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How to Make Jesus Your Model for Ministry

Jesus-MT-Know-FactsBooks and seminars on leadership dominate pastoral reading. And that is good. The axiom is true that an organization or a church does not rise higher than its leader.

But do leadership and ministry equal the same thing? I do not think so. Ministry includes much more.

When I am looking for an example or prototype for ministry, I first look to Jesus. How did He minister? What kind of a minister was He? If He is the Chief Shepherd (Pastor) and I the undershepherd, what kind of pastor or minister am I to be? If I am to follow in His steps, what were His steps?

Let me lift from His ministry a brief moment that encapsulates Jesus’ pastoral concern. I do not pretend that this pericope represents the totality of truth about Jesus as our model for ministry, but I find in it three essentials that serve as an example for us.

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Rick Warren: Before You Lead Your Church Through Change

Rick-Warren-newIf your church has plateaued in its growth for a while or shows signs of being unhealthy, things may need to change, and the pastor is the point person to produce positive change in any church’s culture.

Having said that, leading a church through change is difficult, and sometimes it can be detrimental if you don’t consider some important questions before starting the process.

Three aspects of change you should evaluate before shaking things up are:

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How to Help Other Churches Reach People for Christ

A-helping-handWhatever your goals are for the rest of this year, I’d like to encourage you to include at least one goal that helps other churches.

Helping other churches is a multiplication strategy. If you can help someone else do what you do well, you’ve doubled your effectiveness. More importantly, Genesis 12 indicates that we are blessed to be a blessing.

Helping others has always been God’s intention for His people, particularly for leaders.

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Why Interruption Is More Effective Than Invitation

Outdoor-preachingFor the first 15 years, my ministry had been built on an invitation model. In essence, I was saying, “If you come to my camp, my conference, my church, or if you will read one of my books, I can share truth and hope with you.”

But in 2003, my philosophy began to change because God began to amplify the Great Commission in my heart and He began to refine my demographic.  

Up until that point, I felt like because we were doing some outside-the-box events and hosting some aggressive conferences that some other churches might not have, our outreach model was effective—but even our outreach was inward. If they wouldn’t come where we were—and many would not—we had no way to reach and influence them.

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How to Launch 163,000 Churches

church-planting-logoA few months after we started New Song Church, I began to pray about how our little church could play a part in Jesus’ Acts 1:8 vision for the church. How could a young church like ours play a part in reaching our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the world?

Fast-forward 20 years, and God has done exceedingly abundantly above what we could ask or imagine. By His grace, New Song has played a measurable part in planting 163,000 churches around the world. Those 163,000 churches have seen over 7 million come to Christ.

I recently asked myself, “How did this happen?”

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What's Your Antidote for the Monday Morning Blues?

stressed-man-pressure-smallWhat does your church do for people? Probably more than you’ve thought. Every Monday, scores of pastors are ready to walk away from ministry. It’s easy for us to forget how incredibly helpful the local church is in shaping and benefitting people’s lives. Let me encourage you about this for the next five minutes.

Last week I heard from a couple whose trajectory was completely changed by what they learned in New Song’s Financial Peace class. Today they have less debt, less tension, more hope, more discipline and more skills to apply to so many areas of their lives. I walked away thinking, “We have hundreds of families who are out of debt or on their way. Offering Financial Peace may be the greatest favor our church has ever done for people.”

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