Archive for July, 2012

God speaks Spanish.

Posted: July 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

Sunday evening at Church Unleashed, our worship was led by a Hispanic church. They brought their praise band, and their pastor brought the message. He preached in Spanish, and all of us English folks understood every word.That is because we had a translator. On a couple of songs, the tune was familiar, and about half the congregation sang in Spanish, and half sang in English. It seemed like a glimpse of what heaven will one day be like, when people of every ethic group will worship God in their own heart language.

So yes, God speaks Spanish, and German; Mandarin Chinese, Swahili, Ebonics, Gullah, English, and the language of every single ethnic group in our world. So with approximately 3500 plus people groups who have never heard the Gospel, what are we going to do about it?

Someone asked me the other day (a church attender), what I was doing to reach our community and grow our church. I responded that I was seeking to equip people just like him to do just that. It is a partnership, and it takes everyone of us.


Call it What it is.

Posted: July 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

Yesterday was one of those days full of surprises. First, a Hispanic pastor named Juan came by the office. I had never met him, but our worship leader had arranged for his church to join us for worship on Sunday evening and lead. He asked me about reaching Hispanics in our community.

Later in the day I had an arranged meeting with a man from Charlotte named Jeff. Jeff served on the mission field for years in India, and learned an incredible strategy for discipleship. I had arranged to meet with him and pick his brain. What I had not imagined was meeting Ray. Ray is 24 years young, was saved in a jail cell by reading Matthew’s Gospel, then attended Bible College and is now planting churches all over the city.

By the end of the day, I was like, “Wow, God you are incredible.” In the midst of all of this, Jeff said something that renewed my commitment to Matthew 28:18-20. He said, “If we are not making disciples, we need to call it what it is. It is sin.” He continued, “We can label it an omission, or whatever else we want, but the bottom line is, it is just sin.”

We often speak of “it” as the “Great Commission.” It is the parting challenge of our Lord Jesus. It is what we remain here for. And make no mistake, the imperative in Matthew 28 is, “Make Disciples.” It is given to every follower of Jesus Christ. So how are we doing? How are you doing? Are you a disciple? Are you making disciples?

And they were called "Dabblers, Tippers, and Friendlies" first in America..

It is interesting to me that almost halfway his recording of the experiences of the early church in Acts Luke notes, “And they were called Christians first at Antioch.” Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” And yet in the land of the free spirits and the home of the braves, its all about me, and crosses are too heavy.

Books like Radical and Crazy Love empty off the shelves of book stores, but it is almost like they are only to allow us to have a mental encounter with Jesus without having to be radical or to give expression to Crazy Love. So this morning I cannot help but wonder, how many church goers are dabblers with Jesus, instead of disciples? How many “tip” God with their time and their treasures when it is convenient?

Where are the men who leave their fishing boats and their fathers to follow Jesus wherever He may go? Where are the men and women who will see themselves as missionaries in a local church, instead of skipping from church to church to find a place they are comfortable and where there are plenty of other people that look like them?

I don’t mean to sound dismal, but I think it is time we stop just being friendly with Jesus, and become fanatical about following Him.

Why Not?

Posted: July 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

“Some men see things as they are and say why – I dream things that never were and say why not.” – Copy to Clipboard
— George Bernard Shaw

Can we not apply that quote to the church in America? When I read Acts 2, and Acts 4, and almost all of the book of Acts, I see a different church that what I have experienced all my life in America. I saw glimmers of that type church in West Africa out in the bush village.

So when we compare the scripture to our reality, some people say, “That was then. Don’t expect that now.” My question is “Why not?” Why can we not be of one heart and one mind? Why can we not multiply at such an incredible rate? Why can we not be a Mosaic like the church in Antioch? Shouldn’t the church be a place of multi colors made of the broken pieces of lives marred by sin, but reconstructed into a beautiful piece of art by the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ? Will we continue to settle for less that what God intended?

August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin,but by the content of their character.” I have a dream also. I dream that one day we will evaluate the character of our churches by the Words of the Bible, and not by our experience in our childhood, or some other point in time when we were impressed by man’s creative skills

Moses is Dead

Posted: July 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

Several years ago, I read a book by Ed Stetzer entitled, Breaking the Missional Code. From my perspective, the main issue is discovering the context in which you minister and choosing a style that effectively penetrates that context. In Joshua 1, God tells Joshua, “Moses, my servant is dead.” Moses had lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt and to the edge of the Promised Land. The congregation saw a land of fruit and honey, but could not see past the giants in their way. They opted instead to turn back into the wilderness and wander for 40 years. Moses faithfully lead them even though they constantly grumbled and complained against his leadership.

For me, Moses in this context represents the old paradigm of ministry, and Joshua represents a new. If the children of Israel had the technology, I wonder would they have put Moses on life support. The bottom line, Moses could not lead them into Canaan. For that they would need Joshua. All across America there are churches that are dieing because they are keeping Moses on life support. They continue to do what they did in the 1950’s. And yet there are those who have been raised up that are thriving because they have embraced Joshua.

I am continually amazed at how stubborn we can be as Christians. How easily we turn back into the wilderness over giants. Joshua and Caleb saw the giants, but they knew they were no match for their God. What about you? What do you see, Giants, or God?

God prefers Honda

Posted: July 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

God prefers Honda.