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?
A few weeks ago, maybe a month, we did an episode where we addressed multiple topics. During that episode Bruce might have said something along the lines of, “Stop doing accountability groups. They’re silly and not real.” We figure we should explain.
Accountability isn’t “Bad”
They aren’t necessarily a bad thing, accountability is necessary, especially in the body of Christ. It’s just that, most of the time we do it wrong, or fake. That sound better, right? Well, here’s what we mean…
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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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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For this episode Thomas and Bruce decided to not limit the show to one topic. Instead they came up with a list of questions and gave some quick-ish answers, then moved on. Here’s that list and their short answers.
In your view, what are the top two issues facing The Church and Christianity today?
De-coupling politics from the core of Christianity and dealing with the old church (what the church has been) and the new church (what the church is becoming).
The way the church has defined community and confusion surrounding discipleship.
Is there a crisis involving discipleship? Why or why not? Where should we pinpoint our attention?
Yes. We need to focus on what it means to follow.
Yes. We need to convince the average Christian that our focus should be on being discipled, versus our conversion.
Between traditional church, home church and seeker-friendly church, what is authentic ecclesia?
Thomas explained the three different types of church. Bruce broke down authentic ecclesia and it’s long. But in a nutshell… starts in the home and builds genuine gospel centered missional community, moves toward multiple groups consistently gathering with each other to celebrate the good things of God and what he’s done, is doing and going to do and culminates with those individual communities impacting their close geographical areas for the Gospel.
Is Sunday an effective platform for evangelism?
It’s an okay place, but not really the best place.
No. The corporate gathering should be focused on equipping the believer.
What is one teaching that is burning inside you right now?
Forgiveness is not intended for your conscious.
Heart space, home space and life space and how institutional church does it backwards.
That’s the episode! Please rate us on iTunes and share the show with your friends.
Recently Pastor Perry Noble was fired from NewSpring Church, the church he founded. And, with other firings, like that of Darrin Patrick, are we creating a church structure that sets Pastors up to fail? What steps can we take to make sure that pastors can share their brokenness in a grace filled community?
There seems to be an epidemic with no end in sight. But, it’s an epidemic that the Church should be looking to Jesus for answers about how to stop.
Ultimately the answer lies in the community of fellow believers that Christ called us to live in. A community where brokenness can be admitted and grace can abound. One where the goal is repentance and restoration and the hope is that Christ shines through.
When our goal becomes a the creation of an organization rather than the nurturing of an organism, people are bound to fail. At the end of the day firing someone from an organization typically doesn’t include restoration, but the organism of community always hopes for and seeks reconciliation.
For Episode 7 we invite the most previous director of theSHIFT (the young adult ministry of Element Church in Cheyenne, WY), Sean Brink, to be our guest co-host.
As Christians we’re bombarded with so many catch phrases and buzzwords that it is hard to know which are useful, which are biblical and which are just ridiculous. One of the most recently popular ones is “missional.” Everyone wants to live in missional community or be on mission. When we flesh out what we mean by that we can see that the intention it to live out Jesus’ commission to make disciples that make disciples. But isn’t that just a spin off of what missionaries do?
In this episode we talk about the functional difference in the two words and what it means to be a missionary and to live missionally and how both can support each other. Naturally that discussion lead to a discussion about how simple churches (like home church types) and traditional churches (like the legacy, corporate types) can partner with each other to fulfill the singular mission of Christ.
During this episode we referenced the following articles or websites: