We did it. You may not have though it would happen, but we finished our Acts series. One year later and 42 sermons (41 at The Campus Location–I want The Oaks to over-achieve). That means that if you came to The Oaks you likely gave over a day of your life to listening to me (I’m sorry for that).
It was a sweet Sunday. And as part of it we went through Acts in 24 words. Here they are (for you Bible nerds). . .
Continue reading “Sunday Debrief: Be the Church (Finishing Acts)”
Four years ago today I got out of bed at Courtney’s cousin’s guest house in Dallas. It was early, and mornings and I are not always on the greatest terms. I had a trek ahead of me. The first stop: drive close to the DTS campus and pick up my friend, Jeff. There was no issue at all figuring out which vehicle was mine. I rolled up in the 17-foot U-Haul, loaded up the night before by some great friends (and, if I remember correctly, we ate pizza that night as well). Our six hundred(ish) square-foot apartment had been emptied, our U-Haul packed, and our sights set on Baton Rouge, Louisiana–where I had just accepted a job doing Lord knows what.
Toby and I doing what we do best: not moving boxes and looking tough. (PS-Toby and his wife had twins about a week ago.)
A lot has changed in those four years. We’ve added two children (with a third coming August 12th) and endured the first one staying in the hospital his first month. We’ve done big kid things like plan for our future and the inevitable end of being gainfully employed, buy a house, get life insurance (well, I [Hans] have), pay bills, and gain weight (though Courtney has an excuse, I don’t). We’ve developed an entirely new network of relationships out of the church. And I (Hans) have had I’m not sure how many job changes (when you don’t have a job description, you aren’t really sure what is and isn’t your job). But I’ve been in my role as teaching pastor of The Oaks for over a year now.
I have many thoughts on the past four years, but, for your sake, I’ll limit them to four. . .
Continue reading “Four Thoughts Four Years In”
Jesus made it plain: make disciples of all nations. Now, much can be said for different programs, methods, strategies, models, books, structures, articles, ministries, non-profits, para-churches, Bible studies, experts, bloggers, consultants, and pastors who have the way to disciple. Like Coach Boone, they proudly say about their strategy, “I run six plays, split veer. It’s like novocaine. Just give it time, always works. See you on the bus.”
But discipleship isn’t clean. And, despite one’s best efforts, it doesn’t work every time. Local churches need to intentionally disciple their people, but what on earth does that mean? One of my favorite videos on the subject. . .
This is Discipling from The Foursquare Church on Vimeo.
So how do we define discipleship? And how do we know if it is getting accomplished? When I find out, I’ll let you know. And I ask you to please return the favor. Until then, here’s what I say to pretend like I know.
Continue reading “What On Earth is Discipleship?”
We are getting close to the end. Close to the completion of our Acts series. About a year after we began, we will be finishing up. And today was a great Sunday. (Don’t ask me what makes one Sunday better than another. It is almost completely arbitrary.)
We use a semi-confusing pattern for planning services and working on sermons. It leads us to often say, “Wait. What Sunday are we talking about?” Needless to say, it requires us to stay in planning mode a lot. However, on Sundays like this, we (or I) get to call an audible. There are always dates on the preaching calendar (which maps out our passages over the course of a year) that are “open” and, at times, we can fill those with what we want. I wanted to finish Paul’s third journey (Acts 21:1-16), and I’m glad we did, because it touches on how we should act when believers want different outcomes.
Continue reading “Sunday Debrief: Compelled to Continue (7/21/13)”
This post doesn’t apply to all churches, I know that. Many churches have a single staff member to do everything (to those of you who have that situation, I salute you). The Chapel isn’t that. We have a big staff. Bigger than I even knew. They all serve in a unique role in our church, but all of them are on the team.
One thing that I seminary gave me almost zero tools for is how to care for this staff.
Continue reading “Things I Didn’t Learn In Seminary Part 3 | Developing Staff”
Some days I walk away from preaching thinking I nailed it, other days I don’t. I’m not sure what yesterday was. All signs should’ve pointed to the sermon working perfectly. It is a topic I love (elders and church leadership) at a church I love (The Chapel) where I got to highlight the leadership of the church that I love (our own elders).
The text came from Acts 20:17-38, Paul’s farewell speech to the Ephesian elders. I love this side of Paul’s ministry because he isn’t speaking about elders (like we see in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1) but is speaking to elders. It is a unique insight into how Jesus turned this murderer into a pastor or pastors. I called it the first pastor’s conference. To highlight the passage, we got to share this video of our own elders at The Chapel:
By God’s grace, it doesn’t really matter how I felt at the end of the Sunday. I got the blessing of sharing about a critical part of church life. . .
Continue reading “Sunday Debrief: Shepherding the Flock (7/14/13)”