Showing posts from July, 2012

One Year On

Today is my one year anniversary on staff at Bethel Church. It has been a great year of exploration, learning and building relationships with so many amazing people. Here is a collection of things I have learned over the last year and am just starting to realize as I am in vocational ministry. My wife is loving, patient and wise. Stacy has been an example for so many and the way she trusts God's provision is challenging to me. She is an amazing mother and as baby number two prepares for arrival we are set for some serious family fun. I love being a father. My daughter brings me tremendous joy. The way she giggles, the way she hugs and the way she drives Mommy crazy all give me pause to thank God for such a wonderful daughter. Iona is also extremely smart so I have to keep studying so I can stay on top! I am tremendously relational. I work in an environment that the norm is closed doors and quiet work. This drives me nuts. I need to talk - sometimes about something other than

Memorialize the moments

This is beautiful. As a people we neglect to honor the significant moments. We rightfully pursue the next one but from time to time we should remember to motivate us to carry on.

My Greatest Ministry Failure

Dinners at our house can slide into worship sessions; we crank the volume on some of our favorite songs and just worship our savior as a family. Tonight as I was doing dishes I had the volume raised as usual but was struck by a truth that is challenging me as I am headlong into ministry. I routinely fail to express the majesty of the One I call people to worship. I am too easily distracted by the vocation and by man's work and lose the full view of the God I proclaim. It is my greatest ministry failure. I am moved to tears by the reality of God's love for us through Christ. Yet I make things about my effort or expertise and show no grace and no realization of the awe God inspires. For those that I pastor; I want nothing but to gaze at the sufficiency of our savior together. I routinely miss the point and promise to pursue that desire more and more. We can pontificate all day and suggest that our gifting can solve any problem but we are too easily drawn away from the truth of wh

Making Disciple-making disciples

This is a great word from JR Vassar at the Acts29 Boot Camp this year on the "mission" of the church. JR makes clear that we are to be about making disciple-making disciples. He also gives us a lens through which to do this. He asks us to create a church that lives in contrast with our local culture. A first step to doing this is understanding your local culture and recognizing where it has been influencing your church rather than the other way around. In preaching JR also challenges us to put application into the community - essentially we end the individual bias of the church and think through what the Bible says about how we should live things out in community. It might get sticky if you can't stop thinking of yourself or have been preaching individual moralism for a generation but give it a try. In preaching we should also preach to those that you want there. This gives our congregants the freedom to invite their friends because they know you will speak to them. We sh

Don't deviate from the gospel

" When we see that the whole sum of our salvation, and every single part of it, are comprehended in Christ, we must beware of deriving even the minutest portion of it from any other quarter. If we seek salvation, we are taught by the very name of Jesus that he possesses it; if we seek any other gifts of the Spirit, we shall find them in his unction; strength in his government; purity in his conception; indulgence in his nativity, in which he was made like us in all respects, in order that he might learn to sympathize with us; if we seek redemption, we shall find it in his passion, acquittal in his condemnation; remission of the curse in his cross; satisfaction in his sacrifice; purification in his blood; reconciliation in his descent to hell; mortification of the flesh in his grave; newness of life in his resurrection; immorality also in his resurrection; the inheritance of a celestial kingdom in his entrance into heaven; protection, security, and the abundant supple of all bless

Create when and what they least expect...

Why not?

Say or Do?

I am enjoying this truth from Bob Goff: "What we say is how we want to be perceived; what we do is what we believe." Let us be doers and believers. Slow to speak, quick to act.

Embrace the insanity, but don't let it make you crazy

Some of the best advice I was given ahead of moving into a church role was "realize that you must embrace the insanity of the leadership." One of my favorite professors was relaying the truth that when you work in any environment you are required (if you want to keep you job at least) to embrace the little quirks of your leaders. If the boss wants you to wear a tie, you where a tie; if the boss demand you work from home on Tuesdays, you work from home on Tuesdays. You get the point. Beyond the reality of this truth though, especially for younger leaders, is recognizing your time to move. Now by this I do not mean move out of the job or context you are in, I mean make you move to influence or incite change in the insanity that exists. I have yet to fully determine how to recognize the time to make the move but some clues might be helpful along the way for you. While the list should be much longer, here are three questions 1. Is everyone restless? If you are the only one on sta

Under the seal of hope

I am part of a group called "Theology Breakfast" and our meetings this summer are working through John Calvin’s  Institutes of the Christian Religion . It is a daunting task but one well worth it as we are being shown such a rich view of the faith and our savior, Jesus. This morning we came across the reality of the completion of the gospel. That there is hope to be lived for; that the end in glory is something we should eagerly await. “Although Christ offers us in the gospel a present fullness of spiritual blessings, fruition remains in the keeping of hope, until we are divested of corruptible flesh, and transformed into the glory of him who has gone before us.” We often tell the truth of the gospel; the reality of God, our rebellion, the redemption of Christ and our response to it, but then miss the hope of revelation. The moment when Jesus declares that “it is done” in Revelation 21. The cross is glorious and we live in response to a full view of the work accomplished ther

Beautiful Eulogy

This album has been rocking me. Theologically solid. Creatively excellent. You could do nothing better on this Friday than download and listen to the latest from the boys of Humblebeast . It is free .

Why holiness matters

I am looking forward to this book and I think we may use it for our Fall term of Theology Breakfast. [vimeo] I have been following  Tyler for awhile and think he has some great perspective and his call to holiness is much needed.