I’m excited about attending an upcoming “Turbo” church planting event at NorthWood Church in Keller this Thursday. The lead presenter is a guy named Bob Robertswho has been used by God in a great way not only to plant NorthWood over 20 years ago, but to assist in and send out over a hundred planters. I’m looking forward to gleaning some more wisdom on the subject and exploring more into the future direction God is calling us to. One thing that I am convinced of is that we are going to be involved in church planting whether that’s doing another plant or leading an established church into this realm of service. Along those lines, I’ve been asked a few times if there’s really a need for such a thing, especially in an area like DFW which has “tons of churches”. I’ve always told folks asking that it’s a good question and then given them some things to chew on. Without too much research, here are just four reasons for planting that immediately come to mind. (more…)
Another great thing that I’m doing during this interim season is working with an adult Sunday School class at my home church in Amarillo. They’re a fun bunch of folks and are somewhat in a transition time themselves. I see them coming out the other end with a lot of new vision and vigor to really reach out into their community and make something happen for the Kingdom. Two weeks ago we took up a study over the book of James which is something that I think a lot of Christ followers in the West ought to camp out in for a bit. While in essence, authentic Christianity is all about what Jesus did for us on the cross and every inch of our righteousness is totally dependent upon His grace, the reality is that a life changed by God really does work that faith out in daily life. In other words, we don’t “work” to earn our Salvation, but because we are saved from the consequences of our sin, we then “work” to serve Christ and others out of love. It’s all about living a real, transformed life with no games about it. So for our 9:30 Sunday morning crew, keep going folks and live it up this week. For everyone else, how do you live out authentic Christianity in your community?
One of my true heart passions is world evangelism. In tune with this, I’ve pasted below a recent post from one of my favorite blogs to keep up with. The guy’s name is Bob Roberts and he’s got a lot of experience and insight to consider. The link is at Glocal.net and the post is below. Enjoy.
To See a Transformed World – or NOT!
When we go into ministry it is driven by passion, love, vision, and determination to see God work in our lives and see radical transformation through Jesus Christ in our local ministries and throughout the world. Too often it ends in frustration, disappointment, and defeat. The problem is not our heart or desire or even willingness – it’s our paradigm and understanding of our world. If we would see transformation:
1. We need a clear understanding of what the Great Commission is and what it isn’t. In my upcoming book that will be out in a few months I deal with what the Great Commission is – and move it from religious preacher work to disciple society engagement. Our current western understanding of the Great Commission is limiting us in being able to be a part of things where the Gospel is going viral. (more…)
I got a link this morning from a friend to a video clip about a new flick that has just come out called, We Live in Public. Feel free to check it out, but you might want to make sure you don’t have any kidos nearby. Though the intent its creator, Josh Harris, was to make a “cautionary tale of what to expect as the virtual world inevitably takes control of our lives”, the video actually illustrated something else I’ve been saying for years. I see one of two futures for America. Either a Christ following revival and awakening or a socialist dictatorship. When “Free” information and complete “Freedom” rule and are the prime objectives in life, then chaos is the ultimate result. The only way you can be free from Chaos and its natural consequences is by some form of order and “rightness”. That will happen either by a changed, self willed choice to honor Christ in the lives of everyday folks, or because the State forces them to obey the rules it sets. Just some Free thought to chew on.
Ok, show of hands here. How many of you had the burden of memorizing seemingly useless poetry in Junior High School? Yup, me too. But to this day there are a few of those old classic jewels that still stick in my head. One of those was by Emily Dickinson and it went to the tune of, “A word is dead when it is said some say. I say it just begins to live that day.” Now, in addition to the simple fact that the poem is short, I also remember it because it actually says something. I tend to agree with dear old Emily that words are powerful and have the ability to do good or evil. Just ask any elementary school kid on the playground that gets called names. I’ve had my share of complements and ridicules growing up so I know all about it. But when it comes to real names, I like mine. There have been times that I’ve thought of the Stephen in Acts Chapter 7 who was martyred for the Faith. Stephen was a man of great faith who laid it on the line to the point of death. That makes me proud. Some folks have shortened the name to six letters making it, “Steven”, but I would never submit to such a heresy. In fact, I actually draw encouragement from the man who went before me and gave his life for Christ. Names can do that. They can bring boldness and also they can cause discouragement.
But what kind of thoughts and feelings come to mind when you hear the name “Church”? (more…)