Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Illustration: Passion, Preparation and Perserverance all needed

Recently Mark Webber of Australia won his first formula one Grand Prix race.

He didn't just wake up one morning and decide that he was going to drive a car fast.

18 Years ago he began racing go karts, a few years later he moved to London to be closer to formula one teams, and he had 130 races before winning a Formula One race. On numerous occasions people, experts and journalists doubted if he was good enough for Formula One racing. His story is one of persistence, passion and preparation.

And as Christians these are three things we need as we live out our calling for sharing God's Good News...

Small Group pastors blog

A blog of ideas and information for pastors involved in small groups

Book: Lost and Found, the younger unchurched and the churches that reach them

Who are the young unchurched, and how can they be reached with the good news of Jesus Christ?

In a poll result highlighted by CNN Headline News and USA Today, nearly half of nonchurchgoers between the ages of twenty and twenty-nine agreed with the statement, "Christians get on my nerves." Now, researchers behind the larger study present Lost and Found, a blend of dynamic hard data and modern day parable that tells the real story of an unchurched generation that is actually quite spiritual and yet circumspect, open to Jesus but not the church.

As such, Lost and Found is written to the church, using often-surprising results from the copious research here to strike another nerve and break some long established assumptions about how to effectively engage the lost. Leading missiologist Ed Stetzer and his associates first offer a detailed investigation of the four younger unchurched types. With a better understanding of their unique experiences, they next clarify the importance each type places on community, depth of content, social responsibility, and making cross-generational connections in relation to spiritual matters.

Most valuably, Lost and Found finds the churches that have learned to reach unchurched young adults by paying close attention to those key markers vetted by the research. Their exciting stories will make it clear how your church can bring searching souls from this culture to authentic faith in Christ.

Those who are lost can indeed be found. Come take a closer look.

Ed Stetzer (missiologist in residence, LifeWay Christian Resources; Planting Missional Churches), Richie Stanley (team leader, Ctr. for Missional Research, North American Mission Board), and Jason Hayes (young adult ministry specialist, LifeWay Christian Resources) focus on 20- to 29-year-olds who don't currently attend church, outlining nine best practices for a church to reach such young men and women successfully.
The first section contains statistical analysis of current beliefs and attitudes toward religion and the church (some very surprising) as indicated in polls of members of this age group.
The second section delves deeper into these attitudes with results from focused interviews.
The authors develop some broad themes, backed up by statistics from the first section.
The final third of the book highlights nine strategies churches are using successfully to reach these unchurched adults. Helpful graphs and tables are included throughout as well as visuals such as text boxes made to resemble sticky notes, making the book both readable and useful. Highly recommended for practitioners and all interested in this topic.—Ray Arnett, Fremont Area Dist. Lib., MI Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Who are we taking the Good News to?

People involved in envagelism and mission are people involve in relating to and mixing with a range of people. It is helpful to understand who the people are we are relating the Good News to, as this gives us an insight into what parts of God's message may initially be helpful to them..

Roy Morgan research highlights that society is made of a range of people, who are motivated differently....
Their values segments help us to see how people are living and what motivates such people. They also provide a percentage of the population who fall into each value segment

visit for more details

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Leadership reflections: Being prepared for leadership

Being Prepared for leadership

Leaders in congregations, are often the people with ideas, people encouraging others and people who are responsible to make sure things happen. As Christians we can also feel at times we are expected to do more than others or that the standard is higher for ourselves. As a result we can feel under some pressure.

The following teaching is an introduction to help us as leaders prepare for and respond to the pressures that exist in our lives.

It is important to understand your situation

Various Vocations: Everyone has a number of vocations as individuals and as leaders, ie. roles God has called us to and placed us in and given us responsibility for. The reality is we need to be able to balance these various vocations and roles. Some roles are easy to enter and exit, others are not so easy but choosing to enter or exit a role is not our decision alone, it involves consulting God. What are the various roles you have in your life?

Limited Resources: We have 3 main resources that are all limited by worldly standards. One is money, another is time and the third is talent. At times through creativity, better management, working with others and new approaches we are able to better use these resources. It is important to keep in mind that we are called to manage these resources, not allow these to control us. When we allow our resources to control us, it often limits what God can do through us. Which of the resources do you need to manage more effectively?

It is important to understand what your role is:

Being aware we are leading not representing:

God has called each of us to lead. We may be leaders in our family, our community, our social scene, at church, in a work situation. In following God God has placed amongst people where we have the opportunity to lead people. Fortunately leading for God is not about having everything in place, it is about leading people for God, and allowing God to help us. It is also not about imposing your own ideas but about introducing and leading people with God’s ideas. It also involves continual learning and growing. At times it also involves letting go of the past. Who do you have the opportunity to lead? What do you need to rely on God for to help you as a leader?

Being aware of what is expected of you from the organisation or community:

As a leaders in a church it is important that we understand what is expected of us. A good organisation has clear a mission and vision and descriptions of what is expected and how you fit into that mission and vision. Can you tell others what is expected of you and how you are contributing to the congregation’s mission and vision?

It is important to understand who you are:

God has created each of us, not as robots but as individuals who are part of a community and the church

Some of the areas that will help us understand who we are include:

Being aware of your Talents: What are your interests, your natural bent and what you do well?

Being aware of your Spiritual Gifts: The New Testament talks a bit about Spiritual Gifts, unfortunately many people focus on the supernatural ones, but many of the Spiritual Gifts are not. Do you know what are the inner giftings that God gives you so you are part of the bigger picture, the Body of Christ? Have you undertaken a Spiritual Gift inventory?

Personality Types: There are different personailites that God has given us, some of us are by nature introverts, some of us extroverts. Some of us think more with our heart and others more with their head. So what are your built in preferences for where you feel most comfortable, what energises you, how you take information in, how you make decisions and how you steer your life. Do you know your personality traits and how they relate to others?

Values: Each of us have ideas of what is important. And what we understand to be important affects our decisions. What do you think is important about church and Christian life? Is this consistent with the bible?

Passions: What do you like doing? What are the things that make you feel you happy? How are these affected by your leadership?

And finally: It is important to understand you are part of the Body of Christ,

you are not the body of Christ!! reflect on what this means for you!!!

evangelism connections

Evangelism connections is a resource dedicated to helping congregations and individuals develop a way of life helping others recognise the power and present of God.
At this site you will find:
definition of evangelism
opportunities to grow
a toolkit of resources