17 February 2008

Leadership Journal - Winter 2008

I haven't finished reading the latest issue of Leadership Journal, but I have pulled out some interesting quotes for your consideration. Take a read and let me know what you think.

Tim Keel (scroll down to Tim's picture), pastor of Jacob's Well in Kansas City, MO
"Has our articulation, and more importantly, or embodiment of the gospel invited people to be come a part of an alternative reality, a community of salvation for this world and the world that is to come?" (21)

"I began to realize that every articulation of the gospel I had heard focused exclusively on Jesus Christ and his role as redeemer. It is obviously true and good news that Jesus and his life and work function redemptively. But when we reduce Jesus to redeemer only, we miss another essential element of our faith: that Jesus is also creator." (22)

"A reduced version of the gospel will have little to say to such questions [about creation]. No wonder so many have determined that the church and 'the gospel' have very little to contribute to the world." (22)

Leighton Ford
"The gospel is the core, with an invitational edge. So we preach the gospel never knowing what listeners have been drawn by the Holy Spirit. We also preach knowing that those who are already Christ-followers need to be constantly re-evangelized, reminded that our faith journeys continue as they began, by grace." (27, emphasis mine)

"In our postmodern world, many see the gospel as neither good nor news. Perhaps this is because we have simplified it and 'codified' it too carelessly. 'Accept Jesus and you'll go to heaven. Don't and you won't.' True, but not meant to be a truism." (27)

Tullian Tchividjian, pastor of and grandson of Billy Graham
"[P]reachers need to be careful that people leave a sermon not so much with grand impressions of human personality, but with grand impressions of divine personality." (33, responding to the question: What part does the preacher's personality play?)
This is one I struggle with because I want to come off as polished and professional but I also want to leave the people with a profound sense of the divine. My personality is important because it is part of who I am, but I must re-present Christ in sermons - I must incarnate my sermons, they need to reflect me and Jesus.

Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback and author of The Purpose Driven Life
"I don't doubt the Word of God, but I have doubted my ability to live it and convey it." (35, responding to the question: Is there any room for doubt or uncertainty in the preacher?)
Doubt is honesty. Everybody doubts and we preachers need to be honest with ourselves and our congregations to let them know hat we don't have everything figured out just yet.

John Ortberg, pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church
"Some 65 million copies of the Bible are bought or distributed in the US every year - nothing is a close second. The average house has at least 3. People cheer the Bible, buy the Bible, give the Bible, own the Bible - they just don't actually read the Bible." (38)
This is just funny...and true!

"Congregations shaped by the Scriptures have preachers shaped by the Scriptures." (38)
I wonder if this corollary is true: "Congregations shaped by pop psychology have preachers shaped by pop psychology."?


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