May 292009

Character is always transferable but context is not. Part 2

  • You have a new congregation each week. 

Whether it is new people or the same people, you are teaching and leading people that have new and different issues each week and you need to be aware as a leader of what they are going through.  Your character must be solid each and every week and you are a moral anchor of character for them to have a point of reference. 

Proverbs 27:23 (NIV)
23 Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds;

  • You have a new community each week.
  • The cauldron of circumstantial factors are never the same from year to year.  You must pay close attention to what is going on in the meta-narrative of culture and the microcosm of your environment. 

Read that last statement again!  That is huge for church planters and pastors in our rapidly changing culture.


 Posted by at 8:22 pm
May 282009

I help host a churchplanter network where pastors and churchplanters can get some coaching and learning opportunities.  Recently we were fortunate to hear from Dr. Steve Echols, dean and Hub director for New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.  I was fortunate to have him for a couple of classes at the end of my seminary education and he offers so much practical insight on leadership issues.  I am going to post a series of leadership posts based on his presentation in May to our Church planter network.

1.  Character is always transferable but context is not.

Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)
23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

As a leader:

  • How is your devotional life? 
  • Do you embrace accountability or avoid it?
  • Do you treat everyone as special or rather as a means to your goals?
  • Are you eager or timid in sharing about Jesus?


 Posted by at 8:35 am
May 262009

How much is in your savings account?  I think I can hear people laughing….or crying.  Are you investing anything for retirement?

My friend Steve Miller in his book Enjoy Your Money!  How to Make it, Save it, Invest it, and Give it, gives us some advice related to investing.  He actually gives us a sure-fire way to LOSE money related to our investments.  Here is what he shares:

Money Losing Tip #1
Invest in stocks before establishing your emergency fund.  Steve suggests putting aside several months of your salary before you begin investing.  Other money experts don’t suggest quite that much.  The point is to set aside funds for emergencies!

Money Losing Tip #2
Get money quicker by trading stocks for short-term gains.  People think they can gamble and beat the market but studies show that the best way to multiply your money is to put it into solid mutual funds and LEAVE it there long term for the best and most secure growth.

Money Losing Tip #3
Pick your own stocks for the long haul and easily beat the market.  Experts lose money everyday and they study companies and the market FOR A LIVING!  Stay away from actively managing your own investments.  Diversify by investing in mutual funds and diversify by investing in STOCKS AND BONDS!

Money Losing Tip #4
Choose Funds based on their past performance.  The top funds of any given year are rarely on top the very next year.  Be careful about investing in “Hot Stocks”.  They may be hot for a short time. 

Be Wise, Plan ahead, and Work hard!

 Posted by at 10:15 pm
May 252009

Big Idea:
The Mission of Submission is about God’s divinely willed order.

Scripture Memory:
Proverbs 31:26-28 (NIV)
26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:

Action Step:
Ask your husband what his number one need is and spend the week serving him to meet that need.

Random Thoughts:

  • Yesterday’s topic and the idea of speaking to women was a scary endeavor for me.  Thank God that Jill was willing to partner with me.  She did awesome and I think it added so much credibility for a woman’s perspective to be added. 
  • I love my wife!  She is such a blessing and MAN did I marry up or what?!  I simply out-punted my coverage!  She is a beautiful, wonderful and wise woman.  For example, look at her ability to pick a husband!
  • Where did everyone go yesterday?!  We had so many people out on vacation and hanging at the lake.  I hope everyone has a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend.  It is good to get away and everyone needs it now and then.  Our attendance for Memorial Day yesterday was still almost one hundred above the attendance on Memorial Day Sunday a year ago.  God is working.
  • I hope everyone takes time to pause and reflect on what Memorial Day is set aside for.  It is to commemorate those who lost their life serving their country in the military.  Jill and I hope to call a sweet friend, Nancy, who lost her son Jason a couple of years ago in Iraq.  We want to call her and thank her and honor Jason’s memory by telling her that we are thinking of her and remembering Jason.  Take a few minutes in the middle of all the grilling and celebrating to remember and be thankful for those who gave their life for our freedom here in the U.S. 
  • I hope that all the women will set aside some time to DO THE ACTION STEP this week.  Ask your husband what need of his that you can meet this week and actually DO IT. 
  • Next week is going to be awesome!  We will have some more special guests this coming Sunday that will add so much to the finale of the Woman’s Series.
  • I conducted one of the hardest funerals for me EVER this past Friday.  Kyle Lawson died on Tuesday and he was only 21 years old.  It was so sad and to watch my friends, his sister Kelly and Mom Wendy and all the other friends and family mourn and grieve so deeply was so terribly hard for me.  I can’t remember a tougher one for me.  I literally cried much of the way home on the 1 1/2 drive home. 
  • I am so excited about how God is working in and through the life of Church at the Grove right now.  I hope we can utilize the summer to continue reaching out to people.  Don’t let the momentum stop!  Keep praying, keep reaching, keep inviting and keep serving.
  • Remember that our expenses do not change during the summer!  Please utilize, our self-addressed envelopes, our on-line giving option found here, and consider automatic bank drafts to help keep our giving consistent.  You guys have been so faithful and so generous and we are so thankful. 
  • OnePrayer coming in June.  It is going to be awesome! 
  • Start thinking about Community Groups for the fall.  Where will you fit in?
  • See you Sunday!
 Posted by at 12:34 pm