Spiritual Life

Not Just Another Sentimental Christmas Message


Today I celebrate a most amazing and awesome Event … the Event of all events … the Creator of the universe made himself nothing and took the form of human flesh, a baby, a humble servant, a sacrifice for our sins, so that you and I may not perish but have eternal and abundant life. I’m not celebrating Jesus’ birthday …

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Spiritual Life

Christmas Battle Prayer


I was thinking this morning about a perspective on Christmas I had never really considered before this year. When Jesus was born, it was as if God was sending his Son into the enemy’s territory to do battle–battle for our souls. Peace on earth, goodwill to men will come in time. But now there is a spiritual war taking place, …

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Leader's Heart-Overflow

Abundant Life Leadership


I closed my last post with this sentence: If you want to lead successfully, Jesus must first lead you! To lead well and bear fruit, you must be connected to the Vine (John 15:5). Another way of illustrating  this is to imagine your life as a glass. As a spiritual leader, your main job is to be in a position …

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Leader's Heart-Overflow

Trophies, Cheerleading, Enoch, and Leading a Healthy Small Group


What do you want to be known for? What would you want people to say about you after you die? At different stages of my life I would have responded to that question differently. As a kid growing up in Cincinnati, I wanted to be known as a great athlete, like Pete Rose or Oscar Robertson. My athletic career was …

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Leader's Heart-Overflow

The Leader’s Heart: 2nd Sign of a Healthy Group


The most vital mark of kingdom leadership is a leader’s relationship with God. And that’s the second sign of a healthy small group: a healthy growing leader. The apostle Paul prayed for his Ephesian friends that “Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the …

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Leader's Heart-Overflow     Ministry Leaders

“For a Cause or for Christ?” (Repost of Heather Zempel Blog)


I’ve been talking about the first sign of a healthy small group. It must be Christ-centered. Heather Zempel (at right) put it so well in her blog November 23. Check it out: “The disciples didn’t lay their lives down for a cause but for a person.” That’s how Dave Buehring kicked off his talk on the Ways of God at …

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External-Focus

Hungry Small Groups


For those of you outside of Northeast Christian, we are now on Day 2 of a food challenge, eating just a small amount of rice and beans for lunch and dinner (and maybe 1 tortilla) and oatmeal for breakfast. We’re doing this as a church as an act of solidarity with those who live in the bottom economic half of …

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Small Group Leaders

I’m Not the Leader: 1st Sign of a Healthy Group – Part 2


I am not the leader of our small group. I’m not trying to get out of anything. I’m not passing the buck. It’s just that a group can only have one real leader, and I’m not it. In my last blog, I wrote about the importance of a small group being “Christ-centered.” What’s even more important is that the leadership …

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Small Group Leaders

Tootsie Pop Small Groups: 1st Sign of a Healthy Group


Healthy small groups are like Tootsie Pops. The most important part is what’s at it’s center. I was thinking about this analogy and the tract that contrasts two ways of living life, represented by two circles: the self-directed and Christ-centered life. Here’s the illustration from the Campus Crusade web site: What’s at the center of these circles determines the kind …

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Small Group Leaders

Healthy Groups Are Intentional


Today I came across a great blog post by DeAntwan Fitts, pastor of Peace Chapel in Los Angeles, titled “Five Stages of a Healthy Small Group.” Great post, and a very necessary part of what I’m discussing here. DeAntwan begins his post, Healthy small groups do not just happen. They are the result of the leader being INTENTIONAL about moving …

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