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make us gutsy

preached this weekend in statesboro at abundant life worship center - great church. my family and i love going there. statesboro is a great town. it's got georgia southern university so it's got a bit of the athens-vibe to it (which i also love athens), but it also has some southern colonial feel to it - neat place. we stayed at the trellis garden inn - it's a little motel next door to my brother-in-law's church. again, nice, quant older motel, but in no way run down! we spent saturday at splash in the boro - "splash" is a small waterpark that is owned by the local parks/rec. dept - great idea for a town there size. it's got just enough features and fun to spend a few hours at, then pack up and enjoy something else in town (we had my niece's b-day party to attend). best of it all, it makes dave happy becaue the cost is reasonable for a family.

anyway, my sermon was "make us gutsy" - it was my contribution to the one prayer campaign...
here were a few of my notes and some scriptures...

1.) Right now, you have all you need to do all God wants

· Acts 3:1-8

· Your limited resources make room for God’s abundance


· Capacity trumps capability – 2 Kings 4:1-6

· Capacity creates room for God’s abundance

· Stop comparing yourself – You are not complete – the only comparison is to God.

· 2 Cor. 10:12 says “it’s not wise to compare yourselves with yourselves”

· Get set free from the fear of failure

· When you think of limits, you create them!

2.) Take your death sentence seriously –

· 2 Corinthians 1:9 - Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead

· The sentence of death was not actual, but perceived

· Playing it safe is risky – Parable of the Talents (Mt. 25:14-27)

· You have to understand that when you show up to serve, people will take advantage of you – they did this to Jesus – why expect anything else?

· Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ and yet it is no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me”

· Biggest thing you must die to: SELF!

3.) Turn your world upside down

· Acts 4 – especially vs. 13

· The qualifications to turn your world upside down are pretty basic:

· Get with Jesus

· Hear His instruction

· Obey Him

· Acts 17:5-6 - But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too

· Backdrop :

· Chapter 17 – Paul shows up at the synagogue to teach

· It says he reasoned with them, explained to them and demonstrated

· Understand these things when you are the one turning the world upside down:

· Dislike - When you pray, “Lord, Make us Gutsy” (and start really following Him) –religious people will not like it

· Distraction - They will create a front to try to bring you down – in Acts 17 they staged a riot

· If they can’t find you, they’ll go after those close to you – they went after Jason

· Twentieth-century missionary, C.T. Studd, says, "Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell."

We need more Studds! (borrowed from mark batterson)

in memory of uga VI

they laid uga VI to rest today - saw some pics online at the ajc site...thought i'd share the one memory that my son and i have of meeting him before a game...this was taken a few years ago and it's taken with a cell...

on the radar: 5 lies creatives believe, volunteers, dysfunctional teams and uth sites

my final post in this series of on the radar, please comment and let me know what you think...
  • a list of 5 lies creative type people can buy into
  • a couple of resources on volunteers: first, training that hits the mark; second, a free e-book that you can download and use to help in your recruiting efforts
  • about 2 years ago i read a book called, five dysfunctions of a team, one of the best leadership books i have ever read - it's written as a fable - so it's a fun read, but it'll nail you between the eyes with truth - having served in various team capacities (church, business, community, school) the truth found in the base of the pyramid is so foundational and important for the future of any team - my two cents: teams that "do life" together, work better together! please, go check out this short post that recaps that book.
  • finally, i never pass along youth or children related posts, but i came across this list of top youth ministry sites - its a recap of various sites.

on the radar: obi-won pastorobi, church logos, tougher than hell and can i wear jeans?

continuing my series of posts of things on my radar...
  • there's a new wave of technology that's going to hit the church - are we ready for this? (i think so, can't wait) - ps: i already know of one church that's going to be looking at using this in the near future...and it isn't a 'seeker' church - it's hardcore pentecostal!
  • here's a list of 33 great church logo designs
  • you gotta love the name of this outreach - "tougher than hell motorcycle rally" - this ain't your grandma's outreach - at the end of the night, hundreds of bikers gave their lives to Christ - i love it!
  • this website answers the questions we all want to know..."what can i wear to church?" - if you're not on here, you need to enroll your church!

on the radar: people!!!, one prayer, r u afraid to ask, launch teams

continuing in my series of posts that have been on my radar...
  • the guys at swerve have done 3 posts about people: the first deals with picking people, the second with developing people and the third with removing people - folks, this is so important - having the right people, in the right place, at the right time is one of the most important things leaders can begin to embrace. and, let me add this, you can't keep the same person, in the same place for ever - i just don't think it's healthy for a ministry or a person - at some the curse of knowledge sets in and moving forward becomes impossible - i can't stress it enough...we must focus on people!
  • 1,541 churches are participating in this year's one prayer campaign - go back and re-read that - one thousand, five hundred and forty one churches! wow! simply, wow! i love seeing unity in the Body of Christ and i love what God is doing through this grassroots effort. this week, i'll be preaching my "one prayer" message at a church in statesboro - it's "make us gutsy" - i'm excited! check out the link above, next year's plans are introduced...
  • if u r not afraid to evaluate your sunday services, here's a handy checklist - obviously, not everything applies, the important thing is to be willing to ask the hard questions and make things better!
  • if you're a church planter, then you need to understand the difference between a core group and a launch team - here's a post by a guy that get's it! (hint: one's internally focused and one's externally focused)

on the radar: missional, leadership and communication

continuing my series on what's been on my radar the past few days...
  • here's a great definition of missional - i believe this is more than just a 'catch phrase' i believe it's the church returning to her purpose
  • nelson has a series of 3 posts regarding leadership (#1, #2, #3) - nothing really breakthrough - i highlight this because this is another reason to blog - to highlight important (to you, and to others) learnings, items to remember, or things to come back to
  • i believe almost all church fusses, fights, disagreements, misunderstandings, etc stem from communication problems. in fact, that's one skill and topic that is never touched on in bible school and seminary (to my knowledge) - it needs to be! anyway, elevation has a good post about keeping people, 'in the loop'

on the radar: tips rwoc, more tips, and apps (not abs)

going to spend the next few days sharing what's been on my radar in the blogosphere - i'll pick up with the innovation series again next week...here are a few for today:
  • batterson shares ten blog tips - these are short and highly advisable - check them out here - with this series i'm embracing number 3
  • perry went pentecostal and visited one of my favorite churches - redemption world outreach center - apostle ron not only greeted and blessed he and furtick, he had his house party with them - i love guys who are kingdom minded
  • seth posted an email checklist that everyONE should read and follow - please, read number 18 and follow the advice there...and number 21...
  • tony shares his top 25 web apps - i'm investigating a few of these myself - currently, i use: 1, 2, 4, 7, 9, 16, 18, 19, 22 and 25 - in the past i have used the following: 5, 6, 8, 21

innovation: blog

to continue my series of posts regarding innovation...the next few days will be sporadic at best as we finish our packing and moving...on top of this, i'm not sure when we'll have dsl ready at the new home and i have quite a few meetings in the coming days that will consume much of my time...anyway, moving forward with innovation, i want to answer the following 2 questions:
1.) what is a blog?
2.) what value is it to me in ministry?

1.) what is a blog? simply, a blog is short for "web log" - its a place that can be used to: educate, inform, update, inspire, challenge, opine, or journal (there's probably more uses, but you get the point) - blogging is a personal website that is updated regularly. you can use many various sites for free blogging service (such as this one, it's hosted on blogger.com - a google site). i reserved the domain name for just a few bucks per year, and my name "points" to my site. to recap: the blog host is free, the website name is not - if you want to reserve a "domain name" (like i did with rickwomack.com) then you can expect to pay a few dollars per year. how often you update your site is up to you. there are some sites that i track that are updated once per week, some several times per day - keep in mind, i don't go to these sites, they come to me because i use an aggregator (blog reader).

2.) what value is it to me in ministry? i can see several values for church leaders. it can be used to "finish the sermon" - in other words, perhaps you leave the sermon open ended and point people to your site where you'll finish the "last point" later in the week. then you type it out, publish it on your blog, and you finish preaching your sermon through teaching on your blog. you can also use a blog to help you prepare for a sermon like this pastor did. it can also be used to make regular announcements. such as: special events, snow days, guest speakers, vbs, etc. a blog can also be used to prepare your people for a small group ahead of time - post the chapters or verses to be read, then ask a couple of open ended questions on your blog, then when everyone shows up, they're prepared to discuss. in short, a blog can be a means of digital discipleship. it's taking your influence as a pastor or leader and extending it through the course of the week on a digital level to your members. here are other examples of a use for a blog: if you're a missionary or evangelist, you can use it to post your iteneration schedule or activities on the field; if you're a volunteer leader, you can use it to post schedule (just be sure to keep people's identity vague - don't use last names!); if you're the worship leader, you can post the set list and position assignments for the upcoming month(s). in short, use your imagination, there are a lot of options for blogging in ministry - use the technology to your advantage to leverage your influence

as a final bonus, please check out marks 10 tips for blogging - i agree with them all!

innovation: rss

there are two questions in this series of posts that i'll tackle:
1.) what is __________________? (i.e. what is rss, a blog, etc)
2.) what value is it to me in ministry?

the second question is perhaps the most important!
because i tend to be an early adopter (although my finances don't always allow me to), i have to find the proper balance between technology/innovation (really, two different things, but here i'll treat as one) and effectiveness - it's really an issue of stewardship!

you have to ask yourself the following:
  • "does this help or hinder?"
  • "does this clarify or cloud?"
  • "does this simplify or complicate?"
so, the two questions today are:
1.) what is rss?
2.) what value is it to me in ministry?

1.) rss stands for Realy Simple Syndication. recall with me that syndication is when a writer is published across various platforms (i.e. newspapers, magazines, etc) - so, rss is the syndication of bloggers (writers) across various platforms (aggregators or blog readers). here's where it gets easy, but you have to stay with me...the next tool you want to use is an aggregator or blog reader - it does the work for you - you simply subscribe to a blog (look for the "subscribe" button or "rss" button) and when the writer publishes something new, it comes to you. i personally use bloglines. another excellent blog reader is google reader - both are great, i've just used bloglines longer since it's been around longer. so, although i may follow 50+ bloggers, i don't 'go' to their sites, their sites 'come' to me - anytime todd, perry, or michael publishes something new, i know about it
2.) what value is it to me in ministry? as i see it there are at least 3 values for someone in ministry to understand what rss is (and begin to use a blog reader).
  • a.) cross-pollination: that is, reading across various information sources and interests. i read blogs about: leadership, church planting, media, culture, presentation, family, sports and technology. this gives me the ability to keep a pulse on important things to me and to what God has called me to!
  • b.) skill sharpening: as i quoted in my workshop, Ecclesiastes 10:10 says, "if the ax is dull, and it's blade unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring success." so as a leader in the Body of Christ, i must sharpen my skills! by reading blogs from people that are 'further down the road' than i, i'm able to sharpen my skills and learn from them. it's also helped me make decisions and consider alternatives
  • c.) God speaks: that's right, there are times when God speaks to me through the bloggers that i read. sometimes it's in an area of ministry or it may just be on a personal level, regardless, i totally believe the internet was created for God's kingdom and for God's people - He can use it!
begin to understand and utilize rss as much as possible...if you'll notice, more and more sites are using rss as a means of delivering content to you instead of you having to go to it.

they said it

listening (and somewhat watching) furtick's vidcast and he made a statement that i'll paraphrase...

when people say, "you can't do that, it's never been done before" - that's when you rise up and say, "bless God, that means He's been saving it for me to do"

powerful!

back in the saddle

ok, after a hectic last couple of weeks, i'm about to get back to blogging...got my digital inbox cleaned out, almost have my physical inbox taken care of.

...still packing, still moving, still living a fast paced life (not in a bad sorta way though) - so...in the coming days i'll be following up with a series of blogs that i promised everyone at the georgia conference about using innovation in ministry.

i'll touch on: rss, blogging, facebook/myspace, podcast, slideshare, google docs, twitter (which i'm about to abandon after my trial), audio/video in service, atmosphere (lighting and sound) in service and perhaps a few others - anything you want me to blog about?

proud

just want to say how proud i am of my wife...she finished the year as the second grade lead teacher...it was a trying year because she has some health issues and on countless occasions i advised her to consider stepping away to focus on her health and recovery...she didn't. but, in the end, it was a great year for her...she led well and learned a lot about leadership and herself as well.

as well, she's been asked to share a few words this coming week with all of the minister's wives. she'll greet them, open with prayer and share from her heart for just a few minutes. please pray for her this week. God has really burdened us with supporting the pastors and their wives in our churches - particularly the wives - we feel that so many are hurting and just need encouragement.

anyway, yes, i'm a proud husband - God's truly blessed me with the BEST!

new blogs i'm reading

here are some new blogs that are on my radar...
  • i've got google alerts set to let me know of anything going on on the web regarding the IPHC and it came across this blog - it's from one of my alma mater - southwestern christian university - it's a blog for scu women - interesting find for me was a brief review of a book written by my friend francis pike - the dean of the graduate school's wife - here's a link to the scu women site and a link to the promo featuring the book
  • that site led me to several others...there's a scu toolbox that has quite a few resources for ministry and church planting (GREAT resource site and seems to be kept current)...here's one on pentecostal research (great for archivists)
  • our denomination has set up a blog, it seems to be yet another "news source" without a lot of interactivity - hey guys in OKC, if you read this...PLEASE: 1.) remove the "policies" tab at that top - nothing turns readers (guests) off more than the "rules" being front and center - not against the rules, just don't make them prominent; 2.) make it more interactive - do away with the "users must be logged in" before commenting - you have moderated comments (which i agree with totally), but why must i go through 1&1 and give them my contact info? - again, make it more interactive - create discussion! the A/G's did a GREAT job of this right before last year's convention - we can learn from them! their site is no longer active - but here's the last post still available
  • other blogs i've added recently...i added anne jackson's blog - she has tons of readers...bobby clinton was one of my professors at scu and is THE MAN behind all things leadership! while maxwell is the "orator" and motivator for leadership, clinton is the theory and biblical background regarding leadership - REALLY glad he's blogging!...added the catalyst leader feeder blog to my bloglines - i love catalyst and hopefully will go back this year - jeff, you coming down to the ATL? added this one and this one also...

in the news...

anderson independent ran a story on this week's upcoming events - check it out here