paper

Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Crossroads

(Editorial Note: Ignore the stupid face I make at the end. I thought the videographer had already stopped the camera. Whoops). Land plays a critical role in the story of the Bible. In fact, land is as important a character … Continue reading

Posted in Bible, Preaching/Teaching, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

What I’m Telling the Proteges About Catalyst

I am a conference junkie, but I attend conferences differently today than I did 10 years ago. Tomorrow, I leave on a jet plane for my 7th Catalyst Conference. At Catalyst #1, I sat in every session, took notes on … Continue reading

Posted in Developing Leaders, Leadership, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Poking Fun at Mark Batterson

In the vein of not taking ourselves too seriously, we always like to poke a little fun at our lead pastor, Mark Batterson. Two years ago, we created this little gem. Last year, Amanda Giobbi masterminded this little bit of … Continue reading

Posted in Church History, Developing Leaders, National Community Church, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Putting the All In at Leadership Retreat

One of the things that is a huge priority for us at Leadership Retreat is to have fun. We don’t take ourselves seriously. But we do take God seriously. And we are serious about our fun. And when it comes … Continue reading

Posted in Developing Leaders, National Community Church, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Theme It

The next in the series of blog posts about Leadership Retreat: Theme It. For our first few retreats, it was just…Leadership Retreat. In 2004, we decided to theme. To pick a word of a phrase that captured the overarching character … Continue reading

Posted in Developing Leaders, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Face-to-Face and Shoulder-to-Shoulder

I’ve talked a lot recently about making disciples. I’m struck by the fact that Jesus told his followers to go “make” disciples, not “find” disciples. Once upon a time someone stumbled upon my blog because they did a Google search … Continue reading

Posted in Developing Leaders, Discipleship, Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment

Tour Guides vs. Travel Agents

Some of the best discipleship advice I ever learned was from a book on evangelism. It’s more important to be a tour guide than a travel agent. Thank you, Rick Richardson. There is a big difference between being a travel … Continue reading

Posted in Developing Leaders, Discipleship, Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

Value People Over Programs

Leaders who leave a legacy see the value in people. They realize that ministry is not a program but people who are moving out of the overflow of their gifts. Disciples will not emerge from a program; they will emerge … Continue reading

Posted in Developing Leaders, Discipleship, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

X-Ray Vision

Leaders need X-Ray Vision. They need the ability to see gifts, abilities, and passions in people that they don’t see themselves. The theological term for this would be discernment. When Samuel looked at David, he didn’t see a shepherd boy … Continue reading

Posted in Developing Leaders, Discipleship, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Favorite Blogs of 2010

Every year, I go through this little ritual of reviewing my blog posts from the previous year and posting my top ten personal favorites. Here they are, in no particular order: The Naming of EveFrom Elevation to Garden to CityFive … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Leadership Lessons From Chris Douglas

I met Chris Douglas in Free Speech Alley on the campus of Louisiana State University in 1990-something. He was crazy enough to be in the first small group I ever led and went on to serve as a youth pastor, … Continue reading

Posted in Cool People, Developing Leaders, Discipleship, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Tooting Their Horn- Bittersweet Dreams

High Street. Edinburgh, Scotland. August 2008. Outside, the din of the Fringe Festival runs well into the night. It’s somewhere around 2am, and we probe our incredibly hospitable and interesting new friends about their stories and dreams. A group of … Continue reading

Posted in Cool People, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 3 Comments

The Playlist

In just a few hours, Ryan, Bob, Juliet, and I will get in a car and drive 10 hours to Nashville, Tennessee. Actually, it will be more like 12 because Bob insists we have to stop for frivolous activities like … Continue reading

Posted in Adventures, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Follow Well

At the last Protege Huddle of the 2009-2010 class, I shared some final thoughts on leadership. One thing I encouraged them to do was to develop the skill of following well. If we want to lead, we must first learn … Continue reading

Posted in Discipleship, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Lead Yourself Well

At the last Protege Huddle of the 2009-2010 class, I shared some final thoughts on leadership. The first challenge I gave them: Lead Yourself Well. If you want to be a leader, then you’ve got to lead yourself well. You’ve … Continue reading

Posted in Discipleship, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

The Prophets Repeat

When people start talking about the Old Testament prophets, I often find myself in a very small minority. Common frustrations include their repetitiveness, their focus on the harsher attributes of God, the gloom and doom, their lack of Gospel oriented … Continue reading

Posted in Bible, Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

Testing our new homepage!

This is Dylan’s first ever wordpress site coded by him and designed by his wifey. It will be totally awesome! Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging! Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Affirming Friendships

This is Part 3 of of the (re)Vision talk on leadership principles from the Life of Mary. In Luke 1:38, Mary aggressively embraced the calling of God on her life, telling the angel, “May everything you have said come true.” … Continue reading

Posted in Bible, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Would You Rather? Friday

It’s Friday, so… Would you rather walk on the moon OR stand at the top of Mount Everest? And tell us why…go…

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

Would You Rather? Friday

It’s Friday, so… Would you rather be divinely beautiful, dazzlingly clever, or angelically good? (With my compliments to Anne Shirley…) And tell us why…go…

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 5 Comments

Would You Rather? Friday

It’s Friday, so… Would you rather have complete and unlimited access to Area-51 or to the Vatican files? And tell us why…go…

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 3 Comments

Catan Fail

For all you Settlers of Catan nerds out there, this is for you. Desert Build Fail. It kinda made sense at the time…but…no. I won’t say who it was. But it wasn’t me. Or Ryan. And no, this brilliant individual … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 5 Comments

Alabama Politics: Dale Peterson and Young Boozer

I spent Memorial Day in Sweet Home Alabama. Love home. I’ve got a lot of personal stories to share, but I’ll save that for later. Tonight, in honor of tomorrow’s election, I just want to share a couple of Alabama … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Would You Rather? Friday

It’s Friday…so… Would You Rather write a New York Times bestseller OR write a Grammy award winning song? And tell us why…go…

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment

Would You Rather? Friday

On Wednesday, I trekked to New York City with a couple members of our team. One of whom is a master of the “Would You Rather?” game. Here is my Would You Rather? for this Friday. Would you rather be … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 3 Comments

Jesus Spit

Jesus was willing to get down into the mess of life. He touched lepers, befriended despised people, and hung out with notorious sinners. One of my favorite stories about Jesus entering into the mess is found in John 9. Jesus … Continue reading

Posted in Bible, Discipleship, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Make Disciples

For the past few weeks, we’ve been exploring this idea that community is messy– and that it’s in the midst of the mess that God brings change to our lives. Some of you are reading this today and you are … Continue reading

Posted in Discipleship, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Lessons From the Pig Farm

I learned an important lesson about dealing with messy community and messy discipleship at a pig farm in southern Louisiana. When I was a graduate student in the biological engineering department at Louisiana State University, I took a class called … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

FREE TICKETS! to Lead Now

There are lots of free giveaways here on Wineskins for Discipleship this week. In addition to the free leaders kit of Sacred Roads, we are giving away tickets to the Lead Now event (in Dallas and over 40 satellite locations) … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

David Johnson: Real Formation for Real People

These are notes from David Johnson’s (from Church of the Open Door) opening talk at the Willow Group Life Conference. Real change can be hit or miss. Ron Sider notes that most evangelical Christians are not different from the culture … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Win a Free Sacred Roads DVD Kit!

Hey– want a chance to win a free leader kit of Sacred Roads: Exploring the Historic Paths of Discipleship, my new small group study published by Threads? The leader kit includes a member book, a DVD with video clips to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 23 Comments

Shoe Box Trip

I love Operation Christmas Child! Pack up a shoebox full of toys, candy, socks, shirts, toothbrushes, and anything else you can stuff in and send it to a kid around the world for Christmas. Threads and OCC are sending one … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Perspective: Mess or Masterpiece?

In the movie Clueless, Tai asks, “What’s a Monet?” And the budding young art historian Cher responds, “It’s like a painting, see? From far away, it’s OK, but up close, it’s a big old mess.” Georges Seurat took the messy … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Shenandoah

Ryan and I took off at the beginning of the week for a quick vacation in the Shenandoah mountains. Vacation for us included the following: 13 miles of trail hiked10 hours of Settlers of Catan played4 hours of movies watched2 … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

You Thought Your Small Group Was Crazy

When Paul wrote his first letter to the church at Corinth, he had to address some pretty messy and sticky situations. Think about it– incestuous affairs, lawsuits, divorce and separation, idol worship, big egos, doctrinal fighting, sexual promiscuity, people getting … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thoughts for the Day

These are random…but two favorite things I read today: “Jesus had a habit of collecting disreputables; he called them disciples.” (Mike Yaconelli, Messy Spirituality) “Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much.” (Paul, letter to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Tools for the Tour Guide

We need fewer spiritual travel agents and more spiritual tour guides. It’s easy to sit in a comfortable climate-controlled office and tell people where to go, how to get there, what to do once they are there, and what they … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Catalyst

I’m heading out in just a bit to join the rest of the NCC team at the Catalyst Conference. Looking forward to connecting with new friends, old friends, and seeking God with our team. I’ll probably take a blogging break … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

More Slides

The Sawyer/McClure clan headed back to Cox Farms on Friday, and I couldn’t resist sneaking out of the office for half a day to join them! My little buddy and I got to tackle the BIG BIG slide that day!! … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sabbath Ideas

I really hated/enjoyed talking about Sabbath at NCC this weekend. It’s fun inviting people on a journey of discovery through the Scriptures and re-imagining ancient rituals, but it’s terrible knowing that I now have 1500 people holding me accountable. It’s … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sliding Into Fun

I took my 2-year old niece to Cox Farms on Wednesday to pet some animals, enjoy a hayride, and face our fears on the giant slides! I was super proud of her for taking such big risks for a little … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Let the Journey Begin

Sacred Roads hits the shelves today!! Take a trip to your local Lifeway store or pay them a visit on the web to get your own, personal copy! My family and I are planning a little field trip later today.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Making Disciples- NEXT

This is Post #8 of the Sacred Roads: Tools for the Tour Guides blog series. Sacred Roads is a new curriculum published by Threads that helps participants explore and experiment with Biblical and historical expressions of discipleship. The Sacred Roads … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Making Disciples Incarnationally

This is Post #7 of the Sacred Roads: Tools for the Tour Guides blog series. Sacred Roads is a new curriculum published by Threads that helps participants explore and experiment with Biblical and historical expressions of discipleship. The Sacred Roads … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Making Disciples Personally

This is Post #6 of the Sacred Roads: Tools for the Tour Guides blog series. Sacred Roads is a new curriculum published by Threads that helps participants explore and experiment with Biblical and historical expressions of discipleship. The Sacred Roads … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sabbath This Weekend

I’m gearing up to kick off our new Ritual series at NCC this weekend, and I’m going to tackle the ritual of Sabbath. We preach best that which we most need to learn, right? Hopefully, it will be a fresh … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Thoughts from Connect

I loved hanging out at the Connect Conference in Shreveport this week. Here are a few take-aways that really stuck with me. I’m not directly quoting anyone as I was not taking notes that closely, but this is the general … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Making Disciples Intellectually

This is Post #5 of the Sacred Roads: Tools for the Tour Guides blog series. Sacred Roads is a new curriculum published by Threads that helps participants explore and experiment with Biblical and historical expressions of discipleship. The Sacred Roads … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Will Preach for Fried Dill Pickles

I’m in Shreveport hanging out with the awesome Threads peeps- Jim Johnston and Jason Hayes– and new friend Tim Miller. We are speaking at the Connect Conference. When I walked into the church, Pastor Jeff Jones brought me a bowl … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Making Disciples Experientially

This is Post #4 of the Sacred Roads: Tools for the Tour Guides blog series. Sacred Roads is a new curriculum published by Threads that helps participants explore and experiment with Biblical and historical expressions of discipleship. The Sacred Roads … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment