Tag Archives: Hugh Halter

Links Worth Clicking: small group resources, Rick Warren, and how to choose a worldview

What is Ministry? Scot McKnight answers this question with the help of Graham Buxton. One line in this post that really caught my attention: “Christ is not so much the model we imitate as the One whose ministry we enter into.

Hugh Halter blogs on Church MaturityI’ve always appreciated Hugh’s perspective on being both attractional and missional in ministry. (See his book with Matt Smay entitled AND for more on that score…) In this post he discusses why and how the missional movement has matured and what real “church maturity” is. A line that jumped out at me was: “Yes, we should not deconstruct another man’s approach to church or think that one way will win the day. Clearly, we do need everyone.

Rick Warren, TIME Magazine: This article about Rick Warren and The Daniel Plan was posted a few days ago in TIME Magazine: “Blessed are the Sleek? Why God Wants you to be Thin.”

Brian and Amy Bloye, Exponential SeriesAmy Bloye blogs “Why Did we Write It’s Personal?” on her blog, “In Between Ball Games.” If you’ve not read It’s Personal yet, and you’re starting a new ministry journey, I highly recommend reading this one with your spouse.

Book Reivew: Here’s a helpful review of Leading Life-Changing Small Groups. Conrade Yap is a pastor with his D. Min from Gordon-Conwell. I always appreciate his thoughtful reviews.

Jonathan Morrow, author of Think Christianlyoffers this video on How to Choose a Worldview

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A Church Planting Smorgasbord

Following is a collection of links from various folks who attended the Exponential Conference last week. I gathered these links for a couple of reasons:

  1. The conference is still on my mind.
  2. I thought that church planters who weren’t able to attend might glean something that will bless their ministry from those who did.
  3. I was looking for an excuse to use the word “smorgasbord” in a blog post title.

Here’s the list. Happy reading!

  • Tony Morgan shares the notes from his workshops. I wasn’t able to attend them while I was there (I was too busy in our booth) but I would’ve like to have heard him speak on “Keys to Building Healthy Leadership Teams.”
  • Nick from “Everything Pastor” did a great job of taking notes from various workshops and speakers. If you read only one post on this list, read this one. He has notes from Brian and Amy Bloye’s session on moral failure. This was a powerful talk in the main auditorium. I got to hear most of it and was so thankful that their are people like Brian and Amy who were up on stage talking to thousands of ministry leaders about keeping their lives pure and their marriages first.
  • Real Life Project – this blogger shares some notes from a workshop with Jim Putman, who will be speaking at the conference next year on the topic of discipleship. Could there also be a Zondervan book in the works with Jim on the same topic? We’ll have to wait and see…. ;-)
  • Jack Magruder has posted some of the notes from his workshops with Rob Wegner called “Mega –> Missional: Centralized Shift.” Rob and Jack are authors of the forthcoming book Missional Movesand two of the nicest, humblest authors I’ve had the pleasure of working with.
  • Daniel Floyd appears to have posted the notes from his workshop at Exponential, “How To Launch a Healthy Church.” Here he lays out four critical components.
  • Ryan from The Adventures in Church Planting blog has posted his thoughts on Hugh Halter and Matt Smay’s session. Hugh and Matt are the authors of And: The Gathered and Scattered Church in the Exponential Series.
  • Greg Nettle posted some quick, encouraging thoughts about the conference.
  • The blogger at College Church Planter posted some nuggets of wisdom gleaned from the conference.
  • David Gurr from Ocean’s Edge School of Worship reflects on what it was like to have his team volunteer at the Exponential Conference. I had a good time chatting with a few volunteers from this school about music and worship. Seems like they’ve got a great program going on there, and having the volunteers at the conference was essential to its success. Kudos, volunteers!
  • Jeff from Church Planting Today has more nuggets of wisdom from the conference.
  • Dave at the Faith & Church blog has a nice summary posted of Wayne Cordeiro’s talk on his book, Sifted. 
  • The Christian Post wrote an article on Bill Hybels session about what it was like to plant Willow Creek Community Church. His whole family joined him on stage and shared their experiences.

Florida Beetles and the Exponential Conference

As I mentioned yesterday we were selling books in two different spots at this year’s Exponential Conference. All of our books in the Exponential Series were being sold at both locations, so our inventory was split up on the conference grounds. Some of our books were in one building, some books were in another.

During the second day of the conference Hugh Halter was giving a talk on missional ministry in the same room as one of our book tables. That particular spot was low on copies of his book, AND: The Gathered and Scattered ChurchSo as he began his talk I snuck over to the other building to grab extra copies of AND. In the other building we had two open boxes of his book under a table, and plenty of copies up on top. I grabbed the two open boxes, dump the contents of one into the other, and ran over to building. I tried to “stealthly” sneak over to our table while he spoke (though I don’t think I was terribly successful) and re-stocked our inventory of AND on that table.

When I opened the box and started pulling out copies this is what I found:

This beetle is trying to figure out how to be more missional toward his billions of brother and sister beetles.

A beetle must have crawled into the box while it was under our book table. I didn’t see it when I dumped in the extra books. The beetle, may he rest in peace, was still kicking a bit when I discovered him. His legs were sticking out from under one of the books, still twitching and shaking. An energetic co-worker reached in the box and leaned on the pile of books, effectively smashing the little guy.

Now I had another problem. I had two books with beetle guts on them (the book he was under, and the book he was on top of) and I didn’t have anything to wipe them off with. I also can’t sell books with bug guts on them. I’ll sell books to almost anyone at any time. But bug guts? No. Can’t go there.

So, although it was probably a little strange, I took the picture you see above, dropped the bug in a trash can, wiped the books off on the floor (my apologies to the janitorial crew at First Baptist Church Orlando), and walked up to a random guy who was sitting in the back row of Hugh’s talk. Here’s our conversation:


“Hey, man.” I whispered. “Wants some free books?”

The guy looks at me suspiciously. “Uh, sure.”

I attempt to set his mind at ease. “I’m selling books over there for Zondervan. These two books got bug guts on them and I can’t sell them. There still good, though. You can have them if you want.”

The guy looks from me to the books and notices the bug smears around the edges. I realize I didn’t really set his mind at ease at all. He sort of gives me a nod and pulls the books toward him.


Compelling story, I know. But you never know what’s going to happen at the Exponential Conference.

It Ain’t Kansas Anymore by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay, @Matt_Smay @hughhalter

Hugh Halter, Matt Smay, missional“It Ain’t Kansas Anymore” is excerpted from AND: The Gathered and Scattered Church by Hugh Halter & Matt Smay. 

Wherever I get asked to speak, I always enjoy walking the hallways of the churches I vist to view the historical photos. Many churches have really cool, old retro black-and-white pictures of all the pastors who faithfully served with a little gold label underneath that gives the length and years of their tenure. Right beside are classic photos of the church’s history. There’s usually a picture of the building just after it was built as well as a picture of the first congregation standing straight-jawed in front of the main step.

One thing is sure, back in the day when churches began, they planned on staying awhile. Their buildings all had chiseled stone engravings with the date the church was “established.” And as new congregations were born, everyone knew which had been around the longest (First Baptist, Second Baptist, and Third Baptist). But we aren’t in Kansas anymore. We now live in an era of such rapid change and social shifting that it’s just not wise, prudent, accurate, or practical to think that our churches will be around all that long. In days gone by, people stayed in the same city most of their lives, maybe moving once or twice. Our communities were stable and our churches could maintain a vibrant life for at least forty years – if not longer. Today, however, most people move eight to ten times in their life, maintaining residence in a single location for an average of three to seven years. In metro Denver, one-third of the entire resident population moves every year!

Just like college-based ministries, which have had to accept the painful fact that their congreagation completely turns over every four years, most of our churches now feel this massive flux. Establishing a self-sustaining faith community is almost a miracle; maintaining and growing disciples is even harder. Congregational death is not just a reality we will have to deal with eighty years and sixteen pastors down the road. It may be something you’ll need to face much sooner than you expect…and that’s okay.

Exponential Series eBook Sale – Every Book

Exponential Series, church planting, ministry, leadershipDuring the month of April every eBook in the Exponential Series will be on sale for $2.99. The Exponential Series is designed for church planters and for those who want to multiply their ministry. It features authors and ministry leaders from a variety of church models and each book is filled with practical takeaways. If you’re a church planter, or if you’re thinking about planting a church, or if you’re a ministry leader who oversees new campuses, new ministries, or new church plants, then this series is for you. The $2.99 price will be good through the end of the month at any retailer that sells ebooks.

  • Exponential: How You and Your Friends Can Start a Missional Church Movement – by Dave Ferguson & Jon Ferguson
    Amazon, B&N , CBD
  • AND: The Gathered and Scattered Church – by Hugh Halter & Matt Smay
    Amazon, B&N , CBD
  • Transformation: Discipleship that Turns Lives, Churches, and the World Upside Down – by Bob Roberts Jr.
    Amazon, B&N , CBD
  • On the Verge: A Journey into the Apostolic Future of the Church – by Alan Hirsch & Dave Ferguson
    Amazon, B&N , CBD
  • For the City: Proclaiming and Living Out the Gospel – by Darrin Patrick & Matt Carter with Joel A. Lindsey
    Amazon, B&N , CBD
  • Barefoot Church: Serving the Least in a Consumer Culture – by Brandon Hatmaker
    Amazon, B&N , CBD

[Our two newest Exponential eBooks, Sifted and It's Personal, have not yet released. They will be available for the $2.99 price from April 23 - April 30.]

Links worth Clicking: 2011 AND Conference round-up

Since attending the 2011 AND Conference last week I’ve been searching the net for various other links to find out what others are thinking. If you missed the conference you might find these helpful. There was a lot of discussion there about the “missional” movement. To me, it was fascinating – how can we be both “gathered and scattered” as a church? (…as Hugh Halter would say…) Here’s what I’ve found so far:

Pastor Dave Online reviews a book that released exclusively at the conference, Barefoot Church. A second review of the book is also available on the “In the Lead” blog.

Hugh Halter blogged about the release of his new book and Brandon Hatmaker’s Barefoot Church

Mark Meyer blogged through the whole conference. Here’s his link to notes from a session led by Alan Hirsch. Check out his site for lots of others.

Tim Schraeder also blogged through the conference. Here’s a link to his post on capital campaigns.

Josh Jones is another blogger who made it to quite a few sessions. Here’s his link to notes from Wegner and Magruder’s talk on “Glorious Failures.”

Here’s a link back to my own thoughts on the conference, in case you missed it.

This Week: The “AND” Blog Tour

The AND blog tour is here! All this week fellow church thinkers and bloggers will be posting up their reviews of the second book in the Exponential Series, AND: The Gathered and Scattered Church.

This week you can also order AND for 50% OFF and get free shipping at www.Zondervan.com with this code: 370030. The discount is valid July 12-16 only.

AND is written by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay (The Tangible Kingdom, Jossey-Bass). It wrestles with the divide between a missional church model and an attractional model. Halter and Smay teach readers how to move beyond the debate and use the best from both models. (Hence the name, AND. Cool, huh?)

So, if you’re working in a mega-church, a house church, an inner city church, or a 110 person church out in the country this book will have some insights for you. Read a sample here. Read a post from Hugh Halter titled, “What is Incarnational Community?” here.

These blogs have reviews up. I’ll be adding to list throughout the week:

The Burner
What Accords with Sound Doctrine
Life as Experienced
Studium et Liturgica

Take Courage
Ponderings by Andrea
For Those Who Thirst
Step Up to the Call

The “AND” blog tour, “Twister,” and making cows fly

The AND blog tour is already less than two weeks away, July 12-16, as we’re chatting about AND around the Z offices we couldn’t help but talk about “The Actual Modality” Halter & Smay discuss in chapter 5 “The Big AND: Gathered and Scattered in Perfect Harmony.”

Here are some quotes from the book to whet your appetite:

The Actual Modality (pp. 139-142)

The last piece of any true movement is the actual modality itself (the local church)….


In our story, we often show the movement potential by drawing what we call our “Vortex.”

In many ways, the vortex is like a tornado. If you’se seen the movie Twister, where tractors, cows, cars, and houses are tossed around like basketballs, you’ve seen the power of a vortex. The vortex gets its power from the incredible rotation created as two seemingly opposing wind forces work together. For the sake of our discussion, these two opposing forces are the sodalic and modalic aspects of church. When all these forces exist inside and are pushing out from the center together, the potential is remarkable!


…That’s the power of a movement. Though it seems counterintuitive, it’s the way God has designed his church to work. It’s a faith venture, and only those who have the courage to take risks will experience the exciting results of trusting God. Existing churches need to shake the bushes for some sodalically oriented leaders to be a part of the key leadership circles. Yes, I know, it’s easier to get rid of those cantankerously pesky prophets, evangelists, and entrepeneurs; but if you have been operating in the modalic for a long time, there is little hope of change until you find a place of influence for these new giftings to emerge and develop. It’s never an issue of being “missional or not missional,” “attractive or attractional,” “proclamational or incarnational.” The real issue is the degree to which we represent these qualities. Any church can get in the game, move at its own pace, and still be faithful to God’s design for the church.

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