Tag Archives: jesus

Another Look at Consumerism in the Church

As we take a deeper look at Consumerism in the Church, we have to understand what exactly is meant by consumerism in our ministries.

Lets start with the gospel. The gospel is clearly about a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ. And also to share that relationship with others that do not know him.

So somewhere in time we became about extravagant buildings, only allowing a certain social group to participate, and many programs that entertain fellow believers.

How…..Why….What Happened…..

Francis Chan in a recent magazine issue talked about what it would be like if we were stranded on a desert island and had nothing but the bible to start a church.

What would we do if we did not have the option to build million dollar buildings, start thousands of dollars of programs, etc?

Let the innovation begin

Team IML

www.innovativeministryleader.com

www.twitter.com/imleader

Blog Tour: Servolution by Dino Rizzo

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Servolution is a great book that we encourage all of our readers to pick up. Dino Rizzo is the pastor of an amazing church called Healing Place in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Dino will also be sharing about Servolution in the month of June on InnovativeMinistryLeader.com

We had the opportunity to ask Dino Rizzo a question relating to his new book.

In ministry we have all experienced different seasons in our lives. When times get tough for you personally, what is the best insight for keeping the spirit of Servolution alive?

Sean, thanks for being a part of the Servolution Blog Tour – and for the great question.  You’re so right – life is made up of ever-changing seasons.  One of the coolest things about serving others is the strength it gives the one who serves.  Jesus taught it himself, “It is more blessed to give than it is to receive.”  We have found that when you serve others – when you get your eyes off of your own needs for a while and help someone else in need, your own needs tend to look different afterward.  After you’ve spent a week serving AIDS orphans in Africa, I don’t feel so bothered by my own challenges.  Plus, when you serve together, you find strength in the others you’re serving with.  Many times, the very thing I’ve needed help with I have found the answer to in others I’ve been serving alongside.  Put those thoughts together with the truth that Jesus didn’t quit when the job got tough – he went all the way to the cross for me – how can I not go all the way and do whatever it takes to serve others?

New Release from Jonathan Lee

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With his latest release from 1CNrecords, Let Them Hear, Jonathan Lee offers up a worship album that is refreshing and honest. No stranger to the worship scene, Jonathan has been leading worship for over ten years, and has honed his craft as a songwriter, collaborating with various artists including Jeff Deyo, with whom he has co-written many songs, including “Jesus I Surrender” and “Unveil”.

While at times reminiscent of such artists as Hillsong United, Fee and Leeland, Jonathan succeeds in crafting a sound that is truly his own. With a unique and clever blend of guitars and keys, Jonathan brings a mature and inventive sound to each track on this album. Lyrically this album shines, with expressions of worship that range from corporate declarations of praise to raw and very personal confessions of a need for communion with the Almighty.

One track from the album, “Beautiful King” has been featured in the May issue of Worship Leader Magazine’s Song DISCovery. This upbeat song of praise is already being used in churches across the nation and around the world to engage congregations in worship.

Other highlights of the album include the soaring anthem “Redeemed”, the intimate and passionate plea of “Oh My Soul” to which Sparrow Recording Artist Sarah Reeves lends her graceful vocals, and the hauntingly beautiful “Release”, with its simple message of the mercy and grace that we find at the cross of Christ.

Bottom line: don’t miss out on this must-have album from Jonathan Lee! Pick up a copy today on iTunes or at jleeworship.com

Team IML

IML Interview with Kristian Stanfill

Innovative Ministry Leader is excited to share an exciting interview with Kristian Stanfill. Kristian has just released a new album called “Attention” on Six Step Records. Be sure to pick a copy up where ever records are sold.

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Innovative Ministry Leader (IML): What Inspired you to write your new album “Attention?” Does it currently reflect where you are with you relationship with  Jesus?

Kristian Stanfill: My band and I have been traveling the country and the world for the past
three years, and we’ve seen a massive amount of apathy and complacency
happening in the Christian life both from stage and in the mirror.  We
wanted this record to encourage people, including ourselves, to live a life
filled with big faith and forward movement toward God’s will and glory.  We
are praying as a band and as a community of believers that we will live
these songs out first so that we can carry them honestly and truthfully to
God’s people all across the world.

IML: If there is one song on this album that you could share with the
entire world at once, which one would it be and why?

Kristian: “Wake Up.”  I think this song is the crux of the whole record. It’s about
jumping out of our culture’s stream of self-preservation and
self-centeredness and giving our life away to the purposes and will of God.
If I had five minutes to say one thing to whole world it
would be that living for Jesus brings more satisfaction than the
fading glory of this world ever could.  Great question!

IML: What makes “Attention” unlike any other Worship album out
today?

Kristian: Before we started recording this record, we met together as a band to
rehearse and write together.  At our first meeting I laid out a
challenge from Isaiah 43.  Verse 18 and 19 say, “Forget the former
things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing! Now it
springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.”  We agreed immediately that we had
nothing original in us to offer, but believed that God, being
infinitely creative, could do something new with these songs and our
gifts.  We prayed that he would help our minds to “perceive it”.  This
is as true and honest an offering as we can offer.  We are praying it
leads people to connect with god in fresh ways.

IML: We noticed you are doing some touring with Student Life.
What made Student Life a good fit for you?

Kristian: We have been partnering with Student Life for a few years now and they
have been so good to us.  What we love so much about the Student Life
team is the way they empower us to be ourselves and do what God has
called us to do.  Mainly though, we share a passion for seeing
students live lives that glorify God and reflect Him to the world.
It’s a great ministry to be involved with.

IML: In this day and age, where do you see Worship moving to
among our current culture and the way we connect with God?

Stylistically it seems that everywhere we go people are craving raw,
honest, real life confessions.  There’s a lot of hurt and confusion in
the world and people experiencing this hurt need pointed confessions
that help put words around their situation.  Personal circumstance can
often get lost in the flowery language of a song.  Sometimes people
just need to say, “a thousand times I’ve failed, still your mercy
remains,” or just simply “He loves us” or “I need you.”  Even though
styles might change, our response to God’s greatness and glory will
never change.  When we experience his majesty our response will always
be awe and adoration.

IML: What is something you get really passionate about?

Kristian: True creativity.  When dollar signs and popular trends are forgotten
and something fresh happens that leads people to connect with God in a
new way.  There’s a risk that’s taken and it feels unnatural, but it’s
true creativity.  I hope and pray as a worship songwriter and
Christian artist that I’m able to meet people where they are
stylistically and then take them somewhere new.

IML: If you had one prayer for the world, what would it be?

Kristian: That we would ALL lay our idols down and worship the only high and
holy God.

Be sure to check Kristian Stanfill’s website by visiting www.kristianstanfill.com

What is…

What is your definition of a missional church?

Share your insight.

Team IML

The Cost of Doing Ministry

A few weeks ago we did a post called “Change Yourself, Not the Church.” Lot’s of great feedback. One area we got a lot of heat and responses was in the section focusing on the Cost of Doing Ministry.

We wanted to repost and focus in on some ways we can make the most out of our money for ministry.

Are we giving enough to those who can not eat?

Are we serving those in real needs?

Is every dollar we are putting into our buildings worth it when people are starving?

How can we make better stewardship of the tithe we are giving to God?

Just a few questions to ponder.

The cost of doing ministry

Today we have to look at the cost of doing ministry. We honestly have to look at the amount of money that is put into new churches across the nation, when men, women, and children are starving worldwide. We admire Francis Chan, and his decision to move from a new building project to an amphitheater and then give the money budgeted for the new building to missions. Why can’t we build community centers or use community centers to Worship God? Why segment and spend millions of dollars to build a church that will turn more people away than attract?

Again here is a great question we asked a few months ago, if you took away the lights, media, and all the bells and whistles, would people still follow the so called God you are preaching. Are you expressing Jesus in a way that it does not matter what material things you have. Just a thought.

We as churches have given into technology and the cost of it so much it is like we are given into just another worldly thing. (Romans 12:2, Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.) Yes we use social networking technology to reach people, but we neglect to determine real relationships that have real values. Skye Jethani looks at this in his book the Divine Commodity, on how people use Social Networking sites and other platforms to mediate nearly all of their personal interactions. Rather than encouraging healthy relationships we give in too much to the psedudo-relationships through shallow identifies. Think about this; Are we giving into the world, or the things Christ has commanded for us?

We are part of one of the most innovative churches in the country, but it seems that God wants us to be so much more than culturally relevant. I mean it is great that we are connecting so much with technology and building internet campuses, and applications for the iphone, but real relationships are so much more. People are hurting and a new application for their phone is not helping.

Seriously we have seen more people brag about how cool it is to have the bible on their iphone more than read it. We use the bible/church, as such a consumer product, we have put a deep relationship with Christ beyond it all. There is no technology in the world that can authentically make you fall to your knees before a God that wants so much for you.

How can we reduce the cost of doing ministry, and invest it more wisely to make a difference.

Share your thoughts.

Team IML

A New/Old Model for Church in the Post-Modern Age

Cindy in South Dakota, has recently posted an amazing post on A New/Old Model for Church in the Post-Modern Age. This is a great post following up many things we talked about last week. Her blog site is an amazing place to dive deep into scripture on a weekly basis.

You can visit her blog by clicking here.

Team IML