Feb
23
2011

Delighting in the Law of the Lord

psalm 1

On Tuesday mornings I wake up way too early and take part in a men’s Bible study at my church.  In the course of yesterday’s time together we briefly read through Psalm 1: 1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who […]

Feb
22
2011

The Strategic Role of Associations in Church Planting

village

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ll be spending the next few weeks on this site talking about effective church planting in the local Baptist Association. For my readers who are not part of my denominational “tribe,” please excuse some of the “insider” conversation that will neccesarily be a part of this discussion. It is my hope that my non-Baptist brothers and sisters will nonetheless learn some principles that they can take back into […]

Feb
21
2011

George Washington and Timing Your Exit

George Washington

Lately I have been talking a good bit about the legacy that a pastor can leave for himself.  I wrote about entitlement and preparing ourselves for our defining moments.  Today I have been thinking about George Washington.  Perhaps it is the President’s Day weekend or maybe it is all the car ads, but as I was making the trip from Baltimore to New York yesterday I was thinking through the legacy that our first President […]

Feb
19
2011

Missional Thoughts – Living Missionally Part One

Old Church

We started the Thingy (the missional church Wendy and I belong to) with the desire of redefining “church.”  We hoped to move away from a program-centric understanding of church to a lifestyle-centric understanding.  We wanted membership in the church to be more about how we lived in our communities than what we did when we gathered. As the team planned I studied other groups with lifestyle driven models of discipleship – specifically recovery programs like […]

Feb
18
2011

Preparing for Your Right Now Moment

boyscouts

Growing up I was highly involved in Boy Scouts.  Truth be told, I am an Eagle Scout.  The Scout’s motto is “be prepared” and while it works quite well for them, I think that it is something that we as church leaders should be adopting as well.  Earlier this week I wrote about the entitlement mentality that pastors sometimes get caught up in.  While that post is good for identifying the issue, it really doesn’t […]

Feb
17
2011

Time is Money? (part one)

time is money

Matt Note: Doug White has been my college professor, confidante, mentor, and friend throughout the last twelve years.  As a youth pastor it was not uncommon for him to be a guide our leadership retreats and as I have served at various churches we often found ourselves having conversations lasting hours on leadership, strategy, and pursuing Christ in our day to day.  I am excited that he will be joining in the conversation here on […]

Feb
16
2011

Hosni Mubarak and the Local Church Pastor

mcdonalds ad

I have been thinking about entitlement lately.  We live in a society that implies entitlement to everything from luxury cars to fast food.  It seems that everywhere I turn there is someone or something telling me what I deserve, what I have a right to, what I am entitled to… regardless of whether I have worked to achieve it or not. As I have been processing the recent events in Egypt I have found myself […]

Feb
15
2011

Church Planting Systems and Baptist Associations

seedling

Matt Note:  Joel Rainey is the Director of Missions for the Mid-Maryland Baptist Association.  His passion for church planting is evident in every conversation that he has and his book Planting Churches in the Real World is a great resource for anyone trying to do just that.  I have asked him to share some of what he is seeing in the Southern Baptist church planting world, and over the next few weeks I am excited […]

Feb
14
2011

At a Loss for Words: Love and Valentine’s Day 2011

Valentines

Ah, Valentine’s Day. The day our society takes on a yearly basis to celebrate that which we really know little about.  On a yearly basis we get inundated with ads for chocolate, flowers, expensive dinners, and cell phones.  This evening, in honor of Valentine’s day, I will be sweeping Theresa off her feet with sushi… because nothing says romance quite like raw fish. With all that is going on in the world around us, I […]

Feb
11
2011

Male Bonding or Wrestling With Men’s Ministry

spurs

I have been reminded lately of something that David Gergen said at the 2009 Willow Creek Leadership Summit: “If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.”  This quote has so many applications in ministry and has come up a bunch in my conversations of late, and it has started me thinking about how we relate with one another. This year, for the first time in my life, […]