Wednesday, May 28, 2008
So we went out to the gas station and I pumped gas for him. As we talked, he asked me how long I had been at the church. I told him a couple of months. Then he said that he felt that the Lord was giving him a prophetic word, and said, "Transitions are hard. But stay with it. You are going to bring a focus at this church that they have never seen before. Don't give up."
On Sunday I had spoken about how if we pray for God to bring people into our lives whom we can show hospitality, that he would respond, and this interaction would bring us blessing. Coincidence? or Godincidence?
Do you think that God speaks to people in this way today? Do you think that strangers can be angels?
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
I like the following quote on leadership from Bill Easum, author of Leadership On the Other Side. When he speaks of the "OtherSide," he is speaking of the quantum changes that are needed to be made in order to meet today's ministry challenges.
"Leaders know that unleashing the DNA occurs when they equip individuals to discover and use their own giftedness to enhance the DNA . . . Leaders equip individuals to replicate the church's DNA through the use of their gifts. Their role is to create an environment in which people are encouraged to soar by discovering and living out their spiritual gifts. God gives each person special gifts to be used on behalf of the Body of Christ. Indivdiuals discover their destiny when they are equipped to use their gifts on behalf of the Body of Christ. Disciples are grown, not on preconceived organizational needs, but on the God-given giftedness of the individual.
However, in today's fast paced world, it is not enough for leaders to do one-on-one evangelism. Multiplication is required on the OtherSide. Exponential growth, like on the day of Pentecost, is the goal. Leaders equip other leaders to grow disciples. They in turn are equipped to grow disciples."
What do we learn about equipping from Jesus' training of the Twelve?
Friday, May 23, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
I am excited that they are going to work as assessors, helping others go through the Strengths and Spiritual gifts assessments. These tools can help not only in outreach and ministry, but also in marriages and families. Ephesians 4:11 says that God gave some to be pastors/shepherds to equip God's people for service. I'm grateful that one of the shepherds here is taking up this ministry. My good shepherd and friend John in Liberty also was an assessor. It is an important role.
Do you think that there is a lack of equipping in the church? Why or why not?
Monday, May 19, 2008
I'll be speaking at the upcoming Quest lectures at OC (see http://blogs.oc.edu/ee/?/quest/presenters), and I'll bring a reading list then for those who are interested.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
- You would rather engage in your activity than sleep.
- When you stop your activity, you feel restless.
- You only feel excited or encourgaged when you engage in your activity; at other times you feel "low."
- Your activity helps you forget your problems.
- Whenever you feel depressed, you turn to your activity to make you feel better.
- You fantasize a lot about your activity when you are away from it.
One of the things that Dr. Hart suggests is slowing down our behaviors, which can slow down our metablism and reduce our need for adrenaline (which is released during high stress situations). He suggests:
- Speak more slowly and deliberately.
- Pause regularly between phrases.
- Learn to be a better listener.
- Walk more slowly.
- Don't do more than one thing at a time.
- Eat more slowly and savor your food.
- Drive more slowly.
- Do nothing for thirty minutes every day.
Doing nothing just about kills me. But this weekend, I did feel a need to get some more rest. I took a two hour nap on Sunday, and felt like I could have used some more. I've never had an addictive personality, but could it be because I already have an addiction--adrenaline. I think that Paul was also a person who was a high achiever and driven to try to accomplish great things for God. I don't think that in this sense he was normal. But even he spent three years in Arabia without any recorded activity (Gal. 1). I wonder what he did there in the desert? Did he feel non-productive?
Do you think that our society is too fast-paced? Do you struggle with being productive or being too productive?
Friday, May 09, 2008
How then, do you bring about change in a congregation? Change happens primarily from a gound up, grassroots movement. While it is great to have all or most of those in leadership "on board," there merely needs to be enough support from the top to not kill change movements.
Missional leaders can start change movements in the following way:
1. Start to raise awareness of the missional concept through preaching, teaching, and most especially, through individual conversations.
2. Begin to work with a small group of individuals who really "get the concept." This group of individuals who are Innovators and first adopters may constitute 10% of the congregation.
3. Start some missional outreaches with the Innovators. Sell these as being "experiments" if there is resistance from others.
4. Begin to expand the circle of missional adopters to key leaders who have the influence with others who are less innovative. (Often the innovators are at the fringe of the official power circle.) These Influence Brokers will be able to spread the concept through their relational channels.
After these steps are taken, people will generally be able to see the success of the experimental missional outreaches and will hear the support of the Influence Brokers. This will lead to full scale adoption by most of the leadership and congregation. However, there is a danger now that the movement--which was once fluid and dynamic--will become institutionalized, as the leadership seeks to "get this under control." If this happens, then the entire process must start all over.
What causes such resistance to new ideas and positive change in a church? How have you seen this overcome?
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Once again I thought, This child is a lot like me. I was reading and pondering the meaning of the universe and philosophical questionsat a young age, much like her. I started reading the Lord of the Rings at about age seven, the same age as Gina.
One of the reasons that we love our kids so much, I think, is that we see ourselves in them. A bit self-centered? Perhaps. But it also may be God's way of trying to get us to love something other than ourselves, in "baby steps."
What do our children teach us about God and about ourselves?
Monday, May 05, 2008
In the past, worship was seen as where evangelism took place. The whole concept of being sent and going where people are was lost. Rather than seeing worship as primarily being the place to directly convert people, we should see worship as being the a time in which we are commissioned to go out during the week and share Christ with others. (The assembly does play an important part in a person's conversion, but in a more indirect way.) The great commission was given in the context of worship of Jesus. Isaiah was sent when he encountered God on his throne.
At lunch, we went out with a great young couple that has recently been married. We had a good time, and Becki and I were able to share some of our young couple experiences. I was also able to invite them to study together, and they readily agreed. One grew up in our fellowship, and another grew up Catholic. It will be good to go through the Story of Redemption together with them. See www.storyofredemption.com
Then we went to the Hispanic Church Plant's opening worship service. It was a good turn out. The speaking was translated into English, and the songs were all in Spanish. Carlos, the church planter, had different people who had been reached prior to the worship launch of the church stand and be acknowledged. One was a man that he had met at Starbucks. Another was a neighbor. Another had been baptized, I believe. I was so glad to hear these stories.
That evening we went out to Dave and Jan's house for small group. They live in Prosper, and are seeking to begin 3-4 groups out there. The group had unanimously decided to study Spiritual gifts, a subject which I am passionate about and on which I had recently spoken. Those there all signed up to start their Strengths and Spiritual gifts assessments, which I am excited about. There is a lot of potential for these groups out there. I was encouraged to hear Dave clearly lay out a vision for serving their neighbors through these groups and inviting them into the group. Eventually there needs to be a church in Prosper, and these groups could form a good nucleus for this.
Well, it was a long full day, and I'm just now getting to writing about it. But a very good and productive day.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
- ► 2009 (111)
- My encounter with a stranger--was God speaking to ...
- Leaders equip and train other leaders
- The lost art of hospitality--welcoming the strange...
- Shepherds can help members discover their Spiritua...
- Some Good Missional Reading
- The low birthrate of Europe and Japan reflects a l...
- David Archuleta and Lessons from American Idol
- Can we get addicted to our own adrenaline?
- Real change starts with little movements
- Our kids are a lot like us
- Sunday Reflections
- Ben Stein's Movie Expelled Has Some Intelligence
- ▼ May (12)
- ► 2007 (176)
Theology and Popular Culture Blogs/Websites
- Churches in coffee shops and homes a growing trend
- Harvard's New Emphasis on Applied Knowledge is Instructive to Churches
- Young Adults want a lifestyle and authenticity, not religion
- My neighbor asked me to bless his house yesterday
- Exiles-Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture
- Christianity is about a lifestyle, not one hour a week
- Emotion in Worship
- Death by Suburb
- The Don Imus Firing--Lack of Redemption or Justice?
- Books That I Have Read in the Last Year
Some Other Blogs & Sites I frequent
- James Nored
- I currently am a preaching minister, evangelist, and missional leader at the High Pointe Church of Christ in McKinney, TX. I am working towards a Doctor of Ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA, studying missional church, evangelism, and postmodern culture. I give missional church and Spiritual gifts seminars for churches. I have written an evangelistic Bible study for postmoderns (Story of Redemption), New Members class material, and a work on Spiritual gifts. I am blessed with a wonderful wife (Becki) of 13 years and two beautiful daughters (Gina-age 7, Emily-4), the loves of my life.