All posts tagged: bible

Abraham And Isaac

I wonder if Abraham understood the power of these prophetic words when they left his mouth:

Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”

Genesis 22:8

youversion

This weekend I decided to try out YouVersion’s Live Events for the launch of the latest teaching series at Rancho Community Church. For those who don’t know what YouVersion is, it’s a great online version of the Bible for various devices (computers, mobile devices, iPads, etc.). Developed and supported by LifeChurch.tv, this is the top Bible App for iPhones, Blackberry”s, and Androids. To download it for free, just search for “Bible” in your app store – or just use the web version at youversion.com.

Not only does YouVersion provide a great user interface for reading the Bible online and on mobile devices – it also includes:

  • Multiple reading programs
  • The ability to tag, bookmark, link & share scripture (via YouVersion community, Twitter & Facebook)
  • Live Event” section for, well, following along to “Live” events (such as worship services)

I’ve been wanting to test out the “Live Event” section for some time, so this weekend I got the Keynote from our lead pastor and input all the info on the admin side and pushed out the live event. What exactly does that mean? It means that:

  • Anyone who visits Rancho Community’s YouVersion page can follow along online (not much use right now, but if we begin streaming live it will become a powerful tool).
  • Anyone who has a mobile device with YouVersion installed can visit our “Live Event” and follow along on their device. (Again, let me say that YouVersion is available for FREE).

And what do I mean by “follow along”?

  • All the announcements & online links displayed right on the user’s screen.
  • A “Share” section where users can share the event via Facebook & Twitter.
  • All the scripture references are displayed right on the screen.
  • A “Prayer Request” section where users can share requests confidentially.
  • Any additional links you want to push out.
  • The ability to post a “Question” and receive answers*.
  • The ability to publish a “Poll” and receive the results.

*We had three users comment this weekend alone to the question: “What did you think of using YouVersion?”

  • Love, love, love it!!!!
  • Church needs a public wifi access point for connection as AT
  • I love it!

**And on our Facebook page, we had a few comments, I liked this one:

  • I have been wanting to use my NIV bible on my iPhone in church, but was always afraid people around me thinking I am texting instead of listening to Pastor Scott. Now that we have this I can use my iPhone without fear of persecution! Great job Rancho! (kidding about the persecution)

So users get an interactive experience on their mobile devices (or computers) while attending services, or wherever they are. Pretty cool, and another way to reach people, engage them, and meet them where they are. I see the potential for this tool only growing more and more.

This all only took me about an hour to setup, and now that I’ve done it once, it should only take about 15 minutes or so a week, and did I mention that it’s FREE?

To see what the event looked like go here. To visit Rancho Community’s YouVersion page, go here.

So I was talking with a friend of mine this morning for a second about something that I’m preparing for, and he said something like ‘what are you doing to prepare’, and I was like, oh I’m coming up with a plan. He typed back one word: pray. Uhhh, yeah… that stung.

I think those who consider themselves to be Christ followers can all agree that prayer is the highest priority in our lives. Our direct communication with God. Here’s what Paul (the first great missional leader of the church) said to a young pastor, Timothy:

The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. (youversion)

I also imagine if you are a Christ follower, and we’re being honest here, (and you’re anything like me), that’s probably not our highest priority – if I weigh it in the scales of everything else I have going on in life. At least that’s what it seems like for me right now, in this season of my life. Read More

Southwest Church Planters Eric Beeman
This past week was the monthly Southwest Church Planters Forum. This was my second visit (here’s my first) and it was really cool – Jen got to come with me this time, which always makes it better. It was such a relief to go to something a little more stress relieving after last weeks CMA District Conference. Once again, Pat & Oscars was on the menu (those breadsticks are a killer! literally). My good friend, Eric led worship and this month Hal Seed, pastor of New Song Community Church in Oceanside, Ca was our speaker. (by the way they are rockin’ the CCB website, not my favorite but apparently it’s working for them). Here’s my notes on his talk (italics added for emphasis and my thoughts are in parentheses):

Leadership Stamina: Staying the Course (Hal Seed)

Persevering…

  1. Heb 12:1-3 It is always easier to quit than persevere.
  2. Ga 6:9-10 It is always easier to “grow weary” that to persevere. (I got distracted on this one so it could be wrong).
  3. Phil 3:13-14 Paul’s strategy for staying the course was to look forward not back. To keep his stamina, Paul did whatever he needed to do.

Your Job:
Of all the jobs God has assigned you as a leader, the most important one is self leadership.

The Three Most Draining Circumstances of a Leader:

  1. Dissapointment
  2. Conflict
  3. Success (adrenaline wears off quickly)

Why Church Planting is Draining:

  1. Spiritual Warfare – Eph 6:12
  2. Often there are few people praying – Col 4:3-4
  3. Usually there is a lack of commitment
  4. Your job is about people
  5. Church planters have much bigger dreams than most others (thus more disappointment when those dreams are not reached, or reached soon enough)

Minimizing the Drain:

  1. Listen to criticism at the right time (not right before events, etc. I actually believe the best time to change things for the better are ASAP. How many times have you been in a church service and said, oh I hope we aren’t doing that again next service… well, then DON’T. If I had my way we’d completely evaluate the worship experience immediately after our 6pm Sat. and make any changes for the next morning).
  2. Give grace on Sunday & Monday (again, I agree, but if we’re going to get better, we’ve got to catch things when they’re fresh. Pastors have a tough job, maybe one of the most personally draining, but we chose it. We’ve got to get over that and realize that presenting the [insert your area of ministry] Word of God in a relevant and passionate way each week in an effective way is crucial, and without measuring standards there will be no growth).
  3. Resist the temptation to give in to depression – Phil 4:8, Ps 103:1

Maximizing the Gain:

  1. Pray joyfully (as opposed to praying in fear, desperation, rambling on and on)
  2. Make a list of things that fill or energize you (I have to do this)
  3. Exercise, Diet, and Sleep are important (amen!)
  4. Learn from others (I call this staying teachable, the Bible calls it humility, either way, probably the hardest thing for pastors to do – God help us!)
  5. Get out of town! Dan 9 (spiritual warfare)
  6. Borrow great ideas (I agree with the footnote that you don’t always borrow – God has to have placed something in your heart that needs to be developed and expressed sometime)
  7. Keep your mind saturated with scripture (another one I need to work harder on)
  8. Remember these scriptures:
    2 Cor 1:3-4 Comfort
    1 Cor 10:13 Temptation
    2 Tim 2:22 Flee

Also, if you’re interested, last month’s guest was Matt Hannon & my notes from his talk on “Attributes of a Leader” are here.