It’s a good question, even though the “good church-goer” response is a quick and undivided “yes.”
So the answer is yes, but I think there’s a roundabout layer we need to acknowledge.
God has delegated free-will to people. In other words, he’s given some power away. We as his image bearers affect the future. He’s choosing not to step in and steal the show every time our decisions fall outside of his. Continue reading
I get tired of people getting nervous about evangelism. In most churches, evangelism is a dirty word. Maybe rightfully so. The average person inside or outside the church thinks of it as a pushy thing.
But that’s just it. Do you have to be pushy to share Jesus with people?
I don’t think so.
I’ve really been talking it out with God about evangelism… what’s the simplest and most natural approach? Here’s how I’ve been trying to explain it to my church. Continue reading
I’m pretty decent at event planning, but I’ve stumbled on a resource that really takes the cake on Neighborhood Block Party planning!
Here’s the key points I took from it that I hadn’t necessarily thought through…
- Set up a sign-‐in book for records for the next year, and it can help develop a contact list for the neighborhood.
- Nametags can be a great help.
- Decide what you want neighbors to write on their name tags (e.g. -‐first and last names, house numbers).
- Line up tables for the food and have a few garbage cans available.
- Decide whether you will coordinate or everyone will bring their own tables and chairs plates, cutlery and cups, beverages.
- Institute a bathroom policy “everyone to use his or her own”, so that home security is maintained.
- Decide if pets are allowed.
- Figure out a natural boundary for extending invitations, and communicate if/how people can extend the invitations to others.
- Welcome people to feed ideas to your mail box prior.
- Work with one or two other families to plan it.
You can download the full version by The Art of Neighboring.
Just finished Total Church: A Radical Reshaping Around Gospel and Community by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis. I thought it was a great read.
The paradigm these authors represent is that everything in the Christian life has to be done in community.
What they present is in fact more “radical” than just making sure you’re in a weekly small group or Bible study. Theology, Parenting, Apologetics, Evangelism, Church Planting, Pastoral Care – all of these things happen in collaboration in a side-by-side relationship with other people following Jesus.
My favorite example came from evangelism. Instead of just talking out key issues together, doing key issues together is key. Possibly the best outreach content is giving people the opportunity to observe or experience the love and sacrifice going on within the family of Christ. Yes, words still need to be shared, but what they see would be as powerful as the words… not to mention that it would help the words make sense! One-on-one personal outreach is not the most effective route.
In short, church is not another thing to juggle in your busy life, it’s a community that juggles everyday life together.
Richard Florida did a book called Who’s Your City. It builds on his prior work Rise of the Creative Class in which he places a city’s potential and future upon the body of creative people in creative fields contained in that city. Who’s Your City is then about how do you get creative people to your city… and how to get them to stay there.
The book’s primary goal is to dispel the myth that job opportunities are the only thing moving creative people from one city to another. Yes, this makes a difference, particularly if your city has a track record in their industry of choice. There are many other aspects to a city’s culture that draws and keeps people.
- Aesthetics - was there intentional effort to beautify with architecture, public parks, arts, and urban development?
- Services – what’s the quality of schools, health care, rest activities, and religion?
- Leadership – is there alignment with the liberal or conservative climate the city’s leaders are known for?
- Economic Security – will the jobs there be staying there?
- Relationships – is there ample opportunity to meet others from your same walk of life.
Sometimes people have to switch cities to chase a job, but if they’re going to stay for the long run a list such as this is considered.
It doesn’t feel great to win the war, when you’ve lost the last battle.
Five weeks back, I baptized a young man named Eric Kleist at Lakepoint Church… this week I did the memorial service for his suicide.
His baptism was legit. He was genuinely on fire for Jesus. Always reading, always confessing, always leaning into God for becoming a better person. He’d comment on all my messages. Just days before his passing, he sent me a strong email urging me to preach baptism more strongly at Lakepoint. His foundation of faith in Jesus meant so much to him, that he wanted everyone else to experience the same.
Eric went off of medications for his mental illness around the time of his baptism, which explains the suicide just weeks after.
Here’s the eye opener for me: you’re never done fighting the battles, even if you’ve won the war. Eric was rock solid and on track with Jesus. There’s isn’t any more you could look for in a new believer. The war for Eric’s life was won. Satan didn’t concede though, and won the last battle. Continue reading
The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard is a nifty little book – can’t believe it’s taken me this long to read a New York Times best seller like this!
It’s written in narrative/fictional format, but drives at specific lesson.
The One Minute Manager attacks his key leadership functions with brevity and clarity… approximately in one minute.
- One Minute Goal Setting. A person should be able to write their job description, responsibilities, and goals… all on one sheet of paper (something that can be reviewed in one minute or less). You can get out a new sheet of paper for different hats you ware, but you get the point. Great leadership comes from clear expectations. A one-minute goal statement, that stays flexible and current, that everyone agrees on, allows the manager to hold their staff accountable, and gives the staff clear direction on what is expected of them. Continue reading