Archives For quotable Tuesday

This weeks quote comes from Craig Groeschel, Lead Pastor of LifeChurch.TV, during his message for the One Prayer “Unstoppable” series.  Speaking on faith and risk, Craig said:

The goal of faith is not the elimination of risk. There is no such thing as risk-free faith.

– Craig Groeschel

Many times when we think about faith, we think that having faith means that God takes all the risk and potential for failure out of something.  I am not so sure I believe that.  Without risk or the potential for failure, where is the need for faith?  Where is the dependence on God? It is not there because we can handle things on our own.  Risk and failure bring out dependence and a hunger for God’s power in your life.

Our walk with God requires risk.  Churches require leadership that is willing to takes risks.  If you are not a risk-taker as you lead your church, you will be a care-taker and eventually an undertaker.

Quotable Tuesday

Jason Petermann  —  June 1, 2010 — 1 Comment

Today’s quote comes from Rob Bell out of his book titled, “Velvet Elvis.”

“We reclaim the church as a blessing machine not only because that is what Jesus intended from the beginning but also because serving people is the only way their perceptions of church are ever going to change. This is why it is so toxic for the gospel when Christians picket and boycott and complain about how bad the world is. This behavior doesn’t help. It makes it worse. It isn’t the kind of voice Jesus wants his followers to have in the world. Why blame the dark for being dark? It is far more helpful to ask why the light isn’t as bright as it could be.”
– Rob Bell, Velvet Elvis

The last part of that quote is especially powerful: “Why blame the dark for being dark? It is far more helpful to ask why the light isn’t as bright as it could be.”  It is easy to sit back and criticize those outside of Christ for actions and thoughts and for living life in a way that is natural to them. It is easy to get a group of people together to take a stand against a particular vice or sin.  It is harder to be the light that we ought to be so that people will see Christ in us and we can point them to a heavenly Father that loves them.  People matter to God, and if they matter to God, then they should matter to us. If we would spend more time being light where God has strategically placed us, and less time picking people apart for actions that they have no power to overcome on their own, maybe, just maybe we would make a bit of difference for the Kingdom.

So, let your light shine!

Just saying…

Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

Today’s quote comes from Mark Beeson in a message he preached a couple of weeks back.  As he was talking about tradition, he said:

“We should honor tradition, but we should not let it enslave us.”

Over the 20 years that I have been in ministry, it has been kind of fun (and sad) to see the different things that churches hold as important and take priority in their ministries.

  • I have visited churches where the ladies ministries were the most important thing going on, and they pretty much ran the church.
  • I have been in churches where the calendar was placed as a priority.  You know how that one goes, “We always have such and such on this week EVERY year… that cannot change! God only does revival on these days every year”
  • I have relatives that have kitchens in their churches that cannot be touched or walked into unless you are on the list or you get approval by the three 80-year old ladies that run said kitchen in the church (The interview process for that on is harder than what you go through to be CEO a fortune 500 company!)
  • I have led worship and had individuals refuse to sing anything that they could not open a book to or that was newer than like 1950.  (Of course, that all changed if it was Bill Gaither, Squire Parsons or just happened to be a song they were singing for church.)

Most of the things that I have heard people complain or fight about in the church are these things.  They have let tradition enslave them. They have allowed their preferences of how and when to do things overshadow the reason for doing those things. Really, what they have done is decided to worship tradition instead of God.

“That seems like a pretty tough statement Jason.”

Maybe, but here is the deal, there are people that will give their life to protect a tradition in the church, but will not give 10 minutes in the office to listen to someone who is hurting, or to walk across the lawn to invite a neighbor to church with them.  They have completely lost the fact that being a Christian is all about relationships, not running a social club that people meet at once a week. Being part of a church is NOT about those that are “in” it.  It is completely about the mission God gave to reach this world.

If we can use some traditions to do that, I say great!  If a tradition gets in the way of that, it is time to let it go.

This all reminds me of something that the first pastor I worked for said to me, “Tradition is good, if it is good tradition.”

Is there any tradition that is enslaving you?  How do we break free of that?

Quotable Tuesday

Jason Petermann  —  May 18, 2010 — 1 Comment

I am reading a book titled “Crave” by Chris Tomlinson.  I was suppose to do a review on it a couple months back, but misplaced it in the move and just recently got back to it.  I will get the review up soon, as I am almost finished with the book.  As I was reading, I came across something that I thought was so good I wanted to go ahead and share it for this week’s quote.

Chris writes:

“One of the things that helps me want to love people is to think of their stories.Have you ever walked by strangers on the street or in a store and had a momentary thought about about what their lives may be like? These people whom you do not know have parents, childhood memories, families, friends and interests just as you do. When I realize these people have their own stories, I can’t dismiss them quite so easily.  I remember that their story is no less valuable than my own, that ultimately we’re all part of God’s story.”

It is so easy for me to go through my day thinking only of myself: my circumstances, my problems and the decisions I need to make.  But here is the rub, my story intersects with other people and their stories and all of our stories are intertwined into God’s story that He is writing for us.  As a Christ follower, I want to listen to people’s stories.  I want to be involved in helping others see the story that God has for them.  I want them to know that they matter to God, and because they matter to God, they matter to me.

Let’s not live in such a way that we are so focused on our own story that we forget we are part of God’s greater story of the redemption of mankind and the glory of God!

Quotable Tuesday

Jason Petermann  —  May 11, 2010 — 1 Comment

This last week a Tweet from Steven Furtick came over my iPhone… I re-tweeted it then, but wanted to share it again today.

“Don’t cater to the preferences of the easily offended. You’ll never satisfy them, and You’ll bore everybody else.”

Some thoughts:

  • Most people that I have met and seemed to be “easily offended” about something were not offended a the “said offending thing” you did, but were more upset that their preferences were not upheld.
  • Trying to keep these type of people happy should not be a goal. It will never happen anyway, no matter how hard you try.
  • Don’t spend so much time and energy focusing on people that will never be happy.  Instead, focus your attention and energy on people that are really trying to take their next steps towards Jesus. These will be the people that will change the world and will stand behind you as a leader.

Any thoughts?