“Do something; do something; do something” – Spurgeon

8 11 2010

 “We must be done with daydreams, and get to work. I believe in eggs, but we must get chickens out of them. I do not mind how big your egg is; it may be an ostrich egg if you like, but if there is nothing in it, pray clear away the shells. …… We want facts –  deeds done, souls saved. It is all very well to write essays, but what souls  have you saved from going down to hell? Your excellent management of your school interests me, but how many children have been brought into the church by it?  Are sinners converted? To swing to and fro on a five-barred gate is not progress, yet some seem to think so. ……

Brethren, do something; do something; do something. While committees waste their time, over resolutions, do something. While Societies and Unions are making constitutions,  let us win souls. Too often we discuss, and discuss and discuss, and Satan laughs in his sleeve. It is time we had done planning and sought something to plan. I pray, be men of action all of your Get to work and quit yourselves like men. “

C.H. Spurgeon. “Lectures to my students.” 1875 – Delivered to Students at his Pastor’s College


Tips from Rod Irvine on how to spend time in the week

8 11 2010

4 areas to spend time on each weel as the lead pastor:-
1. Vision
2. Money
3. Staff
4. Elders

Others tips on how and where to lead and care for people:
1. Peretto Principle of Pastoral Leadership – 80% of advances come from 20% of time. So make sure you spend time with people who will be or are leaders.
2. Birthdays – know everyone’s birthdays. Call them on their birthdays and pray for them.
3. Time after church – spend time with people you wouldn’t or couldn’t otherwise through the week and pray for them.
4. Thankyou notes – write thankyou notes to anyone you see serving.
5. Phone calls – a 10 minute phone call is a long phone and so phone calls are a good use of time with people. Whereas a 30 minute visit is a short visit. Make lots of phone calls.
6. De facto leader – there is always at least one ‘de facto’ leader in a church. Look out for who it is and spend time with them.
5. First 5 years – As the lead pastor you are on trial for the the first 5 years so make everything you do count. Or in other words make sure anything you do works.

George Orwell’s writing tips – helpful for sermon writing

8 11 2010

George Orwell’s writing tips:

1. What am I trying to say?
2. What words will express it?
3. What image or idiom will make it clearer?
4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?

1. Could I put it more shortly?
2. Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly? One can often be in doubt about the effect of a word or a phrase, and one needs rules that one can rely on when instinct fails.

I think the following rules will cover most cases:
1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

We’re not a cruise ship

4 11 2010

Great quote from Dan Reiland:- “At 12Stone I often say, “We’re not a Christian cruise ship.” We’re not here to bring you all the great programming you can think of. If we did everything we were asked to do we’d have dozens of programs from baseball leagues to classes in CPR. It’s all good and worthy stuff, but the church not only shouldn’t do all of it, it can’t. All these things and more exist in the surrounding communities. Encourage your people to go out and join in. Cast vision for your people to make a positive contribution in the community and take Jesus with them.”

The Treasure Principle (1)

13 10 2010

I recently read and am now rereading a book called ‘The Treasure Principle’ by Randy Alcorn of Eternal Perspectives Ministries.

Here are some thoughts and quotes from the book.

The opening chapter is called ‘Buried Treasure’ and is focused on the parable of buried treasure in Matthew 16. Go and read it now if you are not familiar with it. Randy Alcorn says “Matthew 14:44 serves as a vivid picture of the joy of surrendering lesser treasures to find greater ones.”

He goes on to say “15 percent of everything Christ said relates to this topic (money and possessions) – more than His teachings on heaven and hell combined.”

“Why did Jesus put such emphasis on money and possessions? Because there’s a fundamental connection between our spiritual lives and how we think about and handle our money.”

“…our approach to money and possessions isn’t just important – it’s central to our spiritual lives.”

Reflecting on the parable of the Rich Fool in Luke 12 he says:- “Jesus knows that money and possessions were the man’s god. He realized that the man wouldn’t serve God unless he dethroned his money idol.”

“No matter how great the value of that earthly fortune, it would be worthless in eternity…it’s exactly this kind of treasure that people waste their lives pursuing.”

“Jesus warns us not to store up treasures…because wealth will always be lost. Either it leaves us while we live, or we leave it when we die.”

“He (Jesus) instructs us to transfer our funds from earth to heaven.”

“According to Jesus, storing up earthly treasures isn’t simply wrong. It’s just plain stupid”

“He wants us to store up treasures. Because such treasures (treasures in heaven) will last.”

The Treasure Principle:-
                                     You can’t take it with you –
                                     but you can send it on ahead.

“If we give instead of keep, if we invest in the eternal instead of in the temporal, we store up treasures in heaven that will never stop paying dividends.”

“As you store up heavenly treasures,you’ll gain an everlasting version of what that man found in the treasure hidden in the field. JOY.”

Church Fundraising Help from Rod Irvine

13 10 2010

Today I had a long phone conversation with Rod Irvine who was the Senior Pastor of Figtee Anglican Church. He is now spending alot of time being generous to blokes like me who have little idea of how to apply what they know from the Bible to ‘running a church’ and leading a church into the future for the sake of King Jesus.

Here’s some of what he shared with me in regards to raising funds for the mission of Jesus.

There are 3 different aspects to fundraising:-

1. Raising finances from the week by week giving.

2. Raising finances for ‘projects’ that flow out of a long term ‘vision’ for each year.
This involves asking people to give an amount of their giving above and beyond thier weekly giving.

3. Raising finances for a Building Project. This is raising a larger amount of money for capital works. It is good to only do this every 2-3 years.

The first two of these are done at the same time in the year at a ‘Commitment Day’ which is preceded by a 5-6 week teaching series on Sundays on ‘commitment.’ Every talk is not on financial giving but one is the Sunday before the ‘commitment day.’ Rod would have commitment on the second Sunday of November. A key element over the teaching series is showing videos featuring the ‘projects’ for the year. It is important these are fun or even funny. Other elements include brochures; bible studies; daily journal notes; notices in newsletters; letters; visiting groups and individuals.

People give out of ‘different pockets of money.’ Some will give to ‘missions’ and some to ‘the building.’ So that’s means if you don’t have a building ‘project’ people who would tend to give to this will give to another project. That just won’t give to projects. Some of the key ‘project’ categories are ‘childrens ministry’; building maintenance; evangelism; youth and compassion (giving to those in need). An particularly important category is ‘Our church our ministry.’ This is about the overall ministry of the whole church include all that is going on the weekly life of the church.

It is important to start thinking at the beginning of the year about possible projects for the next year. Settle on the porjects by June. Commitment series in October with ‘Commitment Day’ in November. November and December giving and pledges trickle in and thankyou letters go out.

Another thing along the way was to have the ‘most influential’ person in the church to get up and endorse the whole concept.

Ignore ‘sqawkers.’ Initially there will be people who are negative about the concept. Over time this will stop and most of the time these are the people who don’t give anything anyway.

Teaching stewardship or giving is not a money issue but a discipleship issue. It is about growing people’s trust in God.

Sharing the vision is the key. Talking about wanting to win the community for Jesus as the goal and that the giving will help acheive that goal.

Examples of  ‘Commitment Series’ can be found here:-
‘Faithful’ Series

‘Imagine Series’

An armed camp of desires and passions

15 09 2010

“All our desires and passions are like an armed camp within us, ready at a moment’s notice to declare war against anyone who stands in the way of some personal gratification on which we have set out hearts.” Alec Motyer on James 4:1-12