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Category Archives: goals

Post #100 – A Prayer for Our Church…

It’s hard to believe I’ve plucked on my keyboard 100 times… it’s not much compared to some but a whole lot compared to others (like my pastor, who, although he is the greatest pastor I’ve ever worked for, calls blogging “a bunch of guys keeping an online diary”).

I want to take this opportunity to share a prayer with you that I think will blow you away. Last night our church community read it corporately at our monthly prayer and worship service (7:14). It really gripped me, and I’d love to share it with you here. If you’re a pastor, this is what you want your church to feel and be. If you’re a church member, this should be your prayer. And if you’re not a follower of Christ but you know people who are, this is who those folks should be.

This is from John Piper’s book, “Taste and See” and is called “A Prayer for Our Church”. Let me know your thoughts…

A Prayer for our Church
Oh, Lord, by the truth of Your Word, and the power of your Spirit and the ministry of your body, build men and women at (name of your church here)…
Who don’t love the world more than God,
who don’t care if they make much money,
who don’t care if they own a house,
who don’t care if they have a new car or two cars,
who don’t need recent styles, 
who don’t care if they get famous,
who don’t miss steak or fancy fare,
who don’t expect that life should be comfortable and easy,
who don’t feed their minds on TV each night, 
who don’t measure truth with their finger in the wind,
who don’t get paralyzed by others’ disapproval,
who don’t return evil for evil,
who don’t hold grudges,
who don’t gossip,
who don’t twist the truth,
who don’t brag or boast,
who don’t whine or use body language to get pity,
who don’t criticize more than praise,
who don’t hang out in cliques,
who don’t eat too much or exercise too little;
BUT
who are ablaze for God,
who are utterly God-besotted,
who are filled with the Holy Spirit,
who strive to know the height and depth of Christ’s love,
who are crucified to the world and dad to sin,
who are purified by the Word and addicted to righteousness,
who are mighty in memorizing and using the Scriptures,
who keep the Lord’s Day holy and refreshing,
who are broken by the consciousness of sin,
who are thrilled by the wonder of free grace,
who are stunned into humble silence by the riches of God’s glory,
who are persevering constantly in prayer,
who are ruthless in self-denial,
who are fearless in public witness to Christ’s lordship,
who are able to unmask error and blow away doctrinal haze,
who are tough in standing for the truth,
who are tender in touching hurting people,
who are passionate about reaching the peoples who have no church,
who are pro-life for the sake of babies and moms and dads and the glory of God,
who are keepers of all their promises, including marriage vows,
who are content with what they have and trusting the promises of God,
who are patient and kind and meek when life is hard.
 
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Posted by on September 10, 2007 in church stuff, goals, ministry, random stuff

 

It’s time

a few months ago on here I mentioned I was going to start a new workout (new as in actually start working out).  But that petered out quick.  Things at the church were 90-nothing (always are, that’s a good thing) and I was taking 6 hours of graduate coursework.

But it’s time.  I’m tired of being fat.  It’s been 10 years since I got fat.  I’m tired of the way I feel.  I’m tired of the way I look.  And I’m tired of not being able to take my shirt off at the beach 🙂
Seriously though.  Tomorrow, I’m going to the gym and getting a membership.  I’m gonna start with some healthy stuff this weekend, heading towards Monday where it’s go-time.  Protein shakes, chicken breasts, weights 3x a week, cardio 3x a week,gazelle-intense as Dave Ramsey would say.  I’ve been working very hard at getting some thing organized in my life and I’m really ready to go.
I hate asking for help but I thought if I posted here and you guys checked on me there’s no going back.  So would you help encourage me?  Pray for me that I’ll be dedicated, focused, gazelle-intense.  That my wife will get the husband she’s wanted for a long time.  
I’ll post updates as I go, looking forward to the new me!
 

What do I reflect?

Several years ago we were living in Oklahoma City, and my oldest son was about 2 years old. A tornado was coming through and I had him in the car with me headed home. I was listening to the radio and they described where this tornado was crossing a certain street in the city, and I knew that’s where my wife worked, so I slipped and said “s**t”. My 2-year old promptly repeated me! (never swear in front of your little kids, they WILL repeat it, usually at the most inopportune times!

We probably have no idea how much influence we have with the leaders we work with and lead. They’re watching more than our platform time or training times. They are watching how we lead in life in general, our demeanor when approached with potential problems, how we respond to criticism, etc.

Craig Groeschel is doing a series on Breaking Barriers in the church over at his blog. He was discussing your mindset and the need to change as you go. Here’s one quote “You are going to have to change your mindset. Much of what you’re doing now won’t work later.” Then he goes on to make a statement along the lines what I was saying earlier that really spoke to me: “If you are unwilling to change and grow, your organization will not likely follow.” Ouch my brother!!

This rings so true. The people we serve and lead will likely follow after the model that we set. What they see will help them become what they are. Just as my 6 year old son watches me and tries to be like me (anyone other than me WAY intimidated by that and trying to get my act together?), our churches look at us and follow us.

Here are just some ways I think churches (and ministries) mimic their leaders:
if we want our people to reach out and grab other people, we have to do that as well. We can’t expect our people to make relationships in the community if we don’t do that ourselves. Actions speak louder than words.
if we say we want to reach a certain demographic of people, we have to adapt our methods and become a student of our culture
people watch our actions and expect us to take ownership of them. If you offend someone, apologize. If you mess up in some way, apologize. Don’t just say “that’s just how I’m wired.” If you want your people to grow in their lives, you have to grow in yours, and by the way, you’ve never arrived!
if we want our people to pray and be in the Word, we have to, believe it or not, pray and be in the Word. I love the simplicity with which Jon Courson speaks: “Read your bible and pray, every single day.”
if we expect our people to put their families above the church, we HAVE to model that! We can’t be there all hours of the day. There are some things that can and must wait! We need to take time off with our families, shut the cell phone off, don’t check e-mail, etc
we must model balance. We can’t always be busy! Not everything is a crisis, and our crisis doesn’t necessarily constitute a crisis in someone else’s life!
we must be relational. If I expect my leaders to pour into the lives of those in their groups, I’d better pour into them. I better model what I expect them to do. Theory is nice, talk is cheap, again, actions speak louder than words. (I need to practice what I preach here better, but I’m on a mission to pour into my leaders like never before)Senior pastors, if you want your staff to do more than manage ministries, but rather, pour into leaders, you need to pour into your staff.
We can’t try to do it all. Have you noticed the 20/80 rule in your church, where 20% of the people do 80% of the work? The small group leader is also an usher, a nursery worker, in the praise team, and helping with youth on Wednesday nights? We have to model a culture of sharing the load and not trying to do everything. What are the 3 things that only I can do and must do? I have to do those and enable others to do the other things that need to be done. If the same old people are doing the same old things in church (and in 4 ministry areas), it’s possible that they watch their leaders do a poor job of setting boundaries and focusing on their strengths/passions. Hmm. What do I need to cut out of my schedule, and how do I need to model to find 1 or 2 passion points and pursue them?

Just some thoughts. Obviously I’m learning and a work in progress. I need to daily ask the question, “Am I willing to change, and how does my willingness/lack thereof affect my church?”

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2007 in busy, church stuff, goals, health, ministry

 

Wasted Time Part 1

Several of our staff and elders recently read through “Don’t Waste Your Life” by John Piper (I did not due to some other reading commitments for school). We just did a series in church in January on that subject.

Recently I’ve been thinking about what I’m doing with my life. I realized recently that I have 9 months left of my 20’s. What have I done with them? Where did I screw up? What did I get right? Did I waste my 20’s or were they years worth remembering and celebrating? The next few days I’m going to explore some good things and bad things about my 20’s, and what I’m planning on doing towards and into my 30’s. What about you? Are you making the most of each decade? Do you live sick with regret or silly with celebration? What do you need to change to ensure that your life has the most impact possible in the next decade?

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2007 in goals, time