Why You Should Care About Church Planting | Influence Podcast


This past Sunday–September 17–was Church Planting Sunday. In honor of that, I recorded an episode of the Influence Podcast with my friends and colleagues, Chris Railey and John Davidson, who make a good case for why every Christian should care about church planting.

 

Monday’s Influence Online Articles


Today, over at InfluenceMagazine.com:

  • “Between 2001 and 2008,” Jerry Ireland writes, “missions budgets for evangelism and discipleship declined by almost 11 percent, while funds for relief and development work increased by nearly 9 percent.” My guess is that this trend continued in the second decade of the twenty-first century. Both Jerry and I believe that Pentecostal mission must include evangelism and compassion. However, discipleship has a missional priority. Jerry writes, “The most compassionate thing your church can do is support missionaries discipling local people to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16).”
  • In today’s #InfluencePodcast, Daniel Im and I talk about how new book, No Silver Bullets: 5 Small Shifts That Will Transform Your Ministry. Daniel argues that churches need to make five micro-shifts in ministry: (1) from destination to direction, (2) from output to input, (3) from sage to guide, (4) from form to function, and (5) from maturity to missionary. My review of the book will be up at InfluenceMagazine.com and here on Wednesday.
  • Chris Railey highlights the importance of church planting in the August-September issue of Influence magazine: “Church planters want to change the world, and the truth is, they are the Church’s best hope. The Assemblies of God is seeing incredible growth in the number of new churches. In fact, 2016 was the best church-planting year in our 103-year history, with 406 new churches opened. Church planters connect us to our pioneering roots; they represent the missional and Spirit-led work of expanding the kingdom of God that has always defined our movement.”

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Friday’s Influence Online Articles


Today, over at InfluenceMagazine.com:

  • Chris Railey gives sound advice to church leaders who are hiring new staff. “When hiring personnel, consider more than just their obvious talents, ” he writes. “Look at some of the intangibles that a person won’t acquire through training alone.”
  • Kristi Northup makes a Pentecostal case for diversity. “I am all for fair legislation and pursuing justice through the legal system, but racial and ethnic divisions are as deeply rooted as original sin can get. The issue is massive. It is everywhere, on every continent and in every nation. Only a Holy Spirit visitation can heal us of this deep wound.”
  • We note a Barna study about Americans’ practice of prayer. “Nearly 8 in 10 American adults (79 percent) surveyed said they had prayed at least once in the past three months, Barna said. Of those who pray, a vast majority are most likely to do so alone (94 percent) and silently (82 percent).”

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Monday’s Influence online Articles


Today, over at InfluenceMagazine.com:

  • In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I talk with the nation’s foremost historian of Azusa Street about the history and significance of this revival. Prof. Cecil M. Robeck Jr. — “Mel to his friends” —is senior professor of church history and ecumenics at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. A credentialed Assemblies of God minister for 47 years, he is the author of The Azusa Street Mission and Revival, as well as the editor of the new Azusa Street Series of books from Gospel Publishing House.
  • George O. Wood — aka, Dad — shares the story of how an Assemblies of God church planter changed the trajectory of his father’s and hence his family’s life. Then, he concludes: “We may plant churches differently today than standing on a street corner, but plant churches we must! Thousands of communities in the U.S. do not have the witness of a Spirit-filled, Spirit-empowered church. Therefore, we must be more aggressive than ever in our church-planting efforts.”
  • Chris Railey talks about the AG is growing the kingdom of God through church planting.”The task ahead is overwhelming, but the One who hung the stars is faithful and will show us the way. God wants to continue growing His family by multiplying His church. We must pray, believe, and work like never before as we embark on the next 100 years. More souls saved! More lives changed! More people coming to Jesus! The vision is big, but we’re thankful Jesus can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine!”
  • Christina Quick relates the story of J. J. Vasquez, an AG church planter in Winter Park, Florida. “Though the young Hispanic ministers initially wondered whether they would connect with the predominantly white, affluent, middle-aged residents of Winter Park, the couple trusted God with their ministry as well. ‘Our skin color didn’t match, and our age demographic didn’t match,’ Vasquez says. ‘We don’t blend in, but we’ve learned that loving people is the universal language and culture.’”

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Friday’s Influence Online Articles


Today, over at InfluenceMagazine.com:

  • Chris Railey continues his series, “A Team Approach to Teaching,” by focusing on who should be part of your teaching team. “Prioritize teamwork over talent,” he writes, “and you’ll find a group of people who fit well together.”
  • Jim Bradford encourages ministers to take a vacation in “Unstring the Bow”: “Taking a true vacation is, for some of us, an actual act of humility by which we surrender our sense of indispensability and trust God to take care of things for a while. It also confronts the human tendency to confuse our ‘self’ with our ‘work,’ an identity confusion that seriously depletes us over time.”
  • George O. Wood — aka, “Dad” — encourages us to “Leave Bad Enough Alone.” He offers this insight: “There’s an important difference between being at peace with all people in God’s sight and pleasing them according to their carnal natures. It’s usually the carnal nature that keeps unhappy people unhappy.” Then he concludes with some practical advice: “So stay on the positive, creative edge. Keep doing what God has called you to do. While He hasn’t called you to be insensitive or rude, God also hasn’t called you to pander to malcontents.”
  • Finally, we note a new Gallup report about American marijuana usage. The title of our note gives it away: “Nearly Half of Americans Have Tried Marijuana.” Joseph Batluck, president of Teen Challenge USA, offers this advice to Christians: ““The Christian’s perspective should always be to see God and live in a clear, efficient and impacting way. Distorting reality, through the use of chemicals, is not an option for those who belong to Christ.”

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Contemporary Challenges Christian Leaders Face | Influence Podcast


In the 100th episode of the Influence Podcast, Chris Railey, John Davidson, and I discuss the challenges named in the title, as well as books Christian leaders should read and why Assemblies of God pastors should come to the Influence Conference on August 7-8 in Anaheim, California.

Tuesday’s Influence Online Articles


Today, over at InfluenceMagazine.com:

  • We publish our Q&A with Preston Ulmer, lead pastor of Doubters Church in Denver, Colorado. I like this quote especially: “When I was in college, serious doubts about my faith drove me into depression and anxiety. After having a season of doubt and leaving the faith personally, I found someone willing to disciple me, patiently helping me reconstruct my faith. Through the seeking and doubt, I returned to the faith and found God to be an unchanging God who I could commit to even in the face of uncertainty.” Isn’t it amazing how God uses our personal experiences–whether good or bad–to shape our ministry to others?
  • Chris Railey asks whether experiential is the new contemporary: “Emerging generations don’t want to sit and listen; they want to participate and experience, and this in many ways is the essence of Pentecostalism.” Amen to that!

Please make sure to follow and like InfluenceInfluence magazine on Facebook, Twitter, and iTunes!

Friday’s Influence Online Articles


Today, over at InfluenceMagazine.com:

  • Chris Railey writes about the Influence Conference on August 7-8 in Anaheim, California: “The challenges ahead for the church are real, but we have an unprecedented opportunity to reach people with the gospel and expand the kingdom of God. We recognize the unique moment in history we find ourselves in as leaders — and the need to hear a fresh word from God for this moment. With that in mind, we are looking forward to gathering with thousands of leaders this summer in Anaheim for the Influence Conference.” To register, follow the link at the bottom of Chris’s article.
  • America continues to experience a crisis of fatherlessness. As Father’s Day approaches this weekend, I look to Joseph, adoptive father of Jesus, for help in how a dad can be “a righteous man.” I conclude the article this way: “I hope to be a righteous man who does the right thing kindly and who remains always open to God, assuming whatever responsibilities He sends my way. My children need me to be that man. And, men — whether you’re fathers or not — our nation needs you to be a righteous man as well.”
  • We note a Gallup poll indicating that Americans’ opinions on abortion remain steady. “Overall, 49 percent of all U.S. adults identify as pro-choice, and 46 percent say they are pro-life. Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to consider themselves pro-life (61 percent vs. 26 percent) and say abortion is morally wrong (65 percent vs. 32 percent).”

Please make sure to follow and like InfluenceInfluence magazine on Facebook, Twitter, and iTunes!

Friday’s Influence Online Articles


Today, over at InfluenceMagazine.com:

Please make sure to follow and like InfluenceInfluence magazine on Facebook, Twitter, and iTunes!

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