Sunday, 30 March 2008

40 Ways To Increase Baptisms In Your Church by Ps. Rick Warren

Yes... I got this link off the list from my last post...

Do these 40 things and the number of people wanting to publicly demonstrate their faith through baptism will rise dramatically.
Pastor Rick Warren, Saddleback Church

Click HERE to find out what those 40 things are...

What have you done to increase the baptisms in your church? I'd love to hear your thoughts : )

Friday, 28 March 2008

A Great List Of Leading Pastor's Who Blog

If you are looking for some great blogs then I have a delicious treat for you!

Click on THIS LINK to the Digital Sanctuary to find 15 of the leading blogging pastors in America. Like I said... delicious!

Let me know what your favorites are!

Volunteers... The Church's Life Blood

The life blood of a church is it's volunteers.
My mate Ps Jordon Smith from Equippers Church in Auckland (New Zealand) gave a great thought on dealing with our 'leadership' / volunteer shortages. Just as every person has the same 24 hours in a day and yet some people accomplish so much while others accomplish so little. What's the difference? How you manage your time.
In the same way... every church is always crying out for more volunteers / leaders. This will always be true (and it doesn't matter what size the church is!). So perhaps what we need to learn is how to manage the resources that we have much better.

So to help you in recruiting and caring for your volunteers / leaders... click the 2 links below.

Click Link 1 and Link 2 to get great cartoons on volunteers.

If you have any comments or other great resources... please do let me know!!!

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Me Faith?

This is our third look at the book, 'unChristian'. If you haven't checked out the other posts, I want to encourage you to take a look at them.

In this post I wanted to offer a challenge of our view of salvation / commitment to Christ.
Chuck Colson offers the following thoughts from the book unchristian:

50% of Christians when asked, 'What is Christianity?' answer that it is a relationship with Christ.
Chuck challenges us that the Gospel cannot merely be a private transaction.
Christianity is a way of seeing all of life and reality through God's eyes.
Christianity is a world view... a system... a way of life!

Jesus constantly spoke about the Kingdom coming... not a private transaction... or a personal relationship.
Our discipleship needs to center around helping people change their thought patterns to a Kingdom mindset.
Infact... its interesting that the place Jesus was crucified was on Golgotha... or the 'Place of the skull'. Our greatest battles will always be in our thinking. It is our thinking that we must address in our discipleship. (and as we have seen in a previous post... only 3% of under 35's embrace a biblical world view!)

If you think back to your faith 'upbringing'... what would have been your most significant places of discipleship / training in new thought?
I'd love to hear your comments.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Can You Believe this?

As you know, if you have been following this blog, we have been looking at some of the thoughts from the book, 'unChristian'.

One of the stats in the book that I found particularly disturbing is that only 3% of Gen X & Gen Y 's (and only 9% of older adults) who have made a commitment to Christ actually embrace a biblical world-view (as characterized by the authors).

The 8 characteristics that make for a Biblical world view are:
  1. Jesus Christ lived a sinless life
  2. God is the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe and He still rules it today
  3. Salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned
  4. Satan is real
  5. A Christian has a responsibility to share his or her faith in Christ with other people
  6. The Bible is accurate in all of the principals it teaches
  7. Unchanging moral truth exists
  8. Moral truth is defined by the Bible
These are really basic concepts... and yet only 3% of 'Christians' under 35 embrace them!
No wonder the stats of how 'Christians' and non-Christians live show almost no difference.

How can this Be?

Another disturbing stat is that most people who make a 'decision for Christ' are no longer connected to a Christian church within a short period of 8-12 weeks.

What is going on here?
Where have we gone so wrong?

I'd love to hear your thoughts...

Sunday, 23 March 2008

A Shallow Faith

I have been reading unChristian... a great book by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons.
The book discusses 6 issues that the unchurched have with 'Christianity' from being hypocritical to anti homosexual.

In the 4th chapter which deals with the second of the six issues the authors points out the following facts which have been seriously disturbing me:

82% of non-Christians aged between 16 - 29 have gone to a Christian church (Most for a period of 3 months+).
Now get this... most American teenagers enter adulthood considering themselves to be Christians and saying that they have made a personal commitment to Jesus. Fast forward 10 years and most of these 'believers' would have shelved their faith.
This means 2 things:

  • Most adults that we are trying to reach are not unchurched... but de-churched individuals
  • The faith that the majority have teenagers have is superficial and only skin deep.
These two facts obviously have HUGE implications for us:

  • We need to approach people differently. Many people consider Christianity as irrelevant... having a 'been there, tried that' attitude. One of the young men interviewed for the book had this to say,
    "Christianity seems like an old, broken down building that I have to drive by every day. I don't even notice it anymore."
  • We need to change what we consider 'successful ministry' from a 'how many numbers do you have' to... (I'd love to hear your thoughts before I publish mine!)

Saturday, 22 March 2008

When Laziness Pays

Today I was reminded that yes... laziness does have a big pay-off.
Let me offer some context. I was painting our fence today, rolling it with an ash-black stain. Now I had previously bought myself an electric spray gun in anticipation for this job. However, the advice I received in the shop was to roller the first coat. Hey what do I know, so i followed the advice... and nearly 4 hours later I had completed the first 20m section. 4 hours later!

Totally demoralized at the length of this project I began to wonder about how the electric spray gun would fair. My laziness was kicking in and I was irritated with the slog of having to roller the fence. I still had 50m to go!
The problem was that this last 50m of fencing had fairly big gaps between the palings... so I had previously ruled out the use of the electric spray gun as I did not want to affect my neighbors side of the fence.
After some tossing and turning my deliberating gave out to my lazy streak. In just 1 hour I had completed the next 20m section! And I had used far less paint!

Laziness pays! It prevents us from always sticking to convention. It causes us to get creative and find other solutions.
In life we need to learn to work smarter... not harder.
In ministry, we need to learn to work smarter... not harder.

What am routines and conventions are you stuck in right now?
Are there any areas where you could work smarter?
Let your lazy side kick in... and let your creative juices flow!

Monday, 17 March 2008

I'm away on leave for the week

Just to let you know that I'm going to be away on leave for a week... without internet access.
So I'll see you in a weeks time (I have left you with 2 other posts today... really good stuff to make up for my absence).


Wealthy in the Word

Here is another great blog from Ps Steven Furtick of Elevation church:

Wealthy in the Word

I check my checking account balance often.
Same with my retirement accounts, kids’ college funds, short-term savings accounts, etc.
I expect all of these accounts to grow. And that only happens if I make more deposits than withdrawals.

A few years ago, I started tracking a different kind of account.

Click here to view the rest of the blog...

JAMES MACPHERSON: Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?

As you know... one of my favorite bloggers is Ps James Macpherson. James has a great article on theology and methodology... and how we should practice the two.

JAMES MACPHERSON: Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Camp video

In the last blog I told you that camp was a blast... so I thought that this time... I'd just show you!

Click here to view it on Youtube

Let me know what you thought!

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

I'm Loving It

We have just had our youth camp this weekend. We had a phenomenal time. I really enjoyed getting to know our guest speaker James Murray from C3 Oxford Falls in Sydney Australia.
James asked me over the weekend what one thing was working really well in our youth ministry.
I was able to answer immediately... spending every second week with our leaders in a leaders life group.

Having just had another one tonight, I have to admit that it just gives me a buzz to be able to spend time with the crew. There is nothing better than doing life together!

I would love to hear your thoughts : )

Check out this great VLOG

If you've ever felt like God is far away or distant... then this VLOG is for you!

Thursday, 6 March 2008

My new vlog with some great thoughts on prayer

Check out my new VLOG:

Blogging Etiquette

I've posted over 200 posts... and yet it took me this long to figure out some good etiquette. Please accept my humble apologies for being quite so slow to catch on.
As you know I have been reading 'The Blogging Church'. They had the following tips about what to do when posting material from other sites:

If you have read a great post from another source and you want to share this with your readers while giving credit to the authors ... how do you go about doing this? Well there are 3 ways:

  1. Give a short introduction followed by a link to the article
  2. Post an excerpt to entice your readers, followed by the link.
  3. Post the full article on your blog, word for word, with the appropriate credit along with a link.
NEVER, EVER choose option 3!!!
It may seem like a fairly innocent act at first. After all, you are not trying to pass the post off as your own. In the blogosphere, however, the primary currency is links - or more specifically, traffic. By posting the entire article you are effectively taking traffic away from the original author.

So once again... my humble apologies to all those I've sinned against!

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Ministry With Margin by Craig Groeschell

This is a great thought from Life Church's blog:

God works best through people and ministries with margin.

For example, if a church has no financial margin and sees a strategic opportunity that takes financial resources, this ministry is likely to miss the opportunity.

On the other hand, the ministry with financial margin can jump at the opportunity.

The same is true with time margin.

If a leader has little margin in her schedule, she might overlook God-ordained appointments. If God sends her someone to minister to, she might view the person as an annoying disturbance rather than a ministry opportunity from God.

Do you have financial and time margin in your ministry? Be honest.

Monday, 3 March 2008

Ministry And Blogging - Is It A Tool Or A Toy?

As I mentioned in my last post I am busy reading the book, 'The Blogging Church'.
It really is a great book and today I wanted to continue to share some of the insights that the book has to offer:

In ministry there are plenty of 'trendy things' that flash on to the scene promising to be the thing that will revolutionize your ministry... and the question that we need to ask is: 'Will blogging just be another flash in the pan here today gone tomorrow ministry tools?' Or to shoot straight from the hip, is blogging a tool or a toy?

Well lets look at the definitions and I'll leave the decision making process up to you.

What is a toy?
A toy is something that you want to play with more than you want to use. You know it's a toy when the reason you want it is because 'everyone' has one.

What is a tool?
A tool is something that solves a problem.

So what are your thoughts on blogging? Is it a tool or just a fancy new toy?

Saturday, 1 March 2008

10 Idea's For Your Ministry Blog

I have been reading a great book called "The Blogging Church" and thought I'd share a few idea's from the book.

The authors speak of blogs as been a really great tool to communicate (2 way) and gave some idea's of how a ministry department within a church could use a blog. These examples are based on the children's department.

  1. Welcome new volunteers with a picture and a short introduction.
  2. Cast the vision for an upcoming event and ask for help.
  3. Spotlight one of your best volunteers.
  4. Celebrate birthdays and milestones, such as a volunteering anniversary.
  5. Share prayer requests for volunteers, the ministry, and the church as a whole.
  6. Announce this weeks lesson and allow volunteers to download an outline.
  7. Post ministry stories that show the true impact of what they do.
  8. Answer common questions.
  9. Publish photo from the weekend or a recent event.
  10. Familiarize them with the staff in whatever fun way you like.

How have you used your blog to communicate with your world?
Does your church use technology to communicate and reach out?
I'd love to hear your thoughts : )