Monday, December 29, 2014

Top Posts of 2014

This Wednesday another year will come to a close and with that another years worth of blog posts. Some of those posts you liked and some of those posts you didn't like, but let's take a look back at some of your favorite ones. 

Here are the top blog posts from 2014:

10. Reverse Engineering Church Planting. Most conversations revolving around church planting start with the notion of church. Planters and sending churches will commonly throw out the phrase, "Launch," as if one can just send a group of people to launch into a new city and call it a church plant. I am not against the idea of having a core team and believe you are stupid if you go at it completely alone, but the purpose of reverse engineering is back to a New Testament model where we start with Kingdom principles that lead to disciples, which then form a new church from the harvest. 

9. Sharing the Gospel There and Then and Here and Now. During 2014 I commonly heard the question, "how do you share the gospel in India?" This question always struck me as odd as if there was a different way to share the gospel in a place like India then there was in the United States. The reality is that if the truth of the gospel has changed your life then you will share the gospel no matter the context.

8. Are You Operating As A Missionary?Many of my conversations with other spiritual leaders revolve around movements and paradigm shifts within the church that change the world. Being a missional Christian is a phrase that often comes up, which I love what being "missional" means as long as it is correctly defined. A short way to encompass what a missional Christian is one who embraces their role as everyday missionaries. Truthfully this should be how all followers of Christ operate so my question is often, "Can you be an obedient Christian and not be missional?"

7. "You're the Only Ones That Talk To Us..."The place where you live, your neighborhood is one of the main areas that you have been sent by God for a season as a missionary. If the people that live around only know you for the family that wakes up early on Sunday morning and is gone half of the day then there is something wrong. I am not saying I do everything right, I know that I do not, but this is a call for all of us to do the hard work of getting to know our neighbors and neighborhoods so that we can engage with them, love and serve them and ultimately make disciples of them.

6. 6 Lessons from My Time in SeminaryDuring the five years it took me to complete two masters degrees I learned many lessons, enough to write a book or at least discuss over a french press. The six lessons below are more of a starting piece for those just entering seminary. Some of the lessons below were advice given to me and some I learned as I went through out my studies. If you have been to seminary yourself then please feel free to comment below with any additional lessons that you think would be helpful to mention.

5. A Large Audience ≠ A Successful Church Plant. This one can be a bit controversial, but many church planting networks mistakenly think that just because a lead planter can gather a large audience that they have some how planted a successful church. 
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4. A Positive Shift For the Future of IMB/SBCPlatt gives me hope for the future of the largest and most historic missions agency in the world. It is exciting to see a man not much older than myself to take the reigns of such a large organization.  Yes, he is only one man and ultimately Christ is in charge, but I believe that Platt is the chosen man for this next season of leading the IMB.

3. Attending Church with ChildrenYes, many churches offer great children's ministries or forms of entertainment for your children so that you and all the other adults will not be bothered during your worship experience, but is it really all about that? Should a mother have to wait until their child is a certain age to feel like they can attend a gathering without being ridiculed?

2. When Christians Become AtheistsIn the parable in Matthew 13:5-6, 20-21, Jesus gives us a vivd illustration of what happens when the gospel is sown on rocky ground. At first it appears as if the person is receptive to the gospel, but the gospel never actually takes root in their life and therefore fails to bear fruit.

1. Are Church Teachings on Homosexuality Driving Millennials Away From FaithI, for one, love the people inside the LGBT community, I sincerely do. And I believe that people like Evans sincerely do as well and I am glad to hear that she is done arguing (I doubt it) and wants to move on to loving and serving people. But I do want all of those in the LGBT community and all my fellow evangelical millennials to know what the historical document of the Bible actually teaches.

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