November 28, 2014

Lifting the Bull

I don't know about you, but I want the big things to happen quickly. I am interested in quantum leaps not small steps.

But God tells us the power of "little by little".

Deuteronomy 7:22 -  The LORD your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you.

Proverbs 13:11 Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.

There is an old story about two Greek islanders vying to become the strongest man on the island. 

One trainee bought a newborn calf. The other laughed at him. How could a calf help his rival train? 

But every day the wise trainee lifted it. Every day the calf got a little bigger and heavier but he could still lift it because it was only a little bit heavier than the previous day. After a year the wise trainee saw the calf was now a bull but he could still lift it. 

In the meantime the unwise trainee had tried every day to lift a bull. 

He had failed every time.

November 25, 2014

"FLOW- Unleashing a River of Multiplication in Your Church, City and World"

Today my new eBook released through Exponential and I am honored that it is being electronically distributed to pastors around the world.

Here's a brief excerpt:

"...At this juncture in 1998 my wife Deb and I decided to get away for our 20th anniversary to seek God. The new millennium, century and decade were knocking on the door of our church. We needed to know what to say when we opened the door. During those days away the Lord birthed a new vision into our minds. It was a concept we had never heard of, though it was not original to us.

The vision was to stop becoming a “LAKE church” and instead become a “RIVER church”. To us a LAKE church meant a church where people flow in and stay. It seeks to get more and more people around one pastor in one place. A RIVER church was dynamically different. It was one where the people flow in but keep moving downstream. God takes them to other places to minister. The measurement becomes about “flow rate” instead “volume contained”, about “gallons per minute” instead of “gallons retained”.

Specifically to us we felt this meant, “stay where you are and stop worrying about growing your numbers”. Instead, from those already there, begin to “send people out to start new churches thus making room for more people to fill their place”. We sensed the Lord saying, “Focus on FLOWING instead of GROWING and see what I will do.”

Such a message didn’t come out of nowhere. We had been praying about our next ministry move personally and for the church. I had been troubled listening to a mega-church pastor report on the several million dollars they were spending to deal with an environmental “bird problem” in their relocation effort. I had done the math in our own context. I knew to relocate in our general area to a facility that could support the next 30 years of growth would cost between 10 and 15 million dollars. In an urban poor congregation like ours that amount was astronomical.

I began to ponder, “What could be accomplished if, instead of investing those huge dollars in buildings to “add”, we invested them in people so we could “multiply”? What would the kingdom impact be if we focused on raising up and releasing pastors, leaders and workers to start new churches?

Download a FREE copy here to keep reading:

October 25, 2014

Is this Disneyland?

Today I just want to say, "how thankful I am for the girl who has made my dreams come true"!

Cheesy, huh? Sorry. Gonna say it anyway because 1) it's true 2) it's my blog and 3) everyone who knows me knows it's true, anyway.

Life hasn't been Disneyland. Disneyland isn't heaven, anyway. Ever been there with 3 young kids, on a crowded, hot day when your favorite rides have broken down but you had paid 3 months rent just to get in the gate so there's no dang way you are going home until the thing shuts down.

No there's plenty of reality in the land of the Magic Castle.

Nevertheless, Disneyland has a way of lifting you above the mundaneness of the world around you and creating an alternate reality in the midst of the doctor bills and car repairs. It's this ability that I refer to when I speak of my wife, Deb.

She specializes in what she calls "The Delight Factor"...I call it Disneyland. Her ability to take the ordinary and infuse it with some magic is extraordinary. She has a strength on the Clifton's Strength Inventory called Maximizer. I have it too, but for me it just manifests itself by making me drive too fast.

But for Deb, her "Maximizer" causes her to create "magic" in the midst of the minutiae. Example: I will throw some lettuce on a plate, splash it with Thousand Island (shouldn't it be Thousand Islands, plural?) and call it a salad.

Not Deb. In only a little longer time than it takes me to make my salad, she will whip up a 17 ingredient salad masterpiece, fit for a magazine cover...then offers some to me. Magic.

Deb worked at Disneyland when she was in college. She scooped ice cream making the dreams of boys and girls come true. She still scooping out ice cream but has added wisdom, truth, love, courage, and comfort to what she serves.

I've been in love with other women (a long time ago in a far away land) but God gave me Disneyland Deb and she's been creating Magic in our little kingdom for the past 36 years!

(She's away leading a women's retreat for a whole bunch of ladies...they are getting a little Disney I'm sure).