22 Quotes from “Prophetic Preaching”

If you preach, I’d highly recommend you pick up the series by Craig Brian Larson on preaching. Here are some quotes from Prophetic Preaching:

  1. We can avoid and deny this spiritual disease for years until someone uses God’s Word, not as a weapon to bludgeon us, but as a scalpel to cut through our layers of excuses and evasions. It takes courage and compassion, but these trustworthy pastors speak the truth, identifying our sin, calling it by name, and then gently leading us to the One who can heal our souls. That summarizes the ministry of prophetic preaching.
  2. Prophetic preachers don’t sugarcoat the truth; they don’t ignore or minimize the painful verdict; and they’ll declare what we need to hear, not necessarily what we want to hear.
  3. Prophetic preaching always begins with a high view of Scripture. There’s an assumption that God has something to say right now, in this city, to this group of people gathered for worship—young and old, rich and poor, American and Nigerian and Brazilian and Korean, believer and skeptic.
  4. Prophetic preachers also know that during each sermon human souls hang on a precipice between good and evil, God and idols, obedience and rebellion, heaven and hell. Marriages, families, and communities desperately need direction and healing. Thus the end game of preaching isn’t providing information or entertainment. People (both Christians and non-Christians) need to repent, believe the gospel, grow in Christ, and serve the world.
  5. There’s also a dark side or a danger in prophetic preaching: a lack of love for others.
  6. We’ll never break and win hearts with narrow, prudish, moralistic messages.
  7. Biblical preaching always invites people into Jesus’ grand “kingdom adventure.” In other words, if we ask people to release their idols, we had better hand them something more adventurous and satisfying.
  8. Prophetic preachers dare to proclaim that ultimately there’s nothing more heroic, attractive, and adventurous than trusting Christ.
  9. The very concept of purity is much more attractive than morality. Morality, whether this is a misunderstanding or not, seems to traffic in rules—to say, “Here are the strictures; you need to mind your p’s and q’s and behave yourself.” Purity calls us to a life of God-ward-ness and adventure; there’s something heroic about it. There’s something winsome about the life of purity.
  10. The authority for prophetic preaching doesn’t reside in the preacher. It’s not in the preacher’s personality (although God can use many different personality types) or in the preacher’s attempt to be relevant. The preacher’s authority has one basis: the authority of God’s Word.
  11. God’s Word like a lion: let it out of the cage, get out of the way, and it will take care of itself.
  12. People are hungering to hear someone preach the truth of God’s Word without reservation.
  13. There are two elements that every preacher should have: urgency and clarity.
  14. Clarity brings power and the authority of God’s Word. Urgency—or the sense that this message matters, so decide today—also brings the authority of God’s Word.
  15. The goal of a preacher’s message is that at some point people would feel convicted. Conviction implies that people are overcome with the gaps that exist between the lives they’re living and the lives God wants them to live. Conviction can happen at the entry point of the gospel or at some point in the process of progressive sanctification.
  16. Prophetic preaching derails when it starts speaking forcefully about stuff that the Scriptures don’t address forcefully.
  17. Postmodern people aren’t seeking experiences; they’re seeking God. And the point of preaching is to unveil him.
  18. In studying a passage to preach, I ask three questions: Who is God? How is he revealed in this text? What are the most natural inclinations that resist or deny that truth?
  19. If you are preaching, and your audience is learning truth, but they could never imagine being like you—responding to the world like you, thinking like you, and feeling like you—that’s not good.
  20. When you look at the New Testament and what it says about the church’s responsibility with respect to what is declared, the authority for preaching is never placed in the community.
  21. Too often people see preaching as just teaching, but if it doesn’t have a component of exhortation and challenge that calls people to change, to grow in Christ, or to take purposeful steps to build the kingdom, it’s not really preaching; it’s only teaching.
  22. Never preach a text you haven’t lived or that hasn’t lived in you.”

Some Quotes from “Follow Me” that will Push You

book

I just finished reading David Platt’s new book Follow Me: A Call to Die. A Call to Live (kindle version). Usually I write a book review, so here is my review.

You need to read this book. 

Here are some quotes to push your thinking and hopefully push you to pick up the book:

  • When people say they don’t “feel close to Jesus” I ask them if they are making disciples. After all, the promises for Jesus to be with us is directly tied to his command to make disciples. Experiencing God happens when we are being his witnesses and making disciples.
  • Repentance is a rich biblical term that signifies an elemental transformation in someone’s mind, heart and life. When people repent they turn from their walking in one direction to running in the opposite direction. From that point forward, they think differently, believe differently, feel differently, love differently and live differently. When Jesus said, “Repent” he was speaking to people who were rebelling against God in their sin and relying on themselves for their salvation.
  • We can’t fathom a Christian on the other side of the world believing that a wooden god can save them, but we have no problem believing that religion, money, possessions, food, fame, sex, sports, status and success can satisfy us.
  • The penalty for sin is not determined by our measure of it. Instead, the penalty for sin is determined by the magnitude of the one who is sinned against.
  • Jesus is not calling these disciples because of who they are, but in spite of who they are.
  • No one has ever been saved from their sins because they have pursued Jesus. Everyone who has ever been saved from their sins knows that they have been pursued by Jesus – and their lives haven’t been the same since.
  • Jesus has not invited us to journey to him; instead, he has made the journey to us.
  • The only reason we can seek Christ in our sinfulness is because Christ has sought us as our Savior.
  • Being a disciple of Jesus means we are not called to simply believe certain points or observe certain practices, but ultimately to cling to the person of Christ as life itself.
  • Becoming and being a disciple of Jesus involves far more than mere intellectual belief in Jesus, but it certainly doesn’t involve anything less.
  • It is impossible to separate faith in Jesus from feelings for Jesus.
  • The Bible portrays the church as a community of Christians who care for one another, love one another, host one another, receive one another, honor one another, serve one another, instruct one another, forgive one another, motivate one another, build up one another, forgive one another, motivate one another, build up one another, encourage one another, comfort one another, pray for one another, confess sin to one another, esteem one another, edify one another, teach one another, show kindness to one another, give to one another, rejoice with one another, weep with one another, hurt with one another, and restore one another.
  • This is how God grows the church and reaches people: through holiness in Christians. God grows his church by creating disciples who are serious about reflecting the righteousness of God and honoring the holiness of God.
  • More important than asking people to pray a prayer, we are calling people to lose their lives – and find new life Christ.
  • Disciple making involves far more than just leading people to trust in Christ, disciple making involves teaching people to follow Christ. This necessitates that we show people (particularly new Christians) what the life of Christ looks like in action.

Monday Morning Mind Dump…

  • Blown away by what God is doing at Revolution Church right now
  • Loving preaching through the Ephesians, easily one of my favorite series so far in the history of our church
  • Speaking of our church history, we celebrated 4 years as a church yesterday
  • Blown away by God’s grace to allow to reach 4 years
  • I truly believe the best is in front of us as a church
  • We celebrated by moving as a church
  • One of the highlights yesterday was praying with so many Revolutionaries for their unsaved friends to find Jesus
  • Love that passion, seeing people moved because their friends don’t know Jesus and the life He brings
  • Yesterday was one of those days as a communicator that you have angst the whole way leading up to preaching
  • The topic of the Holy Spirit, what the Holy Spirit does and how to live in the power of the Spirit in our lives is crucial, so important in the life of a believer
  • Yet, so hard to make relevant to someone
  • I kept thinking all week, how is this relevant to my unsaved friends? To those who will be there who don’t know Jesus?
  • Apparently, when you talk about the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit likes to show up
  • It was a powerful day
  • If you missed it, you can listen here
  • Here are two books that helped me in learning about the Holy Spirit: Forgotten God and Spirit Rising
  • One added bonus to Revolution moving to Sunday morning is getting my Saturday back
  • I didn’t realize how awesome Saturday was because I worked on it
  • So cool being able to do random things with the family on Saturday and get a family day
  • Got to check out a used book sale and then went to the insect fair at the U of A
  • The kids loved both, got tons of books and touched tons of bugs
  • We announced yesterday that we are starting our sign ups for our fall Missional Communities this week
  • You can hear from each leader and the vision of their MC here to get a head start on figuring out which one you want to get plugged into
  • Be sure to sign up as they’ll fill up
  • We are also planning to launch at least 4 more in January
  • Got to spend the afternoon with some neighbors yesterday digging up a tree in our front yard
  • Amazing how yard work brings neighbors together
  • Being on mission in your neighborhood isn’t that hard
  • Simply pick a hard job at your house and ask a neighbor to help
  • Relationships happen
  • Then, return the favor when they ask
  • I even got to see my first 2 tarantula’s yesterday, thankfully outside of my house
  • So gross
  • Pumped for next week at Revolution Church
  • If you’ve been thinking about bringing a friend, next week is the week
  • Excited to dive into the topic of how far God’s grace goes next week as we look at Ephesians 2:1 – 10
  • We’ll look at if there’s a limit to God’s grace, what grace does, what our part in grace is
  • It will definitely be a week you won’t want to miss
  • See you next Sunday

[Image Credit]

Saturday Afternoon Book Review: Spirit Rising

For my sermon this week at Revolution on Ephesians 1:15 – 23 I read through Jim Cymbala’s book Spirit Rising: Tapping into the Power of the Holy Spirit (kindle version). While I don’t agree with all of Cymbala’s theology, when it comes to the Holy Spirit, he has truly seen some incredible things. I’m always challenged by books or sermons by people of great faith, prayer warriors so to speak. Cymbala is one of those people.

I’ve been convinced of what Cymbala talks about in this book in my own life and in the lives of many Christians. We just don’t see the Spirit working like it is recorded in the New Testament. Think about, does your life, prayer life, courage, boldness, evangelism, does it look anything like the book of Acts? If I’m honest, most of the time my life doesn’t read like a page from Acts.

For many Christians though, we don’t see the Holy Spirit work in our lives, because we aren’t sure what He does. Here are just a few things from Scripture about what the Holy Spirit does:

  • The Spirit helps us speak when we are in precarious situations and need to bear witness (Mark 13:11; Luke 12:12).
  • The Spirit teaches and reminds us of what we need to know and remember. He is our comforter, our advisor, our encourager, and our strength. He guides us in the way we should go (Psalm 143:10; John 14 – 16; Acts 9:31, 13:2, 15:28; 1 Corinthians 2:9 – 10; 1 John 5:6 – 8).
  • From the Spirit we receive power to be God’s witnesses to the ends of the earth. It is the Spirit who draws people to the gospel, the Spirit who equips us with the strength we need to accomplish God’s purposes. The Holy Spirit not only initially draws people to God, He also draws believers closer to Jesus (Acts 1:8; Romans 8:26; Ephesians 3:16 – 19).
  • By the power of the Spirit we put to death the misdeeds of the body. The Spirit sets us free from the sins we cannot get rid of on our own. This is a lifelong process we entered into, in partnership with the Spirit, when we first believed (e.g., Romans 8:2).
  • Through the Spirit we have received a spirit of adoption as children, which leads us into intimacy with the Father, instead of a relationship based on fear and slavery. The Spirit bears witness to us that we are His children (Romans 8:15 – 16).
  • The Holy Spirit convicts people of sin. He does this both before we initially enter into right relationship with God and as we journey through this life as believers (John 16:7 – 11; 1 Thessalonians 1:5).
  • The Spirit brings us life and freedom. Where the Spirit is, there is freedom, not bondage or slavery. In our world that is plagued with death, this is a profound truth that points to real hope (Romans 8:10 – 11; 2 Corinthians 3:17).
  • By the power of the Holy Spirit we abound with hope because our God is a God of hope, who fills His children with all joy and peace (Romans 15:13).
  • As members of God’s kingdom community, each of us is given a manifestation of the Spirit in our lives for the purpose of the common good. We all have something to offer because of what the Spirit gives to us (1 Corinthians 12:7).
  • The fruit of being led by the Spirit of God includes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These attitudes and actions will characterize our lives as we allow ourselves to be grown and molded by the Spirit. The Spirit is our sanctifier (2 Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 5:22 – 33).

Here are a few more things from the book that jumped out:

  • Christianity without the Holy Spirit is hopeless.
  • The holy spirit does regenerate men. He has the power to raise the dead. He has the power to impart lift to those who are morally dead or decaying. He has power to impart an entirely new nature to those whose nature now is so corrupt that to men they appear to be beyond hope. How often I have seen it proven. How often I have seen men and women utterly lost and ruined and vile come into a meeting scarcely knowing why they came. As they have sat there, the Word was spoken, the Spirit of God has quickened the Word thus sown in their heart, and in a moment, that man or woman, by the mighty power of the Holy Spirit, has become a new creation.
  • Without the spirit of God moving strongly among us, many of us have become faithless and cynical.
  • That indwelling of God through the Holy Spirit makes Christians different from any other religion on earth. Judaism, Islam and Buddhism – none of these religions claim that their god inhabits their followers. The leaders of those belief systems may try to proselytize with their doctrine, but the gospel of Christ is different. Faith in Jesus makes us walking miracles who have been changed through the Holy Spirit dwelling in us!
  • When we fear giving control to the Spirit, we really fear God’s control over our lives.
  • When the Spirit is moving, believers have a hunger to hear, read, study, and in particular, understand more about the Word of God. That makes sense, of course, since the Holy Spirit was the one who inspired the Bible. He was the author who inspired the writers. The Bible is his book. Spirit-controlled Christians don’t usually have to force themselves to read the Bible; the Spirit gives them a holy appetite for it.
  • When a person has little interest in the Word, or when Scripture seems dull and tedious to a church body, that is a sign that something is seriously out of sync. When we don’t have respect for the Word and reverence for its authority, and when we don’t humble ourselves to hear what God has said, we’re on the wrong path.
  • Without the Spirit of God, we’re left to struggle with our self-effort, which is riddle by moral weakness and sinful tendencies. But when the Spirit comes, we have joy, hope and power.
  • Amazingly, although the Holy Spirit is fully God, it is entirely possible for believers like you and me to hinder his work and quench his sacred fire (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Some people falsely believe that whatever God wants to do he will do. Consider Jesus’ invitation to his own church in Laodicea: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (Revelation 3:20). If he’s Christ, and he wants in, why doesn’t he just come in? Why does he bother knocking and asking? That’s the mystery of God’ sovereignty and our free will. We must respond to him, or we will miss out on his planned blessing. Earlier I wrote about Paul telling Timothy to stir up the embers, to keep the fire going. We need to do the same thing. For some of us, the embers are faintly glowing, and we need to tend to them, stir them up so they burst into open flame.
  • The Holy Spirit produces joy.
  • When the Spirit works, we will always have a new desire for holiness and a quest for Christlikeness.
  • If a person doesn’t have a growing sensitivity toward sin and doesn’t have a desire to become more like Christ, it’s questionable whether that person ever had an authentic conversion.
  • If we don’t have access to spiritual power, how can we accomplish what needs to be done? Power to overcome sin. Power to overcome spiritual enemies that attack us. Power to endure hardship and affliction. Power to witness. Power to speak. Power to pray.
  • It’s interesting that the risen Christ’s final words before his ascension concerned spiritual power (Luke 24:49). It was as if Jesus looked down the corridors of time and knew that even having the right gospel message wouldn’t be enough. We would face so many such obstacles from satanic strongholds that we would never evangelize the world effectively without the power that only the Spirit can impart.
  • The Holy Spirit causes us to love others, even the unlovable or those who have hurt us.
  • The Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power (2 Timothy 1:7). Through the Holy Spirit, God has promised to give us courage, and even boldness, to swim against the current and to speak for Christ even though we might be mocked. Through the Holy Spirit, God has promised to give us courage, and even boldness, to swim against the current.
  • A fear of failure stops us from starting the very thing God has laid on our hearts.
  • The Holy Spirit is greater in power than our shyness or timidity. And he is greater than our fear of rejection or failure. His power makes the weakest as bold as a lion (Proverbs 28:1).
  • The Holy Spirit is the only antidote to the virus of fear in our lives.
  • Spiritual courage only comes directly from the Holy Spirit.
  • Our future will be determined by how we allow God the Holy Spirit to work in and through us. We can live our days out in fearful hesitation and second-guessing, or we can “let go and let God.” God’s plan for us is not about who we are and what talents we bring to the table. It’s about the resources and grace God has promised us.
  • It is the Spirit who gives life. The flesh is no help at all” (John 6:63).
  • If you want power, confidence, joy, peace, and more love in your life, ask the Spirit to come and do something new in you.
  • Although the disciples couldn’t comprehend it at the time, it was better for them to have the invisible Holy Spirit in them than it was to have the physical Jesus with them.
  • We can only receive according to our faith. If we don’t believe, we won’t pray, and when we don’t ask, we won’t receive the blessings God has for us.
  • The circumstances will differ from person to person, but an undeniable expression of Spirit-controlled living is that we will be lifted above the limitations of mere natural talents and abilities.
  • The irony of Spirit-filled living is that we have to give up power in order to gain a greater power.
  • Christianity is not a self-effort religion but rather one of power—the ability and might of the Spirit. “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Phil. 2:13). The Spirit is the only one who can produce self-discipline, love, and boldness. But to do so, he has to control us daily. We can’t rest on a religious experience we had years or even months ago.

All in all, this is a great book on the Holy Spirit. It definitely challenged me and how I see the Holy Spirit working in my life. I’m really excited to preach on this topic tomorrow at Revolution.

Sifted: Pursuing Growth Through Trials, Challenges and Disappointments

I reviewed Wayne Cordeiro’s book back in February when I read it. But since it comes out today, I thought I’d repost my review and encourage you to pick the book up.

I was able to get a copy of Wayne Cordeiro’s new book Sifted: Pursuing Growth through Trials, Challenges and Disappointments (kindle version) that comes out in April.

This book for me came at a good time. It proved to be a good time of recalibrating for me in my thinking.

One of the most helpful parts of the book was how in each chapter there were questions for you to interact with. It is easy as a leader to skip over these and get to the content, find out what the author says. But if you skip them, you will miss much of the power of the book.

What I appreciated about this book was how real it was. As a church planter and leader; trials, challenges and disappointment are part of the territory. It takes maturity and time to see how God uses them and grows you through them. I can honestly say looking back over the last decade of working in churches, that God has used and redeemed many of the trials that I’ve experienced.

But why does this matter? Why is sifting important?

According to Cordeiro,

Sifting produces a clarity about who we are and what we do, giving definition to the work of ministry that produces long-term results and fruitfulness. The real question, then, is not whether we will face failure. It is how well we will face it. How we respond to the challenges and trials in our lives and ministries makes all the difference in the world…A sifted person is someone who is able, by God’s grace, to reflect on his experience and emerge from a time of trial with a better grasp of what matters most. He’s a person who has been tested, proven capable and mature.

Not only that, but “A sifted life is an influential life. Your greatest influence takes place after you have been sifted and have survived.” That is important to keep in mind in the midst of sifting in your life. If right now, God is working in you, sifting your heart, remember that it matters why he is doing it and how you come out on the other side.

Here are a few things that jumped to me in the book:

  • Scripture tells us that the challenges we face in life happen for a reason, and the process of sifting refines us, revealing our weaknesses, exposing our self-dependence and inviting us to greater faith in God and greater dependence on his promises.
  • When God begins a season of sifting in your life, the first thing that will be tested is the ballast of your life, which is your heart. It’s the weight beneath the waterline. You can’t see it, but any refining of your heart will affect everything else you do. The heart is not about skill, gifting, or even calling. It’s deeper still. It’s the epicenter, the core of everything. It’s where you respond to God.
  • When something challenging is happening to us, we shouldn’t spend too much time trying to figure out who is causing it. The choice we face is simple: will we trust God and look to him throughout the difficulty we face, regardless of the cause, or not?
  • Faith can be defined as living in advance what you will understand only in reverse.
  • God must first accomplish something in you before he can accomplish something through you.
  • The two greatest days in your life are the day you were born and the day you discovered what you were born for.
  • The normative Christian experience, even when we’re in the center of God’s will, is that we seldom receive a clear view out the front windshield. Usually we see much more clearly out the rearview mirror.
  • An open door does not necessarily mean smooth sailing.
  • This is one of the keys to long-term ministerial success: know how God has gifted you, know where God has called you to be, and then function faithfully in that role.
  • God will not hold us accountable for how much we have done. He will hold us accountable for how much of what he has asked us to do that we have done.
  • There is a sense in which I can truthfully say that the church does not exist to help people, to solve their problems and alleviate their disappointments. Not ultimately, at least. The primary reason the church exists is to worship God and to point people to Christ, the ultimate solution to their problems.
  • Seldom are your critics actually disappointed with you. They are usually disappointed with themselves, their lives, or God. You are simply a convenient target.
  • One of the most important keys to long-term ministry success – that you’re only as powerful as your dependence on God’s strength.
  • We are only as busy as we choose to be.
  • God will one day hold us each accountable for all the things he created for us to enjoy but we refused to do so.
  • Today it is far too easy to substitute busywork for the real work of ministry.
  • It is our unguarded strengths that become our greatest weaknesses.
  • The most important thing about you is what God says about you.

If you are a leader, you should buy this book. Definitely worth the time. This book will definitely make the list of “Best Books of 2012.”

Here’s what the publisher had to say about the book:

In this book, pastor and seasoned church leader Wayne Cordeiro speaks the truth in love, offering wisdom and insight to prepare leaders as they face the difficulties and hardships of planting and leading churches, while providing encouragement and inspiration for the journey. An experienced practitioner, Wayne shares the things he wishes he’d known when he was starting a new church. With additional stories from Francis Chan and Larry Osborne, each chapter includes a thought-provoking challenge question to develop a heart that is surrendered to God, focused on “being and becoming” versus “doing and accomplishing.” Wayne writes about a healthy integration and balance of personal care and leadership amidst the difficulties of church leadership. Instead of a “how to” book on models and methods, this is a combination of a self-assessment book that challenges leaders’ scorecards of success, encourages leaders to realize that they are not alone in what they are experiencing, and provides wisdom for the long haul to position younger leaders for a life of ministry and finish strong.

Sifted

I was able to get a copy of Wayne Cordeiro’s new book Sifted: Pursuing Growth through Trials, Challenges and Disappointments (kindle version) that comes out in April.

This book for me came at a good time. It proved to be a good time of recalibrating for me in my thinking.

One of the most helpful parts of the book was how in each chapter there were questions for you to interact with. It is easy as a leader to skip over these and get to the content, find out what the author says. But if you skip them, you will miss much of the power of the book.

What I appreciated about this book was how real it was. As a church planter and leader; trials, challenges and disappointment are part of the territory. It takes maturity and time to see how God uses them and grows you through them. I can honestly say looking back over the last decade of working in churches, that God has used and redeemed many of the trials that I’ve experienced.

But why does this matter? Why is sifting important?

According to Cordeiro,

Sifting produces a clarity about who we are and what we do, giving definition to the work of ministry that produces long-term results and fruitfulness. The real question, then, is not whether we will face failure. It is how well we will face it. How we respond to the challenges and trials in our lives and ministries makes all the difference in the world…A sifted person is someone who is able, by God’s grace, to reflect on his experience and emerge from a time of trial with a better grasp of what matters most. He’s a person who has been tested, proven capable and mature.

Not only that, but “A sifted life is an influential life. Your greatest influence takes place after you have been sifted and have survived.” That is important to keep in mind in the midst of sifting in your life. If right now, God is working in you, sifting your heart, remember that it matters why he is doing it and how you come out on the other side.

Here are a few things that jumped to me in the book:

  • Scripture tells us that the challenges we face in life happen for a reason, and the process of sifting refines us, revealing our weaknesses, exposing our self-dependence and inviting us to greater faith in God and greater dependence on his promises.
  • When God begins a season of sifting in your life, the first thing that will be tested is the ballast of your life, which is your heart. It’s the weight beneath the waterline. You can’t see it, but any refining of your heart will affect everything else you do. The heart is not about skill, gifting, or even calling. It’s deeper still. It’s the epicenter, the core of everything. It’s where you respond to God.
  • When something challenging is happening to us, we shouldn’t spend too much time trying to figure out who is causing it. The choice we face is simple: will we trust God and look to him throughout the difficulty we face, regardless of the cause, or not?
  • Faith can be defined as living in advance what you will understand only in reverse.
  • God must first accomplish something in you before he can accomplish something through you.
  • The two greatest days in your life are the day you were born and the day you discovered what you were born for.
  • The normative Christian experience, even when we’re in the center of God’s will, is that we seldom receive a clear view out the front windshield. Usually we see much more clearly out the rearview mirror.
  • An open door does not necessarily mean smooth sailing.
  • This is one of the keys to long-term ministerial success: know how God has gifted you, know where God has called you to be, and then function faithfully in that role.
  • God will not hold us accountable for how much we have done. He will hold us accountable for how much of what he has asked us to do that we have done.
  • There is a sense in which I can truthfully say that the church does not exist to help people, to solve their problems and alleviate their disappointments. Not ultimately, at least. The primary reason the church exists is to worship God and to point people to Christ, the ultimate solution to their problems.
  • Seldom are your critics actually disappointed with you. They are usually disappointed with themselves, their lives, or God. You are simply a convenient target.
  • One of the most important keys to long-term ministry success – that you’re only as powerful as your dependence on God’s strength.
  • We are only as busy as we choose to be.
  • God will one day hold us each accountable for all the things he created for us to enjoy but we refused to do so.
  • Today it is far too easy to substitute busywork for the real work of ministry.
  • It is our unguarded strengths that become our greatest weaknesses.
  • The most important thing about you is what God says about you.

If you are a leader, you should buy this book. Definitely worth the time. This book will definitely make the list of “Best Books of 2012.”

Here’s what the publisher had to say about the book:

In this book, pastor and seasoned church leader Wayne Cordeiro speaks the truth in love, offering wisdom and insight to prepare leaders as they face the difficulties and hardships of planting and leading churches, while providing encouragement and inspiration for the journey. An experienced practitioner, Wayne shares the things he wishes he’d known when he was starting a new church. With additional stories from Francis Chan and Larry Osborne, each chapter includes a thought-provoking challenge question to develop a heart that is surrendered to God, focused on “being and becoming” versus “doing and accomplishing.” Wayne writes about a healthy integration and balance of personal care and leadership amidst the difficulties of church leadership. Instead of a “how to” book on models and methods, this is a combination of a self-assessment book that challenges leaders’ scorecards of success, encourages leaders to realize that they are not alone in what they are experiencing, and provides wisdom for the long haul to position younger leaders for a life of ministry and finish strong.

2 Books I’m Reading This Week for my Sermon on Hell

This Saturday, I’m preaching on hell from the book of Jude as we continue our series Light & Shadows, very Christmasy. I thought I’d recommend 2 books that I’m reading on the topic that are incredibly readable and helpful. Click on the book to go to Amazon and check them out.

Cheap Kindle Books 12.8.11

Free

$1.79

$1.99

$2.24
$2.99
$3.99
$4.49

If you don’t have a Kindle, you can still read these books with a Kindle app on your computer or phone. Just download a free app. Or buy a Kindle for $79$99 (Touch)$149 (Touch 3G), or $199 (Fire, color & apps).

*As an added bonus, if you click on any of these links, a portion of the money spent on Amazon will go towards our adoption.*

Links of the Week

  1. Michael Hyatt on How to shave 10 hours off your week. Such helpful stuff, I can attest that these do shave time off your week.
  2. Ron Edmondson on 7 suggestions for a pastor or pastor’s wife to find true friends. Great tips here as this is incredibly difficult.
  3. Relevant magazine on The friends with benefits epidemic. This will be one of topics we cover in week 3 of The Vow
  4. How pornography and our culture’s view of sex has perpetuated sex trafficking. This is a fascinating article if you are a man, father, wife or raise a boy. Wow.
  5. What churches can learn from Starbucks.
  6. Trevin Wax on The book Erasing Hell. Sad that a book like this needs to be written to defend what Scriptures say about heaven, hell and eternity. But it is a helpful book on the topic.

Links of the Week

    1. Daughters & Dad’s approval. Shows the pivotal role a father plays in the life of a daughter.
    2. Kem Meyer on 5 missing ingredients of great teams.
    3. 10 ways to handle the church critic.
    4. Jon Acuff on Calling your wife your bride. I agree, it kind of weirds me out.
    5. Michael Hyatt on 5 consequences of living life out of balance.
    6. Charles Stone on How to respond when someone leaves your church. No matter how often this happens, this always hurts.
    7. How to involve kids in a missional community. Helpful things here.
    8. Jayne Vanderstelt on a Wife’s role in serving a missional community.
    9. Dan Kimball on Francis Chan’s new book Erasing Hell. Can’t wait to read this.