Jesus Greatest Agony = Jesus Greatest Opportunity To Show His Love

The greatest agony Jesus could ever experience unlocked the greatest opportunity He would have to show His love for you and me.

As Jesus neared death on the cross, He was forsaken by His Father so you and I wouldn’t have to be. 

GREAT ARE YOU LORD – All Sons & Daughters (performed by Mic Turner & Jessica Cox)

Verse 1
You give life You are love
You bring light to the darkness
You give hope You restore ev’ry heart that is broken
And great are You Lord

Chorus 1
It’s Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
We pour out our praise
It’s Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise to You only

(BRIDGE)
And all the earth will shout Your praise
Our hearts will cry these bones will sing
Great are You Lord
(REPEAT)

Creating Compelling Messages

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Pastor/Leader, are your gatherings on Sunday compelling?  Are you teaching and reaching people in and outside of your church?

After all, our church services on the weekends are competing with every other option people have to invest their precious time.  They could be golfing, sipping coffee at Starbucks, reading a book, watching TV or even sleeping in.

We can shout and teach the words of Jesus all we want, but if we don’t compel people to come in and listen, our message is fruitless (see Luke 14:23).

I believe there are 3 key components to a successful weekend service that will compel those outside the church to come in and hear the good news:

  1. A Relevant Topic.  Look at Jesus model when He spoke at the sermon on the mount.  He taught about real-life everyday issues such as anger, sex, marriage, money forgiveness and fear.  Don’t have people tune out, talk about what Jesus talked about.
  2. A Strategic Theme.  It is not enough to just teach on real-life themes.  The topic needs to connect with a theme that’s already captured people’s attention.  If a series or message already relates with something that someone outside the church is already talking about, its easy for people to invite their friends. Think about what is popular in culture or is already trending and leverage that.
  3. The Biblical Truth.  We can talk about relevant topics that are compelling and real (they are important), but without Truth, people will never experience faith and forgiveness. Life change happens happens when people redirect their focus and trust to the person of Jesus Christ.

So, here is a test for you, think back over the last 6 months of your services and ask these three questions:

  1. Did we address a relevant topic or answer a question people outside of our church are asking?
  2. Did we connect it to a theme that is hot in culture?
  3. Did we offer biblical truth and lead people to Jesus?

When all three components are present, more people will be compelled to come to your services and hear the gospel message.  And when you begin to see lives changed, you will know your services will be compelling for all the right reasons.

(Adapted from Tony Morgan Live.com)

Why Do I Blog?

Kevin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why do I blog?

– Because I love my church but can’t personally connect to everyone who calls me ‘pastor’.  The people of The Wesleyan Church of Hamburg deserve everything I’ve got. This is one more way to give it.

– Because ministry, life and leadership are better when learning is shared.

– Because I’d rather offer my journey than just give my conclusions.

– Because I need to practice being generous, not just with my money, but with my heart, too.

– Because the Church/Kingdom/World is better when many voices are shaping the conversation it is having.

Stay tuned for more frequent posts and thoughts about life and ministry.  I would love to have you join the conversation.

Close Encounters Message Recap w/ Reading Plans

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Here is a summary of my message this past weekend entitled “Close Encounters”:

“The primary way that we can have a Close Encounter with God is through His Word.”

The Bible describes itself as (a):

  • Sword (Ephesians 6:17/Hebrews 4:12)
  • Honey (Psalm 119:103 & Psalm 34:8)
  • Lamp (Psalm 119:105 & 130)
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT) says,

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.  It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”

But, in order for us to have a Close Encounter with God in His Word, we need to take time to listen to Him.  Here are some steps you can take to do that:

  1. Have a Plan/Place
  2. Read/Reflect/Respond to God’s Voice
  • Scripture (write down the main verse)
  • Observation (put the verse in your own words)
  • Application (ask yourself, what does God want me to do?)
  • Prayer (pray that God would help to remember and do what He wants you to do

3.   Use Other Resources

  •  youversion.com (various versions and audio files to hear the audio versions of the Bible)

Here are some Reading Plans you can use that I mentioned in service.  

(click on a plan from the list below for a .pdf file that you can save and/or print out and put in your Bible or journal).

2 of 7 Deadly Sins of Leading Volunteers

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Sin #2: Not Having Fun

Volunteering in the church should be life giving, but too many times, it’s life draining.

Joy, passion and energy become monotonous repetition of tasks. People show up because they are supposed to, not because they want to.

Why can’t volunteering be fun? Why can’t people enjoy coming to church and serving with their fellow teammates? Why can’t people have a good time AND meet needs?

We believe it’s possible. Get creative and make volunteering fun again. Inject some life into the ministry and make sure people know it’s okay to laugh.

Play some games.

Eat some food.

Throw a party.

Give out a silly award.

Celebrate Well Together.

When people have fun doing something, guess what? They will do more of it. If you fight to make your volunteer teams fun, volunteers will be more engaged. All it takes to bring some fun to your volunteer teams is to have fun people involved.

If the leader of the team isn’t fun…recruit a fun person to be the fun coordinator. Make it someone’s job to plan a fun activity for the team – go bowling, play dodgeball in a junior high school gym, run  through a corn maze, or eat BBQ. Get outside of the church building and have fun together. It really will make a difference.

Bonus Tip: Coincide something fun with something that’s happening in the world.

March Madness. Fall Frenzy. A 4th of July Picnic.

(Taken from The Rocket Company)

7 Deadly Sins of Leading Volunteers

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We all have been warned about the 7 Deadly Sins or vices of wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.

If you work with a team of volunteers like I do, did you know there are 7 other deadly sins that kill ministry?

Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting on these 7 Deadly Sins of Leading Volunteers.

Sin #1 – Not saying thanks

Just because someone’s reward is in heaven doesn’t mean they don’t need to hear thank you here on earth. Appreciation is FUEL for volunteers. When their hard work is appreciated, it provides energy to keep going. The fact that you feel grateful doesn’t make an impact. It’s actually saying thanks that provides encouragement.

You don’t just need to BE thankful…you need to SAY thanks. That’s an important distinction.

One of the simplest and most effective way to say thanks is to send a thank you note. Not an email, not a Facebook status, text or email…. I’m talking about an old-fashioned, handwritten thank you note.

There really is power in saying thanks, and the hand-written thank you note is still the best way to do it. In this day of email, status updates and tweets, personal notes sent with a stamp really stand out. Doug Fields says thank you note notes are powerful because:

  • 1. They’re memorable. We delete emails and save notes. I’ve got friends in their 40’s who have shown me notes that I sent them when they were in my youth group.
  • 2. They’re personal. With a handwritten note, it goes against the “reply to all” feeling that emails communicate. Even when I get a personal email, I often wonder if it was a cut/paste that the other speakers/leaders/etc… received. I don’t question the “mass distribution” of a mailed note.
  • 3. They communicate value . With dozens of texts and 100+ emails I receive every day, a note stands out. When I get an occasional hand-written note I feel valued by the person who took the time and spent the money to communicate with me.
  • 4. They’re powerful. I’d go so far to state that a note can make someone’s day. Before my kids could even read they’d follow me to the mailbox and ask if they got any mail. I’d usually say, “Yes you did…Resident.” I don’t always read emails, but when a handwritten, hand-addressed note comes to my home, I ALWAYS see it.

(Taken from The Rocket Company)

Searches in 2012

Living in the 21st century, it is so easy to search out any topic or fact we desire to know more about in an instant with the help of Google.

So, what did the world search for in 2012?

The video below is a recap of the most popular searches over this past year.

With so many people searching for Truth…  Jesus said, “I am the way, the Truth and the Life.” – John 14:6

It is during this season, on that first Christmas, that access to Truth and Life was given to all men and women –

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son.  That whoever believes in Him, will never perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

 

ADVENT 2012

ADVENT means, “the arrival“…

As we celebrate ADVENT this December, let us reflect on the significance of the amazing event that took place 2000 years ago.

Mary was a teenage girl engaged to marry a poor carpenter named Joseph.  She lived on a dusty fringe of the might Roman Empire, just another powerless peasant in another insignificant town.  Yet she was the young woman to whom God extended the invitation to be the mother of the Messiah, Jesus.

In Luke’s account, Gabriel, God’s archangel, announces to Mary that she has found favor with God – she will give birth to a child and she will name him Jesus.  Mary’s response – “Here I am, the Lord’s humble servant.  As you have said, let it be done to me.” – is as simple as it is inspiring.  She doesn’t protest or let her fear sway her from following God.

Then… He Came.

Lead Yourself Well – Part 1

To lead yourself well, you have to be intentional—you have to do something.

All self-leaders do five things: 

1. Begin with the end in mind. Self-leaders have a vision for the kind of people they want to be and they pursue that vision. 

2. Actively learn. Self-leaders recognize that they’re responsible for their spiritual development. They explore and discover. They’re curious. 

3. Practice rest. Self-leaders make time to reflect and recharge. They maintain a sustainable pace. 

4. Pursue health. Self-leaders take the necessary steps to become or remain physically, emotionally, and relationally healthy. 

5. Lead from the inside out. Self-leaders recognize they can never rise above the limits of their own characters. They cultivate integrity and moral authority by maintaining harmony between what they say and how they live.

Leadership is everything!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was recently reminded at a seminar this past week, that everything rises and falls on leadership. In other words, how well am I leading myself and those around me?

The sole purpose of this blog is to give you the reader a snapshot of  what I am learning as it relates to the influence and leadership that God has entrusted to me, to hopefully encourage you in your leadership journey as well.

Over the multiple posts that follow in this blog, it is my prayer that we would be the people of God that are leading others with the leadership principles that have been entrusted to us in His word.

I want to encourage you with this video taken from a leadership conference called Catalyst back in 2007.