Tag Archives: ministry

Mission Drift and how to Avoid It.

Mission Drift

“In its simplest form, Mission True organizations know why they exist and protect their core at all costs. They remain faithful to what they believe God has entrusted them to do. They define what is immutable: their values and purposes, their DNA, their heart and soul.” (p. 27)

Mission Drift is a book that will help any organization, charity, church face the future with a steadfast foundation. What is that steadfast foundation? God. This book builds on research that helps the reader realize that any organization is prone to wander from its original mission. Many Ivy League universities started as places to train young men for the ministry. However, if you look at them now, they have strayed from that purpose and are far from what the founders intended. You can go all around the globe and find many ministries, charitable organizations, trust funds who were founded for one specific purpose and with a mission in mind, who have now drifted. This happens over time and to keep it from happening, it takes intentionality. Staying true to your mission does not just happen, it has to be made to happen. For some organizations or charities, it might mean turning down donations from companies or people who want you to change who you are, or maybe just not mention God or Jesus Christ as much.

What will you do as you go through life? Do you have a mission that is founded? What is it? How do you know that you will not drift from it in the future? Do you work at a church, charity, or any other organization that is currently Christian? What will keep it from changing in the future? This book is written to help you answer that question. Mission Drift is for leaders and people in leadership positions who help make decisions that guide organizations or ministries into the future.

The authors Peter Greer and Chris Horst write Mission Drift not simply from observing and researching, but also from experiencing it themselves in their own lives. They write from a point of view of having experienced what it takes to remain mission true. They combine their own personal experience with research to help the reader understand the importance of this topic. As time continues to march towards the return of Jesus Christ, life is not necessarily going to get easier for Christians. As a matter of fact, according to the Bible, it will get more difficult. So as Christians, should we fold or continue to stand true and not drift from the mission God has given us? The Bible only gives one answer to people who claim to follow Christ: to persevere regardless of circumstances. We need to be equipped and ready for what lies ahead, and Mission Drift will help you.

As a youth pastor, I can see the effects of drifting from a mission. It is not always a dramatic shift all at once, rather, it is something that takes place over time. So if you are in any kind of leadership position with a ministry, church, charity or Christian organization, read this book.

Disclaimer: In accordance with FTC regulations, I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in return for a review of the book.

 


Weekly Scoop

It’s Friday and here is the first Weekly Scoop of 2014. I have taken a couple weeks off from the Scoop but am happy to get it going again. I am excited about what this New Year and look forward to what God is going to do. This Weekly Scoop is more for people in the ministry but regardless I believe they would be worth anyone’s time. Without further ado, here are a few links you should check out:

Last year I came across Justin Lathrop through Twitter and I am glad I did. His posts are great and I would highly recommend you look him up. Here are two posts of his you should look into: Becoming a Great Leader and Becoming a Better Storyteller.

Tony Morgan is another individual I recently came across who commonly posts very insightful articles for anyone to read. The articles I am linking to today would be great for anyone in ministry to take the time to read: Mistakes Teaching Pastors should Avoid and Things People want to know before they will give to your church.

Scott Williams is yet one more person you should look into. He served for a couple years as a Campus Pastor for LifeChurch.tv’s Northwest Oklahoma City Campus. He currently serves as Chief Solutions Officer for Nxt Level Solutions. He has a heart for Jesus and helping people use their God given abilities. Here are two posts of his for you to check out: 14 Things God Says About You and How To Effectively Manage your Time in 2014.

If you have ever wanted to see 50 of the most extraordinary churches in the world, then you have come to the right place. Click on the link to see some strange, unique, beautiful as well as some downright weird church architecture: 50 Most Extraordinary Churches in the World.

Lastly, here is a link to some free curriculum from Brad Hambrick. If you are looking for some curriculum for your church, this is worth your time: 7 Free Video Curriculum from 2013.

Thank you for taking the time to check out this Weekly Scoop. If you like what you see here, feel free to share with friends or on Twitter or Facebook. You can also subscribe to this blog and have every post sent straight to your email. Thanks again for your time. If you feel there is something I missed that is worth sharing, let me know in the comments. God bless.


Everyday Church.

Everyday Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis

Do you believe the time is coming where the church in America is going to have to make some changes with how it attempts to reach non-believers with the Gospel? Do you believe the church in America can continue to wait for the world to come darken its doors? Do you believe that we might be missing something if that is our mindset? According to Everyday Church, 85 million Americans will never come to church. There are various reasons why they will never come to church but that is not the point. The point here is that if we continue to wait for the church to come to us, we will basically miss any opportunity to share the gospel with much of the population. With that mindset, Tim Chester and Steve Timmis approach the topic of how to really do church. With that said, this review is going to be brief but not because there is not much to include. The opposite is true in that there is so much truth within these pages, you will need to pick it up for yourself.

Everyday Church is basically an exposition of 1 Peter. Steve and Tim do an amazing job of breaking down the text and helping the reader understand it from the early church perspective and then applying it to our current culture. They make a point I believe many modern day American Christians would not necessarily agree with in that they say Christians today have been pushed to the margins. No longer are Christians sought after for wisdom and ideas. We are no longer at the center of the culture. We have been pushed to the edges and whenever we speak up, people want us to just go back to our buildings and leave them alone. They want us to stop “judging” them. The best defense Christians have for the faith is Christians truly living out their faith. If we are not living in such a way to make Christ look attractive, then why would the world want to believe? The authors present the book of 1 Peter as the perfect guide to help us rediscover the way to really impact the world with the Gospel and it is through our everyday lives, not our events. Events can make an impact, but it is our lives that truly draw people to desire a relationship with the Lord.

One of the ways they encourage us to live the gospel every day is to stop creating groups in the church to ask non-believing friends to join, but instead to join groups in your community already formed. They encourage us to put more importance on the everyday living than on just the big events. They are not saying avoid them, but if we are to make a lasting impression on our communities, we will need to step outside our walls and meet people where they are.

Read some of the following quotes taken from the book:

“Christians are like immigrants, foreigners, temporary residents, refugees. We do not belong. We do not have the rights of citizens. We are outsiders. We are living on the edge of the culture.”

“We need to do church and mission in the context of everyday life…We must think of church as a community of people who share life, ordinary life. “

Speaking of Christians in our culture today, “We may not often be persecuted, but we are marginalized.”

“We cannot claim to be faithfully proclaiming the gospel to the lost through our Sunday preaching when most of the lost do not attend church. We need to do mission outside church and church events.”

“We need to discover or recover the sense that if this year we are not imprisoned, then it has been a good year in which by the grace of God, we have gotten off lightly.”

“Love and passion and enthusiasm are infectious…You will never attract people to Jesus if you are not excited about Jesus. Enthusiasm creates interest. Passion breeds passion. Loving Jesus is the antidote to legalism.”

The last part of this book I want to touch on in this review is here in this culture today, we need to stop believing that missionaries only need to be sent overseas to preach the Gospel. With 85 million Americans who will never go to church, it is time to start living as missionaries in our own culture. We need to recover the idea that this world is not our home, we are just passing through, and our mission in our short time here is to share the Gospel with the world around us. It takes our lives…the lives that happen Monday through Saturday, not just the life we live on Sunday.

Tim Chester and Steve Timmis have hit a home run with Everyday Church. As I look back through it, there is something underlined or highlighted on almost every page. This book is a must read for anyone serving in the ministry. Tim and Steve both live in Europe and their insights into the church there are profound. It has been said that if you want to see where America is going culturally, look at Europe. Because of this, I believe what Tim and Steve have experienced in Europe and write about will be extremely profitable for us here in America. And as I already said, if you serve in ministry in any capacity, this book is one you need to pick up. Not only will it open your eyes, it could help change how you see and do church.

Thanks for taking the time to read this review. Comments are welcome.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crossway in exchange for this review. Thanks for taking the time to read this review and feel free to leave comments or questions.


Weekly Scoop

It is Friday, which means I only had one more day to post my weekly scoop. I want to begin with a quote I saw on Twitter earlier this week.

In a hurting world, we need Christians prepared to commit to Christ wholeheartedly, think deeply, give dangerously, and live authentically. – RZIM Canada

This quote speaks for itself as to the content but I dare you to actually think about it and then take a look at your life and ask yourself if this is how your life as a follower of Christ could be defined.

Now, without further ado, here are the links you should take a minute and check out.

Are you busy? Wondering how to slow down or try to retain a sense of your sanity? Ann Voskamp’s blog will encourage you in a couple ways: 1, you are not alone; and 2, you can remain sane during life’s most insane moments: http://www.aholyexperience.com/2013/09/the-key-to-staying-sane-in-spinning-world/

I read this story the other day of a pastor’s first day on the job. Check it out: http://ireporterstv.co/church-members-mistreat-homeless-man-in-church-unaware-it-is-their-pastor-in-disguise/

For this one, I do not have a link to share but something I was made aware of through the internet this past week is something that will sicken you: sex-selective abortions. They are already being done in some areas of the world. Could this be the next thing to rock our country? Do a Google search to read up on this as there will come a time where you might need to be ready to share your opinion on this topic.

If you have an iPhone, make it work for you, not the other way around: http://adammclane.com/2013/09/23/7-ios-7-hacks-for-parents/

Finally, a link that I believe is a must read for any parent, youth worker, pastor, teacher, etc. When I read this, it was eye-opening and we need to have our eyes opened. So check it out: www.annemariemiller.com/2013/08/19/three-things-you-dont-know-about-your-children-and-sex/

That is all for this week. I pray that these links will serve to open your eyes to the world around you, help you manage your life in a better way or encourage you in your walk with the Lord. Are there any stories you would recommend I check out? Let me know in the comments section.

 


Dangerous Calling by Paul David Tripp

 

Dangerous Calling

This book is, simply put, a must read for any individual who desires to enter full-time, part-time or lay pastoral ministry. I would actually go so far as to say that this book would be an eye-opener for anyone in the church because many people in the church do not truly understand everything a pastor faces in his life and ministry. Paul David Tripp does an amazing job of capturing the dangers and temptations that face not just the pastor, but his family as well. Dangerous Calling takes a long, in-depth look at pastoral ministry and reveals what could be considered a darker side of ministry.

Before reading this book, I was only vaguely familiar with Paul Tripp and his ministry, and most of my exposure was through Twitter and a couple podcasts. I must confess that I am pleased I went with the recommendation to review Dangerous Calling. As a part-time youth pastor for the last two years, I have faced only portion of what many pastors have faced throughout their ministry. However, everything I read in Tripp’s book was presented in a clear and understandable way. What Paul writes in this book makes perfect sense and was not only a challenge to me, but also an encouragement because it shows that I am not alone in my struggles, nor will I ever be alone.

From the very beginning of the book, you see that Paul Tripp is not trying to hide behind a façade of seemingly perfect ministry. He is more than willing to share his own personal stories of struggle and weakness as a pastor that God brought him through and used in his own life and ministry to bring him to where he is today. He helps the reader understand that he is not above them looking down on them, but trying to walk alongside of them to encourage them and help them so they do not make some of the same errors he has made. He also uses stories from pastors who have come to him for help and encouragement. However, all of these stories and examples and insight are meant to bring us to the understanding that pastors still need the same grace we preach just as much as those we preach to need it. Pastors have not arrived at a certain level of holiness that has allowed them to become a pastor. Pastors are not above the gospel. Pastors are not at a place in their spiritual walk where they need something besides the gospel to keep them going. The hope of glory according to the Bible is Christ IN us, not Christ AND us. So the gospel includes everything we need to live a life that brings glory to God and leads us into a more intimate relationship with the Lord. This gospel is the same for everyone, from the newest follower of Christ to the most seasoned and battle-worn disciple. We are all saved by the same grace and are all called to make disciples. The temptation thought that faces many pastors today is the idea that they have arrived and they are somehow above those they are preaching too. This could not be further from the truth. Paul Tripp does an amazing job at explaining this in a way that helps humble a pastor but yet encourage them and push them towards the gospel.

I believe this book would do well in the hands of any seminary student as well and would be a very beneficial and insightful text for any would-be-pastor. In one part of the book, Paul shares stories from different seminary classes he has had the opportunity to teach and how it opened his eyes to how seminary is a very beneficial tool to help train ministry leaders, but it can also be extremely dangerous as well if the student’s heart is not truly where it needs to be. This topic is discussed in chapters entitled “Big Theological Brains and Heart Disease” and “More than Knowledge and Skill.” Being a pastor takes more than just theological knowledge and communication skills and counseling wisdom. Being a pastor takes a heart that seeks to chase and follow after God’s heart step by step. If the heart is not in it, the person filling the pulpit will do little to truly fill the role of a pastor in their local church. Dangerous Calling served as a great reminder and heart check for me in my ministry. Many times I have found myself falling short of my calling and with how I respond to and love people and this book brought me to an understanding of how I daily need God’s grace and to preach the gospel to myself in order to give me a heart after God’s own heart. The heart is the key to any ministry position and if our heart is left to wander, our ministry will wander as well.

Here are a couple noteworthy quotes from the book:

“In pastoral ministry, it is very hard to keep what God says is important, important in your heart.”

“It is critical to understand that your ministry will always be either propelled by or victimized by what you treasure.”

Being a pastor is much more than just a position to hold or a profession to seek. Your life is always under pressure from both the internal and external. Internally you have a battle raging as a follower of Christ and as someone attempting to lead and shepherd other Christians. You also face external pressures from those very people within your church as well. These pressures can eventually lead a pastor to crack, especially if their heart is not in the right place.

There are so many other quotes I could include or points I could make that I drew from this book but I am just going to strongly encourage you to actually pick up a copy of the book as well and read it for yourself. I highly recommend reading it as your eyes will be opened to the dangerous calling that pastors face. If you are following God’s leading in your life to be a pastor, this book will be great. Or, if you simply want to understand how you can minister to your pastor, this book would be well worth your time.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crossway in exchange for this review. Thanks for taking the time to read this review and feel free to leave comments or questions.