Category Archives: News & Info
Life Change Common Place at Christ’s Community Church
“When I first came to the church… I looked like something out of Sons of Anarchy… and this church just opened their arms to me.”
Christ’s Community Church of Denham Springs, Pastor Willis D. Easley, was profiled this month on OutreachMagazine.com. CCC baptized 135 people in 2015! And they’ve grown exponentially from 50 to 500+ in 5 years.
Check out the full story HERE.
Willis will be part of our breakout on “Creating an Evangelistic Culture in your Church” at the LBC Evangelism Conference at FBC Lafayette, Jan 25-26 (https://louisianabaptists.org/econ2016). Along with Checkerz Williams from Celebration Church & Jacob Crawford from Life Point Mansura. Hope you’ll come by & get to know Willis.
147 Million Orphans Minus One
Excited to be a part of Evan & Angie McGinty’s adoption journey. Get one of these great t-shirts HERE. Follow the story at their ADOPTION BLOG. Other fundraising efforts HERE. Also, Bridge Church will be doing a BBQ luncheon on August 4th to raise money for them. More info soon. A baby boy from Ethiopia will be graced with an incredible family some time soon.
May Wrap Up
Top Post and Favs for May ’12:
- Sweet Baby Kate – Welcoming a new baby girl to our family was the tops & fav for our family of course. Here’s an announcement Vid.
- “Isn’t that in a bad part of town?” – Why the phrase “the bad part of town” needs to be removed from our vocab.
- Current Church Planting Bibliography – Updated my tops list in Church planting Lit.
- This Momentary Marriage – Moving video by Desiring God about commitment in marriage
- How to Plant a Church Without Losing Your Marriage – Great list from Brian Bloye’s book It’s Personal.
From my Twitter Favs:
- Dave Ramsey @DaveRamsey If you will live like no one else…Later you can live like no one else. Definition of maturity: ability to delay pleasure
- Rick Howerton @rickhowerton There’s no such thing as a lazy leader. #oxyMORON
- Rick Warren @RickWarren The fewer things we want, the wealthier we are.
- CMAResources.org @CMAResources Don’t defend the way you do church with scripture. Define the way you do church with scripture. — @brandonhatmaker
- Ed Stetzer @edstetzer The community surrounding a church should benefit from the its presence. — http://bit.ly/KagY9i
- Floyd McClung @FloydMcClung To activate faith of potential disciples Jesus always asked a step of faith from them. Little obediences sow DNA for big obediences.
- Bryan Loritts @bcloritts Cohabitation (shackin up) is on the rise largely b/c our boys aren’t becoming men. Boys play house, men make homes.
Articles I Tagged:
The Elephant in the Christian Church
today is that we are not seeing robust disciple-making taking place. You are more likely to find evangelicals affirming that there is more than one way to get to heaven today than you were 15 or 20 years ago. Why? We’ve done great at getting them in the door, but we’ve done terrible at actually growing them up and grounding them in the faith.
This quote is from the most recent edition of Facts & Trends Magazine. Ed Stetzer reports on three important church trends: Decline, Dropouts, and Discipleship.
Recent research of our own area here on the Northshore backs up each of these as a local trend as well. Our Northshore PROBE found that there was a 14% drop in attendance in SBC Churches from 2000-2010 and a 14% drop in Baptisms, with an accompanying 19% increase in population. I think the quote above from Stetzer explains a little bit of the why. Without robust disciple-making, we cannot expect robust spiritual fruit. A recent opinion poll conducted by Turner Research of residents of St. Tammany Parish (see my previous summary of the research here) mirrors research finding from around the country.
- 69% of people asked affirmed this statement: “It doesn’t matter where you attend church, all teach and preach the way to go to heaven.” 33% of self-identified Southern Baptists polled affirmed this statement.
- 84% of people asked could not tell in their own words how a person can become a Christian. 35% of self-identified Southern Baptist polled could not.
Many churches are now rediscovering ways to push more depth from the Sunday morning stage, better ways to assimilate the crowds into small groups and discipling relationships, more organic ways to nurture spiritual formation, and stronger ways to create missional expansion in their communities and world.
What are other ways to create an environment for robust disciple-making in our churches?
More info on the opinion poll data to be released next week.
On the Origins of Trick or Treating:
…some claim that marking All Hallows’ Eve may have originated as just such an occasion to “trick” Satan, the most prideful of all creatures, by giving him what is most offensive to his arrogance: mockery. As Luther would say, “The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him for he cannot bear scorn.”
David Mathis, from the article Trick or Treat? It’s Martin Luther
I’ve read this before. That dressing up scary-like was an attempt to make fun of the devil and his demons. I’m guessing American capitalist added the candy bit. See below:
How to Overcome People Pleasing, Is Big a Biblical Value? and a few other links I like and learned from this week
- How to Overcome People Pleasing – “Wanting another’s approval is healthy. Needing it is sick.”
- How to Fail as a Worship Leader: 10 Easy Steps
- Small is the Kingdom Big – “If something is big, it must be better. It has strength. It has legitimacy. Yet, that’s an American value, not a biblical one.”
- The Science of Social Timing – When’s the best time to Tweet & Post on Facebook in Part 1 and When’s the best time to do Email Marketing in Part 2.
- Church Planting Blogs Worth Following – from Austin Area Church Planting Network
- Exponential Conference podcast – this conference does a tremendous job getting all the breakout sessions recorded. 100’s of hours of workshop training in Church Planting, etc.
Worth Reading: A Few Links
- “As I read the Gospels and see Jesus, I am increasingly stumped how we determined sermons and songs are what makes us most like Him” from Shaun King on transitioning his church to be more transformational.
- “Since they do not see themselves as ‘evangelists,’ they decide to leave such Kingdom labors to the ‘professionals.'”JD Payne interviewed about why Christians don’t evangelize.
- “Know that just because I married a pastor does not mean I enjoy singing, playing the piano, running the nursery, or leading the women’s program. I am willing to use my talents, but please don’t expect me to fulfill a role that I am not designed for.” Amber Woller on What Pastors’ Wives Wish Their Congregations Knew.
- Japan Tsunami: Is God Still Good? by Jonathan Dodson – “God has done, is doing, and will do something about the problem of evil and suffering. He defeats evil at the cross, releases “aid workers” at the resurrection, and promises total peace at his return.”
- Why I’m Thankful for Popular False Teachers by Jared Wilson.
My Top Post of 2010
- Her Children Rise Up and Call Her Blessed – Tribute to my Grandmother who passed away this year.
- Should We Live Together? part 1 – Actually wrote this in 2007, but it continues to get traffic, I think b/c of the many people seeking for guidance on this “way that seems right to man,” but doesn’t feel right.
- Warning! Do not let this person join your church!
- 10 Reasons Small Churches tend to Stay Small – from Joe McKeever, who says, “God must love small churches, b/c He made so many of them.”
- “Too many hypocrites at the Ball Park…” – Exposing the hypocrisy of the hypocrite.
- Utilizing Social Networking in Ministry
- Best Word Combo in the English Bible
- Our 8 Year Old Takes on the Big Bang Theory – He continues to devour science and ask hard questions. Love it!
- Matthew 25, even closer to home – From Richard Stearns. Also, see my recommend for the book The Hole in Our Gospel.
- Bridge Church’s First Building
Links I Liked and Learned from This Week
- Pastoral Do’s and Dont’s on Twitter & Facebook
- A call to Edit – “When you communicate, pretend you’re playing golf (lowest score wins) instead of basketball (highest score wins). Fewer words, fewer frames, fewer slides, clearer meaning.”
- The Glorious Paradoxes of God Incarnate
- 200 Countries in 200 Years – Amazing Video & Technology!
- Mapping America Block by Block – Incredible tool for demographic hunting.
Links I Liked and Learned from this week
- 10 Reasons Churches are Broke
- 31 Days to Become a Better Leader
- How to Grow A Church to 800,000 in Two Years – The Holy Spirit, Prayer, Personal Evangelism, Simple & reproducible structures, Miracles – signs wonders healings, Simple discipleship that makes every disciple a church planter
- No need to Freak Out about substituting X for Christ in Christmas – “There’s a long and sacred history of the use of X to symbolize the name of Christ, and from its origin, it has meant no disrespect.”
- Top Iphone and Ipad Apps for 2010