Friday, June 19, 2009

Language of Faith

As I have been reflecting on a variety of things from the conference over the past week, one of the biggest struggles I have is finding ways for people to be fired up about diving into the Bible.

Quite often we hear people say, "We really want to have a Bible Study." And then we when offer studies, very few people show up. There seems to be a hunger, but the follow through just doesn't happen. So I have been trying to find ways to open up this life-giving book in ways that will draw people in - and that is one of my big focus points for the upcoming year.

To start it all off, in September we will have a 90 Day Bible Challenge. For those who are interested we will challenge ourselves to read through the entire Bible in 90 days. Every few weeks we will get together to discuss what we have read and go over the questions we have. We might even have an online discussion as well.

Following the 90 Day Challenge there will be a variety of classes for follow-up. These classes will go a little deeper into different books and characters in the Bible.

But the ultimate goal is to get people talking about and reading the Bible in their homes, with family and friends. Hopefully we will have guides developed in the next year to help facilitate this.

This book called the Bible really is a life-giving book, and the more we study it, the more we grow in our relationship with God. I invite all of you to join in this holy conversation.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Let the River Flow

For the past three days I have been at a conference in the Twin Cities. There have been some great speakers, some decent workshops, and a wonderful time of worship with 550+ leaders in other churches. Now I am taking a little time to reflect, get my bearings, and try and discern where the Spirit is leading us next.

A couple of things have come to mind. First is that we, as a whole, need to become more fluent in the language of Scripture. Many times we offer studies or classes and people come, then when the end, we do not have much follow up. In thinking about all of this, I have decided that this fall we will have an opportunity for people to read through the entire Bible in 90 days. This will be something we do on our own, but meet occasionally to discuss questions that have come up and hold each other accountable. After the 90 days we will follow up with focused studies on different parts of the Bible.

Second, we have a lot of leaders in the church, but again we do not have a lot of follow up once the leaders are in their places. I would like to have opportunities for leaders to gather, grow in leadership skills, and find ways to implement new ministries that fit the gifts of new leaders.

Finally, story-telling is an art form, and people relate to stories in amazing ways. I am trying to find new ways for people to hear and tell stories that help to inspire others. This is a work in process and I will probably use technology in different ways to help this process.

So that is the inspiration for today. Any and all thoughts are always welcome.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Long Time Gone

It has been about a month since my last post. The last month seems to have gotten away from me - with the wrapping up of the school year, celebrating prayer week, and just running through life as a whole - it has been a little crazy:)

And summer will not be any slower. We are starting some new studies, a sermon series, new youth programs, and the list just goes on and on.

But one of the things that has not gotten away from me is family time. I may miss blogging for a bit, I may forget to write a letter or two - but time with family is of the utmost importance to me. So I still make sure to get home in time to read some books, go to the library on a Saturday morning, and run and play in the park as the girls squeal with joy. These are things that help to ground me and give me life.

So what is it that grounds you? What is it that gives you life and inspires you on a daily basis?

People often say that summer is a time to slow down but I have noticed summer seems to be busier than any other time of the year. So as we enter into this summer, take some time and discover what it is that builds you up. Reflect on the things that give you the energy you need to make it through the day or the week. And make time for the important things and important people in your life. God is all about relationships - may your relationships be strengthen in and through him.