Church models radical generosity, gives away $100k

In one of the coolest stories I have read in quite some time, Community Bible Church of San Antonio Pastor Robert Emmitt felt the Holy Spirit calling him to take a huge step of faith. After hearing about a fire that destroyed Childress Memorial Church of God in Christ he felt led to give the church $100,000 towards rebuilding efforts.

We hear a good bit of negative press about churches and money, churches fighting against one another, or church scandals… it is stories like this that reminds me why I love the church, and how cool it can be to see the church step up and be The Church.

Have you ever been a part of something like this?

Click through, hear more of the story, and let us know what you think:

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Catholic hospital argues against fetus

Earlier this month a lawsuit in Colorado saw a hospital involved in a lawsuit with the husband of a lady who died from cardiac arrest while waiting for treatment in the lobby. Lori Stodghill was twenty-eight weeks pregnant, carrying twins, when she passed away, and her husband Jeremy is suing the hospital for the wrongful death of all three.

In response, the hospital’s defense team argued that Colorado law states that an embryo is not a person until it is born alive.

Many would consider this to be a perfectly logical defense… except for one small fact: St. Thomas More Hospital is owned and operated by Catholic Health Initiatives.

While church leadership has spoken out about the lapse of judgement on the part of the legal team, this makes for an excellent case study in what happens when your team is not united around the basic beliefs of your organization… and the disastrous consequences that result from that lack of unity.

How have YOU seen a lack of common belief blowing up in a church?

catholic hospital

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Why Christians should let non-Christians off the moral hook

Great post by Carey Nieuwhof this morning… Carey writes:

It bothers me  that Christians continually express shock, disapproval and judgment at the way non-Christians live.

You’ve seen it, and maybe even done it:

Doesn’t anyone believe in marriage anymore?

I can’t get over how many people today smoke weed.

Can you believe they just sleep in instead of coming to church?

Did you hear they moved in together? That’s so bad!

What’s wrong with our government? Why don’t they uphold biblical values?

Whenever I hear that, I I feel like saying “Do you seriously expect non-Christians to behave like Christians?”

Think it through.

Most people in the West no longer consider themselves Christian.

Or even if they use the term “Christian” to describe themselves, few believe in the authority of scripture or profess a personal faith in Jesus Christ.

So why would we expect them to behave like Christians? Why would we expect people who don’t profess to be Christians to:

Wait until marriage to have sex?

Clean up their language?

Be celibate when they’re attracted to people of the same sex?

Pass laws like the entire nation was Christian?

Seriously? Why?

They’re not pretending to be Christians. Why would they adopt Christian values or morals?

You can continue to read here…

I agree with Carey.  As Christians, many times it is much easier to belly ache about how bad things are in our culture, and how evil the world is.

Truth is… we really can’t expect the world to live ‘Christianly’.  Can we?

If you weren’t a Christian… if you didn’t know Jesus… would you NOT live differently?

Why wouldn’t you?

So… rather than crying foul all the time, maybe we should just get back to work, and make the changes one life at a time.

Thoughts?

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Have you ever left your church because of another staff member?

This article’s title caught my attention:

“Employees leave managers, not companies.”

I wondered if the same was true with churches and pastors.

Do church employees leave pastors, not churches?

Think back… most of us have served local churches in positions other than the senior pastor position (even if you’re a senior pastor now).

Have you ever left a church’s employment because of the pastor?

Or was it because of the church in general?

(Either way, I bet you told everyone that God was ‘calling you elsewhere’).  :)

I’d love to hear your story.  Please leave a comment below.

And here’s the link to the article…

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Are you a hammer? Or a screw driver?

Do you always tackle and try to solve problems the same way?

Most people do.

Leadership Freak offers some great advice that will help you next time you’re stuck:

Become a screw driver:

Hammers see every problem as a nail. Expand your potential by becoming a screw driver.

  1. Identify default responses.
  2. Imagine new responses. Ask yourself, “How does Mary handle this type of situation?”
  3. Test new language.
  4. Invite feedback.
  5. Continue practicing your screw driver skills.

Leaders become ineffective – one string banjos – unless they imagine themselves in new ways.

Imagine you’re a screw driver. You can’t do what you can’t imagine. When default responses aren’t getting you where you want to go, imagine yourself with new ones.

 Read more here…

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To Lent or not to Lent. That is the question.

Interesting. This morning I found two articles posted at nearly the same exact time.

The first, by Nathan Finn, was entitled “Why I Observer Lent”  Nathan writes:

I choose to observe Lent is because it affords me an opportunity to disengage a bit from the culture of what Tim Suttle calls satiation—“the absolute satisfaction of every human need to the point of excess.” As a relatively affluent American evangelical, at least compared to most believers in the world, I’m particularly prone to satiation. And the more I’m satiated, the easier it is for my affections to become dulled to the most important priorities—the kingdom priorities—that ought to animate my life. So, if you want to think about this way, I’m making an Edwardsean argument for my own Lenten observance. (Recognizing, of course, that Edwards himself would not have been a fan of Lent.) I want to unplug for awhile (metaphorically speaking) in order to redirect my affections towards the One whose infinite beauty and worth surpasses all the good, but fleeting pleasures of this life.

The second, by A Pilgrim’s Progress, says this:

I don’t observe/celebrate/take part in Lent because it’s not in the bible.  It’s that simple.

Two different ranges on the spectrum, I guess.

Where are YOU on that spectrum?

I’d love to hear how you ‘do’ or ‘don’t do’ lent.

Leave a comment below.

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BREAKING: Rick Warren to start new daily radio show

Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, recently announced that he will be starting a new radio show. The show, thirty minutes in length, will be broadcast Monday through Friday in the top twenty-five radio markets in the nation. The show is being launched in order to combat the rise of rudeness, and war on religious freedom in the United States. Rick has spoken several times of late on talk shows about the lack of civility in our country, and was quoted in the story saying:

“People are far more rude now than they used to be… Our civilization is losing its civility. We just don’t know how to be nice to people.”

This is a pretty radical departure for Rick, who up until now has stayed away from hosting his own tv or radio show.

What do YOU think?

Are you comfortable with Rick Warren becoming a more public voice of Christianity?

Is there someone else that you would rather see doing this?

Rick Warren Radio Show

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Hubris and cockiness in young church leaders

Dr. Ed Welch suggests that a young leader should walk alongside a leader who’s been doing this ministry gig for a while.  When they see their friend struggle with the difficulties of ministry, it will change the way the look at their work and ministry:

Were you ever once a young, cocky leader?

How long did it take to cure you?  And what broke you of your cockiness?

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Three Ways To Know You’re Having an Impact

Does your church have a way of measuring leadership effectiveness? Are you constantly monitoring the development and performance of your staff and volunteer leaders? Scott Cochrane says:

“Imagine if you could actually measure the effectiveness of your leadership development.

Imagine if you could somehow really tell if all the leadership books you are reading and the seminars you are attending are paying off.

Is it possible? Can you actually measure the effectiveness of your leadership development?

Absolutely.

In fact, measuring your progress is not only possible, it’s imperative.”

In this edition of Ministry Briefing, we talk about how to measure leadership performance, how to know if you are succeeding as a leader, and why this is so important.

Check it out, and let us know what you think:

ministry impact

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Spending Your Time the “Jesus” Way

A recent blog post from Michael Perkins encourages us to stop wasting time. In it, he points out how easily distractible we are, how easy it is for us to get caught up in the fluff of the world around us, and to waste time that we should be spending focusing on the important things going on in the world today:

Everyday people are dying and literally going to hell.
Everyday the poor goes without the necessities to live.
Everyday people die of a treatable disease.
Everyday people are sold and abused in sex slavery.
We have all gotten engrossed in a story here or there, we have all gotten distracted by current events, but where do we draw the line between being completely unengaged in the world around us, and being so up to date on pop culture that we have lost all of our redemptive influence?

How do you create a healthy balance?

spending time the jesus way

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