Author: Neil Schultz

I help church leaders and their spouses become resilient and healthy in their lives, families and ministries.
Church Core Values

Church Core Values

“Core values are the constant, passionate, biblical core beliefs that drive the ministry.”
– Dr. Aubrey Malphurs in Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders

I planted a church. The church core values are CHRIST.

This is an acronym for:
Creative Bible Teaching
Happy Healthy Holy Household
Relational Community
Intentional Evangelism
Shared Ministry
Transformed Living

The following several posts will explain in more detail.

Wanna Be Encouraging?

Wanna Be Encouraging?

How to Skillfully Encourage People

“Man does not live on bread alone,” right?

People need food for the spirit as well as for the body. Remember how you feel when a kind word or compliment is given you?

Remember how your whole day or evening is brightened up by that kind word or compliment?

Remember how long the good feeling lasts?

Well, others will react just as you do. So–say the kind of things that people need to hear (we hear enough negative, so let’s stay positive and uplifting, although don’t feel the need to be fake and sappy either). They will love you for saying kind things and you will feel good for having brightened their step and giving them hope.

BE GENEROUS WITH YOUR PRAISE!
Look for somebody and something to praise and then DO IT!

But–

1. The praise must be sincere: if it isn’t, then don’t give it.

2. Praise the act, not the person.

Praise the act avoids embarrassment and confusion, it has a much more sincere ring to it, and it avoids charges of favoritism and it creates an incentive for more of the same act.

For example, “Hey Shawn, your work this past year has truly been excellent” (rather than “Shawn, you are a good man.” Sounds kinda flat and generalized, huh?

“Michelle, you did a splendid job on your homework!” Rather than “Michelle’s a good student.”

“Mr. Smith, your lawn and landscaping is simply beautiful” rather than “Mr. Smith, you work hard!”

Make the praise specific–pinpoint it.

HAPPINESS FORMULA
Get into the habit of saying daily one kind thing to at least three different people (Spouse, child, co-worker, etc.). Then see how YOU feel for having done so!

This is a happiness formula for YOU!

When you see the happiness and gratitude and pleasure you bring others by doing this YOU will reap the benefits too. There is more joy in giving than receiving after all.

Try it.

Jesus Paid IT ALL

Jesus Paid IT ALL


They say “Pictures Say A Thousand Words.” How true. What about this one?

Price of Love
This picture, from www.kenduncan.com, reminds me the PRICE that Jesus paid for me–an often mocking, selfish, deceitful, spoiled, lazy and un-heavenly minded punk. Whoa. What suffering! What sacrifice! What pain! What… love. WHOA!

Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrated His own love for us in this–while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Particular Redemption
Some Christians in the Calvinist persuasion say that Christ died only for the Elect–those who are chosen by God and who trust in Him for salvation. I am convinced that Jesus died for the “whole world;” remember John 3:16? His death was for every human being that ever lived! Jesus paid IT ALL… ON BEHALF OF all.

However, it’s a horrifying fact that most people reject His offer of total forgiveness and atonement of ALL their sins. Therefore, although Christ died for the whole world–offering this incredible gift of salvation to all humans–the effects of His death (which is atonement, salvation, justification) are reserved for only those who trust in Him.

Yep. Salvation is pretty darn exclusive. Jesus said it was that way when He told His followers: “I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father (gets to heaven) except through me.” (John 14:6). Jesus is the only way to heaven. Believe in Him!

How about you?

What does this picture evoke within you?

Another Hat… The Air National Guard Chaplaincy

Another Hat… The Air National Guard Chaplaincy

This morning, I answered the phone like most mornings when I get a call: “Good morning, this is Neil.” The voice on the other end of the phone sounded upbeat and vigorous. “Good morning, Chaplain.” The voice was that of the Chief of Chaplains of the Air National Guard, Ch. Robert Marciano (Col.).

That’s all I needed to hear. I’m swearing in! Finally, after ten years of deliberation and prayerful consideration; and after six months of processing, interviews, paperwork, licensing counsels and dropping about 40 lbs, the end of the process will come next Tuesday, January 20th. How ironic that I swear in the same day as President-Elect Barack Obama becomes the President of the United States of America. Wow. On that day, my life (and that of my family) will forever be changed. I will become Chaplain Neil Schultz (1st Lieutenant) ANG on the Wing Staff of the 124th Wing of the Idaho Air National Guard. My family will be a military ministry homeschooling family.

Another hat to wear, which will add to our family, our country and hopefully will bring much glory to God and expand His Kingdom. It is a unique and very interesting ministry, to say the least. In case you’re wondering, I will be involved in the following:

CHAPLAIN CORPS MISSION STATEMENT: “While serving as a visible reminder of the Holy, the Air Force Chaplain Corps provides spiritual care and the opportunity for Air Force members and their families to exercise their constitutional right to freedom of religion.”

Our new CHAPLAIN CORPS VISION STATEMENT consists of three energizing phrases that call us toward an even greater outward ministry focus and a posture of servant leadership: “Glorifying God, Serving Airmen, Pursuing Excellence.” These words provide a “job description” for chaplains and chaplain assistants serving around the globe and they point the way ahead for our strategic planning.

Upon swearing-in, I will begin Drilling on the first weekend of the month in Boise and then serving for two weeks in the Summers. This year will be a full year however, as I will attend Commissioned Officer Training (COT) for 5 weeks March 10th-April 10th. Then in the Summer, I will have to attend Chaplaincy School for about 6 weeks.

Once you read this, will you please consider praying for my family’s well-being and God’s ministry through me to the Airmen of the Air National Guard?

Spiritual Goals for 2009

Spiritual Goals for 2009

In a coordinated effort with God, my wife, and my fellow elder at Wellsprings Church, I am committing to the development of three main areas in my character that need special development this year. Each of these three areas have subcategories. Each of these three main areas have a reading goal consisting of a few books, which I believe are conversations with authors who serve as my mentors in their title’s subject.

Three Main Character Areas for 2009
1. God-Centeredness
2. Leadership
3. Discretion

Explanation
God-Centeredness – I want to think constantly “God-First” as it relates to decision-making and my daily activities of exercising leadership of my self, my family, my business and the church we serve. I tend to decide first, pray for God to bless AFTER. Oops. God wants me to come to Him FIRST in prayer, THEN decide based on what He tells me!

The practices I want to re-engage in consistently are:
a. Prayer first
b. Bible memorization
c. Decision-making

Leadership – Priesthood of my Family, Eldership of our Church, Entrepreneurship in business. These are the three “Realms” of my world. They are my main roles. I live these concepts and principles every day. I want to be BETTER at them!

Discretion – In conversation with others, in our decision-making, and in finances. One of my character flaws that I’ve struggled with consistently in my life has been “foot-in-mouth disease.” Proverbs 10:19 tells us that “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” A friend of mine once said, “Sometimes, you’ve got to hold your cards close to your chest.” In other words, when with people, USE DISCRETION! 🙂 We also need discretion in our finances and how we give, save and spend the income God has given us.

Reading Plan
God-Centeredness
1. Your God Is Too Small (JB Phillips)
2. Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist (John Piper)
3. The Treasure Principle (Randy Alcorn)

Leadership
1. Family Driven Faith: Doing What It Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters Who Walk with God (Voddie Baucham)
2. How to Best Get Better (Dan Sullivan)
3. Unique Ability (Dan Sullivan)
4. Biblical Eldership: An Urgent Call to Restore Biblical Church Leadership (Alexander Strauch)

Discretion
1. The Godly Man’s Picture (Thomas Watson)
2. The Mortification of Sin (John Owen)
3. The Total Money Makeover (Dave Ramsey)

How about you? What are your spiritual / reading goals for this year?

Leadership Greenhouses: From Babbling Infants to World-Influencing Leaders

Leadership Greenhouses: From Babbling Infants to World-Influencing Leaders

Our church is a Family-Integrated Church. It became one through a painful process of metamorphosis. Through a long journey that began roughly back in 2000, God impressed upon me to one day follow Him into beginning a new work. Church planting has been on my heart and mind since then, but through various circumstances, the opportunity had not presented itself until 2006 when we were assessed by the Evangelical Free Church of America and were approved as Church Planters. Upon our departure from a comfortable life and church staff position at a wonderful church in Southern California, we arrived April 1, 2007 to Middleton, Idaho. Back then, we had not yet settled on a uniform vision of how we thought the church should look like and be. However, through a series of events and relationships, we have come to the conclusion that we need to be Family-Integrated. Family-Integrated is simply one of several defining components of who we are; it is not the only one. We hope to be defined and described by others as much more than just being “Family-Integrated.”

However, we believe what God said in Proverbs 22:15 is true, where He said through King Solomon that “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child” (ESV). We have children sit with us during our worship service and simply do not offer Sunday school or Children’s classes. We believe that putting children together in classes separated by age is a detriment to their growth. A general rule of thumb is what Proverbs 29:15 (NET) says where “a child who is unrestrained brings shame to his mother.” Truly, children are prone to behave foolishly when alone together.

Proverbs 13:20 (ESV) tells us that “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” If children are with their parents, their inclination is to improve their behavior, pay more attention to what is being taught or even becoming involved in serving their church family and others. The main idea is that we want children to live UP (ideally through the influence of their parents and other influential adults) rather than look to their peers for their spiritual direction and behavior. The onus of that responsibility was given by God to us dads.

Do we minister to children? Absolutely! We ensure that every teaching session, worship service or small group includes children with our language and actions, working hard to ensure that children understand the content of our teaching and are active participants in what we are doing.

We believe Jesus loves children. We believe He places them as a high priority in the Body of Christ, NOT as mere distractions or nuisances. The Church, as She is realized in a local expression of the Body of Christ, is a Leadership Greenhouse. The elders, the men and the women of each local church sees a multi-generational vision of what their children will one day be to their worlds, not just what they are right now. They recognize that one day their children will grow up and take their place as leaders in their own families, their local church, their neighborhoods, their workplace and even their world.

May the Lord bless Wellsprings Church to be a true Leadership Greenhouse as we seek to train our babbling infants into becoming world-influencing leaders.

Neil Schultz

Teaching Elder and Church Planter

Wellsprings Church

Fireproof Your Marriage

Fireproof Your Marriage

Fireproof Your Marriage

We first saw Fireproof back in 2008. While working our own marriage, we want to help you fireproof your marriage too. Go see this movie! If you do what firefighter Captain Caleb Holt does with his wife (The 40 Day Love Dare), your marriage will benefit.

Men… One caution: BE PERSISTENT and don’t give up! Rescuing the Beauty in your life may be the most difficult adventure you ever undertake. She may even spit in your face (whether metaphorically or for real)! When I first took the Love Dare when our marriage was at its darkest point, over time it really had a strong and positive effect on us. 

Remember the crushing weight of your own sins before you react negatively to her. Jesus forgave you TRILLIONS, compared to the thousands of sins your wife has grieved you with (Matthew 18:21-35). Love her. Forgive her. Move towards her. Initiate change in your marriage. Fireproof your marriage.

Watch Fireproof the movie, then buy the book to take the Love Dare. Move beyond mere dealing with marital conflict and Fireproof your marriage today!

Wellsprings Church

Wellsprings Church

Wellsprings Church…

“Helping People Follow Christ in Canyon County and Around the World.”

www.wellspringschurch.com

If you’re in the area, check it out! Join us on Sundays at 10am!

Where’s “Canyon County?” it’s the second largest county in Idaho, and is the fastest growing one, as of May 2008. It consists of several cities: Nampa, Caldwell, Middleton, Parma, and Marsing.

Head to www.wellspringschurch.com and take a look.

Built to the Master’s Plan

Built to the Master’s Plan

Built to the Master’s Plan

by
John MacArthur
All Rights Reserved


I realize I may be demonstrating little more than a firm grasp of the obvious when I tell you the contemporary church is looking more and more like a large corporation. Even church leaders are bearing a closer resemblance to CEOs and corporate executives than to humble, tender shepherds. Sadly, the good news–that a sinner can find forgiveness for sins before a holy God by placing his trust in and committing his whole life to Jesus Christ–is eclipsed by “success”-oriented programs and an interest in the bottom line. As a result, many churches have become nothing more than entertainment centers, employing devices that effectively draw people into the church, but are inept to truly minister to them once they come.

God never intended the church to be like that. In Matthew 16:18 Jesus says, “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.” Notice the Lord’s one condition to that great promise: “I will build My church” (emphasis added). Christ’s guarantee is valid only when He builds the church His way. When you follow His blueprint, you can be sure that He is doing the work through you and that nothing, not even the gates of hell, can stop Him.

So, what’s the blueprint? A logical place to start is at the beginning with the first church–the church at Jerusalem. It began on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit filled 120 believers who had gathered for a prayer meeting. The Lord added 3,000 souls later that same day (Acts 2:41). Those fledgling believers didn’t know anything about building a church. They had no precedent; they didn’t have a book on the church; they didn’t even have the New Testament. Yet it was built Jesus’ way, and as such it’s the model for the church today.

Back to the Blueprint: Bible Study, Fellowship, and Prayer

Acts 2:42 gives the blueprint they followed: “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Those are the vital elements that make up the actual function and life of the church–and all of that in just one verse!

Here’s an obvious starting point: A church built to the Master’s plan will begin with the right raw material–a saved congregation. Verse 41 identifies the church as being made up of “those who had received [Peter’s] word,” and “were continually devoting themselves.” The church at Jerusalem was filled with true Christians–those who continually adhered to apostolic teaching.

If the church is to be built Christ’s way, it will be redeemed and therefore empowered by the Holy Spirit. An unsaved membership, devoid of the Holy Spirit, has no capacity to overcome self will, personal agendas, and the love of sin. Only believers have divine power to put those things off and so manifest the Spirit of God.

While the early church didn’t have a New Testament, they had God’s Word in the form of the “apostles’ teaching.” The church at Jerusalem was committed to receiving that Word. Doctrine is the basis of the church–you can’t live out what you don’t know or understand. That’s why Paul instructed Timothy to “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine” (2 Tim. 4:2-3). That time has come. If your church isn’t teaching the truth straight from the Bible, how will you recognize error when it comes? How will you grow? Don’t ever allow anyone to stand in the pulpit who isn’t committed to leading the congregation through a deep, penetrating study of God’s Word.

The central focus of the early church’s fellowship was the breaking of bread–the Lord’s Table. It was the most fitting symbol of their fellowship since it reminded them of the basis for their unity–salvation in Christ and adherence to apostolic doctrine. If you share those things as common ground with other believers, then the Lord’s table–communion–is the most appropriate symbol of your fellowship too.

We eat and drink in remembrance of Christ’s self-sacrificing love that took Him to the cross. In your fellowship, make it your habit to practice the same kind of love Christ demonstrated toward you. Practically speaking, you can always give your life to those God brings across your path. Do you habitually pray for fellow believers? Are you encouraging them, edifying them, meeting their physical needs? Do you love them enough to confront them when they are sinning? Those are the marks of true Christian fellowship.

Acts 2:42 says the believers continually devoted themselves to prayer. Sadly, the same devotion to prayer is often neglected today. Churches can pack pews by offering entertainment, but when a prayer meeting is held, only a faithful few trickle in. The early Christians remembered the Lord’s promise: “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:14). As they demonstrated dependence on the Lord, the results (Acts 2:43-47) were astounding.

Built to Scale: Wonder, Love, and Joy

What happens when true believers remain under biblical teaching, in a spiritual fellowship, and in devotion to prayer? Acts 2:43 says, “Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe.” “Awe,” the Greek word for fear, speaks of a sense of reverence. It is reserved for special times when people are struck with wonder because of something divine or powerful that defies human explanation.

Your church ought to be able to instill awe in your community. That first church certainly did. Verse 43 says everyone was in awe of them because “many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.” Though the miracles and wonders of the apostolic times are no longer necessary now that God’s Word is complete, God’s power remains on display. What could be more miraculous than giving life to people who are dead in sin? He heals people of their hurts, puts broken homes back together, and brings people out of the bondage of sin to Christ. In short, He transforms lives. When the church follows God’s design, He will do marvelous and powerful things in individual lives before a watching world.

The early church was full of love–they “had all things in common” (v. 44). There was ownership in the early church–believers didn’t live in a commune–but no one owned anything to the exclusion of someone who had a need. The Greek verbs in verse 46 translated “began selling” and “were sharing” show that they were continually selling and sharing their resources as needed. That kind of sacrificial love is the result of the Lord’s work in obedient believers who follow His blueprint.

The Lord blesses those who labor according to His plan. First, He fills the obedient church with gladness (v. 46) and praise (v. 47). How can you not be happy when you see God at work in your midst? How can you keep from rejoicing when you watch God use your church to make an eternal impact in the world? Second, He adds to their number. Acts 2:47 concludes by saying that “the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.”

I want to see the church grow, and I know you share that desire. My prayer is that we will let God build the church His way as we await our Lord’s return. If you want to make the most of your church, just follow the blueprint, and encourage your church leaders to do the same.

Copyright 2003 by Grace to You. All rights reserved.


Available online at:
http://www.gty.org/resources.php?section=articles&aid=5
COPYRIGHT © 2007 Grace to You

Happy Days

Happy Days

One of the absolutely most happy days in a man’s life is the birth of one of his children.

I am fortunate to have the amazing privilege and responsibility of having two children so far, a boy and a girl!

Alyssa Faith Schultz was born January 16, 2007 weighing in at 6lbs. 10 oz. and being 19″ long. Blue-eyed and beautiful face, she reminds me of her mother. Getting to name her was one of my finest moments. It’s when your chest sticks out about 3 more inches and you just want to bottle the feeling of pride and excitement that this woman–my wife–gave birth to such a beautiful little girl!