In order to help pastors and other Christian leaders to lovingly lead God’s flock to Jesus Christ and into God’s mission, Scott Thomas and Tom Wood clarify a process of coaching and shepherding that is rooted in the patterns of the Good Shepherd himself, a process in which leaders stir up the gifts, passion, and calling upon others’ lives. This book addresses the needs of the leader, his or her sinful tendencies, and church leadership issues. It directs the leader to the person and work of Jesus. It provides a system to intentionally shepherd leaders to glorify God in their personal, spiritual, and missional lives. Many ministry leaders serving in churches find themselves overwhelmed, disillusioned, and depressed by the enormous and challenging task of leading and ministering in a congregation. As a result, the ministry suffers, the leaders suffer, and the result is often an unhealthy church existent with little or no Gospel influence. These leaders need someone to shepherd their soul so that they can lead others to the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ. We suggest that coaching for the church leader looks less like corporate consulting or humanistic psychology and more like biblical-shepherding. We suggest that every church leader needs a Gospel Coach to come alongside with words of truth, wisdom and experience to encourage, admonish, comfort and help—words drawn from Scripture and godly wisdom, grounded in the gracious saving work of Jesus Christ, and presented in the context of a trusting relationship. Gospel Coaching is an intentional relationship to skillfully care for others with four ancient shepherding principles: 1) Know the sheep, 2) Feed the sheep, 3) Lead the sheep, and 4) Protect the sheep. A Gospel Coach both inquires about the personal, spiritual, and missional aspects of a ministry leader’s life in a loving yet focused manner, and also probes the church leader for compulsive unbelief or selfish motivation, or disobedience and sin, and leads the ministry leader back to the Gospel, through belief, repentance and obedience. Churches that desire to be rich in a Gospel application toward their city, their relationships with one another, their communication and worship, as well as their service, will benefit to a greater degree by having their leaders being coached by a Gospel-centered leader.
Uniting Church Growth Dreams with the Metrics of Grace
Author: Jared C. Wilson
Many evangelical churches face the problem of the open "back door"--even as new people arrive, older members are leaving, looking for something else. Combined with this problem is the discipleship deficit, the difficult truth that most evangelicals are not reaching the unchurched at the rates they think they are. In fact, many of the metrics that we often "count" in the church to highlight success really don't tell us the full story of a church's spiritual state. Things like attendance, decisions, dollars, and experiences can tell us something about a church, but not everything. To cultivate a spiritually healthy church we need a shift in our metrics--a "grace-shift" that prioritizes the work of God in the lives of people over numbers and dollars. Are people growing in their esteem for Jesus? Is there a dogged devotion to the Bible as the ultimate authority for life? Is there a growing interest in theology and doctrine? A discernible spirit of repentance? And perhaps most importantly, is there evident love for God and for our neighbors in the congregation? Leading a church culture to shift from numerical success to the metrics of grace can be costly, but leaders who have conviction, courage, and commitment can lead while avoiding some of the landmines that often destroy churches. Wilson includes diagnostic questions that will help leaders measure--and lead team transparency in measuring as a group--the relative spiritual health of their church, as well as a practical prescriptive plan for implementing this metric-measuring strategy without becoming legalistic. Most attractional church models can lean heavily on making changes to the weekend worship gatherings. And while some of these changes can be good, thriving grace-focused churches are driven by a commitment to the gospel, allowing the gospel to inform and shape the worship service and the various ministries of the church.
Often, a disconnect exists between the way pastors, children’s ministry volunteers, and churches describe the health and impact of children’s ministry volunteers (and the overall functioning of an ongoing children’s ministry). The volunteer dysfunction that is evident in many churches goes beyond the building scenario or the current strategy that leadership is pursuing. If one asks the pastor of just about any local church how the children’s ministry is going, most pastors will respond positively. However, if speaking with a children’s ministry volunteer, one is likely to hear, “I am burned out, but I feel obligated to serve here because we have such a shortage of volunteers and I do love these kids.” Too often, there is no program in place to monitor the health of the ministry. Official training is lacking, church vision is blurred, and many children’s ministry volunteers feel like they are nothing more than large-group, unpaid babysitters. This book analyzes these problems and provides pragmatic, systematic steps to a healthier, more robust children’s ministry.
Sending Well: A Field Guide to Great Church Planter Coaching gives practical steps for creating a system that delivers great coaching to church planters. Whether you are coaching planters or attempting to develop coaches for multiple planters, this book will help you. Sending Well helps coaches and leaders enhance their coaching efforts in three parts: Part One: Build a Coaching Framework – Coaching is a vehicle to help church planters pursue their unique Kingdom assignment. Building a coaching framework is crucial to this assignment. Church planter coaches and the planters they coach must have the same purposes in mind. Building a framework helps ensure this will be the case. Part Two: Develop Great Coaches – Great coaches are made not born; they are developed. Sending Well creates simple targets for coaches who want to move from “good enough” to “great." Part Three: Deliver Great Coaching –The meaning of the word “coach” must evolve from training to action. “Coach" is a verb, and supporting church planters is the desired outcome. Sending Well explores four vital elements of a coaching delivery system.
We Have Missed the Most Important Thing About God. Finding It Changes Everything
Author: Mike Glenn
God would like a word with you What you believe about God affects the way you approach life—often in ways you don’t realize. Are you convinced that God limits you, or liberates you? Is he more interested in correcting you or connecting with you? And when you hit a rough spot and start looking for help, do you believe God is against you or on your side? In The Gospel of Yes, Mike Glenn reveals God’s most powerful word, which opens our eyes to everything he does. That word is YES. God said “yes” to creating a world for us to live in and “yes” to inviting us into a relationship with him. No matter what we face in life, the best way to live is captured in one word: yes. When you live in God’s “yes” you find your identity, your true value, and your unique purpose on earth. You can stop trying to be someone else and enjoy being yourself as you join with God in doing the work of his kingdom. When God looks at you he always says “yes.” It’s time to live like you know it. Includes Discussion Questions for Personal and Group Use.
The Triumph of Sentimentality in Contemporary American Evangelicalism
Author: Todd M. Brenneman
Pubpsher: Oxford University Press
In popular evangelical literature, God is loving and friendly, described in heartfelt, often saccharine language that evokes nostalgia, comfortable domesticity, and familial love. This emotional style has been widely adopted by the writers most popular among American evangelicals, including such celebrity pastors as Max Lucado, Rick Warren, and Joel Osteen. Todd M. Brenneman provides groundbreaking insight into the phenomenon of evangelical sentimentality: an emotional appeal to readers' feelings about familial relationships, which can in turn be used as the basis for a relationship with God. Brenneman shows how evangelicals use tropes of God as father, human beings as children, and nostalgia for an imagined idyllic home life to provide alternate sources of social authority, intended to help evangelicals survive a culture that is philosophically at odds with conservative Christianity. Yet Brenneman also demonstrates that the sentimental focus on individual emotion and experience can undermine the evangelical agenda. Sentimentality is an effective means of achieving individual conversions, but it also promotes a narcissism that blinds evangelicals to larger social forces and impedes their ability to bring about the change they seek. Homespun Gospel offers a compelling perspective on an unexplored but vital aspect of American evangelical identity.
Is Henry Otis crazy?During formative years in Dangle, Wyoming, Henry becomes convinced that he possesses the power to orchestrate real world events by pure force of will. The maker of miracles at first exults in his power, but soon realizes there are rules to its exercise, some of which will be disclosed only after he breaks them.Having "confabrilated" his brother Robert's romance with a college co-ed, Henry infers that he is responsible for subsequent failure of the couple's marriage. As a consequence of willing his wife's pregnancy, he assumes blame for her miscarriage. Mother Otis dies in a car wreck because her younger son, at an unguarded moment, wishes she'd get lost. But what offense did Henry commit against the "power beyond" to cause the death of his best friend Jeffery, a peace officer, who takes a bullet to the chest while attempting to resolve a domestic dispute.Nearly catatonic from compounded grief, Henry loses his job as a police dispatcher, is committed to the psyche ward at the local hospital and, upon release, dutifully attends regular therapeutic sessions with a psychologist. One afternoon his therapist cancels an appointment, and he returns home unexpectedly to discover that brother Robert and wife Holly have become lovers. There follows a frantic chase to the Mexican border, with the betrayed husband racing to outdistance a team of insidious deceivers.In Mexico, Henry follows a group of pilgrims into a cave, and there learns that he has been assigned a sacred mission, which is also his last chance at redemption. Aided by desert animals, ambulant campesino skeletons and a Downs-syndrome angel, he manages to save a holy golden cross from evil forces that conspire to cast the entire world in darkness.Is Henry Otis nuts? He'd say it's hard to tell, once you get rolling.
The Acts of the Apostles, or the Gospel of Luke Volume II, is the continuation of Jesus' story. Luke tells us how Jesus' story continues through His church. Jesus is just as active in Acts as He was in Luke. However, this time He is working through His disciples who have His Holy Spirit.
Gospel music was a significant part of not only who Elvis became as a man, but as an artist as well. As Elvis mania continues to consume generation after generation throughout the world, fans still crave new insights into the person of Elvis Presley. This book takes a look at his roots and the role of gospel in his foundational years, as well as the comfort, solace, and strength it offered him in the years of his meteoric rise in popularity. With the addition of "150 Little Known facts about Elvis" and eight unique appendices not included in the original hardcover book, this paperback edition THE GOSPEL SIDE OF ELVIS reveals much about the Elvis so many have yet to discover and is sure to become a collector's treasure.