Service

  • painting of Jesus with a lion, on beautiful colorful background with hint of space feeling, lion profile portrait
    The Day Of Zeal (Monday) The Day Of Zeal (Monday)

    The Day Of Zeal (Monday)

The Day Of Zeal (Monday)

It’s Monday, just three short days until Jesus’s crucifixion. What happened on this day in the life of Christ, and what can we learn from it? According to Matthew 21, Mark 11, and Luke 19, Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem to the cheers and excitement of the entire city on Palm Sunday. The following day, upon his return, he visited the Temple area. This was a place that was suppose to be dedicated to God. A place that was suppose to be holy, pure, and a shining example of what the Kingdom of God is like. Instead, it had become full of worldly, deceitful, greedy, and power hungry people. Jesus was not impressed Matthew 21:12–13 (HCSB) —12Jesus went into the temple complex and drove out all those buying and selling in the temple. He overturned the money changers’ tables and the chairs of those selling doves. 13And He said to them, “It is written, My house will be called a house of prayer. But you are making it a den of thieves!” Jesus is zealous for his people and his church. After causing a real commotion in the temple, Matthew records that “the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple complex, and He healed them.”  The children in the temple area praised Jesus  shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David!” causing the chief priests and scribes to become more indignant. And when the time came, Jesus returned to the town of Bethany (about a two-mile walk over the Mount of Olives).  He most likely spent the night in the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. So what can we learn from this day in the life of Christ? We see […]

  • Businessman with cardboard box on his head showing a crying sad expression concept for headache, depression, sadness, heartache or frustration
    God Expects Less God Expects Less

    God Expects Less

God Expects Less

1 Timothy 3:1 (HCSB) —1This saying is trustworthy: “If anyone aspires to be an overseer, he desires a noble work.” Ministry has always been tough. Just ask the Apostle Paul, Timothy, Barnabas, Moses or Jesus. However, modern day ministers are under what I call “the expectation assault.” Over my almost two decades in ministry I have made many great friends who share my calling to serve God’s people.  My observation over these years has been that “the expectation assault” devastates our ranks. Part of the issue is the internet. Thanks to the World Wide Web, Christians today have unlimited access to great teachers, leaders, authors, preachers, and theologians. The result is that believers today expect much more from their local ministers. Below I have composed a list that sums up the expectations many ministers feel compelled to meet daily. 1)   Great Preacher 2)   Great Friend 3)   Great Father or Mother 4)   Great Theologian 5)   Great Thinker 6)   Great Leader 7)   Great Administrator 8)   Great Fund Raiser 9)   Great Comforter 10)  Great Therapist 11)  Great Mediator 12)  Great Role Model 13)  Great Community Organizer 14)  Great Teacher 15)  Compassionate Caregiver 16)  Great Scholar 17)  Great Author 18)  Great Blogger 19)  Great Counselor 20)  Great Website Developer 21)  Great Evangelist 22)  Dynamic 23)  Engaging 24)  Funny 25)  Firm 26)  Loving 27)  Available 24/7 28)  Generous to the point of poverty 29)  Sacrificial to the point of death 30)  Mission Leader 31)  Meeting Moderator 32)  Technical Specialist 33)  Carpenter/Handyman 34)  Groundskeeper 35)  Janitor 36)  Great Psychologist 37)  Expert on World Religions 38)  Master of Apologetics 39)  Master of Languages, especially the easy ones like Greek and Hebrew 40)  Special Event Coordinator 41)  Child Development Expert 42)  Mind Reader/Mentalist […]

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    Beating Burnout Beating Burnout

    Beating Burnout

Beating Burnout

Have you ever felt like the guy in the picture?  Do you feel like that right now?  If so you could be in a phase of life we call burnout.  The good news is burnout does not always have to lead to fallout!  I hear it so frequently in ministry ” I’m burned out!”  Sometimes its a trusted lay leader,  from fellow ministers, or a friend that is just totally zapped from the stress of ministry, work, life or all of the above.  If given the chance to run its course burnout always leads to fallout.  Fallout is when those who are burned out disappear.  In ministry fallout frequently is seen most clearly when a person stops attending church functions.  In other areas of life fallout is expressed when an individual stops showing up for coffee, the weekly staff lunch, or other things they once enjoyed.  Perhaps the most tragic thing about burnout and fallout is that they are totally avoidable.  Doing a few simple things can save the day. Step One: Publicly proclaim your call.  Why did you start this ministry in the first place?  Why did you come to work here twenty years ago?  Why did you pass up other opportunities and chose this path for your life?  Take time to remember the purpose and passion you have for what you are doing.  Then find an appropriate forum to recount you calling to others publicly. Thinking about it is great, saying it verbally to others will do wonders! Step Two: Privately pray! Before, during, and after you do step one you should be in prayer.  Confess your weariness to God.  Ask for help, guidance, comfort, encouragement, and energy.  God already knows whats in […]

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    The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 3 The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 3

    The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 3

The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 3

Over the last three weeks I have been presenting some of the main purposes of God’s church.  As I travel around and speak about the Uncommon Church I am always surprised to learn how many churches don’t understand what the most basic and fundamental purposes of God’s church are. So these posts have been my effort to share nine of them.  In my first post I talked about the purpose of producing disciple, providing resources, and proclaiming the gospel. In my second post I talked about the church’s responsibility to propel missionaries, present proof, and practice holiness.  Today I would like to briefly discuss the last three. To Pray- Every Christian knows that they are suppose to pray, and most of us do.  But I am talking about focused corporate prayer here in this post.  I believe that God hears all of our prayers but He does something special when a church practices uncommon prayer together. In my book The Uncommon Church I talk in detail about the power of uncommon prayer.  When the body of Christ unites together in prayer many wonderful things happen.  We see this in scripture in places like 1 Thessalonians 5:25 when Paul urged the church to pray for him and his companions.  In Acts 12 we see an amazing miracle in the form of a prison escape for Peter and we learn that the church was gathered in prayer for him during his captivity. As individuals we must pray, and as a church body we must pray as well.  Churches should make it a priority to unite their minds and hearts in prayer! To Protect- 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that our enemy is a predator on the prowl!  Like […]

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    Why Leaders Fail…Part 2 Why Leaders Fail…Part 2

    Why Leaders Fail…Part 2

Why Leaders Fail…Part 2

I recently posted part 1 of Why Leaders Fail.  Below you will find the final five reasons many leaders experience failure. They fail to prioritize– This is one I have seen destroy leaders from all walks of life.  When I say they fail to prioritize I am speaking of a failure with their families.  Many leaders both inside and outside the church lead at the expense of their children and spouses.  They miss sporting events, cut vacations short, leave before breakfast, and arrive home after dinner.  Failing on the home front leads to more than just leadership failure, it can lead to the collapse of your family as well. Every leader’s family will suffer in some ways, but no family should have to sacrifice their father, mother, or loving spouse for the sake of leadership. Learn to say no to things, so you can say yes to those who love and need you the most.  Make your family a top priority or face the fate of many failed leaders. They fail to communicate– After you have been a leader for some time, it is easy to start to think that everyone knows what you think.  This is especially true when you lead a single organization, company, or department for an extended period of time.  When a leader assumes everyone understands, they tend to start cutting corners when it comes to communication.  The results of poor communication in this scenario are very slow to mature into real problems, but they always do. Eventually things start to breakdown.  People become frustrated, ill informed, and unaware of the leaders expectations.  Clear, constant, communication is essential for any leader who desires to avoid failure. They fail to acknowledge– When […]

  • dont do it!
    The Uncommon Church Is NOT… The Uncommon Church Is NOT…

    The Uncommon Church Is NOT…

The Uncommon Church Is NOT…

In “The Uncommon Church” we talk a lot about what “The Uncommon Church” looks like, how it functions, makes decisions, and advances the gospel.  The titles of the chapters of the book are below and outline the characteristics of “The Uncommon Church” that are discussed in the book: Chapter 1: Basic Questions Chapter 2: Uncommon Mindset Chapter 3: Uncommon Relationships Chapter 4: Uncommon Prayer Chapter 5: Uncommon Caring Chapter 6: Uncommon Forgiveness Chapter 7: Uncommon Sharing Chapter 8: Uncommon Attitude Chapter 9: Uncommon Giving Chapter 10: Uncommon Commitment Chapter 11: Uncommon Work Chapter 12: Uncommon Discipleship Chapter 13: Uncommon Victory In this post however I want to discuss a few things that The Uncommon Church is not.  There are many misconceptions about what it means to be uncommon and I hope this post will clear some of those up. 1)   “The Uncommon Church” is not always big.  Our culture has become infatuated with numbers and statistics.  The culture of the church has come to believe that big automatically equals success.  We evaluate the success of our programs many times based solely on the number of conversions, or people who attend.  Being uncommon however is not measured in numbers.  There are many small churches that are practicing the Christian faith in a wonderfully uncommon way.  Likewise there are medium and large churches doing the same.  You can’t tell if a church is truly uncommon from the numbers alone, only when you evaluate the people that are represented in those numbers will you find out the degree to which they represent “The Uncommon Church.” 2)   “The Uncommon Church” does not always have the most dynamic, impressive, inspiring, pastor or leader.  Leadership is important for all churches.  However […]

Lessons On Winning

Ready or not here they come! That’s right. It is time for the summer Olympics.  Every four years they roll around and dominate the TV, radio, Internet, newspapers, and conversations around the world.  The Olympics are unique in the fact that for a few weeks the entire world watches and talks about the same thing, day after day.  Starting on Friday, July 27th, the entire world will witness some of our planet’s finest, and fittest athletes.  We can learn many things from these competitors about what it takes to win.  Think about what Paul said to the Corinthians about the Olympians of his day… 1 Corinthians 9:24–27 NET “Do you not know that all the runners in a stadium compete, but only one receives the prize? So run to win. Each competitor must exercise self-control in everything. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. So I do not run uncertainly or box like one who hits only air. Instead I subdue my body and make it my slave, so that after preaching to others I myself will not be disqualified.” Spiritual Lesson #1- Run To Win- It is not enough just to show up. You have to run to win.  Millions will travel to London this summer, but only about 10,000 will actually compete in the games and have a chance at the 900 metals that will be awarded. I am constantly amazed at how many show up spiritually but never actually compete.  When it comes to your family, faith, job, and church you have to run to win! We are not called to spectate, we are called and commanded to participate!  Are you running to win, or just […]

Finish Well (Day 38 Galatians 3:3 NET)

 Although you began with the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by human effort? Galatians 3:3 NET This statement in Galatians 3:3 perhaps describes far too many of us today.  Indeed many start so well, walking in the Spirit with Christ on a daily basis, overcoming obstacles and temptations through the spirit, serving, witnessing, and living life to it’s fullest with the Spirit.  Then somehow, for some strange reason, at some point in our walk with the Spirit, we start to attempt things on our own with our own flesh.  Some of these things turn out well and then we are even quicker the next time to forsake the bond we have with the Spirit and attempt more things through our human effort.  I don’t know why this happens, when it happens, or even how it happens, but I see it all to frequently in the lives of believers.  To be honest I have seen it in my own life and it is a dreaded cancer that spreads so quickly if we fail to identify it and treat it aggressively.  Consider all that you have done today, what was attempted in the Spirit and what was done through human effort?  Truth be told much of what we attempt is not done in the Spirit, in fact we seldom consult, or consider spiritual things at all in our daily lives.  This is true of both the clergy and the congregation at large.  I have considered these words today and decided that my days are to few to be wasted attempting to accomplish them with my own  effort.  I desire to maximize my impact on this world for the Kingdom of God and this can’t be […]

The Danger of Service (Day Fifteen Luke 10:40)

But Martha was distracted with all the preparations she had to make, so she came up to him and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work alone? Tell her to help me.” (Luke 10:40 NET) Read the words of Charles Spurgeon below on the text above… Her fault was not that she served: the condition of a servant well becomes every Christian. “I serve,” should be the motto of all the princes of the royal family of heaven. Nor was it her fault that she had “much serving.” We cannot do too much. Let us do all that we possibly can; let head, and heart, and hands, be engaged in the Master’s service. It was no fault of hers that she was busy preparing a feast for the Master. Happy Martha, to have an opportunity of entertaining so blessed a guest; and happy, too, to have the spirit to throw her whole soul so heartily into the engagement. Her fault was that she grew “cumbered with much serving,” so that she forgot Him, and only remembered the service. She allowed service to override communion, and so presented one duty stained with the blood of another. We ought to be Martha and Mary in one: we should do much service, and have much communion at the same time. For this we need great grace. It is easier to serve than to commune. Joshua never grew weary in fighting with the Amalekites; but Moses, on the top of the mountain in prayer, needed two helpers to sustain his hands. The more spiritual the exercise, the sooner we tire in it. The choicest fruits are the hardest to rear: […]

Flying Solo…

I took my first flying lesson when I was 16 years old.  I was hooked from day one!  To this date the scariest flying experience I ever had was the day I first flew solo.  The sky was blue and a calm wind out of the south blew straight down the runway.  These were perfect conditions for my first solo flight.  The instructor had accompanied me on several landings and then said “you’re ready to solo.”  I was so excited as I dropped him off near the hanger and began to taxi away by myself for the first time.  When I got to the end of the runway and started going through my checklist the excitement grew even stronger.  I was so ready!  I made the radio call and on to the active runway I went.  As I pushed the throttle all the way down and started to roll down the runway I was smiling so BIG and almost overcome totally with joy.  However, something very strange happened as I left the ground.  All of a sudden it dawned on me, I was all alone!  My excitement and joy quickly turned to a very nervous anticipation.  What if something went wrong? What if I could not land?  What if I mess up?  There was no longer the accountability, security, and safety of having someone else in the plane to ensure I would survive.  While I was confident in my ability to fly, it was a nerve-wracking experience to be alone. It is acceptable to fly solo as a pilot, however, flying solo spiritually will always lead to certain disaster.  I am always astonished and amazed when I take a close look at the lives of […]

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