‘Tis the season that no one wants to talk about: hurricane season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)—pronounced “Noah,” ironically enough—issued its 2019 major storm forecast, calling for an average year. That means 2-4 major hurricanes. Of course, we’re praying that none of those of major storms make landfall in our beloved Houston area, but if they do, we want to capitalize on some of the lessons we learned from Harvey. And we're asking all our churches to join us.
The most serious injury I ever had playing soccer was momentary, but it still scared me to death. While I never lost consciousness, I lost my vision for about two minutes. Before that, I had approached my health with the cavalier nature of a teenager. Unfortunately, many of us make the same mistake. We think we’re physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy until an event happens that gets our attention—until we get blindsided by a different reality. What can we do to prevent that life-altering event?
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear someone say, “Summer in Houston”? Summer for our churches can mean all kinds of things: mission trips, church camps, VBS, just to name a few. It can also mean different routines or a degree of informality—maybe even preaching in shorts! Whatever your summer may look like, here are a few events and considerations to keep in mind as we head into this season.
Statistics may or may not be your thing, but they can tell us a lot about the area in which we live—its population growth, diversity, and whether or not we can have bragging rights over Dallas. With that in mind, we have compiled some helpful statistics as a starting point for understanding the greater Houston area. How might understanding the growth of our city and its underlying issues help us better reach our communities as they are?
One of the best parts of getting a PhD in Leadership was being required to read widely on the subject. From time to time, I get asked what some of my favorite leadership books are. So, I thought I would take the time to answer that question here and accompany my answer with a fairly through review.
If stranded on a desert island and given only one book from which to teach leadership, I would choose a lesser known book called Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice and Leadership by Lee Bolman and Terrance Deal.
In a dramatic scene of the 1987 movie The Untouchables, Jim Malone presses Eliot Ness on what he is willing to do to finally catch Al Capone. Though I'm certainly not advocating for illegal activity as Malone was, I think it's a great picture of what we need to innovate and reach gospel saturation in and beyond our city.
If your way isn’t working where you are, are you prepared to learn a new way? As leaders, we need to be asking ourselves and allowing trusted people in our lives to ask us the same question: “What are you prepared to do?”
If I were to ask the people of your church, “Why do you do what you do?” I’m sure I would get a gospel-related response. But the true litmus test of the Great Commission motivation in a church is less about whether or not we make disciples as a matter of obedience—which is good. Instead, it's more about if we're making disciples out of genuine urgency and concern that a person's life be radically transformed by the grace and mercy of their Savior—which is better. I have been challenged by this idea in recent months, and this experience has helped me firm up my “why” for UBA and our churches.
For most of us who have been called into ministry, that calling wasn't as simple as hearing God's audible voice from heaven as we prayed. More often than not, God uses his people to call and clarify calling for the next generation of leaders. In spite of the barriers that exist, we should be the callers for the future of the church.
That's why we're incredibly excited for Houston Baptist University's opportunity this Feb to better understand what a calling is and the options available to those looking to enter ministry. It's going to be an excellent event for ministers and the next generation both.
If you ask me today, “What do you do all week?” and then again next week, the answers will probably be different. It’s just one of the many reasons I love working for UBA. Like everyone else on the team, I love churches. I love bringing them together, and I love helping them share the love of Jesus effectively. It takes all of us working together to reach our city. It’s why we’re better together.
There was an old Isotoner Glove commercial featuring Hall of Fame Quarterback Dan Marino saying the tagline, “Take care of the hands that take care of you.” Regardless of your church or staff size, take care of the people who feel God’s call on their life to lead and take care of you. From ministry interns to senior pastors, we need them at their best, because they often see us at our worst.