Our role as leaders of Jesus’ sheep involves giving people direction, even in the arena of politics. The question, in these tumultuous times, is how? The issues are vast and complex (e.g. gay marriage, refugees and immigration, abortion, national security, economic policy, gender, capital punishment, welfare reform). The divide between people both inside and outside the church is wide and deep. Let me recommend the application of two biblical truths to help ground the shepherding of your people. These texts have also served me when I have been tempted to speak and act in inappropriate ways. Love and pray for your enemies. But I tell you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you that you may be children of your Father in heaven (Matt. 5:44). Jesus commands us to love our doctrinal, political, national, religious, and personal enemies. Our God is the greatest enemy-lover of all time (Romans 5:10). And the. Read more.
Geri and I just returned, this past Tuesday, from an eventful, seven-day trip with our ministry partners (Ministerio Espiritualidad Emocionalmente Saudavel or MEES for short) in Brazil. I always journal after a trip around the question: “God, how did You come to me, and what did You say?” The following are the top four things I heard: 1. Gift. Every culture and country in the world reflects aspects of the beauty of God (see Revelation 21:24). Brazilians offer a joy, a warmth, an optimism, and a passion for life that is a wonder to behold. I heard God’s invitation afresh to marvel and worship Him for such creativity to place such amazing gifts in so many cultures around the world. 2. Global Church Shift. We experienced first-hand, once again, the shift of the church from Europe and North America to the global South (Africa, Latin America, Asia). The church in Brazil continues to grow. Read more.
If you are a pastor or leader committed to building a disciple-making culture to change the world, then downloading The 2017 EH Leadership Conference may be one of the most important decisions you can make this year. With the upcoming release of The Emotionally Healthy Discipleship Courses in August (containing both The Emotionally Healthy Relationships Course and The Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Course), we have a unique opportunity to impact the way the church globally does discipleship. Thus, we are eager to get this excellent content into the hands of as many pastors and leaders as possible. Actually, there are five reasons for you to invest $49.99 to purchase this download package. You will receive: 1. 8 Church Leadership Video Sessions to view on demand: John the Baptist: The Unlikely Emotionally Healthy Leader Genogram Your Family: Going Back to Go Forward Leadership That Equips People to Live in the New Family of Jesus Climbing the. Read more.
The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, by Rod Dreher is an important book. It serves as a prophetic wake up call to the church, challenging us to take a fresh look at what is happening around us: We must “make a decisive leap into a truly countercultural way of living Christianity, or we doom our children and our children’s children to assimilation.” “The spiritual crisis overtaking the West is the most serious since the fall of the Roman Empire near the end of the fifth century. The light of Christianity is flickering out all over the West.” “If believers don’t come out of Babylon and be separate, their faith will not survive for another generation or two in this culture of death.” “Too many of our churches function as secular entertainment centers with religious morals slapped on top, when they should be functioning as the living, breathing Body of. Read more.
Over the past few years, I have become acutely aware of what may be one of the greatest problems confronting the church today: We have large numbers of people who enjoy attending church and small groups, love great worship, and serve in ministries, but do not have a personal relationship with Jesus. In a very real sense, they live the “Christian” life without Jesus. People need pastors, teachers and leaders like us to equip them. Yet if they connect to us without connecting in loving union (i.e. abiding/remaining) with Jesus, we are simply rearranging chairs on the Titanic. The churches’ effectiveness in bearing lasting fruit to impact our world for Christ will be short-lived. In this podcast I share my reflections on this massive problem and what we can do to equip our people to create space to allow God’s will and presence full access in every area of their lives. LISTEN HERE Join. Read more.
According to a Pew Research study, Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation. Millennials, whom we now define as those ages 20-36, number over 75.4 million, surpassing the 74.9 million Baby Boomers (ages 53-71). Businesses such as Goldman Sachs are studying this trend, recognizing they will “change the ways we buy and sell, forcing companies to examine how they do business for decades to come.” I too have been thinking about this new culture of Millennials as they increasingly become the dominant culture in many of our churches. What are the critical issues we must address to make mature disciples, build sustainable communities, and reach the world effectively? The following are my top 5: Practice Presence in a Digitally Connected World. Millennials are the first generation where social media and smart phones are the air they breathe. But screens can’t teach empathy or face-to-face conversation. We have an amazing opportunity. Read more.