My Zimbio

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Calling All Leaders

This is not an original thought or thoughts.

These are six questions that every leader should ask, according to Andy Stanley.

1. Who needs to be sitting at the table?

Are your people there capable of making the decisions your organization/church needs?  Are they making a decision about a group/department/etc. that no one has any personal involvement with?  Do they represent the group as a whole?  The county, the church, the community, etc.

2. Where are you manufacturing energy?

Are you creating excitement that's not there?  See in a lot of churches we have this radical idea that more programs will create more attendance/visitors/etc.  We manufacture all this energy with a if you build, they will come mentality.  (that's for you, MJ)  That's not the fact.  We shouldn't have to manufacture energy.  If we are pushing ourselves to do things for the sake of doing them and no one wants it, then why are we doing it?

3.  Where do you make the greatest contribution to the organization?

Think about that.  Where do you actually make the best contribution?  Are you a faithful musician that knows the songs, the chords, the spirit of worship?  Are you a Sunday School teacher that is faithful in that task?  What do you do?

Also, Andy Stanley said that as organizations grow, the leaders should do less! What a novel concept!  Think about it.  The more you grow the more workers there are to labor together.  You shouldn't continue to take all the burden upon yourself because God has sent you people to help.

In our churches, we have to stop taking it all.  We have to train people up to carry the mantle AND ACTUALLY GIVE THEM THE MANTLE!!!!

4.  Who is not keeping up?

Andy Stanley says that sometimes people just can't keep up.  They were fine when your church or organization was going at 40pmh but struggle to keep up at 60mph.  It's part of it.  BUT, there is no such thing as a non-essential person.  Those people that can't keep up doesn't mean that they can't be of use or help.  Maybe they just need to refocus, reassign, or find another function in the body.  It's okay.

5. What have you fallen in love with that's no longer the best way to________?
Worship.  Reach the lost.  Welcome visitors.  Insert whatever it may be.

You can also say, "What have we become accustomed to that's no longer...."
"What have we enjoyed that's no longer..."

Think about it.  We may love the fact of what we are doing, but is it working?  It may be great, but if it's for ritual and tradition rather than function and purpose it may be time to re-evaluate.

6.  What would a great leader do?

When you are determining how or what to do, ask yourself what would a great leader do?  Think like the great leaders of the past do?  How would they think about this?

I think that these 6 questions that Andy Stanley poses are absolutely amazing.  This is on point for leaders.  To hear it straight from the horse's mouth checkout his podcast here:

Six questions every leader should ask by Andy Stanley.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Staying Relevant

Have you ever been somewhere like the 80's Cafe on Back to the Future part II?

Most of you don't even have to watch the video to know what I'm talking about!

Have you ever gone into a church and felt like that?  If we use an arcade as an analogy, it would be like walking in and having the option of playing Frogger compared to playing Terminator with those life like guns and 3D graphics that we have today.  Yes, I just went there.

See most of our churches are like that.  And I don't mean that because they still use pews, have traditional buildings, or even have paneled walls.  You can have the most beautiful new buildings in America, but still be the cafe 80's of the church...and that's not a compliment.

What we have done is become irrelevant.  Old news. Old fashioned. Ancient.  It's like we still talk about land lines and no one even has one any more.  (My mom even got rid of her land line for a cell phone!)  I mean how crazy is it that we have let ourselves become that?

No! I am not saying we have to compromise our beliefs to reap the harvest God has called us to reap.  No! I am not saying that we have to preach only the pretty, soft, and comforting topics in the Bible.

Our pastor in Kentucky always referred to a lot of what is being spoken in the world today as a "watered-down blended cocktail".  Oh, I like this let's put it in our doctrine and this over here, I'd like a dash of that mixed in.  Yeah, let's play sweet home alabama for worship because we all know heaven is in Alabama.

See we can't be like that and compromise truth for comfort and entertainment.  We have to hold true and fast to the word of God and believe in what He tells us.  We can't determine how we will be relevant by what is nice and pretty.

If God's word was all tiptoeing through the tulips then we wouldn't have stories of martyrs dying for the cause of Christ.  We wouldn't have stories of prisoners because of their unwavering faith in God.

We can be relevant.  We just have to meet people where they are at.  We have to understand that we once were sinners and the only difference between them and me is the fact that grace stepped in.  Without the grace of God, we would all be sinners destined to death.

We don't have to be so out of touch that our churches feel like Cafe 80's.  (Although, I know some of you are all about Cafe 80's, the 80's needs to stay where it is, in the past.)  We can be relevant even without bells and whistles.  All we have to do is continue to stand and speak the truth of the Word of God.

I encourage you.  Be relevant.  Not entertaining and compromising, but relevant.  Stand tall. Stand firm.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

God's Gift

This morning I am in awe of God's grace.

You know we, as a church, talk about grace a lot.  We sing your grace is enough.  We speak of how if it were not for grace where would we be today.

Grace is powerful.  I felt the power of grace like never before yesterday and this morning.  It overwhelmed me.

From reading multiple definitions, what I find is that grace is unmerited mercy that God shows to all through sending His son to die on a cross so that we may have salvation.

See that unmerited?  We don't deserve it.  We can't claim it as ours.  It is a gift that is given out of the truest love that any will ever know.

I don't know a whole lot.  What I do know is that God's grace is always working.

A grace that redeems us from our sinful nature.  We conquer that sinful nature by His grace and "by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony".  (Rev. 12)

I know this is not some marvelous new idea.  It doesn't matter though. God is God.  WE ARE NOT.

Are you thankful for the grace that entered your life?  Have you shared with someone the story of how grace has worked in your life?

Feel free to share in the comments below.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Forgotten God

I am reading a book called "Forgotten God" by Francis Chan.  I am only a chapter in to the book.  Essentially, the book examines the "forgotten God" in our lives:  the Holy Spirit.

In my world that seems crazy.  See, I typically attend charismatic, Pentecostal churches.  It's how I was raised.  We believe in the move of the Spirit.  We believe in the fruits of the Spirit.  We believe in baptism in the Spirit.

That is neither here nor there, though.  This is not a theological debate blog.  What I'm getting at is that the book examines what the Holy Spirit is in our lives.  Speaking at the church as a whole, we have forgotten this part of God.  The third part.  The comforter.  The one Jesus sent that was just like Him.

The book really starts to take a look at why we have forgotten this essential piece and why it is essential we stop forgetting!

I say all that to say this:  there is a fantastic statement in just the first chapter.

We as a western society get in the mindset of "me".  When we come to church we want our song played, our church seat/pew spot, the temperature just right, the topic sweet and comforting, and so on.

We have started to make church what we want it.  I don't know about you, but that is just not satisfying to me.  I serve a powerful God that can do ALL things.  I want to know that He is in the midst of what is happening.

The statement that I loved so much is this:  "The church becomes irrelevant when it becomes purely a human creation."

Read that again.

Think about it.  When we stop praying over the music that it be an entrance to the throne room rather than a performance, we become irrelevant.  When we stop preparing and planning for the preaching whether you are praying for the preacher or you are the preacher, we become irrelevant.  When we stop praying for souls and are satisfied with what we have created, we become irrelevant.  When we stop including God, we become irrelevant.

See, I don't want to become the cool church down the street by sacrificing God for talent, performance, and comfort.  I don't want to become irrelevant.

We are not the Lions Club.  We need to stop worrying about creating the perfect environment for worship and worship the Perfect One so that He will manifest His presence and create His perfect environment.

I don't want this to be about me.  I never have.  This is so much bigger than me.  I just want to fulfill the call in my life.  If I have to sacrifice God to fill a church, then I'd rather preach to five people.  As long as I am relevant to the message God gives, I want nothing else.

Think about it.  Have you become irrelevant?  That can change.  Invite God back.  Invite His Spirit back.  Don't become irrelevant.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I have to brag just a bit.  The youth group my wife and I work with has a youth led band with tremendous potential.  I work with them a little bit.  I'm more of a moral support person.  I like to call myself a funnel.  They have the ingredients to go in the engine, they just weren't getting all in the same spot.  The youth pastor likes to refer to me as a spoke on a wheel.  A wheel needs all it's spokes to be balanced and work right.  Either way, funnel or spoke, I try to help a bit.

Before their first major practice with me I have to admit I was nervous.  Would everyone buy in?  Would everyone be on the same page?  How will they respond to a fat redneck giving suggestions?  You know.  The norm.

I watched as with very little guidance at all, they took a song called "Jesus be the Center" and absolutely made it theirs.  They didn't do it the way it was written exactly.  THEY did it.  It was so impressive.  Even in that practice you could feel the anointing of the words of the song.

We get caught up in our songs and what we are doing.  Our worship should focus completely on worshiping our King.

The song says this simply:

Jesus at the center of it all.  It's all about You.  Nothing else matters.  From my heart to the heavens.  Jesus be the center.

POWERFUL!  That should be our daily prayer.  Jesus from my heart to the heavens, be the center of my world.  It's all about You.  Nothing else matters in my life.  Be the center of it all.

Not only did these students nail this song they absolutely led every student into worship.  I mean you know there is a true spirit of worship.  Heck, even the drummer was worshiping with lifted hands.  When's the last time you saw that?

So take a moment and pray.  Jesus be my center.  Let my world revolve around you.  Listen to the song.  Make it your prayer.  It's all about Him.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Price Shopping

My wife and I are moving this weekend and one of the things that comes with moving is buying new services.  Yeah.  

It's probably the thing I hate the most other than changing my address for everything from paychecks to retirement to Burger King's bogo coupons....wait, those are automatic right? 

If you read my post from earlier this week, you know that I have developed a tendency to relate random things to spiritual matters.  It's a gift, or possibly a curse depending on who's taking notes. I like it, but it annoys some people.

See, if you're like me then there is no doubt that you call every internet, satellite, phone, etc. provider to get the best rate.  (You do this even after looking online and seeing that company A charges $25 more than company B. Join the club.)

A lot of people are searching for something that costs this amount or that amount.  They want something that is priceless and they get to looking and realize nothing fulfills their need.

I'm here to tell you that there is one price you will never beat.  That was the price that Christ paid for you and for me on the cross.  This was a price that no one else could pay.  With this price, He set us free.  We were and are healed.  

Cheesy?  Maybe.  Laughing at me? Maybe.  

Think about it though.  Hopefully you have already accepted that He paid the price for you and asked Jesus to come into your life.  Some people haven't.  They are still price shopping for something they don't even know they are shopping for at this moment.  

So if you're like me and get bogged down and just blah about price shopping; drop all of it and remember the true reason we have joy.  It is because of the price He paid.  

If you haven't accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, then you can today.  Just simply ask Him to come to you and wash you of your sins.  We have all been sinners.  Paul said that he was chief among sinners and he ended up writing half the new testament.  Don't let the price Christ paid sit on your family coffee table in the form of a family bible or figuratively let it set on a shelf collecting dust.  

If you confess with your tongue Jesus is Lord and believe with your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. Romans 10:9-10

This is random and not how I wanted to end this or even write today, but I feel led to do so.  If you accepted Jesus for the first time, leave a comment or shoot me an email at so I can pray for you. 

Remember the price He paid.

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Giving Back

Let me tell you something. I hated high school, but yet I hated leaving it if that makes sense.  I loved the youth group that I was in and I knew with the end of high school happening that my time there was pretty much done.

If you know me well enough, you'd know that I like consistency.  I think consistency is key to almost everything.  Don't confuse consistency with complacency though.  Two totally different things!

At this point in my life I had been involved so deeply in something for almost 5 years.  That seems like a short amount of time, but when you have invested (or feel like you have at least) so much it becomes precious.

I left a mess for college.  I made stupid high school decisions.  (Yeah, go ahead and cast the first stone if you didn't make a stupid decision in high school.) Throughout college I tried to contribute to the local church, but that never really jived because of my immaturity and living on the fence at the time. I'm being very transparent today. 

Time continued to pass along.  I got married to my beautiful wife.  We finally drug ourselves back to church.  You wouldn't believe how unhappy we found ourselves not going to church for the first few months of marriage.  It almost never failed those months that we would end up in a small spat just because we were miserable.

My buddy, MJ, never gave up on me though.  We knew each other since I started college.  He was working with the youth at the church and that kind of thing.  He became the youth pastor at Man O' War Church.  He kept encouraging us to come there.  It was an hour away, but we finally relented and went.  He sucked us in and we got on board.

We started helping out with the youth there and loved it.  We got deeply involved and pushed out of our comfort zone more than we ever anticipated.

Fast forward.  We move home.  We talk to the current youth pastor at the church we are attending and boom, we are right back in the thick of it.

I say all of that to say this:

I never knew how much giving back would become rewarding.  I knew that there was work involved. I knew that people sacrificed.  I knew all of that.  I never knew why they stayed with it.  I now know.  It's because of getting to see students grow.  You get to watch them go through a process.  You get to help them along the way.  You get to see how God can move through a 17 year old.

I get to experience it from a whole new perspective.  I think the more I see, the more I enjoy this side of the fence.  Not because I don't deal with high school or college, but because I feel like I can see the big picture.

The thing is that your experience doesn't have to be related to youth!  It can be in homeless ministry, widows ministry, senior ministry, college, adult, children, music, or even just being an example.  Figure out why you do what you do.

I encourage you to give back.  You won't regret it, and it will probably be the most sacrificing and rewarding thing all at the same time.  Not tangible rewards, but God's Kingdom rewards.

See what my friend, Jamie Boggs, has to say about giving back on his blog, "The Knowledge Dropper."

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