Monthly Archives: May 2012

Poteet ISD removes Invocation and Benediction

Some things drive me nuts!  The story below is a good example. Go to www.pleasantonexpress.com and vote in their poll question.  You might be surprised to see how many people agree that prayer should not be apart of a graduation ceremony.   I bet 99.9% of those kids prayed during their finals, and prayed during the S.T.A.R. test, and I think it might be a good idea to pray for them before we send them out into the real world as well.  Personally I believe prayer works and if the kids of today are anything like I was on my graduation day they will need all the prayer they can get.

From Church Planter To Church Pastor

The Cowboy Fellowship of Atascosa County is a high impact, soul winning, church starting congregation. It was a decade ago when I first joined the core team and we set out to plant a successful church.  God moved in amazing ways in the early years of our church plant and He continues His amazing work to this very day.  As a result I have personally taken part in helping start a dozen other churches over the past ten years.  One of the major problems many church planters face is knowing when they are no longer a church planter.  There comes a time in the life of every church plant when you are no longer a church plant, but instead you are viewed simply as being a church.  This transition can be difficult to spot because it has little to do with attendance, tithes, or the size of your staff.  Generally, the only way to know when this transition takes place is to watch and listen for cues from the community that surrounds your church.  When the community at large no longer views you as being the new church in town, then the transition has probably taken place. As the leader of a church plant if you fail to recognize this transition and adjust your leadership you will find nothing but frustration and disappointment as you try to lead like a church planter, when in reality you are now a church pastor.  Below are a few of the differences I noticed as I made the transition from planter to pastor. Planters evangelize future disciples, pastors disciple future evangelists. When you first plant a church as the leader you are the main, and in many cases the […]

7 Factors to Break the 1,000 Barrier | HighPower Resources

7 FACTORS TO BREAK THE 1,000 BARRIER By: Dr. Bill Miller Most pastors are very familiar with the 200 barrier. Especially given the fact that 85% of churches in America are at or below the 250 mark. (The terms ‘200 barrier’ is a general term for a swath of attendance range between 150-250, depending upon your local church issues.) Not as many have given thought to the 1,000 barrier. What are these ‘barriers’? Is this a ‘real thing’? Yes, it is. Here’s why. Each of these terms refer to real and existing demographic, cultural, and physical inhibitors which prevent a church from ministering to a certain number of people. The 200 Barrier is the most commonly understood one. The number one issue which prevents a church from moving beyond 200 is that it has systems set up which keep the church as a ‘single-celled’ organism. Chiefly among these are factors like: only one worship service, only one pastor focused on adults, lack of small groups. The 1,000 Barrier is also real. Like the ‘200 barrier’ the ‘1,000 barrier’ refers to a wide swath of attendance range, anywhere from 800 to 1,100 people. Many churches experience the realities of this demographic barrier closer to the 800 range, than at 1,000. But the factors are the same. Here are 7 Factors which you need to address in order to break the 1,000 Barrier. Assimilation Process You must have a repeatable system to welcome people into your church, then into membership, then into service and community. That is four different parts of a good assimilation system: Welcome, Membership, Service, Community. If you cannot get them into Community, they will be slipping out the back door within a year. […]

How should I decide if or when to change churches?

I recently ran across the article below and thought it was worth passing on.  I have never read the book “What People Ask About The Church” but if this short selection is any indication of the rest of the work it would be worth a read in my opinion.  This article makes some great points.

Christian Camouflage

“No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a hidden place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 11:33 NET Should the word Christian and camouflage ever be used in the same sentence?  Generally when you use camouflage for its intended purpose you are attempting to conceal something from someone else.  I suppose there are a few legitimate reasons to conceal your faith.  For example believers that live in foreign countries are sometimes forced to deliberately conceal their identity or they run the risk of imprisonment or even death. The underground churches around the world that find themselves in these situations however they can’t fully camouflage themselves otherwise the Gospel would never spread. I have noticed an increasing number of camouflaged Christians lately.  I am not sure if the number of such people is actually increasing or if God is just making me more aware of them for some reason.  These people deliberately hide their faith from others, and they have no good reason to do so.  They conceal their beliefs even to the point of acting like unbelievers.  Most of them do it in an attempt to please other people, and gain their approval.  Some put on their camouflage before they head to school, others before they go to work, or local grocery store.  Many feel they must hide their faith before heading out on a Friday or Saturday night.   This seems strange to me and inconsistent with the Christian faith. Of all of the world’s religions Christianity is certainly the most open and transparent.  The Bible encourages all believers to live and walk as Jesus walked.  Jesus practiced his ministry […]

From this… to that…

So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away–look, what is new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17 NET Today my baby boy turns 4!  It is so hard to believe how fast these four years have flown by.  Many things have changed in my son’s life since he was first brought into this world four years ago.  Despite being a very healthy baby boy, like all babies he was unable to perform the simplest tasks his first few weeks, and months of life.  His mother and I had to do everything from hold his head up; to feeding and changing him just to make sure he survived.  Today he eats by himself, uses the restroom like the rest of us, gets himself dressed, puts his own shoes on (sometimes on the wrong feet but still it’s a big deal) and helps clean up around the house. Today he talks (a lot I might add), walks, climbs, and jumps.  He is able to solve problems, think outside the box, create new things, use his wonderful imagination, write his own name, and memorize scripture.  So much has changed! I am reminded that as spiritual children we too should mature and change over time.  As Babes in Christ we are only able to do certain things and understand certain truths, however this should not always be the case.  Overtime we are supposed to mature, grow, and develop as Disciples of Christ.  So have you?  Or do you still need someone to hold your head up, spoon feed you, change your diapers, and explain every little thing to you?  There are many days that I wish my son would slow […]

The Church Under Attack

WOW have you heard about this?  What a crazy world we live in, I can’t believe the way they justified making this decision.  I am sure the schools don’t let the Christian churches use their facilities on Wednesday night because the buildings are being used.  If other people want to use the school they should move their events or services to Sunday as well.  I don’t get stuff like this!  I have hope nonetheless every time the church has been scattered over the last 2,000 years the Kingdom has expanded exponentially.  I believe God will use this for His Glory!  Read the article below if you want to know all the details about this…

What People Are Saying About The Absolute Basics of Christianity

I recently sent out emails and letters to pastors, theological scholars, and respected leaders in the Christian community asking them to review The Absolute Basics of Christianity prior to the publishing of the 2nd edition later this year.  Not all of the reviews are in yet but I have been honored and humbled by the comments so far.  If you have not taken the time to do this study I would encourage you to order a copy and go through it with some people in your church.  You can read what some others had to say about the book below. _______________________________________________________________ Pastor Pete Pawelek effectively combines scholarship with practical application in his two-volume Bible study,  The Absolute Basics of Christianity. One of the many advantages of the two creative workbooks is their encouragement of the often neglected discipline of memorizing Scripture. In addition, when a participant has completed the exercises in both volumes, those hand-written exercises actually become a personal spiritual journal for future reflection. The 575 pages in the Bible study may appear a daunting challenge – especially to a new believer — but the thoroughness and inclusiveness of the content justify its length. Pawelek’s workbooks would be a helpful device for a pastor who wants to lead his flock – whether they are “new believers or seasoned saints” – to better understand and live out their faith in Christ. Dr. Russell H. Dilday Chancellor, B. H. Carroll Theological Institute ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Pete Pawelek’s “Absolute Basics of Christianity” is an excellent, invaluable tool for disciplining believers. It is a must for the serious pastor.  Dr. Richard Jewel Rose Holy Trinity Missionary Baptist Church, Houston ________________________________________________________________________________________ As I began looking at material for a new discipleship […]

Four Inhibitors to Church Growth | HighPower Resources

Four Inhibitors to Church Growth By Bill Miller Hey All, Just wanted to address some growth inhibitors which your church could be facing. I am calling them ‘inhibitors’ rather than ‘barriers’ because the phrase ‘growth barriers’ is usually applied to things like the 250, 500, or 800 barrier. The following four issues which I am going to address can actually occur at any size church. If they are not addressed they will drag you down, slow you down, and generally create a lot of ministry friction and distraction which will inhibit the growth of your church. Church Growth Inhibitor #1: Debt Financial debt will inhibit the growth of your church in two primary areas: First it will limit staff expansion. Staff expansion is one of the key factors to help your church grow, remain healthy and make disciples, so it is kind of important to address. But if you are too busy paying for previous debts (usually from poorly financed building campaigns) then you cannot finance the staff you need to grow to the next level. The second way in which debt will slow down your church growth is by cutting off your ability to do facility expansion. And if you can’t fit them in the building (whether you own one, or whether you are renting several multi-site campuses), then you can’t grow. So managing your finances is a long-term growth strategy because it puts your church in the position to jump on opportunities. That’s a good reason to have at least a three month operating budget contingency fund. This is not only to cover expenses during lean times, but also to jump on opportunities when they come along. If you have access to ready […]

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