Episode 133: The Challenge of Unity

In this episode we take you to a conversation New Life Midtown’s Jayde Duncan and New Life Friday Night’s Jordan Victoria Lewis recently had with our ministry staff on the challenge of cultivating unity in the church in a culture that is very often divided over issues of race. (This conversation is based in part on a chapter in Glenn Packiam’s new book The Resilient Pastor. Order here.)

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Unity is important because God is essentially unity… our concept of unity must be rooted in the ontological nature of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…

John 17 tells us that there is an unanswered prayer that Jesus prayed [on unity]… our posture towards one another is a nonnegotiable, it is critical to the validation of our entire message…

Unity reinforces or qualifies our witness, and division disqualifies our witness… division is the way of the world… 

I’ve had a lot of difficult and shameful experiences… I’ve sorted through a lot of that with the Lord and have sensed that this is a kingdom issue… thinking that way has enabled me to take a bird’s eye view of what’s going on… 

For me this is not just a call, but an act of spiritual warfare… if I leave, the spirit of division will think that it has won… 

The early church was radical and revolutionary in its unity because it believed that Jesus is Lord… Jesus was a new King who brought a new Kingdom… 

We need to recover the sense that King Jesus has exclusive right to ask us whatever he wants to ask us… and what he is asking us is to lay down our own perspectives for the sake of listening to the stories of brothers and sisters who are in pain…

Distance is fatal to empathy… I wish I was making up the humiliating things that have happened to me… I wish it wasn’t all true… it is a real shame when someone tells you about their experience and you tell them that it is fabricated or exaggerated… 

Over the course of many conversations, what I have come to discover is that for many black Christians, white Christians seem to want to have statistical conversations rather than lament-type conversations, which exacerbates the pain…

I can’t tell you how healing it has been to be able to call a white friend—and there are a few that I call—to carry the burden with me so that I can carry my black friends… 

Episode 128: Attracting Strong and Capable Leaders Pt. 2

In this episode we pick up the conversation on attracting strong and capable leaders by talking about just what we mean by “strong and capable”.

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Regardless of if you’re pastoring a small rural church or a large urban church, we all need the same kinds of leaders… 

The first thing is, I am looking for leaders who will help me expand the vision… the senior pastor shouldn’t be the sole vision-carrier for the church… I want people with ideas…

I get so frustrated when leaders come to me simply to tell me that something is broken… I want leaders who see not only problems but also solutions…

I want people who are creative and innovative, and if I want that I know that I can’t make fun of bad ideas… I always tell leaders, if we shoot one messenger, we won’t get another one… 

The second thing is, I am looking for leaders who can coach others around them… many are good at their craft, but the question is, “Can you coach people in your craft?”

Coaching doesn’t mean always been punitive and corrective… it’s about helping people grow…

If I came into your area, would it be clear and organized and would everyone on your team know what it means to win…?

Lastly, I am looking for people who can carry the weight of the organization… can they take responsibility and deal with problems without involving me all the time?

This a question for all leaders… have you actually empowered your staff to lead?

If you as the senior leader have to be involved in every issue and conflict that’s happening in your church, it will wear you out… it can happen in small churches as much as in large churches…

The key to longevity and your organization growing is making sure your team feels equipped and empowered deal with issues with very little input from you…

Recently I took a trip to Central America and took a number of staff with me… I didn’t need that many folks with me, but I did it to get purposeful time with some of my staff whom I’ve empowered to carry the work with me…

Episode 078: The Essential Church Learning Community

In this episode, we revisit a conversation to talk about the “what” and “why” behind the launch of our Essential Church Learning Community.

Register for the Essential Church Learning Community HERE

On Feb 19-20thof 2019 we’re launching our first Essential Church Learning Community… We want to get together with leaders who are hungry to learn in an intentional environment… to explore topics we’re all wrestling with…

In a traditional conference setting, you have one person on the stage giving their best talk… I often walk away from those with 30 questions about what I’ve heard… usually there isn’t space for that in those conferences…

There are great conferences around the country that you should go be part of, but I know there are lots of leaders who want to be at a table with men and women who are in the same stage of life where we can sharpen and shape and learn from each other…

When I was in my 30s, I had a thousand questions and I was so grateful that in that season I found gatherings much like this… at one of them, we all had 30 minutes to share our greatest concerns and fears… the advice and relationship I gained from that have lasted a lifetime…

Very often at conferences, the best ideas go back to the cars in the parking lot, because participants don’t have a space to share them…

What’s beautiful about a learning community is that you don’t give people a solution to a problem, you give people conversations around big ideas that can help them in their ministries…

The format will be plenary sessions plus lots of guided conversations around tables, with food and time for interaction…

I think one of the things we’ve discovered is that we’re trying to live in some healthy tensions: the tension of having a senior pastor PLUS a strong team approach, the tension of the energy of the charismatic PLUS the rootedness of the Tradition, the tension between growth AND discipleship… these are the kinds of conversations we’re going to have and you’re the kind of person who should be here…

Special Episode: Announcing The Essential Church Learning Community

In this episode, we sit down to talk about the “what” and “why” behind the launch of our Essential Church Learning Community.

 

 

https://newlifechurch.brushfire.com/events/447094

 

On Feb 19-20thof 2019 we’re launching our first Essential Church Learning Community… We want to get together with leaders who are hungry to learn in an intentional environment… to explore topics we’re all wrestling with…

 

In a traditional conference setting, you have one person on the stage giving their best talk… I often walk away from those with 30 questions about what I’ve heard… usually there isn’t space for that in those conferences…

 

There are great conferences around the country that you should go be part of, but I know there are lots of leaders who want to be at a table with men and women who are in the same stage of life where we can sharpen and shape and learn from each other…

 

When I was in my 30s, I had a thousand questions and I was so grateful that in that season I found gatherings much like this… at one of them, we all had 30 minutes to share our greatest concerns and fears… the advice and relationship I gained from that have lasted a lifetime…

 

Very often at conferences, the best ideas go back to the cars in the parking lot, because participants don’t have a space to share them…

 

What’s beautiful about a learning community is that you don’t give people a solution to a problem, you give people conversations around big ideas that can help them in their ministries…

 

The format will be plenary sessions plus lots of guided conversations around tables, with food and time for interaction…

 

I think one of the things we’ve discovered is that we’re trying to live in some healthy tensions: the tension of having a senior pastor PLUS a strong team approach, the tension of the energy of the charismatic PLUS the rootedness of the Tradition, the tension between growth AND discipleship… these are the kinds of conversations we’re going to have and you’re the kind of person who should be here…

New Resource: Roman’s Preaching Guide

Hey Essential Church friends—

 

We’re really excited to share with you a resource we’ve developed.

 

Last fall our teaching team at New Life preached through the entire book of Romans. It was a thrilling and incredibly enriching experience that left both our congregation and our teaching team edified.

 

To guide us as a team on our journey, we created the Romans Preacher’s Guide; which we’re now making available to you on Amazon.

 

The guide includes:

  • A short historical and theological overview of the book of Romans
  • Big “preaching themes” to keep in mind
  • Reflections and suggested “preaching pathways” on each chapter
  • A short list of recommended resources

 

The Preacher’s Guide is available in electronic format for $6.99 or in paperback for $7.99. If you’re planning on or even considering preaching through the book of Romans (or even just working through it in an adult education or Sunday school class), go ahead and pick it up. We think it will be a big help to you.

 

And, of course, we’d love any feedback you can give. You can email aarndt@newlifechurch.org.

 

Grace to you,

 

Andrew Arndt

Associate Teaching Pastor

New Life Church

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.