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Check this article from this week’s edition of Ministry Briefing: Andy Stanley, pastor of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, GA, takes a different look at the political system than most of what is in the daily media. He says a lot of adults in the church are putting their hope in the political system instead of Jesus, and that can create other problems.
“All of you who are 45 and older, look up here,” Stanley says, “Many of you have grown weary and lost heart and the reason is–you have fixed your eyes on a political system… and you are growing weary and you need to knock it off and I’ll tell you why… because you are scaring the children!”
Read the full article here. The bottom line: 
  • Put your trust in Jesus, not the political system
  • Our kids pick up on our attitudes and outlook
  • “You need to model for the next generation that God is in control, God can be trusted.”
What do you think? Find this story interesting?  It’s just one of 50 top stories great leaders are reading about this week in Ministry Briefing!
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Humor, Humor, Start Here
(who knows… maybe he can). But I digress. Ever have a sermon your particularly proud of?  I mean, you think it’s one of your better efforts?  And you’d put it right up next to the best sermons out there. Well, I’m not a preacher… but I play the comparison game all day long sometimes. And just when I think I’ve done something well, I find someone who does it much better. Andy Stanley, you might say. In this video I’m the guy on the left… thinking ‘I got this thing’. Then Andy shows up (he’s played by the girl on the right). Oh snap. keep reading
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HT to Mark Howell for this one… It’s a quote from Andy Stanley on what would really happen if he, his staff, and all the buildings ceased to exist.
Let’s say that something happens to me, all the staff, and all the buildings simultaneously explode.  Let’s make it worst case scenario.  There’s no staff.  There’s no buildings.  And there’s no me.  Here’s what would happen.  On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday of the following week, thousands and thousands of adults would gather in homes all over the city and pray together, and do Bible study together and take care of whatever family members are left over and the church is going to go on…. Because at the end of the day, circles are better than rows.  And from day one, we’ve been committed to creating a culture that’s all about circles and not rows.  We are famous for our rows.  But the strength of our churches is what happens in circles.
Great stuff… So… how would YOUR church do if you, your staff, and your buildings were instantly blown off the face of the earth? Would the church continue? Be honest?  What would happen? // Read more from Mark here… Todd
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OK… see if this intro does not make you want to read the whole article: Andy Stanley walked into his pastor’s office, filled with dread. The minister sat in a massive chair behind an enormous desk. He spread his arms across the desk as if he were bracing for battle. His secretary scurried out of the office when she saw Andy coming. The pastor had baptized Andy when he was 6, and groomed him to be his successor. But a private trauma had gone public. And Andy felt compelled to speak. The minister stared in silence as Andy gave him the news. The “unspoken dream” both men shared was over. After Andy finished, the pastor looked at him as tears welled up. “Andy,” he said, “you have joined my enemies, and I’m your father.” In this exclusive CNN article, Andy and Charles share what really happened when Andy quit First Baptist Atlanta and started North Point Ministries. It’s a pretty inside and open look at two of America’s more popular preachers. You can read it all here. I’d love to hear your first impressions after reading it.  Please leave a comment. Todd
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This makes me angry.  Should it? [Sorry… couldn’t get the video to embed… but watch it here, then come back!] By making a point, this pastor and church has alienated the very people they should be reaching. I like how Andy Stanley puts it:  I’d rather make a difference than a point. The town got the point. But the church has lost it’s chance to make a difference. Way to rally the base and lose the war. Thoughts? Todd Found here…
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It’s been seventeen years since Andy Stanley left his father’s First Baptist Church in Atlanta.  Seventeen years since Charles Stanley’s controversial divorce, and seventeen years since the rift that caused the father/son ministry team to separate. Last month, Andy Stanley spoke at First Baptist to honor his father’s 80th birthday.  And he opened up to the Atlanta Journal Constitution about the awkward departure from First Baptist, the founding of North Point, and the healing that’s taken place between him and his father: There’s also a nice article that goes along with the video here… Todd
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North Point answered the call of Andy Stanley on Sunday and gave over $1.5 million to the church’s ‘Be Rich’ campaign. According to 11alive.com: The idea started at North Point Ministries five years ago and caught on quickly. The message from the pulpit was very simple — you have it, they don’t. “The reality is by world standards, if we have more than we need, we are rich. So this is an opportunity not to be rich, but to be rich toward others,” said North Point’s director of community services, Bryan Apinis. From the pulpit, the needs were spelled out — give to support foster care, find shelter for the homeless, rebuild inner city schools and help with health care. “We help several other organizations,” said congregation member Kenneth Washington. “We go downtown and actually feed the homeless. If you saw that crowd and saw the number of people who show up — kids running around in diapers — you would feel compelled to give every single time. We take out little guys downtown with us so they can appreciate how good they have it.” This type of giving — with no bounds or strings attached — is adding another dimension to Georgia hospitality. It’s called Georgia generosity. Just two years ago, North Point Ministries raised a quarter-million dollars in one day. On Sunday, they did it again — raising more than $1.5 million from its congregations in a single day. You can read more here… Way to go North Point! Todd
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Leadership Journal recently interviewed both Tim Keller and Andy Stanley.  Both have recently written books on reaching communities. But Andy and Tim are very different from each other in their approach. This LJ article shows the differences and the similarities that you might find interesting:
Geographically, New York and Atlanta are less than 900 miles apart. Culturally, they occupy different universes. New York is fast-paced, cutthroat, and secular. Atlanta, by contrast, is southern, faith-friendly, the last big loop on the Bible Belt. • Like the cities in which they minister, Tim Keller and Andy Stanley are markedly different as well. Stanley is a pragmatist, a leader’s leader known for his vision and commitment to creating environments where the unchurched feel welcomed. Keller, on the other hand, is a professorial presence, a skilled theologian who effectively addresses the doubts of intellectual urbanites. • Both have new books explaining their distinctive ministry philosophies. Tim Keller’s tome is Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City (Zondervan, 2012). Andy Stanley’s magnum opus is Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend (Zondervan, 2012). • We spoke with Keller and Stanley about what they’ve written. Their answers uncovered some deep differences—and surprising similarities.
First, the book trailers: Read the article here…
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Andy Stanley has some preaching advice that he shared at the NewSpring Leadership Conference:
“It’s really your approach, and not your content, that determines how well that you engage unchurched people…If we’re not willing to adjust our sails and adjust our approach, you can spend your entire life … telling the truth and driving people away from it at the same time… Non-Christians aren’t supposed to obey the Bible… We’d love for them to … But when you preach broadly and you don’t differentiate, what unchurched people hear is judgment.”
Here’s more:
“We do not believe Jesus rose from the dead because Adam and Eve were literal, physical people … The basis of Christianity is not all the difficult to believe parts of the Old Testament, but as long as we present to our children and to our generation it’s all or nothing, that’s almost impossible to defend… You know why I believe in the resurrection? Not because of the B-I-B-L-E. Because Matthew saw it, Mark talked to somebody who saw it, Luke interviewed a whole bunch of people who saw it, John saw it, Peter saw it, James saw it … I don’t know what happened to dinosaurs, and I don’t know anything about Adam and Eve, but I believe Jesus rose from the dead, and when you start believing Jesus rose from the dead, you’re going to take the Old Testament a lot more seriously.”
Your thoughts? Todd HT:  The Christian Post
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