Monthly Archives: March 2010
so i am a month behind, but i recently read the cover story for the february christianity today entitled “whatever happened to play?” (read the story here). in the article, the author talks about how the values and worldview of sport and the value and worldview of christianity are often in sharp contradiction, though that doesn’t seem to bother too many people. he says that “sportianity” – evangelicalism combined with sports competition – “is christian theology vetted and co-opted by the dictates of the sports industry.”
one interesting comment was, “in light of the physical carnage wrought by this popular sport, christian schools with football programs may be faced with the uncomfortable choice to either modify their menu of athletic programs (i.e., cutting their football programs) or revise their understanding of the human body as the temple of God.”
i grew up watching the chicago bears every sunday afternoon. in the last few years i have progressively given up following the sport at all – not because of the physical violence of it, but because of the amount of time it sucked from me…time i would rather spend with my family.
i did stop watching the tv show 24 (which my wife and i watched faithfully through season 6) because of the violence. i didn’t like what watching the violence was doing to me. i was hoping for bad things to happen to the despicable enemies that jack bauer was after. it grew to be too much for me, and i didn’t want to subject myself to that. i can see that watching football or hockey could lead to similar tendencies in some people, and appreciated the viewpoints of the ct article. what are your thoughts?
i am a very auditory learner and not only love to listen to books and lectures on my ipod, but also podcasts. i have a subscription to audible.com and download a new audio book every month and probably listen to 2 full books a month. i have even made the most of getting up in the middle of the night with my son, and listen to a chapter or two while i feed him his bottle. there are a few podcasts i listen to each time there is a new one posted, and others as i have interest, or when i get around to it. the ones i listen to faithfully are:
- cubscast (hope springs eternal in spring)
- relevant magazine
- freakonomics radio
- north coast church sermons
- tim keller
- ada bible church
today zondervan is launching larry osborne‘s next book, sticky teams: keeping your leadership team and staff on the same page. get the book at half price ($8.49) at zondervan today and tomorrow by using source code 750165. this is a book that entire church boards and/or leadership teams should go through together, so why not pick up a copy at half off for everyone on your team? read a sample chapter here, and watch the promotional video below, but be sure to pick up copies at half off here using the source code.
here are some of the favorite things i found online this week:
favorite video of the week: the future of publishing
great parenting post: raising exceptional kids
speaking of kids: my youngest is 11 months today
what i’ve been listening to this week: lala.com
driscoll says every leader needs to read it: sticky teams
“witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station”: death star watermelon
favorite tweet of the week: dan kimball
this week there are a number of blogs that are reviewing steering through chaos by scott wilson. i wanted to share an interview i had with scott regarding his book. scott is the senior pastor of the oaks fellowship in dallas, texas. in the last three years, the church has experienced robust growth–nearly tripling in size–and is now ministering to more than three thousand people. here is the interview:
zonderfann: what are some difficult transitions many of today’s churches are facing?
scott wilson: churches across america are experiencing the chaos of change in several different areas:
a. the aging pastor is a huge transition issue. there are so many pastors right now who are five years out of retirement and they don’t have any plan at all. that’s why you are seeing these succession books rise up all over the place. there are thousands of churches that are about to experience major chaos if these aging pastors don’t get some kind of plan together. the next guy is going to struggle if the baton hand off isn’t intentional and planned.
b. many churches struggling to handle the chaos of financial difficulty. lack of finances means laying off staff, cutting back budgets, etc. if this isn’t skillfully handled and navigated it can create massive distrust, frustration, and chaos.
c. there is still a major transition going on in the smaller churches especially with who is in control of the church. there are still major power struggles out there. and the only thing that is going to get everybody on the same page is submission to the head who is Christ.
d. multiple services, multiple campuses, online worship are all other trending transitions taking place in the church…
zf: what role does the leader’s vision play in helping a church transition?
sw: It is a huge. the leaders vision should drive all the change. the vision is not to be determined by the leader, but by the Spirit of God and the leader is the one who is responsible to discover it and communicate it clearly. the God-given vision is powerful because it paints the picture of the preferable future that God has for the church and it should drive us to make whatever transitions or changes we need to make to see it become a reality.
a God-given vision or assignment can help people give up what they want in order to obtain what God wants for them. this only works when the leader’s heart is pure and is truly seeking the will of the Father. otherwise this can become very manipulative.
zf: What are the keys to transitioning from a “church of yesteday” into a ‘church of tomorrow”?
sw: the relevant church is the spirit filled, spirit led church. i am not concerned about being hip or cool…i am really most concerned about being obedient. i want to be the pastor of a church that is right where God wants us to be so i can be poised to do what God’s called us to do.
the sad truth of being a church that is no longer relevant is this: it’s a church that no longer cares about their God-given calling and purpose. they have lost the missionary spirit of the great commission and think that church is all about them and their needs.
the awakening that a ‘church of yesterday’ needs is a fresh experience with the person of Jesus Christ…a renewed vision of his death on the cross…and a reminder of his resurrection and calling. Jesus said to his disciples in john 20:21 “in the same way the father sent me, so I send you.”
the passion the church needs is for the lost and hurting…that makes you relevant to today…love is always relevant.
zf: What should leaders know about timing a change to produce growth?
a. don’t skip process-first of all, don’t underestimate the time it takes to navigate change in your church. you can’t skip process without getting burned. if you announce major change without your leaders knowing about it…your burned. if you try to do something before your staff and elders have had time to process and pray about…your burned. if you try to take the congregation in a new and “exciting” direction and you haven’t met with the key donors and influencers in the house…your burned.
b. timing is big — you have to always be in planning mode…every strategy has a lifespan…you can never think that the next strategy you implement is the one….there will be another. remember that. you need to be thinking, praying, and evaluating everything you do in the church. is it growing? is it financially taking care of itself? is it a distraction to the overall vision?
c. don’t wait until things are falling a part to make your move.
d. don’t make moves without getting advise from inside and out.
zf: what advice would you give a pastor who wants to instill the value of change into a resistant staff or congregation?
a. read steering through chaos together as a staff and elder board and key leaders. it will spark the conversations that need to take place.
b. call everyone to prayer….we need to hear from God on what he wants us to do.
c. get the key staff and elders on board with you on the change that needs to take place before you go to the whole group.
d. the biggest change that has to take place is attitude….and perspective. we are not here to do church our way for God….we are here to do church the way God has called us to do it…and we must seek him, die to ourselves and become the people he can trust and use.
e. turn the staff meetings and board meetings…into prayer meetings.
this week (march 15-19) over 150 bloggers signed up to read and review steering through chaos, by scott wilson, on their blogs. i’ll be keeping a running tab of these blogs and link their reviews once they are posted. here are the blogs and if they are linked, they have posted up their reviews. also, be sure to read and/or download a sample chapter of steering through chaos from scribd, here. you can also pick up a copy of the book from zondervan, here, or at your favorite retailer.
- Live Intentionally
- Rand Rambles
- Kem Meyer
- Kyle Hammond’s Blog
- Bob H Wilson
- Chris Mancl
- Life, Leadership and Jesus
- Random thoughts….
- In defense of orthodoxy
- Matt Knisely
- Joe Mayo’s Blog
- Strategy Central
- My Library Lady
- Greg Atkinson
- Take 2.0
- Pastor D Blog
- Here or to Go
- One More Mountain
- Kitner’s Korner
- Call Me Travis
- Living to Go Blog
- Justin’s Blog
- Excerpts from the Sawickipedia
- The Secret Life of the Bishop’s Wife
- John Collier
- No Sunday School Answers
- Chad Cottle
- Rhett Smith
- Wacky Wramblings of Wes
- Loving the Overlooked
- The Hardy Group
- Thinking Out Loud
- One Less Rock
- Proverbial Goldmine
- Just Between Us…
- JRoddy’s World
- Adventures in Marriage, Ministry and Music
- Rusty Posey
- Alchemy of Adolescence
- Derrick Drake
- Mundo and Amanda
- In Pursuit
- Greg Wilson
- Finding Satisfaction in the Beauty of Holiness
- Seriously Though?!?
- Daily Dose
- As for Me and My House
- Ministry Creative
- Klo Utley
- The Launchpad
- The Strasbourg Inn
- Focused Journey
- Elizabeth Uhles
- DJ Chuang
- Grace, Faith and Coffee
- Rob Edwards
- Eleven Years and Counting
- At the End of the Road Dig a Tunnel
- Evan Courtney
- Shea’s blog
- Rob Ketterling
- Brad Leach
- ….along the road
- Ministry at the Speed of Life
- Dave Ferguson
- Out of the Gray
- 53 book in 52 weeks
- Paul Church
- Books @ LeadNet.org
- YA Ministry
- He-Wood, She-Wood, and Wee-Wood
- Element Youth Ministries
- Nicole Hawker
- Created Design
- Think Eternity
- Searching for Meaning and Purpose
- Unpacking Life’s Gift
- Diary of Avid Readers
- Robbie Foreman’s Blog
- Pastor Ken’s Blog
- Marijke Jane
- Musings from the Journey
- Just a Son