Monday, January 4, 2016

I will be Faithful

I remember my grandfather telling me that a man's word and a handshake was like gold.  You could trust that what a man said he was going to do.  And as I was growing up I was taught that Jesus is a man of His Word.  He does what he says he is going to do.  As a matter of fact, I base my whole existence and future of the fact that God is a person of His Word. Think about it.  All our hopes and dreams rest in the fact that God is and will be faithful to us.

As Christ-followers, aren't we supposed to emulate Jesus?  If Jesus is a faithful person and does what he says he will do, shouldn't we as Christians practice the same thing?  All throughout the Bible we are told to be people that can be trusted.  Ecclesiastes 5:5 says, "It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay."  We read again in Proverbs 22:1, "A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold."

If anyone should be trusted with the things they say on this planet it should be the Christ-followers.  So, I have a challenge for you this year.  It is going to sound simple, and you have probably heard it before.

Become a man or woman of your word in 2016.  Be faithful with what you say.  If you say your going to be somewhere be early.  If you say you are going to serve in a ministry do it as unto the Lord. If you say you believe the Bible then do what it tells you to do.  Be faithful!!  That's it.  Be faithful.

Here are some tools and guards that will help you be faithful:

  1. Don't over commit.  Think before you speak.  Even delay the response if necessary to make sure you can do what you say you are going to do. 
  2. Take responsibility for your own life. (that is a whole different blog coming soon).
  3. Get a calendar.  Write it down.  If you don't write it down you will forget it.  Forgetting is a horrible excuse.  It shows lack of discipline.  
  4. Only use one calendar.  Choose one and stick with it. More than one leads to confusion and error. (I learned this one the hard way). 
  5. Do what you say you are going to do even if it costs you.  If you have to stay up late or get up early, do whatever it takes to be faithful.
When we are faithful people we are a better example of Christ.  If people can't trust what you say, how can you share the gospel effectively.

Check out Reliant Ministries

Monday, September 28, 2015

Striving For Excellence

When you look at an athlete like Michael Phelps you know that he is a driven individual. Mr. Phelps has won 18 Olympic gold metals since 2004.  I think it is safe to say that he is a man that strives for excellence.  I don't believe he was fulfilling another person's dream for his life.  I believe he was willing to put in the time and struggle that it took to accomplish these victories because it is what he wanted for his own life.

What makes a person so determined?   What would cause someone to go through all the pain?  Where does the discipline come from that drives a person like Phelps to victory? Do you think his trainer had to get him out of bed or tell him to go to the gym?  I think not!  I think he was self motivated as he strived for excellence in his field.

I remember as a young man wanting to be a minister for the Lord Jesus Christ.  I considered it (and still do) to be a high calling and honor to serve my King and have the ability to speak truth into the lives of people.  My pastor and professors didn't have to tell me to study my Bible.  I was not forced to pray or walk by faith.  These were disciplines that I placed in my life as I strove for excellence.

It seems that in today's world Christians have the idea that all the information they could want is at their finger tips with a push of a button. If we want to know what the bible says about prayer we just google it.  The one thing that google will never do for you is have "the words of God dwell in you richly."  Knowledge at your finger tips is not the same as wisdom in your walk.  If you are going to master the art of being a Jesus follower, it will take discipline, struggle, endurance, and pain.  Paul said that he pressed toward the mark of the high calling of God.  "That I might know him, and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings." (Phil. 3:10-16)

I am looking for the true disciples of Christ. Those that will get up early or stay up late if necessary.  Those that study the word of God because that is what it takes to be transformed into men and women of God.  Those that take the leap of faith knowing the awesomeness of their God and are not afraid to take chances.  These are the game changers! These are the kingdom builders!  These are the ones that will turn this world upside down with the gospel!

Don't be a google centered Christian.  Be a gospel centered Christian.  Strive to be a Kingdom Builder.

Learn more about Reliant Ministries at

Monday, August 31, 2015

Empowering Your People

What makes the difference in a team player and a water-boy.  There are so many different leadership styles that I will not take the time to discuss them all here today.  But, any good style of leadership is going to have some key ingredients that makes it successful. One of those ingredients is the level of empowerment that a leader gives to his or her people.

Empowerment can be tricky in the respect that the leader has a specific direction that he is trying to take the organization, and there are many different personality styles to get it there.  Let's talk about the opposite style first so we have something to compare.  Lack of empowerment in a leader is one that dictates tasks to his people and everyone is a slave to the task list of the Leader.  There is no original thought or idea.  Sharing it is just a list to be completed.  This might be the case if you are dealing with support staff only, but if you have true players on the field they are going to want to contribute and execute.

Empowerment is a culture that is built over time.  It is not just decision making.  Here are a few ways you can begin to build a culture of empowerment with your people.

  1. Spend a lot of time sharing and refining your vision with your team.  Everyone must be headed in the same direction. If this is not the case, you as the leader will be frustrated when people are moving in a different direction.  Empowerment in this environment is dangerous to the overall vision of the organization. 
  2. Have brainstorming sessions before the tasks are given out. Once everyone is comfortable and in agreement with the vision, the team can start building a road map of how to get there.  As the leader, you might have a general idea of how to get there, but you must be flexible in the brainstorming meeting as others will think of things that you did not. 
  3. You don't have to be the smartest person in the room.  Be O.K. with the fact that you have gathered an excellent team to get the job done. Just because someone can throw a touchdown pass doesn't threaten the job of the coach.  It just makes the coach look good. 
  4. Give feedback to the team.  Empowerment without assessment comes across as unconcern. Communication is key here!  People can't read your mind and they want to know if in fact they are moving in the right direction.  The more reassurance the leader gives, the more decisive the team can be.  If the team is unsure if they are accomplishing the goals, they will stop making proactive decisions and begin to wait on instruction.  
  5. Celebrate the successes!   To do so, success must be clearly defined.  What are the milestones in the journey?  When those milestones are reached there must be celebration.  Without celebration the milestones seem unimportant and therefore the work that went into achieving it also seems unimportant. There is plenty of time to hit the next milestone so don't miss the celebration along the way. 
I have a saying with my teams: "Together we can do more."  Empowerment is true leadership.  In the next entry we will see some examples of how Jesus empowered his disciples.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Team Church

I have always loved being a part of a team.  Working together with others to accomplish a greater goal than you could ever accomplish by yourself.  My teams would always bring out the best in me and push me farther than I thought I could go.  Teams help make a healthy environment.  They are all about relationships, goals, victories, and defeats.  People that you count on and trust in to see you through.

Today many have the religious idea that church is the place that we come to meet with God. They attend to be reverent and be moved in someway in their spiritual life.  Many times people are struggling to find their purpose and meaning and think that will come through some supernatural touch from the Holy Spirit.  Many times they leave with the same problems they came in with.  They start feeling that church doesn't work for them the way it does for others. It's because of this that many don't see the need to go to church.  They are hit and miss because they think that church is just about their spiritual walk with the Lord.  This couldn't be farther from the truth.  What would a church look like if they understood that Jesus had placed all of them on a team?  A team to win the souls of people.  A team that needed to perform together to accomplish something bigger than themselves.

When Jesus started his ministry, the first thing He did is build a team.  He didn't build a building (as a matter of fact, he never built a building).  He built a team of men that would work together to accomplish something greater than themselves.  Jesus is still building teams today!  He brings people together with different talents and abilities to accomplish something greater that they could ever accomplish on their own.  When I was on my high school basketball team we had practice everyday after school and games on Friday night. If you didn't come to practice you didn't play in the game. Even if you were good enough to skip practice you still had to come and practice with the team. Through practice we learned how the team plays and how to play to our strengths. We learned each other and we learned to care about one another.  If a team member didn't show up, we demanded to know why.  It was unacceptable that a team member wasn't there.  Not because they did know the plays or even needed the practice but they did need to be with the team.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Finding a Team

Reliant will be hosting a partners meeting on August 16th for all those interested in being on the launch team.  We will be launching March 6, 2016.  We are looking for some new team members that are ready to do something amazing for God.  You can RSVP for the meeting by CLICKING HERE.

One thing that you don't see in the scriptures is a lone ranger that goes off by himself to do a work for God.  It is very evident that is into the team concept.  Even Jesus hand picked 12 men at the beginning of his ministry that would walk with him through his entire ministry.

I remember the day in my office when God call me to minister to his people.  My response was, "Lord I need you to send me some men that know what they are doing.  I need guidance and help."  God has been faithful to surround me with the necessary people to accomplish His mission.

I find myself in that situation again as we plan the new Church.  God has provided solid instruction through the guys at Stadia, and he has also provided me with men and women by my side that will help me get it done.  I am in the hunt for my team at this point.  I need an associate, and a worship leader.  Before you send you resume.  They need to be willing to raise their own support and have that entrepreneurial spirit to start something for nothing.  God has been faithful in the past and I know he will be faithful now.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Questions for Upcoming Ministers

Being in ministry for 25 years and being a part of training men and women for the ministry, there are a few questions that I have learned must be answered before one will be effective in ministry. There are too many stories of pastors falling or failing in the ministry for these questions to be avoided.

1 Peter 5:2-3, "shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock." Ministers are commanded to be the example to the flock in all areas of life. So here are a few of the questions that every minister should continually ask (in no certain order):

  1. Do I want people to follow my example in the way I raise my kids?
  2. Do I want people to follow my example in how I treat my wife / husband?
  3. Do I want people to follow my example in how I spend my time and money?
  4. Do I want people to follow my example in how I lead others?
  5. Do I want people to follow my example in my spiritual life and witness for the Lord?

These are questions that I have been asking myself for the past 25 years and will continue to ask. Knowing the Bible is a must. Being a visionary is a must. Waxing eloquent in pulpit is important. Processes and procedures you can't do without. But if you don't live in such a way that people can aspire to follow, your ministry will be short lived. I realize this is a tall order, but that is the call of a man or woman of God.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Finding Jesus

How do people find Jesus today?  This question has never been more real to me than right now, as I plant our new Church: Reliant.  Last week I was sitting in a discussion meeting with Stadia and Greg Nettle said something in passing that is changing the course of the way I think about evangelism.

The way a person comes to faith in Christ today is a lot different than it was in the 70's and 80's.  The pattern back then was something like this:  Information (The gospel) led to a decision (salvation) which led to relationships (church) which ended in mission (evangelism).

Through the 90's there was a transition into the a relationship style of evangelism that sparked a small group movement all over the country and the pattern changed: Relationships (small groups) led to sharing (the gospel) which led to church attendance (assimilation) which ended in mission (evangelism)

Today the pattern has changed once again.  The millennial's think in a whole different light.  They are very aware of the ills of the world and are determined to make a change in the world around them.  They love missional  causes that help society as a whole.   So, here is the pattern: Causes (mission) lead to relationships (small groups) which lead to sharing (the gospel) which leads to church attendance (assimilation).

Let's review:

70's & 80's: Salvation - Church - Relationship - Mission
90's & 00's: Relationship - Salvation - Church - Mission
Current: Mission - Relationship - Church - Salvation

This can all be summed up by understanding the way that truth is perceived today.  People no longer take for granted that the Bible is the inerrant truth. This mind set is described fully in James 2:18, "But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works."  We live in a "show me" generation. So here are a few questions that you can ask yourself.

  1. How is my relationship with Jesus changing the world in which I live?  
  2. Is my faith based in facts alone or actions I take?  
  3. What missional cause am I developing that will lead to new relationships?
  4. Who am I taking with me as I reach out into the world with the love of Christ?
I am in the process of raising funds for our new Church Plant launching early 2016.  Please consider giving a special gift today by Clicking Here.  If you are interested in being a part of the launch team, please contact me at or visiting our website.