Unlocking Value for Entrepreneurs

Month: November 2006 (page 1 of 2)

Evangelism at Work through the Interview Process

A few years ago I considered ways that Christians could evangelize even in a secular workplace.  One of the ways I thought this could be done is through interviewing and/or promotion situations.  (This idea came years ago when I started Sano Bioscience International an executive recruiting company focused on biotechs entering the FDA approval process). Here is what I came up with:

Situation – You are in a position of interviewing, considering someone for promotion or otherwise assessing them.  In this position you ask them questions (always recommend behavioral based interviewing).  After the period of interviewing, you end with one final assignment.  

Assignment – In order to see their skills in logic, writing, creative thinking and ability to form persuasive discourse you ask them to present a 2 page argument for Where Morality Comes From. You'd let them know they are not being evaluated on their 'position' but presentation, thought and articulation.

Evangelism Opportunity – To assist them, you hand them three 'examples'.  Two are from secular positions that are common worldviews, eg. social contract ethics, etc.  The third is a solid Biblical position that addresses the previous two and presents a presuppositional apologetic for the God of the Bible.

The purpose is to confront non-Biblical worldviews, hoping that people are forced to re-consider their stance.  And then to present a Biblical worldview as the only viable option. 

The Web and the increase of Recycled Sermons

sermonpic.jpgThe Internet is changing the landscape of preaching.  Congregants now have access to thousands of preachers and many preachers feel the pressure of comparison against the best and brightest.  How are some of these pastors responding?  By using the same material from the most popular of preachers.  There was an article (originally in the Wall Street Journal, but reprinted in the San Diego Union-Tribune) about the use of sermon resources, sermon manuscripts and other resources in the preparation of your sermon.  Here is the start:

The Rev. Brian Moon says he has come up with ideas for his sermons after water-skiing, while watching “My Name Is Earl” on TV and while working on his 1969 Buick muscle car. He also finds inspiration on the Internet, as he did in August when he preached about “God's math.”

“People are drowning, drowning in their marriages, drowning in their careers, drowning in hurtful habits,” Moon told his congregation at Church of the Suncoast, in Land o' Lakes, Fla. “They need someone to rescue them and bring them on the raft. They need people driven by God's addition.”

Those words, it turns out, were first uttered three years ago by the Rev. Ed Young, pastor of Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas. His Web site,, sells transcripts of this and others sermons for $10 each.

Moon says he delivered about 75 percent of Young's sermon, “just because it was really good.” That included a white-water rafting anecdote similar to Young's in the original. Moon, who has now been a pastor for seven months, didn't give credit to Young, and he makes no apologies for using a recycled sermon.

“Truth is truth, there's no sense reinventing the wheel,” Moon says. “If you got something that's a good product, why go out and beat your head against the wall and try to come up with it yourself?”

These days, a lot of preachers would agree. The sermon – an oration traditionally expressing the thoughts of the cleric doing the talking – has entered the age of reruns. Topics and transcripts are available on sites like,,, and In the old days, when a preacher wanted to pinch a sermon, he had to consult a book, a magazine or a sermon anthology.

Read entire article: Pulpit polemic: Recycled sermons are on the mount (Suzanne SatalineTHE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

Should pastors use other people's sermon manuscripts?  What resources should a pastor be able to use for preaching?  Are other sermons similar to commentaries?  This is pretty convicting for me as an occasional preacher (and this also applies to blog posts).  How often do I say something that is 'truly original'?  When I prepare a sermon, I study the Bible, read books, listen to sermons and often there is much I've gathered from others that influences what I preach.  When should I 'quote/give credit' to someone?  If someone gave you an idea for the 'direction' of the sermon but you write it on your own?  Lately, I try to credit those who influenced the sermon at the bottom of my text regardless of directly (word-for-word) or indirectly (influence).  But I'm sure there are times when I read something and use it later, forgetting who the idea came from.  

Some thougths:

A pastor who plagiarizes sermons is clearly not fulfilling his primary responsibility. He is not investing time and effort in studying the Word, in understanding the Word, and in helping others understand what God has taught him. Furthermore, he is being unethical in allowing his congregation to believe that the sermons he delivers are his own work. 

Plagiarism In The Pulpit Challies 

The essence of plagiarism is to give the impression that the ideas or words of another person are actually your own. This can be done intentionally (in which case it is outright theft) or unintentionally-but either way it is wrong.

What is plagiarism? Desiring God Ministries 

Other Resources:

How to Use Other Preachers' Material Without Compromising Your Integrity 

Integrity in the Pulpit 

Hollywood: Turning the Christian Faith into a Marketing Gimmick

sylvester-stallone-rocky-photograph-c12142815.jpegI'm sure many of you have received the email:

Sylvester Stallone (as in, "Rocky") cordially invites you, as a leader in the faith and family community, to JOIN HIM ON THE PHONE LIVE…Sly would like to take some time to talk to you about the faith and values that run through the Rocky films, and share with you about his upcoming movie, Rocky Balboa, the final chapter in the Rocky story (yes, Stallone himself gets back in the ring!).

In interviews with various faith-based publications, Sly recently shared some of his thoughts about the Rocky character and faith:

"In Rocky, if he's just a fighter, then it's just a boxing story, and I told the producers in the beginning, 'It's not a boxing story; it's a spiritual journey. It really is about a man that has been chosen to accomplish a role, to be an example for other people.' "
Interview with New Man Magazine

Now I don't know Sly personally, but I have never seen his career marked by his Christian faith.  Has he publicly stated he's a Christian?  Is he really convinced that this film is a one that represents the Christian faith or anybody's faith?  Just because his character goes on a 'spiritual journey' does that mean wherever he ends up we should applaud the search?

Secondly, if the movie really is about the Christian faith, it is damning.  The Christian story isn't one where we see 'a man' come and live as an example for other people.   If Jesus only came to 'live as an example' we'd all be in a desperate position.  Jesus was more than an example, he was a savior who reconciled a people to God.  This type of thinking is the same perversion that portrays David as a boy who conquered Goliath and presents to Christians, "If you just have enough faith, you too can conquer the Goliath's in your life".  Was this the picture that David gave us?  I don't think so.  In the story of David and Goliath, we really are the Israelites who were unable to face our great enemy, who were afraid and needed a Savior.  David is a picture of Jesus who we all need in order to have victory.  This movie would only present a contradictory message of Christian faith.

Sadly, with the phenomenon of The Passion of Christ, Hollywood has their eyes wide open to exploit the Christian community for the purpose of money.  They are turning the Christian faith into a marketing gimmick. 

Church Planting Wisdom

Derek Brown (Harmony Blog) started a new series: Church Planting Wisdom.  Several church planters have already shared some of their thoughts on planting churches (eg. Michael Foster, Bruce Chant, Kevin Cawley)  Here is my addition: Church Planting Wisdom – From Drew Goodmanson.

Sermon Zeitgeist

Sermon CloudOne of the cool things about Sermon Cloud is it gives you a sort of sermon zeitgeist.  Because Sermon Cloud is fairly new, it has taken a bit to find out what people are preaching on and who are the popular preachers.  Here are some tidbits:

1) Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz, has the most popular sermon (in terms of downloads) at Sermon Cloud.  He preached Incarnational Gospel at his home church Imago Dei.  It has been downloaded over 1,000 times. 

2) Rick McKinley's pastor of Imago Dei preached Inconvenient Christianity, the most 'amened' sermon just edging Noel Heikkinen by one 'amen'.

2) The most popular preacher in terms of people 'searching' is Tim Keller from Redeemer NY. 

3) You can view where all the churches are and find out who is preaching in your home town using our Church/Preacher Map page.

4) In light of the Ted Haggard scandal, only one sermon (Check Your Posture: A Message Regarding Ted Haggard)had his name in the title or meta tags.  But during that week this was the most popular sermon.

Do you own zeitgeist.  Go to the Sermon 'Search' page and filter by downloads or go to view the sermons with the most amens .

Ministry Design: Greeting as Hospitality, Connecting & Ministry

Last month I transitioned from many of my responsibilities, such as overseeing our deacon development (which has entered a more mature season, we've installed 3 new deacons and have 3 more identified this year) into thinking through the process people go through from the time they visit the church, through connecting, being developed and being sent on mission. Over the next couple months, I'll document some of these thoughts in a Ministry Design series focusing on Connecting, Developing & Sending

The first step in this is greeting people when people visit our church.  Most churches have 'greeters' to welcome people on Sundays.  But how many churches are deliberate about using their greeters as a ministry beyond hospitality?  Each week I typically speak to 2-3 visitors who are attending a Kaleo service for the first time.  The 3 most common reasons people visit Kaleo are: they have newly moved to the area, they are looking for a new church or their life is in a transition.  In each of these there are direct ministry opportunities for us to provide these people. 

  • People that are new to the area need to find gospel community and fellowship.
  • People who are looking for a new church are leaving because there was some un-met need (whether consumerism driven or legitimate we are still responsible to minister to them.)
  • People who are in a life transition (loss of job, health, death in the family) many need counseling, intense prayer and support.  

How do we connect with these people and gather this information in order to minister to them?  We are looking to train our greeters where there will be a 'front door' welcoming greeting team and a second greeting team inside near a resource table to meet these people.  Our goal is to partner these guests with people in our church who can help minister to them and help them connect.  We would hope to have our people pray for, meet with and love these guests. 

How do you ensure you connect with all visitors?  We will offer guests a Kaleo Vision Package.  This packet would include our vision/values and a cd that they could listen to in their car during their 15-minute drive home from church.  At the same time we would gather their information if we had not received it.  On subsequent visits 2nd time guests could pick up copies of our worship cd and third time The Gospel for Real Life (or other resource).  This is how we would see our greeting operating as a ministry to those who visit Kaleo.

Preparing Him for the Other Woman

Any mom's read my blog? Read Preparing Him for the Other Woman review by my wife over at Misguided Saint.  Summary: In her book, Preparing Him for the Other Woman, Sheri Rose Shepherd uses scripture to encourage mothers in their journey to raise this next generation of men. Shepherd emphasizes that when our boys are young, we are the woman in their lives. We are the standard for them. We are defining and shaping how they look at women. The way a man loves a woman has a lot to do with what he learned as a little boy through his relationship with his mother. Sheri Rose Shepherd stresses the importance that if your son is going to respect his wife, he has to respect you first.

Acts 29 Europe

This year the Acts 29 Network has formed an international board to begin building the Acts 29 Network throughout the world.  Mark Moore (Pastor of Providence Community and who made his first blog comment EVER on this site ) will head up A29 Europe.  Read more about the announcement and how you can support or join the movement of Acts 29 in Europe.  Also, read Acts 29 and the Missional Call to the Whole World by Mike Gunn (Co-founder of Mars Hill and now Pastor of Harambee Church) .

Getting Things Done (Summary) & Ready for Anything

getting_things_done_pb.jpgGetting Things Done is a giant method of how to be productive and efficient, without being stressed out.  The goal is 1) to get all of the stuff you need to do and remember out of your head and into an external system that you can rely on, so your head isn’t trying to always do the remembering (namely, organized lists—a key value of this book), and 2) to get you to make decisions about your work right away.  Here is a link to Word document summary of Getting Things Done: getting-things-done-summary.doc

NOTE: The Getting Things Done Summary document was created by Leah Hardwick for David Fairchild at Kaleo Church.  (So if it mentions creating a 'Grace' file, etc. that is his wife.)

Addressing the big “E” on the eye chart: do I think this would be helpful for you?  Yes.  If nothing else, you can walk away from this with a few nifty “tricks” about how to get things done more efficiently, with less stress, etc., if you don’t adapt the whole method.  I have outlined the major points and methods of the book so you can determine what would be helpful for you to implement on a day-to-day basis.

Basic requirements of managing commitments:

  1. If something is on your mind, it must be captured into a trusted system outside your mind that you know you’ll come back to regularly and sort through
  2. Clarify exactly what your commitment is, and what you have to do, if anything, to make progress toward fulfilling it.
  3. Once you’ve decided on an action, you must keep reminders of them organized in a system you’ll review regularly.


A few key points:

         If your organization efforts are to be successful, you need to gather everything that requires thinking, and then do that thinking.

         The key to managing all your stuff is managing all your actions.

Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Work and Lifeready-for-anything.jpg

Based on Allen's highly popular e-newsletter, Principles of Productivity, Ready for Anything offers fifty-two principles to clear your head, focus productively, create structures that work, and get in motion, including:
* stability on one level opens creativity on another
* you can't win a game you haven't defined
* the value of a future goal is the present change it fosters

With wit, motivational insights, and inspiring quotes, Ready for Anything shows readers how to make things happen with less effort, stress, and ineffectiveness, and lots more energy, creativity, and clarity. This is the perfect book for anyone wanting to work and live at their very best.

This Beautiful Mess: Practicing the Presence of the Kingdom of God

thisbeautifulmess.jpgRick McKinley's new book is out, This Beautiful Mess: Practicing the Presence of the Kingdom of God. Description: The kingdom of God has already broken into this world, but it is not yet fully here. Therefore, as kingdom dwellers, Christians live in tension: groaning from the brokenness of this world, but rejoicing with hope in the promise of God. This Beautiful Mess calls believers to live in the reality of His kingdom now! Not your family, not your culture, not even your church should define your view of existence — only your belonging to God's kingdom. Loving, touching, weeping, and rejoicing — it's all a part of making God's blessing of redemption known to a hurting world. Only when you practice His reign without inhibition will you begin to revel in the true gospel of grace and freedom.

In the book, McKinley contrasts the two 'gospels' as the Gospel of Jesus and the Gospel About Jesus and how not understanding this brings confusion.  You need to synthesis these two gospels to find the true sense of the gospel.  McKinley writes:

"If all we value is the salvation gospel, we tend to miss the rest of Christ's message.  Taken out of the context of the kingdom, the call to faith in Christ gets reduced to something less than the New Testament teaches.  The reverse is also true:  if we value a kingdom gospel at the expense of the liberating message of the Cross and the empty tomb and a call to repentance, we miss a central tenet of kingdom life.  Without faith in Jesus, there is no transforming of our lives into the new world of the kingdom."

This was very timely for me, I just preached Sunday on this very idea and I stated that there is 3 aspects to the gospel.  The Gospel of Jesus, the Gospel of Sonship and the Gospel of the Kingdom.  You can read/listen to the sermon Jesus and the Revolution – An Alternative Kingdom at Sermon Cloud.  (You can also listen to a lot of McKinley's sermons on the Kingdom there as well.)   The reality of this new Kingdom brings us to see three gospel perspectives:

1. Gospel of Christ: The announcement of this Kingdom is news, not advice. It is accomplished as an actual historical event. This is important because as news, we must accept it, we cannot earn it. It becomes 'grace' rather than what we can earn. Entering into the Kingdom is only by repentance and faith (Mark 1:15), forgiveness (Col 1:13-14) and a new birth (John 3:3, 5). When we are 'born again', we are born into the kingdom (John 3:1). Already/Not Yet – Today we accept this news by faith, but one day we will see. Today we have the Holy Spirit as a promise of the true Kingdom to come.

2. Gospel of Sonship: The reality of Jesus righteousness changes our identity. When we enter into the Kingdom, Jesus' kingly authority restructures every area of our life. We can have our identity eternally rooted in God, rather than the false 'messiah's' of our heart that will always disappoint and require us to earn our own identity. We become righteous because Jesus gives us His righteousness. Already/Not Yet – The very idea of Christians being simultaneously legally 'justified' and yet 'sinful' is based on the 'already but not yet' concept of the Kingdom of God. One day sin will no longer hold its power over us; we will be freed from its bondage.

3. Gospel of the Kingdom: As citizens of this new Kingdom, we live by Kingdom values. Inasmuch as we place our faith in Jesus the King, our identity changes because of what Jesus has done and this causes us to live life's motivated by Kingdom values. We become concerned with social justice, mercy and being a loving community reminder of God's redemptive plan to mankind. Already/Not Yet – We are called to be a 'city on a hill' a physical representation of God's redemptive work, seeking to restore the world from the consequences of the fall. Yet, sin remains, death, disease and the poor will always be with us until God comes and completes the restorative work in Act 6 of the drama.

It is through both these three aspects and understanding the Kingdom of God in the phases of human history (For example, unpacking the already/not yet of both earth/heaven today) that we start to understand the Kingdom of God.

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