Saturday, May 24, 2008

Strategic Thinking

Why do we do what we do... the way we do it?

Is the church healthy and balanced? (5 Areas of Ministry)
Is the church focused on ministry over maintenance?
Is the church focused on growth over individual control?
Is the church really about spiritual health?

What is Jesus asking the church to do?

What is the church doing now? What does the church do in the future to achieve or remain fresh in the future? Are lives being transformed? Is the church's uniqueness attractive? How is the church assimilating visitors? How does the present or future church strategy effect the calendar?

Is the church properly staffed for growth? Does the church have the right people in the right places? What are future needs staffing wise for the church to grow?

Is the church financially stable? What funding is needed for future growth?

Prompted by an interview by Kerry Mackey

Friday, May 23, 2008

What Would God Have Us To Know

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. (Ephesians 1:18-19).

What do you think Paul means by the phrase “that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened”?

What three things did Paul pray the Ephesians would know? (The hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, his incomparably great power for us who believe.)

In your own words, how would you describe those three things? For help with this, check out following paraphrase of these verses from The Message:

I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength! (Ephesians 1:15-19).

Why is it important that believers understand and live their lives in the light of these truths?

What practical difference might it make in a believer's life?

Are you willing to spend time this week asking God to take you to the next level in your understanding of one of the three things described in the verses above?

Do you have unreached friends who need to hear about ‘the hope to which he has called you'? Are you willing to look for opportunities to share the message of the Gospel with them?

Dare 2 Share "Energy"
A Incomprehensible Tragedy

Sometimes, I just don't understand things. We read in Roman 8:28 that "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Well, Steven Curtis Chapman has given his life "For the Sake of the Call" for many years and is now facing the most extreme devistation that one could face... the death of a child. His teenage son accidentally ran over his youngest daughter, 5 yr. old Maria, in the driveway while she was playing.

My heart was torn just hearing of the incident. I just don't see the good in a situation like this. After teaching a study on the Sovereignty of God, I still cannot totally grasp why God allows evil, pain, and suffering? Am I just weak? Or just blind.

However, this I do understand... there is a high price tag for a loving relationship with the Creator of the universe. Freedom costs. God gave us the opportunity to freely love or reject Him, knowing that our freedom would result in pain. Jesus is the only remedy for that pain and for a restored relationship... for the hope of eternal life.

So, even in the sight of evil, pain, and suffering, I have to ask myself, do I believe God at His Word? Do I trust, that even in despair, that He will make all this wrong right? Where is my faith? I must understand that I have trusted in Him and on Him, despite my understanding. I pray that the Chapman family can walk through this trial in confidence, knowing that tomorrow will bring peace, hope, and understanding.

Prayers with the Chapman's!

Monday, May 19, 2008

White Stripes meet the Lego Masters

Wow!!! I bet it took longer to make the video than it it did to write, practice, and record the song. Way to go Lego builders!
The Wheaton Terrier

My wife, Jennifer, loves the wheaton terrier. She has completed much research about sizes, habits, temperment, and such. If she finds one, I am sure a purchase order/request will follow. They are so cute; but, how does one in ministry find time to love and train such a cute beast? If you have suggestion, let me know!