Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Here is how the article starts:
You don’t have to have church-planting already in your DNA, however, to become a church-planting church. Let’s say that you pastor an established, traditional church & have never planted a new church or supported a church planter. Where do you start?
Friday, January 29, 2010
From an address by Ravi Zacharias:
I remember lecturing at Ohio State University, one of the largest universities in this country. I was minutes away from beginning my lecture, and my host was driving me past a new building called the Wexner Center for the Performing Arts.
He said, “This is America’s first postmodern building.”
I was startled for a moment and I said, “What is a postmodern building?”
He said, “Well, the architect said that he designed this building with no design in mind. When the architect was asked, ‘Why?’ he said, ‘If life itself is capricious, why should our buildings have any design and any meaning?’ So he has pillars that have no purpose. He has stairways that go nowhere. He has a senseless building built and somebody has paid for it.”
I said, “So his argument was that if life has no purpose and design, why should the building have any design?”
He said, “That is correct.”
I said, “Did he do the same with the foundation?”
All of a sudden there was silence.
You see, you and I can fool with the infrastructure as much as we would like, but we dare not fool with the foundation because it will call our bluff in a hurry.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Through it all his outlook and exhortation to keep our eyes on Christ has been amazing and encouraging.
Cancer is a vicious thing, and something that has deeply affected me and my family.
Know this as you read, Jesus has defeated death, and sin and cancer may take root here and now in our lives, but for those who trust we know a day is coming when those things are no more. So we battle cancer with chemo and medicines, but our hope is in a future time, when Christ fully reigns, and sin, cancer and death are no more.
All because Jesus came down, God in Flesh, came and died for us, came and died on the cross, a horrific death that was punishment for our sins, our rebellion. Then 3 days later He rose from the dead, a real rising, in a resurrected body, a real physical body, to show that He was who He said He was and thus can do what He promised He would do.
So we wait in hope and expectation for the day cancer is no more, and death is dead!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The message was convicting, encouraging and Gospel centered. I was hit in the gut several times as I sat there listening to Pastor Mark, and I also was over and over again brought to the feet of Jesus as our hope, esteem and great Victor.
If you have some time, watch this sermon, take notes, talk about it with others, it is something we need to be thinking through in a fallen world.
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Francis Schaeffer once asked his wife:
“Edith, I wonder what would happen to most churches and Christian work if we awakened tomorrow, and everything concerning the reality and work of the Holy Spirit, and everything concerning prayer, were removed from the Bible. I don’t mean just ignored, but actually cut out—disappeared. I wonder how much difference it would make?” We concluded it would not make much difference in many board meetings, committee meetings, decisions and activities.
—Edith Schaeffer, The Tapestry: The Life and Times of Francis and Edith Schaeffer (Waco: Word, 1981), 356.
Props: JT via David Sunday
He starts off:
I wonder if the inconsistency in my walk with God has anything to do with the fact that I can lead a “successful” church in America without being in love with Jesus. I’m sure I could blame American church culture, my position, or a busy schedule for my lack of reverent intimacy. The truth, however, is that my sin and hypocrisy is a result of me.
Monday, January 18, 2010
This all started when he went to a candlelight vigil for a couple of Somali immigrants who were killed in an attempted robbery.
He says this:
A colleague and I went to the candlelight vigil the community held for these men, and I was struck with how little I really knew about these men and the thousands of East African immigrants in my community. I had passed this market dozens of times and never stopped in. Surely, at least once, I could have purchased a Coke and struck up a conversation?
We know that in this world, there will be tragedies and suffering. As Christian Hedonists, we need to stand ready to give an account for the hope and confidence we have in Christ (1 Peter 3:15). But if we never step out to meet others, it's not likely we'll ever have a chance to tell of the hope we have in God.
With these two events in mind, here are some practical things we can do to love our neighbors:
- If you're able, go. Go to Haiti and serve.
- Donate to churches and ministries that are working in Haiti.
- Volunteer in your city. Help immigrants learn English. Babysit a neighbor's kids. Buy a Coke at a local market and get to know the clerk.
- Be ready to give an account for the hope that you have. As you serve, look for chances to talk about the good news of the Gospel. Ultimately, if we truly love our neighbors, we will care not only for their immediate physical needs, but their spiritual needs as well.
What things are you or your church doing to love your neighbor? Leave a comment and let us know.
My brother-in-law is a pretty good artist. His art has a New Orleans type feel and is pretty cool. Above is one of my favorite pieces he does.
If you have a second go and check out his website and maybe pick up a few things.
Click Here to go to DBaughArt Shop.
From Steve Furtick:
“We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said.
“Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”
That’s what I’m talking about.
If you’re going to accuse us of something, accuse us of that:
You have filled your city with the teaching of Jesus.
Church, let’s fill our cities with the good news of Christ.
Let’s fill the places of poverty with our generosity.
Let’s fill our schools with students who are not ashamed of the Gospel.
The future of our cities is empty and desolate without the power and the presence of God.
Let’s keep preaching, reaching, and giving until our cities overflow and can’t deny it:
You have filled this city with Jesus.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
A handful of random thoughts on church planting and leadership.
There’s a healthy way to start and lead a church without losing your soul.
Jesus has left footprints to guide us and our responsibility as leaders is to see them and follow him.
Your calling to lead a church will never, ever, ever trump God’s requirements to lead a church.
Rather than starting a church at the expense of your family, include them.
He has called you not because you’re so great, but because he is.
You must be faithful in a world full of fads.
You must boldly pursue him in a world that doesn’t.
The idea of a super-spiritual lone ranger pastor from whom all things flow is unbiblical and unhealthy.
The church is the body of Christ made up of many parts, not a giant robot with you behind the controls.
Funny how I had more answers 3 years ago than I do today.
Like many would-be church planters, I was a bit arrogant and knew it all.
Then I started a church and soon new questions arose that I didn’t even know existed.
We church planters read and learn from the same circle of people.
We live in an age of cookie-cutter churches and copycat church planters.
We look like our favorite churches and talk like our favorite leaders.
We’re not original, we’re posers.
We need to get over our man-crushes on celebrity leaders.
It’s pathetic and needs to stop.
Be a man, not a puppy dog.
Babies aren’t born adults and neither are churches.
Seeds don’t turn into trees overnight and neither do churches.
In a culture that values the speed of the microwave it’s hard to appreciate the the slow bake of an oven.
Yet, which method makes a tastier turkey?
Something to think about.
Ultimately, it’s about the gospel.
The gospel always produces community.
The gospel always compels us to mission.
The gospel always leads to Jesus.
Below is a list of 4 memorable reasons leaders FAIL in an easy to remember acronym FAIL.
- Fake- A leader who attempts to be someone they’re not instead of simply being themselves has a difficult time succeeding, at some point it just catches up to them. This also applies to the leader that has a different face, different persona, different tone, different everything… when certain people are around. In other-words when the big boss comes around they put their fake-face on. Not to say a leader might not make some adjustments when company comes around; however the super-fake-face comes from insecurity of how they act normally. Remember: Don’t be fake, be yourself… “Do You! It’s A Statement… Not A Question!” Fake Leaders Fail!
- Attitude- One of the primary reasons that a leader fails is because of a poor, negative or a no-can-do attitude. If a leader thinks he can fly and has a positive can-do attitude; even though they may not be able to fly they will come darn close. The reason why attitude is important is because that leader’s attitude will rub off on their team members and their followers. Remember: “Attitude reflects leadership, Captain.” ~Julius in Remember The Titans
- Integrity- If a leader doesn’t exhibit a high degree of integrity they will fail. The integrity issues will either catch up to them (what’s done in the dark, will come to light) or those that follow them won’t respect them. If team members or followers don’t respect the a leader, it puts the leader in the place of pushing a snowball up hill… it’s a difficult task. These integrity issues run the gamete: profanity, lying, cheating, stealing, affairs, flirting, yelling, substance abuse, pride-filled decisions etc. I have worked with many high capacity leaders in both the secular world and ministry that have failed because they allowed their integrity to get off track. Remember: Integrity is doing the right thing, even if nobody is watching.
- Lacking- Although I believe that everyone has potential for some degree of leadership in them; the bottom line is that some leaders fail because they are either: a.) Not the leader they think they are, or b.) Promoted above their leadership capacity/leadership role has outgrown them, or c.) Not a visionary, or d.) Not a leader at all! They are lacking what it takes! Remember: Just because someone has an office, role, title or responsibility doesn’t mean they are a leader. Leadership is an art, a skill, a craft, a gift… and it must be developed!
What do you think? Are there others you would add to the list?
Saturday, January 16, 2010
This post from Seth Godin has been on my mind for the past week. I wonder how many of us are "ok" with keeping the status quo, of being careful not to "rock the boat". And I wonder, is that a sign of fear? If it is, then is keeping the status quo sinful? The answer to that changes everything.
One of the most common things I hear is, "I'd like to do something remarkable like that, but my xyz won't let me." Where xyz = my boss, my publisher, my partner, my licensor, my franchisor, etc.
Well, you can fail by going along with that and not doing it, or you can do it, cause a ruckus and work things out later.
In my experience, once it's clear you're willing (not just willing, but itching, moving, and yes, implementing) without them, things start to happen. People are rarely willing to step up and stop you, and often just waiting to follow someone crazy enough to actually do something.
I'm going. Come along if you like.
Friday, January 15, 2010
A good way to help and donate money to the people and relief efforts in Haiti is to click the link on the right side of this screen. It is from Compassion International a great organization that helps children by getting them sponsors who through $38 a month help educate, provide medicine and above all hear about the love of Jesus.
They also help when natural disasters strike. Even $10 will go a long way to help these people. Maybe while you are there you can also think about sponsoring a kid, and changing a life forever.
By the way, his blog, What's Best Next, is one well worth reading and subscribing to.
There are two main ways to put in place an approach for staying on top of things. First, you can start with the “runway” level — all the actions and stuff that lies right before you. Second, you can start at the top levels of mission, values, and goals.
The difficulty with the top down approach is that all of the things at the runway can easily keep bugging you and make it hard for you to see at that level.
But starting at the bottom is worse. If you tell yourself that getting all of your runway actions in order will allow you to work on up to the level of roles, goals, values, and mission, you’ll never make it.
It’s like a few months ago when I was jogging through a field of grasshoppers. When I went faster, there were just more grasshoppers to jump out.
That’s what happens if you focus on the runway level of actions and the stuff you need to process and try to work on up from there. The runway-level stuff will just multiply, and you’ll never rise much above it.
The best solution is to take a both/and approach. You have to deal with the stuff right before you, of course, and that will in turn provide good illumination on the nature of your roles and goals. But if you start there, don’t stay there too long. Go up to the higher levels and work down so that you will have your priorities defined, which will enable you to cut out a bunch of that stuff that’s been cluttering the runway anyway.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Via What's Best Next
I’ve never been clear on this — until now. Turns out there’s a whole website devoted to this issue.
My favorite page is what the tip is not. It is not:
What do you tip? The answer is here
- One dollar.
- Leftover coins.
- Saying how much you appreciate the pizza and the driver, but not giving a tip.
- Included in the bill.
- Included in the delivery charge.
- Included in free delivery.