Episode 006: To The Table

Episode 006- To The Table

 

SHOW NOTES

The Table for me was the end of a long journey to discover the roots of my faith… I wanted to give my kids more of the faith than I had when I was their age…

Tradition is a troubling word for charismatics…but when I began to talk about historical rootedness and the many reasons for coming back to the Table, the eyes of our church were opened and we found ourselves embracing it…

The beautiful thing about the Lord’s Table is that it is a promise of an encounter with the risen Christ that does not depend on an individual…

Frequency does not mean a loss of intimacy; in fact, intimacy requires frequency…

It should be easier for charismatics to come to the Table with faith and expectation, but people are nervous about superstition… part of the way we got around that was that we said “We’re not going to make statements about HOW God meets us [at the Table]; we just know THAT he does…”

Past, present, and future come together for us at the Table… it is a place of proclamation, that Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again!

One pushback I got from the congregation was “Where is the altar call?” What I’ve discovered is that this leads to better altar calls… I tell pastor friends that we have the biggest altar calls we’ve ever had, because we have people confess sins and receive forgiveness… we have thousands of people answering the altar call every Sunday… and so when I call for salvation and healing, their hearts are already tender…

We didn’t have to give up our evangelistic fervor to do Communion…

This has profoundly changed my preaching for the better… no matter what we’re tackling, I have to end with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus…

Our church has grown and increased and has seen disciple-shaping go to a deeper level since we’ve done this… if you’ll do this wisely with a lot of explanation, inviting people in, they will follow you…

Millennials are more fascinated with historical rootedness than we think… the under-30 crowd are living in a world now where nothing makes sense… they’re looking for something that has stood the test of time…


Questions for you and your team

1) Do your worship services demonstrate a sense of historical rootedness? Why or why not?
2) Pastor Glenn mentioned that Communion embodies a sense of “remembrance”, “encounter”, and “hope”. Which do you feel your services emphasize the most? How could communion reshape those services?
3) How do you think taking weekly Communion would change your worship and preaching?
4) What practical steps can you take to begin moving in that direction?

Recommended Resources
The Meal Jesus Gave Us, by N. T. Wright
Discover the Mystery of Faith, by Glenn Packiam

Episode 005: Cultivating a Team-Teaching Model, Pt. 2

Episode 005 – Cultivating a Team-Teaching Model, Pt. 2

 

Show Notes

The risk [of doing this] is not being needed any more… the reward is seeing someone run ahead and thrive…

Every one of us is an “interim pastor”… the church will outlast all of us… therefore, I have a choice: to preach and lead [by myself] or begin sharing some of the responsibility…

I realized that when I announced this, the church might actually like one of these guys more… but it’s ridiculous to think about it that way… we need to model something more beautiful than what the world models… if you don’t have joy in watching people thrive, you’ll never have people around you who do thrive…

The stage can’t be any of our identities… the stage and the pulpit are our privilege, but not our identity… and too many senior pastors get their identities from the pulpit…

This model starts with the senior pastor realizing that he has to share the responsibility… [and that requires] that we find our identities in the right things…

[When we made this switch] people were disappointed… they like me, I’m their pastor… we had to manage that, we had to walk alongside people… [but the result will be] that I’ll hang around here longer, with more energy and vision than if we stay at this current pace…

[This] is a way of reinforcing to people that we need one another… when you see from the pulpit not only weakness but also the strength that comes from others, it gives people permission to ask for help in their own lives…

A “man of God” syndrome has permeated the American church… I’m not sure that that’s biblical, and I’m certainly sure it’s not healthy…

The people who are most prone to learning, reading, and listening tend to make the best preachers… there’s a natural call, a genuine passion, and they are willing to work at it…

For young preachers and teachers: are you willing to do the hard work? The 10,000 hour rule is in effect… you have to preach a lot of sermons…

Say yes to every chance you get to speak and discern what happens…

The worst person to give the pulpit to is someone who ONLY wants the pulpit…

Questions for you and your team:
1) What are the risks for you and your church in moving towards a team-teaching model?
2) Do you have a culture that allows others to thrive?
3) What concrete steps can you take to starting moving this direction?

Special Episode: Welcoming the Stranger: A Conversation on DACA

“Welcoming the Stranger: A Conversation on DACA”

 

Show Notes

This is important because I’m the pastor of a lot of DACA kids… this is not a political point to me… these are real people that we know… they are human beings with real stories…

Often times when these public issues get discussed, we’re tempted to say we need less emotion and more reason… but emotions are an important key in understanding where people are coming from…

When someone exhibits a lot of emotion over something, it shows that it is something they are very concerned about… which makes it an opportunity for empathy…

[As an immigrant], there is a feeling of fear that is hard to shake… there is a sense of vulnerability here even when you do this the right way…

We believe in safe borders and in the rule of law… I believe in safe, legal immigration because its best for human beings… we need to figure out a way to make immigration safe and legal…

The story of the people of God is a story of immigration… to be the people of God is to be waiting for home… there is a very real theological dimension of this… if we can’t feel that human desire [for home], then I need to check my heart…

“So you love the poor? Then tell me what their names are…” this needs to be able to be named… it needs to be situated in the lives of people…

Christians have a unique ability to be empathetic to those who have been displaced because of the story of our Scriptures…

We need to be a prophetic voice to the political system… I’m calling on Congress and on our President and on our state and local officials to make sure this legislation is done well… we need to let the morality of Jesus to overrule political divisiveness…

There’s a price to pay [as a pastor] for this… anytime I bring up immigration from the pulpit, I get scathing rebukes from people because it has become so politicized…

If a pastor will get up and be compassionate and really welcome diverse viewpoints, you’ll see there are truths in all of the camps…

For me, this cannot be some theoretical discussion… pastors, whatever you do, just get to know these people… we need to be compassionate and help them win…

The kingship of Jesus Christ shapes everything… we don’t want to answer these issues through the prism of our politics… we want to let the surprising and shocking kingdom of God confront us and challenge us and cause us to rethink our positions…

Practically, you can get involved in this… there are immigration attorneys that are willing to do pro bono work… we want to help families go through a legal process… they just need someone to walk alongside them…

If we don’t know their names, we have failed the people in our church…

Resources

Evangelical Immigration Table
Christian Community Development Association

Episode 004: Cultivating a Team-Teaching Model, Pt. 1

What does it look like to share the pulpit and teach the scriptures as a team? Are you considering it for your church, but don’t know how to begin? In the episode, Pastors Brady Boyd, Andrew Arndt, Glenn Packiam, and Daniel Grothe talk about how and why New Life Church embraced the Team Teaching model.

 

EPISODE 004 – Cultivating a Team-Teaching Model Pt 1 – Show Notes

I think the local church is always meant to be led by a symphony of voices…

For me, as a senior pastor, I realized that from a physical standpoint I couldn’t keep doing at 50 what I did when I was 30… that was the pragmatic reason… but theologically, I wanted a symphony of voices at our church…

You can naturally reach people ten years older and younger than you… if we’re going to lead a multi-generational congregation, then we need to have voices that naturally reach certain elements of our congregation…

One of the things that’s been interesting is that we’ve heard from a lot of pastors around the country who are dying to do this… it gives us a chance admit that we need help… it gives our congregation a chance to admit that they need help in their own lives…

Doing it this way cuts down on all our study time… but we have to follow some rules if we’re going to make this work… we have to be able to defend it with each other… we don’t have to use any of each other’s stuff… but if we DO use each other’s stuff, we can’t grasp for credit…

We’re creating a situation with this where you have to lay ego aside… it’s created a collaborative ethos… the congregation can feel that we love each other and love working with each other…

The goal here is not for us to sound the same… the goal is not to be homogeneous but to be in unity… which means that we give each other permission to be different, to be ourselves…

Relationship leads to trust… you can’t hire this… it’s something that has to be invested in… but even with these things, there is inherent risk… are you willing to risk it?

Once you do this, the weight of preaching that is draining the life out of some of you, it will make pastoral ministry really joyful and really fun…

Some of my favorite times of the week are when we sit together on Tuesday mornings and talk through the upcoming sermon… we’re all circling the same big idea but we’re seeing it from a different viewpoint…

The biggest thing for getting started is to get people in the room with you to help you study… bringing a diverse set of voices will help you study better…

Questions for you and your team

1) To what extent does your church reflect a “symphony of voices”?
2) What would change at your church if you adopted this model?
3) What would change in your own work for the church if you adopted this model?
4) What can you do to begin moving in this direction?

Episode 003: Big Church & Small Church

Big Church, Small Church. Is one better than the other? In this conversation, we talk about the valuable lessons we’ve learned from comparing church models.

 



ECP Show Notes – EPISODE 003

Big vs. small church

“The fight is the same everywhere…we’re trying to figure out how to speak compellingly to people about robust kingdom life and then develop patterns of community life that invite people in…”

“There’s no escaping the spirit of our age…we are trained to be consumers…”

“One of the things that this conundrum did to us is it forced us to wrestle with a theology of vocation…’church participation’ is not always an accurate index of how people are participating in kingdom life…”

“Pastors notoriously measure the wrong things…you can’t measure every facet of discipleship…”

“One of the things that we constantly wrestled with [in our small church context] was hubris—pride… that we were the pure ones… when we saw that we had many of the same warts as other churches it was a real moment of reckoning… it made us humble…”

“The temptation in the megachurch is attributing success to attendance…sometimes we put on a big event and a lot of people flood in, and it feeds a part of my soul that is not good for me… because I start feeling like that is the moment of success…the megachurch is prone to events and the ‘big thing’ that feeds our ego…”

“Having a building full of people is not the end goal…”

“The tension of every church is the tension between simplicity and hospitality…there’s a point at which simplicity becomes inhospitable…”

“There’s a lot of self-righteous behavior in the church…we had better start working together or we are going to die alone…”

“Reality is always more interesting than caricatures…”

“A lot of this boils down to lazy analysis…even surveys and statistics, you can’t totally trust them because they don’t tell a whole story…you have to press in and look a little bit closer…”

“Here’s the bottom line: our desire is the same… let’s take care of the people the Lord sends us… and that’s the common ground…”

Questions for you and your team
1) What are some of the ways that consumerism has impacted your model?
2) How do you and your team understand “the bullseye” for your ministry work? Does that understanding need to shift in any way?
3) What are the unique temptations and vulnerabilities of your model?
4) How can you more clearly articulate kingdom-life into your context and develop patterns of community that match that kingdom-life?
5) What are some ways that you can begin to learn from other church models?

Episode 002: Worship in the Church Pt. 2

We were joined by Pastors Jon Egan and Dr. Pete Sanchez for the second part of a conversation on worship. We talked about topics ranging from what worship is, to choosing songs for a worship service. Listen in on the conversation now!

 

Don’t forget that you can take part in these conversations at the Essential Church Conference in September. Register now at NewLifeConference.com

Show Notes:
ECP Show Notes – EPISODE 002

“If God is who he says he is…when people come to the Sunday morning service they ought to understand that this could be a transformational moment…”

“Leaders need to spend more time agreeing on what worship is…if we don’t know what it is, our people won’t know…”

“Worship is responding to all that God is (that is, it’s revelation) with all that we are…”

“What I hope will happen at a gathering is what I know could happen at a gathering…that when the singers sing [together] deliverance comes…the key is unity on what worship is…”

“[Part of] what makes the church a troubling mess on Sunday morning is how many different types of people are sitting with us…God is doing something uniquely different in each of these people…so you have to be sensitive to what God is doing in all groups…”

“Songs are the greatest unifier that we have been given…in a world that is so individualistic…singing together is so humbling…you can’t sing with passion and keep your guard up…”

“God is trying to create a new humanity by the power of his Spirit…so when we gather…we are glimpsing the end of all things and also experiencing it is the present which prophetically puts it into motion…”

“Congregational worship is God showing us [together] the way home…”

“Worship allows us to sing about the morning while living at midnight…”

“When we get to the Table, there are no ‘roles’ anymore…we are just the people of God, consuming Him and being consumed by Him…it’s been a remarkable thing…it’s been revival…”

Questions for You and Your Team

1) What’s your team’s concept of what is happening when your church gathers for corporate worship? How can that be strengthened or enriched?

2) How well do you do at continually reinforcing the “why” of corporate worship for your people?

3) To what extent do the songs you choose for worship speak to the great, unseen, corporate realities the Scriptures speak of?

Episode 001: Worship in the Church Pt. 1

We were joined by Pastors Jon Egan and Dr. Pete Sanchez for a conversation on worship. We talked about topics ranging from what worship is, to choosing songs for a worship service. Listen in on the conversation now!

 

Don’t forget that you can take part in these conversations at the Essential Church Conference in September. Register now at NewLifeConference.com

ECP Show Notes – EPISODE 001

“In my study of church history I realized that lot of heresy came from good men who tried to say good things about God but the Church decided it was not good enough… a lot of our songs are good but not quite good enough…”

“Unless you’re fighting about [good theology] you’re probably not thinking enough about it…”

“In a day when words are being dumbed down…we are [through worship] teaching people the grammar of our faith…”

“In the early days we wrote [our songs] from the Scriptures…it was easy for a young songwriter like me to look there for content…”

“The book that’s influenced me the most is Augustine’s Confessions…[Augustine] talked to God in a way that I want to talk to God…”

“Music comes from a creative God originally…God sung or spoke words into creation, and God’s words have a transformational impact…when we sing these songs, we’re being marked by the very same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead…”

“We don’t just sing what we believe, we sing ourselves into believing…we sing and it causes us to believe…”

“It’s important for a worship leader to understand that they need to submit to the house…are we in unity?…that’s something I always consider”

“The other thing I think about is the people…what do our people need to sing?”

“The way I look at it is that an opening song should be disruptive to the pattern they came in with…a good call to worship should disrupt that pattern”

“A senior pastor’s role is not to frustrate the prophetic creativity of worship pastors…at the same time the worship pastor should give back to the senior pastor the ability to say no from time to time…together they share the responsibility of Sunday in a profound way…”

Questions for you and your team:

1) Do the songs you choose for your worship sets have theological depth? How can you improve this?

2) What’s your church’s working belief about what happens to people during a worship service? How does this influence your worship culture?

3) What’s your team’s “grid” for choosing a set list?

4) How can the relationship between the senior teaching pastor and the worship leader on your team become more creative and trusting?

Resources

Augustine: The Confessions
A. W. Tozer: The Pursuit of God

Episode 000: Welcome

Welcome to the Essential Church Podcast. As we prepare for releasing our first episodes on Wednesday, we want to encourage you to connect with us on twitter at @EssentialChurch.