Thursday, February 26, 2009

Best books so far

You can see my 2009 reading list on the side of the blog, but a few books have already stood out this year...

The Heart of a Servant Leader - I think this will be a book I read every year. I was convicted, encouraged, and blessed literally by every single page of this book.

Total Church - I am already rereading this book with the staff. I don't underline a lot in books, but this is a major exception.

A Book You Will Actually Read on Church Leadership (Gotta love the name) - Vintage Mark Driscoll. This was short, to the point, and extremely thought provoking.

Tales from Q School - Okay, so this was a fun read, but I love golf, and this took me to a part of the PGA Tour that is pretty gut-wrenching. John Feinstein knows how to write.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Priorities for '09

One of our priorities as a church for this year has been membership. We obviously want to grow in our membership, but we also want to more clearly define what it means to be a part of this family. We want membership to mean more than just having a special card that says you get preferred prices at a local grocery store. Surely, God is interested in more than that.

So, a few weeks ago we embarked on our first membership class. We had 72 people attend 1 or more sessions, with an average of 50+ people at each session. Several of those people were members, but the great majority of those who attended are not members (yet, I hope!). Several people have asked to pursue membership further.

It has been encouraging to see how God has shaped this burden of our church and now has blessed our efforts in this area. Keep praying that our church will continue to look more and more like Jesus!


I mentioned at the close of a service Sunday that our BookTable is stocked with some helpful booklets.

If you haven't had a chance to check them out, you out to. Some of the titles...
  • Stress
  • Motives
  • Single Parents
  • How Do I Stop Losing It with My Kids (I have had to read and reread that a time or two)
  • Anger
  • When Bad Things Happen
  • Worry
The booklets could be read in less than 15 minutes, and could be well worth your 15 minutes. So stop by the Table on Sunday, and check them out.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Fueling the fire of wanting to see people come to Christ

I read a blog from a church planter in Chicago. He has some pretty interesting thoughts on things, but this particular post was such an encouragement to me.

After reading this post about his father's conversion, I have great confidence in God's work through His Word, through the Spirit, and through the people of God.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Two things on the horizon

I normally don't use the blog for promoting a bunch of stuff, but I wanted to share a couple of events that could be of use to you in the upcoming days.

First, Shawna and I are planning on attending a conference called Shepherding a Child's Heart at Faith Presbyterian in Wilmington. The conference is based on a book (which you can purchase at the Book Table) by Tedd Tripp that has had a profound impact on how we view our role as parents. The cost is reasonable and to say that I endorse the conference would be the understatement of the year!

I also found out about another unique event called Christ and Science being hosted by Evangelical Presbyterian here in Newark. The speaker is Vern Poythress and the description makes me believe that the subject matter will go beyond a simple creation/evolution debate, and into other realms of science, even helping us in our understanding of technology. No charge, great information. Why don't you check it out?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Change Needed

So, what are some books that have influenced the messages that I have been sharing on Sunday? Here is a list of some helpful books.

Dependence on God

I was thinking this morning about how Solomon felt after the Lord appearing to him in 1 Kings 3. Essentially, he asked God, "Why do you want to bless me? Why do you love me so much? I am a little child and I don't know how to go out or come in."

Sometimes, I feel like Solomon. It is easy to feel inadequate in the roles that we have: Christ-follower, husband, father, son, brother, pastor, etc.

And yet, I have been encouraged as I remember that God has shown His love to me despite my inadequacies, not because of my "superman-like" ability.

What I need is a regular reminder of grace and good news that I am weaker than I thought, but God loves me more than I could imagine! Can anyone relate?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


How should a Christian think about risk? I struggle with that question at times, but I loved the quote I read this afternoon.
"Always try to be daring, but don't be in a hurry."
It was in The Heart of a Servant Leader by Jack Miller. A great book of letters written by a pastor from Philly.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Psalm 25:4-5

This morning, I ran across these verses/prayer, and was convicted that I ought to commit them to memory.

Make me to know your ways, O Lord
Teach me your paths
Lead me in your truth and teach me
For you are the God of my salvation
For you I wait all the day long


We are talking a lot about change in our Sunday morning gatherings. I read this summary today in a book on church leadership you will actually read (seriously, that's the name of it).
1. Growth causes change
2. Change causes complexity
3. Complexity causes concern
4. Concern causes conflict

Interesting progression that Mark Driscoll reveals.