Church Planting

Christmas Eve Reflections

Merry Christmas! I hope you are reading this blog with a happy heart as you celebrate the miraculous arrival of our Lord!  What incredible good news we have to share with the world!

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Sometimes this message seems so incredible it is almost scary.  The shepherds definitely felt afraid when they first heard of Jesus’ birth through the angels.  It was so incredible, so supernatural, so beyond them.

Luke 2:9 “An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” read more

Glory, Peace & Favor- Advent Thoughts 2

This time of year can be a bit stressful. We have so much to do, we sometimes miss the glory of what God is doing. We look right past it.  We see but don’t see.

For me, the end of the year is a time when I look back on the past year.  This past week I’ve been busy writing end of year reports, comparing data, making sure everything is properly accounted for.  This season can also be a busy time with parties, events, gifts to buy, sermons/messages to prepare, family visiting, guests coming by, etc. read more

Advent Thoughts: Who Did God Use?

Who does God delight to reveal Himself to?  Who does He so often choose to spread His message of love? Is it the qualified and trained? Or the ordinary person?

This Advent season, I’ve been reading again the incredible story of Jesus’ birth.  There is so much to be amazed about, to ponder and think about in this story.

Today I asked myself the question: If I were the Messiah coming to earth, who would I first announce my arrival to?

I’d probably look for people of influence, good communicators, people who are believable and have credibility.  I’d want to choose those who are well-educated and could clearly and eloquently articulate the message of my coming. read more

Give the “Best Jesus presents” in 2017!

It’s His birthday that we celebrate each year on December 25th, right?  He should definitely be given a birthday gift.  The question is what?  What do you give to the One who made it all?  What would really make His birthday a party in Heaven?

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In Luke 15, we find three very similar stories; the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Lost Son.  Each of these stories ends with a description of what happens in Heaven when even one person repents.  Can you imagine the party in heaven if 50 people repented? What if it was a hundred?  Or 500?  That would be a pretty big angelic celebration!  I can imagine Jesus joining right in the dance!  Woohoo!  My beloved ones have come home! read more

Starting Strong with New Believers

Starting strong with new believers is important. Unfortunately, many times we don’t do our discipleship job well as people come to Christ. Here is an example.

You shared the story of Jesus.  At the end, you asked the question – Do you believe that what I’ve been sharing with you is true?  Do you want to receive the free gift of salvation Jesus offers you today?  They respond with a yes!  Woohoo! Praise God! You pray with them introducing them to Jesus for the first time. He becomes their Lord and Savior.  Things are going well.  You are thrilled at what is happening in their lives! read more

What Makes a Church a Church? Part 3

“Is my home group a church?”  you may ask.  “We don’t have a pastor and we are only a few families that meet together.”

“Does time of day and day of the week have to do with if we should call this a church?  Can a church meet on a Tuesday night and still be a church?” Again, good questions.

It is important to answer these.  What is it that makes a church a church? A great place to find answers is to look at the early church described in Acts.

In Part 2, we looked at five of the functions of the early church from the passage below.  We will now take a look at the remaining five. These are church essentials if we desire to be like the New Testament church. read more

What Makes a Church a Church?-Part 2

church definitions

Church definitions can be confusing. As a result, this question “What makes a church a church?” is an important question to ask!  Last week, in Part 1, we looked at the two primary metaphors in the New Testament used to describe the church; the Body of Christ and the Family of God.  Today we want to think about the Church’s function.

Church Definitions – House Church or Preaching Point?

In my organization, we make the end of the year reports about our church planting and discipleship progress.  We want to know how many new churches have been planted each year so we can celebrate what God has done and accurately report what has been happening.  As we do these reports, we face the question of the difference between a church and a “preaching point” or a “fellowship group.” read more

What Makes a Church a Church?-Part 1

church what is it

When people typically think of church, they think about a building, pastor, pulpit, church members, and a weekly meeting.  Sadly, this is what the definition of a church has become. Even Merriam-Webster defines the word church as “a building for public and especially Christian worship.”  This definition, though a commonly used one, is sadly not biblical.

Church – What Is It?

In the New Testament, the original Greek word for church is ekklésia.  It means those who are “called out of the world to God.”  To the Greeks it meant an assembly of people.* read more

5 Things That Destroy Discipleship Movements

Death Factors

Some months ago I wrote about 6 Factors That Get Your Movement Moving.  It’s always good to look at positive things we can do to see greater fruit and growth!

It is also important to be aware of what kinds of things kill a Disciple Making Movement(DMM).  Sometimes we call these “Death Factors.” These are things to be extremely careful about.  While seemingly normal or innocent, if your goal is a multiplying movement, they will definitely “sink your ship.” When these things start to happen, you can be sure that the movement will stop growing.  If you are just getting started, the movement can die before it every really starts.  There are other “death factors” to consider, but here are five of the most common. read more

3 Things That Increase Bold Evangelism

bold evangelism

“I have tried and tried to get the believers in our fellowship to share the gospel, but they are fearful, shy and just don’t seem able to witness.  Bold evangelism just isn’t happening!”

This is not unusual to hear from the church planters I am coaching.  What can we do to increase boldness and help the disciples we work with to overcome their fears?

3 Things That Increase Bold Evangelism

1. Receiving the Holy Spirit

The classic biblical example is Peter in Acts Chapter 2.  When Jesus was being tried, three times he denied even knowing Him.  He certainly wasn’t witnessing at that point!  But after he received the power of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, he stood in front of thousands and boldly proclaimed the gospel with authority and conviction.  If your church members aren’t witnessing, pray for them to receive the power of the Holy Spirit.  It will make a world of difference. read more