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Pastor Perry Noble of NewSpring Church in the Anderson, SC area chided pastors for endorsing political candidates. Noble called on pastors to focus on preaching the Gospel since Jesus is the only hope of the world. Noble added that he values voting, is grateful for America, and will let his faith guide who he votes for, but he refused to let his choice of a candidate prevent him from praying for America’s leader.
Click here to read the full story. Why this matters for church leaders: Noble’s tweet was strongly worded: “Dear pastors, please SHUT UP about endorsing a political candidate!!! Preach the GOSPEL!! Jesus is the ONLY hope of the world.” While he added in a statement that he supports voting according to your religious convictions, Noble challenges leaders to walk a fine line during an election season: What should pastors say publicly? While most pastors will vote according to their convictions, each pastor has to consider the impact of sharing personal political views with the public. Will a pastor’s ability to preach the Gospel be limited by an official endorsement? Does a church lose its tax exempt status by endorsing a candidate? There is no perfect candidate: Four years ago many Christians wrestled with voting for a Mormon candidate for president. How important are issues compared to religious beliefs in a candidate? How do Christians evaluate the right candidate for president? Find this story interesting?  It’s just one of dozens of stories great leaders are reading about this week in Ministry Briefing! All readers of my blog can get the next four issues of Ministry Briefing for just $1!
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Leadership
Perry Noble shares an important truth that many of us should visit today:  We don’t fight battles with people that claim to be Christian but don’t like us”.  Why… quite simple:  That is not our calling. Have you been criticized by someone who doesn’t know you?  Have you been cut down from someone who has never attended your church?  How about another church in town that doesn’t agree with your style of ministry?  Don’t take on that battle… it’s not your calling. Bottom line:  We can’t control what other people say about us.  But we can control how closely we stick to our calling of preaching the gospel. Take a look: What do you think?
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Controversy
Content Warning! Mark Driscoll has been getting some heat as of late for some comments he made in a new e-book.  Here’s the part that has people talking.  Warning, it has to do with the M word:
Masturbation can be a form of homosexuality because it is a sexual act that does not involve a woman. If a man were to masturbate while engaged in other forms of sexual intimacy with his wife then he would not be doing so in a homosexual way. However, any man who does so without his wife in the room is bordering on homosexuality activity, particularly if he’s watching himself in a mirror and being turned on by his own male body.
This is the paragraph out of the whole booklet that people are taking out.  You can read it in it’s full context here (although I’m not sure that will help much). Mark also introduces another new word to me in this piece:  monosexuality. Growing up in the church, I’ve heard and read many reasons against masturbation.  Perry Noble wrote a widely-read piece on the subject back in 2006. But I’ve never heard it at all linked to possibly being a form of homosexuality. Have you? Thoughts? Todd
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Staffing
Perry Noble recently shared four types of staff members that he sees.  I wonder which ones you have on YOUR staff… and… which one are YOU? #1 – “Can Do” This is the person that if you tell them you want to land a 747 on the stage of your church they immediately begin to brainstorm as to how it can be done.  They have a fire and passion and really do believe that NOTHING is impossible with God. #2 – “Can’t Do” Many times these people like to refer to themselves as “the devils advocate,” they are always finding reasons things can’t get done and seem to bring a negative tone to every meeting they are in.  I have said it before, I will say it again…the devil does not need a freakin advocate, he is doing fine all by himself.  The person that is always saying that something can’t be done is USUALLY saying so because if the vision that is being cast is put into play then it will cause either a greater amount of work for them…OR require them to leave their comfort zone. #3 – “Won’t Do” If a staff member (including the senior pastor) isn’t willing to do whatever it takes to make the vision happen then that team will NEVER accomplish all that it could accomplish.  If someone on staff makes it a common practice to declare what they will not do in regards to executing the vision of the church then they are not pursuing Jesus (who washed feet in John 13) and need to be confronted in love and challenged that our gifting does make us unique…but we all have the same calling, to do whatever it takes to reach as many people as possible who are far from God. #4 – “Didn’t Know I Could Do” The disciples had no idea they could do what they wound up doing until a leader came along (Jesus) who was constantly challenging them to go beyond themselves and attempt the “impossible.” There are people in our churches and on our staff that are able to do way more than they are currently doing…they just are unaware of it because a leader has never dared to believe in them nor challenged them to leave their comfort zone. via Four Types Of Staff Members :: Perry Noble | Leadership, Vision & Creativity. Well… what is your team made up of?  #1s, 2s, 3s, or 4s? And… which are you? Todd
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Leadership
At the recent Elephant Room conference, I was really impressed with the speakers and how they discussed their disagreements.  I wish the Body of Christ as a whole were mature enough to relate as well as these folks did. When we disagree in the church, our first tendency is to tear down or degrade the other person or ministry. There are tons of blogs that make their claim to fame on just that. But it takes maturity, and quite frankly, much more time and effort to reasonably discuss your disagreements with another brother. Take a look at these two great exchanges… the first between Matt Chandler and Steven Furtick; the second between Perry Noble and Mark Driscoll. And, I must say, James MacDonald does a masterful job at setting the tone. Don’t you wish this was more representative of the body of Christ as a whole? Please take a moment to leave a comment… Thanks, Todd
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Staffing
Perry Noble had a great post this week.  These are seven questions that he thinks every staff person should be asking themselves.  Here are the questions… head over to Perry’s blog for more detail on each one. 1.  Would I attend this church if I were not on staff? 2.  Would I volunteer in the area I am working in if I were not on staff? 3.  Do I feel entitled? 4.  Am I a tither? 5.  How clean is my office/work area? 6.  How much do I complain about my job? 7.  Am I concerned about my particular area/team… OR about the church as a whole? As a staff member… how do you answer these questions.  I’m wondering your response, especially to questions 1 & 2.  You can leave them anonymously here in the comments section if you like. Over all, would you attend your church if you were not on staff?  And would you enjoy volunteering in your own area? Todd
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Leadership
Perry Noble had a great post recently that talked about why leaders refuse to admit they are wrong… I’ve been in the church world nearly all my life, and I have to say that I’ve seen many pastors that fall into this trap.  For some reason, they just can’t admit that they are wrong.  Ever. Perry does a nice job of discovering reasons why this might be the case: #1 – Pride – So many churches and ministries have been derailed because the leader KNEW he was wrong but refused to admit it.  It wasn’t a problem with information but rather a problem with integrity! #2 – Fear – Some leaders feel if they admit they are wrong that they will lose the respect of the people who follow them…when the opposite is true, people love it when a leader admits the obvious…even if it makes them “look bad.” #3 – Ignorance – They don’t know that they’re wrong, they’re clueless…and if this is the case then they have most likely surrounded themselves with people who are either too insecure to speak truth to them…or too dumb to see the obvious! #4 – Apathy – They know change needs to take place, they see the writing on the wall; however, making changes would disrupt their way (and style) of living…they care WAY more about themselves and their comfort than they do the people they lead. So… my question for you today:  when was the last time you admitted that you were wrong? And which of the four culprits above most often hinder you from coming clean? I’d love to hear your comments… Todd
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Leadership
Leadership is a word that has many different meanings to many different people.  So… how do you know if you’re working with a real leader?  Perry Noble gives four insights that will help you figure this one out… #1 – They come to you with problems…AND the solutions as to how to solve them. A true leader will always have direction and possible solutions. #2 – They are more upset about a mess up than you are. Passion for what a person does is essential if they are going to be an excellent leader. #3 – Being around them actually fires you up. Leaders will give you energy, not suck it from you. #4 – They don’t retreat inside their shell when conflict arises but rather embrace the tension in the room and will speak the truth in love until a resolution is reached. Perry says: A leader will speak their minds…even if they know it is not going to be popular…and even if they know that in the end they will probably lose the argument…they would MUCH rather than have a clear conscience than be a coward. You can read the rest of Perry’s thoughts here… What do YOU think?  What do YOU first notice when you’re working with a leader? Todd
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