Made Right with God

Graphic

All of us want to be happy. We all want to know that we meet the standard that is set. What happens though, when you feel like you don’t measure up?

If you are a follower of Jesus, you know that the grace of God saves you. There is nothing you can do to earn it. Yet, once you begin following Jesus, so much of your time is spent earning more of God’s love and favor.

The truth is, you can’t do anything to get any more of God’s love and approval and grace than He has already given you. 

But what if, you want to be made right with God? What happens when you discover you are broken and you can’t fix yourself? How are you made right with God? How do you stay right with God? Do you do something? Work harder? Be better? Clean yourself up?

Sunday, as we continue our series Changewe’re going to look at Galatians 2:15 – 21 and what is a paradox of Christianity: you are forgiven by grace, you are sustained in your relationship with God through His grace and you do not nothing to attain this grace. It is freely given to you.

About this passage, Martin Luther said this:

This is the truth of the gospel. It is also the principal article of all Christian doctrine, wherein the knowledge of all godliness consisteth. Most necessary it is, therefore, that we should know this article well, teach it unto others, and beat it into their heads continually.’ In other places he refers to it as the ‘chief’, the ‘chiefest’ and ‘the most principal and special article of Christian doctrine’, for it is this doctrine ‘which maketh true Christians indeed’. He adds: ‘if the article of justification be once lost, then is all true Christian doctrine lost.’

This is by far, one of the most crucial passages in the entire book of Galatians, and a truth, if we miss, we will miss out on the life God calls us to live. 

If you or someone you know has a hard time believing that God can forgive them, that they don’t have to earn God’s love or that will continue to forgive them and work in their life, this is a great week to bring them to Revolution.

Remember, we meet at 10am on Sunday mornings at 8300 E Speedway Blvd.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Change Starts in 1 Week!

Graphic

What is something everyone needs, but few know how to get?

And usually when we need it… it’s too late.

Some people make more rules, trying to force it. Others give up because it seems too hard or just out of reach.

It’s discipline, perseverance, it’s daily choices, both big and small. It’s not impossible, but it’s not easy.

No matter what it is, what we all need is Change. 

Join us at Revolution Church this sunday as we kick off Change.

Enhanced by Zemanta

How We Change the World

Graphic

Have you ever looked at your world and wondered how it could be different? Could one person really change the world? Could one person or a group of people really work together and bring about the change they long to see?

The answer is Yes.

Sunday we are wrapping up our series All InThe last 4 weeks have been incredible as we look at why Revolution Church exists, what the gospel is and what it looks like to be on mission in our everyday lives. Sunday as we close and get ready for Easter, we are looking at how we change the world from Matthew 28:18 – 20 if you want to read ahead.

Here are a couple of things happening I want you to know about:

  • Paul is teaching a new song this week called Pursuit. This song has spoken to me in a big way in the past year. Listen to it here and be ready to sing this powerful song.
  • The Stations of the Cross is on Good Friday, April 18th. This is a powerful night of considering the cross and what Jesus did in our place.
  • We are having a baptism on Easter Sunday. If you have not taken this important step and would like to, or if you have questions about it, you can go here.
  • Be inviting people for Easter as we kick off our brand new series Change and look at how Jesus changes everything about us, the stuff we want to change and the things we don’t know we need to change.

Remember, we meet at 10am on Sunday mornings at 8300 E Speedway Blvd.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Why Change Fails

book

If you talk to any leader or pastor, they will tell you stories of changes, new ideas and initiatives failing. Even if, the new program would do better than the old program.

Churches are notorious for change failing.

Why quit having a class when no one comes? Because someone’s grandmother started that ministry 35 years ago. Why add drums or change how worship is done? Why bring in lights or projectors? Why should we change how we do discipleship since the way it is happening right now is not developing leaders or disciples? Because we’ve always done it this way. 

Going right along with this is a failure on the part of pastors and leaders to engage change well.

In his book Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds, Carmine Gallo makes this comment:

People don’t know what they want and, if they do, they have a hard time articulating what they truly desire.

The average person, when you ask them if they prefer A or B, they don’t know what they would prefer. They only know what they have experienced.

If your church only does Sunday School and you begin exploring small groups, people who have never experienced them will be resistant. Especially because pastors don’t know how to ask. They ask if “they would go to a home group?” “NO” is the resounding answer.

When a church begins exploring a second service, all people can think of is what they lose if the church goes to 2 services and how it will change their life and bring them a different experience.

Churches exploring multi-site and video preaching run into the same thing. People in your church only have one lens to look through, what they know and have experienced. 

A better way to change something is to ask:

  • Would you be open to trying a small group in a house?
  • Would you be open to going to an earlier service so we can open up seats for guests?
  • Would you be open to attending a church plant we send out?
  • Would you be open to trying a church with video preaching?

Now, when they say no and someone will, you are having a different conversation. Now you are talking about vision and buy in. Now you are talking about idols, resistance to change, what their fears are to new things. You also have an opportunity to help a person wrestle through what they don’t know and helping them see that they don’t know something. This is a great opportunity to shepherd someone into new things and help lead them.

Leaders, we need to learn how to ask better questions.

Four years into the life of Revolution Church we changed from meeting on Saturday nights in a church building to Sunday morning in a school. We had to raise $50,000 to go portable, set everything up and tear it all down and we changed days and times. There was some resistance. But we asked people if they would be open to trying it. Most everyone said they would try it. Same when we transitioned from semester small groups that met for 12 weeks to moving our church to being on mission in missional communities.

Leader, as you lead change, ask better questions to move your people and your church forward.

[Image]

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday Morning Mind Dump…

mind dump

  • Today is the beginning of a different sort of week for me
  • I’m not preaching this coming Sunday
  • One of my targets to stay fresh in my preaching and leadership is to make sure I never preach more than 10 weeks in a row
  • Josh Watt, the student pastor at Redemption Gateway, in Phoenix is coming down as we kick off our brand new series All In
  • If you missed the last time Josh preached for us, you can listen to it here
  • You definitely do not want to miss it as Josh talks about our motivation for going All In and changing the world
  • It’s going to be a powerful morning
  • We’re also having one of our up and coming worship leaders lead worship
  • Which will be great
  • I’m excited for a different sort of week to be able to work ahead on our series called Change that is kicking off on Easter through the book of Galatians
  • Every desires change in their lives, but few ever see it
  • I think it will be very timely
  • So many great things happening at Revolution right now
  • I got to spend Friday evening with many of our Planet Rev volunteers at a training/thank you night
  • Love the passion they have for the families and kids of our church
  • It was also great interacting with the team that is heading up our search for a kids ministry leader
  • So excited to add this person to our team
  • Yesterday was a great day at Revolution as we wrapped up Fight
  • It was great spending 5 weeks speaking on manhood
  • Blown away by the response to this series from men and women
  • If you missed yesterday, you can listen to it here
  • Started reading a book on gospel centered productivity over the weekend called What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done
  • I’m excited to get better at being more efficient and productive and thinking about it from a godlier perspective instead of “I want to accomplish more”
  • Last night, Katie and I tried a new place for date night: 47 Scott
  • Highly, highly recommend it
  • So good
  • Started putting together my crossfit box in my garage
  • Love working out at home
  • My kids even are loving doing crossfit kids
  • Time to get to it…
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday Morning Mind Dump…

mind dump

  • What a week
  • Yesterday was one of those sermons that is hard to preach but is part of the series because it is the next passage
  • This can be one of the blessings and curses of expository preaching
  • I preached on the riddle Samson told in Judges 14-15
  • I’ve been loving the deep dive we are doing into the life of Samson
  • Definitely challenging me as a man
  • If you missed yesterday, you can listen to it here
  • I announced yesterday that we have hired a search firm to help us find the right leader
  • So excited about what this means for Revolution Church
  • I was asked why we’re hiring a search firm and the answer is simple, “This position is too important to get this hire wrong”
  • We have needed a full-time, high capacity leader in Planet Rev for a couple of years
  • I’m so grateful for Jennifer Ingram and the team she leads and how they have gotten us to this point
  • I also love seeing the excitement among the leaders of Planet Rev about the possibility of what this leader will bring to our church and the families we serve
  • Please add this to your prayer list
  • And if you or someone you know should be considered for this role, please let me know
  • I am really excited about the next series at Revolution called All In
  • We’re going to spend the 4 weeks leading up to Easter looking at how to change the world and make your one and only life count
  • I’m hopeful I can get back to doing Crossfit this week
  • Definitely have missed that over the past week after my procedure
  • Last monday I got a vasectomy, so that totally changed how I normally do things
  • Hopeful that this week will be more normal and routine
  • I like my routine
  • If you are a leader, I recently read two books you have to add to your list: People Pleasing Pastors by Charles Stone and Hacking Leadership: The 11 Gaps Every Business Needs to Close and the Secrets to Closing Them Quickly by Mike Myatt
  • Both books are off the charts good and are easily the two best books I’ve read so far this year
  • My agent is meeting with a publisher today about the next step in the process for my book
  • Say a prayer as this is an important meeting
  • This step has been over two years in the making and I’m so excited about how close it is
  • Love all the excited and reports I heard about Rev Up’s disciple now weekend
  • Mike is doing an awesome job with our students
  • Say a prayer for me, I’m starting to work on my Easter message this week
  • Excited for it
  • We’re kicking off a series that day called Change and will look at the things we long to change but why we never do
  • I’m praying it is a series that frees people up to find life, not a list of rules
  • If you’re curious, we’ll be going through Galatians for Change
  • Time to get to it
Enhanced by Zemanta

This Weekend @ Revolution: How Does Change Happen?

Change is something that gets talked about a lot in our culture. Companies and organizations change. Every politician talks about change. We have a list of things we’d like to change about ourselves.

Many of us settle for less than change. We move things around in our lives, stay busy and convince ourselves that because we don’t feel something anymore, we are changing. We convince ourselves, because we don’t seek approval as much as we used, we are doing good (even though we are now more controlling than ever).

The fact remains, very few people in our world actually change. Most people will live their entire lives in empty relationships, trapped sin and addictions. Many will give up and just decide “that’s just how life is. That’s just who I am.”

The problem gets even bigger inside the church. Christians trust that God has forgiven their sins in the past (that’s what Jesus did on the cross), and we trust him for eternity and the hope of the future (Jesus rose from the dead and conquered death). But what about right now? Do you carry around guilt? Are you stuck somewhere in your life? Is following Jesus not as fulfilling and life giving as it used to be?

The Bible talks about following Jesus in the present as the most adventurous, life giving, fulfilling, complete way to live. Do any of those words describe your life with Christ? If not, then you do not want to miss Saturday night as we continue our series The Story of God and look at the book of Ezekiel.

It promises to be a powerful night.

So, do whatever you have to do to be at Revolution this week (and bring someone with you, you never know how a simple invite can make an eternal difference). An easy way to invite someone is to send them an e-vite.

Remember, we meet at 4:15 & 6pm at 6620 E 22nd St.

See you Saturday.

Why We Don’t Change

I’m preaching on change this Saturday at Revolution. To prep, I’m reading How People Change by Paul David Tripp & Timothy Lane. Here’s a quote:

Many Christians underestimate the presence and power of indwelling sin. They don’t see how easily entrapped they are in this world full of snares (Galatians 6:1). They don’t grasp the comprehensive nature of the war that is always raging within the heart of every believer (Romans 7). They’re not aware of how prone they are to run after God replacements. They fail to see that their greatest problems exist within them, not outside them.

Re-Asking Questions

Yesterday I was in Phoenix with some other Acts 29 pastors and we had a fascinating conversation on what changes at the point of salvation. Does who we are change? Is it just our behavior? Our hearts? Souls? Minds? What does that mean?

I believe the gospel should change everything about us.

Think about, when we aren’t a Christian, we strive to please the flesh, we are children of wrath, we think in selfish ways, we look to please ourselves, we look to our goals. When we make plans, we are at the center of them. We do what we want.

When we are changed by the gospel, we need to re-ask all the questions we have “always known.” We have to re-ask what it means to be a man, a woman, a wife, a husband, a boss, an employee, a student. We have to re-ask the questions when it comes to money, sex, power, leadership, submission, goals, career, relationships. We have to re-ask the questions about what we watch, read and listen to.

Does our personality change? Does our whole life change?

It should.

If the gospel has changed us, we should be more patient, more gracious, more generous, less prone to fly off the handle, gossip and be stingy (just to name a few). The gospel changes everything, including who we are. It doesn’t just change us, it makes us better, it takes us to a new place.

As a husband, when you are changed by the gospel you want to fulfill what God calls a husband to be. You want to lovingly lead your family and take the responsibility that God has called you to have. Up until this point, as a man separated from God by sin you have been selfish, not leading your family, not laying your life down for your wife. You have now changed. Everything about you has changed.

As a wife, when you are changed by the gospel, you want to fulfill what God has called you to be. You want to respond to your husband’s leadership, you re-think leadership and submission in your home and marriage. You re-think your goals and identity in terms of what a woman is. You are looking to him for leadership, giving pushback when needed but you now look at life differently and live differently.

The gospel changes everything about you. It doesn’t leave you as you are.

Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard

Just read Chip and Dan Heath’s book Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard. After reading it, if are leading change of any kind or will at any time in the future, you need to read this book.

The Heath brothers look at the idea of an elephant and a rider to show how change happens, how it is reacted to and why it is reacted to that way. The rider represents our analytical side or analytical people. They are interested in data, the why behind change and how it will play out, the plan. The elephant is the emotional side, the feelings, the impulsiveness to a change. The elephant asks, “How will this change affect me?”

What they pointed out that was really interesting was the idea that people often react to change and the problem is not a people problem but a situation problem, an environment problem. What they showed through a variety of studies and examples is that often to make change happen, you need to change the environment that  people reside in.

One of the leadership principles that often gets overlooked that they talked about was looking for bright spots. Often leaders, especially in churches, we look for what is not working and try to change that, and that is the focus of our change. What if instead, we looked for what is working, the bright spots and look at how to replicate that. As the Heath brothers said, “Anytime you have a bright spot, your mission is to clone it.”

In the midst of change, uncertainty will arise at some point. In those moments, that is when the people in your church or organization will retreat to what they know. That is why clarity is so important. That is why you need to appeal to the head (the rider) and the heart (the elephant) to keep them on track, to keep them on the path as the writers point out.

What was probably the most helpful was the idea of scripting moves. When making a change, changing a culture, adding something to a church, tell people what is expected, what will the new world look like once the change is complete. The authors pointed out, “The details is where people get hung up and fall off track.” Ambiguity is the enemy of change. Or the flip side, “Clarity dissolves resistance.” Describe for people what your church will be like when the change is complete. Paint a picture. Tell them how you will get there, what it will feel like on the way. Sometimes, prepare them for failure or what will seem like failure. Often, change efforts use the sequence of analyze-think-change, which rarely works. Instead, use see-feel-change.

Often what trips up leaders in making changes is the herd, the crowd. If you get the crowd, you win the change because people follow the crowd, as behavior is contagious. The authors point out “We imitate the behaviors of others, whether consciously or not.”

Here are a few other things that jumped out:

  • For anything to change, someone has to start acting differently.
  • What looks like resistance is often a lack of clarity.
  • If you want people to change, you must provide crystal clear direction.
  • The core of the matter is always about changing the behavior of people, and behavior change happens in highly successful situations mostly by speaking to people’s feelings.
  • To keep the elephant motivated, people must get a sense of progress. Without progress, people will get demoralized.
  • The rider needs direction, the elephant needs motivation.

As I said, this is a book definitely worth picking up. I was able to read it on the plane the other day, so a fast read with a ton of nuggets in it.