Saturday, March 31, 2007

I'm back!

When Jesus is all you have, Jesus is all you need.

We survived a house fire that consumed our every possession, a motorcycle, two vehicles and all contents in the home. It was a hot fire and the house went quickly. Some believe my throttle float stuck on my motorcycle sending gasoline onto a hot motor. A rare and unusual occurance. Some say it took about 20-30 minutes for the fire to ravage our home. Four fire trucks were initially dispatched with 2 of them breaking down and one getting lost. So there was a second alarm! I really do not think I would have made it had I not left the garage when I did due to Michelle's frantic calls for me to come out. About 2 seconds upon getting out, the garage door and ceiling colapsed onto the car. God spared my life.

I received burns on my back, forehead, both arms. My left arm and forehand required skin graphing and while it looks gross it is healing.

Thanks for your prayers for continued healing and for all the decisions we must make to rebuild and get back on our feet.

I'll be be back to blogging when I get my own computer back on Monday or so.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Saturday, March 17, 2007; 5:30pm


(posted by his daughter, melissa)

Dad is doing much better today, although he slept almost the entire day. He was encouraged when I read him all of the postings from the first 'burn' post. He is pretty medicated and is in quite a bit of pain. His left arm is the worst, we will find out on Friday how bad the burns really are, and whether or not he will need skin grafting. Today we found an apartment that they will be living temporarily for 6 months until the house is rebuilt. Thank you for your prayers and concerns! We are so thankful!


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

House Fire

Dear Friends,

I am going to be out of commission for a while. On Saturday evening through a freak series of events, our house burned along with my GoldWing and our 2 vehicles. Everything is lost, but we are doing as best as to be expected. Michelle and Sydney(dog) were rushed out of the house and I tried to do what I could. I was just released from the hospital with 2nd and 3rd degree burns on my arms, back, forehead, neck and left hand. We are awaiting to see about skin graphs. We are blessed to be alive.

Please keep us in your prayers!


Friday, March 16, 2007

Dump man-driven Mission Statements ASAP!

Dump your Mission Statement ASAP!

Mission Statements are a carry over from the Church Growth days of yesteryear. How could we be so deceived as to think we are the ones who determine the Missional Statement for our own church? Where in the Bible do we have any directive or authority to write a Mission Statement for our church? Let me explain!

Mission Statements answer the "what" question! What are we here for and what should we do?
Vision Statements answer the "how" question. How we will fulfill His Mission which is our Mission?

Have you ever considered the fact that we already have our Mission and missional statement? In fact, our mission is the Great Commission (a Co-Mission) between Jesus and His people. If the Great Commission is our Mission than one must assume that it is the most important thing and the very thing we exist for.

Here's the deception: Satan has deceived us into re-writing God's mission for us through writing and re-writing the mission over and over, from pastor to pastor, as if our mission changes over time. Our Mission is clear and it has never nor will it ever change.

Consider: Our Mission is clearly stated in the Great Commission (Matthew 28) and any diversion from that mission is like a watered down cup of coffee with very little impact/boost not to mention sin!

What's your Mission Statement? I would answer: Oh, our mission is clear, we have this Great Commission given to us by Jesus which is a Co-Mission (God and us). We are just doing what Jesus told us to do when Jesus made it a priority when He rose from the dead as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords with all power and authority as God. It's like Jesus was saying to us, "before I leave, I remind you not to forget the mission".

Now that we have our clear Mission (a great Co-Mission statement) which answers the what question. Let us now turn to the how question. The how question is the Vision Statement. If the Great Commission answers the what question then then the Vision statement answers the how we will accomplish the God-given what.

Jesus tells us what to do in the Great Commission as lived in His life and spoken with His authority. Our only job is to decide how we will do the mission already given to us by Jesus!

It's time that we ditch our man made and cleverly written Mission statements and return to the one and only Great Co-missional statement given to us by Jesus. None of us are capable of topping the mission statement given to us by Jesus! Let's stop the nonsense. Our mission statement says it all because Jesus said it all.

Are you going to dump it? Will you own your God given Mission?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Dangerous Churchiology Statements

For some time I have struggled over terminology and how our words and/or statements send the wrong message, leading to a hindrance to the mission. Let's look at just a few of possible statement flaws!

For instance:
"I am a Church planter."
Consider this, man never plants Churches - God always does. To make this comment often implies that our number one priority is planting churches. Making disciples who make disciples is our number one priority. If we can get that right, God will birth His Church out of it. With the help of God, I begin disciple making movements. We make disciples -God plants or births churches. .

"The church or Church"
What does this mean to you? Does it mean location or does it mean the body of Christ? Because we often say let's go to church the world and many believers see church as something we go to on such a such a corner rather than a Christ community. Therefore we do not go to church we gather as the church in such and such a place. We must not go to gather -we must gather to go! The skinny is, you are the Church, we are the Church! (Capital "C"hurch)

"church programs"
Consider: Is this a one of those "tricks of the enemy"? Church programs are often predetermined ministries that leaders decide and insist must be filled with servants. I'm not suggesting that we do not have ministries for people to serve, I am merely suggesting that we should not have ministries without God given servants with God given passions to serve in them.

"we need more workers"
Consider: This phrase often implies we need more volunteers. We must pray for the Lord of the harvest to send us workers with passions to serve in the ministries that we engage. We must not just use volunteers to fill vacancies, we need God given people who are passionate about the ministry.

"the leadership has determined the ministries of our church -now you need to serve in them"
Consider: God determines the ministries and when and where (in & out). He gives the passion and gifts in us to advance His cause. Believers must be empowered and released to serve out of their passions in and outside the church. Christ followers often burn out because they are not empowered and released to serve in their passions. YOU ARE THE PROGRAM! Do leaders have the right to force Christ followers to serve in anything other than what God desires for them?

"We have written a new mission statement and vision for our church"
Consider: Jesus already gave us His mission for us! That mission is His Great Commission (a co-mission with God and us) to fulfill. The vision is never disconnected from God's Great Commission (Co-Mission) and the vision is the way we corporately and personally fulfill His mission which is already given.

"The Great Commission is only a part of the mission and vision"
The Great Commission must never be on the same level as worship, fellowship and other priorities. As we fulfill the Great Commission (viewed and followed with supremacy) all the priorities for the Church will flow out of our obedience to the Great Commission mandate. You cannot fulfill God redemptive plan without beginning with His predetermined missional mandate for all of us on the platform and in the pew.

"Only those with the gift of evangelism are expected to "make disciples"
Consider: The Mission (co-mission) is given for all of us to personally own. We must all be given to building relationship with the lost. Leading them to Jesus is the easy part and is one you cannot mess up.

"invite your friends to church"
Consider: Inviting people to church has enabled people from inviting people to Jesus. We should live in the world so that people can see Jesus in us, so that Jesus can work through us to redeem them. As they come to Christ they are enfolded into the family and discipled by those who show them the way to Jesus.

"Discipleship programs for new believers"
Often implies a class for new believers to learn "churchiology" instead of what it means to live as Christ followers. We make good "church members" and often not "good Christ followers".

"We must push for quick conversions"
Consider: What would happen if instead we (all church warmers) built relationships with the lost so that they could see in us what it means to become a Christ following disciple. Perhaps we would have more truly transformed converts who are sold out to Jesus if we let God lead it. Maybe those altar calls and cold calls are not really that effective in making disciples that stick! Not to say we should not seize the moments when people are ready to accept Christ, but, we should never get ahead of God. We often harvest when we have not planted, watered and cultivated the fruit. To rush it is like cracking open an egg before it has been incubated.

Can you think of anything I missed.? What have you to say about what I didn't miss?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Prayer request...

Hey Christ followers,

We would invite anyone who would like to help advance the kingdom to pray for our Keystone training in Keystone, South Dakota over the next 11 days. We have leaders flying in today from across the U.S. for this 10 days intensive disciple making - Church multiplication movement training with Richard Greene.

Pastor Terry & Suzette Goodwin from our St. Louis disciple making movement will be present and also helping others in attendance engage this movement of starting with a foundation of making disciples who make disciples leading to God-birthed Churches. This is a critical time for the group attending and we ask that you will pray!

*Pray for Satan to be bound from interfering.
*Pray that the group will be able to attend the entire sessions with no emergencies there or back home.
*Pray that all will be kept safe from illness or injury.
*Pray for those leaders who provide this training, lodging, transportation and meals free of charge through their generosity. Pray for God's blessing upon them.
*Pray for our trainer Richard Greene for health, wisdom, prophetic gifting and anointing as he pours His life and the life and message of Jesus into fertile hearts.
*Pray anything else as the Spirit of God directs you to do so.

Fasting is also appreciated by all who can and desire or are led to do so.

More than appreciative and thankful for you.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Can we?

Can we ever hope to minister effectively in ministry and in obedience if we have not mastered the spiritual disciplines? Could this be part of the problem in America?

What would the church look like if all Christ followers mastered the "inward" and "outward" spiritual disciplines?

What would happen if all pastor/leaders mastered these disciplines? If you think they have, you might be surprised to know how many have not. In my opinion, no ministry student in college or seminary should be allowed to graduate without a track record of discipline mastery.

Let me take it further now that I'm hanging out there! No one will be able to lead a successful disciple (making) driven movement without engaging and mastery over the disciplines. Disciples cannot become mature without the mastery of the disciplines. Here they are:

inward disciplines that benefit us:
Prayer - communicating with God.
Bible Study - understanding the Word of God.
Fasting - deliberately choosing to abstain from something to build spiritual strength and discipline.
Meditation - going deeply into passages of Scripture and memorization.
Journaling - recording your thoughts and events.

outward disciplines that benefit others:
Evangelism - sharing your faith with another person or group.
Stewardship - surrendering my possessions to the Lord.
Serving - having a ministry.
Giving - intentionally giving tithes and offerings.
Living by Faith – walking in the Spirit.

I'd like to thank Terry Goodwin for helping me see the disciplines in a whole new and fresh light. He compiled the list you see above and helped me distinguish the difference between inward and outward spiritual disciples (some for us and some for others).

Give me your thoughts or ideas if you have the time.

If your church is not making disciples...

If you attend a church that cannot or will not make disciples who make disciples, why are you attending there? Is comfort that important to you? Do you value what your church offers you over what Jesus offers those ravaged by sin, like sheep without a pasture. Come on, be honest!

Am I willing to give it all up? Are you, if called upon to do so by Jesus willing to do the same?

My neighbor left his overseas job. (Six figures) His words to me today, "There is a difference in believers overseas than those here in the U.S. The difference is that overseas believers will die for Jesus before they would ever deny Him." Would you die for Jesus? Would the majority of others do the same?

Isn't it refreshing to note that when Jesus is all you have - Jesus is all you and I will ever need.

If your church does not make disciples (personally) , than you need to be convicted for supporting a disobedient Christ community. I don't know about you, but I have no room for anything that leads me away from Jesus!

What thunk you? (intentional misspelling).

Don't wait all year to respond, Please!

I'm sick and it is late! Some Rant & Some Rave

I'm sick of the smoke screen we employ when it comes to doing and being the church! Any of you have this problem?

It is a trap of Satan to get us to focus on the model of our church because as we focus on the model (which is highly westernized and influenced) the mission is often lost, slowed and even destroyed by our own blindness. It's (WHAT) we do and how we live that is more important than the how! Mission is clear! The Vision is about how we fulfill the mission of Jesus. Program it, if you wish, but beware of sloppy fruit and ineffective reproduction over the long haul. We tried the old and it failed. Now let's grab the hands of Jesus and put our feet in His footsteps!

What I thought was right, ended up being wrong! What have you (we) learned along the way. Let's bury the model as the most important thing follow the Scriptural mandates. Is anyone that brave? When God does something it is permanent! When we do it, I am finding it is like wiping the fog off the mirror. Instead we almost worship the model and make the mission secondary, if even that!

Anyone with me on letting God have full control and letting Him make all the decisions? We must never allow those who seek to live in confrontation, anger, and distrust even have a voice. Jesus is our voice and what cannot be done with order and love, need not have much impact. I say all this because congregations are full of leaders who lead out of control and not out of the spiritual depth of their hearts. Am I the only one who ever faced a church boss and lost?

In my past life, I would never show up to Church without a sermon. Anyone else like me? What do you think God would do with absolute trust (without fear and trembling) in what only He could do. Then, what would God's people have to say? Could it be, that it is more about Jesus than it is about us? Do we really think we can do it better in our own strength?

The model or the style or the whatever is not the main task of the church! The mission is! Have we lost our way and am I right to assume that the model has become more important?

What? Can you or even will you?

What did you do this Sunday past Sunday that comes close to making disciples out of the unreached?

Was it the choir number, the sermon, offering, choruses, the greeting time, the special music and whatever all contained in the hour? What changed lives and spurred the congregation on in personally owning the Great Commission?

Too harsh! Tell me where God ever said, sing a choir number, or choruses, or have a greeting time, take an offering and preach a sermon after special music.

Where and when did we learn to do something Jesus never did?

Start moving those lazy fingers and answer my questions , that is, if you have anything at all to say.

Is it wrong to not expect much here?

Did I hear programmed discipleship?

What are you thinking? You cannot program discipleship with a step one, two or three. Are you that out of tune? I tried it for 23 + years and it doesn't work and has never worked. Discipleship is a God driven thing. As you agree to be used of God and as you follow His lead we have relevant one on one discipleship encounters. It's in these moments that as we let go, we will see God engage.

You can not offer a discipleship class and expect God-led and fruit bearing discipling results. If we want changed lives, we need to meet people where they are and then follow the lead of the Holy Spirit where they are! What's hard about this? God does all the work. We just follow Him! Sounds like fun to me!

The first step in discipleship is allowing God to lead us - as He leads them through us. When they find Jesus we lead them in Him. A good first step, immediately upon them finding Christ is always the spiritual disciplines. If they cannot get the personal and public disciplines down they will never produce other Christ followers. We must begin with the inward disciplines and then move to the outer disciplines. As every Christ follower gets the disciplines down they are ready for reproduction of new Christ followers who do the same. If they get the disciplines in order, they will reproduce other new disciples. Is this the answer to our stagnant apathy in the American Church? Are the disciplines the key? I believe so! I am convinced!

Again, what is wrong with this Jesus model? Dump the programmed approach and learn to follow the Spirit of God! If you will, the results and impact will be staggering. Why not do it the way of Jesus and watch the Church in America get out of control.

Then what will we do? We won;t be able to count them, or collect from them or corral them?

What will we do when God steps in and goes for it through us? If you can answer this, you have discovered the key to missional disciple-making out of control movements of God.

Do you have the courage to trust Him. Give me your thoughts on this issue.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

His best post ever...

Our first Disciple-Making Movement leader here in St. Louis (Pastor Terry Goodwin) has just posted what I believe to be his finest and most timely of all posts.

He writes, "In the end I am not about changing the "model" of church. I am looking to finish the Reformation that Martin Luther started. Isn’t it time we cleaned up the corrupt church, killed our consumerism, put our focus on others, and dove into the sinful society after we have prepared ourselves for spiritual battle?

If we have been made priests by Christ to our God and Father then shouldn’t each of us act like it? Revelation chapter one says -

Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood and He has made us {to be} a kingdom, priests to His God and Father--to Him {be} the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen."

Read the entire article "Let's Get Personal" from Terry Goodwin.

The Planter, I hope you read this one.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Secret

A few days ago I read Rhonda Byrne's, "The Secret" on the plane home from Minneapolis to St. Louis. It's a quick read. The book was one thing but when I handed the borrowed copy back the guy sitting behind me, he asked for my comments. Of course I gave them. He replied, "This is a good book. They said it was spiritual. How can something spiritual be bad or dangerous?" I replied, to do what this book recommends carried with it the implication that we do not need God for anything. The book implies and states that we have all that we will ever need inside already inside of us. We have always had the Secret inside of us, they claim.

Below, Antonio Thornton gives a pretty good summary on The Law of Attraction, the theme of "The Secret."

The Law of Attraction - By Antonio Thornton

"By now you may have heard of a phenomenon known as "The Secret". It has been featured on numerous media outlets as well as Oprah and Larry King. While you may know that it is referring to the Law of Attraction, you may not understand what that means.

What is the Law of Attraction? A very simple way to describe it is "like attracts like." This means that whatever thoughts you hold will manifest in results in your life. If you think thoughts of lack and limitation, your life will also be full of lack. If you think only about prosperity, you will become wealthy. One thing that must be remembered is that thoughts become things. Guard your thoughts carefully.

Once you learn this important truth, you must get very clear on what you want. The universe will give you exactly what you ask for. Therefore you must be careful what you ask for. The best way to do this is simply by writing it down. This eliminates any confusion as to what you want. After you write it down, practice feeling what it would feel like to have what you've written. If you wrote down that you want a million dollars, act as if you already have it.

The next step is to nourish your mental vision with only positive influences. You must learn to have a very positive attitude. For starters, don't watch the news anymore. The only things they ever report on are negative things. You won't miss anything. The really important news, you'll hear from people you know. Secondly, don't associate with negative or unsupportive people. If someone thinks you're crazy for believing in the Law of Attraction, just stop hanging out with them. Another thing to watch out for is vicious vocabulary that actually sets you back in your effort. Don't say anything that isn't supportive of your vision.

Next you must utilize the knowledge of others. Like causes produce like effects, so if you can emulate a successful person, do it. Masterminding with others is a great way to get new ideas. Associate with like-minded people. Ask yourself what a successful person would do in a given situation. Would they take the easy way out, or do it right? Then once you have the answer, act as if that person would act.

Additionally, you must continually learn about the Law of Attraction. Read books that support what you want to do also. You can utilize tools such as frequent visualization, affirmations, or exercises. Just make sure to remain focused.

By far, the most important step is to believe in what you're doing. Without belief you will get nowhere. Every moment that you spend entertaining doubt, you are actually moving further away from what you want. See yourself in possession of the good that you desire and believe that it is coming to you.

If you follow these steps, you cannot fail. It's the law."

The Planter: While I read a borrowed copy of "The Secret" I'm ordering my own copy. I want to understand how to help people from falling into the trap of The Secret! The world is hungry for spiritual things and if we do not show them how Jesus satisfies the hunger, other "Secrets" will rise up and offer an artificial alternative.

As I read "The Secret" it became clear that if I adopt this belief system, I really do not need Jesus to do what this book says I can already do without Him.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter, that is, if you have read the book.

Are Christians ready for this?

The Wentzville Journal, Sunday, March 4, 2007 cover article reads: "Are Christians ready for this?" Owners of a new nightclub say county needs some good clean fun. The Exodus, an all-ages night club promoting Christian values and family entertainment, will likely open in the fall.

The $2.5 million 100,000 square foot nightclub is the first of the two phases of an alcohol and smoke free facility to include a cafe, bowling alley, rock-climbing wall, performance area and video arcade, and possibly a cinema.

What is the significance of the question or article title? Are Christians ready for this? What is the meaning behind the question? Good or bad idea?

Log your thoughts!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Where are the parents???

Four teens die in alcohol related accident!

Posted Monday, February 19, 2007, Chuck Goudie, the Daily Herald, Northern, Indiana!

Chuck writes, "There is a word I have used more than any other in my 22 years as a father. It's not a four-letter word that my children have heard me repeat. The word actually has 11 letters.
The word is "unnecessary." I have used it to deny a variety of purchases and activities over the years for all five of my beloved children. From unnecessary toys to taking the car in bad weather to concert tickets; from unnecessary adolescent sleepovers to suspicious lake-house weekends.

This is not to say that I have been a family room tyrant or that my children have been deprived of anything reasonable and substantive. Let's just say they have been wisely protected by an adult who has been there before and knows more than them.

The word "unnecessary" was all I could think of last week as details of the deadly Sunday morning car crash in Oswego became clear. The loss of young lives, the way it happened, the time of night it happened and the events that led up to it were all just so unnecessary.

What are teenagers, some as young as 14, doing out at 2 in the morning? This wasn't prom night, and they weren't part of a supervised, chauffeured after-party.

Witnesses have told Oswego police investigators that the teenagers had been joy-riding in several cars most of the night - most without wea ring seat belts - and that they had been running in and out of a bowling alley, a fast-food restaurant and a movie theater. According to Oswego's police chief, the teenagers ended up at a drinking party "hosted" by the 23-year-old workmate of one of the teenagers. Just unnecessary. All of it. The police and prosecutors will sort out who did what, and those people will pay a heavy penalty because four teenagers died. But that won't bring back any of them or turn back the clock to the time when the unnecessary behavior could have been prevented.

The high-speed crash prompted discussions and debates in the media and at dinner tables across Chicago and the suburbs about teenage drinking and how to stop it and drunken driving crashes. Several West suburban police departments announced an initiative to better patrol suspected teen drinking parties in hopes of stopping trouble before it starts.

Parental Advice: You want to keep your children away from those situations where they might be led into teenage temptation.While I'm no child-rearing expert, and my wife and I have had to juggle our share of problems just like the rest of parental America, we have practiced a few things that might help keep other children safe and alive. Here are a few.

* Sleepovers: Unnecessary. Nothing good comes from them. Young children end up cranky for days. Older kids might use them as cover to stay with boyfriends or get drunk. Or, as apparently was the case with one of the Oswego victims, a sleepover was the perfect party cover.

* Wandering around: Unnecessary. If you have plans, fine. What are they? No plans, no going out. Nothing good can come from riding around in a car looking for something to do.

* Caller ID: When they say they're at someone's house, tell them to call you from the home phone, the one plugged into the wall. On a cell phone, they could be anywhere. On a land-line, your caller ID will tell you where they are.

* No parents, no party: When your teen is going to party, don't just ask them whether the friends' parents will be home. Call the parents and ask. Same with a sleepover.

* Unreliable parent? Just because your child is invited somewhere doesn't mean they have to go. If you know that the parents are drunks, abusive to small animals or keep loaded guns in the living room, keep your kids away.

* No ride, no go: If your teens aren't driving, find out before they leave home how they are getting back. If they don't have a confirmed ride with someone you know, don't let them go. It's just unnecessary.

* Finally, trust. Forget about it. Your trust is not their birthright. Trust isn't genetic, and it's not germane to the debate about your child's survival. Trust only has to be violated once for your kid to land in the lock-up or on the medical examiner's slab. Is it worth it?

Our job as parents isn't to trust that our kids will get home alive. Our job is to fulfill the trust that God has placed in us by loaning us some children for a while. Our job is to live up to the trust that our children have in us - whether they know it or not - to get them to adulthood.

Anything less is just unnecessary."

The Planter: Where are the parents when it comes to being responsible to disciple their own children? Instead they pass that responsibility to the schools, the neighbors and even their church & pastors. In the end, it's still mom and dad's job to raise the kids in the ways of God. How can we miss discipling our own children? Let's raise our own kids, let's not just get them to adulthood, let's lead them to live for Jesus and be prepared for eternity. Parents, we hold the key - let's use it.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Control or out of control - which is your story.

I had the following conversation with a pastor just days ago...

As we met together in a restaurant for our coaching time my friend handed me a long list of outreach ministries the Lord had laid on his heart. It was a very creative list. Then as I concluded reading his list he said, "The problem is that the church won't do anything. No one will do anything. And then when I do have someone to serve the board won't approve the ministry. What can I do?

Interesting set up. I posed these thoughts. Why don't you stop pushing your list and start releasing your congregation to serve in their areas of passion and giftedness in or outside the church as the Lord may lead? And if you have a member who has a creative ministry passion that requires board approval why not have the individual make the presentation to the board. It's there passion so let get a pass on the deal.

The light bulb went on. If people are not excited about your outreach ministry list, let them get excited about what excites them (their passion). If the board is the roadblock to ministries let those with the passion face the board. If the board is turning down your (pastor) requests for ministries you must realize that it is not your job to have the list nor is it your job to present the ministry request. And finally, when did the church board (or pastor) get the authority to decide what is or isn't going to happen through your church ministry?

In the Scriptures it is clear that God leads ministry and it is all about what He wants. As God gives passions to His children and when His children are empowered and released to serve wherever and whenever through those passions - excitement and fulfillment fuels more passion to serve.

Church leaders should never (rarely) decide the ministry/programs the church will or will not approve/promote/allow. It is God's design to equip, empower and release His children to serve in their areas of God-given passion.

Does any of this make sense to you?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Promoting church or Jesus? Does this really happen?

Recent discussion? Her Question: Are we still going to have that neighborhood Bible Study? My Answer: I still want to! My Question: If we do, will you be able to refrain from inviting them to your church? Her Answer: How can I not do that? My Response: It's not going to be about your church -it is going to be all about Jesus!

People often have a phobia about hanging out with the church gang because the church gang carries motives. At least some have in the past. Why are we always the ones making the first move to recruit people to our churches so that our churches can win them to Christ? Why is this good or bad?

Why are we so hell-bent on getting them to "our church" and not heaven - bent on getting them to Jesus?

Is having a Bible study in your neighborhood with motives to get them into your church a possible hindrance or not and why?

Does your church advertise? What?

After our date on Valentine's day, Michelle and I went to see "A Night At the Museum" which was funny and creative and worth the $. Before the show a church add came up on the screen. I see that thing every time I go to the theater. The add is well done, speaks to relationships and is largely attracting people to the church! I often wonder how advertising fits with what we are doing.

Now that I'm in a new paradigm of disciple driven DNA I view advertising through a new lens. What do we have to advertise since we don't have buildings, budgets, better programs or butts in pews (we own no pews or chairs). Advertise what? Then I think, the only thing we have to advertise is Jesus! That's a new idea!

I am intrigued by the massive advertising schemes used to pull people into our churches on Sunday mornings. One guy did a treasure hunt. You have to be in church to get the clue to find the coin at a specific location in order to win the prize. You don't even want to know what the present gig is.

Here's another one and believe me there are many more. The Los Angeles Garment & Citizen ran the following ad. The ad reads:
Are these problems affecting you?
Check the problems that you are facing:
  • Bad luck
  • Loneliness
  • Unemployment
  • Depression
  • Nightmares
  • Addiction
  • Fear
  • Constant headaches
  • Curses
  • Sickness
  • Other ___________

Bring your name
Name: ____________________

Come this Sunday at 10AM to participate in a service of strong prayer.
Receive free of charge THE MIRACLE CLOTH.

Cut out this coupon and bring it with you Sunday morning to receive the Miracle Cloth free.

The ad is topped off with a passage from Acts that appears to support their free miracle cloth offer.

The Planter: What do you think about all of this. What does your church advertise and why?

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