Posts Tagged 'Steven Furtick'

Elephant Room – Round 2 Thoughts

In January our team went to “The Elephant Room – Round 2″ hosted by James MacDonald at the Harvest Studios in Chicago IL in January.

The Elephant Room is unlike any conference I have ever attended. Pastors at the Elephant Room were sat down to hash out controversial matters live and unscripted on camera. It was unique, controversial, awesome, and tons of fun!

Here are some random Notes via each session:

“Come Together,” Jack Graham and T.D. Jakes, moderated by Mark Driscoll

Story: Two of the largest churches in America, both in Dallas, one of America’s largest cities—one church is almost 100 percent black, the other almost 100 percent white. Is this a problem? What factors, beyond local diversity, are widening this divide? What causes such obvious segregating of the races? In what ways does being a minority worshiper hinder worship and service in the church? What churches are achieving success at breaking down these walls, and how? What do you see the other pastor doing better than your church does it?


  • Getting together with like minded churches is still important.
  • SBC (Southern Baptist Convention) was moving left (liberal) and went back to being right (conservative) in churches, schools, colleges and seminaries. That’s an impressive change.
  • Focus for the SBC is now on church planting and assisting churches.
  • Acts 29 is a “cross generational” movement. That needs to be defined more.
  • More people are moving to a dual affiliation when it comes to denominations.
  • Denominations are like an Oldsmobile – “nobody’s buying it”.
  • Maintaining movement focuses on local churches.
  • Churches often move through the following four stages: Man, movement, monument, museum. Which one is your church at?
  • There has to be an honor for the past to impact the future.
  • Are you a kingdom builder or an empire builder?
  • Characters and caliber of the leader matter in every setting, all the time.

“Can’t Buy Me Love,” Steven Furtick and Crawford Loritts, moderated by James MacDonald

Story: What elements must accompany a faithful presentation of the gospel? What can a pastor do to ensure that others in his ministry are presenting the gospel in all its fullness? What are some ways you have seen decisions for Christ effectively acknowledged? What responsibilities does the preacher have to lead people in a public response to the gospel? When have we oversimplified or made the gospel formulaic? When have we made the gospel too complicated, and demanded more in our evangelism than the Scriptures do?


  • The gospel is the most precious message on earth.
  • The results do not define the theology.
  • The content of the message is paired with the approach.
  • There is not a broad definition of the gospel that stems across denominations.
  • 1 corithians 13:3-11 illustrates the 4 elements of the gospel.
  • We forget the urgency of the gospel – hell is forever!
  • We must point people to Jesus and let Him do the work.
  • Preaching is truth communicated through personality.

“Hard Day’s Night,” Wayne Cordeiro and James MacDonald, moderated by Mark Driscoll

Story: How can a pastor effectively manage the pressures of ministry? What are the warning signs for burnout? What do you see pastors doing today that is most detrimental to their marriage and children? What about pastors who are unmarried? What single action is most healing to your emotional health in ministry—and what action is most damaging? How does the care of your own soul affect the relationships that matter most? PERSONAL NOTE: This was the best session of the day!


  • That which fuels you on the inside can also destroy you.
  • 50% of leadership is self management.
  • You capability is not equal to your ability.
  • The devil doesn’t care which side of the boat you go off as long as you go off.
  • Find out what God calls YOU to do.
  • We cannot forget what we are learning now!
  • Stop asking what are you do and start asking how are you doing.

“Ticket to Ride,”Mark Driscoll and T.D. Jakes, moderated by James MacDonald

Story: What are the “majors” of Christian doctrine that cannot be diluted or denied for a person to be a Christian? How can we help one another move beyond the bare minimum of accepted belief, to a pursuit of robust, soul-satisfying, biblical substance? How should we relate to those who do not yet embrace the benefit and priority of sound biblical doctrine? Is there a difference between a person in error and a wolf in sheep’s clothing? What benefits derive from keeping the majors on a separate list and not letting the ‘minors’ divide us? Is it possible to love the truth without compromise and still work passionately for unity?


  • Sex is either gross, from God, or a gift.

“With a Little Help from My Friends,” Jack Graham and Mark Driscoll, moderated by James MacDonald

Story: Is there a future for denominations? Will networks simply replace them, or will they reinvent themselves? What can denominations offer that networks of churches cannot? Describe the health of world missions and missionaries as you see them serving around the globe. Is the model of sending missionaries through a mission agency still effective? Or is church planting through healthy churches the way to go? Is there a lack of accountability plaguing most missionaries? How can that be changed? How does para-church help or hinder the local church in world missions?


  • Your church can be no more integrated than your life.
  • The lack of courage is apauling in the local church.
  • There needs to be something diverse about your Christianity.

“Help,” Wayne Cordeiro and Crawford Loritts, moderated by James MacDonald

Story: What do you do when a staff member fails morally? How bad is bad enough for dismissal? What responsibilities does the church continue to have to the former staff member? What if the failure involves a higher-profile pastor in your area or circle of influence? Is it ever acceptable to name a fallen pastor publicly? Can a fallen pastor re-qualify and be restored? In the same church? How soon is too soon? What safeguards can be established to help those who sincerely desire to remain faithful?


  • Galatians 6 is the attitude, Matthew 18 is the approach.
  • When there is a sin, there is an issue.
  • 2  Corinthians 7 – If you are more concerned about your reputation than the problem there is no repentance.
  • Repentance does not care about reputation.
  • It’s better to confess than to admit.


Stop the Hop

I couldn’t pass it up.  Some excerpts from Mr. Steven Furticks blog post this morning.  Do yourself a favor and read it church going Christian…

One of the things that really troubles me about the church today is the phenomenon of church hopping and church shopping. It’s a consumeristic mindset towards the body of Christ that grieves the heart of God.

It’s time for us to stop the hop. This isn’t Christianity. Jesus didn’t die so we could sample different churches like varieties of meat on a party platter. Jesus died to establish His church as the most powerful entity on the planet.

We are alive at the greatest time in history for the advance of the gospel. We have so much going for us.

We have the ability.
We have the resources.
We have the people.

What we don’t have is them committed to a place where they can actually be used for their God-ordained purpose.

If this generation doesn’t make the impact it should, it won’t be because it didn’t have the resources. Or even the passion. It will be because it was too busy hopping to different churches to stop and commit to one where its resources and passion could actually find an outlet.

The church is the change the world is waiting for. God help us if we keep the world waiting for us while we try to find the perfect church for us.

If you’ve fallen into the trap of church hopping, let me encourage you: embrace your place somewhere where God can use you. At the end of your life, God’s not going to be impressed or pleased that you saw what He was doing at ten different churches. He’s going be more pleased that you were a part of what He was doing at one church.

And you’re never going to find the perfect one, so give up looking. If the church you’re visiting doesn’t have what you’re looking for, it might be because God wants you to provide it.

Let’s all commit together to begin a campaign to stop the hop.
Find a place to get planted. Embrace it. And start changing the world.

The question of our day isn’t if God wants to do incredible things through the church. The question is will we be in place to experience it?

I’m singing your song Steven!

What do you think church going Christian?


2010 Reading List

Books I read in 2010:

A Grief Observed: C.S. Lewis
His Needs Her Needs for Parents: Willard Harley
*To Own a Dragon: Donald Miller
Bringing Up Girls: James Dobson [DNF (did not finish)]
^BodyMinder: Workout and Exercise Journal: F.E. Wilkins
*Too Busy Not to Pray: Bill Hybels
*In Constant Prayer: Robert Benson
*Forgotten God: Francis Chan
*Sun Stand Still: Steven Furtick
The Christian Atheist: Craig Groeschel
Radical: David Platt
**Prodigal God: Tim Keller
The Fine Line: Kary Oberbrunner
**Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard: Chip and Dan Heath
**Leadership and Self Deception: The Arbinger Institute
Stuff Christians Like: Jonathan Acuff
*A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: Donald Miller
*7 Practices of Effective Ministry: Andy Stanly
The One Thing You Can’t Do in Heaven: Mark Cahill
^One Heartbeat Away: Mark Cahill
^Honor Few, Fear None: Rubean Gavazos
House: Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti

* – Would recommend
** – Would highly recommend
^- Would not recommend
Bold – This years favorite

What did you read last year?


New Worship

A couple of new worship discs were brought to my attention that might be worth checking out.

1. Elevation Worship: The third release from Elevation is called Kingdom Come.  I have yet to buy the disc but I found a few places that were streaming it in its entirety.  It’s not a bad release in my opinion but I still think the team needs to “push it” a little more.  I do however, love the addition of some female vocals (a girl named London) and letting Chris (Brown) sing more.  Sorry Wade (Joy). It’s worth the $10. Go get it.

2. SummitRDU Worship: My boy Jonathan told me about this release.  Summit Church is J.D. Greear‘s church in North Carolina (he is probably one of the best preachers I have heard). According to their site, Summit Church is releasing, “From Age to Age, a brand new batch of original worship tunes for us to sing in our weekly worship gatherings.”  It is “an entire album featuring 10 different songs written out of what God is doing here at the Summit Church.”  I haven’t heard the whole disc except for a few sound bites.  Sounds interesting. May be worth checking out.

3. Until We’re Kings: This is my project coming out October 1st. It’s called “Heirs”.  Someone told me, “It totally kicks the teeth out of anything else out there.”  I agree.  When it comes out, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy.  I’ll post more on how you can purchase it online as the release date approaches. It’ll blow your mind!

What are you worshiping to?


Sermons on the Mower

Lets face it.

It takes a long time to mow our yard in the country (about 3 to 4 hours including weed-wacking process).


I figured out a long time ago that you can get a massive amount of audio intake accomplished just from putting headphones in your ears while riding on the four hour grass onslaught.  In addition to listening to my audio bible on the drive, I also listen to a good amount of sermons from guys across the globe via podcasts.

Here’s my selection of messages from mowing the other day and my thoughts:

  • Andy Stanley “Why Less is More Part 2″ (Leadership Podcast via Northpoint Community Church) – Andy should have been a CEO of a massive organization but lets all be glad he’s not.  His incite on the leadership that must take place within the church is priceless.  In this session Andy tackled useful ticks on doing what you are called to do (i.e. what you’re good at) and delegating the rest to people who are gifted/skilled outside your gift set.
  • Pastor Steven Furtick – Elevation Church Podcast “The Forgiveness Offensive – Part 1 (from the “F-Bomb” Sermon Series)” – Furtick unrolled, perhaps one of the best messages I have heard on forgiveness.  In his message he gave a little different take on the common stance some Christians have on forgiveness.  Some people think we as Christians should “roll over” to forgive people when others offend you but that’s not always true.  I think you should just go take a listen to the sermon.  It was one the best of the day.
  • Joel Osteen – “#438 – Programming Your Mind for Victory” – I wonder how many people just read that I listened to Joel Osteen’s podcast and completely wrote me off.  I think that’s sad. Let me explain.  While I wouldn’t call Joel Osteen a “pastor” (I think of him more as a motivational speaker), it’s important to keep an eye on what’s going on in his ministry.  Lakewood church averages more than 43,500 in attendance per week.  Joel is big on the power of the mind and in this message he says, “If you think it, it will happen”.  While I don’t always agree with a lot of stuff he says, he is a fascinating person to watch/listen to (he should have sold used cars). His ministry is mind boggling. Therefore I’m watching/listening to you Joel.  You fascinate me.
  • Pastor Mike Fanning – “Overcoming Fear in Sharing our Faith” – Mike is our (Bethany, Corinne and I’s) new pastor in Bremen.  I’ve been listening to him since we started walking with the church.  His application in the armor of God has got me thinking big time about the implications of what the armor of God actually means to the Christian.  I love his practical approach to applying the Word of God to the People present in the congregation.  Key thought, “How beautiful are the feet of those who carry the message of Jesus”. Who are your feet beautiful to? Hmmm….

After the last message is usually about that time I get off the mower and feel like my head is going to explode.

I absolutly love the church, the Bible, and my Jesus who died or my sins.  Mowing is by far the worst thing to do in the world but podcasts and audio bibles make something extremely tedious seems not so bad.

How are you utilizing your time?


People I Follow on Twitter

Check out a few people I “follow” on Twitter and why.


  • Chad OchoCinco (OGOchoCinco): Formerly Chad Johnson of the Cincinnati Bengals.  This guy is crazier than a box of rocks.  He says some of the most random/weird stuff in the world.  In the morning Chad asks, “Good morning world, what did I miss while I was asleep?” and people respond!
  • John Mayer (johncmayer): John is another guy that makes me laugh.  I’m pretty sure the man would twitter if he was getting murdered.
  • Justin Long (JustinLong_): Justin is a buddy of mine from college.  He posts some of the funniest stuff.  Everything from the sound of frozen lakes to the secret behind The Black Eyed Peas’ success (
  • Rain Wilson (rainnwilson): Rain is better knows as Dwight from “The Office”.  He is a weird human being.  Example tweet: “Diamonds. RT what’s ur favorite pizza topping?? (via @traylove19)”
  • Derek Brooks (broox): Derek has been a friend of mine for years.  It blows my mind that we are friends.  I think we have hung out in person maybe twelve times.  Regardless, Derek leads a fascinating life.  Check out his website here.


  • Rob Bell (realrobbell):  Rob is pastor who chooses to twitters about his life often instead of just the ministry.  While you do get your fill of his tour updates, resources to his books, etc. it’s still pretty sweet that the man allows you to see the other things that go on in his life.  Example:
  • Rick Warren (RickWarren): It’s amazing the incite Rick can put into a 140 characters or less.  I love that he uses U for “you” and R for “are”.  Love it!
  • Steven Furtick (stevenfurtick):  Honestly I only follow Steven for links to his blog posts.  The man is an interesting, interesting individual.
  • Paul Baloche (paulbaloche): Paul is a worship leader that drops awesome tweets about leading worship and everything that goes with it.
  • Wes Watson (weswatson): Wes is the audio visual guy from Elevation Church.  Although he hasn’t updated it forever, you can check out Wes’s blog here.

Just a few.

Who do you “follow”?


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