Showing posts from January, 2013

Office Culture Issues can happen at churches too

Jamie Munson has posted a great warning against office politics and provides steps to overcome an unproductive office culture. He says some warning signs of an unhealthy environment include: " Coworkers who feel free to talk  about  each other, but unable to confront issues face-to-face. Certain individuals get left out of meetings, even though they should be included based on their role. People are fighting for the credit and recognition, taking it away from the real source of the hard work. Innovation is discouraged unless it is the leader’s or manager’s idea. Employees subvert the leader’s position by resisting necessary organizational change." These symptoms lead to " loss of productivity, reduced creativity, and you could even see valuable staff leave simply because of the political culture." Churches, since they are filled of regular ole' humans, are just as prone to these same office dangers. Leaders can change the culture though,  and

A legacy of conviction

"The wise leader does not try to perpetuate matters of style and taste, or even plans and programs. The leader who aims at a legacy aims to perpetuate conviction." Al Molher in The Conviction to Lead. What legacy are you leaving? Read other quotes from the book here .

Fear of Man


Preaching the Cross

"[Preaching] has to be about the Christ who came into the world not to improve generally good people, but to resurrect the dead, not to bolster our self-esteem but to forgive us, not to make people successful but to make them loving, not to win the culture but to establish a kingdom without end. Even more scandalously, the message of the Cross is about a universe saturated with grace, where nothing we have done or can do earns us the right to participate in this stunning new reality; all has been done for us. The best we can do is acknowledge the reality (faith) and begin to live as if it is reality (repent)." Mark Galli in this article . HT: Ben Greene

The Work You Gave Me

Christ's work was underway and he was nearing that moment of "it is finished" on the cross. But before this he prays for his followers. He prays for unity among them. He prays for the Father to be glorified. He sets the tone for ministry to come. And this is how he begins his prayer: "I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do." John 17:4 Now clearly Jesus is the One perfectly capable of accomplishing the work that he was given and he did it fully to God's glory. But what might this say to us. First have we recognized the work we have been given and second, are we accomplishing it through the empowerment of Christ? God has a perfect plan for the unfolding of time and the things that will shape our lives. As we are living, we are in the midst of this plan and are carrying out what we have been destined to do. But do we recognize this? If we step back and embrace the idea that we are called to something (even if it seems mund

Gospel Amnesia

The folks at Gospel Centered Discipleship are promoting the forth coming ebook by Luma Simms titled " Gospel Amnesia ." It looks like a fascinating read. Here is an excerpt. " Gospel amnesia flourishes in a local church where there is a disconnect between doctrine and culture . An obvious case would be a church where there is no gospel preaching. Another would be a church that is obligation-heavy and gospel-light. Yet another is where there is a fair amount of gospel doctrine with little or no gospel action. "Ray Ortlund Jr. asks in his sermon  Justification versus Self–Justification ,  “what kind of dark church culture can a mentality of self-justification ( gospel amnesia ) create?” (I am substituting ‘gospel amnesia’ knowing that the gospel is more than just the doctrine of justification.) Here are some of his answers: Selfish ambition, manipulative power of exclusion, a sense of grievance toward some, a redefining of what it takes to be an acceptable Christian

The President is right I have never agreed with the President more...

The role of pastor is as reminder

"Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in the body, to stir you up by way of reminder, since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things." 2 Peter 1:12-15 The writers of the New Testament had it right. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit could do nothing but remind those they were writing to of the truth of the gospel - of Christ's work and the advancement of the Kingdom. In order to validate our existence as teachers of the word however we mine the texts for something unique and our corrupt flesh gravitates toward the practical and often we end up with moralism not Christ-centered awe. We, like Peter, must determine to be relentless reminders of the truth of the gospel. Peter knows his c

Raise Up

This last week I had the honor of sitting in on a discussion on pastoral succession and how best to go about the process. Now those of you that attend church with me have nothing to worry about - our pastor has a good ten years left in him! But as good leaders, our elders are starting to have conversation to strategically think about transition. A senior leader from another organization was invited to share his experience. One piece of the conversation centered on raising up leaders or hiring outsiders. I tend to prefer raising up from within and it goes along with a orientation toward mentoring. I always want to be investing in people that can start their own ministries or do the work that I am currently doing. The Lord in his sovereignty will use me how he uses me and I have nothing to worry about when it comes to self preservation - I should never fear bringing others along and up. Then I stumbled on this blog post calling for more homegrown leaders. "Many churches will benefit

Why do we have to wait!

I am involved in a project to open a Christ-centered coffee shop in Richland, WA and we have been riddled with delay after delay. The proposed opening date was originally in October and we are still not open today. But there is hope that we will open soon. Now there are certainly human realities at play in the timing. Some inexperience on my part and difficulties with the city. But the timing is decreed by God and in that fact we can have peace and rest in anticipation. This for me is often one of the toughest things to do. Trust in God's timing. My schedule has always been something different than what it seems God desires for me. I wanted to progress at a different pace career wise. I wanted to "arrive" much sooner. But God has not allowed me to "arrive" whatever that means! But in the process I have to trust him because I know his plan and decree is good and it works out for his glory and my good. We are an anxious generation. We want immediacy and arrival. W