Do volunteer leaders need to be members?

I’ve almost always said yes to this question, minus a few exceptions, but I’m curious what you guys think.

If someone wants to be a volunteer leader at your church do you think they should also be members of the church? Do they need to come every weekend? Where do you draw the line?

There’s a difference between working the parking lot and mentoring students, so where does that play out?

Maybe a scenario would help: If you were a youth pastor and you had a great leader who led a small group for some of your students every Wednesday night, but went to the church down the street on Sundays, would you be OK with it?

Let me know what you think!

I am not ashamed

I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed.  The die is cast; I have stepped over the line; the decision has been made; I’m a disciple of His; I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or sit still.  My past is forgiven, my present makes sense, and my future is secure.  I’m finished and done with low-living, sight-walking, small-planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, “chincy-giving” and dwarfed goals.  I no longer need prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits or popularity.  I don’t have to be first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded.  I now live by grace, walk by faith, learn by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by His power.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my guide reliable, and my mission clear.  I cannot be brought back, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed.  I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity.

I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of my Lord Jesus.  I am a disciple of His.  I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me.  And when He comes for His own, I don’t want Him to have any trouble recognizing me…I want my colors to be clear!

-found on the cot of an African native after his martyrdom

look through the turn

“You have to look THROUGH the turn, not at the ground in front of you.”


That was the first bit of instruction I heard at my motorcycle training class back in 1999. I bought a motorcycle, but I had no idea how to ride it.

People who look at their front tire while on a turn will soon be removing bits of pavement from their body. The rule is simple: you will go where you look. So, when you’re turning, you have to look through the turn to the end of the turn.

Fix your eyes on Jesus…” Why? Because you will go where you are looking.

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”

“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

You will go where you are looking.

If you spend all your time looking at all of the things in your life that are screwed up, you’ll be stuck. If you’re just focusing on the sin you’re trying to avoid, you’ll probably never have victory.

Look through the turn- or you’ll just keep crashing.

People don’t need help discovering their darkness. They will need help seeing their potential.

Who changed you– the person who pointed out your wickedness, or the person who encouraged you to look through the turn?

Heedless of Danger

I was reading a post over on Ben Arment’s blog about the sociological factors that are involved in the expansion of the Christian religion, and it reminded me of this quote from Rodney Stark’s book “The Rise of Christianity“. I’ll include the preceding paragraph so you’ll know the context:

“At the height of the second great epidemic, around 260, in the Easter letter already quoted above, Dionysius wrote a lengthy tribute to the heroic nursing efforts of local Christians, many whom lost their lives while caring for others.”

Most of our brother Christians showed unbounded love and loyalty, never sparing themselves and thinking only of one another. Heedless of danger, they took charge of the sick, attending to their every need and ministering to them in Christ, and with them departed this life serenely happy; for they were infected by others with the disease, drawing on themselves the sickness of their neighbors and cheerfully accepting their pains. Many, in nursing and curing others, transferred their death to themselves and died in their stead…

When everyone else ran for the hills in fear, the Christians followed the Golden Rule. When everyone else was about self-preservation, Christians were about everyone else.

Perhaps the ultimate hope of the local church has very little to do with marketing. Perhaps it will have more to do with the small things we do with great love. Perhaps it was a good idea for Matthew Barnett to use an old hospital for their Dream Center.

forgive me for this post

I heard a sermon by Louie Giglio that has stuck with me called “Prayer: Remix“. It was about a handful of common prayers that people pray that are, well, pointless in his opinion. One of them was the prayer of Christians asking for forgiveness after they have already been forgiven.

I hear this all the time. It’s almost always 1 John 1:9 quoted. It says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

But if we are already forgiven, why do we need to ask for forgiveness?

Is there, perhaps, a better prayer than this one?

Why do you think people feel the need to keep asking for it?

doubting ryan

Vodpod videos no longer available.

We played this video tonight at our high school group’s Wednesday night worship gathering. Melissa talked about her personal battles when it comes to doubt, and did some digging in Scripture to try and figure out what a healthy amount of doubt looks like. Because we all doubt sometimes, don’t we?

I know enough about God to know that he exists. Sometimes I have absolutely no idea what He is doing, but I have a pretty good picture of who He is based on what I’ve learned from the bible, the world we live in, and my own story. I believe in his divine benevolence, but this article is about a guy who simply couldn’t believe in God’s divine benevolence. That article stirred up some doubts for me about the accuracy of the picture I have of God. I believe God is good, and that ultimately God can and will restore and heal this broken planet. But I’m human, and worms eating eyes stirs up doubt for me.

This guy is convinced that there isn’t a God. He says he knows there isn’t a god. I say I know there is. I used to doubt whether or not there was pretty before I became a Christian and even afterward for a couple years. But those doubts have decreased dramatically over the years.

It’s tricky because I trust God, but I buckle my seat belt. I trust God, but I lock my door at night. I trust God, but I save money for emergencies. I trust God, but I sometimes think my plan is better. I trust God, but I sure would like to see those hands of His.

I feel like I have pretty solid faith in God. I talk about my relationship with God, because that is what it is.

But sometimes I doubt, and I think that’s ok. Right?

Do you doubt? All the time or just occasionally? How does it affect you? If you attend a church, do you feel like it is a safe place to talk about your doubts?