Monday, April 30, 2007

Mark Driscoll makes me laugh, very interesting

I was looking for a video that we watched at the church planting conference that I thought was pretty good by the ever controversial Mark Driscoll. I found a few short clips that I thought were pretty entertaining and interesting on YouTube. He always seems to start a firestorm of discussion. The conference video is first, click the link, church planting video from conference. I thought the next video, demise of denominations video was pretty good and his explanation on the emerging church movement was interesting, emergent versus emerging church . All in all he really makes me think, what do you think?
On a separate but equally as important note, I think 24 is heating up and that Audrey now has a mental disorder brought on by not seeing Jack for 2 years. Also, I predict that they will keep Ricky Shroeder on the show for a few years and that one day he will be violent enough to replace Jack as the superhero that we know and love. Great show, I'm ready for the plot twists.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Is picking up trash the new gospel?

I just read some interesting articles in outreach.com's new magazine. Some I liked and some I didn't care for but it made me think. The article that I liked alot was one by Lee Strobel. I guess I like how he worded his thoughts in regards to the popular social outreach emphasis occurring in the evangelical church. For the most part I agree with it and I am excited about figuring out how our church and I can be more missional. On the other hand, does picking up trash in your neighborhood advance the good news and mission of Christ. I want to be environmentally friendly and do my part, but does anyone really believe the global warming hype? (click this article for another scientific response to the new religion, click here or the fact that cows are the real culprits according to the U.N., really... click here) Does it really mean your missional (new buzz word) because you open a soup kitchen. I suppose we could answer 'yes' and 'no.' Yes it is a good work & even important but the local boy scouts and average pagan could do the same thing so... I love the creativity and ideas in regards to 'good works' in ministering to the poor, but Jesus was just as concerned in their spiritual poverty. Balance is the key. Unless the mission is ultimately to compel, persuade and urge (as the Apostle Paul said I believe) people to come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, then we are not much different than pretty much every 'good works' organization or religion on the face of the earth. I think we should preach the gospel with our actions but remember the why and the WORDS we use are just as important. The 'and if necessary use words' mantra has meaning and is cute but I'm pretty sure (correct me if I'm wrong) Jesus used words in pretty much all the good that He did and told us to proclaim and preach (meaning using vocabulary) the good news! I want to be missional in deed and word. Check out the link and see what you think... click here for the article

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Bill Hybels, the man in black

Earlier I watched a video by Mark Driscoll. I love that guy, absolutely hilarious, irreverent and dead on. Anyway, I'm sitting here listening to Bill Hybels who is an amazing visionary. He is dressed in black in the 90 degree heat of Orlando. That is courageous leadership as his book describes. Anyway, He talks about the fact that we need to have a holy discontent before we plant churches, not simply a 'hankering.' He also challenged us to dream big and commit our lives to it. We need to walk by faith and not by sight.

By the way, go to SHAPEVINE.COM for a new interesting learning community all about church planting and reaching lost people.

Back to Bill. He's an incredibly humble man for someone who has literally changed the world for the kingdom of God. (and he's not even spirit-filled, amazing--note the dripping sarcasm) He encouraged us to remember that God works in the unseen world and He is active even when it doesn't seem that He is. We need to simply walk by faith.

Determine to take the high road and live your life as an open book. He quoted a recent survey in corporate America as to what was the most important thing to them in their CEO. They replied that their # 1 desire was to have a CEO with INTEGRITY. The final thing that He discussed was that moves of God have started with a defining moment. Then he offered everyone to subscribe to the WCA and to get his defining moments c.d.'s. (Kidding) He asked us what our defining moment is right now that is causing us to risk it all for the kingdom. What do we need to say Yes to in that moment. Now I must leave, pack my family and go to the airport. God's telling me stuff, still trying to sort it our but I look forward to it anyway.

Church planting, Day 3

I was not in this seminar, well, I was but I got bored and went and worked on my message for Sunday. When I left the room the speaker got really interesting (it was my presence I guess) and here are some things he had to say about discipleship. I won't give the details of who he is but he has done more for the kingdom than just about everyone who may be reading this, at least that's what his bio suggests. Who knows, anyway, enjoy the notes.

RETHINKING DISCIPLESHIP With Dave Putnam

We should be disturbed with the Christian “sub culture” that we have created. We have Christian radio, Christian movies, Christian videos, Christian music. We invite people to our subculture instead of to Jesus.

Core of the GOSPEL “ Love God and Love people” “ Jesus commissions his church to go and make disciples”
What Kind of Disciples are we making?
What kind of disciples am I?

Six Shifts in rethinking discipleship

1. Shift from complexity to simplicity. “The SIMPLE CHURCH by Granger”

a. From complexity to JESUS. To Live like Jesus, To Love like Jesus, and to Lead...

Application: Five G’s

· Personal Growth –equip people to feed themselves

· Using our Gifts – Calling people to serve

· Community through Groups – Small Groups

· Visionary Giving – Giving out of Vision

· Greater Impact -

2. Shift from information to transformation. Not how much you know, but how what you know is changing your life.

3. Shift from being a spectator to being a participator.We must allow people to participate at the stage they are in. We cannot only allow those who are born again to be a part. People are craving for meaning and acceptance.

4. Shift from programs to spiritual journey. Discipleship is not a program but a process. Program generally do not work. Everything we do is about making disciples. Sometimes people are becoming knowledgeable about Christ before they are converted. They are involved and serving before.

5. Shift from using qualified leaders to qualifying them to lead. Just like the military qualified the unskilled to serve, so can we.

6. Shift from individual to the whole.

This stuff is speaking to me. Discipleship is so multi-faceted. Who are you discipling? I'm wondering the same thing.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Church planting, Day 2

Yesterdays post was just uploaded because my computer died, so that was from yesterday. It is actually Wednesday today and it is a beautiful day. I'm going to be renewing my vows with my wife at one of the Disney resort this evening so I'm excited about that. The getaway has been more than needed or that I can write at this moment. I feel like God is meeting me where I'm at right now as a battle fatigue, frustration and discouragement. This mornings speaker is a guy by the name of Ed Stetzer. He is a really cool guy that did a seminar yesterday about trends in church plants that cause success. The report that he used for the entire seminar can be found at www.missionalresearch.com and is very interesting. This mornings topic is about being witnesses to our culture based on Jesus' commission to us in Acts 1:8. The church (meaning us) needs to be multiplying our lives into others. Here is some of the gyst of what he said. John 3:16 translates to John 20:22 in that as Jesus was sent he now sends us. He used the passage in Acts 16:9, "During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." 10After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them."
*Church plants should be based on the how which is influenced by the who, when and where of that community.
*We need to come over to the community that we are in and build a church that relates to that community. We should not simply build the church that we want but the church that the culture dictates. We are planting the gospel that creates a church, not simply planting a church.
We have been called to do it. We need to do something to reach lost people.
2 Cor. 5:11-20- We need to persuade men about the good news of Jesus Christ. (persuade, compel, appeal)
*Being missional is not being sympathetic or wrapped around simply helping others. Being missional is a buzz word. It is being on the Master's mission. Missional is more than identifying with culture, it is sharing the good news of Jesus WITH WORDS. Relevance is a tool but the gospel is the goal. Relevance is only helpful if its sole goal is sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
1. We should not focus on personal transformation and not gospel transformation.
2. When your sermons are so practical they lack any gospel.
3. When we talk more about practical more than you talk about biblical.
4. When your outreach demeans others that preach the gospel.
5. When your approach makes you the hero and not Jesus.
6. When 'personal evangelism' is an oxymoron at your church.
7. When 'invest and invite' never leads to personal evangelism.
I missed the last 3, sorry.
3. Us (refers to a lost world). All around us people are seeking something. We need to seek and save those that are lost. Our hearts need to be broken for our community, we need the heart of Christ. The only thing that matters in the church is whether or not we live out the mission. The church needs to be about God's mission and the cross. Come over to what calls you, bring the help of the gospel & remember the us, those that are lost without Jesus.
GREAT STUFF, GOD'S SPEAKING TO ME. GREAT REMINDER THAT IT'S ALL ABOUT THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST.

Church planting, Day 1

I'm sitting in the first session at the National New Church Planting Conference in sunny Orlando, FL. The first speaker is Wayne Cordiero who pastors about 11,000 people in Hawaii. He launched his church about 11 years ago. He is talking about how to be a spirit-led leader. He are some points that he makes in regards to being a Christ-follower, pastor and/or church planter.
*The goal is authenticity. Realness is the virtue for this next generation and ultimately of the Bible.
*When you start, you won't have what it takes to make it, but you can gain the wisdom you need on the journey.
-You get wisdom from... 1. experience (from personal consequences) 2. others experiences (learn from others)
Why should we make all the mistakes ourselves? Wayne did a masterful job of reminding us that the ultimate source of wisdom should come from the unedited and raw stories of the Bible. The Bible should be the source of our soul and that we need to systematically work through the 66 books that are alive and powerful. He told the story about the sequoia trees in Yellowstone National Park. Two years ago 4 of the oldest ones toppled from the wind which resulted in a study at to what happened. The park rangers and scientists concluded that the trees fell as a result of the foot traffic (10's of thousands of visitors) walking around on the roots of the trees. They immediately put barriers around the oldest trees to keep this from happening. His point was that we have lots of 'foot traffic' in our lives and we need to have a holy barrier of time with God so that our roots remain deep and intact. He talked about the Holy Spirit being our divine mentor and that we need to continue to sit at the feet of Jesus (Luke 10). Here is what He does to remain close to God so that He can live out the freshness of a genuine relationship with Jesus. He sets aside time daily to spend time with God and he brings a Bible, a pen & journal with a reading program. He then encourages His people (churches literally around the globe, very impressive) to do the following based on this acronym.
S- Scripture (read the Bible reading for the day)
O- Observation (observe what God is trying to teach you through the passage)
A- Application (ask yourself how you can apply it to your life)
P- Prayer (asking God to help you apply it to your life and general prayer needs)
He uses a 20-20-20 format. 20 minutes of Bible reading, 20 minutes of prayer, 20 minutes of discussion with others that he meets with or thoughts about application. Simple but powerful. It encouraged me to dive deeper with God, how about you?

My new blog

Just checking to see if it's working.