Archives For church philosophy and methods


Jason Petermann  —  October 17, 2009 — Leave a comment

All I know is that I get sick of hearing and seeing stuff like this.  I wish I could apologize to the community this church is located in…



Take-away #4 from Chuck Swindoll

“Tradition is the living faith of those dead passed down.  Traditionalism is the dead faith of those still living.”

(Yes, another one from Chuck Swindoll!  I have one more from him, as he is such a well of wisdom!)

My thoughts:

  • I think too many people buck tradition because it is tradition and no other reason.  I used to work for a pastor that said,  “tradition is good, if it is good tradition.”
  • I also think too many people hold on to tradition just because it is tradition.  Not all tradition is good.  Just because it was done does not mean it should still be done.
  • When your focus is on Jesus, and helping people take steps towards Jesus, you will hold on to some tradition.  Even if you are a progressive, contemporary church, you will still have some tradition, and you will create your own tradition.  That is not a bad thing.
  • The difference between tradition and traditionalism is where it lies in your worship.
  • Tradition is good when it is used as part of your worship.  Traditionalism is taking tradition and making it the object of your worship.
  • Is does not matter if you use hymns or contemporary music, whether you dress in a suit and tie or wear blue jeans; both extremes can be a focus of traditionalism.
  • The key: Keep your eyes on Jesus and be who God called you to be.  Realize that there are differences.  Learn to celebrate the differences and be glad that those differences allow us to reach different people. And remember, God is the focus of our worship.
  • Use tradition to worship Him, but do not let it become the focus or our worship and turn in to traditionalism.


Take-away #3 from Chuck Swindoll

“When God wants to do an impossible task, He takes an impossible person and crushes them. Leave room in your life for the crushing”

  • If this is true, then I should welcome the valleys and struggles in my life as opportunities for spiritual growth.
  • It is easy to plan everything so well that we forget to include God and His plan in things. We plan for all kinds of success, but very rarely plan for tough times.  They will come!
  • With this take-away in mind, Chuck also said, “Brokenness and failure are necessary.”  That hurts to hear.  That is not what I want. It is not really what anyone wants.  But we grow more in the hard times than we do the good times.  The good times show us how good we can be.  The times of brokenness allow us to see how good God can be.
  • This also reminds us that God’s way is better than our way.  Our way would be easy, God’s way is never always easy, and often causes great pain.
  • Chuck also said, “It is painful to obey.  You will be giving up your way for the cross.” Man, that is tough to hear, and harder to practice!


Take-away #2 from Rob Bell

“When you live a life of obedience to God, you will not want anybody else’s life

  • If I am obeying God, and walking the the path that he has set before me, I will not want anyone else’s life.  I will be satisfied knowing that I am doing all that God has called me to do, whether it is in a church of 50 or 5000.
  • When I am living a life of obedience, I will be satisfied with what God has called me to do, and therefore I will not question the motives or seek to criticize someone else for what they are doing in their church or ministry.  I will be content, knowing that God has placed me where I am.
  • Because I will be content, and because I will not criticize other people’s ministries to try and minimize their success (and God’s blessing) and lift up my ministry, I can celebrate with others when they achieve great things for God, and be happy that the Kingdom is being enlarged through their work (and God’s blessing!).
  • This frees me up to be who I am, who God created me to be, and keeps me from trying to be someone else just because of their size and influence.
  • This also will give me a team mentality.  The church down the street is NOT my competition in any way. If they are preaching the Gospel, they are my team mate, and as such, I will do whatever I can to help them reach people as well.

Catalyst Take-Aways #1

Jason Petermann  —  October 13, 2009 — 1 Comment


I spent last week with some of the pastoral staff at the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta. I have wanted to attend this conference for quite some time, so it was a a blessing to be able to go and learn from so many leaders.  There were many things that struck a cord with me while I was there, so, I thought I would take this week and go over some of the take-aways I had from this meeting.

Take-away #1 from Andy Stanley

“God wants us to be more interested in making His mark than our mark”

  • It is easy to get caught up in trying to build something for our sake rather than God’s sake.  In fact, when we get caught up in building rather than obeying we are missing out on God’s best for our lives and for our church. It is God that builds the church, we are just to walk in obedience to Him as we serve.
  • We should not be concerned about if God is on our side, but rather that we are on God’s side, because His is the only one that matters.
  • Living to make my mark is too small of a thing to give my life to, but God’s mark is worth giving my life to.  No matter how great I am (or think I am), it is but a drop in the bucket compared to the greatness of God!
  • God takes full responsibility for a life wholly devoted to Him.  What a great thought!

I would love to hear some of the take-aways that you got from Catalyst if you attended!  Leave a comment and share!