Blog Archives

Is Your Church Ready to Make a Lasting Impact?

LastingImpactCarey Nieuwhof’s new book Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations to Help Your Church Grow is a great book to help you and your staff navigate change and how cultural shifts will be impacting your ministry in the future. Lots of challenging questions to help diagnose barriers to growth and help identify needed adjustments to reach a new generation. Here’s just a few of the powerful statements that have stuck with me and that I’m sharing with my staff and other church leaders regularly since reading this book:

  • In every decision, focus on who you want to reach, not on who you want to keep.
  • leaders who value attendance over engagement will see declining attendance.
  • You need a flexible on-ramp that allows people to hang in the shadows for a while as they make up their minds and one that allows multiple jumping-in points throughout the year.
  • The more you prioritize families, the more families will prioritize Sundays.
  • A church that has a white hot sense of mission will almost always have the resources it needs to do what the church is called to do.
  • Churches that love their model more than their mission will die.
  • If we continue doing what we’re doing today, where will we be one year, two years, and five years from now?

Also, the chapter on Cultural Trends and how Netflix is influencing the culture is worth the price of the book. Must read for church leaders.

You can also find Carey Nieuwhof’s informative podcast on Itunes. Check him out online at

The Gravitational Pull of Any Church #quotes #booksworthreading

The gravitational pull of any church is toward insiders, not outsiders. Left unattended, your church will become a place where preferenceLastingImpacts of the members trump passion for the mission. There are two primary ways to address this drift:

  • In every decision, focus on what you want to reach, not on who you want to keep.
  • Commit to losing yourself for the sake of finding others.

people automatically respond with “What about me and my needs?

… People who focus on helping others and honoring Christ soon discover that their needs are met far more deeply than they ever experienced otherwise.

Carey Nieuwhof in his incredible new book Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow.

Point Forward with Acts of Service

forwardThrough our lives, Jesus is showing the world the kind of king he is and the nature of the kingdom he rules. As his servants, we point forward with our acts of service to a far better world where Jesus’s rule will be experienced everywhere. Every one we serve experiences a taste of life in the kingdom.

Jeff Vanderstelt in Saturate: Being Disciples of Jesus in the Everyday Stuff of Life

>> Check out my Previous post about Saturate.

Resources for Helping Sons Discover Manhood

IMG_4700My boys turn 13 & 9 this Summer. They’re moving on up the ladder of adolescence & I feel the clock ticking toward their release into the world like never before. I’m an imperfect parent at best & crave resources to help me be intentional in guiding them toward spiritual maturity. A couple of good books that I’ve found helpful in guiding conversations, especially with Jack as he enters the teen world:

The Manual to Manhood: How to Cook the Perfect Steak, Change a Tire, Impress a Girl, & 97 Other Skills You Need to Survive by Jonathan Catherman. Born out of experience raising sons, Catherman’s Manual gives boys a good place to find answers to questions that they don’t know they need to ask, as well as providing some good conversation starters for father-son or even mother-son talks.

I’ve already bought several copies of this for young men I know without Dad’s at home as well. Look around. They’re out there. And you can make a difference in their lives with a little attentiveness & encouragement.

The Two-Minute Drill to Manhood: A Proven Game Plan for Raising Sons by John Croyle. Now, for us LSU fans, you have to ignore some Alabama bravado, as Croyle & his sons are Crimson Tide alum, but the content is great. The outline for this book – M.A.N.H.O.O.D – has given me a great guide to talk to my son Jack about what it means to be a man.

  • M = MASTER
  • A = ASK & LISTEN
  • O = ONE BODY

Talking through one of these on weekly evening runs with Jack this Summer.

Of course, the best resource you can give as a parent is TIME. Nothing replaces attentiveness, devotion, discipline, & genuine interest. Tools can help us as well. So if one of these fits you. I’d highly recommend.

Any other suggested resources on moving sons from boyhood to manhood?

#WorthReading – Saturate: Being Disciples of Jesus in the Everyday Stuff of Life

I first learned of the Soma movement like most everyone else, through this video that was widely shared 4 years ago. Jeff Vanderstelt & his church embodied the refreshing approach & rhythm that many of us were looking for in this new age of ministry engagement. Missional Communities. Later that year I got to hear him speak at Exponential in Orlando, FL & then at the Verge Conference in Austin, TX. Our church plant has utilized the Soma resources on Storying called the Story Formed Way, the Story of God for Kids curriculum, & followed the movement as we’ve sought new ways to engage the unreached in our communities. And now, Jeff Vanderstelt has finally given us the full story in this book. The content is great of course, but the thing I’ve come to appreciate most about Vanderstelt & the Soma story is that you come away believing that EVERYBODY can do this. This is ministry that’s real, raw, & DOABLE. More than techniques, Saturate helps you see the open doors in your current everyday life to begin making disciples & bringing glory to Jesus. Simple. Reproducible. Inspiring. Read it & jump in to life on mission. This book is going to stay close by my desk for awhile. Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

  • saturateGod’s intent was never to have us define church merely as an event on Sunday. We don’t go to church. We are the church sent out into the world.
  • Jesus didn’t live, serve, suffer, and die so we could just attend a Christian event. He lived and died so we could become his people who are sent into every part of the world on his behalf.
  • out on mission, the need for grace and power from God will never be more clearly manifested. We have to get out on mission to fulfill the mission of being disciples who make disciples.
  • Through our lives, Jesus is showing the world the kind of king he is and the nature of the kingdom he rules. As his servants, we point forward with our acts of service to a far better world where Jesus’s rule will be experienced everywhere. Every one we serve experiences a taste of life in the kingdom.
  • If you are a child of God and a servant of King Jesus, you have been sent into the world as his missionary with the same spirit that sent and empowered Jesus.
  • life is the program, because people need to see what it means to follow Jesus in the everyday stuff of life.
  • if it isn’t messy here and there, you are likely not yet on mission.
  • everyday stuff, done with gospel intentionality in the name of Jesus, changes lives.

More Thursday….

Worth Reading: The Rise of the Nones

NONESA lot has been said & will be said about the recent Pew Report on Religion in America, but it confirms the premise behind the book The Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated by James Emery White. I posted one of my best take aways from the book earlier. It also makes the book that much more important for the church leader that’s serious about reaching the unreached in our day. Here’s a few quotes from the book that have stuck with me:

  • The nones now make up the nation’s fastest growing and second largest religious category.
  • this trend is only an American phenomenon, not a global one.
  • The nones are NOT made up of seekers who are looking for a spiritual home but simply haven’t found it yet
  • Until we think about conversion growth as the way to grow our churches, we won’t make a dent in the fastest growing religious demographic of our day.
  • Most churches have as their primary focus reaching and then serving the already convinced. So the mission isn’t making disciples but rather caring for them.
  • When it comes to evangelism, the efforts of the church need to be like an incubator. Every approach, every program, every service furnishes a particular environment that will either serve the evangelistic process or hinder it.
  • Church is often like “a fishing expedition in which people put bait on a hook, place it in the middle of the boat’s deck, and then join hands to pray for the fish to jump in and grab the hook.”
  • If you are going to reach the nones, they are going to come to you as a none. That means they will come as couples living together, as gay couples, pregnant outside of marriage, addicted, skeptical.
  • If nones ever come to your church uninvited, it will probably be for the sake of their kids.
  • This is no time for cross-town church competitions for transfer growth and then patting ourselves on the back for reaching the already convinced as if we somehow made a dent in hell.
  • This is no time to cave to spiritual narcissism, in which the primary concern is whether people are fed, are ministered to, or “get anything out of the worship experience,” as though the mission is caring for believers as consumers instead of dying to ourselves to reach a lost world.

Jesus “was not seduced… He didn’t leverage” #leadlikeJesus

the key for the future of the Western Church is simple, but both profound and hard. The key is a powerful return to Jesus’ heart for making disciples, and multiplying them into missional leaders.

Think about how Jesus did his ministry. He preached God’s word to the multitudes, but was not seduced by the size and success of the crowds. He demonstrated the power of the Spirit through a miraculous ministry, yet he didn’t leverage it for his popularity. He moved on when he could have stayed and built momentum, and he continually prioritized his time, resources, teaching, and attention to a small group of leaders to whom he would one day hand the keys…

Jon Tyson, Multiplying Missional Leaders

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