Powerful video of a creative way awareness was brought to thousands at a national sporting event in Atlanta, GA on the weekend of April 6th, 2013. Visit enditmovement.com for more details on how you can be in it to END IT. #enditmovement
Yesterday I wished you a Merry Christmas. To all my worship leader friends: here’s something you might can use this holiday season. Years ago I arranged the classic Christmas carol “O Holy Night” for a chill, relaxed, acoustic vibe. Of course you could add other instruments to the song besides an acoustic guitar (like the recording). Make it your own and let it inspire you to give a different approach to your Christmas worship this season.
O Holy NightÂ – PDF Chord Chart
O Holy NIght – Acoustic demo version
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Each place I’m asked to speak, the first question I ask is, “Who’s my audience?” Each week when I plan worship with our worship pastor, we talk about the people we’re expecting to show up and we ALWAYS think of lost people. We are super aware that lost people attend our services. We base a lot of our philosophy and practice off of books and resources like Andy Stanley’s Deep and Wide. We are ever-mindful of people far from God and try to always keep them in mind when we plan, preach, announce and create. Do you?
This guy obviously doesn’t! When I first saw this video clip I was speechless. How could anyone talk like that to people in church? Do you think lost people would return to this church after this outburst? Do you think they ever want to return to any church again? What does this make people think of pastors and Christians? This is really in the Westboro Baptist category. I’m not going to bash this preacher or say anything negative about him. I’ll simply say I’m praying for him to get help and live out GRACE. What are your thoughts?
I thought this was a great read and fascinating thought from The Resurgence.
Whoâ€™s best suited to serve the #1? Someone who has been in that spot before.
What makes a greatÂ executive pastor?
This is a question I have been asked often by church pastors looking for help finding an executive pastor. In response to these questions, many ideas come to mind.
When we look to great leaders, the perfect model is Christ Jesus. Jesus, the greatest #1 to ever be born on earth, came to this earth to serve, not to be served (Matt. 20:26â€“28). Jesus demonstrates coming and serving others instead of demanding people serve him.
First and foremost, an executive pastor must understand Jesusâ€™ servant heart and love and serve others instead of being served. Of course all Christians are called to this kind of service, but if youâ€™re able to find an executive pastor who deeply and personally resonates with servant leadership, you have the building blocks of a strong leader.
12 THINGS A FORMER #1 GETS
After finding a man that follows Jesus in this way, I believe it is best to look for a guy who has served as a #1â€”someone who has served asÂ theÂ leader in their business or organization. There are 12 reasons why I believe this is the case:
- You understand the weight of the phrase â€œthe buck stops here.â€ You are #1, then you know that if all else fails, you must deal with the problems.
- You understand thatÂ problems roll uphillÂ in an organization, not down.
- You appreciate the weight of making decisions andÂ you will not second-guess decisionsÂ because you have been there.
- You knowÂ mistakes will be madeÂ by the #1 and understand that mistakes are opportunities to learn, not reasons for division.
- You know how important it is thatÂ the full team sees the same vision. Division comes in an organization when different leaders see different future visions of the organization or two visions.
- You know how important it is for others toÂ have your back and not gossip, slander, or tear you down.
- You know how important it is to have leaders around you who giveÂ good advice, not just what you want to hear.
- You will not covet the title of #1. You know that itâ€™s not much fun and comes with incredible responsibility.
- Many times you have started a church, business, or other organization.Â You know how difficult it wasÂ during the early days and how much sacrifice it took from the leader and his family.
- You respect the #1Â and the dedication the leader has to the organization, business, or church.
- You know the greatest things aÂ second-in-charge (2IC)Â can give areÂ love, respect, trust, and loyalty.
- You will never quit the mission, give a two weeksâ€™ notice, or leave the #1 unable to continue. It is all about howÂ you leave an organization. Twenty years of faithful service to a #1 can be undone by leaving poorly.
I have worked with many great leaders over the last 20 years. Just because a person is a good leader, doesnâ€™t mean they will be a good 2IC. This is what makes finding a good executive pastor so hard.
THE CRUCIBLE OF EXPERIENCE
He doesnâ€™t only need to be a great leaderâ€”he needs to be a great 2IC. One of the best indicators I have found for this is asking, â€œHas this guy ever felt the weight of a #1?â€ I believe this is something that needs to be experienced and not learned by reading a book.
This thinking allows you to understand the biggest critics of leadership. In my experience I have noticed that many critics have never been a #1. They have never lead an organization, felt the weight of responsibility, or taken into consideration all of the different variables that go into making decisions. I have found that current or previous #1â€™s have a tendency not to publically criticize leadership when they donâ€™t agree with their decisions. They have experienced leading an organization and felt the weight of the decisions they have made.
This is the difference between a #2 who has served as a #1 and one who has not: They have a healthy perspective on leadership that has been proven through the crucible of experience. If you understand what it feels like to be a #1, then your ability to serve as a #2 takes a whole new light.
Above, is my wife and me dressed as Angry Birds. On Halloween, my campus held a Trunk or Treat in the parking lot of our new building (we’re under construction). It was great to get thousands of people out on our new property and have great exposure for our ministry in the community. We had fun and I’m proud of my Kids Pastor and his team that pulled it off. It was a great outreach and honestly is the biggest outreach we do all year (besides Christmas Eve and Easter). What is your biggest outreach event/effort?
NOTE: We are a multi-site church with 3 campuses. My campus was the only one that did a Trunk or Treat. I mention this because every campus is different and does different outreach events. Our North Campus did an Easter Egg Hunt the day before Easter (we did not).
Today, I’m kicking off a new series on my blog entitled “Secret Weapon.” Over the next several blog posts, I’ll be writing about things in my life and ministry that I consider to be a secret weapon or help to me in my vocation as a pastor. Each of us have several secret weapons at our disposal and I want to highlight them so you remember to go to them in times of need. For today, I’d love for you to share with me something you consider to be a secret weapon in Â your ministry. Something others don’t know about or realize, but you consider to be an asset, help, and source of strength.
I’ve known Pastor Steven Furtick since he was in high school in South Carolina. He was a passionate leader in a local youth group when I was in college at Charleston Southern University. His church that he planted a few years ago has exploded to over 8000 people in worship.
Their band and worship music is amazing. Here’s a taste of how they opened their services this past weekend. Worship leaders: This is the kind of creativity and innovation I’m looking for. This is what I mean by breathing new life into an old hymn. Watch and enjoy! HERE is the link in case you having trouble viewing on my blog.
This video link was sent to me by a friend and reader of this blog. He knew I should see it. I watched it and wept. My heart goes out to this dear man of God. I listened to and appreciate his story, but don’t agree with his lifestyle. Take a look and listen to this man’s story.
I reached out to Randy and emailed him twice – asking him to start a conversation with me and invited him to be interviewed on this blog. As of now, I haven’t heard back from him. As I’ve said many times before on this blog, I love homosexuals and have a special place in my heart for them. Where the tension comes in is over whether or not gay Christians should live a life of celibacy like my friend, Justin Lee of The Gay Christian Network. There are “Side B” Christians that are homosexual, but don’t date and live a life ofÂ celibacy.
Recently, I was asked to review a new book by Zondervan and found that not only Justin feels this way, but many others. The book I was asked to review is calledÂ Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality andÂ is part theology, part memoir. Wesley Hill writes as a gay celibate Christian â€“ someone who believes in the Bibleâ€™s prohibition against homosexual practice, but struggles with same-sex attraction.
If you are a part of church ministry Â you likely know someone who struggles with same-sex attraction. This book will help you understand their feelings of loneliness and isolation better, and also provides encouragement for them by â€œwaitingâ€ on the Lord.
I’m curious, IF you took the time to watch the entire video above and hear Randy’s story, what are your thoughts? Do you think his moving story of love and romance trumps what Scripture teaches? Is Scripture out of date, out of touch, wrong, misinterpreted? Do you celebrate Randy’s story and his ministry as a senior pastor of a church or do you grieve and wish he would live a life of purity and faithfulness to his tremendous calling in Christ? You know where I stand. Where do you stand?
What are your thoughts on this video and this effort at communicating creatively?