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Archive for July, 2006

quotes from an an old-school, Jesus-loving Bible-thumper

Mark Driscoll, the lead pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA, is a guy who is passionate about Jesus, manliness, theology, and reaching culture for Christ. Recently he answered some email questions for a Christianity Today article. Here’s a sampling of quotes from the article that highlight what makes Driscoll so attractive…

Most contemporary churches are not very theological beyond a few evangelical basics, because they are guided more by pragmatism and programming than theology. At Mars Hill Church, we are driven by Reformed theological convictions and emerging missional methods.

The major blind spot of megachurches is that they tend to be very effeminate with aesthetics, music, and preaching perfectly tailored for moms. Manly men are repelled by this, and many of the men who find it appealing are the types to sing prom songs to Jesus and learn about their feelings while sitting in a seafoam green chair drinking herbal tea – —the spiritual equivalent of Richard Simmons.

Emerging theology offers obscurity, with a neutered God who would not say an unkind word to us, did not crush Jesus for our sins, and would not send anyone to hell.

In the end, I am an old-school, Jesus-loving Bible-thumper with a penchant for the portrait of Jesus in Revelation as an ultimate fighter with a tattoo down his leg.

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seperation of church and state

Separating our faith from our politics is a hard thing to do. Many times issues cross over party lines, with some people claiming to represent one way of thinking and doing, while other people another. Drawing a hard line on this can be very difficult for a church, as illustrated by what happened at Woodland Hills Church. Read this and let me know what you think:

“I am sorry to tell you,”” he continued, “that America is not the light of the world and the hope of the world. The light of the world and the hope of the world is Jesus Christ.” ” Read more….

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a picture is worth a thousand blog entries

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ordering the chaos in my solar system

I received a promotion mailer from Multnomah recently advertising a new small group study by John Piper. Inside the cover Piper has this amazing quote:

“When God is the blazing sun at the center of your solar system, all the planets of your life come into proper orbit.”

The planets of my life – my labor and leisure, my thinking and feeling, my dreaming and hoping, my wanting and getting, my being and doing – all of these things are held together in right order by setting Jesus Christ at the center of my life.

Recently I have had trouble keeping Christ there and the consequential chaos in my solar system proves it. I have felt like everything is out of whack with the way I want it to be. Thankfully, Jesus Christ is a faithful pursuer and friend who comes and sits next to me and patiently waits for me to embrace him. And during the last couple days I have been doing just that.

Slowly, Christ is again becoming the center of my solar system and the anchor of my planetary life. But I won’t fluff it up. Moving Jesus to the center and pulling the planets of my solar system into orbit with him is a hard endeavor. However, I choose to believe it is the best endeavor and the only one with eternal significance.

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pastoring actual people is part of the job

July 28, 2006 3 comments

Taken from:

Pastors Feel Confident in Ministry, But Many Struggle in their Interaction with Others

Pastors may be employed in one of society’’s most demanding professions and many churchgoers may place unrealistic expectations on their leaders. But today’’s pastors are surprisingly similar to people from other walks of life – with doubts and insecurities of their own. Pastors brim with self-confidence in many areas of their ministry, but admit it is a challenge to maintain genuine connections with other people.

A new study conducted by The Barna Group among a nationwide sample of Protestant pastors shows seven intriguing insights about how pastors think of themselves and the churches they lead.

1. Like other adults, many pastors struggle with personal relationships.

2. Most pastors are supremely confident in their abilities to teach, make disciples and lead.

3. Many pastors depict their personalities as shy and introverted.

4. Risk-taking drops off among pastors after 20-plus years in ministry.

5. Despite portrayals of pastors being single-minded in their focus on ministry, most pastors feel they lead a balanced life.

6. The age of the pastor often influences self-perceptions.

7. The largest gaps in self-perceptions were found between black and white pastors.

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mind sweep

July 28, 2006 1 comment

I often feel like I have all kinds of things swimming around in my head. Scott talked about this in a recent post too. He links to a pretty neat looking blog called 43 Folders.

On 43F is some writing on the concept of a ‘mind sweep.’ This is an exercise where you sit down and intentionally take inventory of everything flowing around in your head. Then you methodically write it all down and make a plan for clearing some of that ‘mental inventory.’ I need to try something like this sometime.

“The idea behind the mind-sweep is to identify and gather everything that is making claims on your attention or is likely to affect the larger areas of responsibility in your life — everything that’s quietly burning cycles, stealing focus, and whittling away at your attention — so that you can then decide what (if anything) must be done about each of those things.”

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a few preaching resources for you

Here is a list of preaching books that Darrin Patrick recommended at last year’s Acts 29 Network bootcamp:

Light and Heat (looks at the preaching of the Puritans) by R. Bruce Bickel
Christ-Centered Preaching (cornerstone textbook in many seminaries) by Bryan Chapell
The Sermon as Symphony (this book deals with preaching texts, esp. NT ones, according to their literary forms – note: Patrick doesn’t agree with all his theology) by Mike Graves
The Art of Prophesying by Noel Weeks
Refining Your Style (lets you hear and study 13 different preachers like Keller, Bell, Lucado, McManus, and Strobel) by Dave Stone
Preaching Between Two Worlds by John Stott

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