Search

Preacher on the Run…

Faith, Family, Ministry, and Everything in between

Tag

Discipleship

Feature Friday (04/12/19)

It was a loud clank. I heard it, but after looking in the rearview mirror quickly dismissed it as unrelated to my car. Then I heard the distinct sound of metal dragging. It was then that I noticed sparks flying from behind my passenger rear tire. That was when I realized what had happened.

A rusted muffler bracket finally gave way, dropping the 8-foot exhaust pipe from under my car to drag on the ground as I drove my son to school. I did not expect to be on my back under my car at 7:45am that morning, trying to MacGyver my muffler back into place until I could get it to my mechanic. The reality was not one I wanted, but it should have been one I saw coming. The warning signs were visible for the past few weeks. I just chose to ignore them.

The same experience can be had in regards to many areas of life. An event happens we “didn’t see coming”, but it is because we ignored or missed all the warning signs. Leadership of any kind is no different, especially in the church. If the mission of the church is to make disciples (and it is – Matthew 28:19-20) and we don’t see that happening, maybe it is because we have missed “The Signs You May Have a Bad Disciple-Making Strategy.”

Warning signs are meant to indicate a problem to us. Just like the rusted clank, sparks, and sounds of my early morning drive. Yet too often we ignore those indicators because it is just easier to do so. But the realization soon hits, that we should have paid attention and addressed those warning signs, not ignored them. And when what is at stake is the mission of the church – we need to take note and do so early and often.

That is why I love Mark Howell’s “5 Signs” in helping us recognize a bad culture within a church. Check it out and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Photo by Alexandru G. STAVRICĂ on Unsplash

Advertisements

Feature Friday (03/30/19)

12:10am is a timestamp that will remain in my mind for the rest of my life. I found myself in a hospital room. I knew it was coming, but I never knew how it would feel. 12:10am was a moment in time that changed the routine, thought-process, and course of my life. 12:10am was the moment in time when I became a father. I was now responsible for the provision, protection, and maturity of another individual. It was this last one, maturity, that concerned me the most.

How would I help my firstborn son grow? What would be the indicators that I was succeeding at raising a man not just a boy in a man’s body? There are so many things to consider and stages along the maturing process it can be overwhelming at time. To this day I still question if he (and my other children) are maturing as they should, not just physically, but spiritually as well.

While physical maturity is pretty easy to spot via the external indicators of size, weight, and other aspects; spiritual maturity seems a bit more nebulous or difficult to define and recognize. This is a question I have asked repeatedly and still wrestle with from time to time: how will I know that my children are maturing spiritually? What are the indicators? Jim Putnam wrote a great concise article on this exact subject titled, “The Biggest Indicator of Spiritual Maturity Might Not Be the Thing You are Looking For.

It is a great article and Jim boils spiritual maturity down to the irreducible indicator to help me, you, and others recognize the greatest mark of spiritual maturity. So whether we are raising children, leading groups, discipling individuals, or pastoring people this article will prove extremely helpful in clarifying and simplifying what we should be looking for in those we lead.

As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Feature Friday (02/08/19)

Chocolate or Vanilla? Left-handed or right-handed? Get up early or stay out late? So many situations in life seem like either-or. There are constant battles of values and priorities at play. Yet too often I believe we pit things against each other that may never be meant to be at odds.

As a young athlete in high school, the tension was always which sport are you going to excel at? Which game will you prepare for more? As one who truly enjoyed every sport I played, those types of questions always seemed like a conundrum to me. Why must I choose training for football over running track? I enjoyed both and thus trained, practice, and performed at both. And in my experience, pursuing one made me better at the other. It was not an either-or situation, but a both-and one. The same can be said for many situations in church.

One situation that is often portrayed as an either-or situation is evangelism or discipleship. Often it comes across in preaching: do we preach to the unchurched to reach more people for Jesus or do we preach with the believer in mind to equip the saints? Instead of setting up an either-or situation, I believe it is a both-and situation.

Dave Jensen writes a great article challenging pastors, church leaders, and churches in general to do both-and. His article “Keep Christians in the room: Church attendance at evangelistic courses” is a great argument for a both-and approach rather than an either-or approach.

As always I hope the article encourages and challenges you. Don’t neglect to be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day this weekend.

Photo by Greg Jeanneau on Unsplash

Feature Friday (11/09/18)

I have always loved Apple products. It has never been one aspect that drew me to the Mac world, rather a plethora of little things add up. Their design is sleek and beautiful. The ease of use and clear user designed software are killer. Even the feel of the items has always just been more solid and higher quality than other products. But there is one aspect of Apple I never knew about until recently, that actually makes me like them even more…the way they train their employees.

In his article, “What Apple Gets About Disciple Making” Craig Etheredge recalls an interaction with an Apple employee concerning her training experience and process.  As I read the article it became apparent, another reason this company is so great is not just because of the time and energy they put into their product, but more importantly the time and energy they put into their people. This is a reality I believe the church can and must learn from. With so much of the church’s mission being accomplished by “volunteers” it becomes even more vital for training (aka discipleship) to take place strategically, intentionally, and relationally – three ways Apple is killing it at training.

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

Photo by Medhat Dawoud on Unsplash

Feature Friday (10/19/18)

One of my personal hero’s just had his birthday. So like every good admirer and mentee I wished him a happy birthday. To my shame it did take a Facebook notification to help me remember it was his birthday. I felt a bit guilty for not remembering and for not making a bigger deal of it but the reality is he appreciated it all the same. Which shows one reason this man is still a personal hero of mine, but there are other reasons.

This man came alongside of me in a very difficult, trying, and stupid season of my life…junior high and high school. He was a model of love, encouragement, but also of truth and wisdom. This hero of mine loved me daily by spending quality time with me and challenging me in every area of life. I believe I am the man I am today at least in part to this hero. So much so that I wanted to become like him when I grew up – a hero.

But, as Todd Wilson shares, over the years, I’ve learned that there is an even better role to aspire to than “hero”—a role that shifts my focus from addition to multiplication, and from “me” to “others.” The shift is counter-cultural. Ultimately, it’s a shift that makes us much more like Jesus!

To find out what the shift was for me and what Todd is talking about check out his article “Are You a Hero Maker?“.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this area as well as any stories of hero’s or hero makers in your life.

As always enjoy the article and be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Feature Friday (10/05/18)

What a game? It was back and forth all night. The home team had a commanding lead heading into half time, but the visiting team came out in the 3rd quarter and took the lead just before the final quarter. The home team responded and went up by two scores and left the visitors less than 8 minutes of game time to work with. But the visitors responded and went up by one with two minutes to go in the game. The home team got the ball and had to drive 60 yards for a score. They had a crucial 4th and 5 around midfield that they had to convert if their hopes were to stay alive.

All night long the Lions quarterback had been tearing the defense apart both with his arm and by scrambling with his legs. It seemed obvious that he would be the one with the ball in his hands, with the game on the line. The ball had been snapped a handoff was made and after one yard of progress the defense smothered the ballcarrier for the loss. No first down. No continued drive. No hope of scoring. Nothing to do, but watch the time run off the clock.

What was the coach thinking? Why did they not run a different play? Why did they not put the ball into their best players hands? That’s what I would have done. But that’s why it’s easy being a Monday morning quarterback. It’s easy to criticize others when you are not in the game yourself. The same is true of discipleship and the local church. Which is just what Jim Putnam’s article “Don’t Miss This: You Need to Get in The Game” is all about.

“Whether you want to grow spiritually yourself, or disciple someone else to do so, getting involved and serving others is a great way to do it. But don’t just take my word for it – let’s take a look at how Jesus got his disciples in the game to teach and equip them.”

Check out Jim’s article and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Photo by Ben Hershey on Unsplash

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: