1. I read this in a book yesterday: "Presenting the Gospel with the wrong attitude is like serving an incredible steak dinner on the lid of a trash can." The "meat" is fantastic but the delivery is pathetic. We have to display Christ well!
2. Titus 2:10 says we should, "adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things." The NIV says, "we should make the teaching about God our Savior attractive." How do we do that? We are not trying to make God something He isn't. He is Majestic! It is our unholy lifestyles that can misrepresent Him as unattractive. Our lives should be arranged or set in order to bring glory to God. We should "decorate" and "embellish" our lives with the character of Christ. We need to be people of holiness, mercy, kindness, integrity, forgiveness, unselfishness, patience, repentance, and gentleness. When these qualities are present in our lives, we garnish the message of Christ and make Him attractive to the unsaved. The hypocrisy of man can turn people away from the sincerity of God.
3. Evangelism and discipleship are not in competition with each other. They go hand in hand.
4. MEN - If you are not there for your family, satan will be. We cannot relinquish to him what God has given to us.
5. Sometimes we can't enjoy God's blessing and favor in our own lives because we are too consumed and envious of how He is blessing others. Rejoice in how God has blessed you and how He chooses to bless others!
6. My pastor told me Sunday night that real men of God should be risk takers. The New Testament church was full of risk takers. They didn't play it safe. They didn't form committees to pray about things and then never do them. They did huge things for the Lord to see huge results for Him. If I play to the crowd as a pastor, I'll only be interested in how many people I can keep instead of how many people I can reach. We've got to do all that we can to reach all that we can.
7. People will criticize you for what you do for the Gospel and it will hurt. But like my basketball coach in Jr. High said, "Are you hurt or injured? If you are hurt, you can play. If you are injured then you are out for the season." We must not give up - we must continue in what God has called us to do. We must play hurt. God will heal our hurts.
8. I read these verses today and prayed them for church as it reaches Jefferson County and every county that touches it: "I am concerned for you and will look on you with favor; you will be plowed and sown, and I will multiply the number of people upon you, even the whole house of Israel. The towns will be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt." (Ezekiel 36:9-10)
9. Lord, teach me to balance family and ministry. I cannot sacrifice my family on the alter of ministry. I must also fulfill my calling in ministry.
10. As a staff, we are talking about how to define the culture of our church. How do we make it the kind of church that honors the Lord and reaches the greatest number of people? I was thinking about a couple of questions: "Is there anything that we are doing as a church that I wouldn't be excited about if I was not on staff?" A similar question is, "would I attend Family Church if I were not on staff." Those are tough questions for every pastor. It helps us look through the eyes of our people and guests. By the way - I LOVE FAMILY CHURCH AND ALL WE ARE DOING AND PLANNING TO DO TO ADVANCE GOD'S KINGDOM! What an amazing place to pastor!