Easily solve pastor problems with too many emails

I remember when the email first entered the scene. Wait, I can send this message, will my friends get it right away? It’s like writing a letter, but there is no lag time!

Fast forward to the present, very few pastors, including myself, do not manage emails to prevent it from controlling our lives.

Think about it, except that we can reply to emails a few hours a day, we can do anything. It can deprive us of our preaching time, our staff training time, and all productivity. When I return an email, two to three (literally) come in and replace it before I push “send” – I need to take some action. Or, if they don’t “need” it, it is often “expected” because of its nature as a pastor.

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A few years ago, I met a website that required strict handling of email. I accepted the challenge. The idea is simple: keep the email replies in five sentences or less. A short reply is the way to keep up with the emails we receive in a day. While some emails require more than five sentences, most can be kept short and sweet to save senders and receivers time. I have implemented this system for a while, but I have left it since then, only to find that my previous email was overwhelmed and I will be back soon, so I will reapply this system to my life and encourage it. Give it a try!

I realized that sometimes it seems that there is no human touch for a short time, nor is it a rustic style. If the response asks for a more personalized (longer) conversation, I will try to stay sensitive. However, I know that if I stay in my email all day, I will ignore the main requirements of my Bible with people and taking the initiative to learn.

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Here are some reasons why I recommend a short response to most pastor emails:

1. Short emails allow you to quickly provide people with a “bottom line.” Most of the time, people only need a quick advice or some form of approval. In order to keep the momentum moving, reach the bottom line and let you and the recipient move on.

2. A short email will not make the reader feel incomprehensible. When you see more than 200 actionable emails in your inbox (usually within a week), you’ll be able to sit down and type in an email in an hour or so.

3. Short emails can help you get to “Inbox Zero” quickly. Personally, my goal is to clean up my inbox every day. This does not mean that every email will be replied, but it is properly archived (I have a “24-hour response” and a “25-72 hour response folder I mainly use”). I am trying to respond to emails that I can process with five or fewer sentences in two minutes and never submit them for future replies.

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4. Short emails will keep you away from your inbox. You need to be proactive in dealing with things, not just responding to things in a reactive way. If you keep your email short, you will spend less time in your inbox and spend more time leading, pasturing and preparing to preach.

In order to stick to these ideas, you may have to get rid of some psychological barriers, just like I have to do. When I finally accepted that “five or less” would become my new standard, I encountered several psychological barriers:

Your reply does not have to match the length of the original email you received. Sometimes I get a long email. I used to think that my reply must match the length of the original email. I don’t think so anymore. This may be a satisfactory expectation for myself. I have never said, “Your reply is shorter than my original email.” As long as they get what they want, they will be happy.
You can’t think that “short” is harsh or mean. I make sure to say “I don’t want to be simple but efficient…” in the automatic signature of my “five or fewer” responses. In order to avoid sharpness, I had to release personal pressure to make it fluffy and long-lasting. I can be kind and fast at the same time (this is a good discipline and challenge). I am playing a few thousand words of fluff, just to say something I need to say in a few words; this needs to stop. So this is how my email signature looks like “five or less.

Signs of 4 self-centered team members

If you have led you at any time, you have learned selfish corrosiveness in the team. A selfish team member is obsessed with his agenda, not with the mission of ministry or organization. Selfish team members can’t bring unbiased wisdom in the discussion because they constantly want to know “What does this mean for me?” Selfish team members continually remove energy from the task because they are being their own The target is swallowed up. What is a selfish indicator?

The Bible teaches that “love is patient, love is kind. Love does not boast, does not boast, is not arrogant, not rude, not selfish…” [1 Corinthians 13:4-5].

Many scholars believe that the “not self-pursuit” stage is the key to other characteristics. A person who does not pursue himself will show other attributes of love. With this in mind, there are four signs of selfishness:


Divine initiative and ambition are not the same as impatience. The former is about the mission; the latter is about the person’s agenda. An unselfish person is patient, because this person does not think that everything is related to them. In the same way, a selfish person is impatient. Everything is about them, they believe that everyone should give up everything for them.

2. Average

An unselfish person is kind because this person wants others to be treated well without being treated well. A self-seeking person is despicable to others, often out of insecurity, so that he or she will be promoted.


An unselfish person will not be embarrassed because they are modest and do not want what others have or think they deserve. Self-centered people cannot celebrate or promote on behalf of others. People who are full of jealousy will resist the challenge of developing others because they hate the idea of ​​others transcending them.

4. Boast and rude

An unselfish person is not exaggerated and rude because they do not have to upgrade themselves. Selfless team members are safe to God who they claim to be, don’t constantly think about themselves, or think that they are better than others. But those who boast and rudely show that they are driven by self.

Of course, it is much easier to find egocentricity among others. But Plato is right, “The first and biggest victory is to conquer yourself.” If a leader is self-centered, then the team may follow suit. Leader – Before we examine other people’s spots, we must first look at the board.

This article originally appeared here.

3 modes of communication to maintain attention

Today, preaching is more difficult than ever. First, we cannot assume that people come to our church with a basic understanding of the Bible as they have in the past.

But because of all the media we interact with every day – from TV to email to social media – it’s even harder. It seems that someone is always trying to sell something to us or to believe in a new idea.

Just open your email and you’ll be able to see a wide variety of courses, asking you to buy anything from lunch to new fishing rods to your vacation. Turning on the TV, the pitching of the ad continues.

So when uneducated people hear your sermon, they think you are trying to sell something to them. They believe that you are trying to sell them with religion.

This is not your purpose, but your audience often does not know.

Every week you talk to people who are more skeptical than ever before.

When you have a weakness, you have been able to turn up the volume and keep people interested in this way. But you can’t do it anymore. It won’t work.

People don’t want you to preach to them. They want you to talk to them. This is how you keep their attention.

Here are three ways to get people to listen to your sermon:
1. Keep an open mind about your struggles and weaknesses.

Don’t try to hide the pain you have experienced or are experiencing. Be transparent.

It is called confession preaching, it can improve your credibility. When they go through difficult times, your confession encourages others.

I remember once, when I preached anger, I told the church, “You know, sometimes I say the most hurtful things to my favorite people, like my wife and children, which bothers me. Will it bother others?”

Now, I could have told people that they should be better for the people closest to them. I could have used it as an order, but it will immediately put my audience on the defensive.

When you start to confess, people will follow because they think you are like them. Your confession will help your message resonate with authenticity and authority.

One of the keys to effective communication is the ability to put down masks and share real emotions. People will grab your heart. When you yell at them, you won’t get this. When your preaching lets others see what is happening in your life, you will get it.

2. Share your progress.

People grow best through models. In the New Testament, Paul repeatedly told the reader, “When I follow Christ, follow me.” I have read this and thought that I will never do this. This sounds very conceited.

Paul is not saying that he is perfect. If you have to be a perfect model, we won’t have any models in the world. Frankly, I would rather let people follow me than follow someone who is dishonest to follow Jesus. So now, I am not apologizing for trying to be a role model for others.

We need to follow the example of Jesus in the ministry of the incarnation – the Word becomes flesh. The way we communicate has changed. Our news is not just verified by text. It is verified by the messenger.

Most people you preach do not ask, “Is the Bible credible?” They asked, “Are you credible?” They want to know if you have any credibility, because if you don’t believe, they will even you Holding the Bible while preaching will not listen to you.

The message we send every week should look like this: “God let me spend another week.”

If you are not ready to model the message, you are not ready to advertise it.

3. Say it in a fun way.

I actually tried to preach in a fun way. The Bible says: “When wise men speak, they make knowledge attractive” (Proverbs 15:2 GNT). It is foolish to use the Bible to deceive people.

Too many missionaries are under pressure to entertain people when they preach. Do you know what the definition of entertainment is? Capture and stay focused for a while. Do you want your sermon? Of course you did it – you should not apologize for it! Making your sermons interesting doesn’t mean you have to make a song and dance; instead, it means that you help people understand that the Bible is relevant to every detail in their lives.

For unconceived, boring preaching is unforgivable and there is no reason to do so. Our message is too important to adopt an attitude of acceptance or departure. The problem with boring information is that your audience won’t think you are bored. They will think that God is very boring.

How do you preach in a more interesting way? This is not about your charm. You can learn to do this. Start with these three practices.

– Change your delivery. Nothing is more boring than a monotonous missionary, who is stuck at a speed and volume and never appears in the air. Change the speed and volume of the sermon to make your sermon more interesting.

– Don’t explain the problem without a picture. People like stories. Pull them out of life. Pull them down from the people in the congregation. Pull them out of the news.

– It makes people laugh. Humor is good for people. This makes a painful fact more delicious. It creates positive emotions such as joy and happiness. By the way, you don’t have to tell jokes to be fun. The best humor usually appears in real life.

Every week you have the opportunity to preach the Word of God to people. This is a rare opportunity. Getting people to participate in your sermons is how you bring the Word of God into the life of the audience, and the Word of God will change their lives.

This is certainly worth the effort.

Church System: Guide your church to more system drivers

Welcome to the unSeminary podcast. I am very happy to have a conversation with the real friend of the podcast, Lane Sebring. Lane is an executive director of the OneLife Church in Tennessee and also runs a resource called The Preaching Donkey.

The OneLife Church was planted in Knoxville, Tennessee in 2009, and has launched their third campus and is building a fourth campus. When he arrived in 2017 15 months ago, Lane became part of OneLife.

Seventy-seven percent of multi-site churches cannot go beyond three locations, but OneLife is about to pass and work on the fourth campus; but this will not happen without a system. We talked to Lane today about what he is learning about system development and how he can help achieve this goal in OneLife to help the church move forward.

Guide your church to be driven by more systems
Become a system dependent. When Lane arrives at OneLife, it has two campuses and plans a third campus. They found that many of the things they did were repeated rather than scaled. Because they do something on one campus, they only do it on another campus. However, when the reality of the third campus appeared, they began to feel pressure. Craig Grochell led the podcasts to talk about the rules of the three and ten. When you hit three things, the complexity of the 10 things grows exponentially. OneLife staff asked what to do when going to three campuses or four or five campuses? They decided to rely on the system, not on people.

List everything that is done in the church. The OneLife staff began to compile a list of everything they did. The question asked is, “What do we do more than once in the same way?” This may be done once a year or every week, but this is done more than once in the same way and needs to be recorded in a system. . They asked all employees, leadership teams and volunteers to understand everything they did, even those that exist only in someone’s mind and have not yet been written on paper. This is not just an event, but a welcome to the church, cleaning, setting up audio equipment, etc.

Not just copying, but multiplication. Once the list is created, prioritize as needed. It is imperative to ensure that they are from two campuses to three campuses, and they are not just repeating but multiplying. They want to make sure that the pastor of the new campus has everything he needs. The way to get the job done on other campuses will be on paper, so he and his team can refer to it, which will be simple and allow them to easily follow the system.

The system is simple. People are often afraid to hear the word “system”, but OneLife’s system set is simple. For example, their auditorium’s broad system is on one page, so any volunteer can accept and follow everything it needs to know. It raises three questions: Who did it? When does it happen? How do we know that we have won? From there, the page provides a one-word job description and discusses how to do it and how to do it.

Focus on the campus. One Life’s central team is responsible for planning, standards, systems and resources, while the campus is responsible for managing people and executing plans and standards. So decided to focus on the campus, such as the child’s ministry and first impression. These parts of the church can have a greater impact on helping people return, so it is important to focus on these aspects of the church.

Become a preacher of the preach. Lane has written a blog for about five years and has now published his second book. Become a preacher of ninja: Improve your skills, hone your craft, and maximize your input as a missionary, when he starts thinking about how to value leadership in the church world and develop into a leader And become a better leader. This can make people feel that preaching is a secondary factor in leadership. Ryan wrote this book to help people examine how they can provide a little attention to the field and where God treats them as speakers.

The priest needs to know what is dementia

Do you know that one in 10 people aged 65 or older has Alzheimer’s disease/dementia? Look at your congregation every Sunday, especially its aging part, and consider how many of them may be working to resolve the disease – usually no one knows it except their direct caregiver.

Navigation Pastor Tips for Alzheimer’s Disease #1: Understand the signs and symptoms of dementia/Alzheimer’s disease.

There are significant changes in mood or behavior, such as combing, dressing or driving difficulties, as well as meaningless conversations or repeated phrases or words. Does your parishioner really know about you or someone familiar with you? Listen carefully! They may never say the name of you or someone else, but treat everyone as a friend, and you may be fooled to believe that everything is fine.

Everyone with dementia needs more and more ongoing and intensive care, usually provided by one or more family members who deal with tremendous pain and stress (emotional, physical, economic and spiritual). Feel helpless for invisible diseases.

Navigation Pastor Tips for Alzheimer’s Disease #2: Pay attention to the behavior of the caregiver.

Often, family and friends may be very reluctant to admit what is going on. They will do everything possible to provide insurance/excuses for the unusual changes of the people they love.

This demand is real. It is growing. The pastor must be prepared to respond to it.

The journey through Alzheimer’s disease and the family of diseases it represents is different from anything you can imagine, unless you have experienced it. Alzheimer’s disease/dementia is a disease that affects the brain. It changes the way information goes from one part of the brain to another. It affects people’s perception of the world – it is a slanted view, or it may be a non-realistic concept.

It starts slowly and subtly. You notice that some of your loved ones have misunderstood, but it’s easy to put them aside and attribute them to the inevitability of age. For example, there was a time when my father was convinced that he saw an Australian wild dog in the backyard of Kansas. Or, he “remembers” the time of the cold air of the mountains. Climb Mount Everest.

A little funny. He is getting old. This is what we tell ourselves.

Disease progression. Daily life has become more difficult. The bill will not be paid. The power company said – electricity is about to close. It was not a father, he was meticulous about his money. Well, I will have to help; he is getting old. This is what we tell ourselves.

It is constantly improving. More things about the event started to happen. Made a bad choice. When Dad drove to Minnesota, he placed every gun he had in the trunk of the car (to ensure their safety). worry. Why is he doing this? We just need to explain to him why this is not a good idea. He will understand. This is what we tell ourselves.

The spiral drop seems to be accelerating. Dad will walk away and may disappear in an instant. He doesn’t know where he is. This is really frightening. Some serious things have happened here. We know that we must intervene.

It is extremely difficult to accept what is happening. Walking is very difficult. Every day brings new challenges. However, there are some things you can be sure of. In this difficult terrain, Jesus can remind us of his happiness so simple and beautiful! Living with Him every day requires us to believe in His power to lead us through!

“The Sovereign Lord, my eyes are fixed on you; I am taking refuge in you…” (Psalm 141:8, NIV)

You are not alone. God will be with you, especially when others do not necessarily understand what you are dealing with.

Because, at the beginning, dementia seems completely “normal.” In order to see the people who have it, especially in the early stages, you can’t distinguish this debilitating disease. They may still be neatly dressed, well dressed, and have a focused and responsive eye. Their appearance may obscure the disease lurking inside. Even after diagnosis, it is difficult to grasp the severity and severity of the prognosis.

There is a lot of sadness in the process of Alzheimer’s disease. Loss of memory, decline in health, change in personality. But if you adjust the lens slightly, you can find happiness.

Navigating the Priest of Alzheimer’s Disease #3: Be ready to help.

Connect with people in the congregation on a similar journey and consider promoting or building a support group. Provide resources to your community – and be willing to ask difficult topics such as power of attorney, health orders, living wills or trusts, Medicaid and any legal decision consequences.

Dad is hard to find the disease. He looks “normal”. In general, he is acting “normal” and his conversations are mostly “normal.” But it is unbearable to reconcile an invisible life-threatening disease. It “looks like” a mental illness, which can be a terrible blow to any pre-typed person with a mental illness. It’s easy to hide and handle the decline privately and painfully, choosing not to look or admit it.

However, it is better to identify and resolve the disease and remind yourself that even if your interaction with the victim or the relationship with the victim changes, Jesus has no eternal love for them. Nor should it.

The Zulu people in South Africa have a traditional greeting, divided into two parts. When two people meet, they consciously and meaningfully look at each other’s eyes:

The first person said, “Sikhona” (I was seen here).

Alzheimer’s said: “I urgently need you to know me.”

The second person replied, “Sawubona” ​​(I see you).

Our response should be to let God authorize us to say, “I admit and will advocate on your behalf.”

Pastor Tips for Alzheimer’s Disease #4: Treat Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers with a high degree of dignity.

Regardless of the current situation, this person should live a fulfilling life and receive appropriate treatment. When visiting, talk about youth or earlier memories, because those often seem to be the last place to go. Recognizing that caregivers are very lonely and unbelievable, you must try to understand the unique pressures caused by the situation.

Patients with Alzheimer’s disease need to see it really and must recognize and support the caregiver. Through the power and courage of God, you can see and truly “see” that they are loved by God, and we must continue to love and serve.

“Open your eyes, I can see wonderful things in your law.” (Psalm 119:18, NIV)

Jesus can provide confidence, look with his eyes, and have power in front of things. The Lord can help you “see” your eyes forever, without being hindered by any material traps or temporary suffering in this world.

“Blessed are the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our sufferings, enabling us to comfort those who suffer from it through our own comfort from God. “(2 Corinthians 1.

You are so depraved, you may think that this church is about you: how the total fall depends on the attraction

I cried during the last service of the church, I was not even there. I am watching it online.

One Sunday night, when I scrolled through Facebook, I stumbled upon an invitation to the live broadcast of the church. I often want to know, um, what did they do on Sunday? So, curious, I click and adjust.

Thirty minutes later, I sat on the couch and wept.

If this is a movie, the director will insert * record scratches* at this moment, the protagonist will look at the camera and say something similar, I bet you want to know how I came here.

Ok, let me explain.

This special Sunday is Father’s Day, and a pair of fathers and sons preached a generous sermon to advise Dad to reach a higher standard.

When the service ended, the church tried to respect several fathers in the congregation, and they witnessed the irreparable situation of the Lord’s redemption. To this end, they ushered in a series of families on the stage. Once they reach the center stage, each member stops and stares at the camera because a person – sometimes a child, sometimes a father – holds a short poster board with a broken background: I sleep on the wheel like a dad Our father grew up in a home of abuse and divorce; I have never had a spiritual conversation with my father.

After a few seconds, everyone’s eyes were on the camera. Then, at exactly the right moment, the poster board flips and the shattering completes the whole: I finally woke up and was baptized a few years ago; taking care of us through foster care, God has shown our father how to be a fatherless Father; I finally called my father to talk about Jesus… When he died a few months later, I knew he went to heaven.

After the story tells the story, the saints recapitulate the victory of God’s grace. I thought of David’s words in Psalm 30:

You turned and mourned for me to dance;
You loose my linen
Happy to wear me
My glory can sing your praise instead of silence.
Lord, my God, I will thank you forever!

So I sat on the couch and watched the service on Facebook – I was crying.


We will return to this later, but I now mention it as an example of what I want this article: how complete degeneration should focus on our ministry philosophy; how it should subvert the guiding principles of attractionism; how should it Confuse the charismatic practices of the attractive church.

This is the road map. Let’s go.


The belief in total degeneration should be concentrated in our ministry philosophy.

I think I should be clear about the meaning of “completely fallen.” Simply put, complete degeneration refers to the nature of all mankind, the post-fallen state, especially we are born to save ourselves. In addition to God’s supernatural and regenerative grace work, we are all spiritually dead God – hatred – bent on ourselves and greedily satisfied with sin (Ephesians 2:3-5).

This fall is “complete,” not because we are as bad as possible, but because our badness is all-encompassing. Adolf Hitler Bitesa was more likely to commit crimes and more serious crimes, but he did not die spiritually – and she did not need much for the resurrection of God.

More simply, complete degeneration means:

We cannot save ourselves because we are already dead in sin.
We don’t want to save ourselves because we love our sins.
We will be responsible for this.

The most important problem for unbelievers is not that they are ignorant, indifferent or rudderless, but that they personally deliberately and happily resist the God who made them. Their most ruthless enemies are not the limited wisdom of life in the modern world or the burnout of life, but when they brush their teeth silently, they stare at them in the mirror. If this is true – and the Bible says it is – then the unbelievers must be concerned with the inability to escape the justice of God.

These truths should be concentrated in the ministry philosophy of each church. How could this be? Well, the most prominent thing is that such a church will talk about human sin and God’s anger clearly and regularly.

I have heard of some pastors talking about sin, as if it were just the label of our unhealthy emotions: broken, not cute, desperate, and so on. Although these labels clearly express some of the alienation effects of sin, they obscure its essence and undermine the agent and guilt of the person before the Lord. It is the language of popular psychology, not biblical anthropology.

Of course, sin is what we do – unfortunately, some people have more experience than others. But if we stop there, we have already evacuated the Bible’s teachings on this subject. why? Because no one disagrees with this. It is very easy for us to blame transfer and accusation. This is our natural, backward state: “You gave me the woman, she gave me the fruit of the tree, I ate.”

It does not require God’s work to convince someone that they are victims of the crimes of others. It also does not require God’s work to convince certain people that they have been greatly affected by the sins of others. But apart from the grace of God, it is really difficult to convince someone that they themselves are high-pressure criminals of the sins of God and others.

Therefore, the church should primarily (though not exclusively) use sin as our personal and deliberate rebellion against God, not as a social and indirect label that is given to us by others or by ourselves. They should be aware that Jesus died on the cross as a substitute for sinners, not as a rudder of the rudderless man (Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:2, 4:10).

I am not trying to deny the comprehensiveness of Christ’s work – he does restore the broken, loves the unlovable, and brings hope to the hopeless; yes, there is Amen! But none of them is acceptable except that Christ absorbs God’s wrath against sinners.

The belief in complete degeneration should subvert the creed of attraction.

Again, defining our terminology will help, especially since I’m a bit inclined to attach the weird suffix “-ism” to the relatively non-threatening adjective “attractive.” What is the so-called “principle” of ideology? ?

Some thought of:

Churches that are committed to attraction often do not push people away. The goal is to keep the fence around the church low to keep the church open and unlocked so that everyone can enter the church without membership.
The church dedicated to attractionism tries to please outsiders by emphasizing similarities. Their members are the world, and the Bible links the attraction of the church to its uniqueness to the world (Matthew 5:16, 1 Peter 2:12). . This commitment to similarity is why so many modern worship music is similar to ordinary stage performances. This is why so many churches have a series of sermons in film or parenting or marriage or money management – this interest is universal. This is why a family-style programming industry often thrives in attractive churches, turning them into a religious service provider to meet the needs of potential members of the surrounding community. These programs – food storage rooms, addict rehabilitation groups, divorced small groups, ESL courses – are certainly not “bad things” in a vacuum, but when tied to the attractive ministry philosophy of the boundaries between the church and the world,
The hallmark of the church that is dedicated to attractionism is that preaching tends to focus on the benefits of the gospel – happiness, improving marriage and parenting, conscience, peace of mind, etc. – at the expense of clear teaching of the gospel itself. If you have been to church for a month, and you have never heard the pastor talk about sin, God’s wrath and Christ’s alternative death, then you are likely to sit in a church that is dominated by the promise of attraction. If you hear the pastor calling people “trust Jesus” but never “repent”, then you are likely to sit in a church around the creed of attraction.

Attractionalism is not good. It is good to attract unbelievers.

Every church should attract unbelievers. In fact, 1 Corinthians 11-14 assumes that they attended our party. Whenever a church gathers together, unbelievers should not only be welcomed, but should be directly addressed; it should be their “safe place”, their way of life will be challenged, not disrespectful, they will face confrontation Instead of prejudice.

Every church wants to be attractive to those who are not saved. We seek attraction by planning our gatherings, taking into account clarity and comprehensibility (1 Cor. 11-14). We seek attraction by preaching preaching that is linked to their worldview (Acts 17). We seek to attract people through hospitality (Hebrews 13:2) and satisfaction (Matthew 25:35). We seek to say through faithfulness, God’s commission, and confidence that the knowledge of Christ is the aroma of life for others, and the death of others (2 Cor. 2:14-17).

But attractiveism requires these rather obvious and benign desires and turns them into a reason for the existence of a local church. The attractional ism narrows the order of the Bible. Attractional ism reverses the Great Commission and turns it into a command that lets people come to us – and then cuts down those parts that require patience and patience. Attracting indulgence gives priority to a biblical command – evangelism – sacrificing others – meaningful church members and discipline.

But how does complete degeneration affect these principles of attractionism? Simply put, because “no one understands; no one seeks God” (Romans 3:11). Once again, the biggest problem for mankind is not boring, but rebellion; this is not their family conflict, but their own spiritual tyranny; this is not financial mismanagement, but spiritual bankruptcy; this is not their dependence on drugs. But their fall to God.

Attractional ism buried the lede. To be sure, it is done with the best intentions under a well-intentioned calendar. But a priest who was swept away by his assumptions was like a doctor using a plastic fork for open heart surgery. No matter how well he is trained, no matter how much he hopes that this person’s pain will end, his tools and strategies are simply not enough to solve the problem.


A completely degraded belief should confuse the charismatic practices of an attractive church.

Do you remember the time I cried when I was reading the church online? Ok, what makes me cry is an example of what I call “the good practice of an attractive church.” It is done perfectly with a preaching theme, using illustrations of flesh and blood to drive this.

As each family crosses the stage, as the missionaries say, look! Can do it! see! Can do it. see! It can do it.

Now, I do not hesitate to become an open opponent, even arguing in the life of his people to celebrate the work of God.

But – if I can, just for a moment – I realize that reflection is what makes me cry, maybe anyone can cry, whether it is Jewish or Greek, male or female, Democrat or Republican, God or God’s lover, Christian Or Sikhs or secular humanists.

You see, I heard a lot of things in the sermons that set this moment. I heard that being a good father is because father is vital to the child’s mental health. I heard that God is strong and you need him to help you become a good father. I have heard that there is no situation beyond salvation. Yes, Amen; Yes, Amen; Yes, there is Amen.

But do you know that I didn’t hear anything? I have not heard that my failure as a father and my own failure as a son prove my own sin. One day I will be judged by God, the creator of all things. I have not heard that this creator who owns my life and who I am responsible is also a father. Before the establishment of the world, there was a loved one who booked a person who was adopted as a son through his son Jesus Christ. I have not heard the blood of this son, the disobedient son can become the son of inheritance, the angry child can become a promising child – because of love and grace, no one can brag. I have not heard that these newly adopted sons have not yet reached the best place. Their fathers are waiting for them in glory in all their inheritance of wealth and kindness, and remain safe under the supervision of their old brothers.

In short, I did not hear the gospel.

I realized that what I saw was like the front and back photos in the noon shopping show on the noon, used to describe the changes in life without a straightforward explanation of how it happened. Impressive and even moving, but it has no gospel.

I want to make it clear that what I am not saying is: I am not saying that these special families and their stories are without gospel. I believe that each of them will owe every grace in life to the love of their Father and their Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that each of these fathers loves Jesus and knows the gospel. But in this particular church service, these “real” stories become unreal in some sense. At the risk of speaking, let me explain what I mean: these stories become a product, at a specific time, place and date to prove a concept, which is only explained by the missionaries on the stage.

The story of God has changed people’s lives to be beautiful. They advertise attractively to the world, and they inspire Christians to be happy and obedient. For example, in my church, before someone is baptized, they stand in the center and read their testimony – something different from what happened during the Father’s Day party. But this is always associated with the clear and extended expression of the gospel – whether in the sermon or in the testimony – without confusion.


I am worried about what happened on this special Father’s Day, and what I am worried about every Sunday in an attractive church around the world, that people are sitting in these services and responding accurately to the way these churches pray for them. . I am worried that people will cry or laugh, or better manage their money, or stop drinking, or stop yelling at their wives – because they do not understand who Jesus is and the Christian life, because They don’t have enough reason and motivation.

In general, completely degraded people want to be better parents. They want to be better people. They want to better manage their money, stop drinking, stop looking at pornography, feel disgusted with their alienated brothers and sisters, exercise three to five times a week, and build a food chain at work through their industry and integrity.

Therefore, preaching about these things, or preaching about other general benefits of following Christ, will work. They will make a difference. But like a thumb on a thousand dollar mattress, you will see it and then it will disappear.


I realized that I have now spent more than 2,500 words to express a simple point:

Matt Chandler: Is the church membership a Bible?

“Christ’s spouse can’t be fornic; she is not corrupt and pure. She knows a home; she guards the sanctity of a sofa with a clean attitude. She makes us God. She appointed her as the son of the kingdom. Any with the church The person who separates and joins the adulteress is separated from the promise of the church; the person who gives up the Christian church cannot receive the reward of Christ. He is a stranger; he is awkward; he is an enemy. He can no longer own for his father. God, because his father did not teach for his mother.” – Prince, paper on the unity of the church, 6.

When I became a pastor of Highland Village First Baptist Church (now called The Village Church), I was only 28 years old. In my church experience, I experienced a rude action early, when I did not completely get rid of the stage of “not interested in the local church.”

To be honest, I was not sure if the membership of the church was in line with the Bible. Despite this, the Holy Spirit has made it clear that I will be shepherding this small church in the suburbs of Dallas. That was one of the many ironies in life at the time.

The Highland Baptist Church of the First Baptist Church is a “seeking sensitive” church in the Willow Creek mold and has no formal membership, although they are actively involved and hope to receive advice from the new pastor. I have a deep understanding of the universality of the church, but I am not proficient – as I said, I have some doubts about the local church. We are beginning to grow rapidly, young, often irrational in their 20s, who usually don’t have a church background or a bad church background. They like The Village because we are “different.” This always makes me wonder because we have done nothing but preaching and singing.

When talking to these men and women, I began to hear “church corruption; it was just the money and the pastor’s self,” or “I love Jesus; this is the church I have encountered.” My favorite is,” when you organize When the church, it lost its power. “Although I occasionally resonate with these comments (I have the same authority and commitment as most people in my generation), I find them confusing because they are my participation. The church people, and I am the pastor.

Two questions from Hebrews 13:17

Since the conflict has surpassed other doctrines that I think are more important, I want to know if we should let this church membership decline and come back later. I was preparing to use the book of Hebrews to say that when the 17th verse 17 jumped out of the page, “occurs” in Chapter 13: “Submissive to your leader and obey them, because they are monitoring your soul, Because those who will have to provide an account. Let them be happy to do so, not awkward, because this does not have any benefit to you.”

I have two problems. First, if there is no Bible requirement to belong to the local church, then which leader should Christians obey and obey? Secondly, what is more personal is, as a pastor, who will I be responsible for?

These two questions began to look for a biblical understanding of the local church, and they began to think about authority and obedience.

With regard to the first question, the Bible clearly commands Christians to obey and respect the body of an elder (Hebrews 13:17, 1 Timothy 5:17). If you don’t know the local church membership, who should we obey and obey? Has anyone got the title of “Elder” from any church? Do you as a Christian should obey and obey the lazy people of Westboro Baptist? In order to obey the Bible, you must entangle the funeral of the soldiers, as the priest of West Polo seems to imply?

Regarding the second question, the Bible clearly indicates that the body of an elderly person cares for a particular person (1 Peter 5:1-5; likewise, Acts 20:29-30). As a pastor, do I have to be responsible to all Christians in the Dallas metropolitan area? There are many churches in Dallas, and I have strong theological and philosophical differences. Will I explain what they teach in the group, how do they spend money and what they do on international assignments?

What about church discipline?

After considering the issue of authority and obedience, the second question I raised in my study of the local church was the biblical teaching of church discipline.

You see it in several places, but none is as clear as 1 Corinthians 5:1-12. In this article, Paul approves a man in the face of the Corinthian church in a blatant, unrepentant sexual fornication. The Corinthians are celebrating that this is God’s grace, but Paul warns them that this evil should not make them boast, but mourn. He called them arrogant and told them to remove this person because his body was destroyed and his soul was saved with hope. In verses 11-12, he said without hesitation: “But now I am writing to tell you that if he commits sexual fornication or greed, or an idolater, abusive, alcoholic or liar, don’t do anything with The social exchanges of the brothers in the name of the association. I have not even eaten with such people. What role do I have in judging the outsiders? Is it not the people in the church that you want to judge?”

My sad experience is that few churches are still practicing church discipline, but that is another article on another day. My question in this article is simple: if there is no “in”, how can you kick someone out? If there is no local commitment to the faith contract community, how do you remove someone from the faith community? If there is no local church membership, church discipline will be ineffective.

Evidence of many memberships

There is other evidence to support local church membership in the Bible.

We see in Acts 2:37-47 that there is a digital record of those who claim to be Christ and are filled with the Holy Spirit (v. 41) and acknowledge that the church is tracking growth (v. 47).

In Acts 6:1-6, we see elections to solve specific problems and allegations.

In Romans 16:1-16, we see what seems to be aware of who is a church member.

In 1 Timothy 5:3-16 we see clear teaching about how to deal with widows in the church. In verses 9-13 we read:

If a widow is no less than 60 years old, she was once the wife of a husband and is known for her good works. If she is raised, if she raises the child and shows enthusiasm, she washes the feet of the saints. Take care of the suffering people and commit to every good job. But refusing to recruit young widows, because when their passion keeps them away from Christ, they want to get married, so they give up their original beliefs and are condemned. In addition, they learned to idle people, go door to door, not only idlers, but also gossip and busy people, telling things they should not do.

In this article, we see who will meet or not meet the Ephesus Widow Care Program. The local churches at Ephesus are organized and they are making plans.

We can continue here and ask how we can obey God’s commands in 1 Corinthians 12 or 12, if we don’t have a connection with the local community of faith. But to unlock all possible texts takes longer than this article.

God’s plan is that we will belong to the local church

As you begin to study these verses, it is clear that God’s plan for his church is a community of faithful covenants that we belong to. This is for our own protection and maturity, for the benefit of others.

If you think of the church as a kind of buffet, then you will severely limit your chances of growing up. Growing up to godliness can be hurt. For example, when I interact with other people in my own body, my own enthusiasm is lazy, and I am impatient, my no prayer and hesitation are associated with humility (Romans 12:11-16). However, this interaction also gave me the opportunity to confront the brothers and sisters in my trenches, and to recognize and repent in a safe place. But when the church is just a place you didn’t join, just like a church buffet, you might consider whether you always leave when your heart begins to be exposed by the Holy Spirit and real work begins to happen.

What is the bottom line? Local church membership is a question of Bible obedience, not personal preference.

This article first appeared on 9Marks.org. Used with permission.

Children will remember 7 things about you

Last summer, my family completed an epic self-driving tour covering 16 states in two weeks. Ashley and I put our four sons (12, 10, 5 and 2) into a stinky van and started off-road hiking, which hit several national parks. And recorded more than 5,000 miles when we finished.

As you can imagine, there are a lot of complaints along the way, but there are also a lot of laughs. This is exhausting pressure and awesome. We have created a lot of memories that will last a lifetime, and the whole experience has given me a lot of thoughts about my childhood and the memories that my own children really endured.

As parents, we tend to emphasize things that are not important. Our children may not remember every detail of our home décor, or how perfect our landscape looks, or whether our refrigerator has a brand name or imitation. Let us focus on what really matters. If you want to know what your child will remember, here is:

Here are the seven things your child is most likely to remember (no specific order):

You give them the courage to try new things.

Childhood is an endless cycle of stretching and breaking outside the comfort zone. Whenever you hold their hands and give them the courage to take new steps, it gives them new confidence and gives them a lasting new memory. Help them to participate in sports for the first time, or to sing a song on the stage, or to do anything they once thought they would “never” do, not just to build their resume; it is building their confidence and Memories.

#2 is very important, but we sometimes ignore it. ..

The time you teach through the example, not just the words.

Children are always learning, but as parents, we don’t always realize that we always teach them something. They won’t always remember what you said, but they are very concerned about what you are doing. When your words are aligned with your behavior, they will remember. When your words are inconsistent with your behavior, they will remember. When you blow it (as we do) and you apologize and use your imperfections as a teaching moment, they will remember.

#3 is one of the most important responsibilities of every parent…

The time you make them feel safe (or the time you make them feel unsafe).

Every child has a loophole in their mind that needs protection. Your child will remember the moments you chase monsters under the bed, or pick them up after a nightmare, but they will also remember when your temper becomes a monster they are afraid of. Our children may sometimes see us angry because it is part of life, but when your child is with you, make your child feel safe at all times.

#4 Everyday is an important reminder to me. ..

You make time for them.

Your children don’t need you to be perfect, but they need you to be there. Children measure love mainly by paying attention to them. They need our full attention. The time you stop attending a tea party or going out to throw a ball or jump into a trampoline will remain in their minds and hearts forever. Take time to do small things with your children, because in the end, they will be the most important moment.

#5 is very important, it can change your marriage and family dynamics. ..

5. The way you interact with your spouse.

Our children form their perception of love to a large extent by observing how we treat our husband or wife. Try to have a marriage that will make them excited to get married one day. Give them a sense of security that comes from seeing their parents’ loyalty to each other.

#6 is more powerful than most parents realize.

6. Your affirmative speech and critical words.

The child’s heart is like wet cement, and the impression of early life will harden over time. Their sense of identity, ability, and even self-worth are largely determined by what you say to them in those forming times. Part of our work as a parent is correction and training, but even in the correction, let your words be filled with love, encouragement and positive reinforcement.

#7 is one of the greatest heritages that can be extended to children’s future children. ..

7. Your family tradition.

Children like spontaneity, but they also need predictability very much. They will love the “tradition” you build, whether it’s a weekly family movie (or game) night, a place that is often used for family vacations, a way to celebrate birthdays and special events, or any other special tradition. Intention to create some traditions that they hope will pass to their children one day.

For more tools to help you build a happy and healthy family, visit our new website DaveAndAshleyWillis.com

This article originally appeared here.

Flourishing rural gathering

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Recently, I had dinner with a group of rural pastors to understand their ministry. The priests stood one after another, giving their names, their church and their many years of service. Then, the face of each pastor is gone.

“Our church only worships about 20 years old,” the first pastor said. When each pastor shared their worship, the frustration and anxiety in the entire room were embarrassing. The next church reported on the 60-year-old congregation. Another pastor serving in multiple church accusations reported that one of their churches had only about 12 people on Sunday morning.

The pastors are very depressed. They tried the latest church growth strategy. They read a lot of blogs about leadership and participated in the best continuing education activities, none of which really talked about their background. In any case, the enviable “growth” indicator seems impossible.

Although these pastors serve rural areas, their environment is quite different. Some people serve the community, and these communities have entered a period of seeming stagnation that is driven by economic change and a popular narrative about what the countryside means. For decades, agriculture has been the dominant industry in its community, and its alternatives and manufacturing are now declining.

But for others, the rural ministry needs to manage rapid change. Retirees from the city to these rural communities are made possible by the attractiveness of affordable properties, the willingness to commute, and the proximity of natural attractions. This new population brings a changing culture, and in some places, the name from rural to suburban is about to change.

Dialogues about church vitality often present key indicators that emphasize the increase in the number of worship attendees and the large number of young people and young people. [i] However, there are clear questions about how rural churches use these vitality metrics in a changing community. When told that they need more children to participate, how do retirees flock to the thriving congregation? Or, when a 20-year-old congregation has a strong missionary presence in a fading community, how do they answer their church’s stagnation or even death criticism?

In my office, I use a phrase to keep a phrase. I often hear from colleagues in rural economic development: “If you have seen a rural county, you will see a rural county.” Because the rural community is complex There is no universal method. Therefore, there is reason to believe that rural churches need an equally flexible mark to express their vitality. The rural church occupies the center of the busy town square, dotted along the uninhabited national road. Just bundled together by the “Country” tab, the vibrancy must look different in these different spaces.

In collaboration with churches and other rural leaders, I found that the thriving rural church shared three key vital pillars. [ii] These are not the indicators themselves, but rather the areas in which rural churches should strive to develop measurements of specific contexts to determine clear objectives.

First, the flourishing rural church demonstrates a clear theological identity. These congregations pray and promote dialogue, linking their believers’ beliefs to their weekly lives.

This theological identity also has profound theological significance. They know their own history and tell in their own words what God is doing in the community. They remember pain and happiness and combine tensions between sadness, repentance and hope.

This place of theology is not just an idle memory. Instead, it laid the groundwork for a second key feature: The thriving rural church understood the local community as a place to train, announce and invite others to participate in the Kingdom of God. They know they are responsible for the communities around them.

This may seem different in every congregation. In some places, this may be organic because members will hear and respond to what they see in the community. Or, the church may develop continuous programming. The result is that the congregation strives to look outward and is eager to see how they become part of God’s new creation.

Finally, a thriving rural church is sustainable. At the most basic level, the congregation can pay the bills and keep it on. This brings unique challenges and opportunities to many churches because the patterns are constantly changing. According to reports, the younger generation has less disposable income and is skeptical about the institution, resulting in one in ten. At the same time, the 2018 tax reform may stimulate an overall reduction in charitable donations. [III]

In many rural areas, dual professional pastors are becoming standards, creating opportunities to deepen the congregation’s commitment to its location. The programming budget is also decreasing, which means that pastors need to be better at fostering partnerships with other organizations and funders. These are challenges, but they are also opportunities for new ministry models.

At the end of our dinner, I asked our rural pastors to share the story of where God works through them. They excitedly shared the story of their small congregation raising funds for the community literacy program. They shared their commitment to preserve and share the history of their 150-year-old church, which used to be twice as many as African-American school buildings. They shared the stories of a few high school students who became active leaders. These are places of important and life-giving ministry.

The vitality of the church is not just about the development of the church, although it may be a natural result. These important churches are not limited to the growing suburbs around our main cities. The thriving rural church is firmly committed to seeing and becoming part of what God has done in the world around them. They remind us that the narratives we often tell about rural ministry are wrong. Being a rural church does not mean becoming a life-supporting church. Instead, they are places where meaningful and influential changes occur.

[i] For example, UMC Action Call: An important congregation research project. De Wetter, David, et al.. Towers Watson, 2010.

[ii] These cores represent the commonalities of several reports, including the development of a robust rural community summary assessment report and the work of GBHEM.

[iii] Fox, Richard and Joshua Headly. Tax Deduction and Employment Act – What non-profit organizations need to know,” Charity Magazine News, January 29, 2018.

Three discipleship principle

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In the past few weeks, I shared my typical approach during the first and second D-Group meetings. In today’s post, I want to share three principles that must be incorporated into your D-Group if you want it to become rich and grow.

Three principles of effective discipleship
Principle #1

The first principle is “no contact, no impact.” This principle is related to the community; spend time with members of the D-Group. If you want to really influence men or women in the D-Group, you must spend time with them.

The danger is that if you fail to develop a relationship with a team member, you will not be able to get a voice. This situation can only become a friend when you know each other with friends in the D-Group. The author of Hebrews says:

Let us be vigilant and provoke love and good deeds, not neglect to get together, because some people are used to doing, but encourage each other, especially when you see the coming days. (Hebrews 10:24-25, CSB)

A great opportunity to actually use these verses is provided in the D-Group.

Principle #2

The second principle is, “You can’t count on things you won’t follow.” This principle is huge, because your D-Group should see you mimic the gospel you claim to believe. Not only do you share the gospel truth with your D-Group, but you also use your lifestyle to show these truths. I like the way the apostle Paul said in Colossians 1:

. . . Then you can be worthy of the Lord and fully please him: in every good work, the result grows in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:10, CSB)

Paul also said to the believers in Corinth:

Imitate me because I also imitate Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1, CSB)

Don’t make this old adage, “I can’t hear what you are saying, because I saw your way of life.”

Principle #3

The third principle is, “You can’t expect you not to check anything.” This principle emphasizes the importance of accountability. Establishing accountability in the D-Group is essential!

Chuck Swindoll describes responsibility as “an open life to some well-chosen, trusted, loyal insiders – they have the power to review, challenge, approve and provide advice.”

We must take responsibility for ourselves and help our lives be free from sin! Dietrich Bonhoeffer said best. “Sin requires that you have a man. It makes him withdraw from the community. The more isolated a person is, the more sinful it is to him.”

Every believer is responsible for God (Hebrews 9:27), spiritual leaders (Hebrews 13:17), and other believers (Proverbs 27:17). When the Holy Spirit makes us pursue holiness, responsible relationships become the lifeblood of personal growth. D-Group should be the best place to find accountability.

If you incorporate these principles into your D-Group, you will have a dynamic and thriving team.