Monday, November 24, 2008

The Dangerous Act of Worship by Mark Labberton

In Mark Labberton's recent book The Dangerous Act of Worship, worship is defined as the dangerous act of waking up to God and God's purposes in the world. When we gather corporately, we often close our eyes to those around us, focusing on God but ignoring our neighbor. Mark rightly says, true biblical worship does not merely point us upward it should turn us outward as well.

He warns against several dangers in our corporate worship experience. First, we must be aware of worship that lies to God. According the Bible, of the many qualities that matter to God, none is more important that truth (John 4:23, 18:37). Secondly, we must be aware of worship that lies about God. Mark points out how easily it is to relegate our worship to corporate singing and forget that our life should worship God. Our failure to demonstrate God's purposes with our lives lies about God. Thirdly, worship that does not change us is not worship at all. If we truly meet God, we will never be the same. Finally, worship that doesn't change the world is not worship. Our worship should make a difference in the world and not just feed our selfishness.

I agree with author James Miller, "I wouldn't have been offended if Labberton had wanted to yell at me about his content in order to do what he says in chapter one must be done: to wake up the church. Of course to expect yelling from a Presbyterian might be asking much."

A Leadership Source pt. 2

Part one of the Leadership Source is about character modeling. Part two contains the checkpoints of practical ministry. Each task is described by two accompanying actions.

1. Model Servanthood (Observing and Listening)
2. Set Attitude (Hoping and Honoring)
3. Cast Vision (Communicating and Communicating)
4. Develop People (Equipping and Encouraging)
5. Share Authority (Enlisting and Empowering)
6. Require Excellence (Inspecting and Improving)
7. Show Appreciation (Validating and Valuing)

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Leadership Source

Jim Bradford, senior pastor of Central Assembly, is an extraordinary communicator and gifted leader. Many have asked what I have learned from him while working in the trenches of ministry. The following is what I consider to be his "leadership source" from which all life and ministry flow:

1. Know God - "If the preaching ministry was taken from me, would I still have a personal, growing relationship with Jesus."

2. Pursue Integrity - "Are there areas of ongoing secrecy in my life that I am trying to intentionally hide from those closest to me?"

3. Be Yourself - "How often do I hear people say, 'Pastor, thank you for your authenticity.'"

4. Own Responsibility - "Do I acknowledge my mistakes or do I project blame and use the pulpit to vent unresolved anger?"

5. Embrace Change - "Is my attitude faith-filled and future-focused or am I overly nostalgic of the past and fearful of taking risks in the present?"

6. Love Learning - "Am I coasting intellectually or am I applying myself to the disciplines of personal study and reflection?"

7. Live Joyfully - "Am I living under the self-imposed pressure of always having to prove something to somebody?"

Too much time!

I have heard before that having too much free time is not good. If people didn't have excess time then when would people have great video tributes to classic movies like the following:

Monday, November 3, 2008

First Saturdays at Hemingways

I like this. Guys in groups talking about faith. Talking about their lives. Talking about their hopes, struggles, and dreams.

It's good.

There are lots of good guys in this group. There are some in ministry fields, marketing fields, medical fields, etc. This doesn't matter when we come together at Hemingways.
These are real men sharpening each other...to live great lives.

Jon Woodward leads the question and answers. He is awesome. Leo also started us a facebook group.

These guys are making progress....together.

Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

We finished Bass Pro Marathon!

We finished!

Daisy and I completed our first endurance challenge together on Sunday November 2. We received the medal the moment we crossed the finished line but the real reward was realizing all of the training paid off.

I completed the half-marathon and Daisy completed the full marathon. I am so proud of her. I wanted to do this with her as an act of my commitment to her. While many run for all sorts of incredible organizations, I felt to run for our relationship. Relationships require work, sacrifice, and endurance much like our race. I love her.

I'm doing life with a great woman! She's my best friend.

I'm not worthy, but I'm very grateful!

2 Tim 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.