Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Survey on Summer Preaching Plans


With the coming of summer, how do you plan your preaching topics during the next three months?

Please go to this link and share your plans:

I’ll share the results after it seems like enough time has gone by for people to answer the question.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Tell Them What You Want!

Yesterday, Pastor Adam McMurray (the associate minister at River West Church, where Loretta and I attend) preached and he reminded me of a principle that is often used in evangelistic preaching, but is useful in all sorts of preaching where you have a specific action you want people to take at the end of the service. 

Guy (and Adam) are preaching through Galatians.  Adam preached on image Paul’s confrontation of Peter as recorded in Gal. 2:11-21.  (Not what I would think of when I think of a rich evangelistic text!!)  And evangelism was not the main purpose of either the text or the sermon.  But Adam worked the sermon into a strong evangelistic ending.   But about 1/3 of the way through the sermon he “pre-warmed” people (at an appropriate place) that he was going to give them an opportunity to make a statement of commitment to Christ toward the end of the sermon.

Twenty years ago I remember hearing Billy Graham say that he mentioned several times in each crusade sermon that he was going to ask people to get out of their seats and come down to the front.  And in the sermons I listened to specifically for that part, he did.  Two or three times he would pre-warm them (yes I chose that word over pre-warn) that he was going to ask them to come forward. 

Why did he do that?

To get people used to the idea.   You might think that one would NOT want to do that because people would be able to begin to throw up objections to why they should NOT come forward (or whatever) since they know that is what you are going to ask.  That is generally not the case.  Those who do that probably won’t come forward anyway, pre-warmed or not. 

In fact people are actually able to think through what would happen if they DID go forward.  (I could take my purse.  Grandpa could stay here with the kids).

When it comes time for the preacher to ask them to do that, it’s not a surprise.  “Oh, here it is!” is more the response.  “It’s time.” 

I have used this technique in several ways.  I have used it numerous times in evangelistic sermons. I have often used it in financial commitment sermons when I was going to ask people to fill out a financial commitment card at the end of the sermon.   I have asked them when I was going to move them into prayer groups at the end of the sermon. 

I know that lots of us can have problems with “techniques.”  It smacks of manipulation.  In this case, I don’t think that is the case.  It is honoring people by not taking them by surprise or relying only on a rousing call or a tear jerking story.  You have placed the seed of what you want them to do in their minds for both they (and the Holy Spirit) to work on as the sermon progresses. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I had a great conversation today with Steve Vensel the executive director of PastorServe-South Florida. (Find it here.)

But in the conversation he introduced me to the concept of “mobbing”.image   That is not something that happens at a Jonas Brothers concert or the “Battle in Seattle” at the 1999 WTO meeting. 

It happens in churches. 

Here is how Steve defines “mobbing” in a post on his website “Pooped Pastors”:

Mobbing is related to workplace bullying, organizational power factions, forced resignations, and forced terminations. Mobbing is defined as the prolonged malicious harassment of a coworker by a group of other members of an organization to secure the removal from the organization of the one who is targeted. Mobbing involves a small group of people and results in the humiliation, devaluation, discrediting, degradation, loss of reputation and the removal of the target through termination, extended medical leave or quitting. It is a traumatizing experience that often results in significant financial, career, health, emotional and social loss. Mobbing is unjust, unfair and undeserved. In a church setting the organization includes staff members, elders, deacons, and congregation members.

I would suggest checking out his full essay on it. You’ll find it here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sage from Leadership Network

Yesterday I learned of a new online conference entitled Sage.  Leadership Network has gathered 40 experience leaders & asked them, “What Would You do Differently?”

It seems worth checking out.  Find more info at


Monday, May 10, 2010

Discipleship Bibliography pt. 2

Yesterday I gave the first part of a discipleship bibliography that I had compiled for a Presbyterian brother here in Portland.  Here is the rest of the list. 

imageAs I said yesterday, if you have recommendations from this list or ones to add to it, please put them in the comments section. I will forward them on to him.


Krallmann, G√ľnter Mentoring for Mission: A Handbook on Leadership Principles Exemplified by Jesus Christ, ( Waynesboro, GA: Authentic Media, 2002)

Kuhne, Gary W.,  The Dynamics of Discipleship Training, “Being and Producing Spiritual Leaders.” Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI.  1978.

Longenecker, Richard. Patterns of Discipleship in the New Testament. (Grand Rapids, MI, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1996)

Malloy, Rocky J., G-12 Groups of Twelve, Impact Productions, Texas City, TX, 2002.

Moore, Waylon B. Multiplying Disciples: The New Testament Method for Church Growth. Tampa: Missions Unlimited, 1981.

Neighbor, Ralph. Where Do We Go From Here? Houston, TX: Touch Publications, 1990.

Nysewander, Mark.  No More Spectators: The 8 Life-Changing Values of Disciple Makers.  Kent, England: Sovereign World Ltd., 2005

Ogden, Greg,  Discipleship Essentials, A Gude to Buildling Your Life in Christ.  Intervarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. , 1998, 2007.

Ogden, Greg,  Transforming Discipleship, Making Disciples a Few at a Time, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL.   2003.

Perkins, Hal.  If Jesus Were a Parent. “Coaching Your Child to Follow Jesus”, Hal Perkins, Grandview, Oregon,  2006

Perkins, Hal.  Leadership Multiplication.  Kansas City:  Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 1983.

Perkins, Hal. Meeting with Jesus.  Kansas City:Beacon Hill Press of Kanss City, 1978.

Peterson, Eugene. Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005.

**Peterson, Eugene. A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1980.

Petersen, Jim. Lifestyle Discipleship: The Challenge of Following Jesus in Today's World. Colorado Springs: Navpress, 1993. \

Platt, David Radical (Colorado Spgs: Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group, 2010).

Rabey, Lois and Steve. Side by Side: A Handbook. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2000.

Rainer, Thom S., and Eric Geiger. Simple Church : Returning to God’s Process for Making   Disciples. New York: B&H Group, 2006.

Robinson, Martin, and Dwight Smith. Invading Secular Space: Strategies for Tomorrow's Church. Grand Rapids, MI: Monarch Books, 2003.

Sanders, Oswald J. Spiritual Discipleship. Chicago: The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, 1990.

Schwanz, Floyd L. Growing Small Groups, ‘Everything You Need to Start and Lead a Small Ministry that Makes a Big Difference”. Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 1995

Shaver, Charles “Chic”, Basic Bible Studies in Everyday English. Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, Kansas City, MO.  2003.

Shaver, Charles, ‘Chic”,  Conserve the Converts. Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, Kansas City, MO, 1976, 1998.

Simon, Wolfgang, Houses that Change the World, OM Publishing, Waynesboro, GA, 2001.

Slamp, David, Care Rings, Sunday School and Small Groups, Side by Side., Vessel Press, Medford, OR., 2007.

Stanley, Andy, and Bill Willits. Creating Community : Five Keys to Building a Small Group Culture. Sisters: Multnomah, 2004.

**Stanley, Paul D. and J. Robert Clinton. Connecting: The Mentoring Relationships You Need to Succeed in Life. Colorado Springs: Navpress, 1992.

Stewart, Teena M., Successful Small Groups- from concept to practice, Beacon Hill Press, 2007.

Stevens, Woodie,  Beyond Sunday, Everyday Conversations in Disciple Making, Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2008.

Stevens, Woodie, Pursuing The Mission,  “Making Christlike Disciples”, Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2008

Toler, Stan, & Bustle, Louie E. Each One Disciple One, “A complete strategy for effective discipleship”.  Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2008.

Toler, Stan, Casey, Dan, Walters, Dan, Growing Disciples, Equipping Christians for Worship, Fellowship, and Ministry  Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, Kansas City, MO.   2000.

Transforming Life Series. 4 vol. (Identity, Community, Integrity, Ministry). Colorado Springs, NavPress, 2004.

Vaughan Roberts, God’s Big Picture: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible. Grand Rapids, InterVarsity, 2002.

**Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002.

Watson, David. Covenant Discipleship: Christian Formation Through Mutual Accountability, Wipf & Stock Publishers 2002.

Wellman, W. Donald. Today’s Disciple, Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, ed. Felter, David, 4th edition, Kansas City, MO.  1996.

Wilkins, Michael J.  Following The Master, Discipleship in the steps of Jesus. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan,   1992.

Willard, Dallas, The Great Omission, “Reclaiming Jesus’s essential teachings on Discipleship. HarperCollins Publishers, New York, NY. 2006.

Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2002.

**Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1998.

Wright, N. T. Following Jesus: Biblical Reflections on Discipleship. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1995.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Discipleship Bibliography, pt. 1

Yesterday at our Tigard Pastors Prayer Group one of our members ask for suggestions on the best book(s) on discipleship and disciplemaking. 

I sent him a bibliography and also sent it to the group asking for their additions or recommendations from the list.  image

Here is the first part of the list.  I will conclude the list tomorrow. (The ones marked in bold are the ones I have read. The ones marked with asterisks are ones I would recommend that he start with).

This comes from a particularly American evangelical perspective because that is who I am and what my background has been.  None of them are perfect & none of them are complete. 

You can help with this…are there ones you would highlight for Bob on this list, or ones you would add?  Put them in the comments section

Adsit, Christopher. Personal Disciple Making: A Step by Step Guide for Leading a Christian from New Birth to Maturity. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1988.

**Arn, Win & Arn, Charles,   The Master’s Plan for Making Disciples,  Church Growth Press, 1982,  Nazarene Version, printed by Nazarene Publishing House, 1984.

Barna, George.  Growing True Disciples. WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, Co.   2001.

Craig G. Barthlomew and Michael Goheen, Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002.

Bly, Stephen A. Radical Discipleship: Tough Standards for Spiritual Greatness. Chicago: Moody Press, 1981.

**Bonhoeffer, Dietrich, The Cost of Discipleship, Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc. New York, Eberhard Bethge, editor.  11th Printing, 1965.       

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich, Spiritual Care. Minneapolis: Fortress Press: 1985

Briscoe, Stuart. Discipleship for Ordinary People. Wheaton, Ill. Harold Shaw Publishers, 1988.

Bruce, A.B.  The Training of the Twelve,

Camp, Lee C.   Mere Discipleship, Radical Christianity in a Rebellious World, Brazos Press, Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, MI   2nd Ed., 2008

Joan Chittister, Wisdom Distilled From the Daily: Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1990.

Cole, Neil.  Organic Church, Growing Faith Where Life Happens,  Jossey-Boss, San Francisco, 2005.

Cole, Neil.  Search & Rescue, Becoming a Disciple Who Makes A Difference  Baker Books, Grand Rapdis, Michigan, 2008.

Coleman, Robert E., The Great Commission Lifestyle. Fleming H. Revell, Grand Rapids, 1992.

**Coleman, Robert E., The Master Plan of Discipleship. Fleming H. Revell, Grand Rapids, 12th, printing, Jan. 2005.

**Coleman, Robert E., The Master Plan of Evangelism.  Fleming H. Revell, Grand Rapids, 91st printing, Dec. 2004.

Coleman, Robert E. Nothing to Do but to Save Souls” Francis Asbury Press, Grand Rapids, 1990

Comiskey, Joel. Home Cell Group Explosion: How Your Small Group Can Grow and Multiply.

Comiskey, Joel. Cell Church Solutions: Transforming the Church in North America. Morneo Valley, CA: CCS Publishing, 2005.

Coppedge, Allan. The Biblical Principles of Discipleship. Grand Rapids: Francis Asbury Press, 1989.

Donahue, Bill and Robinson, Russ.  Building A Church of Small Groups, Willow Creek Association,        Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 2001.

Donahue, Bill. Leading Life-Changing Small Groups, Willow Creek Association, Zondervan, Grand        Rapids, 2002.

**Eims, LeRoy, The Lost Art of Disciple Making. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978.

Easum, Bill. Go Big with Small Groups, Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2007.

Forman, Rowland, Jeff Jones, and Bruce Miller. The Leadership Baton: An Intentional Strategy For Developing Leaders In Your Church. Grand Rapids, MI.: Zondervan, 2004.

**Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth: A Guide to Understanding the Bible. 2nd Ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1993.

**Frazee, Randy.  The Connecting Church, beyond small groups to authentic community, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2001.

Foss, Michael W. Power Surge: 6 Marks of Discipleship for a Changing Church. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000.

**Foster, Richard. The Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1978.

Fryling, Alice, ed. Disciplemakers' Handbook: Helping People Grow in Christ. Downers Grove Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1989.

Galloway, Dale E. 20/20 Vision: How to Create a Successful Church. Portland, OR: Scott Publishing Co., 1986.

Goodwin, Debbie Salter, Raising Kids to Extraordinary Faith, helping parents & teachers disciple the next generation.  Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2008.

Gorman, Julie A., Community That is Christian, 2d. Ed., Baker Books, Grand Rapids, Mi., 2002.

Gospel Transformation. 2nd Ed. Jenkintown, PA: World Harvest Mission, 2006.

Hanks, Billie Jr. and William A. Shell. Discipleship: The Best Writings from the Most Experienced Disciple Makers. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1981.

Hartman, Doug & Sutherland, Doug.  Guidebook to Discipleship.  Harvest House Publishers, Irvine, CA,1976.

Hadidian, Allen,  Successful Discipling. Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, 1979.

Henderson, D. Michael, A Model for Making Disciples: John Wesley’s Class Meeting Evangel Publishing House, Nappanee, Indiana, 2005.

Henderson, D. Michael, One Conversation at a Time, Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2007.

Hendrichsen, Walter A. How to Disciple Your Children. Wheaton: Victor Books, a division of SP Publications, Inc., 1981.

Hull, Bill, Choose The Life, “Exploring a Faith that Embraces Discipleship”, Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI., 2004.

Hull, Bill, The Complete Book of Discipleship, “On Being and Making Followers of Christ”.   Navpress, Colorado Springs, 2006.

Hull, Bill, The Disciple-Making Church Fleming H. Revell, Grand Rapids, MI.,   7th printing, 2005.

**Hull, Bill, and Robert E. Coleman. The Disciple-Making Pastor : Leading Others on the Journey of Faith. New York: Baker Books, 2007.

** Hull, Bill. Jesus Christ Disciplemaker. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1984, 2004 (20th Anniversary Edition).

Hunt, Gladys. You Can Start a Bible Study Group, Waterbrook Press, Random House Inc, Colorado Springs, Co., 1994.

Visits Since Dec. 11, 2007