Moody Bible’s Culby X: Free Christmas Album

Introducing…from the men of Culby X

A Christmas Album.

It’s free, it’s inspiring, and it’s good.

Forgive me, but this is a personal privilege post. My son Nate, a pastoral student at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, released his first Christmas album today. This was his brainchild. He recruited the guys on his dorm floor, Culby 10th floor, to help. Nate coordinated the electronic music, another guy sang, and the guys on the floor participated with Scripture input, marketing, and general morale support.

Most amazing to me is that this project was completed in a dorm room. I don’t recall that insanity in dorm rooms from my days in college. Don’t let anyone tell you this generation can’t make a difference. The guys of Culby X, and so many others, will prove you wrong.

Do me a favor and be encouraged:

Download the album:

HERE

Like their Facebook page:

HERE

And have yourself a Merry Christmas!

The Mentor Recruiter

I think I’ve often viewed mentoring the wrong way. For years, I’ve been an advocate of having a mentor. I’ve had one since I was in my early 20′s. I’ve written about mentoring previously. I’ve written about mentoring in posts such as:

Questions to Help Know What to do with a Mentor

5 Types of Mentors

How Do I Find a Mentor?

In the last post listed, I stated that if you want a mentor, you must be willing to ask someone to mentor you. I still agree with that concept. If you need a mentor, it’s better to ask one than to do without. I wonder, however, if that’s really the Biblical model.

Consider for example:

  • Jesus said, “Follow me” (Mark 1:17)
  • Paul recruited Timothy (Acts 16:3)
  • Barnabas took Mark (Acts 15:37)
  • Paul chose Silas (Acts 15:40)

So my questions are:

  • Should we recruit people to mentor?
  • Who are you investing in today?
  • Who are you mentoring?
  • Who should you be?
  • Will you make the first call?

You may feel you have nothing to offer. That held me back from intentionally recruiting people to mentor for years. I’ve learned, however, that if a person has experience at any level, they have plenty to share with those who haven’t walked where they walk.

In a future post I’ll share how I have implemented this thought process.

Do you have a mentor?

Do you have someone to mentor?

Do you need to recruit someone? 

Free Online Conference Focused on Church Finances

If you’ve attended The Nines or any other free online conference, you’ll know how this works. This free online event is focused on church finances. It’s called Fund Your Church Now and it takes places on October 20. Here are the details:

What is it? Fund Your Church Now is a FREE online event to help your church go from financial breakeven to breakthrough. Some of the top church leaders in North America will talk about the practical things they have done to fully fund the church or ministry they help lead. No travel required…just watch from your computer.

When is it? October 20, 2011 from 1pm – 4pm EST. Register here.

Who is speaking? Bob Franquiz, Dino Rizzo, Carey Nieuwhof, Shaun King, Joe Sangl, Tim Stevens , Pete Wilson, Casey Graham, Robert Morris, and others.

Who is behind it? Fund Your Church Now is hosted by Giving Rocket.

If you are a church leader, this free online conference looks like it’s worth your time. Register here.

The Believer’s Response to Grief

Today was a special day of remembrance. You may want to read THIS POST and watch the 5 minute video associated with before viewing this message.

In our series called FREE we talked about living the freedom Christ intends for us to have, in spite of the death, pain, failure, loss and disappointments that come our way…mostly beyond our control. How as a believer are we to grieve? If you’re struggling with a significant loss, I hope this message gives you comfort:

Breaking free from the pain of death or loss from Gcomchurch Sermons on Vimeo.

If you choose to listen to this message, you may do so HERE:

They Went Home…

Then the disciples went back to their homes. John 20:10

The disciples had gone to the empty tomb. They saw where the body of Jesus had been laid. He was not there. He had risen, yet the Scripture said at this point they still did not understand what had happened. (vs. 9) They left the greatest miracle of eternity…returned to their homes…but didn’t yet understand.

The disciples didn’t get it…even though they had walked with Jesus several years and this was carried out just as Jesus had prepared them…they couldn’t grasp the complete story.

It made me wonder…

Should we be surprised when people come to our church…we share the simple Gospel….yet they leave still failing to understand?

What do you think?

Simplified 7-Step Roadmap to Success

In an organizational sense…

Here is a 7 step roadmap to success for a team:

Have a big God-given dream…

Get a clear vision of what success would look like…

Organize a great team…

Formulate a strategic plan of action steps to create a win…

Assign specific tasks to everyone on the team…

Keep pushing forward, even during difficult days, encouraging one another…

Celebrate along the way…

Have you served on a successful team? 

Storm Calmer: Jesus in the Boat – A Sermon

One of my favorite stories of Jesus’ miracles is the calming of the storm found in Mark 4. This Summer we are walking through the book of Mark with Grace Community Church in a series called Defiance.

Recently I was able to preach on this familiar and powerful passage. Do you need some encouragement in your faith these days? I hope this helps.

What is your favorite miracle story of Jesus?

7 Ways to Get the Most out of a Church Experience

This is a note to the church shopper, especially those who can’t seem to find a place to call home. You want to have a church family, but nothing seems to connect with you. You’ve tried every flavor of church, but none match your taste.

My desire would be that you learn to love your church experience. No church is perfect, but if you will follow a few tips, you may find exactly the right fit for your family. This is my best advice and the advice I would give you if we were meeting in person. Don’t give up looking for the right church until you’ve tried all of this process, because each step is necessary to achieve the best results:

If you are looking to connect with a church:

Attend - You have to make a decision that this church is part of your weekly routine. It needs to become a habit. I personally believe you should support the services the church offers in order to get the most benefit from the church. If the church meets on Sunday or Wednesday night you should support those services too as much as you can. Many of the inner workings of the church will most likely happen then. Our church limits the number of services per week, but attending regularly is the first step in connecting with a body of believers.

Commit - Decide this is your choice for a season. Stick with it long enough to form a habit of attending. You can break the habit easy if necessary…people do it everyday…but for now, unless you know the first week the church is not a fit for your family, if you’ve been a couple times and are still interested, try to stay committed for a long enough period to give the church a fair chance. Many churches experiences get “better” as you begin to see the church as your church.

Serve – Find a place to serve within the church. You’ll get to know the people involved and feel that you are a genuine part of the church. You’ll love a church more when you serve within that church.

Give - Become a financial investor in the church. If you believe in the mission, then be a part of funding it. You’ll grow to love the places where you invest your money.

Listen - Pay attention to the message then follow up with personal study or reflection. I suggest this regardless of whether you enjoy the style of the preacher or not. You chose the church and he or she worked to prepare a message. If you can’t be present in person listen online or by tape if that’s an option. Keep up with the teaching and know where the pastor is leading the church at the time.

Pray - Decide to pray regularly for the staff and church. God may surprise you with a deep love and appreciation for this church as you learn to pray for it.

Invite – Bring some friends along with you next time you attend. Invite your neighbors and family to join you. You’ll feel proud when someone you care about joins you at church and your love for the church will grow.

Have you ever had to look for a new church? How did you handle the process?

Bonus question: What is the first few things you look for in a church? What brings you back?