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Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Shape of Things to Come by Michael Frost & Alan Hirsch

This book challenged me on a number of fronts as a pastor and Christian.

It challenged me to reconsider the "come and see" method of doing church. I have been a part of this strategy in church ministry for 11+ years and have seen it work--but not real well. When I read the book of Acts, I find a great chasm between what I see there and what I've experienced here so far...

It challenged me on the leadership roles in the church. We really do emphasize the pastor-teacher role over the prophet, apostle and evangelist roles. Why didn't I see this before...

It challenged me because the print was so small...

It took me a while to get through this, honestly. But it was worth it. I'm starting to put books down without finishing them. But this one was worth plowing through to the end. I recommend it heartily!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Five Questions Husbands Should Ask Their Wives

Great post us guys should read and consider. Here's the list. Go to his blog to read the detail.

#1 - What is the most romantic thing that I’ve ever done for you?
#2 - What is something fun we can do together?
#3 - What is one thing I can do for you this week that will relieve stress from your life?
#4 - How Can I Pray For You?
#5 - If you could change one thing about our marriage–what would it be?

If we're trying to build a better marriage, questions like these should be seen as potential tools in that construction. Check out the rest of his post here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Holy Roller book summary


Summary: Julie Lyons was working as a crime reporter when she followed a hunch into the South Dallas ghetto. She wasn’t hunting drug dealers, but drug addicts who had been supernaturally healed of their addictions. Was there a church in the most violent part of the city that prayed for addicts and got results?

At The Body of Christ Assembly, a rundown church on an out-of-the-way street, Lyons found the story she was looking for. The minister welcomed criminals, prostitutes, and street people–anyone who needed God. He prayed for the sick, the addicted, and the demon-possessed, and people were supernaturally healed.

Lyons’s story landed on the front page of the Dallas Times Herald. But she got much more than just a great story, she found an unlikely spiritual home. Though the parishioners at The Body of Christ Assembly are black and Pentecostal, and Lyons is white and from a traditional church background, she embraced their spirituality–that of “the Holy Ghost and fire.”

It’s all here in Holy Roller–the stories of people desperate for God’s help. And the actions of a God who doesn’t forget the people who need His power.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I'm more exhorter than teacher...here's difference

The Teacher vs The Exhorter (From Ben Arment)

I'm not a natural teacher. As a pastor I thrived on casting vision and moving people to action. I'm an exhorter, and I beat myself up for years not knowing the difference. I can imagine there are a lot of pastors out there who are struggling in the same way. So here it is... the difference.

A TEACHER

  • Values the study process more than the communication of it.
  • Knows exactly what's going to be said
  • Would have loved to pastor the Bereans
  • Starts with Scripture and tests the wisdom of the world against it. Of course, Scripture wins each and every time.
  • Sees effectiveness as building a "wall" of biblical precepts sermon-by-sermon
  • Invests in conventional study tools
  • If anyone complains, it's about boredom

AN EXHORTER

  • Values communicating over studying for it
  • Knows the general outline, but fills in holes along the way. Counts on it, in fact
  • Would have hated to pastor the Bereans
  • Brings up the wisdom of the world and tests it against Scripture. Of course, Scripture wins each and every time.
  • Sees effectiveness as moving people to action with the Bible
  • Invests in unconventional study tools
  • If anyone complains, it's about not getting fed

Invest in yourself as a communicator... whether you're a teacher or an exhorter.

Blogging for Books

Fun way to get free books while encouraging others to read good books:

Blogging for Books
Blog on a regular basis? Want free books? Let's talk.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Moved...

I was moved several times today by some of what I saw God do...Amazing Grace sung by a young man from Curacao in a back woods federal nursing home full of forgotten people, children hungry to learn more about the Bible, and youth leading like I wish some adults would. I can't wait to see what God is going to do next!

Here is my earlier post about today:

Another great day of grace and mercy. God has been so good to us the past 12 days! We are extremely blessed to have our brothers and sisters from Curacao here with us. They are such a gift!

Both of our groups at nursing homes had tremendous mornings. We also had a group at the homeless shelter and orphan relief center. That alone was a great day!

But perhaps our greatest moments came this afternoon at the backyard Bible club at Greentree North Apartments. Children asking questions about God, Jesus and the Bible. Hungry to learn! Hungry to be loved. And our people (adults, youth and children) have been terrific!

It touches me to see God do so much through us. No doubt He is pleased with our efforts.

More at www.mission-charleston.blogspot.com

Tomorrow we go back to Dream Center and we'll go to the low country food bank. We'll also help out Habitat for Humanity. We'll wrap up our backyard Bible club and then head to Isle of Palms (6-9 PM) for a picnic and hopefully to baptize some people (7 PM). If you know anybody that wants to be baptized, meet us at the public access no later than 7 PM. (Access is between the ice cream shop and public restrooms)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sunday @ Bonnie Doone Plantation

We're doing something we've never done before July 12th

Mission: Charleston Calendar Sign-ups for Projects Map


The Maps link above shows you how to get to Bonnie Doone as well as the projects. Give yourself an hour to get there if coming from Sr. Center. I'll have some signs out to help too.

Bring your side or dessert (cool sides best) to go along with chicken, tea & lemonade.

Bring lawn chairs, blankets, etc. for lunch outside under trees.

Dress cool and comfortable. I'm wearing shorts.


Mission: Curacao Crew gets back late Sat. night as well as our guests from Curacao. You'll see them at our Bonnie Doone worship service.


Directions for those who don't use maps:
Take 17A towards Walterboro. Go through Cottageville and Round O. Approximately 2 miles past Round O take a left on Featherbed Rd. (this one sneaks up on you). Follow Featherbed until it ends at Hwy 64 and take right on 64. After about a mile or so you'll see a sign that says Ritter and 303. Take next left past that sign. Go a couple of hundred yards and take left on Bonnie Doone rd. (there will be a sign there for Bonnie Doone). Go approx. 6 miles and you'll come to the Bonnie Doone gate.

Most importantly, come prepared to lift up Jesus together! Here's our theme verse:
He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God
. Micah 6:8

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Let Us Pray, Drum and YouTube

I'm always trying to reduce my email intake. So I try to ignore this guys emails every time they hit my email box. But he almost never disappoints. So I'm sharing it with you. dg

“Let us pray, drum and YouTube.”
So went the recent headline in the London Telegraph.
According to Religious Affairs Correspondent Jonathan Wynne-Jones, “Christian services that feature DJs, songs by the Irish band U2 and prayers for the chief executives of Google and Wal-Mart are being promoted by the Church of England.” Initiated by Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, to appeal to the younger generation, the ideas aim to increase church attendance with more relevant and exciting services.
With only 7% of the country “churched,” one can appreciate the attempt.
One Holy Communion service begins with the congregation being shown a video clip from YouTube about a United Nations anti-poverty campaign. Once worshippers are told that “our planet is messed up” and that “things are not right,” they are encouraged to approach the altar and rub sea salt on their fingers to represent tears before walking around and meditating at eight “prayer stations” representing themes such as “gender equality” and “environmental sustainability.”
A psalm is recited in “beat poetry” style, accompanied by African Djembe drums, as prayers are said “for the corporate world, for influential CEOs who oversee billion-dollar industries.” Because of their “commitments to justice,” John Chambers of Cisco Systems, Bill Gates of Microsoft, Eric Schmidt of Google, and H. Lee Scott, Jr., of Wal-Mart are included.
There are “U2charists” which are services in which the congregation receives communion but sings the songs of U2 instead of hymns, including Mysterious Ways, One, and I Still haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.
There is also an event called “Transcendence” in which traditional Latin chant is set by DJs to hip hop or ambient dance music.
Before you assess such efforts on the grounds of whether they are walking across a needed bridge into a fallen culture, or stepping off a cliff into cultural compromise, consider making your assessment from a different angle.
Does the Church of England know why they are doing these things?
This is not only a pressing question for the Archbishop, but for every church leader as they grapple with mission, strategy, and method in light of reaching out to an increasingly post-Christian culture. There is a myth that churches are successful because they do certain things; in truth, churches are successful because they know why they do certain things. In other words, there is a clear missional target on the wall.
This is why the most effective churches lead the way for innovation, and those who borrow their innovations get frustrated when the church they copied drops what they copied for something even more innovative.
This is far from original with me.
Bestselling business author Jim Collins, whose previous works Built to Last and Good to Great charted how the mighty rose, has recently come out with a book titled How the Mighty Fall. What perplexed his naturally curious mind was a simple but profound question: If you were in organizational decline, what would be the signs? What made the question more pressing was Collin’s early sense, later confirmed through his research, that decline is analogous to a disease, perhaps like a cancer, that can grow on the inside while you still look strong and healthy on the outside.
He calls it “the silent creep of impending doom.”
One of the earliest signs is companies saying “We’re successful because we do these specific things,” as opposed to the more penetrating understanding and insight: “We’re successful because weunderstand why we do these specific things and under what conditions they would not longer work.”
This is the foundation for any and all innovation; otherwise you are simply gathering an assortment of tactics independent of a mission. Biblical fidelity is, hopefully, a given, but once you are confident you are working within those parameters, you must then determine why it is you do anything: What is the foundational nature of your mission? What are you trying to accomplish? Who are you trying to reach?
If you know why you are doing something, you know whether it is effective, and are quick to discard things that no longer work. If you are attempting to evangelize the unchurched, you are not attracted to any and all innovation, or even innovation that may reflect the culture of the unchurched; instead, you are after innovation that is effective at evangelizing the unchurched.
I have never experienced a “U2charist.” I have no idea whether it is an effective bridge into the culture that presents the message of the sacrament in ways that transform lives through a fresh confrontation with the claims of Christ. Or whether it is “pointless,” “shallow,” and “embarrassing” (as suggested by its critics).
But I do know that the answer for the Church of England, or any other church, is not simply the incorporation of the music of U2.
It is the Church of England, and any other church, knowing why they would be interested in music at all.
Then we can determine whether it should be U2.
James Emery White

Sources
“Let us pray, drum and YouTube,” Jonathan Wynne-Jones, The Sunday Telegraph, June 14, 2009, p. 14.
Jim Collins, How the Mighty Fall (New York: Harper Collins, 2009).
Editor’s Note
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Monday, July 06, 2009

Bible Reading Plans

Bible Gateway Reading Plans


I'm reading through the Bible for my 5th time now. Pretty sad considering I'm 44. But it's never to late to begin!

On this website I found you can find a variety of Bible reading plans that will systematically help you through the Bible in a year (or less). They are great tools!

Read on!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Free Audio Book!


Crazy LoveFree Audiobook Download of the Month
Crazy Love by Francis Chan

The God of the universe is crazy about you! His love is the most powerful thing in the world and He wants to give it to you, so you can live for Him. If you have made a commitment to follow Christ, then listen toCrazy Love to be reminded and challenged in your walk. Sharing from his own life struggles and sacrifices, author Francis Chan issues a call for selfless, Christ-like living. Let the love you have received from God impact your life like never before. Foreword by Chris Tomlin.


Add the download format of Crazy Love to your cart and enter the coupon code JUL2009 when prompted during checkout.
Discount Price for July: $0.00
Download List Price: $13.99
Coupon Code: JUL2009