Friday, March 22, 2013


Tell me something!  When did the church of North America start to become a gathering of spectators sitting in bleachers watching their favorite highly talented performers but on a show that would wow their socks off?  Tell me, when did going to church become an event one attend for an hour or two a week, on a special day, at a holy hour to watch consecrated hired men put on a religious show to astound their people?   What I'm describing here is what I call:


In Bleacher Christianity people are recruited to attend church by promising them:

  1. Great music by either an amazing band or an astounding orchestra. 
  2. Fun, humorous and relevant messages that will capture and hold your attention.
  3. Warm and friendly people who will greet you and make you feel like part of the family.
  4. Fun filled Children's Ministry and action packed Youth Ministries
  5. All delivered in our brand new or recently remodeled church facility.
Now is there anything wrong with great music, well delivered sermons, friendly people, great ministries for youth and children or even nice facilities?  No! In and of themselves alone there is absolutely nothing wrong with them at all. But when those things become the hook to attract people to church then you'll get what you advertise.  Let me say it again. When you make those things: music, humorous sermons and nice facilities your hook for reaching people 


And here is what you are advertising! You are advertising for people to check out your music, sermon or facilities. And what kind of people check out these kinds of things? 


What are spectators looking for? Yes, of course the most obvious thing that people would be looking for is what you advertised!  But more specifically they are looking for what you were promising and that was entertainment.  Spectators attend to be entertained.  Whether it's sports event, musically event or a movie people are attending to be entertained. That's the bottom line.  

Now here is something that I learned from a church planter a long time ago: Churches will keep the people they reach the same way they were able to reach them in the first place.  If you promised the people who come to your church great music, great sermons, great facilities and great ministries then you will be able to retain them by providing them great music, great sermons and great facilities! Sorta! Why do I say, "Sorta"?  Because it also has to continue to be the best music, the best sermon, the best facilities and the best ministries in town if people are going to continue to come!  If the church stops being the biggest and best spiritual show in town and another church starts to offer better music, better facilities and better ministries then the people you reached will jump ship and go over to the newest show in town.  

So what does a church do to keep up with reaching more and more people while at the same time maintaining those that they already have reached?  


That means that churches have to build more facilities or remodel the existing ones to look contemporary; they have to get newer and more sophisticated audio/visual equipment; and they have to add new ministries that promise to meet the newest needs of society.  In other words the church has to find new ways to WOW their members and prospects alike.  

Pastors and staff alike are working harder and harder to answer the call of their congregations crying, "Give me more, give me more, give me more."  And what happens if the church stops giving them the more and the better?  The people leave and go to next newest and baddest spiritual show in town.  There's a Biblical word for this attitude:


In other words it is worldly carnality wrapped up in a pseudo spiritual covering or it's sinful worldliness made to look spiritual.  And it in no way produces what Jesus commanded the church to produce right before he ascended into heaven!  His last command to the church before he left was to go make disciples.  Listen to me carefully for I tell you the truth. While Bleacher Christianity will produce a crowd it will not produce people who are fully devoted followers of Christ; it will not produce people who love Jesus and God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength; it will never produce people who are ready to stop watching the game to jump into the field to play the game.

We think we're successful because we count the number of butts in the seats but the real measure of success is how many butts are back in the streets shining the Light of Christ!  We think we're successful because of how many people pray a sinners prayer and even go as far as getting baptized but the real measure of success is how many of those people experience a life transformation that resembles Christ!  

But we can't blame anyone but ourselves! We are the ones who have created this monster!  We invited people to come check out our music, our sermons, our buildings and our ministries and we got what we advertised for! We got spectators who came to be entertained.  The problem is that we advertised the wrong thing!


Instead of promoting our music, our sermons, our buildings and our ministries we should be been advertising Jesus.


Listen to what Philip was promoting when he found Nathaniel:

"Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.  
“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. 
“Come and see,” said Philip." John 1:45,46 (NIV)

Yes Philip was promoting something but he wasn't promoting music, sermons, buildings or ministries.  No, Philip was promoting Jesus.  His invitation to Nathaniel was to "Come and See" Jesus!  In other words the invitation of the early church was always to come and experience the Power, Presence, Provision and Proclamation of Jesus the Messiah!  And what happened to people when they came to see Jesus?  They either loved Him or hated him but those that loved him were radically transformed as they began to follow him and his way of living.  Those that followed him were not spectators who were sitting on the bleachers watching a great show they were back in the world joining Christ as He went from town to town, finding the lost and saving those who were ready to be saved.  Those who followed Christ became the participants in the ministry. They were the players on the grid iron bringing the Kingdom of God into this world with their pain and sweat.  They were the ones receiving the beatings, the floggings, the imprisonment, and yes, even the death sentence. They are the ones who gave up all this life had to offer to follow Christ, to minister with Christ and to be obedient to Christ.


Let's break the curse of the North American Church! Let's stop entertaining people and start challenging people! Challenge them to follow Jesus! And we they follow let's teach them to obey all that Christ has commanded and get them back in this world to shine the Light of Christ.

Ordinary Christian it's time to get out of the bleachers and back onto the game field.  You're not to be a spectator! You're intended to be a players.  

Go Play - Go Shine 
Go Be The Light of the World!

I personally invite you to join us at THE ORDINARY CHRISTIAN where we can empower you, encourage you and equip you to live a missional life for 
Christ and shine His light back into this dark world.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

BATTLEFIELD CHRISTIANITY: Missional Living Is Not For The Faint Of Heart

Listen to how the Bible describes the missional life that we as ordinary christian are to live!

"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  1 Peter 5:8,9 (NIV)

Here the Apostle Peter is admonishing us to be on guard, aware of the realities that are taking place, able to fight back against our enemy and to stand firm against Satan because he's looking for an opportunity to devour us like a lion.  Now I don't know about you but that sounds a lot like life in this world is more of a warzone than taking a relaxing walk along the beach!  For many Christians in North America that's not the kind of attitude they possess. They don't look at life as a warzone or battle field. When they get up in the morning they're thinking about what they're going to wear for their jobs but they are in no way preparing to suit up for a spiritual battle.  The thought of putting on an armor and getting ready for a battle is the farthest thing from their minds.  

Instead they see life more as a picnic where they're laying on a blanket, drinking some wine and eating some crackers.  They're enjoying the moment with a loved one and soaking up the sun while thinking that this is the kind of life they need to always to be living!  

But could it be that this kind of world view and attitude is what's hindering the church of North America?  Could one of the reasons why the church in North America is so impotent is that we have failed to see that the life we live is a life at war with demonic spiritual forces around us?  Could it be that while the Christians of North America are sitting around at their picnics they have also made themselves extremely vulnerable and easy prey to Satan who is hiding in the grass ready to ponce on them and devour them?

Maybe it's about time we wake up and begin to look at life for what it really is, A LIFE AT WAR!  Maybe it's time for pastors to get serious about provide basic training in spiritual warfare for their congregation!  And if we did change our view of life from picnic to war wouldn't that also change our understanding of the role of the pastor?  I mean if you really believed that each morning when you woke up you were getting ready for a day of spiritual warfare against Satan wouldn't that change how you view what your pastor should do? Would you want a pastor who'll hold your hand and ask you how you're feeling or would you prefer your pastor to be more like a drill sergeant who'll kick in your butt and prepare you to survive?  

When we change our view of what life is (a war) wouldn't that also necessitate changing our view of what the church is to be like?  Maybe we should view the church as a BASIC TRAINING CAMP! Don't you think it would change? I think so!  Ordinary Christian it's time for you to expect, and in some cases demand,  that your pastor prepare you, train you and equip you to effectively engage in the spiritual battle you're already in! You're in fight and it's time to learn how you can defend yourself.  

If you already have a pastor who equipping you for the fight then be grateful for them. Don't whine and complain when your pastor old you accountable for they are your drill sergeants (Men of God) who are the ones getting you ready for the fight!  They may be hard on you but that's only because they want you to be prepared.  We have a real enemy and he is an expert war strategist, so you need to be well trained.  Missional living is a life prepare for spiritual warfare. When we are effectively trained then we'll be prepared to accomplish our mission.

Go Shine The Light - Get Ready For The Fight!

If you need some help in eliminating the causes for not living a missional life then I highly recommend you check out this blog. It's powerful:  Eliminating The Causes For Not Living A Missional Life

If you are an ordinary christians wishing to live a more effective life for Christ then I encourage you to get a FREE subscription to Missional Devotionals.  By subscribing you will receive empowerment, encouragement and equipping for living a missional life that shines the Light of Christ.  Take a few moments and sign up now for your FREE subscription!

Would You Like To Receive Powerful Training & Encouragement For Living An Intentional Missional Life That Shines The Light Of Christ"

Then make sure you sign up for The Ordinary Christian's Newsletter by giving me your email and I will start sending you out amazing content on Missional Living 2 to 3 times per week. 

Subscribe To The Ordinary Christian's Newsletter Now!

* indicates required

Please take a few minutes and share this important post with your Christian family and friends. THANKS!

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Now that's an interesting question?


Now I'm sure there is more than one person who's reading this post and not really appreciating it to much!  For many the whole information revolution, the digital communication and "yes" the social media invasion seems to have gotten way out hand and created a slew of problems that are haunting our American society!

And I Would Wholeheartedly Agree That There Is A 
Whole Lot Of Evil That Has Come From Social Media.

After all who really wants to hear about every little thing that is happening in a person life?  I mean do we really want to hear that a person has just stepped outside to watch the daisies grow?  Who really cares if Billy Bob has just left the office early for the third time this week with the same unknown strange woman?  So yes I would agree that Facebook, Twitter and other social medias have become the playground for voyeurs to get their jollies. And yes more than one marriage has broken up because someone has reestablished a connection with a old high school sweetheart.  But with all that being true can social media be a tool to help ignite the church planting movements we so desperately need to experience from God here in North America?

And I would have to say

The reason why social media has the ability to be used to propigate such evil in the lives of people is because it has the power to mold, shape and influence people's thoughts, ideas and emotions.  The constant bombardment of images, quotes, values and philosophies begin to transform a persons world view.  When a persons conception about life, family or anything is challenged over and over again people begin to question if what they have always believe is true or not.  In other words social media is a tool that has been used to shape the ideas and values of large groups of people which in turn has brought about behavioral change.


And that's exactly what needs to happen among the pastors and ordinary christians of North America if Church Planting Movements  are going to ignite!  Pastors and ordinary Christians alike need to have a reshaping of the ideas and values of what church is, how churches are started and who's qualified to start churches.  For the most part both Christians and pastor conceptually think that church is a building located at a certain place, that churches are started by professional and ordained clergy and requires lots of money, staff and people to start one.  But as we look at the Church Planting Movements that are happening around the globe and the people who are being used to make them happen we see a totally different idea and values.  Where CPM's are happening around the world the pastors and christians see the church as the people - not a building; they see ordinary Christians starting the churches - not ordained paid professionals; and they see these new churches being started with very little if any money, staff or people.

So what does this tell us?  What it tells me is that before North America will experience CPM's like that of the rest of the world there needs to be a reshaping of our idea's, concepts, and values in some vital components of Church Planting Movements.  Before we will see CPM's happen the ordinary christian has to believe that they can and should start rapidly reproducing churches; pastors need to see that their primary role is to raise up, train up and unleash their membership to start these rapidly reproducing churches; and denominational leaders, pastor and christian alike need to let go of the importance of having a building in order for a church to be authentic and legitimate and that a building is actually a hinderance to CPM's.


Never before in the history of the world has one person (any person) had the powerful potential of impacting and reshaping the idea's and values of the entire world.  Through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Blogs, Interactive Web-sites, Linkedin, Pinterest, etc...) one person can literally impact thousands if not 10's of thousands of Christians and pastors on a daily basis sharing what God is doing through Church Planting Movements and how He is doing it and thereby reshape their values and idea's so they can join God in His activity.

Let me give you an example of what I mean by showing you what I'm doing with social media.  Understand I am not an expert on this but I truly see the value in it for CPM's igniting in N. America so I have become a learner and practitioner of it. There's a whole lot more for me to learn but here is what I'm doing thus far:
  • On Facebook I have 2,506 friends who potentially can see my multiple posts each day.  I don't know personally most of these people but we have connected because of some common interest and for many it is our love for the Lord.
  • On Linkedin I have 1827 connections
  • On Twitter I have 479 people following me.
  • I have just started on Pinterest and only have about 30 followers.
  • I have a blog I post on regularly called Missional Meditations that have about 100 people who follow it in one way or another.  Many of my posts have had over 300 people read them from all over the world.
  • I have created two Facebook Pages one for encouraging people to join God in his activity for a CPM in N. America and the other one to empower, encourage and equip Ordinary Christians to live an intentional missional life for Christ. One of them has 262 "LIKES" and the other one has 458 "LIKES".  You can check them out at:

Never before in over 25 years of full time ministry have I had such influence over so many people living in so many different places as I have had since making social media a major tool in my tool box.  Since I've started using all these different social media, to one degree or another, I now have been able to help both pastors and ordinary christians, I have been able to influence people who live in countries all over the world.  Here's list of some of the countries where my message has been heard via social media:  (United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, India, Kenya, Russia, Mexico, Israel, Indonesia, Australia and Ukraine).  

So what's the point I'm trying to make through this post?  Is it to brag?  


It Is Simply this:

If you are a person who is passionately involved in seeing CPM's ignite in N. America then as part of your work you need to develop a comprehensive social media presences where you can participate in chipping away and reshaping the idea's and beliefs of both Christians and pastors that Church Planting Movements are God's activity and will and what needs to be done in order for them to ignite.  This is a tool you cannot ignore if you are serious about wanting to reshape the values and ideas of the Christian culture of N. America.

Here's a like that might help you in the process of learning about it:  Christian Marketing Institute

If you would like to see what you can do with a blog feel free to read the one I write at:  

I pray that God will use you to help reshape the Christian Culture of N. America that will become fertile ground for experiencing CPM's.

Friday, March 15, 2013

CHAPLAIN OR COACH: The Primary Role Of A Pastor

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,  to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up  until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to 
the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.  
Eph. 4:11-13

If the goal of every pastor is to be obedient to this passage of scripture of equipping the saints to perform the works of ministry then pastors should be more like a COACH than a CHAPLAIN!  In North American many Christians have come to the idea that the primary role of the pastor is to be there for their church members when they are going through a difficult time and provide emotional support. And then when they are through the crisis what happens?  They go about their normal daily living just as they had before the crisis, which means playing the church game of going to worship once a week and maybe a few other activities at the church campus with the rest of the time being lived out for their own self with no real regard to God's activity around them in the community.  In other words the pastor exists to provide support, encouragement and compassion when people are having a hard time but not necessarily to prod, poke or push people to live the missional life that Christ has commanded all believers to live.

But is that really the job description a pastor is suppose to have?  Not according to Ephesians 4:11-13. According to the Bible pastors along with the prophets, evangelists, apostles and teachers are to equip the saints, God's People, Ordinary Christians to do the work of ministry.  That's right they are to equip and train Ordinary Christians to do the work of the ministry that Christ himself gave us to do.  In other words pastor should act more like a coach than a chaplain.   Chaplains will hold your hand when you're not feeling well but Coaches are their to train you and if need be get in your face to hold you accountable for your poor performance.   You may feel better with a Chaplin at your side but you will accomplish more and perform better with a Coach by your side.  

If our goal is to win a championship then we need a person who believes in us, sees the potential in us and trains us but who will also push us far beyond what we think we can handle, get in our faces when we are slacking off and make us do over and over again those things, we hate, that will make us more competitive.  Coaches are hated and despised during practices but they are admired and appreciated at the end of the season when the championship has been obtained.  

Ordinary Christians who are to live an effective missional life don't need a chaplain they need coaches. They need a coach who will raise them up, train them up and then unleash them to perform the works of ministry back into this dark world.  Ordinary Christians don't need someone to come hold their hand and talk about their feelings! THAT WILL ONLY STIFLE THEM FROM EXCELLING!  They need someone who will kick them in the butt, get in their face and demand they to run another lap.

The mission of Christ is accomplished by Ordinary Christians who have been well coached and trained to press through the momentary pain and to perform with excellence the ministry of Christ so that when Christ returns they will hear him say, "Well done good and faithful servant."  It's on that day - the day of Christs return - you will be grateful for a pastor who believed in you enough to get in your face and demanded more from you!


Thursday, March 14, 2013


"And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, 
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you" 
Hebrews 12:5

I have to admit I am getting a little sick and tired of hearing the whining of people who have gotten their feelings hurt because their pastor or spiritual mentor was brutally honest with them in an area of life that needed to be changed.  It's as if we have Christian love that only speaks of nice things and shares what people want to hear and not necessarily what they need to hear.  We see God's children jumping from church to church, like some dis-functional family, simply because they got their feeling hurt. And their reason for leaving? It's because they say that they don't feel loved.

Well if love is giving me what I need so that I can function as the missionary that Christ has called me to live - then some of the most loving people in my life have been those you have been the hardest on me!  To be truthfully honest with you some of the men that I appreciate the most, who have contributed the most to me living a missional life, or who have help me form the leadership qualities I have today I didn't always appreciate!  As a matter of fact I was angry at them and thought all manner of evil against them. At least at the time when I was being confronted by them.  But now, in hindsight, I am so grateful to them. Because of their loving hardness and unrelenting pressure I now have the Christian character that allows me to live a missional life that shines the Light of Christ. Because of their tenacity I am more of the man that God would want me to be.

Therefore, I am grateful to such men like my father who loved me enough to discipline me for my bad behavior; my football coach, Bill Marsh, of whom I uttered more than a few "cus" words under my breath because of his hardness and unwillingness for me to settle for anything less than being a strong leader that our team needed; for my church planting mentor, Tony Rosenthal, who on more than one occasion called me on the carpet for a bad attitude or being neglectful of my responsibilities.  These men cared more about my character than they did about my comfort and God used these men to forge in me a Godly character that He could use for His glory. 

The comfort we all seek and the handholding that we desire will come when Christ returns and He wipes away our tears.   


Today we need to allow God to forge a character in us that will allow us live in this sinful world but not of this sinful world. Today we need to embrace the hardness, the discipline, and the unrelenting pressure that God brings our way that will produce a life fully devoted and prepared for every good work.  And God uses other people in our lives, sometimes pastor and other times ordinary Christians to be the instruments of that refining process. So don't get upset but rejoice for God wants to use you.

Let's take Hebrews for what it says and an encouragement to not take lightly or to lose heart when we are being disciplined by the Lord.  He does it because He loves us. Discipline, hardness are not signs of Gods lack of favor but of His love for us.

To Provide You With Weekly Encouragement To Live A Missional Life
I Offer You A FREE GIFT Missional Devotionals!