Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

book

Thom Rainer on Pastors and vacations.

Two years ago I spoke to a pastor about his church. After he shared with me all the areas in which he had been involved and the ministries he led, I asked him an innocent question: When do you take vacation? His answer flabbergasted me. “I don’t,” he said. I thought maybe he had misunderstood me, so I clarified. In the past six years that you have served as pastor, when did you take a vacation? “I haven’t,” he reiterated. I had heard him right the first time. This pastor had deprived himself and his family for the past six years. I anticipated burnout was not far away. Unfortunately, I was right.

A peek inside Max Lucado’s writing process.

Max is the author of almost 100 books with more than 80 million copies in print. There are probably less than five authors in the world who are that prolific—or that successful. It’s mind-boggling.

Paul Levy on Success in ministry is dangerous, accountability doesn’t work and other thoughts on falling from grace.

Recently I’ve spent some time with two friends who were in ministry but have fallen morally and so now find themselves out of a job that they loved, separated from their families and, in all honesty, struggling. I’ve showed what I’ve written to them and I wouldn’t say they were overjoyed at what I had to say but both agreed I could put this on here.

David Murrow on Holiday services and men.

Why are holiday services, which draw huge numbers of irreligious men, so ineffective at engaging them? I believe that holiday services are, by their very nature, poorly suited for men. They tend to hide the church’s greater mission under a mountain of religious tradition and ceremony. Holiday services also give men a skewed perspective on what the gospel is all about.

Kara Powell on What your calendar says about your view of God.

If I want to find out what a leader thinks about God, I don’t look at their prayer journal or their preaching. I look at their calendar. Everyone I know grapples with busyness. It’s often how we define ourselves. When someone asks us, “How are you?” our default answer is frequently one word: “Busy”. This busyness cuts across boundaries of faith, vocation, and socio-economic status.

Shawn Wood on His sermon prep system.

The job of a church planter and pastor has a lot of moving parts, but for me, the biggest of them is my time preparing to preach.

James MacDonald on When men act like men.

Everywhere you look, men are in trouble—falling to superficiality, entertainment lifestyles, sensuality, secularism, lives lived apart from God, reaping for themselves and their families the harvest of what they have sown. Someone needs to throw men a life line. Men are are sinking, and only Jesus Christ can save them. Christ Himself must invade the territory of men’s hearts and rule without rival or equal.

Top Posts for May 2013

In case you missed them, here are the posts that generated the most traffic in the last month:

  1. 21 Skills of Great Preachers
  2. Bring our Child Home from Ethiopia & Serve a Widow
  3. My Notes from Preach Better Sermons
  4. Be Sensitive on Mother’s Day
  5. 15 Ways to Improve Your Marriage
  6. Is Love a Choice or a Feeling (And Why it Matters)
  7. 8 Ways to Know Your Reading is Too Limited
  8. How a Wife Handles Her Husband’s Sexual Addiction
  9. My Notes from Preach the Word 2013
  10. 3 Things Make a Sermon Great

This Weekend @ Revolution || Designed for a Purpose

JCE_Twitter

Really, really excited about this weekend at Revolution. Here’s why:

  • One of our MC leaders and a guy who used to be a pastor at Revolution, Mike Miller is preaching. I’m always challenged by what Mike shares. 
  • He’ll be preaching from John 3:22 – 36 if you want to read ahead.
  • He’ll be looking at the purpose of our lives and how to find it. Often, when we talk about meaning or purpose, it centers around what we can do in life or what we want to get out of life, which often leaves us aimless and unhappy. Why is that?

That’s what this Sunday is all about.

We’ll also be sharing how we as a church are getting involved in helping churches and those affected by the tornado in Oklahoma this past week.

I’ll see you this Sunday at 10am and be sure bring someone with you (you never know when a simple invite will make an eternal difference).

Remember, we meet at 8300 E. Speedway Blvd. at 10am.

Monday Morning Mind Dump…

mind dump

  • Yesterday was our first time meeting as a church on Mother’s Day and it was a lot of fun
  • Seeing all the families getting their free family pictures was so cool to see
  • It was awesome to see some people that our leaders have been praying for take their first steps with Jesus yesterday
  • It never gets old to see someone take communion for the first time and to take next steps of seeing Jesus make them new
  • I preached from John 3:1 – 15 on a very old idea of “being born again” but really sought to make it fresh
  • It was a really weighty topic heading into the day
  • It was one of those days where as a pastor you feel like you are battling for the people you are preaching to
  • If you missed it, you can listen to it here
  • Here’s the song the band did to set my sermon up
  • It was the perfect song to set up where we were headed for the day
  • Pretty excited that Dan Brown’s new book Inferno comes out tomorrow
  • I love his books
  • Yes, they are usually heretical and often times inaccurate historically, but they are cool novels
  • If you want some good, cheap kindle books, check out this list of ones that are on sale now
  • I’m excited for next week as we’re looking at the most famous verse in the Bible, John 3:16 and how that reveals God’s love for us personally, but also how that reveals God’s plan and purpose for us as individuals and as a church
  • We had a busy week of family and friends over this weekend, so I’m looking forward to some downtime
  • I’m also excited this week to learn from some mentors on the topic of preaching
  • Everything I keep reading says that when a church grows from 250-1000, it is largely because of the level of preaching
  • Hoping to continue to grow in that area
  • And apply some of what I learn next weekend in my sermon
  • Should be good
  • We are getting closer to unveiling what we hope will be our final fundraiser to bring our Ethiopian child home
  • We need to raise 9-15K
  • Stay tuned for ways you can be involved in that

Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

book

  1. Making your ideas contagious. Excited to read this book.
  2. Jake Chambers on Your language as a leader matters.
  3. When Mother’s Day is hard. You can read here how we handle this at Revolution Church.
  4. Jared Wilson on Why the ascension of Jesus is so important.
  5. 8 business tips from Jack Welch.
  6. Mark Driscoll on Lasting in ministry.
  7. Ron Edmondson on 10 things I’d do if I were raising a daughter today. Great list.

This Weekend @ Revolution || Mother’s Day & Being Made New

JCE_Twitter

I am so excited about this coming Sunday at Revolution Church. It will be the first time we have met on Mother’s Day as a church. To celebrate, we are providing FREE family pictures for anyone. So families, couples, groups of friends, or if you need a new Facebook picture, we have you covered. This will happen an hour before and after our service this week.

We are also continuing our brand new series Jesus Changes Everything and looking at what it means to be made new. I’ll be preaching from John 3:1 – 15 if you want to read ahead. Maybe you have felt like you aren’t new or still struggle with many past sins or hurts, or maybe you still do things you wished you didn’t do. Yet, the Bible says that when we begin following Jesus we are made new, not improved upon, but made completely new.

This week, we’ll look at what being made new means, how to know if you are new and the steps Jesus lays out for us to follow Him as He makes us new.

This will definitely be a week you don’t want to miss!

I’ll see you this Sunday at 10am and be sure bring someone with you (you never know when a simple invite will make an eternal difference).

Remember, we meet at 8300 E. Speedway Blvd. at 10am.

Be Sensitive on Mother’s Day

book

Mother’s Day is a big day for most churches. For Revolution, this is the first time we’ve actually met on Mother’s Day as we met on Saturday nights for the first 4 years as a church. While Mother’s Day is a great day, a day to honor the Mom’s in our lives, it is also a difficult day for many. Most pastor’s on their blogs will talk about honoring women, doing baby dedications, giving out gifts to mother’s, etc. on Mother’s Day.

From the first year, we’ve stayed away from that. On Mother’s Day, it is a hard day for many women in your church. For some, it is a reminder of a broken relationship with their mother, of someone who is no longer there. For some, it is a reminder of the loss of a child. For some, it is a reminder that they aren’t mother’s, even though their desire is there. For some, it is a reminder that they aren’t married yet, when they want to be.

So, be sensitive.

Here are some things we’ve done:

  • Honor all women. 
  • Acknowledge Mother’s and the role they play. While you are being sensitive, don’t ignore that it is Mother’s Day. It is, it’s on the calendar, everyone knows it. You can be sensitive while acknowledging and honoring Mom’s.
  • If you give out a gift, give it to all women. We’ve given all women flowers in the past. This year we are doing free pictures for families, couples or groups of friends or individuals.
  • If you want to give a gift to Mom’s, give it out in your children’s ministry so as to not draw attention to it.
  • Encourage those who Mother’s Day is a difficult day to come forward for prayer with a leader.
  • Acknowledge that Mother’s Day is a great day for some and a hard day for others. This goes a long of way of letting all women know they matter and that you see them.
  • Preach the gospel. You should do this every week, but especially on Mother’s Day. Remind women that their only hope regardless of where they are on Mother’s Day is Jesus.

Lastly, don’t preach to women on Mother’s Day. More than likely, the women you will be preaching to will be back the week after Mother’s Day. Preach to the men they drug to church that day. But, if you’ve been around this blog for any length of time, you should already be preaching to men clearly.

What do you do to be sensitive to women on Mother’s Day?

This Weekend @ Revolution || Jesus & Miracles

JCE_Twitter

We are in the midst of an incredible season at Revolution since the start of 2013. We had another newcomer’s lunch this past Sunday at our house and afterward I realized that since January, we’ve had 4 newcomer lunches and over 80 people have attended them. That’s incredible!

On top of that, I hope you’ve enjoyed our series in the book of John called Jesus Changes Everything as much as I have. I love the picture of Jesus that we see in this gospel and how he changes our world. If you’ve missed any of the weeks, you can catch up on the sermons here.

Here’s what’s happening this week:

  • I’ll be preaching from John 2:1 – 11 and we see Jesus announcing who he is for the first time. And he does it at a party with wine.
  • The symbolism in John 2 is off the charts. There is so much about Jesus that John communicates in these short verses from a party that if you know someone who has questions about Jesus, you need to bring them with you to Revolution this weekend.
  • Specifically this week, we’ll look at why Jesus came to earth, what it means for Jesus to change our shame and guilt into joy.
  • I’m praying that the Holy Spirit will prepare our hearts to see the truth of how Jesus breaks us free from the things that keep us in bondage and in prison in our lives.
  • Also, mark your calendars for May 12 (Mother’s Day), we’ll be doing FREE family pictures before and after the service this day.

Tons of great things happening in the next month that you don’t want to miss.

I’ll see you this Sunday at 10am and be sure bring someone with you (you never know when a simple invite will make an eternal difference).

Remember, we meet at 8300 E. Speedway Blvd. at 10am.

This Weekend @ Revolution || Jesus & Skeptics

JCE_Twitter

Things at Revolution have been incredible since we kicked off our series in the book of John on Easter called Jesus Changes EverythingIf you’ve missed any of the weeks, you can catch up on the sermons here.

Here’s what’s happening this week:

  • I’ll be preaching from John 1:35 – 51 and looking at how Jesus handles the skeptics he encounters about him being the Son of God and how beginning to follow Jesus changes us.
  • So many people have questions about Jesus or faith and think that Jesus is against questions, which is the furthest thing from the truth. Or, they see people who claim to be a Christian, but don’t see much difference in their lives.
  • In one encounter, Jesus shows us how he handles questions and skeptics (it might surprise you) and he shows us what it means to be a follower of Jesus, not just how to get to heaven, but to follow Jesus.
  • We’ve had a number of people begin following Jesus in the last few weeks and are planning a baptism. If you want to take the next step in your relationship with Jesus and go public with your faith, email me as we are planning a baptism in the next few weeks.
  • Also, if you are new to Revolution, we are having our next Newcomer’s Lunch this Sunday after churchThis is a great chance to meet the pastor’s, hear more about Revolution, ask the burning questions you have about us and learn how to get more connected. If you are interested in coming to this, please email Ciara Hull. Childcare is provided.
  • Mark your calendars for May 12 (Mother’s Day), we’ll be doing FREE family pictures before and after the service this day.

Tons of great things happening in the next month that you don’t want to miss.

I’ll see you this Sunday at 10am and be sure bring someone with you (you never know when a simple invite will make an eternal difference).

Remember, we meet at 8300 E. Speedway Blvd. at 10am.