Signs of a Lukewarm Pastor by Craig Groeschel

Give some consideration to what Craig Groeschel, in his blog calls Signs of a Lukewarm Pastor:

A lukewarm pastor:

• Prays as much, or more, publicly than privately.

• Is almost exclusively dependent on others’ sermons to preach than directly hearing from God.

• Cares more about his church than The Church.

• Preaches about evangelism but doesn’t practice evangelism privately.

• Tolerates and rationalizes unconfessed sin.

• Preaches for the approval of people rather than the approval of God.

• Is overly sensitive to criticism.

• Harbors bitterness and unforgiveness.

• Reads the Bible to prepare sermons but not for personal devotion to God.

• Is jealous or critical of someone else that God is blessing.

What a list. Without question, there are a couple here that will convict even the best of Christians. Yet, it’s important for us as leaders to do inventories such as this in order to determine our “heat level”. Are we lukewarm? The Book of Revelation speaks to that quite clearly. We do not want God to spew us out!! Let’s work to be red hot in our relationship to Jesus and in our effectiveness in ministry.

Any thoughts? Feedback?

DMB & Tribes

I remember the moment so clearly. Years ago I was sitting in a car with a buddy of mine from Canada. We had just come from lunch and he wanted to play me a song on his car CD player.  It felt like I was in the Brady Bunch…just listening to the newest tunes on Greg Brady’s record player. My buddy said, “You’ve got to hear this band.” What proceeded out of the speaker system captured me.  It was a song by an eclectic, self-named group:  Dave Matthews Band. I had never heard of them before and certainly had never heard a rock band use violins and woodwinds. It was magical.  I never forgot the moment. It was the start of my journey in the DMB tribe. 

 

Years later, my wife and I and two other couples (some of our best friends on the planet) took a long road trip to The Gorge. The Gorge is a premiere concert venue in the middle of Washington State. Each Labor Day weekend thousands of DMB followers flock to The Gorge for a weekend of music and togetherness. It was surreal. Pure devotion unlike anything I’ve ever seen in any church service (and I’ve been in quite a few of them). They didn’t have FANS they had FOLLOWERS. They were a part of the DMB Tribe – perhaps recently or perhaps since the beginning…regardless, they were followers. 

 

This morning I was sitting in my truck before grabbing some coffee and I began to read the notes on the inside artwork of a Dave Matthews Band greatest hits CD.  In it Steve Morse, a reviewer with The Boston Globe, refers to himself as a “longtime DMB believer”. A believer.  Hmmm.  Believer.  Not just a listener. Not just a fan.  This guy is a follower. And so are many thousands of others.  DMB has a Tribe of Followers.

 

How can the church learn from this?  How can we have people become interested in the claims of Christ and in His agency on this earth: the church, but then see them move closer and closer to the things of Jesus and become His followers? How do leaders create an environment in which there are seekers and followers? 

Any thoughts?  Let me know.

Don’t Be Boring

Seth Godin, in his book Tribes, implores the reader to avoid being boring. He says:

Boring ideas don’t spread. Boring organizations don’t grow.

Right now I can’t think of anything less fun and engaging than being a part of something boring.  Lifeless. Wilted. Just OK. It’s like when people respond to the “How are you?” question with “Fine.”  Fine. That’s it. Just fine.

 

My beloved music teacher, Mr. Kinne, used to say, “Fine? Fine? That’s all you got?  How ’bout GREAT!?!” And to that I would respond with a ever-growing smile…”Yah, I’m great. I was fine…but now I’m great!” That’s the power of Mr. Kinne – a man who was never boring. His life spread in me and in others. He was contagious. That’s what I want my life to be like. Never boring. 

 

And that is what the church should be also.  Thoughts?  What would make West Salem Foursquare Church a NOT BORING place?  Let me know.

God in a Nutshell

SCRIPTURE:
“The god who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth does not live in temples built by hands…” Acts. 17:24
OBSERVATION
Paul walked into a unique situation in Athens. Everything was foreign both to him, as well as to the people of that region. To them Paul’s teachings were new (17:19) and strange (17:20). Paul was brought before different groups and had to endeavor to impress them with wise words and lofty concepts – basically fodder for their debates.
The Athenians liked to get all their ducks in a row. That is the way ‘religion’ works – make sure every base is covered and every altar inscribed (17:23). Total Religion.
Paul identified this right away. Therefor his words to them are non-stereotypical, about life and movement and a God that cannot be contained.
APPLICATION
The risk for me in this next season is to try to put a label on everything – to categorize each and every thing, ministry and event.
In a nutshell…to get God and his work…well…into a nutshell! But he does not contain himself in temples. He has determined where we, his people, should live (17:26) but refuses to be confined himself – that would be religion.
With God, we can know where we are but in that place be so free to ‘live, move and have our being (17:28).
PRAYER
My heart and prayer is that i would let you God be God. My human hands cannot really help you – you are fully capable on your own. So, in my efforts to wrap my self around new leadership challenges I must so completely rely upon you oh God – I am your offspring (17:28). You animate my life, giving it movement and purpose. Thank you Father.

Careful Investigation

“Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning…so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.” Luke 1:3

Luke took from reports and eyewitness accounts in order to assemble his orderly document regarding the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. It’s just like a doctor to document the entire history – birth, early days, and maturation in order to establish a background for this miracle-working Messiah. We are grateful for Luke’s diligent approach to scripture – he provided for us a systematic, clear account of Jesus’ ministry.

We are called to be “Luke” today – to carefully investigate and orderly communicate so that others can be certain of what they are being taught. The Apostle Paul challenges Timothy to be diligent in these matters: to watch life and doctrine closely – to persevere so that both self and the hearers will be saved. He goes on to exhort Timothy to ‘correctly handle the word of truth’ Our high call is to preach the word…but that preaching must be carefully investigated and diligently communicated.