All in Church Planting
The battlefield of church planting is littered with burned out bodies. Long hours, immense stress, and constant pressure have caused more than one well-intentioned church planter to wave the white flag.
Even if they don’t quit, church planters struggle to manage the war within.
Church planting is difficult work. It takes an tremendous amount of spiritual, physical, emotional, and relational energy to build something from nothing. These first five years of getting Redemption up and off the ground have been some of the most personally taxing of my life. The difficultly is often a direct result of the spiritual war being waged, in which we stand on the front lines.
Yet, much of the pain planters experience is self-inflicted and unnecessary. Church planting demands a unique wiring - you have to be one part called and one part crazy. I wish I could say that it was only the clear call of God that drove me and others like me, but I’d be lying. Often times there are drivers just below the surface impacting church planters.
Pastoral ministry can be lonely work for a number of reasons.
Some pastors don’t know how to have meaningful relationships. Others live under the crushing weight of a misplaced Messiah complex that keeps them from connecting with others. Often times church planters, or pastors in new churches are simply isolated and don’t truly know anyone.
Pastors preach the importance of community, but often fail to participate in it. The reality is, every pastor, just like ever other person, needs the right people in their life, in order to pursue health and endure for the long haul. While every pastor would benefit from a deep well of diverse relationships, here are three I believe to be critical…
Another Easter has come and gone. If you work in ministry like I do, then you’re likely still feeling the effects of last weekend. At Redemption, we invested 120 hours of prayer, sent out 600 hand-written invites, held a church-wide prayer meeting, shot daily video devotionals, remembered Good Friday and celebrated Easter Sunday with record attendance.
As a result, I’m tired, our staff is tired, and our teams are tired. Our hearts are full, but our tanks are empty.
You may not be in ministry full time, but we all have certain days or seasons in which we have to invest far more energy than normal. Maybe you’re planning a wedding, a party, a graduation, or other event. There is often an immense letdown after whatever it is that you’ve invested so much in.
How we steward these seasons is critical. If you ignore the fatigue, try to push through, or run on fumes, you will do great damage to your body, mind, emotions and soul. You have to replenish. Here are six ways to refill your tank after Easter (or any other big day)…
If you know me at all you know that I have an affinity for magic. Not the weird card game that you could buy along with a new pog slammer back in the day, but the type that involves illusions.
Now there are all different kinds of magic but my favorite has always been street magic which is typically performed up close and personal in a location where a lot of people congregate. And what I love most about street magic is that when performed properly, it can completely amaze people using the simplest of tools such as a deck of cards or a coin.
Street magic when done well does a lot with a little and what I can say with confidence is that this is something every church can stand to benefit from. Doing a lot with a little is an art form that requires intention and effort and it’s something that we're always striving to do at Redemption.
Here are three ways you can do a lot with a little.
God’s primary proving ground for a pastor is not his work in the pulpit, but his home. This means that a man qualifies and disqualifies himself in the home before he ever does in the church. No amount of ministry fruitfulness will justify our failure to love and lead the families God has given us.
Yes, pastoral ministry comes with a unique brand of difficulty. The hours are long, the work is hard, and the results are often unseen. But, we cannot let this serve as an excuse for being lousy dads. We can do better. We have a heavenly Father who willingly sacrificed His own Son, so that through faith, we could be saved and faithfully father our own sons and daughters. By God’s grace and through the Spirit’s strength, here are seven ways for good pastors to be great dads…
For full sermon audio, please click here.
Have you noticed how many “Diva Disciples” fill churches these days? Temperamental, difficult, high maintenance Christians who have forgotten that what we have and what we do is a privilege?
This is especially noticeable in corporate worship, where some allow their secondary preferences to sideline their participation:
“I don’t know the songs.”
“I don’t like the style.”
“I’m not comfortable in the setting.”But here’s the truth:
Two weeks ago we celebrated the fourth anniversary of Redemption Bible Church's public launch. Each year we commemorate this day because it marks another year of God's faithfulness to our church family.
Our friend, Jake Moreland, of Two Birds Photography was kind enough to shoot pictures throughout the day and then at our church-wide picnic. I'm humbled to by all God's done and amazed at all He's carried us through. Hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoyed celebrating God's work!
Every preacher knows the discouragement of looking out on an obviously disengaged audience - glassy stares, confused looks, slowly closing eyes just moments from a nap - it's awful. While some of the responsibility lands in the laps of our listeners, most of the responsibility is ours as preachers.
Our job is to "rightly handle the word of truth" (2 Tim.2:15). That's the command the apostle Paul gave young Timothy - a green, insecure, uncertain pastor in a jacked up situation.
I am part of a tribe that takes this task seriously. We preach the Word week in and week out. We don't play games with God's Word. But, if we're not careful we can make the mistake of believing that faithful preaching means nothing more than mere accuracy. I believe Paul's encouragement to Timothy begs more than accuracy alone.
Here are seven reasons people might hate our preaching (even if it's Biblically accurate)…
This Sunday is the four year anniversary of Redemption Bible Church's public launch. In God's providence I will preaching a sermon called "Is God Good?" as a part of our Doubting God series. I can confidently confess that these past four years God has proven Himself good over and over again.
Psalm 106:1 says, "Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever." Therefore, I think it is only fitting that I thank God for four of the countless ways He's been good to our church family these past four years.
This is a guest post by Pastor Scott Holthaus. Pastor Scott serves as the Associate Pastor of Worship at Redemption Bible Church and at one time entertained the idea of becoming a magician.
My wife, Becky, and I went on a tour of the Grand Canyon a few years back. We arrived at the tour center and loaded into a large coach bus with fifty other excited and slightly sweaty tourists.
A few minutes later, the tour guide came onto the bus and introduced himself. He shared a bit about who he was and his "tour-giving" credentials. He then prepared us for the tour by reminding us where we were going and by readying us for all the sights we were going to see.
We then proceeded with the tour and had an incredible time seeing some of the most breathtaking examples of God’s creation.Now imagine if the tour guide...
“How do I confirm if God’s calling me into full-time vocational ministry?”
is a question I’m being asked more and more. Young people, old people,
rich people, poor people, successful and established people - I’m
encountering a growing number of people considering a call to full-time
vocational ministry - vocational, meaning “paid".
Every Christian is called to “full-time” ministry. There is never a season, time, or circumstance in which a follower of Christ is not to minister the good news of Jesus to those around them. Baristas and bartenders, students and stay-at-home moms, business people and bankers, those in construction and childcare, medical providers and machinists - all of us are to always minister to those God providentially places in our lives.
Because every Christian is called to full-time ministry, I always want to know why it is an individual feels called to ministry vocationally. You may think, “Who cares? They want to serve Jesus, so what does it matter why they want to?” Well, it matters a lot. The truth is, there are a great many BAD reasons to pursue vocational ministry - Here are the five most common I hear
Imagine you walked into church one Sunday and everywhere you looked were zombies. Not real zombies, of course. Because of course, there aren’t real zombies, or are there? Anyways...
Imagine you walked into a worship service one Sunday and everywhere you looked were zombies.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “The work of preaching is the highest and the greatest and the most glorious calling to which anyone can ever be called.” I’m so thankful to be a preacher. It’s my favorite part of being a pastor. While I love the act of preaching, I often find the art of prepping sermons tedious. I love to study and preach what the Lord gives me. It’s the blood, sweat, and tears in between that makes me long for the time when I was a vocational coffee maker.