Saturday, April 26, 2008

Rick Warren Video Interview

CLICK HERE to watch an awesome new video interview with Pastor Rick Warren on the subject of discipleship, church planting, and other pastor secrets.

How Long Is Your Church Service?

The results are in! The average church service/experience time is 78.74 minutes. With an average range from range from 65 minutes (NV/PA) to 150 minutes (AK/Brazil/FL).

The shortest service/experience time was 55 minutes in MO with a three-way tie for the longest in AK, FL, and Brazil at 150 minutes.

Click on the graphic to see how each state’s average compares!

Protection Program Helps Keep Children Safe In Church

A Christian media ministry with a passion to keep children safe from sexual abuse released a new resource that will help churches and ministries properly screen, train and oversee the people who work with children.

Since the 1980s, when a surge of child sexual abuse cases in churches surfaced, allegations of abuse by clergy have decreased, yet allegations of abuse by church lay leaders and volunteers have risen sharply. Last year, more than 300 incidents were reported within church or ministry organizations, and in half of these cases the perpetrator was a volunteer or paid staff member. The reason? Many child sex offenders seek out welcoming environments where there is easy access to minors.

According to Richard Hammar, church law expert and the legal counsel for the national headquarters of the Assemblies of God, "Many churches and faith-based youth organizations still fail to implement proper screening processes for their workers and adequate training of staff and volunteers before placing them in service with minors."

Christianity Today International developed an all-new, DVD-based training kit: "Reducing the Risk: Keeping Your Ministry Safe from Child Sexual Abuse." This is the third edition of the "Reducing the Risk" series, which started 15 years ago. Its release coincides with National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The latest version of "Reducing the Risk" features DVD training for churches, complete with real-life stories from a victim and a convicted sex offender; a roundtable discussion with leading national experts; "what would you do" scenarios; and teaching from Richard Hammar.

The kit also offers a leader's guide, trainee workbooks, screening forms, and records files. Together, these tools enable churches to immediately implement a program that effectively trains ministry leaders and build the systems and procedures needed to make churches safe havens for children.

For more information about "Reducing the Risk" and keeping children safe from sexual predators, see

[Christian Newswire]

Thousands Commit To Church Planting

This was the closing moment at Exponential 08. It was awesome as thousands of leaders came forward committing to start new churches/sites or committing the new church they are starting to God.

In this pic Rick Warren (seated on the stage) is praying for all these new church planters and reproducing church leaders asking God's blessing on their efforts. What you see here has the potential to be a catalyst for a movement of reproducing churches!

"Vision" by Andy Stanley

[Here are Vince Antonucci's notes on another of the sessions at the Exponential Conference. Andy Stanley is brilliant and makes everything seem so ridiculously simple...]

Vision = Mental picture of what could be, fueled by passion of what should be. Vision begins as a burden, What’s clear in here must become clear out there – or people won’t know how to follow us.

5 Things To Do:

1. State it simply
- Memorable is portable
- We suffer from the curse of knowledge
- People don’t ask stupid questions, they’re just letting us know how poorly we’ve communicated the vision.
- Northpointe’s Vision: “Create a church that unchurched people love to attend.”

2. Cast it convincingly
- Define the problem (If people don’t feel weight of problem they won’t be excited about the vision).
- Offer the solution (Your vision is the solution to a problem.)
- Explain why and why now (Why now in this community?)

3. Repeat it regularly
- Discover the rhythm of your church
- Build vision casting into the rhythm

4. Celebrate constantly
- Problem with vision – no pictures going somewhere that only exists in my head.
- So when we get “pictures” – hold them up – celebrate the win.
- Stories do more to clarify vision than anything else.
- Don’t miss opportunities to showcase examples

5. Embrace it personally (and publicly)
- Share with staff and church when you invite someone, what happened this week in your small group, etc.
- Don’t miss opportunities to showcase examples.