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Preacher on the Run…

Faith, Family, Ministry, and Everything in between

The First Two Minutes Matter Most (Feature Friday 12/13/19)

Every weekend it happens. They drive into the parking lot, get out of their cars and head for the entrance. As they approach the door they may be greeted by a smiling face or not greeted at all. Then they will have to endure walking through a foyer where they know absolutely no one. Surrounded by strangers, in a strange land, they must find their way to where the service will be held. This is when the real fun begins.

A welcome will be given, by someone they do not know. Songs will be sung they likely have never heard before. Another person will get up and possibly ask them for money. The lead communicator will then speak at them for the next 25+ minutes and likely about things they have heard very little about ever before. Then another song they don’t know and a closing remark. Then it happens…they find themselves in a room full of strangers far from the exit and unsure what to do.

This is the moment. This is where, as Tim Challies puts it, “The First Two Minutes Matter Most“. People visit churches for the first time every week. It is a strange, unique, experience, but it doesn’t have to be a bad one.

Enjoy the article and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day and make the most of the first two minutes after the service.

Photo by Agê Barros on Unsplash

Sharing the Essential Elements of Jesus’ Gospel (Feature Friday 12/06/19)

What is an elemental substance of life? One could argue oxygen or hydrogen or a number of other elements. While all of the other options may have a degree of truth at it’s the most foundational level we know life requires water. Without water, human life would end within days if not sooner. Water is an if not the essential element of sustaining human life. To form water you must have two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Without those two elements in that ratio, you do not get water and thus cannot have life.

If water is essential for physical life, what about spiritual life? Are there essential elements to a life with God? The answer is yes. While many things could be said and tome’s have been written on the subject at the core of any understanding of life with God must stand the gospel message of Jesus Christ. But what are the essential elements of the gospel message? Bill Hull writes about “Sharing the Essential Elements of Jesus’ Gospel“. In it he gives what he declares are the 7 essential elements of the gospel of Jesus.

I find Bill’s article compelling because of the simplicity, clarity, and Biblical grounds for his essential elements. Too often we can overcomplicate the gospel, but there are times where we commit the opposite and under-communicate the fullness of the gospel message. Bill steps in to give 4 declarative statements and 3 imperative responses that comprise the entirety of Jesus’ gospel.

Enjoy the article, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Bill’s essential elements and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Photo by Levi XU on Unsplash

Thanksgiving (Feature Friday 11/29/19)

Happy Belated Thanksgiving. I trust and pray that your Thanksgiving was an awesome one. I hope you had too much food, far too many laughs, and a whole lot of conversations with loved ones.

Even though most of the deals are done and shopping is probably finished for you. Here are some great “Black Friday Deals” if interested.

Enjoy the weekend and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

How to Be an Intentional Parent with Your Words (Feature Friday 11/22/19)

I am excited! This weekend I get the privilege to retreat for a 24 hour period with other guys from my church. We will worship together, laugh together, eat together, and be challenged from God’s Word together. But I am even more excited because of the theme we will have: Words Matter!

What a needed topic and theme. “Words are powerful and memorable. We remember words that are pointed and positive. We also remember words that are sharp and negative. The human brain processes physical and emotional pain in a similar way. This means that negative words can literally hurt and cause pain because our brains perceive little difference.” While this is an important theme for all of us, it’s even more so for parents. Which is why I appreciate Doug and Cathy Fields post “How to Be and Intentional Parent with Your Words“.

Doug and Cathy challenged me, my use of words, and how to be a better dad to my kids. I hope you are challenged by the article as well. As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

 

3 Habits of Wise Leaders (Feature Friday 11/15/19)

“That was foolish”, I remember thinking to myself. While it is one of the earliest times I remember saying that to myself, unfortunately, I have said it multiple times over my life. At 8 years old, the severity of the foolishness and consequences from it were not that large, but as we get older and begin to influence more and more people the consequences can be life-altering. As a leader, I never aim to be foolish, yet it still happens. In those moments, it’s tempting to think others are just smarter or have a unique gift. But that is just not true.

Wisdom is not something anyone is born with. It is not a gift you receive but a habit you form. It comes with a lifetime of practice. As leaders we must seek to practice wisdom and refine the skill, but how? Michael Hyatt has a great podcast episode sharing “3 Habits of Wise Leaders“. I found it encouraging and helpful as I seek to lead wisely.

Enjoy the article and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day.

Leave a comment below with which habit you found to be most helpful for your leadership.

Photo by James Lee on Unsplash

Make Sundays Uncomfortable (Feature Friday 11/08/19)

“I’ll meet you there a little bit after 9AM”, your friend tells you as they hang up the phone and text you the address. You leave your house slightly before 9 and arrive at the address right at 9:10AM. You’ve never been here before. You’re not even sure you could get out of there without GPS. You are not quite sure which door is the main entrance. And the worse part is your friend is nowhere to be seen and not answering your texts. So now you enter a place that is completely unfamiliar, knowing absolutely no one, and having no clue where to go or what to do. How do you feel?

Take that feeling and lock it into your memory like Rapunzel’s wicked step-mother locked her up in the tower. Why you ask. Because that is the feeling so many people have when they walk into a church for the first time every weekend. If people are left to those feelings for long, it is unlikely they will remain at church, let alone return ever again. In my mind, this is an emergency. Thus we need to be willing to “Make Sunday Mornings Uncomfortable“.

We need to make Sunday Mornings uncomfortable for us, not our guests. However, too often we don’t want to be uncomfortable but are ok with others being uncomfortable for our sake. It should not be this way. So if you are heading to church this weekend, I challenge you to be uncomfortable. It may be exactly what someone else needs from you.

Enjoy the article and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Photo by Isaac Mehegan on Unsplash

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