Yesterday marked the start of another blogging endeavor for me. Rocky Hernandez and I officially (re)launched ProductiveMinistry.com. What does that mean for this blog? Not a whole lot, other than I’ll probably be shifting away from posting ministry-related blog posts on this blog.
If you’re in ministry, either professionally or as a volunteer, I highly recommend clicking on over to the blog. We’ll be adding a lot more content in every week. You can also connect with PM by subscribing to the RSS feed, following on Twitter, or becoming a fan on facebook.
Take a look then comment either here or there or on Twitter. Any feedback is truly appreciated.
Dave Gibbons, NewSong Church, Irvine, CA
– There’s a great shift going on in our world today.
– “The Job” video…”I need two CPAs, two CFOs,…” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XGJq8wrw5I
– Things to be encouraged about in the church
- Bad news is better than no news
- Scarcity brings clarity: why do we exist as a church? What are our missions & values?
- Waste less.
- When darkness occurs the church can shine. We are never brighter than in darkness.
– Three metaphors
- Fish & Monkey: Eastern parable. Typhoon coming. Monkey saw fish in distress, dove in the water, and tried to help it by putting it on dry ground. The fish died (Dave had a REAL DEAD fish on stage).
- In mission in the church we do the same thing.
- We don’t swim and get to know the fish, we pull it out and let it die.
- John 4 – Jesus is the living water. Compared to Bruce Lee’s concept of being adaptable like water.
- John Nash in “A Beautiful Mind” where John Nash developed the Nash Equilibreoum.
– Five alternative perspectives
- Fueling creativity as opposed to preserving our current culture.
- When we return to the tried and true it doesn’t work in the new contexts
- Some of the major fortune 500 companies devote 50% of their resources toward research & development
- How would our churches change if we tasked our staffs to devote half their time on new projects
- Focus on and fuel the fringe.
- Seth Godin tells people to focus on the early adopters on the innovative curve
- Jesus said to focus on the marginalized.
- Ask yourself, “Who’s the fringe in our community?” What’s the hardest group of people to work with in your context?
- Develop holistic and sustainable systems/processes, not just the quick fix.
- Don’t just think about the next generation, think about the tenth generation down the line.
- We get our focus off the Word of God and get caught up with just words.
- The purpose of a rabbit trap is to catch a rabbit. Once the rabbit is caught the trap is forgotten.
- A new focus in search engines is less on individual words but more on semantics and groupings of words that convey an idea.
- We’re getting too micro at times. We need to get more focused on the macro.
- Exegesis is good, but we also need overview.
- Think Intersections
- Don’t just go down the same old path. Place yourself at the intersection of multiple cultures.
- Seek God & pray
- There is no way to be artful without being connected to the Holy Spirit. Practice listening prayer.
- If we don’t listen to the people we can see very well, how do we expect to be able to listen to the God we don’t see?
John Jenkins, First Baptist Church, Glenarden
Courage to Change
– All Pastors have to face the fact that most people don’t like to change.
– King Hezekiah (2 Kings 18) had to take over the kingship and face prospects of change. He was an agent of change.
– If we continue to do what we we’ve done, we’ll never get we’ve never got.
– Change or die. Many of our churches are so set on the way they’ve always done things that they would rather die than change.
– “He removed the high places . . . and the bronze serpent that Moses had made.” (2 Kings 18:4). The people were still looking at something long after it was intended to last…only for a season. He had the courage to take down something that had significant meaning at one point in history, but had long since lost its significance.
– We need to look past treating the symptoms and deal with root causes.
– The greatest hindrance of God’s movement is the last movement of God. You can’t go back to the last time that God moved.
– What are the problems in the world? What are our ministries? What are our ministries doing to address the real problems and issues in the culture of our communities.
– We had been doing church work, but not the work of the church.
Matt Chandler, “Goofy White-guy Pastor” of The Village Church
– Ed Stetzer had been calling him Rain Man, but Matt didn’t know what that meant since he hadn’t seen the movie.
– People have been trying to pitch tents where they don’t belong. Some say we need missional churches. Others argue for deep churches. Both use Paul as an example of why their camp is right. These two ideas tend to try to create ideas as if they are mutually exclusive.
– Paul just kind of wore a cape.
– Paul engaged Timothy in both engaging a culture and deepening faith in a covenant community.
– We need to engage society while at the same time building deep, Christ-centric churches.
– 1 Tim 4 – 7 participles for 7 ideas
- v6-being trained: doctrine matters. Getting the Gospel right will always take precedence over innovation. It doesn’t matter the praise given if the praise is wrong.
- Avoid myths and pursue godliness. Don’t become a “peddler of the Gospel”
- Command & Teach These Things. The Gospel will be the stench of death to some people. You cannot contextualize the Gospel to the point where all who hear it will accept it.
- Be the example. You can’t push an idea that you don’t model.
- Scriptures are Sufficient. Decide early on that the Bible is the sufficient Word of God or else some new, catchy idea will come along and sweep you away. Christian Hollywood is attractive. Everyone who is on stage because things happened that were well beyond their control to the glory of God. Young men have the desire to have that story at the cost of their souls.
- Remember the call from the Holy Spirit. Know that it’s what you’ve been called into, or else you’ll lose heart once the struggles come. Glad submission to God’s will is our only hope.
- Progressive sanctification is for pastors too. We start to feel entitled to things once we experience some growth. If you’re not preaching the Gospel, it’s only a matter of time before it all turns into dust. We must play our part well: preaching, teaching, and unpacking the Gospel. Walking in humility. Reveal by word and life whereregenerance is and where it is not.