Wednesday, November 30

The Holy Hustle

Did the title get your atteniton? What I'm thinking about is the whole rush of the Christmas season. Speaking for my family, we actually quite enjoy the whole bustle and busy-ness of these few weeks. Sure, some of it is completely driven by advertising and shopping, but I see another side to it.

Can it be that with the heightened activity there can also be a heightened awareness of what Christmas means to us? Can there also be a heightened sense of gratitude and giving? Can the busyness actually help us get into the season that much more and spur us on to receive all the 'gifts' of the season?

As a family and as we hustle about taking care of Christmas errands we do our best to point out to our children the good we see in people and also to point out when someone is obviously missing what Christmas is about. In that sense, the hustle becomes holy as it gives us opportunities to teach our kids and to cement our core values of Christmas. Can any good come out of the craziness of the Christmas rush? I think so. What do you think?

Wednesday, November 23

The View From My Office

I am not a winter person. Some people ( my wife included ) just love to see this fluffy white stuff falling to the ground. To them it just makes it feel that much more like the 'holidays'. I enjoy the holidays, I just think that I could enjoy them more from maybe...Arizona! String some lights on a cactus and plug in an electric snowman. Perfect!

The snow is one sign that the holidays are upon us. There is also the turkey, the traveling, the shopping, the turkey again. For many this season will be a welcomed time of festivities and thanksgiving. For others, this is a dreaded time of the year that only serves to remind them of all they do not have. You will have many opportunities to 'give thanks' in the next few weeks. But rather than just counting your blessings, why not share them? When you give to others you are truly showing God how thankful you are and you are showing others what Jesus looks like. Remember, "For God so loved the world, he gave..."


Thursday, November 17

The Revolution

This summer I was handed a pre-release copy of George Barna's new book, "The Revolution". It was one of those rare reads that I found myself really devouring and picking up every chance I had. I think what piqued my interest the most is that I have seen first-hand what Barna was describing and you probably have too. Last week HQ hosted a live satellite featuring George Barna and the topic "Revolution".

After months of research, hundreds of churches, thousands of interviews...Barna is pointing to a growing # of believers who are living out a vibrant, passionate, missional relationship with Jesus and at the same time they are choosing not to attend a church. These 'revolutionaries' are leaving our churches because the church simply isn't engaging them or challenging them or giving them the avenues they need to truly live out their faith. They're bored. It's not that they don't want accountability or community, actually they crave those things. They've tried to bring about change in the church and they have decided in order to 'save their faith' they would be better off with out the church. Many get involved with home churches, cyber-churches or para-church agencies.

Here are the 7 passions of a revolutionary as described by Barna:
Intimate worship
Spiritual Growth
Resource Investment
Compassioante Servanthood
Spiritual Friendships

What do you think? Have you read the book? Have you seen or known people like this?

Monday, November 14

A District Re- Launches Men's Ministry

I was privileged this past weekend to attend the re-launch of Men's Ministry for the Atlantic District. Led by Ken McGeorge ( a true men's ministry veteran ) they are calling their ministry "Man Alive". 58 men from 18 churches gathered to share, listen, pray and believe for God to ignite men across Atlantic Canada and Maine.

Something powerful happens when men roll up their sleeves and open up their hearts. God was there. They now have a plan, a team and a renewed commitment to seeing as many men as possible be transformed and discipled into all that God wants them to be.

A couple of recurring themes from the discussion:
Men's Ministry must be rooted in prayer. Serious, deep, intercession with God.
Men's Ministry must close the gap between our belief and our behavior. Live what we say we believe.
Men's Ministry is vital to the local church and it must consist of vital relationships.

What do you think? What impact has men's ministry had in your church? What impact has the lack of men's ministry had in your church?

Tuesday, November 8

"Do whatever he tells you."

Don't you love it when God uses a verse of scripture to totally snap your neck around and make you pay attention? It's also continually amazing how we can read a text many times over and then all of a sudden we see something in that text that we never really grasped before. It happened last week.

Our stuff plus my Adult Ministries Cabinet were gathered for morning devotions. Jim Dunn was leading us and pointed to the text in John chapter 2 of Jesus' first miracle. In verse 5 Mary says something very simple, yet very powerful and something that is really the very essence of spiritual formation, " whatever he tells you to do". Bam! Think about it. Apply it to your life. Use it as a lens over your relationships, your decisions, your mindset.

What are your thoughts about this text or the idea of 'full obedience'?

Friday, November 4

Adult Ministry Cabinet

This past Wednesday and Thursday I hosted the first meeting of my ( your ) Adult Ministry Cabinet. The four cabinet members each bring a wealth of experience and a thrust of enthusiasm for seeing believers become spiritually formed.

This being our first meeting, our time was pretty much split between 'current status' and 'forward thinking' on each of the adult areas of ministry. I won't unpack all of our discussion in this one posting, but I will say that one of the things we are most excited about is "Holynext". This personal, spiritual formation retreat will be launched here @ HQ on March 24-25, 2006. Keith Drury will be our communicator, Jason Berry will be leading worship.

Here are the cabinet members left to right: Rich Avery, Robin Ritchie, Tim Guptill, Dawn Colaw, and Joel Heron. What are some of the issues that you are facing in your ministry that you would like to see this cabinet discuss? What are your thoughts on leadership teams like this?