Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New Ministry System In Process

I'm currently working to develop a new system in our church for moving people into places of ministry where they are best equipped to serve as God created them to serve. This will involve working with Trevor Oates as an intern beginning now through the beginning of January 2011. We'll be putting together a reproducible system that will involve online spiritual gift testing, a ministry interview, and matching people with ministry opportunities to try. I'm excited about the possibilities that this system holds for our church. Welcome, Trevor, and I'm glad to have you as part of the First Church team.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The DNA of a Healthy Church Part 6: The Church is Missional

This past weekend we finished our series on the DNA of a Healthy Church. We discussed the idea of the missional church. In a culture that is becoming increasingly hostile to the Christian faith we need to take a good look at the effectiveness of the church. Our methods need to change while keeping our message the same.

In his book "Church Unique," Will Mancini shares three shifts that he sees occurring in the missional church. (1) A shift from "doing" church to "being" the church; (2) a shift from "invitational" evangelism to "incarnational" evangelism; and (3) a shift from viewing people as "prospects" to viewing people as "people Jesus misses most." Although his book is a book about developing God's vision for the church, his comments on the missional aspect of the church are very thought-provoking. (If you want to purchase his book, check the Amazon link on the left column of my blog.)

So, what do you think it means to be a missional church?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The DNA of a Healthy Church Part 4: The Church is a Community

This past weekend we discussed the idea of community. We defined community as "a unified body of individuals: a group of people with a common characteristic or interest [Christ] living together within a larger society."

Real community is what the world is craving for today: that place where you can be real and authentic, where you can let people see the real you. We discussed the three aspects of community which were authenticity, communication, and encouragement. Community is the antidote for loneliness and can be found in a healthy church.

What do you find is the problem with finding community? What is it that keeps you from entering into community with other people?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Great Seminar with Nelson Searcy

I went to another great seminar yesterday. It was "The Top 3 Growth Barriers Live!" seminar with Nelson Searcy, Lead Pastor of the Journey Church in NYC. We spent three hours discussing the 3 common church growth barriers that all churches face, no matter what their size.

The three barriers are space, self-development of the pastor, and sharing. First, the physical space can limit growth. When the church is too full, people stop inviting their friends. Second, growing churches are led by growing pastors. Pastors need to be constantly learning and growing to be effective leaders. Finally, churches will not grow if the people are not actively involved in sharing their faith.

For more information about these growth barriers, check out Nelson's web site at Pastors, you'll find lots of great resources.

Monday, June 21, 2010

DNA of a Healthy Church Part 3: The Church is a Family

This past Sunday we discussed the idea that the church is a family. Family goes the extra mile to work out their differences and bring about unity in the church. Let’s dialogue about a couple of questions:

Which concept of the church as a family do you struggle with the most? Unity? Patience? Kindness? Love? or Forgiveness?

Also, since I didn’t post anything about the first two messages in this series, feel free to dialogue about “The Church is a Place to Celebrate” (engaging in worship of God) and “The Church is a Place of Unity” (setting aside our differences of opinion to further the vision God has given the local church).

I'm Back

It’s been a long time since I’ve added posts to this blog. There have been lots of reasons. At first it was not liking the format/program I was using. Then, I put redoing the blog on my long-range “To Do” list. Then, I kept moving it to my long, long, long, long-range “To Do” list. Add in a little forgetfulness and some procrastination, and there you have it.

Anyhow, I’m back and will try to update this blog at least on a weekly basis. For now, let’s begin the dialogue about our Sunday teaching series. I’ll add other topics soon.