Thursday Quote – Discovering God Things (Exponential)

Today’s Thursday Quote is from the book, Exponential by Dave & Jon Ferguson. This book is all about ministry reproduction. You have never read a book like this one. It will challenge your thinking and force you to think about ministry in a totally new way. You will be stretched and your vision for the future expanded.

This quote is near the end of the book. It answers the question, “How do I know when an idea, opportunity, or situation is a “God Thing”? Check it out:

THREE QUESTIONS FOR DISCOVERING GOD THINGS.

When we’re looking for God things, we find ourselves asking three key questions over and over:

QUESTION 1: Where is God at work?Henry Blackaby, in his book Experiencing God, encourages us to always be asking the question, “Where is God at work?” We have found that question to be particularly helpful in considering new sites or campuses. So we’re constantly looking at the world around us, trying to discover where God may be at work, so that we can join him.

QUESTION 2: Where is God dreaming?In his book An Unstoppable Force, Erwin McManus says there is a second question we also need to be asking: “Where is God dreaming?” This question keeps us from being passive and waiting for God to reveal his work to us. Instead it challenges us to anticipate where God might be about to do something that only he can do.

QUESTION 3: How is God confirming that He is at work?The last question is a follow-up to the previous two questions. We also ask, “How is God confirming that he is at work?” Thi is a crucial question that holds us accountable to continuing to seek God through his Word, the Holy Spirit, prayer, and the community of Christ followers so that we are certain that we are joining God in his work and not simply asking him to join us in our work.”

To learn more about this book or order it through my Amazon Affiliate’s bookstore, click this link.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday Quote: Sticky Church & Legos

 
One of the best books we have read as a team at Elim Gospel Church on developing and maintaining healthy small groups and closing the ‘back door’ is the book, “Sticky Church“, by Larry Osborne. I guarantee you that this book will not only give you fresh ideas for group ministry, but it will also help you communicate some of the principles on group life in the local church. It’s not necessary that you adopt every idea/philosophy represented as it is necessary for you to get/stay sharpened in helping people find authentic and lasting community in your church body.

I highly recommend this book!

Excerpt from Pages 79-80 of ‘Sticky Church

“I think of people as being like Legos. We all have a limited number of connectors. Introverts have a few. Some extroverts have dozens. But either way, once they’re full, they’re full. And when that happens, we tend to be friendly but to not connect. It’s what happens when you move to a new town and are excited by everyone’s friendliness, only to be discouraged three months later that you haven’t connected with anyone.”

“This can be very confusing and frustrating for people who are new to a community or church. The acts of friendship send one message, but the lack of connections send another. It’s why so many people complain about churches being cliquesh. The realit is, it’s not so much a church full of cliques as it is a church full of people whose connectors are already full. Obviously, this can be a huge problem when it comes to assimilating new people into a small group or even a congregation. But it can also be put to use by employing a bit of spiritual jujitsu.”


Recommended products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Top 10 Posts of December

Here are the top 10 Posts on Transforming Leader in December, 2011.

  1. Demystifying Your Plans
    A short devotional about planning based on James, chapter 4.

  2. Reading in December, 2011
    What I’ve been reading this past month (and still reading).

  3. Sunday Morning Announcements
    Includes some great ideas to make morning announcements more effective as well as som great video announcement examples from EGC.

  4. Ten Church Systems: The Stewardship System
    Part of ‘The Ten Church Systems‘ series.

  5. Thursday Quote: Good to Great Volunteers (Jim Collins)
    Contemplation about where and how volunteers really fit into ministry roles.

  6. Would You Rather?
    A critical, ‘Critical Thinking Skill’.

  7. Ten Church Systems: The Leadership System
    Part of ‘The Ten Church Systems‘ series.

  8. Leaders are Readers
    Tips on getting a lot of reading done, even if you aren’t an avid reader.

  9. Andy Stanley’s Podcast (for the non-tech Christian leader)
    How to get access to some of the best leadership teaching available for free.

  10. Ten Church Systems: The Discipleship System
    Part of ‘The Ten Church Systems‘ series.

The most read post this month, “Demystifying Your Plans” was actually written about 2 years ago under the title “Presuming on the Future”. I re-posted it in August and this simple devotional thought has received a lot of attention lately. It’s also a great reminder as we start out the New Year!

Happy New Years!

Image from seruvenci on istockphoto.com

Thursday Quote: Axiom – Language Matters

Bill Hybels is one of the most respected Christian leaders in this generation. I know I am deeply indebted to his wisdom and insight. I’ve never met him in person, but have received so much from his teachings and books that I can honestly say that he is a mentor in my life.

He’s written some outstanding books. One of the most meaningful to me was his book, “Axiom: Powerful Leadership Proverbs: “. I don’t know if it was his intent or not, but Axiom is basically a download of Bill’s values. It’s a DNA transfer from him and the organizations he leads to the rest of us. I highly recommend you purchase a copy of this book. Every chapter is only 2-3 pages long, which makes it an easy read, especially if you’re a ‘bathroom reader‘!

The following quote is from chapter 1 – Language Matters. Awesome.

If someone had tried to tell me thirty-five years ago that my effectiveness as a leader would often hinge on something as ‘inconsequential’ as word choice, I’d have rolled my eyes and written them off. ‘As long as I can convey an idea in general terms that everyone can understand,’ I would have said, ‘I’ll do just fine.’ And I would have been dead wrong. The truth is, leaders rise and fall by the language they use. Sometimes whole visions live or die on the basis of the words the leader chooses for articulating that vision.

When you put the right words to a vision or a principle, it becomes axiomatic. It begins to live! It becomes memorable and powerful. It becomes weight bearing, and eventually everyone around you champions it. They defend it with vigor. They give to it and pray for it…. 

The very best leaders I know wrestle with words until they are able to communicate their big ideas in a way that captures the imagination, catalyzes action, and lifts spirits. They coin creeds and fashion slogans and create rallying cries, all because they understand that language matters….

Add Axiom: Powerful Leadership Proverbs to your library today!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Reading in December, 2011

 

If you’ve been following my blog for long, you know that I believe that Leaders are Readers. Harry Truman once said:

“Not every reader is a leader, but every leader is a reader.”

Reading can be challenging to do at times. It can get tedious and boring. It can be hard to find time to do it. If that describes you, then I recommend you check out my post, “Leaders are Readers” where I outline some ‘tips’ to be an effective reader (leader).

   
 
   

How about you? What book or books are on your reading list for December?

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Top 10 Posts of November 2011

Here are the Top 10 Posts for November 2011 on Transforming Leader.

  1. Sunday Morning Announcements
  2. Demystifying Our Plans
  3. Critical Thinking in a Nutshell
  4. Leaders are Readers
  5. Tactical Tip: Internet Passwords
  6. Are You Praying?
  7. Time Management 101 – The Weekly Schedule
  8. Tactical Tip: Moving to Eye Level
  9. Tactical Tip: Saying Thank You Systematically
  10. The Big Road Block

I read the post that ranked #6 this month, “Are You Praying?” again today. The passage I quoted there, Colossians 4:2-4, is a great reminder to us to continue to submit our plans to the Lord every day. I pray this Christmas season God does, in fact, open a door for the message and mystery of Christ to reach the people in your community!

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.”  Colossians 4:2-4

Image from seruvenci on istockphoto.com



Get with YouVersion Today!

YouVersion

Hopefully, you’ve heard of this great website by now. I’ve blogged about it before but feel it’s worth bringing up again. www.youversion.com is a free website that offers a myriad of tools to help you and your congregation integrate the Word of God into daily life.

It’s not just a Bible Website! It’s much, much more. It’s a place for people to gather to talk about Scripture – and what it means to them. It’s a place for accountability and encouragement. It’s a place to journal & remember what you are learning.  YouVersion is fast becoming the primary means by which this generation interfaces with God’s Word.

FOR YOUR CHURCH
First, let me give you some examples of how this website can serve your church. With a little focused attention on your part and regular attention each week, you may discover that your congregation reads the Bible more than ever! Let me show you how:

  • Read a Bible plan together.YouVersion has over 150 different reading plans. Some are devotional plans from well known leaders like Rick Warren. Most are Bible reading plans that range from 7 day plans to year long plans. Some of the plans are even topical in nature and would go perfectly with a sermon series. Individual’s can subscribe to plans via many different methods. We encouraged our congregation to join the “New Thru 30” plan last year when we did a series on the New Testament. Check out the Bible Reading plans here.
  • Create a Group & Live Events
    You can create a group just for your church and encourage your congregation to join. Once your group has been created, it can be used for encouragement and unified activities. As an example, click on THIS LINK to see a Live Event I created for a group I created for my blog readers. Note: This Live Event is simply one example of what you might consider doing with your congregation. 
  • Encourage Accountability
    YouVersion recently released a new feature that allows individual users to pick another YouVersion user as an accountability partner with a Bible Reading Plan. YouVersion will send email updates to the accountability partner on the individual’s progress in the plan, including whether or not they are getting behind in their reading. You might consider challenging your congregation, Sunday School classes or small groups to partner together.
  • Advertise YouVersion RegularlyThis website is free to everyone, compliments of the people at lifechurch.tv. Your congregation can only benefit from it’s use. Find ways to regularly advertise the website to your church. Put links on your website, make announcements, place ads in your bulletin, maybe even add a link to the site on your email signature.


FOR INDIVIDUALS
There are many other great features in YouVersion that will help you and your congregation stay rooted in the Word. Here are a few of them.
  • My Notes & Community Notes
    You can attach as many personal or private notes to individual Scriptures as you want. This takes ‘writing in the margin of your Bible’ to a whole new level. Notes can be kept private so that only the user sees them, or they can be made public for everyone to view when they browse to that particular passage. 
  • Bookmarks & Labels
    You can bookmark as many verses as you want to allow for easy access later on. Additionally, YouVersion has announced a new feature that should be rolled out very soon. The new feature will allow you to create labels for each individual bookmark. So for instance, you will be able to bookmark James 1:19 and then create labels like ‘anger’, ‘listening’, ‘patience’. Over time, those labels will come in real handy when your trying to look up passages you’ve bookmarked as relating to ‘anger’!
  • Pick Your Version & Parallel Bibles
    YouVersion boasts more than 100 different versions of the Bible in multiple languages. Pretty much, it’s highly likely your favorite version exists. Additionally, the ‘Parallel’ button will let you view a particular passage in two different versions at the same time.
  • Audio Bible
    Have a few moments to spare while driving to work, taking a shower, or mowing the lawn? Listen to the Bible, again in several versions. You can even listen to your daily Bible reading plan! Personally, this feature alone has increased my diet of the Word of God.
  • Go Mobile
    YouVersion is available for just about every mobile option out there. I have YouVersion installed on my phone and enjoy almost all of the functionality of the website at the touch of my finger. You can create widgets for the verse of the day or even your Bible reading plan.
  • Twitter & FaceBook
    YouVersion makes it real easy to post a Scripture to Twitter or FaceBook. Did you read something profound? Let all your friends read it too!
There’s more. Signup for YouVersion today and fall in love with God’s Word all over again!

Top Ten Posts of October 2011

Here are the most viewed posts in October on Transforming Leader.

  1. Sunday Morning Announcements
  2. The Ten Systems of the Local Church
  3. Ten Church Systems: The Weekend Service System
  4. Ten Church Systems: Getting Started p.1
  5. Ten Church Systems: The Assimilation System
  6. Ten Church Systems: The Care System
  7. Ten Church Systems – Getting Started p.2
  8. Ten Church Systems – Getting Started p.3
  9. The Rhythm of Failure (with Craig Groeschel)
  10. Tactical Tip: Say ‘Thanks’ in Your Email
I have been fascinated to see the interest generated by the Ten Church Systems series. Usually, the top posts of a month might include maybe 3 or 4 recent articles and a lot of older entries that are still getting a lot of traffic. This month was a 7 out of 10! But July’s ‘Sunday Morning Announcements‘ is still getting more than twice the traffic than any other post! Maybe it’s because everyone loves Charlie Brown or something!

Top 10 Posts of September, 2011

Here are the most viewed posts on Transforming Leader in September.

  1. Sunday Morning Announcements
  2. Andy Stanley’s Podcast (for the non-tech Christian leader)
  3. Time Management 101: The Weekly Schedule
  4. Time Management 101: Margin – A Matter of Priorities
  5. Thursday Quote: Good to Great Volunteers (Jim Collins)
  6. Thursday Quote: Steven Furtick & Perry Noble
  7. Healthy Church, Healthy Systems
  8. Teamwork and Trust
  9. Time Management 101: The Priority Matrix
  10. Eight Systems of the Local Church
I’m always amazed to see these monthly stats. For those of you who care, “Sunday Morning Announcements” had double the # of hits as “Andy Stanley’s Podcast“. I suspect the awesome video clips played a role in that too. It looks like the “Time Management 101” series has been picking up interest as well!


The #1 all time post since I started blogging is “Critical Thinking in a Nutshell“.

Your Church Needs ‘Less Clutter, Less Noise’

I would like to recommend the book to you, Less Clutter, Less Noise by Kem Meyer. Less Clutter, Less Noise challenges us in a clear and fresh way to communicate to our congregation with cultural relevance. It’s extremely practical too, with a ton of great ideas. Kem Meyer is the Communication’s Director at one of the most innovative churches in America, Granger Community Church. You might also consider checking out her blog www.kemmeyer.com and in particular THIS POST which summarizes the key points of her book.

Among other things, Kem explores various ‘myths’ related to church work and communication. Here’s an example:

From Myth #4: It Worked Before, So It Will Work Again
“You can ignore the current reality and use old techniques you’re comfortable with, imitate new techniques that discredit you as a fraud, OR take the time to learn what’s effectively gaining credibility with people in today’s culture.”

Add Less Clutter, Less Noise to your reading list today!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Page 5 of 7« First...34567