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Archive for January, 2013

Keeping It Simple

When I was in college in one of my “management” classes, the professor said something I had never heard before, “KISS. Keep it Simple Stupid.” He explained that often the best approach in management situations is to keep things simple and thus he adopted what he called the KISS principle. He said it wasn’t original with him, but it worked. No I wonder how he would know, because he never worked in the business world, as I recall. Yet, that little principle has stuck with me through the years. By and large, there is a lot of truth to it.

Now, I must tell you as a Pastor/Elder, I have sought to keep things simple at our church. As a shepherd/leader, I really want people to spend their time out in the “world” in the highways and hedges so they can be salt and light and share the Gospel. Therefore, we try not to have something going on at the church every night of the week. In fact, we try to have nothing going on at the church during the week except for the mid-week meal and service on Wednesday nights. We want people to be able to have time to disciple in their homes and have time to share the Gospel with folks they rub shoulders with during the week.

I know of churches and pastors who brag about having something going on every night of the week at church, like they’re doing something good. Truth is…they are wearing people out and most often fragmenting the family. It’s no secret the majority of families in the “Christian” Church in America are falling apart, because of fragmentation. I don’t want to add to that.

Think about it. Dad has his stuff going on…Mom has her stuff going on…Kids have their stuff going on… Usually most often in separate rooms in the house and if they happen to be in the same room…they are all on their gadgets and seldom talk. Now add to that a plethora of meetings at church during the week. Nope. I’m not going to do it.

You might ask, “How do you get stuff done.” Drum roll please! Ready…

Email.

Yes sir/ma’am… I use a ton of email to get stuff done and keep people from having to come to the building. Also, we have really streamlined our committees and have only about 4 committees that are active year-round. The rest meet only once per year to put together a budget, personnel report, etc. Simple. Yes…that’s the goal. Keep is simple.

At the church we have chosen to be “event-driven.” We focus on the Sunday morning and the Wednesday night service. (We don’t meet on Sunday night…again…to keep from wearing our people out on a day that we want them to be able to rest some. I do believe in the principle of a “Sabbath-rest.” The mind and the body need rest. We use to have our people at church on Sundays anywhere from 6-7 hours per Sunday with services, practices and meetings. They’d go back to work on Monday and be totally wiped out.) We focus our Wednesday night’s with a meal, service and then our practices for choir and our praise team. If we need to have occasional “face to face” meetings, we’ll do them before church during the meal time. We’ll “eat and meet.”

Is all of this working? I think it is. The numbers would bear the evidence. We’re averaging about 90 more people in attendance versus this time last year. Currently we are averaging 440 people per Sunday. This Sunday we went to two services to accommodate the crowds and we had a total of 479 people. Seven years ago, when our worship pastor and I came on board (3 months apart) we had 225 less people.

Pastor Brad is a wonderful blend of creativity and organization. He is “right” and “left” brained. Can I tell you I’m just a tad bit envious of that dynamic combo! The music that he and the praise team and the choir put together is super! I really mean that! We are very blessed with some very talented people.

I’m preaching through books of the Bible. On Wednesday’s I’m in 1 Timothy and on Sunday’s I’m in Acts. I teach verse by verse and I try to apply it to life. I use pictures, props, whatever I can use to make points and make the text applicable. The key is to preach and teach the Word. I believe that’s my job. I’m to preach, teach and equip so that the body of Christ can be “workers” in the fields that are “white unto harvest.” Every member needs to have a “ministry.” What is yours?

Ok…I want to ask you to take four minutes and watch some highlights from this past Sunday’s 8:30 service and see what you think. (We have an 8:30 service and an 11 am service with Bible Study at 9:55.)

Now, I must warn you… I’m pretty “unorthodox” in how I teach. Now don’t get me wrong. I teach and preach from the divinely inspired, inerrant Word of God…but, I’m just not preaching using 3 points that all begin with the letter “p” or “d” and ends with a poem and a prayer. I use a lot of stories (Jesus used parables) and object lessons to bring points. Take a look…

http://player.vimeo.com/video/56994791

If you want to learn more about our church, check out our website… http://www.mpbc.ws/

It’s an awesome site that’s kept up and running by our own, Jacob Church. He does a phenomenal job!

Last thing. This picture really made me think…

Govt institutions

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Many have asked about the adoption interview Kim and Craig had this morning on Fox and Friends, so I’m posting the link here.

Adoption pic-Fox and Friends

Click on the link and then the picture of Kim and Craig when it pulls up. It will show you the 4:35 video.

Kim and Craig did a fantastic job sharing their story and giving glory to Jesus Christ, quoting Scripture and pointing people to the Lord and prayer. God has used this terrible experience to bring glory to His name. I’m believing (along with my family) that they will have those boys by next year at this time. How do I know? I don’t! It’s total faith.

You have not because you ask not.

I’m teaching my children to honor God by having total confidence and trust in Him to do the impossible. God waited to provide the promised son, Isaac to Abraham and Sarah until they were “as good as dead” in their bodies (old age). Why? So, He and He alone would get the glory. What is impossible with man is possible with God.

While I’m at it.

Happy New Year! 2013!

As I think about the new year, I know folks are coming up with those New Year’s resolutions. One of which will most likely be about weight loss. It was last year at this time that I made that decision (to lose weight) and I lost 30 lbs. I’ve gained only 5 back during that time frame. (It’s been the holidays, right! Aren’t we allowed! :)) I plan to drop those in a couple of weeks. I must say that I feel better and I’m healthier.

People have asked me, “How did you do it?”

My repsonse…

As I point to my mouth I say, “See that little hole right there in the front of my head…I, just put less food in it.” And that’s the truth. I must admit that I’ve done no exercising other than some occasional (and I mean occasional) walking. I’ve been very inconsistent with that part of my regimen. But, I have tried to be wise about not eating so many sweets, snacks and having “seconds” and “thirds” at the supper table.

I have a granola bar for breakfast and a cup of coffee. Black. I have a light lunch. Maybe a Chick-Fil-A sandwich…and yes…even the fries…and water to drink or sometimes a diet drink (those aren’t real good for us either). And then I don’t load up at supper like I used to back when I looked like this…
DSC01016
I splurge a little on weekends…but, during the week, I try to be pretty disciplined. I sure do feel better… You’ll notice below that Pam has dropped some weight as well…about 20lbs.

Kevin and Pam

Dr. David Black, a mentor of mine, got me thinking about this as I read his blog and he posted this chart…

Obesity
Pretty amazing, huh? Only in America do our “poor” have an obesity problem. You will not find this problem anywhere else in the world. The poor are skinny, elsewhere.

Dr. Black, (Brother Dave, as he likes to be called) wrote these thoughts…

Over-eating and obesity are HUGE problems among Baptists. Why are we so silent about it? And about divorce? A couple of years ago someone posted a proposal to ban divorce. Why, folks, serious social issues do not, repeat do not, include serial polygamy. Repeat after me: Gay marriage and abortion, gay marriage and abortion. Public protest is not allowed when it comes to the most egregious of all sins in evangelicalism. Divorce is AOK in many Religious Belt churches. It’s the Trojan Horse of evangelical ethics. A nation that is half stupefied by groupthink over “grave moral issues” will not even stop to consider how much more subtle the danger of divorce is to the fabric of our society than is gay marriage. Besides, if we go after divorce, who knows, Bible Belt obesity might be next on the list.

…I say, throw away the scales and just look at yourself in the mirror. If you are happy with the way you look and feel, you are probably doing fine. If you’re not, do something about it. But don’t get caught up with numbers. I get my exercise through working on the farm and light weight lifting. That has kept up my metabolism for all these years. I weigh the same today as I did 20 years ago. I know because they weigh me at my annual physical. It’s not the numbers that count.

Dave has a great blog (and he’s the one that encouraged me to write my book and to blog…Thanks Dave!). His blog can be found here…

http://www.daveblackonline.com/blog.htm

So, there you have it. Plenty to ponder and chew on today as you enjoy your black-eyed peas, collards and cornbread. Just not too much! 🙂

Happy New Year!

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