Thursday, January 22, 2015

Weakness Has Its Benefits

A great post by Ray Ortlund on weakness...

“Wherever God’s people have been truly humbled before him, and have been brought deeply to feel their own impotence, and have been willing to be used as mere instruments, and to let him have all the glory, there you will find that a rich blessing has usually been bestowed.”

William B. Sprague, Lectures on Revivals of Religion (Edinburgh, 1978), page 113.

Ben Reynolds, our music leader at Immanuel Nashville, wasn’t there in the early days.  But he said to me not long ago, “Ray, my impression of the original core group at Immanuel is that you guys were so wounded and exhausted and hurting that no one in the group even had the emotional energy for selfish agendas.”  I said, yes, that was probably true.  Then Ben added, “And I think the Lord looked down on that and said, ‘Well, there’s a church I can use.'”  Apparently, yes.

Monday, December 22, 2014

P0rnography's Effect on Marriage Rates

An interesting article here citing the potential effect p0rnography is having on the decline in marriage rates. I think we're just scratching the surface when it comes to the problems this issue will cause in the lives of future generations. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

How to Create a Spark for Multiplication

What does it look like to have a multiplication minded church? I highly recommend the e-book Spark by Todd Wilson as an important book for pastors and painters that answers this question with clarity. I believe the e-book is free when you register at the Exponential website by following this link.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Avoiding the Anti-Elder

I don't think I'm exaggerating to say that many churches and church plants implode because leaders are too hasty or reckless in the appointment and empowerment of the wrong leaders. Just because someone is passionate about the matters of mission, shares your vision for church, or has experience as a business leader does not make them a good candidate for eldership or any other form of leadership. Here's a good article from Challies on the anti-elder and how to identify them. A fresh take on the Biblical qualifications.

Monday, November 24, 2014

5 Ways to Be a Church Planting Church

It is so important for new church plants to work hard maintaining this kind of DNA for church planting. Existing church plants can take several years transitioning their church toward these practices. Below are a few ways to be a church planting church. You can read the whole article here

1. Talk About Being a Church-Planting Church
2. Save for a Future Church Plant
3. Adopt a Church Planter in Another Country
4. Support and Partner with a Local Church Plant
5. Partner with a Network or a Denomination’s Church Planting Efforts

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What Is Your Purpose?

As with all illustrations, this does breakdown at some point, but this is an interesting way to understand purpose. Though not all are "paid" for their purpose, the aspiration to align these four broader categories in order to live in a purposeful way could be helpful.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Reflections on the Mars Hill Culture

As a former leader in Mars Hill Church Dave Kraft has some reflections here on what went wrong that lead to its recent demise and how we as pastors and planters can avoid some of these similar pitfalls in our leadership. Here's a good summary of his advice.

As l live my own life as a leader and as I coach other leaders, I am much more aware of doing what I can to make sure there is:

  • Good and genuine accountability, coupled with vulnerability and transparency.
  • A clear value in keeping short accounts, with sin being quickly confessed and owned.
  • An attitude of being teachable and open to new ideas and ways of thinking.
  • A culture of pacing that is realistic and sustainable, resulting in good morale and joy.