I’m a big fan of Christian Apologetics. This guy, Gary Habermas, seems pretty solid, and was recommended by a few friends of mine. I’ve downloaded a few of the mp3s and will be listening to them over the next week or so.
Sometimes the very tools that helped us in the past in our faith become stumbling blocks to the present and future. We have to look at what the process should accomplish.
Clarity -> Movement -> Alignment -> Focus
Keep it Simple S _ _ _ _ _
You guessed it… Keep it Simple Sunday.
I don’t want to take up a lot of space this month because I want to keep it short and to the point. If you missed Sunday 27 July, the sermon was on “KISS: Keep It Simple S_ _ _ _ _ _” which meant… Keep It Simple Sunday. A quick explanation of that at the end. First, a quick recap.
Ask any successful coach what their secret is and you almost always hear: go back to the basics. In the book, Simple Church, Rainer and Geiger compare growing churches and stagnant churches (that are often just as busy). The difference? Stagnant churches are complex and “program-driven.” Simple churches, however, have a clear “process” for moving people along their spiritual journey – they go back to the basics.
We’re all tired of “doing church” at times because that’s all we’re doing… and it doesn’t affect our spiritual lives except to burn us out. We have to change things to where church is a process that helps people grow spiritually… and on purpose.
Successful Simple Churches often don’t have a vision, mission, ministry, strategy or any other kind of “Statement.” They just list their “process” instead. Something like, “Love God, Love Others, Serve the World” or “Connect, Grow, Serve.”
On the latter, if you asked, “What’s your purpose?” People would answer “Connect, Grow, Serve.” Connect people to God, each other and the Lost. Grow in faith and relationship. Serve in ministry and in the community (By the way, that’s not a bad definition of a “disciple”). Ask “What’s your vision?” To connect, grow, serve. “What’s your process? (for achieving your mission or making disciples) – Connect, grow, serve.
Instead of having programs and asking “how many participated?” You ask “how many people are in the “Connect” stage? Does that stage move them naturally to the “Grow” stage? Is there a corellation (if Connect grew 25%, did Grow increase 25%? If not, we’re missing people.) Hopefully, you see the way it works.
As for KISS – the idea is, well, simple:
— First, Sunday morning worship begins Saturday night, so take a few minutes to prepare, set your alarm, check your lesson, grab your Bible straighten your house, etc.
— Second, make Sunday morning simple. Bagels or oatmeal, plenty of time so you’re not rushed and show up at church with a few minutes to spare and fellowship.
— Third, invite someone into community with you and your family. Have them over for PB&J, Tuna or cold cut sandwiches. Maybe grill hot dogs and hamburgers, but make it something that is stress free and SIMPLE and simply enjoy each other’s company.
— Commit to it once or twice a month and you’ll be amazed at the change that will take place. Imagine God’s family growing close together like… well… family.
This is an often avoided passage (1 Timothy 2:8-15), but it is important to realize that God has something to say. We also have to be careful not to go to either extreme of cultural dismissal or extreme legalism.
One thing is sure when we read Scripture… when someone encountered the Risen Christ, their following actions were always marked with a sense of Urgency. We need to recapture that same attitude in our own lives.
Illustration via the book, Our Iceberg is Melting by John Kotter.
This sermon is based on one given by Rob Edwards, a key leader in the r3growth.org community.
A sermon about how to clarify vision. Based in part on a book by Andy Stanley.
Laodicea means “Will of the people”
Too many churches today are governed as such, instead of being driven to serve God in a meaningful way.
What is the Biblical Role of a Deacon? How do they compare to Elders? This is a problem many Baptist churches are trying to figure out these days.
The final message in a series dealing with the “Top Ten Issues Families Face.”
The survey was conducted by Lifeway and many of the ideas for the message came from their resource page.
There are only a few books that are on my “Annual List.” That means that they are so awesome that I think they should be read each year as a reminder to the wisdom they contain.
In addition, I also have my “TOP 5.” This is the list of books that have revolutionized my thinking in one way or another. One such book is, Finding the Will of God: A Pagan Notion? by Bruce Waltke.
I have found this book to be so amazing that I based a sermon on it that never fails to generate all sorts of feedback. Mostly good, mind you.
I’ve uploaded the sermon here. You’ll see a remarkable similarity with the book, and I always try to since people to Waltke when they ask for any further clarification. I hope you enjoy.