Monthly Archives: May 2012

Is the Bible Reliable?

Although I’m assuming many of us reading this message have put this question to rest in our minds, there is no question that as leaders, we encounter other people who haven’t. I found this article (and the book from which it comes) helpful in addressing the reality of bible manuscripts:

What other information have you found helpful in addressing the reliability of the scriptures?

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Posted by on May 29, 2012 in Uncategorized



Frank and Oak

A friend recently shared a website with me that I can’t stop thinking about. The site is Frank and Oak. It is an online men’s clothing store, with a bit of a twist. For one low monthly fee, Frank and Oak will design an outfit for you and ship it to you. Each month, you get a new outfit, and you don’t have to go shopping, you don’t have to spend time deciding if this shirt goes with those pants or these socks. You just get dressed and you don’t have to think about it.

The reason I can’t get it out of my mind is because the idea seems so brilliant. If you ask any man what he hates about buying clothes, he’ll probably say he hates going shopping, he hates spending a lot of money on an outfit, and he’s all but given up on trying to keep up with the latest fashions. This company seems to have found a way to address all those wants and felt needs. I’ll be interested to see if the idea takes off. (And men, if we see you suddenly showing up with new, trendy clothing each month, your secret will be safe with me.)

So what does this have to do with spiritual leadership? I see two things we can learn from Frank and Oak:

The first is Innovation. They’ve taken the traditional way that people have bought clothing for generations, and they’ve re-imagined it. Is there a way to bring that kind of innovation to our ministry? Is there a danger there? Is our current method doing all that it needs to do?

The second is Meeting Needs. The folks at Frank and Oak seem to have hit on a way to meet all the needs that men feel about clothes shopping. Is this a model for our ministries? Meeting people’s felt needs? Does that provide a way for us to then address deeper spiritual needs? Is there a danger here?

What else does this make you think about Spiritual Leadership?

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Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Uncategorized



Fruitless Ministry

Dear Momentum Leaders,

I encountered this quote recently, and I’ve been chewing on it for a few days. I’m sharing it with you because I think it has a profound impact on the way we lead others:

“One of the things we don’t preach well is that ministry that looks fruitless is constantly happening in the Scriptures. We don’t do conferences on that. There aren’t too many books written about how you can toil away all your life and be unbelievably faithful to God and see little fruit this side of heaven. And yet God sees things differently. We always have to be a little bit wary of the idea that numeric growth and enthusiastic response are always signs of success. The Bible isn’t going to support that. Faithfulness is success; obedience is success.

What we learn about God’s call to Isaiah provides a strange sense of freedom. A hearer’s response is not our responsibility; our responsibility is to be faithful to God’s call and the message of the gospel. No, a hearer’s response is his or her responsibility. But one of the mistakes we can make in our focusing on individual response in the gospel on the ground is to lose sight of God’s sovereign working behind our words and actions and our hearer’s response. Receptivity and rejection are ultimately dependent upon God’s will, not ours. Paul reminds us, “[God] says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’ So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy” (Rom. 9:15–16). From the ground, we say what we choose to say and hear what we choose to hear. From the air, our saying is clearly empowered—“No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except in the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:3)—and our hearing is clearly God-contingent—“having the eyes of your hearts enlightened” (Eph. 1:18).

You can find a whole bunch of verses about God’s moving and gathering large groups of people, which means if there’s numeric growth and much enthusiasm, we can’t say that it’s not a work of God or that God isn’t moving. I’m just saying that I guarantee you there’s some old dude in some town that most of us have never heard of faithfully preaching to nine people every week, and when we get to glory, we’ll be awed at his house. We’ll be awed at the reward God has for him. In the end, we have this idea being uncovered in Isaiah that God hardens hearts, that people hear the gospel successfully proclaimed and end up not loving God but hardened toward the things of God.”
-Matt Chandler (with Jared Wilson), The Explicit Gospel, pp. 75-76

How do these thoughts help you think about your responsibility as a leader?

Is leadership more about results or more about faithfulness?

How does this change the way we lead?

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Posted by on May 14, 2012 in Uncategorized


“Go To” Resources

Dear Momentum Leaders,

I was speaking with a couple of our leaders the other day and we got into a conversation about some of our “go to” books. You know the kind of books that we keep going back to over and over, and the ones that we buy extra copies of so that we can give them away?

That conversation got me thinking that I should ask all of you.

What are the books that have had the most impact in your spiritual life?

What books do you find yourself recommending over and over again?

If you were talking to someone just starting out in their faith, what books would you make sure they read?

Share your wisdom with the rest of us.

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Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Uncategorized