Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Eric Geiger - Innovate Day 1

Here are my notes from Eric Geiger

Starbucks shut down for a day to get back to their "core"
- Retrain how to make coffee
- Realized they had drifted

The Church has drifted from the Gospel
- Adding a bunch of stuff drowns out our "core" - Jesus

Drift never self-corrects

2 Common Drifts
1. Drift toward complexity
- Joshua Bell (violin player in Washington DC)
- We are rushing past the formation of the Kingdom of God
- Pharisees got caught up in complexity
- They tried to pull Jesus into their complexity

Coping with complexity
- multi tasking (counter effectiveness)
smoking pot lowers your IQ less than multi-tasking
- out source
Some things are too important to give away from the church
We (church) are out-sourcing the mission of God

2. Drift off mission
Matthew 13:31-32 - so that those outside the church will benefit
We are a church for those far from God

Addressing the Drift
1. Clarify the discipleship process
Blueprint vs. brochure
- View discipleship as the whole process
- Be careful not to over program early in the discipleship process
- Ensure mission is deeply embedded in your discipleship process

2. Live your process
Is the staff doing the process?
Does the staff know their neighbors?

3. Align people/departments around the same process

4. Remove the clutter
5 Guys Burgers and Fries
Tool for worship became object of worship

We will never offer the best if we are multi-tasking

Read the Peanut Manifesto

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Book #7 - The Principle of the Path

I am on a very slow reading kick for some reason this year. This is only the seventh book I have posted about reading. I think that I had finished seven books in February last year. Maybe it's my new position and learning to live into it that has slowed me down.

Anyway, I just finished reading Andy Stanley's new book The Principle of the Path: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. I love all of Andy's books. They are so straight forward, biblical, and life applicable. This book is for everyone. It's an easy read, but I would highly, highly recommend reading it slowly and carefully because there is so much good stuff in it.

2 Chronicles 16

Verse 9, "For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him."

God is searching. God is looking for people who are completely sold out to Him.

King Asa relied more on earthly influence than on the power of God. When things weren't going well for him, he turned away from God and paid off another king to come to his rescue. The thing is, Asa had already been rescued in the past by God. He had already seen the power of almighty God. Yet, here he is turning away from God and toward a "lesser god."

I wonder how many times I do this. I have seen the hand of God at work in and around me. I know that God is able to do immeasurably more than I could ever ask or imagine. Yet, I am sure that I rely on myself and my own wisdom in situations that I should be turning over to God. I don't know why I do it, but I am sure I do. I don't want to condemn Asa because I think I walk in his shoes sometimes. I do, however, want to learn from him.

As the eyes of God range throughout the earth I want them to fall upon me and strengthen me because my heart is fully committed to Him.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Acts 9

Verse 2-3, "So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, 'It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them.'"

A moment of truth...will the disciples stay true to their calling from God or will they follow the wishes of men with an urgent need? They are completely sold out to their calling; they refuse to give into this other area that will prevent them from doing what God wants. They are very smart in that they don't ignore the need, they empower others to meet that need. The people they choose are "known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom." In other words they are spiritually mature. There's a discernment process and they choose people who understand what it is that God is seeking to do in the early church. They pray over them and set them free to serve in incredible ways.

This situation arises on a regular basis for me. People will ask me to start a new ministry or to focus on an urgent need that they see in our church or in our community. This is a great model for leading and staying focused on what God wants me to stay focused on in my calling, but still responding to a need. When a need is presented the answer doesn't have to be no, it can be - find seven people who are known to be full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. That's a pretty good starting point.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Matthew 9

Verse 24, "But they laughed at him."

People laughed at Jesus. They thought a little girl was dead, he knew differently. This chapter is full of the unexpected becoming a regular part of the life of Jesus. Healing a paralyzed man, but in the context of forgiveness of sin. Eating at Matthew's house, but with tax collectors and sinners. Old and new wineskins. Healing a woman and some blind men by their faith. Finally, Jesus looks upon the people and his heart breaks. There are so many who don't know Him and His grace. He asks the disciples to beg God for more workers to bring people to Jesus.

It is so easy to get caught up in the routine of life and in the busyness of life to miss opportunities that Jesus engaged in everyday to touch people with the love of God. There are nearly 65% of the people in this region who don't believe they have any good reason to worship in any church any weekend of the year. They don't see a difference between what is happening in the lives of Christians and the world. They aren't compelled to be here. What has happened?

I think we have lost the intentionality of engaging in people's lives right where they are, loving them, and challenging them to enter into a growing relationship with Jesus. That needs to change.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Philippians 1

Verses 9-11, "And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ - to the glory and praise of God."

This is my prayer today.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Our Next Hires

We announced two openings at Charter Oak Church this past weekend. We are searching for two people who have the same DNA that God has infused into our staff and congregation. Not everyone has that DNA, not everyone will be the right fit. It's not personal.
I believe God already knows who the two of you are that will be coming on to our staff. I am praying for you. At this point in time you may not even know that God is preparing you to join our team at Charter Oak Church. That's what I am asking of God - prepare these two people for what God wants to do in them and through them.
I don't know who you are yet, but I trust my heavenly Father. I am praying for you.

2 Corinthians 6

Verses 4-10, "Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in their right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything."

The truth of what it means to be a follower of Jesus is that there is a duality of where we live, not how we live, but where. There are going to be great days of rejoicing and celebrating, but there will also be days that are filled with tears. Both sides of the emotional spectrum will be encountered. The one that gets to me the most is "having nothing, and yet possessing everything." That's how I came to know Jesus - as I saw that lived in a Jamaican in 1989. I can read all of these words from Paul and I can even experience them in some small way, but I think I get the last one the most. It changed the trajectory of my life forever.

I love being a follower of Jesus. Sometimes it is the most difficult thing to be and I hurt so much, but it is so worth it. God's promise is "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." That is what I want to be the descriptor of my life - I am one of God's people; He walks with me and I walk with Him.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

New Job Opening

We have a new job opening for a pastor of student ministries. Click here for more information.

Friday, May 1, 2009

New Video from Sermon

Treadmill Busyness from Chris Whitehead on Vimeo.