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To Drink or Not To Drink…..

I would really like to get some comments and feedback on this one question.  All of you RSS readers, please chime in and share your thoughts as well!  OK, here is the question:

Should Pastors be able to drink alcohol in public?  Why or why not?  Is this a situational question?  Share your thoughts, share scripture…just sound off on this subject; you all have an opinion, and we want to hear them!

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Could It Be?

I remember when I got my first job as a warden of an adult penitentiary.  I was actually replacing a guy who had been a warden for many years and had that “Old School” warden mentality.  An “Old School” warden would basically sit behind their desk and give directions and not spend much time walking the yard and talking; similar to some “Old School” pastors.  My first week on the job, I asked the current Warden if we could walk the yard/units together; and I was amazed at the responses that we got from the inmates.  Many were yelling and saying “We have not seen that guy walk through here in over a year.”  I had some successful experience operating juvenile correctional facilities; however this was my first adult corrections leadership opportunity.  My philosophy was to always walk the yard, walk the units and talk to the inmates, while empowering my staff to do the same; you would be amazed at the difference that it makes. 

I would walk the units every day and field a bunch of complaints and begin to build relationships.  As the weeks went by the complaints were down, inmates began to respond differently to one another; as well as being more respectful of the guards.  Incidents and behavioral problems began to decline and there was an awkwardly comfortable feeling.  What was happening!  Could it be the fact that people are beginning to care about people; as well as accepting their role?  Could it be that the inmates are being respectful, because they are being respected?  Could it be that the correctional staff began to realize that it is OK to be firm and still treat people with dignity?  Could it be that the “Old School” doesn’t always work and we can learn something from the “New School?”  Could it be that loving your neighbor as yourself, might just have some positive implications?

What are some situations where the “Old School” method didn’t or doesn’t work?  What “New School” methods in your church, business, or life are working?  Could it be………?

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The "A-Word"

Last week Craig posted a blog on Swerve entitled “Where is God Working” in which he asked people to share some churches where God is doing something special…..  There were a ton of churches shared from around the country and I have been checking out many of the websites.  I ran across a comment that I thought was complimentary and intriguing; the NW Oklahoma City Campus of LifeChurch.tv was mentioned in a comment by Jimmy Paravane.  His comment also made me think about the about the “A-Word” Assume/Assumptions.  Below is the exact comment:

“3 churches in OKC come to mind. 1. The NW OKC Campus of LifeChurch.tv at http://www.lifechurch.tv/?p=745. Scott Williams is black! What’s he doing as Campus Pastor of a white-flight mega-multi-site church! Some of my assumptions about LifeChurch.tv could just possibly be wrong. This MAY call for some further research.”

I had read a post over a month ago entitled “Stereotype” from my friend in the blogsphere Anne Jackson; in which she outlined the stereotypical contemporary church pastor.  For the most part it’s accurate, I just happen to be the exception instead of the rule.  The post on Swerve today entitled “Kingdom Minded” really sheds light on assuming, divisiveness and speaking well of others.  If we don’t make any assumptions or only assume the best about people, pastors, ministries, styles…. it changes our perspective.   I am not saying that some of the assumptions and stereotypes are not accurate, I’m simply saying be careful and remember when we ASSUME, it can make a _ _ _ out of you and me.  

BTW- What am I doing as Campus Pastor of a white-flight mega-multi-site church? 

We are all guilty of assuming and stereotyping pastors and churches.  What are some stereotypes or assumptions that you have about: Contemporary Churches, LifeChurch.tv, Joel Osteen, “The Black Church,” Baptist Churches…..?  

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Don't Quote Me (2)

  • Leaders aren’t born they are made. (Vince Lombardi)
  • Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely. (Karen Kaiser Clark)
  • If the Gospel isn’t touching others, it hasn’t touched you. (Curry R. Blake)
  • If one does not know to which port is sailing, no wind is favorable. (Seneca)
  • The real leader has no need to lead – he is content to point the way. (Henry Miller)
  • Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. (Martin Luther King Jr.)
  • Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.  (John F. Kennedy)
  • Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry. (Winston Churchill)
  • History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again. (Maya Angelou)
  • I don’t allow people to drive my decisions, at the end of the day they are just people. (Scott Williams)

Share your thoughts and share your quotes!

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Got Questions???

QUESTION AND ANSWER

IS IT OKAY TO BE CREMATED?   for dust you are and to dust you will return. Genesis 3:19 

IS IT OKAY FOR A CHRISTIAN TO GO DANCING?  There is a…time to mourn and a time to dance. Ecclesiastes 3:4 

AS A CHRISTIAN, SHOULD I READ MY HOROSCOPE?   …Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month…Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up…Each of them goes on in his error…Isaiah 47:13-15 

IS HOMOSEXUALITY SIN?   Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. Leviticus 18:22 

QUESTIONS TO ANSWER 

  • SHOULD A PASTOR DO A “CALL TO CHRIST” EVERY WEEK? 
  • SHOULD WOMEN BE SENIOR PASTORS? 
  • IS IT DISRESPECTFUL TO EAT FOOD AND DRINK IN THE SANCTUARY? 
  • IS IT OK FOR PASTORS TO USE OTHER PASTOR’S SERMONS AND MATERIALS? 

Share your thoughts on any of these questions or share your own questions!

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The Gift of "No"

no.jpgDo you have the gift of no?  I am not talking about saying no when it’s absolutely necessary; I’m talking about saying no simply for your own convenience.  You know what I’m talking about, when your kids ask you if they can do something and you just say No!  Most of the time there is not any rational reason for you saying No, except for the fact that it is convenient and easy.  It sounds like this in my world with my 8 and 4 year old sons: “Dad can I get a Popsicle?” “No”  “Dad can I stay the night with Johnny?” “No”  “Dad can I help with that?” “No, your not big enough”………… and the list goes on and on.    Research shows that 77% of everything we think is negative and counterproductive.  Children that grow up in an “average household” hear “No” and are told what they can’t do more than 148,000 times by the time they are 18. (Ouch)  “Sounds like we need some Joel Osteen, in our lives.”  J  I recently talked with a buddy of mine about this and he acknowledged that his wife has similar struggles with saying no to their two daughters.  Hmmmm….. Maybe it’s some sort of “Just Deal With It” mentality for our children that are the same sex.  I have personally been convicted and I am learning to give away, The Gift of No!  I am turning into a Yes Man, and my kids and wife love it.

Do you have “The Gift of No!”  Share your thoughts!   

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Larry Damerval Predicts OU/Colorado Upset

Larry Damerval a.k.a. “Larry” from the LifeChurch.tv series “30 Days to Live” predicted that the Colorado Buffalos would upset the Oklahoma Sooners and it happened.  Seriously that was something that he wanted Pastor Chris Spradlin to share at his funeral and Spradlin said it and said it several times.  Are you freakin’ kidding me 🙁  I guess Larry does have a direct connection w/ God!

Random Notes:

  • We are currently in Dallas on our Staff Retreat
  • We had a scavenger hunt on the way to Dallas; girls vs. guys and the guys lost
  • We ate at Buca Di Bepo last night; it was great
  • We all wore our National Porn Sunday Shirts; we got some awkward looks and comments

Share your thoughts on anything and/or share some “must do’s” while we are in Dallas.

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Friday Drive-by

RANDOM BULLETS   

Youth Ministry: The approach we are taking at the NW Oklahoma City Campus

  • Getting youth actively involved in all ministry areas, will change your entire church (Tomorrows leaders bring the energy and excitement)
  • Empower youth to lead-up and they will change the adults perspective
  • If your youth pastors and adult leaders truly love/invest in the youth, your Youth Ministry will grow
  • A healthy student leadership program is key, “It’s their ministry!”
  • The Pastor has to be fully engaged and support the Youth Ministry
  • If your Youth Ministry catches fire, so will the rest of the church

Life:

  • I can’t believe that I get paid to do what I do
  • My Sooners will win the National Championship (Bring on the Longhorns)
  • My wife and my boys are awesome

LifeChurch.tv NW Oklahoma City:

  • My team is going on a retreat to Dallas this weekend ( Dallas readers, let me know if there is a “must eat” restaurant in D-Town)
  • Next week is National Porn Sunday

Questions:

  • In the spirit of love, Should registered sex offenders be able to serve in the local church?
  • What is wrong with OJ Simpson?
  • Is your church diverse?
  • How did you run across this blog?

Have a great weekend! 

 

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God-sized numbers

I will talk more about this on the blog tomorrow; however I wanted to share an e-mail sent last night by LifeYouth Central Team Leader, Zach King regarding a youth event at our campus last night.  Props to Tony Cobb, Anna Meadows, the Adult Leaders and the NW Staff.  Here it goes:

Hey guys, 

I am bursting with excitement and passion about what God did tonight at the NOC campus!!  Big Props to the NOC Campus Staff for an amazing event called the “SWITCH Rave”. Tony Cobb and Anna Meadows spent weeks promoting, hitting school campuses, inspiring XL students and praying for this event and it paid off!  Big thanks for the investment Scott Williams has made (and is making) into SWITCH at the NOC campus…from the weekend stage promotion to the passion you bring to your team… it’s truly inspiring.  Adam Ivey did an incredible job leading worship and it was amazing to see that many students going after God!  I know its killing you, so here it is…the God-sized numbers: 

  • Students: 926
  • Leaders: 62
  • Salvations: 104
  • Energy & Atmosphere: Priceless 

This is the largest single campus SWITCH experience ever and globally we were able to minister to well over 2,500 students tonight all over the country!  As I sat in there tonight with Scott Williams and we both had chills just being apart of the experience, God kept bringing a verse to my mind.  Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”  Their campus goal was 500 students and God did more than we could have ever asked for or imagined.  If you have time, make sure you shoot some encouragement to the NOC staff for a job well done!   We are looking forward to seeing how God uses SWITCH at NOC to impact the local schools and the community. 

Zach King

Central Team Leader – LifeYouth

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Forgiveness vs. Permission

I was reading Swerve this morning and Craig was talking about Hesitant Pastors.  There was a list of bullets that are signs outlining that you have become a hesitant leader, such as: inability to make hard decisions, second guessing decisions, seeking affirmation, being motivated by fear instead of faith….  I think that this same list of hesitancy’s applies to our lives as spouses, employees, pastors, leaders….  I tend to make decisions knowing that I would much rather ask for “Forgiveness” instead of “Permission.”  This really provides me the opportunity to lead boldly, make tough decisions and not to second guess myself.  I am not saying that I am going to sell my house and then decide to talk w/ my wife afterwards; however I am saying I use discernment and make a decision.  I am already encouraging my sons to push-back and make decisions in reasonable situations, rather than always asking Mom and Dad for permission.   I have encouraged employees in the past and current team members to adopt this same philosophy.  This philosophy can create some challenges; however it’s healthy leadership development.   We must remember 2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear.  The slightest hint of fear can allow us to become hesitant parents, leaders, spouses….    Go ahead and make those decisions, use discernment, lead boldly, while at the same time understanding that you might have to ask for “Forgiveness.” 

Do you tend to ask for “Permission” or “Forgiveness?”  When was the last time you made a decision, knowing that you might have to ask for forgiveness?  Share your thoughts!

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