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Friday, March 31, 2017

Six Warning Signs That a Church Has a Problem with Entitlement Mentality

March 31, 2017 1 Comment

Six Warning Signs That a Church Has a Problem with Entitlement Mentality – Rainer on Leadership #315

Podcast Episode #315

Thom Rainer and Jonathan Howe         Thom Rainer and Jonathan Howe        

Six Warning Signs That a Church Has a Problem with Entitlement Mentality           Six Warning Signs That a Church Has a Problem with Entitlement Mentality          

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Entitlement is a real problem in many churches. So today, we discuss warning signs you might see in a church that has a problem with entitlement mentality.

Some highlights from today's episode include:

  • The pervasive force affecting the Millennial generation is entitlements.
  • We are living in an entitled atmosphere, and it's affecting our churches.
  • One of the ways the church can be counter cultural is by having a non-entitled mentality.
  • Don't assume that everyone in your new member class is already a Christian.
  • Every church membership class should be a gospel conversation.
  • Service in the church is one antidote to entitlement in the church.
  • Many times, entitled leaders seek out places of influence in the church.
  • Leaders who put off difficult leaders become leaders with even more difficult decisions.
  • You will feel a lot more pain down the road if you avoid making difficult decisions when needed.

The six warning signs we discuss are:

  1. Failure to state clearly the expectations of church membership on the front end.
  2. Failure to make certain as possible that members are Christians.
  3. Seeking numerical growth at all costs.
  4. Failure to remind the congregation regularly what it means to be a part of the body of Christ.
  5. Allowing the most entitled members into positions of key leadership in the church.
  6. Failure to deal with difficult issues.

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Resources Mentioned in Today's Podcast

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

03292017 - Wednesday of Lent 4 - “Give us our daily bread” – “God gives us our daily bread in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ!”

March 29, 2017
“Give us our daily bread” – “God gives us our daily bread in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ!”

How many of us have heard these words, “I’m hungry”, from our kids, grandkids or even our friends after a long day of hard work?  If you have or had children, that was probably the two most common words only minutes after you had left the table and been told, “I’m full”.  The hunger spoken of is a physical hunger.  Tonight as we continue our series on the Lord’s Prayer with “Give us our daily bread” Jesus is speaking of physical food, but also it can be connected to a spiritual food we receive as well.

This, the Fourth petition “Give us our daily bread”, is for both the physical and the spiritual gifts we receive from God of ‘daily bread’.  It might not be the choicest cut of meat, the best that money can buy, but what we receive we have the opportunity to give God thanks and praise for it, because it is God’s gift to us.  At its bedrock for us, is that we receive from God nourishment, no matter the amount or value with thanksgiving. 

This is the gift of the blessing that God gives unto us even without our asking for it.  In the explanation of the Lord’s Prayer, Martin Luther wrote, “God gives daily bread indeed without our prayer, also to all the wicked”.  So even those who are not following God’s plan, God’s desire, nor doing God’s Will, receive their ‘daily bread’ from God.  In one sense it is like the rain we received in the last few days, it is blessing everyone and will give everyone, both good and wicked, their ‘daily bread’.  For our God Who as we pray, “Give us our daily bread” is loving all mankind and wants to give all of mankind, even the wicked and those who have not heard the Good News of the Gospel, what is good for us, our ‘daily bread’.

Not only does God “Give us our daily bread”, but God like most who give gifts, whether small or large, would like us to receive it with ‘thanksgiving’.  This is both an attitude of gratitude, but also a posture of thanks not only in our words or actions, but especially in our hearts.  In this way we can properly give God the greatest thanks and praise for the gift of the food we eat that He gives unto us.  For God’s gifts have one intent in mind, to satisfy us and for us to give God the greatest thanks and praise.

Some in our world and even our culture will say, yes, we pray, “Give us our daily bread”, yet look no further than what fills our stomachs.  For not only does God give us what feeds and nourishes us from the fields and harvest, today, but God looks beyond the here and now to the eternal and the spiritual as well.  And the spiritual is exactly what we receive from the Altar.  For “God gives us our daily bread in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ!”  This is where the earthly comes into clear contact with the eternal and the mystical, where what we receive from God, not only our ‘daily bread’, but we also receive from the very altar of God, His gift given unto us of His Son, Jesus Christ.  We receive not only the sustenance of our bodies, but an eternal food that prepares our souls for entrance into God’s Holy Kingdom for eternity and the fulfillment of something that Adam and Eve heard, Abram was told would occur and even King David prophesied about in Holy Scripture that we are grafted into through our baptism.

Edward Koehler in his explanation of the Small Catechism says as we pray this petition, “Give us our daily bread” the following, we “pray to God and trust in His promise”.  The fulfillment of the promise is eternal life that we find in the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation, so that in the Holy Supper, instituted by Jesus Christ on Maundy Thursday, we receive this clear gift and fulfillment of this promise from God.  The gift of eternal life and the gifts of grace given out of God’s love for us demonstrated in what His Son Jesus Christ did for all of mankind on the Cross of Calvary.  We are partakers of this gift of grace, not only when we believe that “God gives us our daily bread in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ!”  But especially when we see the gift of His Son Jesus Christ through the lens of this gift that is offered from the altar as we pray the fourth petition taught by Jesus Christ, “Give us our daily bread”!  AMEN.

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17 Things Leaders Must Do To Change And Transform A Community

17 Things Leaders Must Do To Change And Transform A Community

Download my latest ebook!

1269 Leadership Quotes

on March 28, 2017 in Performance

Franklin County, MS has a population of 7,000 people.  There are only two stop lights in entire county which is halfway covered by national forest.  There is little economic opportunity.  Not many people ever seem get out of Franklin County.  In fact, the 2016 high school graduating class had only seven of its 93 students go on to a 4-year college.  But then a leader arrived.  

Their story was featured on 60 Minutes this past weekend.  See the video above.  Think of the movie Hoosiers but chess instead of basketball.

The following are 17 Things Leaders Must Do To Change And Transform A Community:

  1. Generosity Levels The Playing Field.  It Gives People Hope And A Chance – In 2015, an anonymous benefactor lured Dr. Jeff Bullington, a chess teacher, to Franklin County from Memphis.
  2. To Change And Transform A Community You Must Select A Leader With A Proven Track Record Of Performance – Chess has existed for over 1,500 years.  With 25 years experience teaching the game, this benefactor saw Bullington use chess to change the lives of dozens of urban Memphis youth.  He thought the same thing could happen in rural Mississippi.
  3. To Change And Transform A Community You Must Value Its People – People are the only appreciable asset a community has.  Everything else depreciates.  Bullington said regarding regarding the town seemingly tucked away in nowhere, "If there are people there it's not nowhere.  It's somewhere.  It's just somewhere that doesn't get a lot of attention."
  4. To Change And Transform A Community You Must See The Potential In Its People – When asked about the children who did not attend the big city schools, Bullington added, "They're as smart as any other kids I ever met."  He also said, "Some kids have been underestimated or written off for reasons that are false."
  5. To Change And Transform A Community You Must Be Committed To The Community – Bullington signed a 10-year contract.
  6. To Change And Transform A Community You Must Engage The Community – When the chess program started, expectations were for 12 kids would play chess.  Today, they have approximately 200 involved.
  7. To Change And Transform A Community You Must Overcome The Naysayers –  One of the students said, "People said country kids couldn't learn chess…We showed 'em different."
  8. To Change And Transform A Community You Will Face Significant Obstacles –  When the mostly elementary kids traveled to Starkville for the Mississippi State Championships, they were facing primarily high school kids.
  9. To Change And Transform A Community They Must See Progress – Franklin County dominated the 2016 state championships.
  10. To Change And Transform A Community You Must Help Them Accomplish More Than They Ever Dreamed Possible – A 5th grade girl said, "Chess could take us anywhere.  But it's not about where it takes us but how far it takes us."  One of the players' father added, "You always want to see you kids go further and chess is a vehicle that can take them there."
  11. To Change And Transform A Community You Must Improve The People's Self-Image –  After winning the state championships, one student said, "Chess is like something I'm really good at for once."  He also responded when asked if the best chess player in the world could come from Franklin County, "Absolutely."
  12. Changing And Transforming A Community Is A Struggle.  But Struggle Is Necessary For Strength. – After winning the 2016 state championship, they traveled to Nashville this past December where they would compete with over 1,500 players from 644 schools for the national championship.  They lost 30 of their first 32 matches.  Bullington observed, "It's a real struggle and they have to learn to struggle at this level.  And they're learning they will have to struggle at a level they never have before…It's a deep, agonistic experience.  It's real, true competition based upon skill alone."
  13. To Change And Transform A Community You Must Stay Committed To Your Core Principles – After the initial shock of increased competition, Franklin County's players settled down by remembering one of the team's mantras – Let your opponent show you how they'd like to lose.
  14. To Change And Transform A Community You Must Celebrate Continual Improvement –  With two rounds to go, Franklin County gained momentum and were now hovering around the Top 10.
  15. Great Leaders Really Can Change And Transform A Communities – Franklin County's 5th graders finished 8th in the country.  Their 6th graders also finished in the Top 10.  This is two Top 10 national finishes after Bullington started the program only 18 months ago.
  16. Transformed Communities Are Grateful Communities – One of the students touchingly said, "One thing that I don't think I say enough is 'Thank You' or teaching us all of this."
  17. Transformed Communities Become A Place Called Home – Bullington closed out the interview by saying, "I don't think of it as sticking it out (for the remaining eight years of his contract).  I think of it as being at a place I like to be."

Are you the type of leader who can change and transform a community.

Click HERE or on the image to the left and as a free gift for subscribing to this site, you can receive my new Ebook 1269 Leadership Quotes: Timeless Truths From 2016's Top Christian Leadership Conferences.  Featured are the Johnny Hunt Mens Conference, ReThink Leadership, Orange and Leadercast Conferences among others.  If applied, these insights will make you an exponentially better leader.  Enjoy!!!





How A Church Changes A Community: Thoughts From Mike Linch of NorthStar Church

Mike Linch is the Senior Pastor of the great NorthStar Church in Kennesaw, GA.  Since its inception in 1997, NorthStar's intent was not to grow a church but rather to reach a city.  With over 2,000 in weekly attendance, a backlog of volunteers, and literally doing some form of ministry…

June 24, 2010

In "Church Leadership"

About Brian Dodd

Brian Dodd is the author and content coordinator for Brian Dodd On Leadership. In addition to overseeing this site's content, Brian is Director of New Ministry Partnerships for INJOY Stewardship Solutions where he helps churches develop cultures of generosity. Brian has also authored the critically-acclaimed book The 10 Indispensable Practices Of The 2-Minute Leader.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

God does not give us everything we want

God does not give us everything we want

God does not give us everything we want, but He does fulfill His promises, leading us along the best and straightest paths to Himself. – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Monday, March 27, 2017

03262017 - 4th Sunday in Lent - “God cures our anxiety by giving us His Son!!”

March 26, 2017
“God cures our anxiety by giving us His Son!!”
Have you ever had your stomach tie itself into knots?  Your palms begin to sweat?  The room you are in seems to be crowding in on you, like in Star Wars, with Luke, Leia, Han and Chewbacca?  For some this happened on their wedding day, others when they are on an interview for their first job and still others, when they are called on while sitting in the classroom surrounded by their peers or even here in the church.  We become anxious and are unsure what the outcome will be in our lives and the experiences we are currently having.  We are at times uncertain, whether we will be able to cover the note for the farm, pay the bill that just came due, answer the question that is posed to us by our teacher, or even when we are treated like child instead of a child of God.
This is the reality that is being lived out today, whether in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas or elsewhere that have been recently touched by the devastating fires, the lack of rain or the doubt that we live in of the future of family farms even right here in Northwestern Kansas.  Our anxiety clearly and unmistakably overcomes us, because we don’t know if what we have invested our lives into and what has been passed down from generation to generation will be lost, in a moment, with a stray ember fanned by the winds we know so well or if the prices of wheat, corn or inputs will put us out of business.
Jesus clearly understood anxiety very well.  Yet, Jesus in a calmness from our Gospel reading this morning reminds us of Solomon and how even the ‘lilies of the field’ are clothed in their splendor.  And life is more than what we eat or what we wear.  These earthly things will pass away, but what God offers us isn’t earthly but eternal.
Many times, when I teach, whether the Book of Mark bible study, Lutheranism 101, confirmation, Simple Worship or even when I visit families or individuals who are distressed over current situations, I remind them of something that the devil wants us to doubt.  First, that God loves us more than the stuff we own or surround ourselves with.  Second, God’s love is eternal, never ending and never changing.  And third, God knows what we need even before we ask for it.
This is why Jesus says it clearly, ‘seek first the kingdom of God’.  The Kingdom of God is found clearly and specifically in the gift of His Son Jesus Christ.  No truer words could be said then, “God cures our anxiety by giving us His Son!!”  God cures our doubts, our fears, our nervousness and especially our anxiety, because He gives us His Son Jesus Christ.  The gift of Jesus Christ is given to us out of God’s love for us and “God cures our anxiety by giving us His Son!!”
Some would rightly say this is an opportunity for exercise, but exercise of what it might be asked?  As Christians, the answer though simple, requires a lot from us.  It is the exercise of the muscle of faith given to us in our baptism.  When we are at our lowest, we feel alone, but God is clearly here with us and wanting us to walk with Him and work with Him clearly and in faith for what He has in store.  This is the exercise that builds us up in order for His Glory to be revealed for us in using our faith muscle.  And this exercise is where “God cures our anxiety by giving us His Son” Jesus Christ.
This morning we were reminded of a man and a people who had great anxiety.  Moses, who stood before Pharaoh by command of God, had great anxiety of what the immediate future would hold.  He had led the people of Israel out of Egypt and slavery and would eventually lead them to where they would enter the promise land.  Yet, Moses, though he did not know what was to come, followed God’s command and exercised his muscle of faith in obedience to the will and the way of God.  For Moses believed with every fiber of his being in what God would accomplish and that it was in the future and his anxiety would pass away, because of God’s love for him and all of mankind.  This is why Moses willingly prepared the tablets.  For, God through Moses gave the law and knew His Son Jesus would fulfill the law for us!

And we who gather here today, who pray the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples can exercise our muscle of faith, given to us through our Holy Baptism.  For no better gift and expression of love by God is seen than what we celebrate on Christmas, receive from the altar and believe with every fiber of our being.  The gift of God’s Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ!!  This is why we can clearly, emphatically and willingly exercise our muscle of faith and believe in God’s love of and for all of mankind including each and every one of us and that “God cures our anxiety by giving us His Son” Jesus Christ!!!!  AMEN.

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