Last week former megachurch pastor Perry Noble filed for divorce from his wife of 17 years. This announcement comes just 16 months after being fired from the lead pastor position at the church he planted the same year he was married. This wasn’t the only big news for Pastor Noble in the recent months. Just this past August, Noble filed paperwork to start a new church, called Second Chance Church.
With all this happening, you have to be asking, is it possible that all this “getting back into ministry” stuff is just a skosh too soon? We don’t want to pretend to know exactly how time is necessary to fully heal or for restoration, but what if what Perry needs more than ministry is church? That’s what we’re talking about in this episode.
What do you think? How much time is enough time before re-entering church leadership?
THIS IS IT! Episode 50! And we totally missed it. We thought we had more time. We knew we were approaching episode 50, but didn’t realize that it was this close. Because of that, we didn’t do a special 50th episode. So, I added a message to the front end of an episode we had already recorded and planned to post.
In this episode we’re talking about how the church deals with Mission, Vision and Strategy. We think it’s been made far more complicated than it needs to be.
Your purpose. This is what you have joined together with others to accomplish.
This is how you see your organization living out and in that purpose.
This is how you plan to accomplish that purpose.
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In this week’s episode we decided to answer questions again. This time they aren’t audience questions. Instead, we’re answering questions that we routinely get from people about what we’re doing about this church thing. We talked about a ton of topics: tithing, leadership, accountability, and being angry at the church.
After we recorded (it ended up being 53 minutes long), we decided that maybe people wanted to skip right to a specific topic, so we separated them into separate videos. So, if you want to listen to the whole thing, do it. But, if you’re interested in a specific topic, you can go straight to that video and watch that one. Here’s the topics and links to the videos…
Mostly? Yes we are. Really we’re both probably giving more than we would if we were tithing to a church. And as far as accountability, we are both more accountable (not less) in the community we’ve placed ourselves in.
In this week’s episode we open with Bruce making fun of Thomas’ wife’s, Angy, cross wall. Thomas said Bruce was hurting his feelings, which was the perfect segway into this week’s topic.
This week we are talking about hurt. Specifically, we discuss the fact that if we chose to live in authentic Gospel Centered Community with others, we can expect to be hurt and come face-to-face with other people’s hurts.
Your Hurts and Community
There isn’t a lot of show notes for this topic. Let’s leave it at this.
Community is a great place to come and put your hurt on the table. By doing so, it allows those closest to you to take it off the table and help you carry it. Community is also a great place to grieve with those that are hurting. And, Community is the perfect place to experience Jesus, find healing for your hurts and help others heal.
For the better part of 5 years, Thomas and I have been talking about church outside of the four walls of a building. We have fleshed the process out quite a bit. Thomas has even had the opportunity to implement some of it. And, over the past year of this podcast, we have thrown the word “community” around quite a bit. So we decided it was time that we explain what we mean when we talk about community.
The Community We Teach
We teach a purpose toward ministry called, “Gospel Centered Community” (GCC) and a method of ministry called, “Gospel Centered Missional Community” (GCMC).
In a nutshell, GCC as a heart for intentionally living toward others. And if GCC is an intent to live toward others, GCMC is the missional outworking of that intent. A big focus of GCMC is making disciples who make disciples.
Practically speaking, the focus of GCC is on receiving the love of God and and the focus of GCMC is on revealing the love of God.
Gospel Centered Community (GCC)
This a body of committed believers, connected by a shared purpose and vision to see Jesus glorified and who challenge each other into deeper relationships with Jesus and one another.
Gospel Centered Missional Community (GCMC)
This is the practical outworking of GCC and is focused on cultivating disciples who make connected disciples.
In the coming weeks I plan to release a five-week series, on my personal BLOG, that lays out the process I plan on working though to build this type of community. Soon after that, we’ll have an ebook to accompany it.
In this episode we tackle a subject that, inside the church, can mean very different things for different people. We are addressing spiritual maturity. Neither one of us want to make it seem as if we have all the answers. We surely do not. But, we think we have a solid idea about what the bible says about maturing spiritually.
The Apostles are pretty clear that when we first come to Christ, we are to consume spiritual milk. 1 Peter 2:2 says, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation.” But what is also clear is that we should not be drinking it for our entire Christian walk. The Apostle Paul, in 1 Cor 3:2, says, “I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.” And the writer of Hebrews expounds on that by saying, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food…” (Heb 5:12) Basically, we should mature to spiritual “meat”; and when you don’t, you become malnourished.
The other side to that is constantly over-consuming biblical knowledge. On the surface it seems as if this may not be a bad thing, but it is. The problem is that too much knowledge, not acted out, can trap the person in legalism or religious intellectualism. It creates a person that has attained a cognitive understanding of scripture, but has not experienced a heart change by it. This results in a “Christian” that never allows the Holy Spirit to lead them into the active part of the Gospel.
Maturing Christians result in healthy Christians. Healthy Christians result in a healthy Church. A healthy Church produces mature Christians. Here is the secret…
Nutrition, Exercise, Rest, & Repeat.
You will need to listen to the episode to get what that process looks like.
Here is an article thatBruce wrote on his blog about the subject.
In the last episode we answered a number of questions, one of them being what church, or the gathering of saints, could look like. In this episode we expand on that idea. To get a wider view of the topic we invited our friend, founder of RedCon 1 Ministries, Rob Burton to join us.
We talk about the distinct difference between a home church model and the traditional institutional model. What we envision is a church that is a marriage between the intimacy of a small community of believers that home church offers and the communal celebration of the corporate gathering.
Without going into deep detail, we all pretty much agreed that a healthy church looks like a community of committed believers that gather in their homes and who God naturally moves toward gathering with each other in celebration.
Not the “Right” Way, Just a Way
We want to be clear that the model that we talk about is not the “right” way to do church, but it is the way that we feel God has called us to.
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As Christians we have this horrible habit of building doctrine around one specific cultural issue. Then, we use that doctrine as the means for convincing unbelievers that they should come over to “our side.” But, when you look at the bible, the Gospel that Jesus brought didn’t start by addressing culture; it started with professing who He was. Then He commissioned us to tell others the same thing about who He is, what He came to do and why He did it. Any agenda that we approach unbelievers with, outside of the one Jesus brought, is useless to helping people enter into the heart of the Father.
Welcome to the first episode of g(O)dd Topics. We’ve been tossing around the idea of a weekly episodes for a few months. Unfortunately, we just didn’t have the ability or time to dedicate to finding a weekly guest co-host and then shooting and editing an hour of footage. Thomas did mention doing a shorter, weekly, version of the show, but we did not talk about it too in-depth. Then on Monday he mentioned it again and after an hour or so of back and forth messaging, we give you…
g(O)dd Topics is a shorter version of the same type of dialogue that we have on our monthly, hour long show. But, unlike the monthly show, we will feature just one topic and no guest co-host, just Bruce and Thomas. We’re excited about this new addition to The (G)odd Show. We think it will meet a couple different needs; more frequent content and shorter, more manageable, shows. It will still be the same type of commentary, just in a smaller package.
This topic breaks our heart, but because of some of the responses, we feel like it is an important to discuss.
In the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12, 2016 a lone gunman walked into a gay nightclub in Orlando and began shooting. By the end of the incident 49 people lay dead and at least 53 others were wounded. The gunman was later identified as an American-born man that had pledged his allegiance to ISIS, making this the largest casualty terror attack on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001.
My first thought when I woke to the news was, dear God, help them. My second was, people are going to make this about how much God hates gay people. I hate that I knew that was true. The response was largely and overwhelmingly love, grief and support, from both Christians and non-Christians. Chick-fil-a provided free food to blood donors, while JetBlue offered free travel to and from Orlando for family members of the victims. But, unfortunately there has been an equally overwhelming response by people using this tragedy to either advance their agenda, whether it is gun control or the right to bear arms, or to reiterate the Bible’s stance on homosexuality.
Regarding the latter, Thomas said if that is your first response to this tragedy, then your opinion doesn’t matter. In fact, no one cares about what you think or have to say, beyond offering compassion and grieving. He went on to point out that this is not the time for your view on sin. Instead, this is the time to share the part of the Gospel that is compassion.
I wrapped the episode up with this thought: regardless of the historical issues between the Christian and LGBTQ community, someone has to close the gap. Someone has to go first. Because of who we are in Christ and who we chose to follow and call Lord, we go first. We get to go first. We always go first. When it comes to love and compassion, we have to go first. Go first, friends.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and the Orlando community.
Here is a CNN article that contains links to contribute to funds and organizations that are helping victims in Orlando: