Month: September 2012

The Sheep Are Not At Fault

The sheep are getting a bad rap. Articles and conversations everywhere talk about a lack of commitment from church people.

Recently a friend called and said “I’ve been asked to sign a contract to be on the worship team”. A conversation on a social networking site was titled “How do I get commitment from my worship team?” One solution was to “fire” them and make them re-audition every year.

The sheep are accused of not having the proper priorities or they don’t have a heart for the lost or they’re too materialistic or have a consumer mentality. Though these things may be true on some level please consider this:

We have the church we’ve planted.

I believe every problem on earth is a leadership problem. I don’t believe it’s a heart issue for most pastors and leaders. I’m confident of your desire to see the saints equipped and the world changed. What I’m suggesting is a re-evaluation of the process we have embraced as a church to get there.

People will prepare themselves to the level of their perceived opportunity.

I’ll never forget the first time I came early to a men’s meeting in Bible College. When I arrived the Men’s pastor met me at the door and asked if I would give a quick encouraging word to the leaders. I immediately began to scramble for something relevant and encouraging to share. I promise you I never came unprepared again. Knowing I had an opportunity to bless and encourage those leaders caused me to always come prepared to share.

We must create a culture of opportunity for people to serve and flourish in their gifts. We must be actively looking for the gifting in those entrusted to us and give them opportunities to step out in a safe place where they have the freedom to fail. It’s critical then to let them know how they did and how to improve. Encouragement goes a long way.

The quickest way to get people planted is to get them serving in their gifting. Not using people to meet needs and serve events but allowing them to operate in their gifting.

I have much more to say on this. That’s enough for today. What are your thoughts?

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Posted by Gary in Church Growth, Discipleship, Leadership, 0 comments

My Oldest is Engaged!

After it was clear we were going to stop having kids with two boys I used to lament from time to time that I didn’t have a daughter. Well that changed last night.

My oldest reserved Jives coffee house and told his soon to be fiance he was playing an acoustic set as a fundraiser. After she arrived he played “I Want to Know Your Plans” by Say Anything. We had rehearsed earlier to sing the La, La’s at the appropriate time.

Here is the proposal.

And here are the lyrics to the song:

“I Want To Know Your Plans”

I want to know your plans, and how involved in them I am.
When you leave for good this fall, will I be forgiven?
And If you want roses, I’ll buy a bouquet.
If that just won’t cut it, what can I say?

You’re what keeps me believing this world’s not long dead.
Strength in my bones and the words in my head.
They pour out to paper, it’s all for you
‘Cause that’s what you do. That’s what you do.

I want to know your fears, and if you’ll forget me next year
And when the jets go up and out, will our hearts stay here?
If you could forgive me (forgive me) for being so brash.
You could hit me or whip me, I’d savor each lash.

You’re what keeps me believing this world’s not long dead.
Strength in my bones and the words in my head.
They pour out to paper, it’s all for you
Cause that’s what you do

No more fighting.
It is only a waste of our time.
‘Cause soon we’ll be leaving,
will this strength still be mine?

I’ll look out for you till I die
Till I’m gone… yeah
I’ll remember you till I die (till I die)
Till I’m gone.

You’re what keeps me believing this world’s not long dead.
Strength in my bones and the words in my head.
They pour out to paper, it’s all for you

You’re what keeps me believing this world’s not long dead.
Strength in my bones and the words in my head.
They pour out to paper, it’s all for you
‘Cause that’s what you do. That’s what you do.

 

Amazing night, Thanks Jives.

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Posted by Gary in Personal, 1 comment

What Happened?!?

Never in my lifetime did I believe I would see the church in such a state. I’m talking about the capital “C” church here. Certainly there are churches making a huge impact on people’s lives for the Kingdom and the cause of Christ but the universal church is struggling at best.

My heart is breaking for the bride of Christ. We don’t have to look far to see the church today in serious trouble. We’re increasingly viewed as irrelevant and out of touch. The majority of Americans view the church as nothing more than a social organization that does some good things, maybe, but really has no relevance in today’s world.

How did a group of people 2000 years ago without advanced degrees and none of the resources we have today impact the entire known world for the cause of Christ? And why are we viewed as irrelevant when we are equipped with seminaries, mass media, marketing, and vast resources. Why are we viewed as a nice subculture by most and downright evil by some.

I came across two articles one declaring “More Americans Say They Have No Religion”, and another with the headline “The Coming Evangelical Collapse”.

What has changed? Where have we gone wrong? What must we do to become again the Church Jesus planted?

I have written a book called “A Broken House”. It has been sitting in my computer for almost 3 years and I would like to walk through it with you over the next little bit. I would love to discuss it with you and get your feedback before it goes to print.

Please comment and invite anyone who you think would add to the conversation.

Also I will release my E.P. “I Will Sing” on October 16th. The next few weeks will be a mixture of this conversation and song stories from the E.P. I can’t wait for you to hear it!  You can listen to the first cut here.
 
 

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Posted by Gary in Church Growth, Faith, Leadership, Personal, Practical, 2 comments