Sunday, March 30, 2008

Two New Apologetic Resources

I've just recently read two of the most incredible books related to apologetics. The first is Tim Keller's new book "The Reason for God." The other is Chuck Colson's new book "The Faith: What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters." Every believer should read BOTH of these!

Both books are very engaging, filled with stories and inspiration - not your typical apologetics book. These would be great small group resources, great tools for evangelism training, and just valuable resources for every church planter. A must read!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Power of Systems

You've been hearing me talk alot lately about "Systems." This is not just a modern invention. Before God created man He created a universe and a solar system. When God created man, the human body was a system, with many sub-systems. Systems is just how the world functions. We're a part of several different systems all at the same time. The question is, what kind of system are the people in your church a part of?

Sometimes we complain that people don't do what we want them to or what we think they should do. You need to accept the fact that your system is perfectly designed to get the results you are getting. If you want things to be different, analyze and change your system. Systems create behavior, and if you don't address things at the system level, nothing changes.

This week, I want to encourage all of us to begin to think about the outcomes that we see (or don't see) in our ministries. Then begin to think about your system. How is it contributing to the outcomes you're getting? How is it not producing what you want it to produce? If you want something different, change the system!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Faith Journey

Church planting can be the biggest faith challenge our lives. In the very beginning with church planters we ask the question about "calling." Is this something you believe God is "calling" you to? We show planters how to think this through and how to discern what God is saying to them. But at the end of the day, this is a step of faith, and sometimes the risks are very high!

When you go into a new community and start building relationships you begin to discover the "receptivity" of the area to the gospel and to a new church. The truth is that if ANYBODY responds to you and to the gospel, it is because God has prepared or called their heart to respond. So all the prospecting and "farming" and evangelism that takes place in the pre-launch phase is a practice of faith.

Most church planters are raising money and recruiting leaders/workers who will help them in the harvest field. Both of these activites are faith activities. We offer strategies and tactics to help planters, but in the end, God has to provide.

I could go on but I hope you see what I'm getting at. Everyday is a faith journey in church planting. "Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord keeps watch over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late toiling for food - for he grants sleep to those he loves." (Ps 127:1-2)

Start everyday by acknowledging that this is a faith journey. Embrace that reality and draw close to Him!

Sunday, March 09, 2008


"Clutter" is stuff that fills up my day, but isn't really productive. "Messes" are certain things I keep putting off that need my attention. Let me encourage you to regularly (at least once a month) take a day to identify and eliminate clutter and messes. We've addressed this before, but it is such a significant issue I want to mention it again.

Clutter is all the low-value, low priority stuff that seems to fill our minds, our desks, our thoughts, and our lives. Over time, we tend to become consumed by this "non-essential stuff" (clutter). We get overwhelmed and distracted by details and low-value activities.

When this happens we waste our time and talents on the "wrong" type of work. We get so "busy being busy" that we lose sight of what is most important to us in our ministry and our personal lives. As a result, our lives become complex, cloudy, confusing and stressful. We start to lose focus, miss opportunities, adopt bad habits, get in ruts, and then make excuses. Clutter and lack of clarity reduce our effectiveness, productivity, and joy.

I want to encourage you to stop right now and do this: Identify at least 3 types of "clutter" or "messes" in your life. Make a commmitment to yourself in the next 30 days to complete, eliminate or delegate the responsibility to someone else to rid yourself of this distraction and drain on your energy.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Looking for Church Planters for Austin!

Would you like to plant a church in one of the coolest cities in the nation? We are looking for several church planters to start new churches in Austin, TX. We have the most incredible program for support and funding. If you are interested, or you know someone who is interested, please email me at Email me right away!

Also, don't miss the largest gathering of church planting leaders in North America, April 21-24 in Orlando, FL. Check it out at! I would love to see you there!