Month: May 2013

How to Build Your Platform

How to Build Your Platform

Build your platform with Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt. Wow! This is an essential must-have if you’re trying to reach an audience a larger scale.

I wish I had this course in seminary, almost as a Preaching 501 class or a how to communicate that burning message inside you… for church leaders like me who wish to truly influence others with my message.

I wish I had this course as a new business owner, perhaps from the Small Business Administration or some other organization that helps new business owners get their feet under them or at least on how to build your platform, whether through sales, networking, offering free seminars or speeches, SEO/SEM or social media campaigns.

I wish I had this course as a new military officer, seeking to spread a positive influence with those I serve alongside… how to build your platform in that environment is essential because the noise is loud!

May I suggest you pick up a copy of Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World in both hardback AND kindle version? Hopefully I won’t sound like a total raving lunatic about this, but I’m a new fan. I’m in need of help in this area. I think I just hit the mother lode!

Here’s an infographic on how to build your platform, called 5 Steps to Building Your Platform:

Platform by Michael Hyatt

QUESTION AROUND THE CAMPFIRE: Would you like help in organizing yourself to build your platform by creating a broader and more effective influence on those you are trying to lead?

The Best Defense is a Good Offense

The Best Defense is a Good Offense

The Best Defense is a Good Offense

The best defense is a good offense” is an old proverb that has been applied to many The Best Defense is a Good Offensefields of endeavor, including games and military combat. Generally the idea is that offensive action preoccupies the opposition and ultimately its ability to directly harm. Mao Zedong opined that “the only real defense is active defense”, meaning defense for the purpose of counter-attacking and taking the offensive.Often success rests on destroying the enemy’s ability to attack. In reference to fighting terrorists, Matthew Levitt opines, “It’s important to pre-emptively strike at those who intend to do us harm.” The principle is echoed in the writings of Machiavelli and Sun Tzu.

The best defense is a good offense

In some board games, such as Risk, one’s ability to build up armies depends on aggressively attacking so as to acquire territory; however, in Risk, luck in rolling the dice is the ultimate determining factor. Players who fail to do so, and concentrate instead on holding the line against enemy attack, will likely end up in a weak position.

Indepthinfo argues that this adage does not always apply: “When the battle rages between two players one should put every ounce of power in the offense, but when several players are involved, the political element changes this dynamic.” In chess, one’s ability to prevent enemy attacks often depends on maintaining the initiative – i.e., making a series of threats that the opponent must use his turns to parry, rather than launching his own attacks; thus, common tips used in conjunction with this adage are that the best way to upset your opponent’s plans is to become menacing and that the best way to stop an enemy threat to your own king is to attack his.

In sports such as soccer and basketball, the adage “the best defense is a good offense” is used to note that success can hinge on an effective offense that keeps the ball on the other team’s side of the field, thus not only creating scoring opportunities but preventing the opposing team from scoring.

In a culture like ours in modern America, which embraces diversity, to suggest that certain truths apply to everyone is downright offensive. Pointing out sin isn’t popular and many Christians are labeled as “intolerant” for refusing to accept certain behaviors and ideas.

Unfortunately, many people have embraced a distorted Christianity that tries to be “politically correct.” They don’t want to offend anyone, so they accept sin rather than confronting it. Ultimately, their words of “love” ring empty because they accept sins that ruin people’s lives.

Other Christians just try to avoid sinful culture altogether. They have been taught to go on the defense—to hide in their homes, churches and schools to shut the door on the evil influences of culture. This is where we end up having the church of “We Don’t Do That” and Christian schools appear no different than public schools.

But Jesus challenged His followers to be on the offense—to proclaim the truth without shame.

Our households, churches and schools should become staging areas rather than fortresses; training environments that equip God’s people to confront a sinful world instead of hiding from it.Jesus knows that the pagan world will resist, but He dares us to go there anyway, and to be His conduits for HIS building HIS church in those very places that are most morally decayed.

As we listen to Jesus’ challenge today, we as Christians should ask ourselves the important question:

**Question: Are we on defense or offense?**

The Gates of Hades

The Gates of Hades

Gates of Hades: Caesarea Philippi

In first century Israel, the gates of Hades was known to be located in Caesarea Philippi. This city would be an equivalent of Las Vegas – Sin City – but much worse than the modern city in the American West. The location of Caesarea Philippi was especially unique because it stood at the base of a cliff where spring water flowed. At one time, the water ran directly from the mouth of a cave set in the bottom of the cliff.

Gates of Hades - Caesarea PhilippiIn Jesus’ time a temple stood in front of this cave. A powerful stream of water flowed out of the measureless and very deep pool emanating from the grotto (cave), according to Josephus. This cave was believed to be the gates of Hades. Other shrines and temples stood here including this one to Caesar. The niches in the wall held images of the gods Pan, Echo and Hermes

The common belief of pagans in this era was that their fertility gods lived in the underworld during the winter and returned to earth each spring. Water was a symbol of the underworld and it was commonly thought that their gods traveled to and from that world through caves.

To the pagan mind, then, the cave and spring water at Caesarea Philippi created a gate to the underworld. They believed that their city was literally at the gates of the underworld—the gates of Hades. In order to entice the return of their god, Pan, each year, the people of Caesarea Philippi engaged in horrible behavior, including prostitution and sexual interaction between humans and goats. In the open-air Pan Shrine, next to the cave mouth, there was a large niche, in which a statue of Pan (a half-goat, half-human creature) stood, with a large erect phallus, worshiped for its fertility properties. Surrounding him in the wall were many smaller niches, in which were statues of his attending nymphs. On the shrine in front of these niches, worshipers of Pan would congregate and partake in bizarre sexual rites, including copulation with goats – worshipped for their relationship to Pan.

The Gates of Hades was no place for a good Jew! When Jesus brought his disciples to this awful place, they must have been shocked. Caesarea Philippi was like a red-light district in their world and devout Jews would have avoided any contact with the despicable acts committed there.

This was a city of people eagerly knocking on the doors of hell.

**Question: What city comes to mind when you think of Caesarea Philippi?**

Overcome Fear in Evangelism

Overcome Fear in Evangelism

How to Overcome Fear in Evangelism

Overcome Fear in EvangelismIf I want to know how to overcome fear in evangelism, where do I start? Although there are numerous resources out there to help remedy our problem, we can also look to examples that currently exist around us.

Helpful Resources on How to Overcome Fear in Evangelism

Helpful books and websites give us confidence and encouragement toward teaching us how to overcome fear in evangelism. Since there are many forms and styles of evangelism, I am going to focus only on a few.

Share Jesus Without Fear

21 Things God Never Said: Correcting Our Misconceptions About Evangelism

Becoming a Contagious Christian

Additionally, websites are very helpful as well. Here are a few trusted fellow leaders in evangelism: Larry Moyer, Ray Comfort, and Chris Walker.

Let us overcome fear in evangelism together. Check out any of these tested and proven resources.

Additionally, here are some comments (permission granted to use) from new friends of Church Leaders Campfire on how to overcome fear in evangelism:

Robert Dallman, of ChristLife, Inc:

1. Get to know Who you should fear: Matthew 10:28 – “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

2. Become motivated to preach the Gospel by the things that motivated the Apostle Paul:
A. Love of Christ: 2 Corinthians 5:14 – “For the love of Christ constraineth us…”
B. Terror of God: 2 Corinthians 5:11 – “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men…”

I believe that it is our over “familiarity” with God and our lack of biblical “fear of the Lord” that leads to fear of evangelism. We must truly love the lost (not just in word, but in deed – i.e. preaching the Gospel to them). This love will increase as we get to know Jesus better, and truly believe in hell.

If we fear the Lord… love the lost… live in the reality of where the unrepentant will spend a literal tormented eternity (hell)… His Holy Spirit will help us overcome our fear of people.

Phil Gioja, of Heartland Seeds:

“I’ve shared my faith only a few times directly in a way to evangelize someone. For me it was seeing how the gospel fit a need in the other person’s life that came up through relationship & conversation, and explaining that. But I live fairly transparently so most people who know me know I’m a believer, read my blog, hear me talk about my faith, see things on Facebook, so I know people see me as a believer. I hope my walk speaks strongly and my words back it up; I want my entire life to give God glory.”





How to Train Small Group Leaders

How to Train Small Group Leaders

How to Train Small Group Leaders, part 1

How to train small group leaders | Church Leaders CampfireIf I want to know how to train small group leaders, then I must instinctively know what kind of small group I am looking to have. Borrowing from parenting wisdom, one must know their intended goal for that particular group in order to know how to train leaders for them. If your intended goal or purpose for the group is unsettled for you, then may I suggest you do additional research. If you are a Senior Pastor looking to start a small group ministry at your church, a small groups pastor looking to improve upon the existing ministry, an associate pastor overseeing small groups, a church planter just beginning the blueprint or DNA for the church, or a Youth Pastor or Children’s Director looking to add this ministry to your list of current ministries, then this is for you.

How to train small group leaders can be as varied and complicated as choosing the right American wedding menu (Never again)! Conversely, it can be oversimplified into a one-size fits all pattern (even the Air Force doesn’t do that). Before we get into determining small group purpose, let’s look at YOU, the small group overseer / champion / area coordinator / pastor.

So, how do we train small group leaders? Part 1 of how to train small group leaders begins with you. If you are the leader responsible for making this happen in your church or community, then you will need to clothe yourself with two things:  “COL2:6n7.” and “T.A.P.”

Clothe Myself with COL2:6n7?How to train small group leaders | Clothe Yourself with Christ - Col. 2:6-7

Yes, I know… it looks like a Star Wars droid name. Knowing how to train small group leaders begins with clothing oneself with a COL2:6n7 perspective. COL2:6n7 stands for (you guessed it), Colossians 2:6-7 (ESV) “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”

When you consider the idea of recruiting, training, encouraging, supporting or helping small group leaders troubleshoot, this is the perspective we need to clothe ourselves in. We need a close relationship with Jesus–one that finds our identity and encouragement in Him and one that is grateful for His continuing work on our behalf (Romans 8:34). Church leader, if you struggle in this area, then training a small group will be very difficult and fruitless without Jesus involved (John 15:5).

Clothe Myself with T.A.P.?

Knowing how to train small group leaders also begins with T.A.P. which stands for Tenacity, Attitude and Persistence. These qualities simply sum up the character needed to lead other people: gumption. Click on the link to the left and you’ll find it defined as initiative, aggressiveness, resourcefulness. In other words, whether it’s recruiting, training, troubleshooting, firing a volunteer, or whatever, T.A.P. is required whether we like it or not. Can’t find a supporting Bible verse for this? Look at the life of Jesus. Was He passive? Did He shirk responsibility? Was He a One Approach Fits All kind of guy? Nope. I dare say He had T.A.P. and wants to give that to us (even though we may be cut from the timid cloth.) Another way of saying this is, BOLDNESS. So where do I find that boldness? In my relationship with Jesus Christ.

Question: What character traits do YOU think are necessary in how to train small group leaders?

One Thing Living… the Secret of Life!

One Thing Living… the Secret of Life!

What is the secret of life? It’s One Thing Living.

One Thing Living… In this scene from City Slickers, despite Curly’s tough exterior, he is a wise man indeed. Curly advises the main character how to face his problems: by concentrating on the “one thing” that is most important in his life.

What is your One Thing? Curly from City Slickers speaks about passion and singleness of purpose.

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