Be Rich Toward God–John Piper

What an amazing message that John Piper preached to his congregation last week! Interesting that we preached on a similar topic (money). This subject has been right “up in my grill” lately (as it has been all my adult life, really). I think that money and the love of money has been an issue in my life is because it is a discipline…and in general…well, I’m not good with discipline.

I have been preaching over the last five weeks about “Recovery Road.” I have been using the art and outlines of Andy Stanley’s message series he preached last fall at Northpoint Community Church in Georgia. His series is online with several other resources on “The Great Recovery” website that is the brain trust of Dave Ramsey and his ministry. The hope is that God’s ways of money will be embraced by all believers and then start a movement in this nation that will spread all around the world.

In addition to those resources, this sermon here has really taught my heart this week. Enjoy!


Be Rich Campaign–Christmas Offering

[pullquote] Command them to do good, to BE RICH in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” (1 Timothy 6:18) [/pullquote] I am currently in a coaching network and feel like I am drinking out of a fire hydrant right now with all I am learning. One of the big ideas over the last month or  so is on stewardship and specifically the idea of a Christmas Offering. Many churches are in the process of gearing up for their annual Christmas Offering and North Point Community Church is no different. They have been doing their “Be Rich” campaign almost from the beginning of the church. It is based on the scripture out of 1 Timothy, where Paul tells us to “Command them to do good, to BE RICH in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” (1 Timothy 6:18)

I “went to church” on Sunday night after NEEWOLLAH online and watched the message as they kicked off this year’s “Be Rich” campaign. It is great to see the passion to reach people starting there in Atlanta, GA, where they are located and then that passion spreading all around the world. I really like the way they have settled on 4 main issues that they are going to focus on with the offering: Sickness, Hunger, Poverty, and Children At Risk.

We are gearing up for our new budget year and it is astounding what could happen if we would all do our part to share with others. Here is a great promo video for their campaign with a great song written by Eddie Kirkland as its theme.

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Tuesday is for Training::Coaching Network Begins

I have been told by many people that “leaders are learners” and that “if you stop learning, you stop leading effectively.” I am embarking on a year long journey that I have been wanting to do for many years now–I joined a coaching network for senior pastors. I have been kicking around going back to school and get a Doctorate in Ministry, but the cost and distance learning would be prohibitive at this time. So, an online tele-coaching network really fit the bill for me.

I am really excited about how God is going to use this network to stretch me and make me a better leader! I believe that I am really in the prime of my ministry life right now and I want to “sharpen the ax” to get the most out of these years on into the end of my ministry career. I know that I have so much to learn about how to be an effective leader, pastor, and follower of Christ.

The format of the coaching network is a monthly ninety minute teleconference call where Nelson Searcy coaches us senior pastors (I don’t know how many are actually in the network). After the call, we are required to turn in our notes as homework as well as do a lot of reading and work through several resources each month.  There is also a mid-month Q & A phone call to help us apply what we are learning. I am really excited about the one day, on site visit, where we get to meet with and learn face to face from Nelson.

I chose this particular coaching network because of it’s focus on Church Health and Church Systems. Much like the body has many systems that (when healthy) make us grow and thrive; the body of Christ has systems that when healthy help the church grow to her full potential. This systems approach is so nice because it can be used anywhere in any ministry context or community. Belle Glade, to say the least, is a very different ministry context that even a few miles to the east or west on the coasts of South Florida; so I am excited to be able to apply the principles of this systems approach to our context at First Belle Glade. I think we are going to see the benefits of me being in this network very quickly here in Belle Glade at this church. It really believe it is a win/win for me and the church to both grow over the next year like we have never grown before.

So tell me, what are you doing to grow in your life right now? In what areas?

Seth’s Blog: I’m mad at everyone

Great, simple post from Seth Godin. ?I had to include it in it’s entirety it is so good!…

I’m mad at everyone

No, not you. Not anyone in particular, actually.

I’m angry at the idea of ‘everyone’ and what they want and what they say.

Everyone says you should do your site and your online presence a certain way.

Everyone is upset at what you did.

Everyone is frustrated at the slow pace government is getting this done.

Everyone knows you should listen to your customers and do what they say.

Everyone knows that our school is wasting money.

Everyone says you need to go to a ‘good’ college.

You get the idea.?That everyone.

The one that’s almost always wrong.

Seth’s Blog: I’m mad at everyone.

The Right People in the Right Places–Perry Noble, The Nines

Leadership Network had an awesome free conference that was 100% online on 9.9.09 called “The Nines.” ?The entire set of 9 minute or less videos are available here.

Kevin Stratton sent me a link to this video of Perry Noble from New Spring Church in Anderson, SC. ?He has a lot of great things to say…all in less than 7 minutes!

Some great nuggets from the message I really connected with are:

  • A movement of God cannot be planned, but it must be prepared for.
  • We try to strategize what the Holy Spirit is going to do….we cannot dictate what God wants to do.
  • Acts 1…leadership challenge.
  • Are you dealing with a leadership challenge? ?Do you have the right people, in the right places, doing the right things? ?OR do you have a benevolence ministry going on because you are afraid to have a hard conversation with someone that can’t get a job done? ?(OUCH! emphasis mine)
  • We as Christians are called to higher standards and if we want to prepare for a movement of God, we’ve got to have the right people in the right places…
  • And then all of sudden things like Acts 2 CAN HAPPEN!

The question isn’t whether each person on our team should be ON our team. ?The question is WHAT PLACE on our team should that person be. ?As Jim Collins writes in his book Good to Great, each person needs to be on the bus, but maybe some people need to change seats! ?That is really one of the most difficult parts of my job, I think…having the discernment and wisdom to know which person needs to be in each seat on the bus. ?Also, there is that crazy little thing called a poor self-esteem that rears its ugly head and causes me to, as Perry Noble says, “have a benevolance ministry” because I am afraid to have a hard conversation. ?I mean, I just really want everyone to like me! ?And maybe if I don’t say anything, they will simply move to the right seat…maybe?…hopefully? ?Probably not, David.

Question: ?Are you the right person, in the right place, doing the right things on your team? ?Gut check time.

Here is the full ?YouTube video…enjoy!

Join us for a free conference!

NinesCome and join us at FP Carthage for a really cool conference on September 9th…in our auditorium. ?We will be gathering around the computer/video screens for this FREE online leadership conference sponsored by Leadership Network and Catalyst.

Here is the details from the website…

What if you could sit down across your desk with some of the best leaders in today’s church and hear what they would say to you? That’s the idea behind THE NINES.

THE NINES is a free one-day event that will take place totally on-line. It is designed for all church staff members who want to be motivated and stretched in their leadership.

Leadership Network asked some of the church’s greatest communicators: “If
you had nine minutes to talk one-on-one with thousands of church leaders, what is the one thing that you would tell them? The result is a series of passionate and personal messages that will help you and your church navigate into the future.

The format is simple: Nine minute video leadership lessons that can help
multiply your church’s impact. You will be stretched as a leader, and motivated as a church. And you’ll hear a personal word from many of the leaders you know and trust (along with some great new leaders we’ll introduce you to). It all starts at 9:00 a.m. Central time on 09/09/09. We’ll make a day of it. The conference will probably last around nine hours! You can come and go as you please, but hope that you’ll be with us the whole day!

We are encouraging every church staff member in America to attend THE
NINES. Watch it alone, or with your entire staff. It’s free.

Here is the trailer that explains the idea behind the conference…

Take advantage of Drive-In Conference


Tuesday is for Training . . . Drive-In Online Conference

I got the opportunity to go to the first DRIVE conference several years ago and it was a life-changing experience. It just really began to put some of the pieces together for me of church planting and especially creating “irresistible environments.”

The beauty of the Drive-In Conference is that you can sit in your boxers on your couch…you don’t have to drive or fly to Atlanta to go to the conference. Simply go to, register, and “attend” the conference. You can also see the archived sessions and join in on the conversation on the blog.

The even better part than boxers…it’s free!


Reaching the Next Generation

I am trying to get on to more of a schedule with this blog…if I don’t, then you get a random post once every two weeks, or one when John or Dinwiddie bugs me about not seeing any posts lately!

Today, TUESDAY IS FOR TRAINING. . . I am going to include something that I am learning and will write something or, like today, steal from someone who is smarter than me that is teaching me!!

Joshua Hedger, our Youth Pastor at the Joplin campus, sent this out to our staff and his youth staff and I thought it was really good about how to reach the next generation.

Reaching the Next Generation (from LifeChurch)

To reach the next generation for Christ, we must be three things:

? Conversational.

? Missional.

? Generational.

Let?s start today with conversational. This generation craves intimacy in relationships. They want to know and be known.

Too many Western Christians are turned off (or intimidated by) the young, tech savvy, tattooed, and pierced young adults.

Some churches preach against these outward appearances. Others are striving full-time to be ?cool? and ?relevant? believing the right environment, best light show, or hot sermon series will win the young adults to Christ.

Both these strategies miss a key ingredient. This generation wants to talk. Conversation matters. Relationships matter. Intimacy matters.

Here are some rules of conversation:

? Before they listen to you, they want to know if you?re listening to them. If you?ll get to know them, they will listen to you.

? If you?re quick to judge, don?t bother trying to connect.

? It doesn?t matter if you?re cool or relevant. It matters if you bring the real you. Fake is the worst thing you can bring.

? The fifth conversation might be the difference maker. In my ?Christian Witness Training? course at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, we were trained to knock on doors, present the gospel, and ask people to pray the sinners? prayer. While this might occasionally still work, it isn?t a likely path to life change. This generation builds trust slowly. If you don?t plan on having a third, fourth, or fifth conversation, you might not want to spend a lot of time on the first.

? They want to be loved. My most consistent conversations with 20-somethings happens in the gym. After getting to know some young men, I genuinely care for them and believe in them. I try to tell them often, ?I?m proud of you? I?m pulling for you? I believe in you? I love you.? They seem hungry for acceptance and affirmation and respond well to sincere Christian love.

Tuesday is for Training

Mark Dinwiddie has been sending us Multisite/Missions Nuggets of Truth each week for a couple of months now and I am starting a new category of them so you can talk about them and comment.

We have really been talking about that dirty word for perfectionists, DELEGATE.? Enjoy.

You have two choices in your work.? When something has been assigned to you, you can either do it yourself or get someone else to do it.? Your ability to get someone else to do it, to delegate it effectively??? —more than anything else— is going to determine your career track, your position and rate of promotion, your pay, your status, prestige, and success in management.? (The Delights of Delegation)
?I owe whatever success I have attained, by and large, to my ability to surround myself with people who are smarter than I am? Andrew Carnegie

I once had one of my dad’s best friends, “work himself out of a job.”? He had worked for this company back before he retired and hired on with another company doing consulting.? Basically, he delegated all of the work to be done by the company employees that he was no longer needed–and he could go back to traveling in his retirement!

Who do you know that is a good delegator?? What makes them good at it?? What prevents you from delegating the way you ought?