Tuesday, September 21, 2010

No One Cares About Your Church ~ Tim Schraeder

This is a great article that encourages us to be The Church!

Click on the title to read the article posted on the Catalyst website.

A Dangerous Enemy ~ Jenni Catron

As typical siblings do, my sister and I fought over EVERYTHING when we were growing up. We knew how to push each other’s buttons and we thoroughly enjoyed doing it. Most of the time our battles were over the petty things like who got the last piece of cake, who got to sit in the front seat of the car, or whose favorite TV show we got to watch.

Although petty, the things that we battled over were usually always things in limited supply, things that were scarce.

I think we learn to fear scarcity at an early age. The fear of not having enough causes us to race to beat others to get what we want. Before we know it this mentality infiltrates every part of our lives.

We're afraid of a friend (or colleague) becoming better friends with someone else, so we don't make the introduction

We're afraid the store might run out of that fancy new thing we want so we slap our credit card down and impulsively buy it

We keep our freezers stocked because we don't want to go hungry

We give our financial resources sparingly because we're afraid we won't have enough for retirement

We don't celebrate the accomplishment of a co-worker because we're afraid they'll get promoted sooner

We hoard.
We keep.
We guard.
We protect.

I believe that this mindset of scarcity is one of the most dangerous enemies to great leadership. Our unwillingness to champion others, to give to others, or to make a way for others is a dangerous place to find ourselves.

In our efforts to guard and protect ourselves we actually sabotage our leadership influence.

Scarcity is in opposition to great leadership because I believe one of the greatest responsibilities of leaders is to generously develop, inspire, and empower those you lead.

If you are constantly protecting what you have, you rarely have time to invest in the people around you.

"A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."
Proverbs 11:25

I'll be honest; scarcity can get the best of me. It's one of the greatest challenges to my leadership.

How about you? Do you battle scarcity? What do you do to combat it in your life?

Posted: 20 Sep 2010 05:42 AM PDT on Catalysts Blog

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Commentary from Isaac Anderson ~ Economy of Love

"At least two things must be said.  First, when it comes to caring for the poor in our locations, the sheer magnitude of the task can tempt us to apathy.  However, on this point the Scriptures are clear:  neglect those among us who have material and physical needs, and our rituals are meaningless.  Worse than meaningless - they make God sick.  We must remember that the validity of our worship hinges on our commitment to the homeless and hungry outside our door.
Second, many church leaders take this issue quite seriously.  And each congregation has its own financial challenges, its own burdens to carry.  But if God's provision is going to meet the poor where they live, we must honestly assess what our church budgets say about our true priorities.  Is meeting the needs of the marginalized a central or peripheral concern?  What material and aesthetic comforts are we addicted to, and what sacrifices must we make so that all people have their basic needs met?  Is the gospel we preach good news for the rich and poor alike?  Are both being filled?"

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rocked by the Relational Tithe

The concept of the "relational tithe" absolutely rocks my world. Wow! This is absolutely walking out the Message. This is Jesus come to town. Wow! This is what it means to lvoe, and to be Christ to our brothers and sisters, with nothing expected in return. I don't see how a person can hear this message, and then go out and live life as usual. May it never be. I may never be the same. If I could cry, I would cry right now.

Thanks for sharing this Jeff! Good stuff!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Missional Evangelism

"Evangelism is by demonstration before proclamation.  Proclamation comes after they've seen the gospel in action.  To Jesus, the church was an active verb and not a passive noun.  Jesus' followers practiced mission evangelism. The heart of God's mission is serving."

~ Michael Slaughter ~ Ginghamsburg Church ~ Tipp City, Ohio

Views on Social Justice ~ Great Articles and Videos!

Catalyst Leadership Digital Magazine

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Engage Your Greatest Challenge

"I am convinced that when we face our fears, we look straight into the eyes of opportunity, and the courage we often need to engage our greatest challenge can be found only in the midst of engaging that challenge. There is a point of impact where we experience conflict, opposition and resistance. But it is also at this point of impact where we have the greatest opportunity. It is on the battlefield that we reflect what's on God's heart, and we stand in that place where God longs to make Himself known."

Erwin Raphael McManus, Chasing Daylight

Willing to Stand Alone

The technical definition of impact is "a forcible contact between two or more things." This is an accurate description of how men and women are used by God to shape the course of human history. Whenever God is doing a new thing, He does it through people. And those He chooses to lead the way are often considered fortunate only in retrospect. The reality in the moment is often quite different. It is a privilege to be called to go first even when it means you are the first to suffer and the only one at risk. It means you must bear the weight of responsibility and accept the consequences that will come with the privilege.

- Erwin Raphael McManus, Chasing Daylight

Friday, September 10, 2010

New York Times Editorial ~ David Brooks

Gospel of Wealth

Interview on "Social Justice" ~ Video

Fighting Sex Trafficking

Radical Leadership ~ Video

To Reach People No One Else Is Reaching ~ Andy Stanley

I'm in love with...

Don't love the world's ways. Don't love the world's goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.
1 John 2:15-17 (MSG)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Rise" - Robbie Seay Band

Slow down, be still
Let go, we will
Be here, be now
Slow down, be still
Breathe in, refill
Be here, be now

If you choose to love
To know that the call
Is to give all you are
To give love away, away
Rise, rise, people of love rise
People of love rise, give yourself away
Rise, rise, people of love rise
People of love rise, give yourself away
Give yourself away, give yourself away

Slow down, just breathe
Be still, believe
Be here, be now
Slow down and see
It’s all you need
Be loved and free

And to hear the call, is to give your love away
And to hear the call, is to give your love away
And to hear the call, is to give your life away
Is to give your life away

We’re not safe, we’re not safe
But we will rise

Be a Radical Catalyst

cat·a·lyst   /ˈkætlɪst/ [kat-l-ist]

1. Chemistry . a substance that causes or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected.

2. something that causes activity between two or more persons or forces without itself being affected.

3. a person or thing that precipitates an event or change: His imprisonment by the government served as the catalyst that helped transform social unrest into revolution.

4. a person whose talk, enthusiasm, or energy causes others to be more friendly, enthusiastic, or energetic.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Vessels for Good

"A significant part of seizing divine moments is recognizing that God's intention is to use us as vessels for good. Not simply to do good, but to generate good. To lead others toward good."

- Erwin Raphael McManus, Chasing Daylight

This kind of goes along with that whole "Do the next right thing." idea. God indeed wants us to be vessels for good. To do good, not "do-do" good. We are to step up and do what feels right in our heart, as we connect with His heart.

Go Deep, My Friends

"The most important influences in people's lives are the ones who have helped shape who they are. You really can know a person by his friends. Trustworthy people are surrounded by people who trust them. And women and men who are genuinely Christ-like are surrounded by those who long to be more like Christ. Character breeds influence. Influence shapes character. The relationship between character and influence is like breathing - the deeper you inhale, the stronger you can exhale. Take your character deep, and your influence will be profound."

- Erwin Raphael McManus, Chasing Daylight

Take deep breaths, my friends. I covet your influences in my life.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What's Your Percentage?


By Christian Buckley | Humanitarian Jesus
Recently during a radio interview for Humanitarian Jesus the interviewer tried to sum up the idea of living as a Christian humanitarian as follows:

"So what you’re really saying, what you really want people to do, is to take part of their tithe, you know the 10%, and direct that to social causes and need, right?"  Being that it was a live interview, I kindly responded, “Not at all. I want people to abandon the 10% view of life and adopt Christ’s actual call to give a 100% of what wasn’t theirs to begin with.”  Silence -- followed by a rapid shift to, “How about that interview with Francis Chan, great guy.”  So there it was in a burst of radio failure. He wanted a safe answer and I gave him danger. He wanted a small ask and I told him there was none. He had a 10% view of devotion, asking how much of his stuff he had to give up, and I was challenging that by asking how much of God’s stuff he was planning to keep.  For most of us seeing the ravages of poverty, homelessness, disease, and hunger in our world is not the problem. And for the average church and Christian out there today wanting to do something about those issues isn’t the problem either. The real problem is that we approach giving and helping and serving with a 10% mindset. Somewhere along the line we cut a deal with ourselves that if we gave 10% of our time, talents, and resources to God we could rightly hold on to the other 90%. As a result we have sadly created a culture of 10% Christian living and even worse, an understanding that the other 90% was actually ours to begin with.  The starting point for living as a Christian humanitarian is to wake up every day seeing our stuff, our lives, and our time as 100% Christ’s for his work and his glory. We have to abandon our bargains and balances and resist the temptation to ask if we have done enough. We stand no chance of making a serious impact in the world around us and the brokenness that exists if all we can spare of ourselves is 10%.  Imagine if Christ had adopted a 10% world view. What if he gave only 10% of his time and passion while he was on earth and considered the other 90% his? What if he could only have spared 10% of his life on the cross or had chosen to take on just 10% of our brokenness and sin? Christ gave 100% of everything he had and everything he was to the people around him and to us. Do we really believe that God sacrificed 100% of his son for 10% of our lives?  The role of the church in this new era of the social gospel and Christian humanitarianism isn’t really to show people global needs or create pathways for involvement because great advancements already exist in those areas. The pressing task is to abandon the 10% Christian mentality we have accepted and give 100% of who we are and what we have to following Christ and investing in the world around us for His glory. If we do that, the how and what and where of humanitarian investment will follow as details. If we don’t, the details are irrelevant.

Christian Buckley is the co-author of Humanitarian Jesus and the co-founder of The Glue Network, a social media project based cause marketing solution. As an attorney he has represented death row inmates and CEO’s. As a business leader he has helped shape both non-profits and action sports companies. Find out more at thinkmoretruth.com or email christian@thinkmoretruth.com

Relational Tithe

Weird ?