Category Archives: Quotes
Heard this a few years ago & it stuck with me. We are shaped & changed by those things we do over & over again. Thinking today about what I want to do everyday in 2015.
- Kiss my wife.
- Make my kids laugh.
- Read the Bible. (Read along with me here).
- Read. (One chapter per day as a goal. Should read 20 books per year).
- Exercise. (long shot)
- What if I shared the Gospel everyday?
- What if I encouraged someone, everyday?
- What if I gave of myself generously, everyday?
What are those things worth doing everyday? Today’s a great day to get started.
the secret to increasingly living our lives together on God’s mission is to move away from seeing discipleship as something that needs to be tacked onto an already busy schedule, toward seeing all of the normal stuff of life as full of opportunity for discipleship and growth in the gospel.
This is not a call to life plus mission; rather, it is a call to life on mission.
If life on mission, a life of discipleship, is too hard, or seems impossible with your schedule… Choose a different rhythm.
Loving this book!
This past summer I worked through a 12 lesson study by Brad Brisco & Lance Ford called Missional Essentials. This is a great primer for discovering life on mission right where you are and understanding basic missiology. It would be great for small groups, discipleship groups, or personal use. Deals with issues like the nature of God & the church, consumerism & mission, rest & time management, biblical hospitality, & more. Check it out here:
A few of my favorite quotes:
- in the church, we have focused almost exclusively on the idea of sending rather than being sent. We think primarily of sending and supporting missionaries in faraway places rather than seeing ourselves, both individually and collectively as being sent.
- We should be sending people in the church out among people of the world rather than attempting to attract people of the world in among the people of the church.
- We in the church often wrongly assume that the primary activity of God is in the church, rather than recognizing that God’s primary activity is in the world, and the church is God’s instrument sent into the world to participate in his redemptive mission.
- Instead of thinking of the church as an entity that simply sends missionaries, we should instead view the church as the missionary.
- God has sent you on assignment as a participant in his mission to the world. Your locale is no accident.
- Hospitality involves living life in a way that places a higher value on relationships and community than on consumption and productivity.
- Our families and our homes should be places where people experience a foretaste of heaven.
- LIGHT: Listen to the Holy Spirit, Invite others to share a meal, Give a Blessing, Hear from the Gospels, Take Inventory of the day.
“Compassion magnetizes a man… A big heart is one of the main essentials to great usefulness… You may collect people for a time by some extraneous means, but unless they perceive that you love them, and that your heart goes out with desires for their good, they will soon weary of you.”
From a sermon by Charles Spurgeon entitled “Compassion On The Ignorant.” Check out the entire clip HERE.
Small churches don’t get a lot of airtime, even though they are the rule & not the exception across the globe (90% of churches have less than 100 adults in attendance on any given weekend), so I enjoyed Outreach Magazine‘s annual trek into Small Church America in their July/August 2014 issue. Check out a few of my big takeaways that may surprise or encourage you. And make you think.
- “The size of a church does not determine its health, but a church’s health can determine its size.” – Ed Stetzer, Lifeway Research, EdStetzer.com.
- “A small church measures success by how faithful they have been with what God has given them.” Dave Jacobs, SmallChurchPastor.com.
- “The average church attracts fewer than 90 adults on a typical weekend. 60% of protestant churches have 100 or adults on a typical weekend. Just 2% of churches attract more than 1,000 adults on a typical weekend.” – Barna
- “We need to be content with who we are, but never content with staying where we are.” Karl Vaters in the Grasshopper Myth: Big Churches, Small Churches and the Small Thinking that Divides Us (New Small Church, 2012).
- “Bloom where you’re planted. Instead of trying to be what you are not, know what you do well and do it well.” – Jim Thomas, SmallChurch.com.
- “What drives us? Spotlight and recognition? Influence over 1,000’s? Power that comes with a title? Or would we be content with a downward movement of faithful servanthood, even if it meant obscurity?” – JR Briggs in Fail: Finding Hope & Grace in the Midst of Ministry Failure, IVP, 2014.
- “Churches of 200 or less are four times more likely to plant a daughter church than churches of 1,000 or more. The smaller the size of the church the more fertile they are in planting churches.” – Lifeway
- “The number of evangelicals has not boomed. We have just become more centralized in fewer, larger churches that produce better Sunday performances.” – John S. Dickerson in The Great Evangelical Recession, Baker Books, 2013.
- “Since the Day of Pentecost, innovative small churches have been the way the majority of Christians have done church.” – Karl Vater, NewSmallChurch.com.
- “local engagement – the engagement with our local neighborhoods, villages, towns is harder and harder the bigger and bigger you get.” – David Fitch
- “The growth rate of churches decreased with increasing size…” – Christian Schwartz in Natural Church Development.
Biggest takeaway – “No matter the size, age or denomination of our churches, there’s one question we should all be asking… Where do we grow from here?” Bobby Gruenwald.
I personally believe that small church or big church should not be our motive or goal or badge of honor. God’s glory & the soul’s of men should be the goal. Be encouraged where you are & work hard for God’s glory & the souls of men.
Lottie Moon served as a Missionary to China in the late 1800’s. The Southern Baptist Convention missions offering that was named after her has raised over $2.8 billion since it began. She could have been easily forgotten, because after a long & difficult missionary career, she died on a ship near Japan, without the money to even get herself back home to the states. But she lives on as an example of courage & gospel fervency. Here’s a few great quotes:
- “I do not believe that any trouble comes upon us unless it is needed, and it seems to me that we ought to be just as thankful for sorrow as for joys.”
- “The harvest is very great, the laborers, oh! so few. Why does the Southern Baptist church lag behind in this great work? …a young man should ask himself not if it is his duty to go to the heathen, but if he may dare stay at home. The command is so plain: ‘Go.'”
- “The needs of these people press upon my soul, and I cannot be silent. It is grievous to think of these human souls going down to death without even one opportunity of hearing the name of Jesus.”
- “It fills one with sorrow to see these people so earnest in their worship of false gods… Then to remember the wealth hoarded in Christian coffers! … Should we not press it home upon our consciences that the sole object of our conversion was not the salvation of our own souls, but that we might become co-workers with our Lord and Master in conversion of the world?
- “I have a firm conviction that I am immortal ’til my work is done.”
Found written in the fly leaf of her Bible after her death:
- “O, that I could consecrate myself, soul and body, to his service forever; O, that I could give myself up to him, so as never more to attempt to be my own or to have any will or affection improper for those conformed to him.”
For more info on the life of Lottie Moon, pick up Danny Akin’s short book 10 Who Changed the World.
“Don’t just invite people to a meeting, invite them into your life” – Small Group Training Notes from @RickHowerton
Great day of learning yesterday with Rick Howerton. Rick was gracious to give a day to leaders in the Greater New Orleans area. On the Northshore, we found that only about 4% of the population attends an evangelical Bible Study of any kind. Small Group leaders are needed to shepherd people to maturity in Christ.
Here’s a few big takeaways from his talks.
- A small group is four to twelve people doing the Christian life deeply together, REALLY. It’s more than just a class. They are more than just friends. They are fellow disciples.
- Churches can choose to run programs or grow people. Small groups is the best way to grow people.
- The goal of church is not to get people to stick, but to make disciples that make disciples.
- The goal of small groups is to make disciples that makes disciples. Not just to help people become good friends, but to move them to maturity in Christ.
- Don’t just invite people to a meeting, invite them into your life.
- On expectations and commitment: If you continually lower the bar, it will accomplish nothing in someones life.
- On Multiplying Groups: Start each group with the vision and expectation that it will multiply. Have an apprentice leader from the beginning that is there to multiply the group. The group that doesn’t multiply in 24 months, never will.
- When groups don’t want to multiply: Teach them that the mission of God is more important than the desires of individuals. Ask, “What if the first group of 12 would have chosen to just stay together?”
- On reproducing leaders: People don’t do what they’ve been told to do, they do what they see someone they trust doing.
- On keys to small group leadership: Stay connected with God, Confess all known sin, Be filled with the Holy Spirit on a Daily Basis, Prioritize your daily devotional life, Depend on God more than techniques.
- The best person to cast vision for small groups is the Sr. Pastor. The Sr. Pastor should be leading or attending a group.
Looking forward to learning more from Rick in the future. He blogs daily HERE. Great daily dose of solid Small Group thinking. Also, his latest book is A Different Kind of Tribe, published through NavPress.
“We can cut ourselves, or throw our children in the sacred river, or give a million dollars to the United Way, or serve in a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving, or perform a hundred forms of penance and self-injury, and the result will be the same: the stain remains…The only answer in these modern times, as in all other times, is the blood of Christ.” – JOHN PIPER
“The concept of substitution lies at the heart of both sin and salvation. For the essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man.” – JOHN STOTT
“The symbol of the religion of Jesus is the cross, not the scales.” – JOHN STOTT
“When Satan attacks you, command him in the Name of Jesus to bend his neck. On the back of it you’ll find there’s a nail scarred foot print!” – E. STANLEY JONES
“Gethsemane is where He died; the cross is only the evidence.” – LEONARD RAVENHILL
“Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.” – ELVINA HALL
“Apart from the cross, condemnation is normal. Without Jesus, we all deserve to be condemned and punished for sin. But here’s the good news: ‘There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 8:1).” – C.J. MAHANEY
“Most Christians are being crucified on a cross between two thieves: Yesterday’s regret and tomorrow’s worries.” – WARREN WIERSBE
“The debt was so great, that while man alone owed it, only God could pay it.” – ANSELM
“Mt. Sinai says, ‘You must do.” Mt. Calvary says, ‘Because you couldn’t, Jesus did.’ Don’t run to the wrong mountain for your hiding place” – Tullian Tchividjan
“…He made you alive with Him and forgave us all our trespasses. He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly; He triumphed over them by Him.” – Colossians 2:13-15 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
The Incarnation is the noblest idea of any world religion. God did not watch human despair from the safety of heaven. He clothed Himself in humanity. He ceased watching the human war and became a soldier.
Calvin Miller, in The Christ of Christmas
Reflections on our recent Basic Training for #ChurchPlanters:
Wrapped up another Basic Training for Church Planters this weekend at ABC Camp in Eunice. We had about 20 church planting teams, preparing to plant new churches and campus’ across Louisiana. And we actually did this training simultaneously in English and Spanish. Find the Basic Training materials online here. Here are a few highlights:
- Church Planting is all about relationships.
- There is only one kingdom and it belongs to God. And God’s kingdom is extended to the ends of the earth through His church.
- All disciples of Jesus are called to be sent people.
- You can’t plant a church in your head, you have to plant it in the community.
- We don’t plant churches just for the community, we plant them for the whole world.
- Every congregation is a world missions strategy center.
- Contextualization is answering the communities questions about God and the gospel IN their terms. NOT ON their terms.
- Discipleship = Applying the inner meaning of the Gospel to persons at the point of their need.
- Multiplication principles: You reap what you sow. You reap later than you sow. You reap more than you sow.
- Don’t just start services, start making disciples.
- Discipling is a process of learning to obey Jesus.
- Disciples are shaped by serving, not just sitting and singing.
- Don’t use people to get ministry done. Use ministry to get people done.
- Small Groups are the seedbed to develop new leaders.
- In church history, a significant amount of missionary activity and advance was carried out by unrecognized teams of church planters. i.e – the Moravians
- The Moravians saw witnessing as the common concern from all members of the faith community and sent small groups of ordinary believers to plant churches and testify for Christ in new areas.
- “Ultimately, each church will be evaluated by only one thing – its disciples. Your church is only as good as her disciples. It does not matter how good your praise, preaching, programs, or property are; if your disciples are passive, needy, consumeristic, and not radically obedient…” Neil Cole