Thursday, December 21


I have to admit, I really enjoy a good ministry magazine. John Freed and I were traveling together up to Marion for a Theology class and we got discussing which magazines we order for ministry.

This is what I am currently getting:
Christianity Today
Discipleship Journal
Leading Adults
Christian Single
Mature Living

Before you start adding up the costs...some of these come from Lifeway and cost us very little. A couple of these we receive as a department and share.

How could I forget Wesleyan Life and Global Partners??

Magazines I get at home:
Car and Driver
Sports Illustrated

"When you stop reading you stop having anything new to say".

2 Conferences and a Link

What conferences are att he very top of your list for 2007? What ones did you attend in '06? Were they good, bad or ugly?

I have attended Fellowship Church's "Creative Church Conference" twice, and it has blown me away...twice! Last year the Director's of SFD went together. This year I will be there with the Adult Ministries Cabinet. (Robin Ritchie, Jay Guptill, Joel Heron and Dawn Marie Colaw). If you are planning to attend, let us know as we would like to host a dinner for all Wesleyan's at the event. (it's in late February, you can maximize your travel costs by visiting many mega churches in the Dallas-Fort Worth area)

One that I came across yesterday while doing some research for one of our Young Adult Pastors: In the "Catalyst" genre, this one looks like a high-octane, high energy, emergent deal for the 40 and under crowd or 40+ wannabes.

Group has a brand new site dedicated to small group ministry. You should be able to remember this link:

Wednesday, December 20

Christmas Spiritual Formation

Why did God send His 'Firstborn of All Creation' to live among us?

Did God think, "This will be really good marketing for big-box department store sales"?

Did he come so that we would have a reason to decorate and bake and share in "white elephant gift exchanges"?

I'm thinking that Jesus came so that we could know God, serve God, and be more like God.

The Advent season is meant to be a spiritual reference point that draws us back to the true meaning of God sending Emmanuel. How are you being spiritually changed, renewed, transformed these days? What affect is the Baby having on your life? How are you different today than you were yesterday? This year compared with a year ago?

In the Spiritual Formation Department we speak about a person following Christ with their Head, their Heart, their Hands and their Habits. Take a minute to reflect on those.

This year, don't make resolutions...make restitution. Seek grace. Seek mercy. Seek forgiveness. Seek the Fruit of His Spirit and be transformed!


Friday, December 15

Christmas Perspective

I'm sitting in a theology class this week @ Indiana Wesleyan University with Dr. Chris Bounds. The class is fantastic and I may blog more about it later, but I wanted to put this one thought from Dr. Bounds up for you to think about:

From God’s perspective, Christmas is all about us
From our perspective, Christmas is all about God

Wednesday, December 6

Group's Bible Sense Series

O.K. Here is your recommended resource for today: Group's Bible Sense Series

If you are tired of the same old small group study resource, you need to take a look at this stuff from Group. It is very interactive and written with a lot of fresh thinking. Every book comes with a DVD attached to the back cover that is used in the study. The whole series is designed to engage your thinking on a lot of levels.

As I read through it I was particularly wondering if I could picture the typical Wesleyan Adult Sunday School class going through this, and I could. Yeah, you probably would have to modify a few of the 'interactive elements' for the crankies in the back of the room who don't want to do anything. The rest of the crowd will love it.

(I tried to upload a picture of the series, but it is encoded in such a way that Blogger won't upload it...just go to and click on Adult Bible Studies)

Can Willow Change?

I have to admit, when I saw this title on the "Defining Moments" CD that I received from Willow Creek yesterday my first reaction was, "Who cares?" Not that I don't want to see them have continued growth and success, I just felt like they are big and strong enough to conquer anything. It's the little guy in the middle of some small town that I wonder about.

Regardless, I popped the CD in and listened to Gene Appel and Hybels discuss the challenges they have been facing. One of the many things I found interesting on this recording was that Willow is growing older. Their average age has jumped from 38 to 48 and is climbing every year. They are reaching more and more Boomers, they are all collectively growing older (obvious) and they are not getting a lot of Gen X and Y to attend their weekend services. Interesting.

If you know me, you know that I love change. Probably a little too much.

What about your church? Can it change? Does it need to? Is it growing older? Is it reaching new generations?

Tuesday, December 5

Harry F. Avery

Legacy. Everbody leaves one but not all of them are worth following. Will yours be?

Last week I traveled to New Brunswick to be with family and to celebrate the life of my Grandfather, Harry Avery "Pa". Pa was 88 when he passed away.

A rarity, Pa accepted Christ when he was 62. His was a radical transformation. Drop all sin, start studying God's Word, and share Christ at every opportunity. If you met him he would stretch out his hand and say, "Praise the Lord". Your response would tell him how he needed to approach the conversation!

He never had a driver's license. He was a self-employed carpenter. He left behind his wife of 62 years (she's 92 and probably at mid-life!) He was a man who fell in love with Jesus and never looked back.