Category : Read Everything

3.movies
Leadership, Personal Development, Read Everything
0

Everyone Has A Calling or Life’s Pursuit

One time, my wife and I wanted to surprise our two girls who were five and seven at the time by taking them to an indoor water park for Christmas. The park was about two hours away from our home and the whole way both my girls kept asking me where we were going. “Come on daddy, tell us where we’re going.” They wouldn’t stop asking. Neither my wife nor I wanted to tell them because it was suppose to be a surprise. Therefore, we just kept saying, “Don’t worry, you’ll love it. You’re going to be so thankful once we get there.” Finally, we arrived at our destination. When we pulled into the parking lot, even though it was snowing outside, you could look through the Plexiglas walls at families with their swimsuits going down slides, playing in the water, and floating down the lazy river. We expected both our girls to start screaming with delight. However, to my wife and my dismay, both girls were silent. When we looked back to see what was going on, both of them ha were frozen with their mouths wide open. They were so excited they were speechless. Needless to say, they were thankful and that still stands out as one of the best Christmas’s we’ve ever had.

That experience reminds me a lot of the Father of Faith, Abraham. Of all the amazing stories in the Word of God that speaks to us about the calling God placed on men’s lives, Abraham is probably my favorite. Can you imagine God coming to you and saying, “I’ve got something great for you to do. Follow me.” You might say, “Where are we going Lord?” God would answer, “I’m not going to tell you right now. You’re not ready and it would spoil the surprise anyway. It’s going to take a while to get there but trust me, you’re going to love it.” That’s basically what God said to Abraham. Here’s what God said in Genesis 12: 1- 3 (NIV),

“The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

 

I think another translation that puts it a little more in our modern day vernacular is The Message translation. Look how it says the same passage:

God told Abram: “Leave your country, your family, and your father’s home for a land that I will show you. I’ll make you a great nation and bless you. I’ll make you famous; you’ll be a blessing.  I’ll bless those who bless you; those who curse you I’ll curse. All the families of the Earth will be blessed through you.”

 

The word “Go” or “Leave” or “Get Thee Out” (KJV)in Hebrew is the word halak which literally means to “walk” or “to continually come on”. I like the last one that says to “continually come on” because it reminds us that answering the calling of God is not a one-time thing. The book of Galatians says there is always a battle between the flesh (our carnal nature) and the spirit (that part of us that wants to pursue God). We must continually deny our fleshy desires and say yes to the call that God places on all our lives.

Within all of us is a unique gifting and calling. God made you for greatness. You are a “10” at something. It reminds me of the movie “Chariots of Fire” when the runner said, “When God made me, he made me fast and when I run I feel His pleasure.” God made you to do something and when you do it, you can feel His pleasure. There are many ways to discover this unique gifting and calling in your life and while we all have a special plan from God there are some things which are universal to us all. We are called to do personal missions and corporate missions in the Kingdom of God. Today we’re going to talk about three different corporate missions that we all need to fulfill in our lives as modeled to us in the story of Abraham.

The first calling that was given to Abraham and to us all was the calling to FOLLOW BY FAITH.

Genesis 12:1 (RSV) says, “Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.'” The first calling God placed on Abraham’s life (and ours as well) was to simply follow. A retired pastor once said to me, “The greatest message Jesus ever preached to us pastors was when He called the disciples. He said, “Follow me and I will make you.” The greatest calling we can fulfill is to simply follow God and trust His leading. The Bible says that God’s Word is a “Lamp unto my feet.” God doesn’t always give us enough light to see the whole journey. Many times we have just enough light for the next step. That takes a lot of faith. However, God will never cause us to stumble or slip as long as we follow his leading.

The second calling given to Abraham and to us as well was the calling to serve. The next thing God says to Abraham is “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great” (Gen 12:2-3). Have you ever wondered why God does things? I do all the time. Not out of a desire to question God but rather to learn His nature so I can more fully recognize Him at work. Why do you think God wanted to bless Abraham? Another way to say this is, “Why does God want to bless us?” You can see it all throughout the Word of God. God always blesses us so that we can be a blessing to others. The calling that God places on all our lives is not so that we can build our own kingdom. The calling of God is always a calling to serve. No matter what gives us a passion and gifting to do, it is always to serve the Body of Christ and reach those far from Him. One of our highest callings is to serve others.

The final calling we will discuss is the calling to be a blessing. The next thing God said to Abraham was “I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse” (Gen. 12:3). One of the chief responsibilities in the life of every believer is to add value to others. If you are not adding value to others you are subtracting value from yourself. We were not called to be an island unto our self. We were called to add value to the world around us with our gifts, with our time, and with our attention. The real beauty of how God uses His church is that in His hands, God can use just about anything to make a difference in the life of someone else. He just needs someone willing to be a blessing.

God has a unique gifting for us all. Just because you do not see it’s redeeming value does not mean it isn’t there. I served a church one time where there were few elderly women who were very discouraged. They thought they had “outlived their usefulness” and God couldn’t use them anymore. The pastor said to them, “What do you like to do?” They answered that they met every week and crochet together. He told them, “There you go. God can use that. Just figure out how.” These ladies decided to try that out. What they did was amazing. They found out the local paper had a section that would post when new babies were born in the community. What they began to do was crochet little socks for these newborn babies then go by these houses to congratulate the new parents and present them with the little socks as a gift. Since these ladies were all grandma’s they would instantly fall in love with these little babies and many times began to help out these new, exhausted mothers. During these visits they would be able to pray with the new parents, provide guidance, and even help them reconnect with their families. After two years over 15 new couples had begun attending church because of these elderly women who felt like they had “outlived their usefulness.” God has a plan for your life but it’s going to take the faith to step out and purse it. He’s also called you to be a blessing in the lives of others and to serve everyone around you. By doing this, we are fulfilling the greatest calling of all, to be the Hands and Feet of Jesus in this world.

Read More
bible
Leadership, Personal Development, Read Everything
0

Laws of Bible Study

There are several methods of Bible study that may be employed to arrive at a correct understanding of Bible truth. In hermeneutics (interpretation) there are certain principles or laws that must be observed in our study of God’s Word. They are:

I. Law of Application— Application of Scripture may be made only after the correct doctrinal meaning has been determined.

II. Law of Literal Interpretation— When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense, lest it make non-sense. 

III. Law of First Mention— God has order the meaning of a word in it’s first occurrence in Scripture as to forecast how that word would be associated in the rest of the Scriptures. 

IV. Law of Progressive Mention— God make the revelation of any given truth increasingly clear as the Word proceeds to its consummation.

V. Law of Subsequent Mention— God in later Scripture adds details to prior events, or give events never before recorded.

VI. Law of Context–The meaning of any particular element is controlled by what precedes and what follows. A verse out of context is a pre-text.

VII. Law of Discrimination— The Scriptures must be divided so as to make a distinction where God makes a difference.

VIII. Law of Agreement–God will not set forth any passage in His Word which contradicts any other passage. 

IX. Law of Repetition— God will often repeat something previously said as a means of emphasis.

X. Law of Double Reference— A passage may apply primarily to a person or event near at hand, but is used by the Holy Spirit at a later time as applying to the Person of Christ, or the affairs of His kingdom.

XI. Gap Law— God, in the Scriptures, will sometimes skip over lengthy periods of time without comment.

XII. Laws of Right Divisions— God’s Word must be divided according to dispensations, covenants and ethnic groups.

XIII. Law of Types— God often employs types as a divinely appointed illustration of some spiritual truth.

XIV. Law of Numerical Design— Numbers in the Bible have a specific meaning that teach specific truths.

XV. Synthetic Technique— God inspired the literary structure of the Bible so that it is constructed in introversion, alternation, or combinations of both.

 

(taken from: http://www.avhughes.com/images/laws_study.html)

Read More
Leadership, Read Everything
0

GROW 2016 (Children’s Ministry App) Takeaways

Important building block to being a great Children’s Ministry….

1. The RIGHT CULTURE.
-We are not a baby sitting ministry.
-We minister the Word of God to little people.
-Elevate children’s ministry in the eyes of the church.

2. Needs to MIRROR the Call and Vision of your church.
-Everyone has to run the same play.

3. Discipleship is done through Facilitating the Parent not Replacing them.

TOOLS>>>
-Rooms that are safe and age appropriate.
-Fun, preach the Word, safe
-Safe, Safe, Safe
-Build trust with the parents
-Safety- uniform police officer designated to kids
-Safety- toys in appropriate rooms

Excellence is NOT expensive but IS intentional.
-UNO cards with a passionate leader is better than any expensive game console.

People are the most important asset you have.

People don’t know what you know, they only know what they see.

Only 3% of offenders are caught by background checks. The reason you do it so you can protect the church.

Read More
Read Everything
0

GROW 2016 (Small Groups) Takeaways

SMALL GROUPS

WHAT WE DO?>>>
We create small group environments where people can experience community, settle their yesterdays and take next steps.
WHY WE DO IT?>>>
1. BECAUSE IT IS THE BIBLICAL MODEL.
Acts 2, 3

2. BECAUSE PEOPLE NEED TO BE KNOWN.
People only stay for two reasons>>>
-Need to be needed
-Need to be known
-(Ecc. 4)

3. PEOPLE NEED HEALING.
-People need deliverance.
-Salvation is a moment but deliverance is a process.
-James 5:16
-Create safe environments where people can be healed.

There are four aspects to a persons life>>>
-Arena- I know and you know.
-Mask- I know but you don’t know.
-Blindspot- You know but I don’t know.
-Potential- I don’t know and God don’t know… God knows.

4. PEOPLE NEED TO GROW.
-Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpens iron.”

LIFE CHANGE HAPPENS IN RELATIONSHIPS.

———————————————–

HOW WE DO IT?>>>

1. MUST HAVE TOTAL COMMITTMENT.
-Pastor leads a group.
-Staff leads groups.
-The church is a church of groups.
-NO COMPETING MINISTRIES. All ministries are GROUPS.
-Mention it in every message in every Sunday.

2. LET GROUPS BE FREE-MARKET.
-They can gather under anything.
-The idea of the group is the HOOK but the reason they gather is so they can take the next steps.
-Everyone in your church is already in groups. They just don’t meet and consider it a small group.
-Tell them to keep doing what they are doing and turn it into ministry.

3. CREATE ANCHORS/HUBS.
-Way to keep them organized so the major areas are maintined.

ANCHORS>>>
-Men
-Women
-Students
-Marriage
-Finances
-Outreach/SERVE
-Freedom
-Prayer

Think of it like a mall. You have these smaller stores but they are anchored around the big stores like JC Penny and Sears. The stores that surround them are similar.

4. USE EVENTS TO PROMOTE GROUPS.
-There are many things you do that do not push your vision.
-Events are important because they become catalysts for things that are important.

5. MEET WEEKLY.
-A group is not a meeting. A group meets weekly.
-Your family is not dinner. Your family has dinner.

Every group is asked to do every week>>>
ECOURAGE- pastor people.
SCRIPTURE- always share a verse.
PRAYER- always pray for people. Pray for them by name every day.
NEXT STEPS- always help people move to the next step with God. Identify everyone in your group and help them take one step.

6. MEET IN THREE ANNUAL SEMESTERS.
-Spring- 13 weeks, Summer- 6 weeks, Fall -13 weeks
-Semesters let people join at the beginning.
-THE NUMBER ONE DETERENT FOR PEOPLE JOINING A SMALL GROUP IS THAT IT HAS ALREADY BEGUN.
-Most groups continue but the new semesters give people a chance to feel like it’s new.

-Semesters let you take advantage of natural START and STOP times.
-Don’t do groups in down months like May and December.

7. COVER THE GROUPS WITH PASTORS AND COACHES.

8. CONTINUALLY TRAIN NEW LEADERS.
-Number one job of staff is to equip saints to do ministry.
-Everyone on staff is measured by how they are growing teams.
-Whatever gets measured and rewarded gets done.

Read More
Leadership, Read Everything
0

GROW 2016 (Know God) Weekend Services Takeaways

Everyone needs to know the vision of the church
-Needs to be the same thing.
-That way we all know the same play.

KNOW GOD. FIND FREEDOM. DISCOVER PURPOSE. MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

SYSTEMS- Delivers your vision.
-System isn’t the vision. A system delivers the vision.
-A system does not ensure your success.
-Define a vision that’s measurable. Then find a system to deliver it.

Every time people leave your church there’s one of two responses (“Man, it’s over already?” Or “Man, I’m glad that’s over”)

WHAT WE DO?>>>

We create worship experiences that both unchurched people and believers love to attend.

The goal isn’t to do everything we know how to do.
The goal is for people to come back.

WHY WE DO IT?>>>
1. Because it is the Biblical model.
-Church is not for you. Church is for the lost.
-Church is a place for inspiration, motivation, and training so we can go into the world and reach the lost.
-Turn your church into a place where lost people get saved.
–Don’t stop working on it until people are getting saved.

2. Because we are called to continue the ministry of Jesus.
-John 17:18-20
-Acts 20:24 (The most important thing is to complete the mission)

3. Because Heaven and Hell are REAL.
-Don’t let christians stop you from reaching the lost.
-Luke 15- Three different stories Jesus tried to communicate how important it was to find the lost.
-God is distracted by those who are lost.
-Put an emphasis on the lost.

God’s not excited about your church service as much as you are. He’s excited about lost people getting saved.
HOW WE DO IT?>>> WEEKEND SERVICES

1.Focus on a life-giving culture.
-Culture trumps everything.
-Don’t worry about the score board. Focus on creating a life-giving culture. Healthy things grow.

Personality of Jesus>>>

>>> Services should be AUTHENTIC.
-Be real.

>>> Services should be RELEVANT.
-Not like the world. Not secular music.
-Talk about things that pass the “who cares?” test.
-Everything you do… ask if they can use it on Monday.

>>> Services should be ENJOYABLE.
-Kids jumped in Jesus’ lap. He was fun.
-Church should be full of FOOD and FUN.
-It is the joy of the Lord that gives people strength.
-Generosity is MASSIVE.

>>> Services should be ACCEPTING.
-We’re not saying you approve of what they do but you accept them.

>>> Services should be POWERFUL.
-Don’t be afraid to pray for people.
-Don’t forget that signs and wonders accompany the believers.

2. CREATE SERVICES THAT PEOPLE TALK ABOUT.

KNOW WHY the unchurched are unchurched.
Top four reasons>>>
-boring
-just want my money
-too long
-afraid for my kids

IMPRESS THEM within the first 10 minutes.
-Parking team
-Greeting team
-Children’s check-in (make it look more professional)

-Put your energy and resources into GREAT PRAISE AND WORSHIP.
-CHILDREN’S MINITSRY SHOULD be well staffed, safe, clean and fun.
-DELIVER EVANGELISTIC MESSAGES that are interesting, clear, relevant, entertaining, and Biblical.
-PRAYER teams should cover the services behind everything.

-IN EVERYTHING, focus on EXCELLENCE.
Excellence creates comfort.

-DO FEWER THINGS EXTREMEMLY WELL.

-FOCUS ON TRANSITIONS.
-Both in services and in preaching.

3. YOU HAVE TO TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO DO PERSONAL EVANGELISM?
-Accept the personal responsibility.
-God’s plan to reach the people around you is you. (Relational networks)
-Teach people how to give a personal invitation. (Need to have two lost people come every year.)

If every Christian led one person to Christ every year the entire world would be reached in 20 years.

4. WE TEACH PEOPLE TO PRAY FOR THE LOST.
-pray that the father would draw them to Jesus (John 6:44)
-bind the spirit that blinds their eyes (2 Cor. 4:4)
-Loose the spirit of adoption (sonship) (Romans 8:15)
-Pray that believers will cross their paths and enter into positive relationships (Matt. 9:38)
-Loose the spirit of wisdom and revelation on them so they can see Christ. (Eph.1:17)

5. KEEP THE FOCUS ON THE OUTSIDER.
-Work hard on this.
-There is a gravitational pull toward selfishness.

HOW>>> By creating series specifically designed for unchurched people.
HOW>>> By communicating your missions outside the church.

Read More
1 2 3 43
%d bloggers like this: