Archives For Outreach Magazine

prayer The other day I wrote about what magazines I had read lately. I mentioned that I wanted to come back and talk about Outreach Magazine. This issue was their 100 Largest and Fastest-Growing Churches in America edition.

There is a great interview in the magazine with pastors Rick Bezet and Chris Hodges – pastors of the fastest growing church in America (’09 & ’08). It’s a great interview and knowing how humble and sincere both pastors are, I thought it gave glory where glory is due – to God.

An interesting thing though that many may not realize is that not only are Rick and Chris (and their churches) ARC churches, they both serve on the board of ARC (Association of Related Churches). Not only that, Rick and Chris’ churches were the first 2 churches that ARC planted 8 years ago when ARC was birthed.

So ARC launched 8 years ago with Church of the Highlands (Chris Hodges) and New Life Church (Rick Bezet) and then fast-forward: Church of the Highlands is the fastest growing church in the US in 2008 and New Life Church is the fastest growing church in 2009.

I point this out because I believe in ARC and think they do a good job planting churches. It’s worth noting that this year’s and last year’s fastest growing churches are both ARC churches. I wrote THIS blog post a while back and mentioned all the great churches that you may not realize are ARC churches. If you didn’t read it, it’s worth checking out. You’d be amazed at how many great churches and pastors you’ve heard of are ARC churches.

Why do I do a blog post on “ARC and Church Growth”? Because as an ARC coach of church planters, I can personally tell you how much I talk about the importance of prayer in leading and growing/strengthening your church. I’ve met with church planters and pastors and begged them to make prayer a priority. I’ve begged them to gather on Saturday to pray for Sunday (like Chris Hodges has always done). I’ve begged pastors to begin an intercessory prayer ministry that prays throughout their morning worship services.

Fortunately, I’ve had the privilege of hearing both Rick and Chris teach on the importance and power of prayer. The very first thing ARC teaches at their CPR’s (Church Planters Roundtable) is that you must “win the war in the spiritual”. As Billy Hornsby says, “Prayer is a non-negotiable”. I heard Chris Hodges once say, “You can’t delegate prayer.”

I write this blog post because every “fastest-growing” list that comes out has a story behind the names on the list. There are some amazing churches listed on this year’s list. I know most of the churches. My word to you is that knowing these leaders, I know they wouldn’t point to a cool technology or church growth fad, but to the power and presence of our Almighty God.

God is using ARC in a mighty way and I’m thrilled to be a small part of it and not only contribute and consult, but I grow and learn all the time by hanging out and talking with the ARC team. Billy Hornsby is a new mentor in my life and I appreciate the investment he’s making in my life.

My encouragement to you is for YOU to get to know the ARC as well. If you’re a future church planter, look into planting through ARC. Contact me and I’ll get you started down the path. If you’re an already existing church, you can join ARC (like Craig Groeschel and LifeChurch.tv and Mark Batterson and National Community Church) and begin to see your missions budget go straight to planting churches here in the United States. I’d be glad to talk with you about how your church can join the ARC and begin actively supporting church planting.

All Glory to God!

As you know, I’m in the air (traveling) a lot. Lately I’ve been bringing some magazines with me to read during the flight. Magazines that I’m reading currently are:

What magazines are you reading?

Did you know you listen everyday with your eyes just as much as your ears? I listen everyday as I read through Twitter posts, Facebook statuses, people watching, etc. Listening is an art, but it helps to approach it like a science.

I follow a wide variety of people on Twitter because I’m listening through technology – a science I learned from my friend Tony Steward. Christians, non-Christians, atheists, New Agers, Jews, Muslims, tech gurus, musicians, celebrities, news outlets – you name it, I follow them. I get a pulse on culture and the world via the people and companies I follow and listen to.

  • “A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he knows something.” – Wilson Mizner.
  • “The first duty of love is to listen.” – Paul Tillich

The thing about listening is it goes hand-in-hand with intentionality. I can only share this concept with you, but you have to put feet to it. I listen because I care. I listen because I want to learn. I listen because I want to grow. I want to join God where He’s at work.

I often talk about having our spiritual antennas up. If your spiritual antenna is up, you won’t miss opportunities to be Christ to someone in need. In the book and study Experiencing God, Henry Blackaby says, “God’s activity is far greater than anything we could aspire to do for Him.”

Listening is another way of saying being sensitive to the Holy Spirit. If we truly believe God’s activity is greater, then we would have to take steps to seek His moving. Ephesians 5:1 reads, “Watch what God does and then you do it.” (MSG) As we open our eyes, ears and hearts and truly listen with all our ability (again this takes intentionality), we have the great privilege and opportunity of getting on the same page with our Creator and joining Him in His work and mission.

As I said in my last blog post for Outreach: If you want to be truly innovative and start doing new and exciting ways of ministry you must be dependent upon the Holy Spirit. Jeremiah 33:3 teaches us, “Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.” If we “call to God” and He promises to answer, this inherently requires listening on our part. God will reveal things that we would never figure out on our own, but we have to be ready, available, sensitive and actively listening.

Outreach

The Outreach Association is your opportunity to stretch your outreach dollar!

Outreach knows that times are tough and making investments into your outreach more difficult than ever. Your membership of the Outreach Association would bring great discounts, special offers and giveaways from Outreach, Inc and many other ministry providers. The value far exceeds your annual membership.

Some great benefits of your annual membership:Value:
3 FREE Magazine subscriptions$150
1 FREE XBanner & Stand$99
$1,000 Discount on any Outreach Event worth > $3500$1,000
$50 Discount on any NOC registration for up to 2 people$100
1 4-Laws DVD Training Series$99
10% Discount on Outreach Marketing ProductsLimitless

All this for only $199 per church!

Plus – TONS of special offers and discounts from their Resource Providers!

Be one of the first 200 members to receive a special free book giveaway!

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