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monday morning random-ness

great weekend!
  • our son's soccer team won decisively to a team they had lost to just 5 days prior - score was 5-1!
  • georgia lost (NOT great), but they played like they should've in the second half - got to have that passion and leadership for 60, not 30.
  • my fantasy football team is kicking tail! speaking of football, who saw this weekend's upsets coming? wow!
  • date night this weekend with some other couples from church - went to see fireproof - let me emphatically endorse this movie and do ALL that i can to compel EVERY couple to go see it. men, take the lead and take your wife...take tissues also (you may need them, she will!). awesome movie that will encourage you to step up and lead. i love this movie and am now on a path of telling everyone to go see it - MAKE IT HAPPEN!
  • i've added two new IPHC bloggers to my blogroll - the blogosphere is gaining traction in the IPHC - would LOVE to see it continue to build as we head into next year's Gen. Conf. - the A/G's were able to really use the blogosphere to educate and motivate for their recent changes. the first one is from a youth pastor locally that i meet with occasionally - jim's blog here. the second blog is one that've i've just found using google's alert feature. doug's blog is here - oh yea, most importantly, they just planted a hispanic church!
  • here are some other blogs that i've come across in my bloglines reader:
  • lessons from harry truman - i love this quote, “A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.”
  • joe biden ticks me off! - i love this post and wholeheartidly agree with tim
  • "let's play it safe" vs. "let's risk it all" - great post and right where i've been living
  • it was great to visit genesis church in cumming, ga. i love this congregation. they are led by an awesome leadership team and pastors. God's doing great things in their midst, they are growing, they are planning for the future...things are happening!

on the radar

i currently have a ton of blogs by others tagged to refer you to...but i've boiled it down to 5 important ones - please, take your time to check some of these out - some have some things to say that you need to hear...thanks and enjoy.
  1. furtick uses a great analogy to talk about taking things into our own hands
  2. these next few blog references are to a new blog that i'm following and i absolutely love it - its quickly becoming one of my favorites: first, lead yourself. second, maximizing stewardship. third, little things matter. finally, recharging. go check out this blogsite and all the other things available on it - very well done with a ton of great resources
  3. five reasons why EVERY pastor ought to be blogging
  4. awesome post (and really easy to read) comparing "leader man" and "servant man"
  5. finally, if you lead volunteers...must read!

church metrics

excited to see the folks at lifechurch doing it again - i love these guys! next time i'm in okc, i'm going to a service...


Introducing ChurchMetrics from ChurchMetrics on Vimeo.

friday morning unwind

quick post of what's on my mind...
  • the braves stink this year!
  • the dawgs look good - but they have a LONG road ahead of them...one or two losses should be expected - if we escape the year unbeaten, then there will be no need for a nat'l championship game - we just earn the trophy
  • the falcons...lots of heart and rebuilding...sold out a home game - the road to recovery
  • my fantasy football team - taking after the braves!
  • the georgia conference website is up and running! www.gaiphc.org
  • my blog needs more attention - yes, i know!
  • but with time and travel demands, my wife and kids get the attention first
  • our dog had surgery yesterday - good news - we know we'll never have to worry about puppies. bad news - she's a DQ!
  • my daughter has the chicken pox - not cool for her, but she's been a trooper and we've spent most of the week together - that's cool
  • God's dealing with me about holiness - we've so lost our fear and reverence of God that we no longer fear Him. my previous post pointed out a quote about the holiness of God and the love of God...it rocked my world because throughout Scripture we see where God SEPERATES Himself from all other gods and sin - and that's where HE calls us to as well - to be seperate! the love of God is important (and that post didn't try to qualify which is "more" important) - just the fact that the BIBLE records a TON about the holiness, seperate-ness of God!
  • the news about ray boltz...the "spotlight preachers"...the everyday person. people, we are being SO STINKING deceived by the enemy into complacency and compromise - God DEMANDS holiness and we REFUSE to live up to that demand...yes, i'm passionate about this. as much as i may have ridiculed some of the 'old-time' holiness standards, practices and people, i now repent! here's one thing i realize - they ACTED our of reverence and fear of God. we've lost that!
  • oh, and by the way, "ACTED" is all caps because there's a book in the bible called "Acts" - it's not called, "Thoughts" or "Ideas" - it's Acts - these are the Acts of the early apostles - wonder what kind of book would be written about us - what stories would be told - what "acts" would be recorded - God make us holy!
  • preaching this coming sunday pm at fsphc...the elevate service - humbled, but excited about the opportunity to preach/teach in this setting with college, high school and middle school students. continuing my "one prayer" series of sermons in churches that i visit
  • i love my job - so great to see God orchestrate my past and my path in life to bring me to where we are now as a family and where i am as a minister - its awesome!
  • i love our churches and i hurt for our pastors - folks, pray for your pastor - trust me...he NEEDS it! whether things are going good or bad or just so-so, pray for him!
  • i was a day late for a conference - that'll be a good sermon point one day - totally missed it in my blackberry even after the "reminder" came on - lot of good that did! (i'm laughing and smiling now as i type this, i wasn't when i realized it)
  • really want the blackberry bold when it's release but it's going to cost too stinking much - so i'll wait until all the hubub dies down and get it for a cheaper price - maybe!
  • i don't get the ryder cup tournament - i love golf, but i dont get it!
  • getting more and more fired up about becoming debt free - pray that we can get there quickly!
  • we bought a piano and my daughter is taking lessons - it's become a great thing to have in our home. my wife and i also are tinkering around with it - good times

they said it

Contrary to what you may hear today in some sermons and popular religious songs,
the emphasis in the Bible is on the
holiness of God and not on the love of God.
Wiersbe, W. W. (1996, c1994). Be holy.Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

Hmmmmmm, what does this do for all of our "Jesus is my boyfriend" worship songs? Just thinking out loud here - chime in...

what matters most?

people!

below are my notes from teaching at abundant faith last week...

  1. remove the blinders - many people belive their church is 'the most friendliest' - perhaps its friendly ONLY to you - because you have friends. for the first time guest, quite often, they don't have friends - it's a sea of strangers...an ocean of obscurity. we must remove the blinders, begin to see how things REALLY are. questions to ask: are we able to identify our first, second and return guests? are we so focused on talking with "so-and-so" that we bypass the new person sitting on our row or in our section? are we blinded to feelings of a first time guest?
  2. accept the mindset - the mindset is this: consumerism! fact is, that's the society we live in. Jesus dealt with this in john 6:26 (and in vs. 2) - the key word is: because. fact is people attend, return, participate, etc "BECAUSE" of something or someone. accept it, embrace it, and focus on people. questions to ask: what one thing could i do to make our first time guests feel more welcomed? what are we doing now that would scare a first time guest?
  3. determine your excellence - truthfully, it's the small things that make a difference. start small, determine the areas of focus, then focus on excellence on those areas. let me suggest some areas to focus on when it comes to excellence: entryways/lobby, bathrooms, sound equipment (it should be "UN-noticeable"), exterior (landscape, sidewalks, etc), parking lot (if its not paved, work toward that!)
  4. expectations expose values - in other words, if you have high expectancy for God to move powerfully, change lives, restore marriages, etc, then you VALUE that. if you don't expect these things then you don't value them. your values are exposed by your expectations! questions to ask: what do we value? do we have outreach? if not, do we value it? do we have small groups? if not, do we value them? are people connecting with others? if not, do we value relationship?
"BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER"
say that...
again...
that's where our focus is...people!

in mark 1 Jesus calls peter and andrew to follow Him and He tells them He will make them fishers of men - these guys were already fishermen! and now Jesus is going to teach them? YES!

we read a lot about peter - he gets a lot of exposure and press in the new testament...andrew however isn't as notorious. but here's what we do know about andrew...in john 6 - andrew is the one who brings the boy to Jesus with the loaves and fishes. in john 12 andrew (and philip) bring the greeks to Jesus...point is this: Jesus said he'd teach them how to fish for men and there are two strong indications that andrew learned - he kept bringing people to Jesus - that's our role, because people matter!

DNA

one of the things that i have come to grips with in my new multi-faceted role with our denomination is this:

the dna of the ministry must flow from the dna of the leader

said another way:

the dna of the leader will be exhibted in the dna of the ministry

let me bring this home with a bit of a self-history lesson:
  • church plant #1 that i was involved with had a leader whose leadership-dna was strongly influenced by the word of faith movement (understand, i'm not oppossed to that necessarily, i'd rather be a word of faith person than a word of doubt person!) - consequently, the ministry had elements of the word of faith movement that were obvious. for example: a strong belief in what one "confesses." also, a strong focus on faith and healing.
  • church plant #2 that i was involved with had a leader that was a strong teacher. consequently, there was a strong emphasis on a teaching style of preaching. a strong emphasis on educating believers. all, very good and nothing to be ashamed of.
  • ministry role #1 had a strong emphasis on structure, order and authority. so, you get the picture...the leader was a big proponent of authority, structure, etc.
  • ministry role #2 had a leader who operated and allowed others to operate in the prophetic gift. so, the church's worship was prophetic in nature, the teaching and structure of the service flowed so that there was "room" (not the best word, but it works for now) for the prophetic to flow.
  • the unstated thing in all of these scenario's was this: each leader felt he was right! know what? he was! and these leaders understood that, yet left room for others and other structures or points of emphasis
  • i've left some places and ministry roles out and not necessarily placed them in order...just trying to illustrate a point...hang in there
which leads me to this conclusion: there is no "one" model that is best.

when we begin to look at a "model" to follow, we remove the emphasis of relationship with Christ, authority of Scripture and necessity of prayer.

OUT of those things, and THROUGH the dna of a leader is how a church is led!

so, what is the dna of a leader?
wikipedia says, dna "is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms." when you dissect that definition you see 3 key words:
  1. instruction - in other words, the values, vision, giftings, personality, and skill-set of a leader is where the dna begins. that ALL begins out of a life-flowing relationship with Christ (Jn. 15:1-8) that is the "genetic code"
  2. development - that development is the growth that we experience as we are in the Body of Christ (Eph. 2:22)
  3. functioning - a definition of this word is, "the action for which a person or thing is particularly fitted or employed." in other words, its the purpose for which you were created. translated into church leadership, its the purpose the local pastor is created for. eph. 4:17 sums this whole notion up with a great reference (implied)
finally, let me re-emphasize, it's vitally important that the local church reflect the dna of the leader and NOT try to be all things to all people...the local church IS going to reflect the dna of the leader because its through that leader's life WITH and IN Christ that he leads.

thoughts?

in a few days i'll post why i think God uses denominations...any early thoughts on that subject?

on the radar...

there's been some wondering where "blogger rick" is...basically, he's been on the road...so, please accept my apologies, i'll post some original content later this week (on some things i'm passionate about), but until then: