Archives For April 2013

Lets a play a bible game for a moment. I will present a characteristic of a disciple and  you guess which one it is.

1. Joined the disciples when multitudes were following Christ.

2. The Savior’s teaching moved his heart.

3. He witnessed the Savior’s mighty works.

4. He felt in his own person the evidence of Christ’s power.

5. He loved the Great Teacher, and desired to be with Him. (that should be an easy one)

6. He trusted him to do the work of an evangelist. He endowed him with power to heal the sick and to cast out devils.

7. Was highly regarded by the disciples, and had great influence over them.

How did you do?  Here are the answers: Judas,Judas,Judas,Judas,Judas,Judas, and Judas. (see DA 716-718)

But Judas did not come to the point of surrendering himself fully to Christ.  DA 718

Attending a church can no more make you a christian than wearing a Kobe jersey make you a Laker. My question for today is: Am I fully surrendered? Am I working for God while neglecting the God I work for? Effectivenes in ministry does not mean relationship with God. My goal today:


When you and your kin, can’t. Thoughts on relationships, sex, and God.

Most people are afraid of public speaking. So much so, that in a significant percentage of Americans, death is feared less than getting up in front of people and speaking. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, here are three questions to ask yourself:

1. What’s my goal?

Is it to impress or to impact? Is it to inform or transform? Some speakers are so deep, their audience drowns in their words. Alejandro Bullon tells a story about an old man who told him: “I didn’t like your sermon this morning”. The reason? “I understood everything”. We sometimes believe that the more complicated the message, the better. Nothing could be further from the truth. The objective of the speaker is to take a complicated, difficult passage or problem and break it into digestible, chewable pieces that the audience can benefit from.  The best way to do this is to keep it real. Be real. John Maxwell says that “if you want to impress people, talk about your successes, if you want to impact them, talk about your failures.”

2. Who is this about?

Right off the bat, it’s important to know, who THIS is not about. It’s not about you. Preachers that are reading this can maybe recall a time they delivered a message that fell short (in their eyes at least) of expectations, yet people commented afterwards how much of a blessing it was. It’s not about you. Not about your ability. Not about your delivery. Not about your proficiency with the thesaurus. It’s about Jesus. About the cause. About the church. About the people who are listening. At the end of the day, if you make it about you, you will be left with you. No one likes self-centered speakers. Not even their spouses…

3. What message I’m I communicating?

For some reason unknown to me, some people think that beating people up produces change.  That in order to change people’s behavior, you must forever hammer them on their sin. Preaching that is centered on sin, produces sinners. Preaching that is centered on Christ, produces Christians. You choose. A fear based presentation changes people’s outward behavior temporarily, but a grace centered approach changes people’s hearts permanently. This doesn’t mean we shy away from hard topics, or present a watered down version of the gospel. It means you inspire people to reach higher, live better lives, you challenge them to aspire to rise above their present situation.


I have included a great power point presentation on how NOT to use power point. Hope your next presentation is a great one. Let me know what are some presentation secrets you have found to be helpful.

Day 2 of the crusade.

English Power Point:

Video link:

Handout (english only):

Cruzada evangelistica. Aqui esta la informacion que necesitas.

ESPANOL Power Point

ESPANOL Video in Spanish link:

April 13-20, in Berean Atlanta, an evangelistic series. Here is all the information you need.
Day 1- We all have problems.
We discussed three problems
1. Impatient.
2. Insolvent.
3. Insecurity.

English Power Point:

Video link:

Handout (english only):

Cruzada evangelistica. Aqui esta la informacion que necesitas.

ESPANOL Power Point

ESPANOL Video in Spanish link:

Crucial Confrontations

I hate confrontations. Dislike them a lot. Don’t care for them. If truth be told, I’d rather have my teeth pulled; while a nurse with a Redskin jacket is drawing blood with a needle from my arm, than go through a confrontation, with the tension, misunderstandings, and anxiety that they tend to bring out.

Since this is an area I need to grow in, I was looking forward to participating in the Florida Conference’s Coaching program, led in part by Tim Nichols and his team. The entire day, the topic was on confrontation. Two books were recommended for developing confrontational skills:

Crucial Confrontations
Fierce Conversations

Here are three important points for leaders:

1. Have hard conversations early.

If you are honest with yourself, there is probably a crucial confrontation that you need to have with someone, right now. Most people put off those conversations as long as possible, which is not healthy or helpful. Putting off confrontations is like discovering that you have some rotten meat in your fridge, taking it out, letting it sit on you counter for 3 days, and then tasting it, expecting it to be better. The longer you wait, the worse it gets. Do it now.

2. When people show you who they are, believe them.

We want to give people the benefit of the doubt. That’s good. The problem comes, when we see people repeat the same patterns of destructive behavior, while we sit on the sideline watching and wishing things will change on their own. They seldom do. You are in charge. Be intentional about correcting behavior before it becomes a pattern and brings down moral. Correct it now.

3. Use the three pronged approach to confrontations.

This short 2 minute video describes this proven process in great detail.

You know who you need to talk to. Do it.

I was informed this morning of some interesting news.  A mega-church pastor, probably one of the most recognizable figures in Christianity, had resigned, citing lack of trust in the bible, and having lost his faith in God.

The news link had the right wording and graphics. Several things went through my mind. First one was about the impact this news  would have in Christianity as a whole, especially in the faith of many I know that use his books and messages as spiritual encouragement.

After processing the news for a bit, I did a Google search and found partial confirmation in a Baptist website: others.

A little more searching led me to the truth. It had been a hoax. Just like Daddy Yankee being gay. Or Eddie Murphy dying in a skiing accident.Or you getting a free IPAD. Hoaxes all.

This is what I learned:

1. Who is my faith in? My faith is not in Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, Alejandro Bullon, Mark Finley, or any other human. My faith is in God and His word. Many times we allow the cult of personality to overshadow our personal walk with God. My faith is not even in my faith. My faith is in God. God is not a grandpa, and while it’s easier to eat spiritual food that’s already been harvested, chewed, and even partially digested, it’s probably not good for you.  

2. Why did it surprise me? The Bible, Spirit of prophecy and Christian history has enough examples of spiritual giants that fell like Goliath. Sometimes it’s a moral fall. Sometimes its pride. Sometimes is a messiah complex. Sometimes is doctrine. It has happened before, it will happen again. You should expect it, but it shouldn’t affect you.

3. The movement is bigger than any one individual.  Christianity won’t die if Joel leaves. When are we going to understand that “it’s not about us”. We sometimes use testimonies of people to point others to the fact that faith works. What happens if those same people end up leaving? Did faith fail? Faith is solid enough on its own. It does not need my works to prop it up. I believe the bible, its teachings and its promises, primarily not because it saved Johnny and Susie, but because its truth saved me.

One last note. This episode taught me how vicious the attacks can be from other Christians, even from news that can’t be confirmed. But that is a topic for the next blog.

For now, I leave you with what my friend @pierrefrancois says in twitter today: “Check your bible. God just send you a text.” Let’s.

Tres errores al cambiar la cultura de una organización

Esta semana he tenido dos conversaciones con dos líderes que están tratando de mejorar/cambiar sus organizaciones, (iglesias) y hacerlas mas evangelisticas. Encontrar cierta oposición en el proceso de cambio es normal. Aquí hay algunas cosas que debes tener en cuenta, al considerar cambiar la cultura de tu iglesia. Recuerda dos principios claves:

*Cultura importa- La cultura de una organización es “cómo hacemos las cosas aquí”.

*Cultura > todo.

Al llegar a la iglesia / organización / nueva asignación, a veces tenemos las siguientes suposiciones equivocadas:

1. La gente quiere que la iglesia crezca.
Todo el mundo dice que quiere que la iglesia crezca. Hasta que empiezas a cambiar el status-quo. Entonces, no tanto. Erróneamente asumimos que la gente cree lo que ellos mismos dicen,  cuando dicen que quieren que su iglesia crezca. Crecimiento significa cambiar algunas cosas de lo que han estado haciendo, porque si siguen haciendo las mismas cosas que siempre han hecho, van a obtener los mismos resultados que siempre han obtenido. Ten en cuenta las siguientes preferencias en tu iglesia:
*Algunos prefieren lo pequeño.
El poder es adictivo, y temen que más gente = menos poder.
*Algunos prefieren lo mismo. Se acostumbraron a lo que tienen. Cómodo. Conocido.
*Algunos prefieren lo anterior.
El pastor anterior les enseñaba que su manera, era la única manera.

2. La gente quiere seguirte a ti.
Tu puedes ser el líder asignado, pero no siempre eres el verdadero líder. Tu crees que la gente va a abrazar tu increíble visión, que destruye demonios y mueve la tierra. Los miembros sólo quieren su Starbucks (descafeinado), cantar algunas canciones conocidas y escuchar un sermón que los ponga a dormir, no a trabajar. Tu quieres construir un Home Depot. Ellos una tiendita en la esquina del barrio.

3. La gente entiende el costo.
El cambio es duro. Cuando Jesús nos llama, nos invita a morir. ¡Eso no es divertido! Hay un alto costo para la excelencia. Su precio es que las personas pierdan su poder, control, la familiaridad y la manera como siempre se ha hecho. Por lo general, el líder vive, respira y duerme ministerio. La gente de la congregación tienen algo que llamamos “vida cotidiana”. El costo de un miembro de la iglesia que se le pide que lo de todo es alto. Explícales el costo con detalles, y asegúrales que terminar la obra del reino de Dios, es una necesidad.

Para hacer:
Aquí está una asignación. En tu junta, haz las siguientes dos preguntas y siéntate a tomar notas. Resiste la tentación de corregir, reprender, botar a nadie. No te pongas a la defensiva con la respuesta de ellos. Sólo siéntate y escucha. (Y toma buenas notas).
Aquí están las dos preguntas:
1. ¿Cómo se vería el éxito de esta iglesia en 3 años? Visualice por un momento lo que eso seria en: Asistencia, crecimiento, adoración, discipulado, ministerio de niños, participación de la juventud, finanzas.
(Sea lo más específico posible en cada área)
2. ¿Cómo piensas que te sentirías si en 3 años alcanzamos lo que nos hemos propuesto hacer?

Comentario o preguntas: