Friday, November 21, 2008

Random thoughts by Bill Hull

Random thoughts on Evangelical Seminaries:

1. Seminaries do not provide students with a scriptural based philosophy of the Church on which to build a ministry.

2. The student will learn what Church is - but not what the Church does."

3. They do not teach pastors to lead Churches to make disciples who make disciples without polarizing the congregation.

4. Pastors are ill equipped to lead existing church into becoming disciple making churches.

The Planter's random thoughts on the thoughts above. Yes Bob has to comment! You must not be surprised here.

1. We need to see the Church as Jesus does... I like to look to China or Africa for a glimpse into what Jesus sees and desires for His Church worldwide.

2. I'm not convinced the students are ever given a correct understanding of who the Church is and if they did understood that - the doing part would become a natural outflow in our lives. We are taught how to become a great American Church with all the bells and whistles. But, we are powerless and our members are not truly "the captives who are set free".

3. You cannot lead existing Churches into total obedience and personal ownership of the Great Commission (with results and accountability) without polarization. We have called our members into something else when they joined our Churches. For the most part they didn't sign on for personal disciple making and total consecration to God with full freedom in Christ. Because of this, I am unemployable in the modern American Church arena. I insist on total consecration that leads to full freedom in Christ and personal ownership of the Great Commission. (Don't get me wrong, I am not looking for another modern American Church to pastor.)

4. If Pastors were equipped to lead modern American Churches in becoming disciple making Churches where the Great Commission is the main thing with Holy Spirit power to lead people into consecrated freedom in Christ - they can't! The membership demands on them, the maintenance of programs, the demands to attract more and more people along with the business demands on them to lead the organization leaves them overwhelmed with no time left to do the main thing.

Finally, I'm looking for leaders (young and old) who long to see the power of God unleashed and to learn how to lead disciples through a consecration process that leads to "captives being totally set free" who are also leading others into the same victory.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This deserves discussion...

Deadly Detours?
Excerpt from a blog post by Hank Lamb

In 1993 Dr. Os Guinness, of the Trinity Forum Christian think tank in Washington, ...said that the Church needs to get back to "the first things of the Gospel."

Before I mention what these "first things" are, let me share what they are not. Bob Briner catalogued them quite succinctly in his compelling book, Deadly Detours: Seven Noble Causes that Keep Christians from Changing the World. He proclaimed seven deadly detours the church had taken during the 1980s and early 1990s. Here they are:
1. Squabbling over prayer in public school
2. Making Jesus a right-winger
3. Thwarting the homosexual agenda
4. Fighting other Christians over doctrinal purity
5. Shutting down the abortion clinic
6. Cleaning up Christian television
7. Fighting for family values
The first things of the Gospel are (1) that Jesus came and (2) that his kingdom is not of this world. Bob Briner says, "When we forget either of these, when we fail to build our lives and our ministries around them, we cease to be truly evangelical, and we inevitably take deadly detours and miss heavenly highways."

The Planter: Do you think Bob Briner is correct in his conclusion that the two things above (in bold) are the right first things first?

What do you think about Dr. Os Guinness and his comments above?

Humor me

I had Jury selection duty yesterday. I arrived at 8:30 a.m. with 200 others. They were selecting jurors for three trials. My group had over 60 people in it. We were released from the selection process at 7:30 p.m. Of course it was a total waste of my time and others as well. Since I'm still an ordained pastor and having served as Law Enforcement Chaplain for two departments I'm not getting picked, especially in a child molestation case.

It was a circus and the defense attorney was a real piece of work. If it wasn't so painful it would have been hilarious. I did get to meet allot of people and I guess that makes up for it.

But what about this story...A Rooster get's Illinois

Rooster arrested in Benton, Ill.
Becky Malkovich

BENTON, Ill. -- A rooster played chicken in the wrong town.

That's the word from the downstate community of Benton, where police took a rooster into custody after it allegedly confronted a woman and her child.

Police Chief Mike O'Neill says the rooster has been bothering people lately, trying to keep them from getting where they want to go.

O'Neill says officers had enough on Monday and took the rooster into custody after what he described as a brief scuffle.

Nobody was injured and the rooster was thrown in an enclosed area near the police department. There, it lived on chicken feed and water until police located the owner. Chickens aren't allowed to live in Benton and the rooster was turned over to the owner only after he promised to find it a new home in the country.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Would you like to help raise Next Generation Leaders?

Dear friends,

I have some staggering news for you. Of all the teens who grow up in the Church only 4% stay in the Church. We are losing the younger generations and something must be done. Don’t you agree?

In Disciple Driven Church and Sun Ministries we have a solution that will engage the hearts of young adults and release a small army to reach their own generation. This coming summer we are taking Next Generation college age students to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to do an extensive Disciple Making Internship. While focusing on their personal consecration to God (spiritual development) we will also train each of them how to multiply disciples & launch movements among their own generation.

I’m helping to raise funds for this project through our Spiritual P.O.W. Dog Tag Program. You can learn more about Spiritual Prisoners Of War dog tags at the link below. We also have a fundraiser partnership if you want to raise funds for other Christian organizations as well.

We plan to take 30 students this year and even more next year.

Here’s how you can help us.
1. Pray for the Internship and those attending
2. Purchase & promote the sale of our P.O.W. dog tags.
3. Please visit Sun Ministries, INC and place your own online order today.

Thanks for you support, everyone makes a difference!

Bob Carder

Thursday, November 13, 2008

YouTube - What if Starbucks Marketed Like a Church? A Parable.

YouTube - What if Starbucks Marketed Like a Church? A Parable.

Sojourner writes

When Church Services Leave People Still Needing Church

During a recent conversation, friends were telling me about their journey back into the life of the Church, and of their experiences visiting various congregations. One of these experiences easily stood out from the others:

It was a Sunday morning, and after loading their kids into the car they drove out to one of the larger, and fairly well known churches in their town. Once inside they felt overwhelmed by the performance-oriented "praise band", the constant use of the "big screen", and rally-like "feel" of the entire service. As my friend put it, "I got out of there feeling like I needed to go to church!"

The point, of course, is that much of what is marketed and portrayed as "church" ends up being something less than that. And today's postmodern population is figuring that out.

Yes, my friend was raised in the church, and was exposed to worship styles both liturgical and contemporary. But like so many -- young adults in particular -- he finds solace and comfort and strength from participating in liturgical worship and especially appreciates the ancient-future blend that characterizes the worship gatherings where I serve.

We evangelicals in particular have done violence to many of the ancient traditions of our faith, handed down to us through the centuries. In their place, we have appealed to business and marketing models for doing church, and have used pop-psychology and political correctness as a measuring stick. And although many of us are probably sick and tired of hearing how the Church's effectiveness and witness has been compromised by consumerism, materialism, and radical individualism -- the story of my friend's experience is a painful reminder that we certainly have done violence to the Church, and to her reputation. How sad, that people would come desiring to worship God along with His people, only to leave feeling like what they just experienced wasn't even worship!

Have we slipped THAT far? Are we THAT blind? Are church leaders even open to the idea that we've got it wrong, or is it just easier to blame everything on consumer-oriented congregants? See sojourner for more.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tell me, please...we need to address this!

Tell me what you think about the following statement I made in a previous comment section.

"If you fail to lead believers into full consecration to God you will also fail to lead them into being totally set free."

Set free from what? Examples: Sins we repented from, bondage, Satanic strong holds, generational sins, possession/oppression, open doors that need to be shut, replacing the lies of the enemy with the truth of God, anything that keeps us from being fully consecrated to God.

Jesus came to set the captives free, why then are so many believers still living in bondage from the past and not victorious in the present? Why then are so many professing believers not really free?

Friday, November 07, 2008

I recommend this excellent book and it's free

From "The Simple/House Church Revolution" Book by Roger Thoman . The entire book can still be downloaded here.
I appreciate Rogers attempts to redefine the Church and her mission and doing it for free. Who does that these days? Thanks to Roger and Simple House Church for doing this for us. Also, at the end of this excerpt from the book I offer some thoughts on disciple-making. I am overall very impressed with this work.

"Church according to Miriam-Webster’s online dictionary:
1: a building for public and especially Christian worship
2: the clergy or officialdom of a religious body
3: a body or organization of religious believers: as a: the whole body of Christians b: denomination c: congregation
4: a public divine worship

Webster defines church according to the way this word is used today. I was taught this same definition as a little boy when I would put my hands together and recite the rhyme: “Here is the church, and here is the steeple; open the door and here are all the people.”

Jesus, however, introduced the term “church” with a very different meaning in mind. He used a word “ekklesia” that simply described a group or assembly of people. This is the original definition of the word. He described “church” as those people who were following Him—people walking in allegiance to him. People. His followers. Nothing more than that.

Jesus did not spend much time describing how to organize his people together or how to do meetings. Rather, his focus was on a lifestyle of loving others and obeying Him: “Go into all the world…” “Let your light shine…” “Do what you see the Father doing…” “Love one another…” Church, as defined by Jesus, was simply his followers living life for and with him.

Over the years, however, the word “church” began to include the many structures and forms that we added to the original meaning:
• Public meeting places (buildings or storefronts)
• Organizations of believers who get together to be led by a worship team and preached to by a pastor
• Denominations that we join

But, as John Eldredge reminds us:
Church is not a building. Church is not an event that takes place on Sundays. I know, it's how we've come to think of it. ‘I go to First Baptist.’ ‘We are members of St. Luke's.’ ‘Is it time to go to church?’ Much to our surprise, that is not how the Bible uses the term. Not at all. No. Not at all. Church is God’s people—those who are choosing to live life with Jesus… 24/7. That is it. Nothing more.

But don’t God’s people gather together? Yes. We do see gatherings take place in Scripture. Many gatherings. Most often informal and simple. Normally in homes (Romans 16:5). Everyone participated (1 Corinthians 14:26). They functioned as spiritual families that cared deeply for one another (Romans 12:10). Yet the focus of the church (God’s people) was a lifestyle of Jesus-following, rather than organizing events, attending programs, or joining organizations.

Perhaps the best way to describe the church of the New Testament is as small, vibrant, caring families of believers who are loving others and reproducing themselves into every corner of the world."

The Planter: This is a refreshing book, full of Truth! The author places far too much emphasis on House Churches, in my opinion. How we meet is not the important thing, we can meet as the Body anywhere. The heart of Jesus and His mission is the important thing. I appreciate the fact that he makes claim that all believers should make disciples, but he leaves out bringing new believers through a deliberate consecration/deliverance from sin process. Let me explain, Jesus came to set the captives free and in our disciple making movement here in St. Louis we insist that every believer be taken through a consecration process that leads to deliverance from sin, bondage, strongholds, open doors, demonic activity and the lies of the enemy are replaced with the Truth of God's Word. We have discovered (it took me long enough to see, too long) that without a consecration/deliverance emphasis the new follower isn't totally free to be victorious and nor is he/she Holy Spirit empowered. For us, this is the main thing in disciple making. Now that we have done this our new disciple makers having gone through a consecration/deliverance process are now leading their new disciples through the same. It is part of our disciple making culture.

In the end, we don't just have disciples who profess Christ, we have consecrated disciples who have victory over sin, strong accountability and Holy Spirit power in their lives. This is the really cool part. With the consecration element of our discipleship process we have solid Christ followers who obey Jesus regardless of the cost. Becoming a disciple of Jesus is not reduced to saying a sinners prayer but more about being totally consecrated to Him.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

After praying I must post this...STINGING COLUMN!

First let me say that Obama is a God placed leader for our future. I support him and so should all of us. He will be our next President if God wills it.

I have come to believe that the ineffectiveness of the Republican Party to be the direct result of the ineffectiveness of the modern American Church. When the church decided to move out of the larger cities of America - the needs of the people we are supposed to meet; the poor,the widows and orphans went largely unmet. The very people God warned us to take care of- are the people the church has largely forsaken. I didn't even mention that the church is not changing society! What happened to our light and salt and ability to lead people into consecration and freedom in Christ? That's another column.

Then came Obama, and he gave the homeless,widows, orphans and the poor a tremendous hope and he spoke to their needs and in return they (and others of course) rose up and elected him the next President of the United States. It was the people the church ignored who made a difference in this election. They spoke! We should listen. God is speaking, are we listening?

The thing that saddens me is that I have contributed to the ignorance of real needs in real places. I repent of that, but I also promise to never again ignore the people God told us to pay attention to. He cares about the poor, the needy, the homeless, the orphans and widows. I'm glad they will have an advocate in the White House. I know they have an advocate in heaven! Obama spoke to their needs and they heard him. They are not hearing the Church in America this way. Where is the voice and compassion of Jesus?

I just pray that the Church in America will wake up and take our rightful place in declaring the Glory of God by meeting the needs of people, the physical and spiritual, of those who all matter to God.

The Conservative Republican Party is where she is today because the modern American Church is where she is today, both are ineffective to meet the real needs of society. There is a correlation. We believers bear responsibility for not making a difference in the darkest and hardest places in America. We know the need is present - we have just come to ignore it. God, please forgive me, please!

To see what we are doing in Disciple Driven Church and Sun Ministries check us out.

You can help us make a difference. We need your help! Will you help us?

Chuck Coleson, "The Day After: Pray for our President and Nation"

The Day After
Pray for Our President and Our Nation
November 5, 2008
Whether you voted for Barack Obama or John McCain, whether you’re recovering from your all-night celebration or drying the tears from your pillow, today’s a good day to remember the words of the apostle Paul: “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:1-3).

And the new President will surely need our prayers because he and his administration face huge, serious challenges to the health of our nation and to peace in the world—challenges that, in my opinion, neither he nor any government on earth will have the power to overcome without divine aid.

How has America come to this point? Why is our economy on the brink of disaster? Why is our culture so utterly depraved?

I can only think of what Alexandr Solzhenitsyn said about the catastrophic consequences of the Russian revolution. “I recall,” he said, “hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.”
Solzhenitsyn was right. Indeed, I can’t find any better explanation for why we Americans find ourselves in the state we are in. We have forgotten God.
We have also forgotten that American democracy—indeed Western Civilization itself—is the product of the Judeo-Christian understanding of God and humanity. Without that revelation that man is created in the image of God, our founders never would have recognized the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Indeed, as I and others like Rodney Stark have argued, modern science and education, liberal democracy, capitalism flourished in Western civilization precisely because of the Judeo-Christian worldview.

The attacks on Christianity these days are only going to intensify in the months ahead. But we must press on all the more to make a winsome witness. Those who would banish Christianity from American life are risking the very survival of American society.

Friends have asked me whether this economic crisis is God’s judgment upon us. I don’t know.
As I’ve re-read the Old Testament prophets recently, I couldn’t help but notice the recurring theme: The people of God turned away from Him and worshipped false idols. The result was always disaster.
Is God responsible for credit markets collapsing around the world? No. We’re responsible. Because instead of worshiping God, we’ve worshipped false idols of the marketplace, credit card companies and cheap mortgages. We’ve put our own appetites over our duties to God and neighbor.

So this is no time for Christians to go into the bunkers. No time to wail or moan over our retirement plans. This is a time to repent, to pray more, to give more. It’s a time for Christians to lead, encourage, and minister to a faltering country in a faltering economy.

This is a time for the Church to get serious about Christian discipleship. Enough cheap grace.

So pray for the new President and his administration. But most of all, my brothers and sisters, this is a time to love our neighbors and to hunger for God and His righteousness.

The Planter: Pointing out the ineffectiveness of the modern American Church is not the same as attacking Christianity. Christ followers must speak out against anything that undermines the cause and mission of Christ. If we are ineffective as the modern American Church, and we are, let's admit it and roll up our sleeves and get back in business for Jesus.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

"Simple House Church Revolution" by Roger Thoman writes

First let me say that I agree with Roger in his book that we need another type of leadership rather than hierarchical to support and strengthen free flowing movements of God.

Roger writes, "Shifting from hierarchical leadership to a serving and empowering type involves real change.

From my control to trusting the Spirit's control
From displaying one's own gifts to recovering the gifts of others
From guiding to making room for the Spirit to guide
From vision-leading to awakening the visions of others
From priest to a company of priests
From trying to be God's mouthpiece to helping others hear from God
From titles and positions to servants of no repute"

I thought this might help you get your mind off McCain losing the election. Ha Ha

Powerful Quote by Priscilla Shirer

"In the first century Palestine Christianity was a community of believers. Then Christianity moved to Greece and became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome and became an institution. Then it moved to Europe and became a culture. And then it moved to America and became a business. We need to get back to being a healthy, vibrant community of true Christ followers."

What do you think?

Molong Nacua, wrote an article entitled “Being Church”

"Church is where Christ lives, not the place where we meet. It is
Christ-empowered people, a kingdom of priests for the purpose
of winning against the works of the devil and establishing God's
Kingdom (1 Cor. 3:17; Matt. 18:19; Ex. 19:6)… Christianity is not
about doing church, but being the church. Church is not some
place to go to participate in, but it is about being who you are in
Christ and thus experiencing His real life in you. Your
Christianity was never defined by attending a particular church. It
is defined by Christ in you. In other words, you are a Christian
24/7, not because you participate in a two-hour worship service,
but because Christ lives in you every minute of every day."

Now let's pray for him

Now that we have a new President elect, Barack Obama, let's pray for he and his family and the decisions he has to make before he is sworn in as President in January.

I'm just praising God that Hillary isn't our new President. Ha Ha!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

the election

I'm just not ramped up like I used to be at election times like these. While I will be voting in a little while, I am just not concerned like everyone around me seems to be. I don't think it's apathy, I really believe that I have grown to see more important matters to get riled up about. They are spiritual matters. They are matters of eternal life and death for the human soul.

1. We are not electing the Savior of the world, we already have One.
2. We are not electing someone to fix our spiritual problems. They are personal, not national.
3. Our hope is not found in our next President, our hope is found in Jesus, who left His Holy Spirit to lead us in our consecration to God.

TODAY, I am declaring to the physical world and to the Spirit realm that God is God and that He alone is God. The election doesn't change that Truth. Our nation will not be worse or better because of the election results, our world will be worse or better based on our individual response to God. The answer to sin of all forms from gossip to abortion is found inside the human heart and through our willingness to obey or not obey God fully. Really the answer to our nations woes has always been present, God is God and He alone is God. Let's declare His glory and let's fully consecrate ourselves to Him in full and complete obedience.

I'm finding that some who profess Jesus and those who do not have a similar problem. It's a consecration problem. Are we fully and I mean totally consecrated to God in complete obedience? Does sin turn your stomach when you see it in your life?

On this election day 2008, it not a national problem,it's an individual problem, that we all face. Does you life declare before the world that God is God and He alone is God. Is your life so full of God that even the demons fear you?

God intends for all believers to be so full of Him that those around us including the demons are shaken with the Truth, as demonstrated through us, that God is God and He alone is God.

Monday, November 03, 2008

I really believe

I really believe people can see our real hearts during an election time. I am appalled at some of the things I have heard people say about this or that person.

Let's respect the rights of others to vote for their candidates of choice. It is a right we all have come to appreciate. Before and after the election let's show the love of Christ and the power of the God to those near us. Let's also understand that some may be blinded or confused by the enemy in their choices. None of us are above missing something important here.

Let's try to see into the Spirit Realm and not just the Physical. God is orchestrating His glory in the Spirit Realm regardless of this election results. God placed us here as Christ Followers to declare His glory to all humankind and also to those demons who oppose Christ and us. If the Glory of God is not declared through our lives - we have failed to live our purpose for God.

Our chief task as believers is to reveal to the physical and spiritual world through our lives that God is God and He alone is God. Do those in the Spiritual and Physical realms see the Glory of God in power demonstrated through your life and mine?

When the demons - the enemies of God see us - are they convinced that the God we serve is God and that He alone is God? Do they see the power of the Holy Spirit? Do they run and hide their faces from our presence for fear of God's presence? We were made with a purpose to prove to the demons and the lost that God is at work in our lives, that He alone is the One true God at work in our lives.

In light of these thoughts - are the election results really that important? Or is something more important here? Don't get me wrong, we should all exercise our rights and responsibilities to vote. But really, God is still in control and God's glory must be displayed in our lives regardless of the election results. If God's glory is not being displayed in and through our lives, what then are we here for?

Is God's glory being revealed before those in the physical and spiritual realms this election period? While a neighbor of mine (a believer) placed her McCain/Palin sign in her yard, days later she became angered because another neighbor put a Obama/Biden sign in their yard. She later told me that they definitely placed the Obama sign out of spite.

See what I'm talking about? I don't care who votes for who - a neighbor is my neighbor and my friend and someone God loves and wants me to love. I want the Glory of God to be displayed on my street.

Regarding credibility

The Truth: Ron Teed of Christian Networking speaks for Truth!

In October, 2008, stories began circulating via forwarded emails that the popular urban legends site was owned by liberals and was "in the tank" for presidential candidate Barack Obama.

As with many forwarded emails, the criticism did not include any example of what the writer of the email claimed was the difference between what reported and what Barack Obama had actually said. is an excellent site that has become an authoritative source for information about urban legends and forwarded emails. We regard David and Barbara Mikkelson, the founders and operators of, as colleagues and professional researchers who have earned a good reputation for what they do.

We can give a unique perspective on this story because we do the same kind of work as and have sometimes been the target of similar criticism.

We've got a collection of emails that have come to accusing us of being "right wing whackos" as well as "liberals" and "communists." We've been suspected of being owned and operated by both Republicans and Democrats. We've been called "Christian propagandists" as well as "atheists pretending to be neutral." We occasionally receive emails that have elaborate theories about who "really" owns us and what our "real" motives are.

The bottom line is that if you try to report the truth, there will be those who don't like the truth you've reported and who will develop suspicions about why you did.

That, in our view, is what is happening with Snopes.
The 2008 presidential campaign has been one of the most intense and unique in our nation's history and has prompted more political eRumors than any presidential campaign in our experience, especially about Barack Obama.
These anti-Snopes emails have probably been prompted by someone who does not like Barack Obama and does not like the fact that Snopes (or for that matter) has debunked some of the emails that are not true about him.

One of the versions of the eRumor mentions and recommends our site. We appreciate that, but we want to say for the record that we've had nothing to do with this eRumor about and we condemn it.

THE PLANTER: As Christ followers let's let people see the credibility of Christ in our lives. Who I vote for is my business. But defaming someone has to be the business of Satan! Are there really Christ followers who do not want to hear the Truth? Are there those among our ranks who oppose Truth? I think you know the answer to that question.

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