Tag: Discipleship

Self-Made Man or God-Dependent Man: Forge Your Own Destiny? NO!

Self-Made Man or God-Dependent Man: Forge Your Own Destiny? NO!

How Fred, Ben and Asa will change the way you think about how you lead your family and church

I’ve been a self-made man for multiple decades. As a boy, I watched my amazing father navigate life on his own, and he did a great job, as he was (and still is) a great man. I watched other men who were strong, wealthy, charming, or lived great adventures and I awed at them. I idolized them. I wanted to be like them. Somewhere in my youthful ingenuity, I somehow turned into them. On the one hand, that’s a good thing. On the other hand, it has been the most crippling problem in my life as a husband, dad and pastor.

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Have you heard from God yet this morning?

Have you heard from God yet this morning?

3 Reality Checks every Pastor, Church Leader AND their Spouse Needs to Strengthen their own Lives, Families and Congregations

Hearing from God is more than just “checking in” in the mornings. It’s your vital lifeline throughout the day. Bowing is a great start to anyone’s day.

“The LORD raises up those who are bowed down; The LORD loves the righteous” – Psalm 146:8 NASB.

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Men’s Breakfast

Men’s Breakfast

Men's Breakfast | Church Leaders Campfire

Men’s Breakfast!

How do we put on a men’s breakfast at church? WHY do we put on a men’s breakfast at church? What is it about breakfast and men on (typically) Saturday mornings in American churches? Should we do away with the paradigm that believes that men should get together once a month to eat eggs, bacon, pancakes, orange juice and coffee, act with caveman-like butt slaps, grunts and charmless witless banter about sports, weather or sexual struggles? Do we really need another sermon–while eating breakfast?

The men’s breakfast idea came about in American churches for what purpose? To bring men together to talk about men’s personal issues. Is that important? You bet! However, I find it hard to believe that most American men feel safe in a public setting to discuss problems with listening ears around. Isn’t in smaller more intimate and intentional settings where we share our pain, struggles, victories and conscience? Such as in the car or in a friends backyard or basement or at the dinner table?

Questions:
1. What is the goal of your men’s breakfast?
2. Does the men’s breakfast accomplish your church’s goals?
3. How would you know if it did?

Raising Kids = Discipleship

Raising Kids = Discipleship

Raising kids = discipleship.

“All the principles of discipleship can be learned in raising kids.” – Robert Coleman, at Exponential 2013.

Raising Kids = Discipleship

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

At the heart of every dad like me who desires to be raising kids in view of eternity, comes the need to make discipleship simple, manageable, and effective. Unfortunately this quote is true as well: “nothing is ever so simple that it cannot be made more complicated.”

Lord, if raising kids = discipleship, then is discipleship like raising kids? If I want to imprint and impress the commands of Jesus and His firm love and holiness in another person, then is it like raising kids? Raising kids is slow, agonizing at times, feels like two-steps-forward, five-steps-back sometimes. It is releasing and letting go, but then soon afterwards, grasping and bringing back to “safety.” Raising kids = discipleship.

Oh Lord, please help us church leaders get it that to lead others in discipleship is to give of ourselves daily, and sometimes simply offering what we’ve got: the stuff of life (good, bad and ugly), memories of Bible studies completed long past (when we’re out of “fresh” interaction with God), honesty and openness about our own struggles with sin, and even providing a friendship with them. Is discipleship really about meeting together once a week to read a Christian book together, ask “hard questions” about sin struggles, a quick prayer and “see you next week?” Oh bother.

I agree with Robert Coleman, and appreciate simplicity in his statement about Raising kids = discipleship, and discipleship being like raising kids. The light bulb just went on for me.

What Changes Lives?

What Changes Lives?

What changes lives?

Who or what changes lives for the better? As we think of being church leaders, we realize WE aren’t the agents of change.

I heard it said at Exponential 2011, that “Church doesn’t change lives, JESUS changes lives.” I agree. Jesus is the Source of transforming a person from one status to another. he brings the growth.

Another statement said at that conference was “Let’s lower the bar on how we do church, and raise the bar on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.” The quality of our sharing our spiritual life with others (notice I didn’t just say small groups, Bible studies, or programs) needs to take center stage.

Thank you, Neil Cole. I agree (Great name, by the way).

Here’s my take on what changes lives: Life change happens as a by-product of several factors converging together: relationship, challenge, pain, experiences, but most importantly, LOVE.

The producer/instigator of life change is the Holy Spirit of God. He uses people in various forms (family, friendships, enemies, authors, actors, musicians, coaches, teammates, co-workers, neighbors, etc.) He also uses circumstances, prayer, Bible reading and other disciplines designed to produce what changes lives in us. The Holy Spirit is the agent of change and produces within us what we can’t drudge up ourselves.

May life change happen in me, my family, our church, our community, and our world for Jesus Christ!