Saturday, April 08, 2006

I'm SORRY!!!!!!!!!!!

My plan is to post to this blog five days each week.

We have made an offer on a different home in this general area. I am still going to be serving as pastor at Evergreen Presbyterian Church. I have missed several days this week due to having inspections at the "new" pleace, meeting with "fix-it" contractors, etc.


Beginning Monday, be sure to check each week day for your week day fix of Full Court Presby!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Long Haul, Part 2

On the Same Page

The Purpose Driven model of ministry helps get all of the church’s members and ministries “on the same page.” A shared vision for the church helps channel critical energy and emotion in a focus direction.

I lived in Alaska prior to coming to Evergreen. I took a class on Total Quality Management in Education. The instructor had a diagram of the typical dog sled used in the Iditarod. The dogs were harnessed in pairs in front of the sled. All of the dogs were facing the same direction and pulling in the same direction. Then the instructor showed us a drawing of a sled with the dogs all harnessed as individual dogs from a point at the front of the sled. If the front of the sled was facing north, one dog was pulling to the southwest, one to south east, one due west, one due east, one to the north west, one to the north east and one dog just sitting there. It was the picture of chaos.

Many churches are in chaos due to no shared vision or direction. Each individual church is faced with finite resources. There are only so many people, $$$ and hours in the week. One church cannot “do it all.” We have to be focused. Yet, most churches have no paradigm for accomplishing this.

In my basketball coaching days, I had a player (left handed) who would drive to the left corner of the court and shoot every time he touched the ball. He refused to run the plays. He sat on the bench until in decided to become a team player. Another player would shoot from the top of the key. He was a post player and was not a good shot from that distance. He sat on the bench until he decided to be a team player. I still see these guys. One still calls me “Coach.” The other waves every time I see him. We get along great. However, on the court I had to require that they consider the good of the team. They became better players and our team vastly improved.

Each church needs to have focus. People need to be heading in the same direction. The Purpose Driven model helps make this possible.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Long Haul – Part 1

The Purpose Driven ministry model is not designed to be a quick fix. It requires time and dedication – kind of like our commitment to Christ. There will be times of tension, as there are when ever there is change in a church. Evergreen has asked that even those who are already members go through the 101 seminar. Many members have gone through the seminar and enjoyed it. Some never will… that alright.

The advantages of the Purpose Driven model are many. I have already focused on the five many components of the model. However, there are other advantages to having a church move in this direction. One benefit is that the church has a set of core values. The expectations for Evergreen’s members are:

  • Knowing God
  • Attentive love
  • Covenant Friendship
  • Nurturing families
  • Contagious Joy
  • Healthy lifestyles
  • Keeping commitments
  • Purposeful mission/evangelism
  • Enduring faith
  • Whole-hearted worship
  • Continuous spiritual growth.

We have expectations for the members of Evergreen Presbyterian Church! Think for a moment… most civic organizations have higher expectations for their members than do churches. We should be embarrassed! My Dad use to be very involved in Rotary. He never missed a meeting. If he missed a meeting he was fined! When out of town on business he would try to find a Rotary meeting to attend. The members of Rotary give regularly of their time and $$$. Imagine a church having expectations like Rotary. Imagine a church “fining” a member for missing a worship service. Imagine a church removing someone from its membership for missing five or six times in a row. Imagine Rotary putting up with someone who continually caused problems—they wouldn’t! Yet, church after church has lower expectations for its members than does Rotary, the Elks or Kiwanis.

The core values communicate that Jesus expects a lot from us. The core values communicate that Evergreen has expectations of its members.