know I am wretched and worthless, and my lacking state of righteousness is like a filthy rag in the presence of the holy and perfect God of heaven. But knowing just how sinful and weak I am helps me to understand the power of God’s love that can only be felt by the incomprehensible nature of His matchless grace.

Until one has sinned, one cannot understand grace. I would love my children to remain innocent forever. But God foresaw in creating mankind that man would be blessed by His grace. This doesn’t mean God wanted man to fall. It hurts God every time we sin. But God makes good things from bad. It is never right to sin. And yet the grace of God has the power to turn my worst mistake into my greatest victory. Through grace God has revealed more about Himself than we could have known had we remained perfect.

I want my children to know that even though they sin, God loves them anyway. I want my children to know that even though they don’t like themselves sometimes, God loves them anyway. I want my children to know that even though they don’t deserve to live in heaven, God loves them anyway. I want my children to know that even though they are less than what they want to be, and sometimes they are ready to completely give up, and even in a time when they have turned their backs on God and left Him completely, God loves them anyway. Because when they figure out what grace is all about, they will have the capacity to love and be loved like never before. And God is calling all of us to that kind of love and He is doing so only through grace.

It would still be best if Jesus would come back in the next ten seconds. But if God chooses to wait another 2,000 years, then I want my children’s children to know everything there is to know about God’s grace. Because to this point, I know of nothing more amazing.

“…that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

– Ephesians 3:16-19

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Keep Your Feet Moving

keep your feet moving

With football season in full swing, I am reminded of a “tip” I received from my old football coaches. Let me rephrase that. It wasn’t a tip; it was a command that was said with the authority of somebody who let me know, in no uncertain terms, that there was a place on the bench for me if I failed to do what he said.

It still rings in my ears — Keep your feet moving!

My coaches knew the importance of that. They also knew the importance of constantly reminding me (and others) of that.

You see, it is almost automatic to stop moving your feet when you hit somebody head on. You’ve just run into somebody as big and strong (or bigger and stronger) than you, and your first thought is to stop, regain your composure, and get set to exert more energy in order to reach the goal you’re trying to reach.

As soon as you do that, you’ve lost any momentum you’ve had up to that point. Your upper body and/or arm strength is not nearly as effective if your feet are not moving. Who knows what might happen if you keep your feet moving. If you’re a defensive player trying to tackle the ball carrier, you might just get by the player who is trying to keep you from doing that. If you’re the one carrying the ball, a hole might just open up that will allow you to make a huge gain or even score a touchdown. The likelihood of those things (or any other good thing) happening is diminished greatly if a player stops moving his feet.

In Philippians 3:14, Paul reminds us of the importance of keeping our feet moving. The way he put it was: “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (ESV).

Did Paul have his setbacks? Were there those who wanted to keep him from advancing the cause of Christ? Was he sometimes “stopped dead in his tracks?” The answer to all of those questions is an obvious “Yes.” At the same time, Paul kept his feet moving. He never gave up, never gave out, and never gave in. He kept trying to make progress, even when it seemed impossible for him to do so.

Because he kept his feet moving, Paul was able to write toward the end of his life, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7, ESV). If we’ll keep our feet moving, we can look back on our lives in the same way.

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Friday’s Family Friendly Finds {September 18, 2014 edition}

It is time for more family links! We hope you enjoy this weekly feature, as we enjoy sharing with you some of what caught our eye over the last few days.

Here’s this week’s slate of family links.

Family Friendly Finds

This Week’s Finds

3 Practical Ways to Bless Your Spouse {for the family}

Reducing Stress {The Morning Drive}

Is Spanking Child Abuse? {Focus on the Family}

Your Emergency Fund is for More Than Emergencies — Believe It! {ChristianPF}

The Value of Training {National Center for Biblical Parenting}

Our Week in Review

The following were our five most-viewed posts over the past week. These were not necessarily published in the last 7 days; they just drew the most views. (Original publication date in parentheses.)

#5: Hymn Reflection: “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” (July 5, 2013)

#4: A Response to Victoria Osteen about Worship (September 2, 2014)

#3: Transgender Children’s Book. Surprised? You Shouldn’t Be. (September 17, 2014)

#2: You Do Not Believe (September 16, 2014)

#1: Our Tearful Announcement (September 15, 2014)

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Episode 5 : Our Thoughts on “Smart Money, Smart Kids” {Podcast}

(Audio not working? Click here to listen on the blog.)

Welcome to episode 5 of A Legacy of Faith’s podcast. In this program, Adam and Leah take a few minutes to review their impressions of Rachel Cruze and Dave Ramsey’s book Smart Money, Smart Kids. We also share how we are not perfect at following these principles, but how the overall message of this book can help you and your family.

LOFpodcast (1)

Our Takeaways

1. Children need to be taught the “opportunity cost” of money. Once they have spend money, they cannot spend it somewhere else.

2. Kids need to learn to work, and that money comes from doing a job well.

3. Help children continue with their natural tendency toward giving.

4. Breaking the cycle of student loans can break the entire cycle of debt in your family tree.

Get the Book

Order Smart Money, Smart Kids from Amazon. ($14.73 hardcover / $9.99 Kindle)

More from A Legacy of Faith

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Visit the show archives

——————

Music Credit

Opening theme: “Josie Has the Upper Hand” by Josh Woodward

Closing theme: “Afterglow” by Josh Woodward

Next Episode (October 2, 2014): “Teaching Kids about Worship”

Transgender Children’s Books. Surprised? You Shouldn’t Be.

transgender childrens books

A recent Wall Street Journal opinion piece had a fairly provocative title: “Heather Has Two Genders.” The title, of course, hearkened back to the infamous children’s book that clearly announced a new wave of sexual revolution in our society, Heather Has Two Mommies.

Back then, Christians were told to just keep quiet if we said that the homosexual movement was just one step down a path of total revolution. We were right, of course, and we are now reaping the whirlwind.

One sign of that is the constant growth of support for the transgender community. Subtly, “gay” rights was changed to “LGBT” rights (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender), as if they were all the same. Our Vice-President, Joe Biden, even stated that “transgender discrimination” is “the civil rights issue of our time.”

Now…and this should come as no surprise…the agenda is moving to indoctrinate your children (and mine). How?

Through story.

Welcome to the new age, where we now have transgender children’s books. Over the next several months, a number of titles (including coloring books) will draw in children to the plight of boys and girls who are struggling with their gender. Some stories will show children “succeeding” in changing genders, while others will draw in your children with stories of a character’s struggle to “overcome” being “trapped” in a biologically assigned gender.

The recent release of I Am Jazz only continued the push of this type of literature, and other titles are planned for the future. Other books already published for children include 10,000 Dresses, When Kayla was Kyle, My Princess Boy, and the book with the most postmodern title possible: Be Who You Are.

Christians can push this off as no big deal, or we can remember a simple fact: stories are powerful.

How often have you been drawn into a film or novel, only to finally “wake up” and realize that what you were drawn into was immoral? As Christians, we have probably all had that experience. (Sadly, some of us refuse to wake up, but that’s another blog post for another day.)

Can you imagine, then, the difficulty children will have to not connect with a well-written story that is clearly pushing an agenda? They may not even be old enough to understand that a boy cannot “naturally” change to a girl (or vice versa), but they will connect emotionally with the struggle or the “success” of the person in the book.

Those who are pushing this agenda know that, if they can plant a seed early in the mind of a child, they will at least cause that child to be more accepting of the behavior later in life. As Christian parents, we simply must be planting a different seed: the Word of God.

It should not surprise us that these books are available and growing in number. Don’t be surprised if (when?) they are made into TV shows or movies. But just because they are being talked about doesn’t mean you have to let your child read the books or watch the programming. You are still the parent, and your job as a Christian parent is to fill your child’s mind with the knowledge and wonder of God.

Oh, and don’t be surprised when Heather has three daddies or five genders. And don’t be surprised when there’s a children’s book about it.

Resources

Heather Has Two Genders” (Wall Street Journal)

Joe Biden: Transgender Discrimination is ‘The Civil Rights Issue of Our Time‘” (Huffington Post)

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You Do Not Believe

you do not believe

It is very peculiar that we as a body of believers are often accused of not believing in certain things. Here is a list of ideas that from time to time people claim about us:

  1. “You are the folks who don’t believe in miracles.” This of course is not true. We believe in every miraculous event recorded in the Bible. We believe that God is omnipotent and that the very universe we live in was formed by His unlimited miraculous power. If we did not believe in miracles, we would have no hope, because the resurrection of Christ was the greatest miracle of all (1 Cor. 15:1-20).
  2. “You are the folks who don’t believe in prophecy.” This of course is not true. We believe in every Biblical prophecy recorded. We believe in the prophecies concerning judgment and eternity yet to be fulfilled. We believe that the prophecies about Christ in the Old Testament were fulfilled in the incarnate God, who has accomplished His work (John 5:39; Luke 24:44).
  3. “You are the folks who don’t believe in music.” This of course is not true. We believe in every example of musical worship displayed by the New Testament church. We believe that this is the pattern we are obligated to follow (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Heb. 2:12).
  4. “You are the folks who don’t believe others are saved.” This of course is not true. We believe “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved” (Mk. 16:16). We believe “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Ac. 2:38). We believe “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Ac. 4:12). We believe “…the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:18).

It is not that we do not believe in miracles, prophecy, music, or the salvation of others. It is simply that concerning these we choose to believe God’s commandments, rather than man’s opinion.

“But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.” ~ Acts 15:11

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Our Tearful Announcement

Yesterday, part of the Legacy of Faith family had quite a few tears to wipe away. Adam and Leah announced that they are leaving Lebanon Road after 6 1/2 years, and moving to fill the pulpit of the 9th Avenue church of Christ in Haleyville, Alabama. Below is a copy of the letter that Adam read to the wonderful people of Lebanon Road.

While they are thrilled about moving to 9th Avenue, sharing the news to people you love so dearly is difficult, and yesterday was no different.

——————————–

To Our Family at Lebanon Road,

Solomon wrote, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Sometimes, trying to determine which season it is, and what is best in those seasons, however, is difficult. But, we come to you today with an announcement that we pray is right for this season. After countless hours of prayer, thought, and conversation, I have decided that it is time to move to a different work. With that in mind, I informed our elders last week that I was resigning as the preacher at Lebanon Road. While we will be here for several more weeks, the decision has been made, and we felt the need to announce it publically today, so that the Lebanon Road family could all hear about it at the same time.

Let me say from the outset of this announcement that I hate the timing of this. Today is a highlight for this congregation, and needs to be treated as such. As clearly as I can, let me say this: my decision has absolutely nothing to do with any disagreement with our elders, nor any dissatisfaction with the three being installed today. I trust all 9 of these men, and their great leadership is just one of the many factors that made this decision so difficult. I apologize sincerely for taking away from a day that is wonderful for this congregation.

I also want it to be known that we are not being asked to leave, nor feeling forced in any way. We love Lebanon Road and are happy here. We feel, however, that this decision is in the best interest of the Kingdom of God, and we have agonized in prayer over it.

We do not yet know a date, but we will be moving to Haleyville, Alabama, where I will become the pulpit minister for the 9th Avenue church of Christ. This is the same congregation from which we moved here, though before, I served as their youth minister. The elders of that congregation have confidence that I and my family can use both our experience and knowledge to help them, and we are simply praying that we do not betray that confidence. So, sometime in late November or early December, we will begin our work in Haleyville.

Allow me to make two promises. First, for our remaining time here, we will continue to work hard. While distractions always come in the midst of moving, I will do my best to keep preaching, teaching, visiting, and doing all the other things necessary to be faithful to the Lord’s command to work as unto Him, and faithful to your trust in me as a preacher.

Second, I do not know the process or timing the elders have in mind concerning looking for a new pulpit minister. Whatever process they determine, and whatever timing they determine, I will not stand in the way. If they decide to begin the process while I am still here, I will continue to support our elders and will not be jealous of the pulpit, if they feel the need to have someone else preach. If they decide to wait until we have left, I will honor my word in preaching each Sunday and will continue to pray that the process that is agreed upon in seeking a new preacher is the best.

We love you, and we want you to know that this has been a hard decision to make. In the 78 months I have been the pulpit minister here, not once have I made the first move in looking for a place to move. I’ve never even tried out anywhere…including 9th Avenue. We have tried to be not only as hard-working as possible, but also as dedicated to Lebanon Road as possible. In both, I am certain we have not been perfect, but it has not been for a lack of care or love for you.

As I said earlier, I hate the timing of this, because it puts a damper on an otherwise good day. But we are going to go forward in honoring this congregation and her elders, because they are worthy of honor. We will always honor Lebanon Road, because you stand for the truth and you have been far kinder to us than we could have ever been to you. Your gracious attitude and friendly demeanor have helped us more than you will ever know. About 6 ½ years ago, we moved here, and Lebanon Road became the first congregation which I served as a pulpit minister. We cannot forget how wonderful and gracious you have been, and we pray we have returned that favor to you, along with our thanks.

We simply ask for your prayers, and we hope you know that you will always be in ours.

We love you.

Adam, Leah, Mary Carol, and Turner

Friday’s Family Friendly Finds {September 12, 2014 edition}

Welcome to our weekly family links post! We hope you enjoy all the things to read that we have for you, and that they encourage you this weekend.

But first…

Tomorrow, Jim Faughn and I will be speaking together at a youth rally at Bootheel Youth Camp in Bloomfield, Missouri. We would love to see you there. If you are near that area, here is the Facebook page about the rally.

Now, on to this week’s family links.

Family Friendly Finds

This Week’s Finds

The Danger of Protecting Our Kids from Unhappiness {We are THAT Family}

Steve Jobs was a Low-Tech Parent {New York Times}

A Note on the Table {A Bible Commentary Blog}

The Target: Young People & Families {Robert Hatfield}

The Value of Correction {National Center for Biblical Parenting}

Our Week in Review

The following were our five most-viewed posts over the past week. These were not necessarily published in the last 7 days; they just drew the most views. (Original publication date in parentheses.)

#5: Momma’s Fresh Peach Pie {Recipe} (August 29, 2014)

#4: I’ll Try it Out Sometime (September 8, 2014)

#3: The ABC’s of a Healthy Home (September 10, 2014)

#2: The Church and Inexpensive Online Technology (September 11, 2014)

#1: A Response to Victoria Osteen about Worship (September 2, 2014)

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The Church and Inexpensive Online Technology

the church and online technology

“Church” and “technology.” Two words that don’t seem like they belong in the same sentence, unless it is “the technology at church isn’t working.”

But in our online world, churches can have a major impact using technology. Yes, it takes a little work. No, it should never take the place of personal, one-on-one conversations and encouragement.

But technology can be a great tool to help spread the message of Christ, both near and far. Still, there are hangups.

Too often, the singular hangup is money. For so many years, anything under the umbrella of “tech” was code for “expensive.” In the last handful of years, though, all that has changed. (After all, how do you think we keep this site going? It’s not from our overflowing coffers!)

In this post, I want to share some ways through which nearly any congregation can flood the internet with good material for very (very) little money.

1. Social Media. In reality, this is the least expensive way to utilize online technology for a congregation. If done well, it can also be highly effective. Considering how many members are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other platforms, why not meet them there? Facebook and Twitter are wonderful tools for building pages that include both information and encouragement. Instagram is a great way to share pictures, as well as cool invitations. All of these are totally free, and just require someone (or several people) willing to keep them up to date. With a little work, these can reach into a community, and show a congregation that is active and encouraging.

2. Podcasting. It is amazing to me how inexpensively a congregation can produce a podcast. If a congregation has a computer that can record sermons digitally, it can literally cost nothing. (Here’s a tutorial on how to do this for free.) For just a few dollars a month (less than $20), a congregation can go all out and make more of a “show” type of podcast (like A Legacy of Faith, for example). Since the world of podcasts is less saturated than blogging, but is growing, this is a great way to get messages out to the world.

3. Blogging. Even if a blog is nothing more than bulletin articles, it is a great way to get Biblical information out. There are several free blogging platforms (Blogger, Tumblr, etc.), or a blog can be incorporated into the church’s website, usually at no additional cost. Again, this takes some dedication, in order to produce new content regularly, but it is a good way to share messages in a bit more relaxed way. (Before you decide to start, though, take a moment and read this quick “before you start blogging” post I wrote some time back.)

4. Website. A church website can be wonderful and cost almost nothing. Hosting fees can be found for less than $10/month (in fact, here’s the hosting site we use for this blog, and it is just $4.95/month for a 3-year commitment), and then anything else you do, cost-wise, is up to you. There are free templates, as well as paid ones. There are free ways to do pictures, graphics, etc., or you can pay for them. Just remember to keep the site up to date!!!

Now, add it all up: Social media (free), podcasting (less than $20/month, and could be free), blogging (free), website (less than $10/month). A congregation can flood the internet with good material for less than $30 each month, and could even do ALL FOUR of these things for less than that, if they chose.

So, here is the question: why aren’t we doing that? In a time when online technology is so inexpensive, the church needs to dedicate itself to putting content online regularly to help people both near and far learn more about the Gospel.

QUESTION: What are some other ways a congregation can effectively utilize online technology for very little money? Share your suggestions in the comments!

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