For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Great post from Tony Morgan. This isn’t for senior pastors. (Though these same principles apply to your ministry.) And this post isn’t about weekend services. (Though it could be.) This advice is for every church leader who is responsible for a ministry, program or event that functions outside of the weekend services. (I’m pretty confident what I’m about to share is going to tick you off.) Here are: 9 Do’s and Don’ts for Ministry Growth 1. You don’t need a logo. A new logo isn’t the key to successful ministry. Life change is the key to successful ministry. Only Jesus can change lives. Yes, there are times when you’ll need to update your branding; however, it’s not going to make or break your ministry. 2. Your fancy flyers won’t help. 80% of the people who show up to a weekend service come with a friend who invites them. That same principle applies to your ministry as well. If people aren’t inviting their friends, that’s likely a ministry problem and not a promotions problem. 3. Put people first. Life change happens most often within the context of relationships. If your ministry isn’t helping people engage in relational connections (inside and outside of the church), then your ministry will not grow. 4. Lead your ministry. You should focus on that. You aren’t gifted at promotions (even though you think you are). You should let communications professionals focus on that, and stop fighting […]
One of the central metaphors for God and his people throughout the Bible is that of a groom and his bride. God is the groom; his people are the bride. I like this because it makes the church a “she.” We need to reclaim this image. The church is a she. She’s a mystery, isn’t she? Still going after all of this time. After the crusades and the Inquisition and Christian Cable Television. Still going. And there continue to be people like me who believe she is one of the best ideas ever. In spite of all the ways she has veered off track. In spite of all the people who have actually turned away from God because of what they experienced in church. I am starting to realize why: The church is like a double edged sword. When it’s good, when it’s on, when it’s right, it’s like nothing on earth. A group of people committed to selflessly serving and loving the world around them? Great. But when it’s bad, all the potential gets turned the other way. From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. Sometimes in the same week. Sometimes in the same day. But she will live on. She’s indestructible. When she dies in one part of the world, she explodes in another. She’s global. She’s universal. She’s everywhere. And while she’s fragile, she’s going to endure. In every generation there will be those […]
Change is inevitable. Change is a part of life. Everybody at some point, has some type of change in their life. I myself tend to like change. I like new challenges, new places, new people. There’s something that ignites inside of me when it comes to things like this. At this point in my life I would love to settle for awhile. I would love to have some routine, maybe even some normalcy. Michelle and I are getting closer and closer to starting a family, and it would be nice to settle. Not forever, but for awhile. I was hoping that the change we made about a year ago would have been that. The point where we could exhale, stop, and breathe for several years. Well, change is on the horizon again. It’s like the sun peeking up just above the land. You can see it, feel it, but not quite make out where or even when, but soon. That’s where we are at. Jesus said, “You must follow me.” He didn’t always say where, or when, or even why. But He did say.. FOLLOW ME. That’s what we are doing. With every inch of our being. We follow and trust and hope.
I just began my second book of the year entilted “Jesus For President.” I’m about a quarter of the way through, and enjoying it a lot. It’s a book that explores whether or not we as a nation are more concerened about political power and pride, then we are about truly being a faith-based people. Here’s a quote from the beginning of the book… This book is a project in renewing the imagination of the church in the United States and of those who would seek to know Jesus. We are seeing more and more tht the church has fallen in love with the stated and that this love affair is killing the church’s imagination. The powerful benefits and temptations of running the world’s largest superpower have bent the church’s identity. Having power at its fingertips, the church often finds “guiding the course of history” a more alluring goal than following the crucified Christ. Too often the patriotic values of pride and strength triumph over the spiritual values of humility, gentleness, and sacrificial love. Time for me to read some more.
A friend of mine had these thoughts on his blog. I wanted to share it… The following is from C.S. Lewis, who is generally regarded as one of the greatest Christian thinkers of our time, and probably of all time. I enjoy almost everything of his I read, and this little quote from him is no exception. Enjoy, and have a wonderful Saturday. Lewis said: “A man can no more diminish God’s glory be refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word “darkness” on the walls of his cell.” No matter what, God gets the glory.
According to JesusManifesto.com, the first ever “emerging” Amish church launched recently just outside of Columbus, Ohio. The church, calling itself “Solomon’s Barn” blends cutting edge worship with Amish sensibilities. Its pastor, Jacob Yoder (who prefers to be called “Jay”) believes that the Amish can learn from emerging styles of worship. “We’re ready for something new…something fresh,” says Pastor Jay. When asked about his sources of inspiration, Pastor Jay (who wears a soul-patch instead of a traditional Amish beard) responded by saying: “I mean, there I was, settling with ‘church as usual’ when I stumbled upon the writings of Brian McLaren. I felt like his words were coming right from my own head, you know? I realized that I was a postmodern Amish person…I needed to reject pre-modernism for a more authentic faith.” Worship at Solomon’s Barn reflects Amish traditions…for example, the men and women are seated separately, but instead of pews, the congregation sits on couches in their worship space–a renovated barn. Women still wear head coverings, but many of the coverings have patches sown into them that say “another world is possible” or “jesus was homeless.” Many of the worship songs are simply contemporary Amish pop tunes with worshipful lyrics added. And while Amish worship services have always used candles–or lanterns–this new hip, Amish church drapes black cloth around their makeshift sanctuary. You can read more of this emerging amish church over at JesusManifesto.com. (ht: Monday Morning Insight)