Category Archives: Churches

The Divine Commodity

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The Divine Commodity by Skye Jethani

In light of some of our recent postings, The Divine Commodity written by Skye Jethani, has been a great resource for our team. If you are a huge reader, this book needs to move to the top of your list. Unlike most books, Skye Jethani does not provide 10 ways or 12 steps to anything. Skye takes a deep  look at where we currently are as the Church, and how we have institutionalized something that was once so relational. 

Consumerism is something that is heavily going on in our churches today. It has begun to create a distortion to our element of faith in Jesus. Skye uses the art and testimonies of artist Vincent van Gogh, throughout the book as examples of how even hundreds of years ago, christ-followers were dealing with the same struggles of when it comes to the church. One of the greatest examples of this is from the famous painting Starry Night, where the church is the only building with no lights. 

Skye uses a quote from Richard Halverson, former Chaplain of the United States Senate. “In the beginning the church was a fellowship of men and women centered on the living Christ. Then the Church moved to Greece, where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome, where it became an institution. Next, it moved to Europe where it became a culture. And, finally it moved to America, where it became an enterprise.” Wow! How true is that statement when we look at the evolution of the church.  

Throughout the book there will be many concepts and thoughts on how we are using the Church as an entertainment platform to attract people. It looks at how churches have placed a emphasis on controlling staged environments to be their true meaning for advancing Christ’s mission. Consumer Christianity is turning shepherds into showmen.

The book will also point out some interesting research of how American Christianity has largely failed since the middle of the twentieth century because Jesus’ modern day disciples are not acting like Jesus. Although we are seeing many large mega-churches grow across the country, Christianity is only consolidating, not expanding. 

Innovative Ministry Leader strongly endorses this book, whether your a Pastor, Worship Leader, or just a pew sitter. We admire that Skye Jethani is bringing an important issue that us leaders need to be aware about. He is not providing solutions or ways to improve, but bringing the insight so we as leaders can take action. This is a great resource that will get your mind expanding and hopefully thoughts of how we can build more authentic relationships for Christ in our communities.

You can purchase the Divine Commodity direct from Amazon by clicking here.

Team IML

The Divine Commodity is published by Zondervan

You can also visit Skye Jethani’s personal website by clicking here.

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Elevation Church-Steven Furtick

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www.elevationchurch.org

Innovative Ministry Leader wanted to feature Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC. Elevation Church is the second fastest growing Church in the country and is lead by 28 year old Steven Furtick. Steven Furtick is already considered to be one of the most influential leaders in the country. 

The Elevation Church website archives sermons from each weekend, on issues that are real and relevant to today’s culture. They are currently in a series entitled “The Real Change Campaign.”

Elevation Worship is the Worship Band which writes original music and has released a few cds. We really admire that they are not caught up in the Nashville formula and write real and relevant worship music. We will do a review and highlight of their latest album over the next month. 

Team IML

Be sure to also check out Steve Furtick’s blog www.stevenfurtick.com

Perry Noble’s post on Video Teaching

Check out this great post that Perry posted on video teaching. Perry is the Lead Pastor at Newspring Church in South Carolina. 

http://www.perrynoble.com/2008/10/20/does-video-teaching-work/

Team IML

Check out Craig Groeschel’s Message on “It”

www.lifechurch.tv

Check out Craig’s message on “It.”

You will be able to view it again on Tuesday of this week. Just got to www.Lifechurch.tv to stream on Tuesday night. It is a condensed version from his message at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit. 

Team IML

Charlie Hall “The Bright Sadness”

Charlie Hall “The Bright Sadness

www.charliehall.com

We just had a chance to listen to the new Charlie Hall cd “The Bright Sadness.” The first thing we really admired, is music production and creativity of this cd. It has a fresh sound, and does not by any means copy the norm of what is being released in Worship Music today. It is a voice to God whether we are in the greatest of times or the worst. 

The first song on the record is “Chainbreak,” which is an upbeat anthem about freedom in Christ. It is a great anthem to present those outside of the walls of the church stating the lines, “Come just as you are, Come just as we are.” 

“Walk the World,” is another great track, with an extremely catchy chorus. This is a great congregational song if you can walk away with the obedience that it is expressing. It focuses on being more of an influence in this world for Christ vs just inside the walls of the Church. There is a great phrase of being more like a walking sign for Jesus, even though we are broken and imperfect, and to let our hearts shine for a world that needs light. 

“Hookers and Robbers,” is a song that we really admired. It is calling anyone and everyone to come as they are and experience the Love of God. Charlie Hall states that he is not near perfect himself, that God has changed him. This is amazing that a song like this can be used anywhere in the world to reach out to people. We really appreciate the authentic nature of this song. 

“You are God” and “Mystery” will fit really well into your Worship Set’s and will have many gathered and chanting for Jesus. 

What we really admire about Charlie Hall, is his transparency. Charlie seems to write from a relevant and real stance of his role in this world. That even though we all fall short of the Glory of God, we continue to let our love shine for the love of Christ. His focus seems to be so much more than inside of the walls of the church for this project. The music, melodies and production are all outstanding for this album. “The Bright Sadness,” is a definite release to pick up to incorporate into your Worship Sets and ministries. 

Visit www.charliehall.com and you can get copies of the chord charts for all of his albums. 

Team IML

You can check out great resources by Charlie Hall and other artist at www.worshiptogether.com 

“So Your Dead… Now What”

Lifechurch.tv Series: “So Your Dead…Now What”

www.lifechurch.tv

Here is another great series going on right now. It is called “So Your Dead Now What.” It examines everything that happens after you die. It also covers the aspects of Heaven and Hell. So far they are in week two of the series with two more weeks to go. You can view the messages at www.Lifechurch.tv

You can also visit the Open Network that Lifechurch.tv has and download all of their resources for FREE!

Team IML

NewSpring Church: Series “You Ask For It”

www.newspring.cc

Perry Noble, the Pastor of NewSpring Church in South Carolina, is currently in a series called “You Ask For It.” It was a series that was designed to answer questions from the Congregation. It covers many subjects such as Sex, Alcohol, Salvation, God’s Will, Culture and some other things in between. 

One thing we really admire about NewSpring Church, is like Lifechurch.tv, they give a lot of their resources away for free. You can watch Perry Noble’s messages, look at notes and download small group discussion questions. 

Check out the series “You Ask For It.” by clicking here.

Team IML