Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Today's Prayer

God, I come to You seeking Your face, searching for answers so I can do something about the problems. There is so much turmoil in the world. There have been so many disasters, many beyond man's control. I pray that You will broaden the minds the people affected by each incident and open their eyes to see what You want them to learn. And I pray that they will respond in the right way.

I know that You sometimes allow pressures in my life to bring attention to an issue You want me to take care of too. I pray today, that You as my Loving Father will make known anything that stands in the way of fellowship between You and I. I want to turn from any wrongdoing, and "step up to the plate" to do the right thing, no matter how great or how simple it may seem.

I praise You for Who You are, for all You do, and for the fellowship we share through prayer.

In Jesus' name, amen.

Video Summary - COGOP Assembly

Church Planting Requires Passion

Passion for People - if you love people and want to see them come to Christ you will plant churches. Otherwise you just want to build your kingdom.

Passion for Place - I hear from church planters all the time about how they just knew that they knew this was the place. You gotta love it where God plants you or you’ll be moving on soon.

Passion for Planting - Church Planting grows out of a Pastor’s heart and vision. It will not come from laypeople, it will not come from other staff members. It will come when a Pastor is so fired up for a people and a place that God won’t let him rest until he does all he can to reach the area where God has planted him.

"We Will" - Music Video

Adam Herod at the 2008 International Assembly of the COGOP in Nashville.

Harvest - A Priority

Pastor, here are 10 ways to make your altar invitation stronger:
  1. Truly believe in the power of the gospel to change lives.
  2. Recognize that not everyone is saved (including some people who have been members of your church for years).
  3. Hate sin. Explain repentance. Preach Christ.
  4. Don’t promise a better life. Promise a better eternity and the Holy Spirit to lead you through this life.
  5. Preach as if this is someone’s only chance to hear about Christ. It might be.
  6. Present the gospel in every message.
  7. Call for a decision.
  8. Trust that the Holy Spirit has already been at work in someone’s life.
  9. Believe people will be saved.
  10. Worship God when they are.

[Craig Groeschel]

Preacher - Remember These Three Things

The mind battles that are fought before and after a message are intense. Some of the highest of highs and lowest of lows are while a message is being prepared, delivered and the days (and even weeks) that follow. Here are a few pieces of advice …

#1 - Get alone with God and let Him set you on fire.

John Wesley once said, “I just set myself on fire and people come to watch me burn.” We NEED that in our speakers today.

I’m afraid too many of us are dominated by the thought, “what is so and so going to think if I say this.” And we become WAY more obsessed with not offending people … and in doing so we are perfectly willing to offend Jesus.

Get ALONE with God and let Him absolutely put a message inside of you that absolutely burns your very soul … and you feel like you will explode if you don’t get what He’s put in you out of you!

One more thing before I move on … FIRE BURNS! If you preach what God has burned into your heart, God will use it to purify some … and burn others! You should never be so concerned with people’s comfort that you neglect God’s command.

#2 - Know That People Will Sometimes Misunderstand What You Say … And Even Get Angry!

It will not be intentional, but you will offend people. Someone will take just a small piece of what you say and blow it COMPLETELY out of context.

People will tell you AFTER you speak what you should and should not have said. Anyone can be an “arm chair quarterback” and “call the plays” from the comfort of their living room. But, once again, allow God to get you on fire, to put HIS WORDS in YOUR HEART, don’t feel like you need to throw out a disclaimer for every other statement.

#3 - Keep The “One Day” Principle In Mind.

Hebrews 13:17 is a verse that every pastor SHOULD memorize.

One day we will stand before God and be held accountable for how we lead and communicate.

Every message I prepare and deliver I have to say, “Would I be willing to stand in front of the Almighty right now with a clear conscience in regards to this message?”

You see, when we preach – HE is the ONE we are called to honor … not the deacons, church board or the largest giver!

One day we will stand in front of God … and if you are settled in your heart in regards to that – then step out and speak with confidence and conviction, knowing that you cannot always please God and man.

By the way … before I close let me say that I am FULLY CONVINCED that it is a great idea for pastors to bounce their messages off of a group of people for the purpose of clarity and getting new ideas and thoughts … but, they will not stand beside you one day when you go before God … it will be you and Him … so always make sure that you are doing what you do for His honor … HIS ALONE!

[Perry Noble]

Who Were Those Cheering People at Saddleback?

Last week, Pastor Rick Warren hosted a presidential forum at Saddleback church. Who were all those cheering people?

According to Pastor Warren, 95% of the seats were actually given away to Saddleback members. According to an email to the Saddleback congregation, Pastor Rick Warren explained it this way ... "The moment McCain and Obama were announced as this month's Civil Forum guests, we were overwhelmed with thousands of requests from partisans who wanted to fill our auditorium with their troops. To prevent them from taking all the seats we did two things: First, we reserved 95% of the 5000+ tickets as FREE to our Saddleback volunteers who faithfully serve our family. We then sold 5% - less than 250 seats - to other members and outsiders in order to defray the expenses of this (now) national event. I didn't want our tithes and offerings paying for this event ... "

Pastor Rick said that one untold story is that "We invited the principals of schools in the Santa Ana district to select some worthy students to attend for free in order to experience the American election system. 22 students and 2 chaperones had been awarded seats."