Tuesday, April 8, 2014
This will be the kickoff of something pretty unique. Cross Church is launching an 8-day initiative that will begin with Palm Sunday and end on Easter Sunday.
Cross Church Website here.
It's going to be a great week in Northwest Arkansas! Please pray for Jordan as he speaks as well as the church as they prepare for a great week of remembrance and celebration.
Monday, March 17, 2014
Just in case you're from another planet… this is a baseball bat.
In baseball, when you're batting and the Pitcher throws the ball, you can swing it and strike the ball anywhere from the bottom of the handle to to top of the barrel.
But there's one spot unlike any other part of the bat, and it's called the "sweet spot." This is where you're going to get the maximum power and see the greatest result.
Doubles, triples and home runs happen when the ball hits the sweet spot. Foul tips, grounders, and pop-ups happen when the ball finds itself outside the sweet spot.
Believe it or not, the same is true of someone in ministry (or any other profession for that matter). As Pastors (or professionals), we have a sweet spot; a place where we thrive and do our best work. It's the area of our ministry that gets us the most excited. It's the part of our job that seems to make the days pass by quickly and is usually pretty quick to bring a smile to our face.
So what is your sweet spot in ministry? Here are six steps to finding your sweet spot and making the most of your time at the plate.
1. REALIZE THAT YOU HAVE A SWEET SPOT
Everybody has a sweet spot and the reason is because God made you that way. He gave each one of us gifts, talents, and passions. It says in Romans 12:6, "We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us." And not only did God give us gifts, but He gave them to us so that we would serve others in ministry. 1 Peter 4:10 says, "Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms." That's pretty straight forward… God has given you gifts, talents and passions and when you use these things to serve others in ministry, it allows you to operate in your sweet spot.
2. GET IN THE GAME IF YOU EXPECT TO GET A HIT
This seems pretty obvious, but the truth is, you'll never get a hit if you stay in the dugout. You have to get in the game if you expect to get a hit. Many times, we hoard the gifts God has given us instead of utilizing them. We stockpile our gifts instead of sharing them. When we refuse to operate in our God-given giftedness, we are essentially refusing to be maximized in the ministry God has called us to.
How many men are called to preach, but they remain on the sidelines for whatever reason? How many gifted Bible teachers continue to re-read the text to themselves over and over again without ever operating in their giftedness, teaching others what the Word of God says? How many Paul's refuse to get involved with Timothy because they're afraid or apathetic? When you get in the game and commit to swinging, you'll get hits.
3. LISTEN TO YOUR BATTING COACHES
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014
I believe motivation is something that moves someones feet, whereas, inspiration is something that moves someones heart.
Motivation is the push. Inspiration is the pull.
Both vehicles have the ability to move people, but I believe that we, as leaders, have to take a hard look in the mirror and ask ourselves the question, "In what way am I trying to move the people God has given me leadership over? Am I simply trying to motivate them, or am I trying to inspire them?"
Many times we try to motivate people to do something without ever stopping to consider if they care about it or not. We dictate policies, procedures or changes and then attempt to motivate our people to get on board. When we do that, we may be moving the ball down the field, but at what cost? Motivation leads to people doing what they're supposed to do or told to do. It brings people to a place where progress may happen, but it won't be self-motivated or valuable to the person that's supposed to be following you. Motivation will only get you so far in leadership.
Inspiration is a completely different vehicle. The word "inspiration" literally means, "To be 'in spirit.'" That gives us the picture of someone that's tuned-in to the spirit of something and when someone is inspired like that (or 'in spirit' like that), they become naturally bought-in and drawn-to seeing and experiencing progress.
Inspiration isn't about moving people to do what they're supposed to do or what you're telling them to do, it's about aligning your heart with their heart. It's about connecting people to an idea that's bigger than themselves and bigger than your organization, and then giving them the opportunity to be a part of it. When a person's heart is awakened and inspired, it creates an independent desire to move away from point A and toward point B.
So how do you know if you're inspired?
- You're ready to go right now!
- Your passion is steady.
- Your thoughts are constantly thinking about it.
- You feel called by God to do it.
So… are you inspired?
One more question… Are you trying to motivate people or inspire them?
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
“Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you." [Jeremiah 32:17]
From the Old Testament
1. Creation of the entire earth from nothing
2. The flood, when humanity did not even know what rain was
3. Sarah gives birth to Isaac at age 90
4. God spares Isaac on Mt. Moriah
5. Esau doesn’t kill Jacob despite of the deep hatred and grudge
6. Joseph’s rise to #2 in Egypt
7. A bush burns yet was unconsumed
8. (#8-17) 10 remarkable plagues on Egypt and the Egyptians
18. The Red Sea parted into two for the Israelites to cross
19. Manna and Quail from out of nowhere
20. Water from a dry rock
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
It's scary to consider that we can believe in God, have a relationship with Him, talk to Him, and still completely miss His will in our lives. So the question is, "How do we hear God's Voice and Discern His Will?"
The Bible is clear that The Lord speaks to us through the Holy Spirit. He's the third person of the Trinity (co-equal with God the Father and God the Son). Scripture also teaches that God's Spirit dwells inside of every Christ-follower. In John 14, Jesus said, "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you."
When Paul wrote his letters to the Christians in Rome and Galatia, he referred to the believers as being "led by the Spirit" (Rom. 8:14), and I have to believe that if someone is being led by the Spirit, then the Spirit must be able to communicate. The same is true for us. If the Holy Spirit is going to lead us, we can only assume that He's willing and able to communicate with us.
Sometimes we forget how powerful the Holy Spirit really is. Scripture says that the Holy Spirit is just like Jesus; both being equally God, and He, like Christ, freely submits to the will of the Father. Jesus explains the role of the Holy Spirit a little further in John 16:13:
"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own. he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come."
There are 3 important things this verse teaches us --
1. The Holy Spirit is Reliable
Thursday, February 13, 2014
As I was thinking about that this morning, I started considering what an incredible blessing she's been in my life. To give you just a glimpse of what I'm talking about, I've decided to list out 17 things I've learned in 17 years with Audra:
- She loves Jesus with all her heart.
- She's is a caring, compassionate, loving, patient and consistent Mother to our children.
- She demonstrates to our kids what a godly women, wife and mother looks like every day.
- She's a giver and a servant leader.
- She makes our house a home and a place of retreat.
- She knows me as well and sometimes better than I know myself.
- She keeps my head thinking right thoughts and my heart soft to the needs around us.
- She's an encourager and a supporter.
- She has an independent call of ministry and loves doing life with and investing in women.
- She's more beautiful today than the day I met her.
- She knows how to make me laugh.
- She's a prayer warrior.
- She's trustworthy, honest and a woman of integrity.
- She's a hard worker.
- She always seeks to do the right thing.
- She demonstrates selflessness on a daily basis.
- When she said, "I do," I knew it was for a lifetime.
I love you babe.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
But that shouldn't prevent us from recognizing the common mistakes we make and learn from them as we move forward.
I've never met a Mom or Dad that says, "I think we do everything right as parents," but I've met several that say, "I have a long way to go!" Honestly, I think we've all got a long way to go! So, what are the mistakes so many of us make?
Here are 20 common mistakes that many of us "not-so-perfect" parents make:
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Looking forward to speaking at the Louisiana Collegiate Evangelism Conference this Friday and Saturday, Feb. 7 & 8th. If you're in the area, drop by and say hello.
Collegiate Evangelism Conference 2014 Promo from Louisiana Baptists
Monday, February 3, 2014
If there's one thing we don't have, it's a shortage of churches. We have big churches and small churches… traditional churches and contemporary churches… Baptist Churches, Methodist Churches, Church of Christ and other denominational churches. Nobody ever asks, "Why don't we have more churches?" Instead, the question I'm hearing is, "Why aren't there more GREAT churches?"
What makes a church great? Seriously… what is it? When you observe the churches in America that are seeing great harvests or experiencing unexplainable growth… what do they have that other churches don't? What are they doing that others won't? Is it the location or the preacher that makes it great? Is it the church with the most trendy methodology or the one with the best worship band? Is it the one with the best Next Generation Ministry or the one with a more edgy global missions emphasis? What makes a church great?
When you dissect these churches, you'll notice that they all have 5 things in common. Now, I'm not naive enough to believe that these 5 things are a formula for greatness, because I'm fully aware that outside of the God's power and favor, there's nothing we can do to generate lasting Kingdom momentum. If you're a part of a church that wants to be great; do more, see more, experience more Kingdom ministry, then it's important that we understand that outside of focused prayer, a state of humility and a complete dependence on God, we're just spinning our wheels in our pursuit of more.
One thing is for certain: God wants your church to be GREAT! So what do great churches have?