Posts Tagged ‘church’

Neil Cole  stated: “Ultimately, each church will be evaluated by only one thing. It’s disciples. Your church is only as good as its disciples. It does not matter how good your praise, preaching, programs or property are: If you’re disciples are passive, needy, consumerist, and not moving in the direction of radical obedience, your church is not good.”

enough said…………….

Focusing on the Essentials

Posted: November 9, 2009 in Uncategorized
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Act 2:40-47 tells us that the Church lived out its faith in the neighborhoods of Jerusalem. They were sincere and glad people, winsome and authentic. They served the people around them expecting nothing in return. It was God who added to their numbers daily those who were being saved. I think the power is in the relationship.

If Christ is making a difference in us, then it will affect the seeker who spends time with us. These things are only barriers, not the real stuff that causes a person to cross the line of faith.

-Tom

Who get’s the credit?

Posted: September 5, 2009 in church, leadership
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Thought I’d copy this to myself and others who follow. I’ve found myself and seen others do the same thing about their churches and organizations. Thanks to the author/Pastor, Ron Edmondson,  for your leadership. Who do you give the credit to?

Quit Taking Credit For A God Thing!

A few weeks ago, in preparing a message for Grace Community Church in which I celebrated the victories we have seen in the last year at Grace, God convicted me for my line of thinking.  I was preparing to remind people of the strategy of the church, as we do at the beginning of each new fall season, to encourage them to continue giving their time and resources to further the vision.  I believe God gently reminded me that apart from Him, we would have no vision and we would certainly have no success.

Clearly what has happened at our church in the last four years is bigger than any vision, strategy, staff or volunteers could produce.  If we duplicated everything we are doing today elsewhere, we would have no guarantees of success without God’s intervention.  No doubt about it, what we are experiencing at Grace Community Church is a God-thing!  I also know that we are just a small part of all God is doing in many places around the world.

It was a needed reminder and one I wonder if other leaders, especially some of the big name leaders, need to hear.  The greater the success a person has and the more accolades a leader receives, the easier it becomes to begin to take credit for that success.  So, in simple terms, let me encourage you, if the shoe fits, to…

Quit taking credit for a God thing!

We can share wisdom and strategy from what we have learned.  We can write blogs and books to encourage others.  We can be invited to speak around the world about our successes.  People can look to us as “experts” in our field, but let’s be honest as leaders.  Most of us who are experiencing tremendous growths in our churches are…

  • Not better leaders
  • Not better speakers
  • Don’t have a better strategy

Than some who are doing the same things we are doing, but not experiencing similar results.

I will continue to share my experiences.  Frankly I think I have been called to, but honestly, when you look at what is happening in our church, what looks like a God-thing, quite possibly is…actually, there is no question in my mind that it is.

Have you ever been guilty of taking credit, if only in your own mind, for something that truly God has done?

-Tom

What would you be willing to do to see a friend or family member saved?  Every person is someone’s friend or family member.Would you be willing to…

  • give up your style of music in church?
  • come early to church so that the walk-through for the service is done properly?
  • pray all week for Sunday mornings?
  • welcome people who may not look like you?
  • pick someone up on your way to church?
  • give food to someone who is hungry?
  • pack a shoebox for a kid who would otherwise not get Christmas presents?
  • share the gospel with someone?

I dare you to take action this week to make a difference in someone’s life.

-tom

easter-cross1Today I’m reminded that one Saturday morning some 2,000 years ago, surely there was a group of mixed-up, hurting, confused, sickly, tired, afraid, and desperate people. They had placed all their hopes in a man who claimed to be the promised Messiah. They were there when their hope was nailed to a cross. They watched their mentor and friend die a cruel death. What would they do now? What was next?

Are you feeling hopeless, afraid, confused, sick, broken or desperate today?

It’s Saturday, but Sunday’s coming!

Over the course of time (really, everyday), much has been made about leadership. Leadership does many things, some of which goes noticed and some is behind the scenes.  For those who have never lead a major project, planned a new business or built something from scratch…..well, it looks easy from the cheap seats. Over my career in healthcare as both a staff member and in management and in planting churches, much of my own experience has taken notice of some of these attributes about leadership (and NO,  I don’t claim to have many of these, but am prayerfully working on them):

1. Leadership provides the courage to begin – it’s about action.

2. Leadership is about self-control – respond rather than react.

3. Leadership has a keen sense of awareness in what is just – to gain respect of those they lead and work alongside.

4. Leadership is about definiteness of direction – not about meaningless activity for activity’s sake.

5. Leadership is about definiteness of plans – not about guesswork, but knowing what the next best step is.

6. Leadership is in the habit of doing more than your are paid to do – it’s all about going the extra mile (even when you are a volunteer).

7. Leadership is about likeability – nothing can substitute for a smile, a handshake, eye-to-eye contact, and engaging people.

8. Leadership is about empathy – they don’t care because it’s their job, they make it their job to care.

9. Leaders have the willingness to know more than anyone else – they are students, learners, readers, and constantly gaining knowledge about the subject at hand. If they don’t have the knowledge, they find someone who does.

10. Leaders seek and gain cooperation – they understand that you don’t pay people to excel, you pay them to show up. They create an atmosphere of cooperation.

Lastly, a great leader understands and applies the principle of collaboration and alignment, and he/she sets the standards for those who follow them and their teams.

Many people call themselves leaders and yet we are in desperate need of leadership in churches, families, government, businesses…..me on the other hand, am a prayerful work in progress.

Attend a bible teaching worship service this weekend!

-tom

This is a post by Steve Timmis  that I read a couple of weeks ago about “Pastoral Care”, but find it very appropriate at this time to share with those of you who follow me,  but maybe not Steve. Church is many things, but sometimes I think some of us get it confused with our own ideals…..

-tom

Therapeutic community” is a phrase in vogue in the areas of mental illness and addiction. Groups are formed in which patients or clients live together for an extended period and take responsibility for each other. It sounds suspiciously like church to me.

The Church: The Ideal Therapeutic Community

When we become Christians, we become members of God’s household, but we all bring with us our baggage and brokenness. It might not always look like that in many of our churches, but that’s only because of the facades we erect to hide the truth. So given that we’re all broken, sanctification is about grace putting us back together again as we grow more like Jesus. This is best done in community, which means that church as the community of the Holy Spirit is the ideal therapeutic community.

Brokenness and Self-Worship

Sadly, this is often another situation in which we are keen to outsource. Anything too complicated (like depression) or too weird (like psychosis), and we’re on the phone to the local therapist before you can say “Freud was a basket case.” The gospel tells us that our brokenness is an expression of our broken relationship with God. This is the essence of sin, and sin is insanity. However we express our brokenness, in some way it is because of our refusal to worship God and our obsession with self-worship. You’re not going to hear that at the local Mayo Clinic.

The Gospel Makes Us Sane

But a word of warning. Seeing church as a therapeutic community doesn’t mean that it’s an exercise in self-indulgence; a context where we all huddle together and wallow in our condition. The gospel is that which, by the power of the Holy Spirit, makes us sane and heals our brokenness so that we live for Christ as our healing commends him and his grace to others.