Showing posts from 2014

Working on Church Systems

"Your system is perfectly designed to get the results that you're getting."

Over the past several years, probably more than I care to admit, I've been reading on the importance of healthy, functional systems in the church.  A system is a set of interacting components which form an integrated whole.  That may sound like a weird definition and may seem even weirder to think that the church would need anything like this... but so much of how the church works depends on healthy systems.  Here are a few examples:

Integration System:  how do first time guests at the church become fully integrated into the church family?
Volunteer System: how do people begin serving in the church's different ministries and how are they equipped to do so?
Leadership System: how are new leaders recognized and setup to lead in the church?
Care System: how are the spiritual and physical needs of those inside and outside the church met? The more I read and study these different types of systems…

Living Upside Down

This is just rambling... sometimes I just need to ramble here in this blog so God can do a work on my thoughts in my head :)

This week I've been studying some of Jesus' very famous words.  They come from his sermon that we Christians call The Sermon on the Mount.  In particular I'm looking at the beginning section which we call the Beatitudes.

When it comes to this message I think sometimes we can get pretty confused.  I have gone to many different events, particularly men's events, where Jesus' words are set up as this unattainable standard... that Jesus is painting a picture of the perfect person.  But since none of us are perfect that is why we need to give our lives to Jesus.  Now, I believe none of us our perfect... and I believe all of humanity needs to give our lives to Jesus...  But I think we're doing something very bad with this text when we do that.  Why?

Because Jesus never says that we can't do this.

In fact, the text actually points to the op…

Temptations and Leadership

This week I'm preparing my Sunday sermon on Jesus' temptations in Matthew 4.  As I began this, I had originally thought I'd be talking about the same old, same old idea about temptation... how each and every one of us face temptations every day... but I don't think that's what is speaking to my heart on this topic, especially as a Christian leader.

It's not hard to find example after example of Christian leader who has given into temptation.  No one is exempt from moral or ethical temptations... and a simple Google search brings up WAY too many cases of men and women who have stumbled that way.  But that's not the temptation I'm worried about (even though I take many precautions to do my very best in this area!)  What's fascinating to me as I study the temptation of Jesus more and more... is the temptations are not clear cut examples of moral or ethical temptations... the devil is hitting Jesus with promises of God.  He's hitting him with Bible …

Resurrection of the Blog

This blog has seen pretty much no activity this past year.  In fact, a number of times I have debated simply shutting it down for good.  After all, it was pretty much shut down already.  Apart from the daily hits it receives by people Googling how to throw a party for their pastor, I figured it didn't really have all that much more to offer than that.

As I was praying about it this morning, I felt it was time to bring this blog back from the brink of death and re-purpose it for the New Year.  Here's why.  And I'm going to be bluntly honest...

When I made the decision to leave a 14 year career in the computer industry to go into full time pastoral ministry there was a tiny little part of my brain that would say "If this doesn't work out, you can always go back."  Last month in my quiet prayer time something hit me hard.  I CAN'T GO BACK!  It's been 7 and a half years since I last worked in the computer industry.  In computer years I'm ancient!  All…