Can churches grow in the summer? Of course they can. In fact, churches should grow in the summer. However, they rarely do for one simple reason: their leaders let down too much.Continue Reading...
Archives For New Vintage Church
Here are some things on my mind this Friday morning:
- Among sporting events, choose a baseball game if you want to spend quality time with someone else. Last night, I took Anna to a game, and it was one of the best father-daughter experiences I’ve ever had.
- I’m really, really sad for the churches led by the three megachurch pastors who resigned due to adultery this week. I won’t throw any rocks at those guys, but the damage this brings to their families, churches, and Christ’s name in Orlando is significant. Let all Christians (and pastors especially) watch out for the enemy, who prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
- These three things are beautiful, and as rare as unicorns: an honest, quality, good-value mechanic; a happy and efficient DMV worker, and politicians taking responsibility for mistakes and giving credit to others.
- I saw the Great Gatsby. Compared to the book, I thought they made it more of a love story than commentary on greed and excess. However, it’s superbly acted and beautifully filmed. It’ll probably be nominated for three or four artsy Oscars. It’s one you’ll want to see on the big screen.
- It’s surprising how much some non-Calvinists hate Calvinism. Some of the blogs this week were unbelievable.
- I’ve never tried guacamole. As a native Californian, this is blasphemy…but a blasphemy I plan to continue.
- I never tried salsa until I was 30 years old.
- Congratulations to Bill Gates for once again becoming the world’s richest man. At least he gives a lot of it away–90%.
- Other than the obvious problems, the IRS’s biggest problem in their current malaise is that most people hate them. They have few friends, and the masses are cheering for their defeat. Thus, it’s good for politicians on both sides of the aisle to appear upset and push for serious carnage here. They perform a necessary function in our society, but in the eyes of the masses they have gone from being those who protect against fraud to the fraudulent abusers of power. Whether that’s fair or not will be born out as we see what actually happened. If they were forced to do it by the White House, trust may be partially restored.
- Going back to my post on accountability this week–let’s apply it to the current White House scandals. In each case, the Justice Department is being asked to investigate the issue. Hah!
- Remember when the Justice Department was asked to investigate the Justice Department’s Fast and Furious scandal?
- In each case, there will be an underling sacrificed. In Washington, it’s never the fault of those on top. Good leaders accept responsibility for the actions of those under their management.
- I’m sorry to rant on the subject…but it’s one of the most stark examples of failed leadership I’ve seen in my lifetime. This isn’t to say the President hasn’t had some shining moments as well. I’m saying this is clearly not one of them–and you can often see a leader’s true leadership qualities when they’ve failed.
- It feels like the NBA playoffs started a year ago. They really should make the format a little more concise.
- There is a fitness-Nazi trend among pastors these days. I think this is pleasant reversal from the days of pear-shaped pastors–and I’m jumping in.
- However, I hope we don’t get vain or judgmental about it.
- The only book I prefer in paper form is the Bible. I can’t do devotional reading of the Bible on my phone or screen. It just feels too weird. Give me a good leather Bible.
- According to the ECPA, the best-selling Bible translation in May is still the NIV–though some of this might be the scooping up of NIV ’84 bibles (now out of print) in response to the 2011 update. The New Living translation comes in at number two. They are followed by the KJV, NKJV, and ESV.
- A study released this week says those who tithe have healthier personal finances than those who don’t. It reminds me of the old Dave Ramsey quote: “If you can’t live on 90% of your income, you can’t live on 100% either.”
- It’s a shame what’s happened to Detroit. I think it’s a great city–and I hope it can get back on the right track.
- Suddenly, California is running a surplus. How about that?
What’s on your mind this Friday?
Yes, I know these humble posts are usually scheduled for Fridays. However, last week was good, but insane from ministry perspective. So, I’m posting Stream of Consciousness on Monday. Sorry for the 3 day delay, but the blog was made for man, not man for the blog.
Here are some things on my mind this Monday morning:
–We baptized our beautiful daughter, Anna, yesterday morning. Of all my dad moments, it’s is unquestionably on the Mt. Rushmore. Anna is a born worshiper. God filled her soul with music and praise when He knit her together in her mother’s womb. I can’t wait to see what He’ll do with her in the years ahead.Continue Reading...
Here are some things Friday morning:
- The NFL Draft kicked off last night, and the big takeaway I had was that every “draft expert’s” is about as helpful in predicting the results of the draft as NCAA hoop expert’s bracket before the NCAA tournament. Heavy on the fun and light on the accuracy.
- Yesterday, the George W. Bush Presidential library opened. I’ve always believed he was a good man, and that belief was only reinforced yesterday.
- Sometimes, missing out on great opportunities can turn out to be the best thing for you.
- The Padres are off to a 6-15 start. The league is standing in fear.
- I like a Spurs vs. Heat NBA final.
- My distrust of American media in general was reinforced by the two headlines this week referring to the Boston bombings and a bombing attempt “Bombers motivated by religion.” Religion?
- The next day a bomb plot was foiled in Canada, the headline read: “Muslims foil terror plot on Canadian train.” Why not religion?
- If you haven’t heard any of the testimony coming out of the Gosnell abortion clinic trial, it’s horrifying and important for people to read this.
- I don’t like doing “topical” sermon series very much. I’m defining “topical” here very narrowly–as a series that’s not just preaching through a book of the Bible. All of my sermons have a major text I’m preaching from–and are expository in the classic sense. But, I find it more difficult to preach a series on “prayer” or “family life.” I’d rather work through the Gospel of Luke, Ecclesiastes, or something like that.
- Happy 2-year anniversary to New Vintage Church! What an amazing adventure of faith it has been. I’m so thankful for all God’s done.
- I’m going to say something very “Un-P.C.” here: nearly every church I’ve seen start and fail over the years focused on community impact without doing a good job of building a strong sense of spirituality in the Body. They seemed to see spirituality as “inward focus,” and go from one service project to the next without ever giving people a clear sense of why they’re doing what they’re doing–and offering the supply of the Spirit for what they are doing. Spirituality isn’t the enemy of community impact. It’s the lifeblood of community impact.
- “Justice” is becoming the most overused, misused and co-opted word in the Christian vocabulary right now.
- Right behind it is, “leadership.”
- The 10U Girls Softball team I coach had the best team in the league on the ropes. So, their coach initiated the stall sequence to run the game time out–time outs, shoe tying, having the pitcher take a minute between pitches, overthrows of the pitcher with no one on–the usual. At home plate after the game had been called, the guy says, “You guys couldn’t have beaten us anyway.” My response was, “we’ll never know, because your girls are all still tying their shoes.” I get sarcastic when I’m upset. Not a great moment for me, admittedly.
- I went to the doctor for my annual physical. Everything was fine. But, my energy has been down a bit. He said, in essence–sleep more, play more, eat right, stress low. Apparently, idealism cures.
- But, it’s still good advice.
- A year in ministry is better training for ministry than reading 25 books on the subject.
- The Pepperdine Bible Lectures are almost here, and I’m really excited for Mike Cope and Rick Gibson.
- I’m also excited to present my class, which will deal with some of the systemic issues in the leadership paradigm in Churches of Christ–particularly between ministers and elders. The content is brand new. If you’re there, I’d love to have you attend.
What’s on your mind this Friday?
It isn’t enough to simply do what you’ve been asked to do. That’s a given. Ministry staff teams must be cohesive units that execute ministry’s calling. I’ve observed that some churches emphasize “getting the job done” without looking at how to get the job done in a way that reinforces other church objectives…like cultivating team chemistry or building godly character. There’s no reason “getting the job done” has to be the only thing that happens when staff works on something–ever. The job will get done better and more consistently if those on a staff team like each other.Continue Reading...