Passion & Priority

“I will not enter my house or get into my bed, I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.” (Ps 132:3-5)
David had a passion and priority for the presence of God.  These were reflected by his devotion and determination, leading to a dedication of God’s house among His people.
Today, we are His temple with His abiding Spirit.  May we have a passion and priority to be In His presence.  Let us lead with hearts of single minded devotion and sacrificial determination.

Workflow and Process of A Vision

I love visionary leaders.  The see what others cannot.  They believe with a faith that is deep and flowing.  Yet, with almost every visionary leader, there is a struggle to get the vision from their sacredness of their heart and head to the “streets” where it can have life and movement.

VISION:   A mental picture of a result to be achieved.  It is a picture so clear and compelling that it creates movement, direction and fulfillment.  A vision is not an ambiguous wish, dream or hope. It’s a picture of the real results of real efforts.  It looks with expectation to the future by educating and energizes the present.

In his 2001 book, “Visioneering”, Andy Stanley lays the “blueprint” for establishing personal vision. He defines vision as that which is “formed in the hearts of those who are dissatisfied with the status quo . . . something that should be done . . . the element that catapults men and women out of the realm of passive concern and into action”.   Stanley quotes Aristotle who says “The soul never thinks without a picture.”

Webster’s defines vision as, “the ability to foresee or perceive something not actually visible, as through mental acuteness.” Myles Munroe says, “Vision is the ability to see farther than your physical eyes can look”. According to George Barna, “Vision transcends time”.  Yet, Sanders says vision includes optimism and faith and is venturous.  Jim Collins sees vision a bit differently. His “hedgehog concept” is realizing the one thing you were called to do well and focusing and filtering all other ideas through that one concept.

“Visions are the catalyst for creating systems. Systems may fail, but those systems that have been created in response to a vision have the ability to change and adapt because the end result (achieving the vision) is the goal, the process of production is merely the means by which the goal is reached. True visionaries in the church build their ministries around their vision and not vice versa. (Is Vision Really Necessary For The Church, passionforpreaching.net)

In a process of clarification to a Mission Statement, I created the following workflow that uses six steps to help reveal and refine a vision. Read More

Seeing Clearly

‎”O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. (Ps 131:1). Humility cures a prideful heart & clarifies a pure vision. David’s heart of humility guided his appreciation for God, as well as guarded his ambition.
“But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. (Ps 131:2).
Cure the prideful heart.
Clarify a pure vision.
Complete a peaceful trust.
“Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.”

What Is My “Fair Share”?

I try not to post political comments . . . but much of this is about leadership, management and so often, failure.

In all of the discussions about our economy, we continue model for adult daughters and their husbands . . . that it takes work to get ahead . . . and work is not easy . . . that’s why they call it WORK!

A friend of mine found this brief summary of “how our tax system works”.  It has prompted some good discussion . . . read and evaluate! 

Suppose that every day, ten friends go out for breakfast and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this: Read More

Building His Church . . . Not Mine

At a recent church planting conference, I heard a most challenging presentations made by a new friend, Alan Hirsch.  Alan is the founding Director of Forge Mission Training Network, noted author and an incredibly strategic thinker in the area of missiology and the impacting church.

Alan began by “layering” several concepts to illustrate the effectiveness of the church’s impact on the world.   Introducing the first concept, a “cultural matrix” crafted by the late Dr. Ralph Winters , Hirsch reworked Dr. Winters original evangelism scales (E1 to E3) to illustrate that maximum missional impact (M0) occurs when there the least amount of cultural differences are evident and the mission of the church is presented in a culturally familiar venue and format.  As one moves to the right of the scale (M1 to M4), the more cultural barriers within a community, the more difficult it is to establish a missional presence.

The second “layer” summarized a study completed in Australia and identifying people’s “feelings” toward God, Jesus Christ, spirituality and the church.  The “feeling scale” was positive, neutral or negative.  The “feeling” toward God, Jesus Christ and spirituality were all very positive.  The attitude toward the church was very negative.  Hirsch’s analysis was framed in a marketing perspective . . . we have a great product, but a lacking delivery system.

Alan was right . . . and it was ringing true in my head and heart . . . as it was with others in the audience.  Heads were shaking in agreement and thousands of church planters were looking at each other stunned at the reality that the church has not been able to deliver our God and His Son, Jesus to the world.

Many were questioning the church’s effectiveness . . . and, this was the third “layer” that Hirsch introduced.  Simply stated, the best we, as a church are doing is reaching 40% to 50% percent of the Read More

Why Men Hate Going To Church

Christianity is the only world religion with a chronic shortage of men.

Why Men Hate Going To Church by David Murrow addressed some new thoughts and critical issues regarding impacting men through a local church.  Murrow retells stories and uses a number of examples to illustrate that worship, terminology, “look and feel”, and ministry opportunities tend to be created and operated from an effeminate perspective.

Murrow, a television writer and producer, asks and effectively answers the question: “What is it about modern Christianity that is driving men away?” Just 35% of American men say they attend church weekly, he reports, and women make up more than 60% of the typical congregation on a given Sunday.

Murrow contends that the church: caters to women, children and the elderly by creating a safe, predictable environment. This alienates anyone fond of risk taking, including young men and women, but men are affected most.

He suggests the five top reasons why men hate going to church:

  1. Men believe that church-going is not acceptable manly behavior. It’s for women, weirdos and wimps. This is why even church-going men hide their faith from their friends and associates. They are not ashamed of Christ; they are ashamed of being perceived as unmanly.
  2. Men feel like church is a waste of their time. The ROI (Return on Investment) just isn’t there.
  3. Christian culture has slowly feminized over time, driving masculine men out.
  4. In the church power flows to men who are verbal, sensitive, musical or studious (i.e. pastors and music leaders). If a man lacks these gifts, he may feel like he has nothing to offer.
  5. There are more women than men who are verbal, sensitive, musical or studious. Therefore, we find more women in church. It’s a simple numbers game.

In order to reach men, Murrow suggests churches must: Read More