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Monday, June 19, 2006

New MMI Website is Now Open!

We're finally ready to start moving into our new digs!  You can visit the new MondayMorningInsight.com website by clicking here...

We've updated our rss feeds accordingly.  If you have our site bookmarked as MMIBlog.com, you'll want to change that over to our new permanant url:  http://www.mondaymorninginsight.com!

NOTE:  If you are still pulling our (very) old RSS feed from Typepad, please change it to the following (the Typepad one will not be updated in the future...


We'll see you there!


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June 19, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 16, 2006

The 'TMI' Pastor Asked to Set Some Boundaries

Boundaries This just in from LarkNews... NAPERVILLE, Ill. — Brentwood Community Church's congregation has asked its pastor to stop using the pulpit as his public confessional and to set boundaries on what he's willing to share.

"Every week he confesses another personal weakness," says one member. "You get twitchy wondering what's next."

The personal confession streak started after Pastor Greg Ott attended a pastors conference in Chicago. He returned and told the church he was embracing a "new vulnerability" with them.

"That sounded great until we realized it meant he would dump his dirty laundry on us every Sunday," says one church member.

In the rhythm of his sermon, Ott's confession usually comes a third of the way through, his people say. On a recent Sunday morning the congregation seemed to collectively cringe as he stepped around the pulpit and said, "Let me be real transparent with you ..."

"I brace myself until he spits it out," says Jocelyn Garnet. "It makes for a tense service."

One week Ott admitted he was sometimes tempted to claim Starbucks food purchases as ministry-related tax deductions. Another time he said he "struggled with angry outbursts," and occasionally "barked" at fast food drive-thru employees. He even said he sometimes walks "a little too slowly" by the Victoria's Secret store in the mall.

Lay leaders decided to broach the matter with Ott because the church was getting a reputation as the home of the "TMI pastor," (short for "too much information").

Ott says he just wants to be real with his people.

Read more LarkNews.com stuff here...

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June 16, 2006 in Humor | Permalink | Comments (6)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Ghost of Adrian Rogers (actually his wife) Weighs In...

Adrian_rogers_1_1GREENSBORO, N.C. (BP)--Joyce Rogers, widow of Adrian Rogers, longtime pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church, commented on what she described is the narrowing of parameters in Southern Baptist life June 12 during a tribute to her late husband in the Pastors’ Conference at the Greensboro Coliseum.

“Adrian Rogers was a gracious man who worked for unity in the body of Christ,” Joyce Rogers said. “… [I]n the battle for the Bible, he believed with all his heart that inerrancy was a hill big enough to die on. But under that umbrella, and the essentials of the faith, he sought for unity in the body of Christ, among Southern Baptists and the wider body of Christ.”

Rogers said her late husband had “other interpretations of doctrines that were important to him, like he was an avid believer in the premillennial view of prophecy. But he never considered that that was a basis for fellowship, and he believed that it was in the local church that you honed those beliefs.”

At this point in her remarks, Rogers urged the Pastors’ Conference audience to listen to her carefully.

“Adrian Rogers would not have been a part of what is going on in some parts of our convention today, getting narrower and narrower about very highly interpretive issues,” she said, touching off about 15 seconds’ worth of applause.

“He would try to convince you of his view, but not to exclude you from service and fellowship, or to prevent you from going around the world with Southern Baptists to share the Gospel if you disagreed on these controversial issues,” Rogers said. “And I challenge you on his behalf to graciously work for unity in the body of Christ.”

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June 15, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (39)

A Pastor's Plea to Worship Leaders

WorshipleaderJason Janz is a pastor who has put a lot of thought into his postion on worship... take a read...

I was listening to some music from a popular ministry the other day, and the idea for this article came to me. After the completion of one of the songs, the worship leader began what I affectionately term “praise venting.” “Thank you Jesus! Praise you Jesus! Lord, you are wonderful! Majestic!” Forgive me if I don’t have the quotes down correctly, but you get the idea. “Praise venting” has always bothered me. When I hear it, I find myself thinking, I’m glad he’s enraptured. What’s my problem? Would I ever have the guts to do that publicly? Why does that always sound fake? What am I supposed to do while he’s doing that? While pondering praise venting, I have been reading several books on worship that have stirred my heart on the issue of congregational worship. Thus, I’d like to scratch out my musings (or ventings) in this plea to worship leaders.

While I am a pastor, I would like to speak as just an average church member to worship leaders. I have been in church for 33 years, and I have sat under the leadership of more than 10 worship leaders in my home church. Besides that, I have visited more than 100 different churches of all denominations and worship styles. If I calculated the total number of songs I have sung under the leadership of different men (and women) in evangelicalism, the total would be more than 20,000. Suffice it to say, I have experience. Not in leading worship, but in being led.

My presupposition is that I believe it is your job to lead the congregation in worship of Almighty God. (This responsibility does not diminish the role of the senior pastor. He is a worship leader as well.) Colossians 3:16 tells the congregation to sing “with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” In Acts 16:25, Paul and Silas, bound in chains, were God-directed in their worship as they “sang praises unto God.” You are facilitator for that noble time when the people of God gather corporately to bear witness to their love for God.

Let me also admit my weakness. I am a weak worshiper. I am easily distracted. To stay focused on God during the musical part of the worship service is mental sweat for me. I want to share with you some things that would help me as you attempt to fulfill your responsibility. You can greatly help me and many who sit in churches each Sunday.


His advice (you can read in more detail here):

1.  Prepare the service
2.  Avoid hard songs
3.  Bring us to the text
4.  Make us think on the lyrics
5.  Avoid cheap tricks
6.  Don't draw attention unto yourself
7.  Minimize distractions
8.  Recognize the body
9.  Walk with God

There's a lot of good stuff in there to soak up... again, you can read it here; and then feel free to come back here and leave a comment...

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June 15, 2006 in Worship | Permalink | Comments (20)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Don't Overdo Excellence

ExcellenceDo you ever feel that striving for excellence Sunday after Sunday after Sunday takes the fun out of ministry?  Ever feel there is a danger in trying to hit one out of the part every week?  (Cause next week everyone will want to see one hit just a little further?)
And how do you square quality (excellence) with consistency?  Steve Sjogren wrote a small piece on excellence over at his "Growing Edge Buzz".  He states...

"An over-emphasis on the value of excellence, which I now see all around me across the US, kills the attitude of fun. People can sense an attitude of overkill on the serious end of things.  If you think that people will forsake a church that is wasteful of people’s time, they will even more quickly forsake a place that is deadly serious. There is nothing that kills a great atmosphere faster than an inflexible attitude that comes out of a weekend service that resembles something that looks more like the Tonight Show than it does a gathering of Christ-followers who are getting together to experience the presence and power of God and the simple teaching of God’s word with lots of practical applications. 
You can read all of Steve's thoughts from "Growing Edge Buzz" here.
Seems to me (as in most things) that there needs to be some balance set in place.
Question:  How do you balance quality, excellence, consistency, etc. along with the practical quality application of God's Word?  Do you find it a difficult struggle?
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June 14, 2006 in Leadership Issues | Permalink | Comments (12)

Surprise in the SBC: Outsider Wins Presidency

PageAccording to The Decatur Daily, Melanie B. Smith writes...

A South Carolina pastor who had said it would take "a miracle" for him to be elected is the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The Rev. Frank Page won 50.4 percent of the vote Tuesday at the meeting in Greensboro, N.C. He defeated the Rev. Ronnie Floyd of Springville, Ark., and the Rev. Frank Sutton of Nashville.

The decision by messengers to pick someone unexpected showed "a healthy kind of freedom of God," said the pastor of Southside Baptist Church.

Page had the support of a group of mostly younger ministers, who have criticized the convention for not drawing leaders from a broader but still conservative spectrum.

Page told an interviewer Monday that he would seek to involve more people as leaders if elected, according to Baptist Press.

"I am tired of seeing the same names," he said.

Several pastors who are "blogging," or publishing online journals, from the meeting, rejoiced at Page's election. Some SBC watchers attribute bloggers with successfully challenging the SBC political machine.

The Rev. Wade Burleson of Oklahoma is a blogger who backed Page and criticized the International Mission Board, which he serves as trustee. Other trustees voted to oust him but later rescinded the decision, though censuring him.

Burleson submitted a motion Tuesday calling for investigation of "manipulation" and "coercion" by IMB trustees. By early Tuesday evening, messengers had not discussed it.

Convention support
Bloggers and others criticized Floyd for his church's poor support of the denomination's Cooperative Program, the main source of funding for mission work, seminaries and agencies.

Floyd's church, First Baptist Church of Springville, Ark., gave less than 1 percent of its undesignated funds to the program last year. The church has 16,000 members in two campuses. Floyd said the church spent money on its own mission work.

Page's church, First Baptist Church of Taylors, S.C., gave over 12 percent of undesignated receipts to the Cooperative Program in 2005.

Sutton decided to allow his nomination only eight days before the meeting as criticism of Floyd grew.

Shifting control
Page said his election did not signal any moderation of theology for the convention, according to The Associated Press. He said he believes in the literal truth of the Bible. But Page said he wants to present a gentler face than past SBC leaders.

"I believe the word of God," he said. "I'm just not mad about it."

Page's church averages attendance of more than 2,500 a week. The convention has 43,000 churches with more than 16.2 million members, making it the largest non-Catholic religious body in the United States.

You can read the entire article here.

Any thoughts on the new SBC President?

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June 14, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (8)

When There's Friction on the Team

CordeiroHow do you deal with friction on your staff or leadership team?  Pastor Wayne Cordeiro has some advice...

"Some of the best leaders watch for, and deal with friction in a gracious, kind way."

We want to make sure that our teams are working well together, that they’re having good relationships with one another:

· Is there an edge? An “elephant in the room” where people don’t feel comfortable talking?

· Is there indirect bad talking? Even gossiping?

Do not be passive about it! Many times as Christians we think, “Oh, well, it will pass. They’ll work it out.” Or, “Since it’s not really hurting anyone & no one’s complaining…” No! Do NOT be passive.

Do you know what being passive leads to? It breeds future wars! It breeds dissension, even discontent!

We must be diligent leaders with a heart for the people who watch for friction on our teams and deal with them graciously, kindly & promptly. Do not just let it slide or you’ll see it disintegrate an entire ministry!

Become a true team leader!

Watch out for people frictions that lead to destruction. Always have your radar up… And deal with it! With graciousness and kindness. But deal with it!

...from Wayne's "Mentoring from a Distance" Blog.

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June 14, 2006 in Leadership Issues | Permalink | Comments (3)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The "Pastor's Discount"

Dollars3Do you ever ask for the "pastor's discount"?  I ran across this on a message board about a photo store owner a little frazzled due to a pastor asking for a discount.  What do you think?

I did my pastors pics last week. They turned out great. I know the family has enough money, trust me. He wanted to order all 4x6's to take to his family in another state next week, to show them and see if they wanted to order. He asked for a discount on 4x6's if he ordered them all. I gave him half off, reluctantly, knowing he has money, and I dont. (This is my business) Then again, he is coming back to place a large order when he returns home. I know it will be worth it. What if he asks for another discount? I feel dumb NPT giving him one, because he has done a lot for the family, really he has. But his "freebies" were a free sitting on the land of his home (normally $50) and a free 8x10 (normally $15). That was my gift to him. What to do? They are great people, but I have no more sittings scheduled this month, and am layed off for the summer from my job at a school.

Do you ever ask for a 'pastor's discount'?  Do you know some pastors who do?  (I think we've all met a pastor or two in our day that thought he was entitled to a little bit of everything because of his title).  What would you do it you were this store owner?


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June 13, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (22)

Mark Driscoll on Paying Pastors

PaycheckMark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church recently preached a sermon on I Corinthians 9:1-18 on how to compensate pastors. Mark says:  For some reason, pastoral ministry remains for some a glowing, naive, dreamy life idealized as hours of Bible reading, prayer walks with Jesus, and days spent singing worship songs and smiling. But being a pastor is the spiritual equivalent of being a kamikaze pilot...

Here were his three main points:

Principle #1:
A pastor is not worth respect unless he produces results

Principle #2:
A pastor worth respect is worth a decent wage

Principle #3:
Sometimes a pastor lays aside his wage for the sake of the gospel

It's a very interesting presentation... you can find a pdf of Mark's outline and thoughts here; and there's also a podcast and video of the service available at the Mars Hill website.

Any thoughts?

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June 13, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (9)

Ministry: Fun Factor vs. Fear Factor

CongasWayne Cordiero writes...

God gives us tons of opportunities in life; times when we have a choice to do it or not, to charge or stay the safe route, for life or for abundant life. Go for it! Charge it all the way!

Last weekend I played the congas with the band on stage. I don’t know how to play those things! But I did anyway.

Of course, I have a little musical experience and less rhythm (smile!) so I had a general idea of what I was doing. But I could’ve been afraid and never tried it. Life would’ve gone on just fine… except that I would never have had so much fun!

Too many times we (especially in ministry) play to the “Fear Factor.” We’re afraid to do something new. We fear failing, we fear falling on our faces, we fear messing up. That’s when we need to remember the “Fun Factor”!

Make sure you’re still having fun in ministry. Keep it alive, fresh, even (gasp!) edgy! And replace the typical “fear factor” for a much more refreshing “fun factor”!

Go bongo on congas!

[from Wayne's blog "Mentoring at a Distance"

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June 13, 2006 in Leadership Issues | Permalink | Comments (1)