Magdiwang Aking pinakadakilang Pagkakamali Ng 2011 sa pamamagitan ng Steve Sjogren

Sa katapusan ng taon ng ilang oras ang nakalipas Nagbigay ako ng isang mensahe sa isang ilang taon-end na reflections ko ay cloaked sa paligid ng "Aking Pinakamalaking Pagkakamali ng Taon." Upang aking sorpresa higit pa nakinig sa mensaheng iyon kaysa sa anumang mga nakaraang taon. Ang mga sumusunod na taon ginawa ko ang parehong na may mga sariwang, bagong mga pagkakamali. Muli, there was an enthusiastic response. I continue to make this a year-end message, but I am now doing an enhanced version online for some of my sites – thus what you are now reading.

On the surface of things, it may seem a little dark to ponder one’s mistakes, but I don’t see it that way, and neither does God. In the Bible, God consistently choose people who were prone to make mistakes yet went on to be stellar examples of lives strongly lived.

Peter, for one, was a mistake maker who went on to great things. His mistakes didn’t impair him from greatness. He took risks that often led to failure but always left a deposit of faith in him. He was able to walk on water when the others were afraid to step out of the security of the boat. He failed after a step or two, but he received an amazing installation of faith just the same.

What you read here are my confessions from this past year. Each of them is an area where I blew it but then made a mid-course correction along the way.

Click here or on the above image to download the PDF.

3 Things To Address Before Starting A New Church by Doug Murren

Starting churches is sometimes gone into with insufficient preparation. I know I have made several mistakes that were costly in starting churches by not having an adequate preparation period. I believe failure can garner greater insights more than success. I want to talk about three major areas of concern that need to be addressed before getting started on any church venture.

Pre-Mortem Assessment

Post-mortem assessment is very common. We usually think of reviewing our success or failure after the event or venture has wound down. I like to do what I call pre-mortem assessment. It works just like post-mortem with the exception that it precedes the start date.

I now do pre-mortems on my messages. I also like to preview and consider upcoming events. It can be fun. Basically it means drawing your team together to ask how this thing fail. It means looking at what will bring us down. Obviously once you have done this exercise you will find ways to improve even before you start and likely avoid painful post-mortems.

Here are some questions that might help your pre-mortem:

  • What will stop people from returning?
  • What could go wrong with our message presentation?
  • What will make it difficult for people to hear about us and show up?
  • How could we waste our money?
  • What parts of our presentation are week or substandard?
  • What could make our worship terrible?


Recruiting Leaders

Choosing your first leaders properly is a vital effort. Sometimes we recognize people just because we need some help. It is true that you will likely within the first three years see a complete turn over of your initial leaders. But nonetheless your chances of succeeding can be greatly increased by calling the right partners.

This is an area where I have been weak. I have often not taken the time to recruit and deploy the right people. I have invested money in the ill prepared and under qualified leader and have not only wasted resources but cost myself a great deal of pain.

Where do you find leaders? Almost always the best leaders are going to come via referrals. It is true you may need to recruit leaders from places they are already being productive. I have come to believe that you shouldn’t start if you can’t convince some friends to join you in the venture.

The following are six traits of leaders you will need to be successful:

  • They are willing to invest money.
  • They are influencers and bring other people into the journey with you.
  • Are willing to put in time on the extras.
  • Do they evangelize?
  • Are they optimists?
  • Are they there when its time to pray?

Friends of the Start

I have heard for years planters complain about little or no support from their denominations or sending church. It sounds to me like the people who join your church and want you to hand them some friends. You have to take responsibility for building your own support network.

I think finding a coach and being willing to pay them is a great step. Yes they may be a paid friend but they are still a friend. You may have to go outside your particular organization to find connections.

It is well worth the effort to make some appointments with church leaders that have been successful and ask to share your dream. Don’t ask for money. If they are impressed with you and your plan they will offer on their own. What you need are friends. Often these friends will connect you with resources you need.

I think a network of ten key mentors and friends is essential. Be a listener and learner. Offer to take them to lunch or meet whatever fits their schedule best. Be certain to ask for future meetings after your first meeting. I have had many church planters ask me to mentor them or hire me as a coach. I am always flattered. Often I will work to help them find resources.

Come prepared when you seek to collect friends. Have a list of four or five questions you would like to ask them. They can be anywhere in the country, they don’t have to be in your backyard.. But don’t be vague. Describe your concerns. Ask them to pray for and with you. Send them a note of appreciation after your meeting.

Some of my best friends in the ministry were made this way. I often asked them to speak at my fledgling churches and I was amazed how many were takers. And when you have them speak prepare an honorarium no matter how poor you are. They may give it back but it shows you value their input.

These are the areas that should get a great deal of your attention. This is why I think a church plant or new plan for a church should be preceded by six months of hard preparation time. Happy preparing!

Surprise People with God’s Power by Doug Addison

People are longing to be touched by God’s love, power and acceptance. As Christians, we carry inside us an amazing arsenal of spiritual gifts that can help those in need in the hurting world around us. As an outreach leader and trainer for a number of years, I have come to realize that to become more effective we no longer have to go on an outreach because our life is an outreach!

I never grow tired of watching people’s faces light up when we do something that practically demonstrates God’s love. I call these divine moments or power encounters. I have had many power encounters and my most recent was at a comedy club. My wife and I struck up a conversation with a New Age hypnotherapist and she shared a reoccurring childhood dream, which took place outside a church. I gave her the interpretation, which was that she had an amazing spiritual destiny yet to be fulfilled. She was about to find out more about the special assignment or calling God has had on her life since she was a child. She went into tears and said she felt warmth, love and goose bumps all at the same time.

When I talk about power encounters as a means of reaching people with God’s love, many different ideas may run through your head. I realize that the story I just shared may sound a bit extreme and it came after years of experience. Let me share with you some secrets on how I got started and give you some simple tips on how to have power encounters with people in your community.

The power of presence
Power encounters occur when we bring God’s presence to a person who does not believe in God or is trapped in darkness. There is power just by bringing the presence of God that is inside us into contact with those whom God is drawing to Himself. I call this the ‘Gift of Showing Up’!

God’s presence in us is like a light that shines and distinguishes us from those who do not have this light. We are told to “live as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). When we intentionally allow the presence of God’s love to be released through us to touch others, people are drawn to us and experience a peace that they have not experienced elsewhere. People can just sit next to us and walk away changed, without knowing what happened to them.

The power of process
Oftentimes, we miss the fact that people tend to come to Jesus through a process of circumstances and events. We need to allow people time to experience God and not be too quick to try to get them to pray the prayer of salvation prematurely. Just like in nature, there is a growth process for new life to emerge. We would never force a rose bud open or plant a seed expecting it to mature instantly. In the same way, people are often relieved to find a Christian who is not “evangelistically trigger-happy.”

Most people want to know God is real and have questions and doubts that need to be worked out over time. Combining the power of God’s presence with the power of process, we can befriend people and hang out with them over time. It feels more natural and relational while being very effective in reaching people today.

The power of love
We all can demonstrate the power of love. The Bible makes it clear that our enemies are in the spiritual realm and they are not the people we are trying to reach (Ephesians 6:12). We show love in the natural, while our enemies are in the spirit realm. When we take God’s light into the world, it is best not to judge people that you may not agree with. Focus on loving anyone you may disagree with because love powerfully attracts people to Him. Jesus does say to love your neighbor.

The power of encouragement
There is profound power in simply speaking kindly to people, building them up. When Jesus encountered the Samaritan woman at the well, he gently pointed out that she had relational issues. But he encouraged her, going on to call her honest (John 4:18). People are often beaten down and discouraged by their circumstances. It is amazing what a kind word can do to build them up. It is the kindness of God that leads people to repent and receive Him (Romans 2:4).

The power of surprise
As we do practical things to demonstrate God’s love, we open people’s eyes to God’s love for them. This is often a surprise to them and gives that “tilt of the head” in astonishment. Another surprise is when people discover we are Christians and we are also nice. Sad to say, many people have had bad experiences with unloving Christians. It is so fun to show people the opposite spirit by practical, surprising acts of love and reveal that God is real and really loves them.

Making it practical
Power encounters are not as difficult as you might think. Here are some easy, practical steps to see this in action. Ask God to show you someone who is need of His touch. If you know them, consider going to coffee or lunch and just listen. Then find a way to practically meet a need in their life.

If you see someone in public that God highlights and you don’t know them, be courageous and tell them that you just read something about the power of encouragement and you were wondering if you could practice with them. Proceed to give them a short uplifting word of encouragement. You don’t have to pray long prayers or get them on their knees repenting to be effective in sharing God’s love. You’ll be surprised!


Puso ko Aking City sa pamamagitan ng Dino Rizzo

Ang ibig kilala mo si Jesus ay may plano para sa iyo sa lungsod Siya ay nagpadala sa iyo sa? Nakakakita kami ng isang mahusay na halimbawa ng mga ito sa Lucas 8:26-38. Ang sabay-sabay demonyo-may nagmamay ari tao ay handa na upang sundin si Jesus pagkatapos na ito mapaghimala pagbabagong buhay. Subalit si Jesus utos sa kanya upang, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” Go back to the city I have called you to. Go back to your home. Go to your city. Go to your people. Jesus was smart. He knew this city would know this once demon-possessed man. They would recognize something had changed in him. Something miraculous had to have happened to make this once crazy man, sane again. Here we have the first missionary sent to his own zip code. God has a plan for you in the city He has sent you to as well.

If you want to make a difference in your city you must first love your city. Loving your city opens ears to hear the gospel, unlocks heart to be loved, and unleashes Kingdom influence. You can’t fake love. You can’t love behind your church walls. You can’t love behind judgment. You can only “magsalita” love so much before you have to “show” it in order for others to believe it. Opening up your heart, your arms, your finances, your resources, your building to others with a ridiculous love for the people in your city will catapult you into God’s purposes like nothing else.

Loving your city starts with knowing your city. You have to notice, understand, listen, and pay attention to the culture, the rhythms, the condition, the seasons, and the story of your city. Being with the people will create a love for the people. Simply researching your city, only creates a data connection. What you need is a heart connection with the people in your city. Jesus was always among the people. He bridged the gap between physical need and spiritual need, because He could see what type of bridge needed to be built to connect with them. Knowing your city will help you determine how to truly love your city, minister to your city, and provide for your city.

Once you know your city, you act. Do whatever you can to meet the needs of your city. Know the need, see what you have to offer, and act. Not too long ago we noticed that cancer patients receiving chemotherapy in local hospitals were not receiving the nutritional snacks they really needed. A lady in our church started with 5 volunteers and went once a week to bring a healthy snack to a cancer patient. One year later we are in 5 hospitals, 5 days a weeks, and have served thousands of snacks. We have been able to share the love of Christ with thousands through a simple healthy snack.

When you know your city and act on the true needs within the city, there will be impact. Know, act, and impact will follow. You will be blown away by the access, opportunity, influence, and visibility that opens wider than you imagined possible. The government starts calling you to solve problems in the city. They know your name. Road blocks and red tape are no longer blockades to ministry. Door after door begins to open. You set the example for others. People start thinking, “Maybe the church does know how to solve some of these issues in our community for the cause of Christ.” You are advertising without even having to advertise because serving creates chatter. Let’s create lots of chatter!

You want people pulling up on your property saying, “I heard from someone that this church would help me.” Be necessary. Be seen as a solution. Is your church necessary to your city? Does it matter that you are here? As churches we often ask ourselves if the poor matter to us, but the real question is, “Do we matter to the poor?” Does your city need you? I believe they do because they need Christ. Let us be found faithful with the piece of earth God destined for us to serve on. Love your city.