Archive for the Discipleship Category

The Axehead Falls

Posted in Christian Music, Christianity, Church, Discipleship, Evangelism, God, Jesus, Megachurch, Religion on December 2, 2008 by Scott

What better way for the Axe to fall than to say goodbye with our friends from Audio Adrenaline.

No tears. It’s simply time to shut-up and start making a difference somewhere. But we’re not disappearing completely.  You can find us on Twitter and Facebook

In the words of Forest Gump, “That’s all I’ve got to say about that.”


Who’s Fault Is It?

Posted in Christianity, Church, Culture, Discipleship, Evangelism, Faith, God, Jesus, Missional, Politics, Religion on November 12, 2008 by Scott

blameNo…not the election.

Who’s fault is it that we have become reliant on the government to solve our societal issues?

Christians have become a pawn in the political process and we allowed it to happen.

Meanwhile, our society is full of people who need help – the homeless, young women considering abortion, kids who are starving, families breaking apart, and more.

And where are we?  Canvassing for our favorite politician so that they can cure everything that is “wrong” in our country.

Pastor Greg Matte of Houston’s First Baptist Church puts it this way:

…government policy has stepped into theology. The beginning of life and definition of marriage are theological issues, not political… We redefine family and look to government as the lone savior – and here we sit.

Baby Boomers moved from biblical values to “do your own thing” which included raising their kids to enjoy a lazy Sunday morning instead of church.

We now raise our kids on the sporting fields while shoe polishing our SUVs each weekend with “Go Team! On to the ‘ships!” instead of teaching the difference between eternal rewards and plastic trophies.

All valid points.  So, now what?

Roxanne Wieman at Relevant Magazine has some great ideas:

We do not rest our hopes for change on a political party or candidate…. in January when Obama takes office, we get up and we continue our sojourn to follow Jesus. We live our votes for life, for justice, for peace, for equality.

We comfort our friend who tells us she’s considering abortion. Then we gently tell her why we believe life in the womb is precious. We help her find alternative options … and we stick by her side all through the pregnancy and birth and after. She is not a statistic or a faceless evil to us.

We love beyond racial, gender and sexual lines. We reject stereotypes. We embrace individuals. We work for reconciliation.

We do not talk about “that side of town,” we live there and work there and mentor there. We are a part of educational reform, and ESL, and rehabilitation.

We recycle. We reduce our imprint. We consciously make our purchases, recognizing the global implications. We strive to “live simply that others may simply live” (Ghandi).

We personally pray for our soldiers in Iraq, for the citizens of Iraq, for our leaders who are making tough decisions that affect millions of lives. We really do pray, and we believe our prayers matter.

We continue to work hard in the jobs God has given us, saving our money and stewarding our resources. We tithe. We donate. We volunteer.

We continually challenge each other to deepen our understanding of whole life ethics and Jesus’ call to follow Him.

Rather than sitting around and “grieving” the election results like James Dobson, it’s time we stop blaming the government, look in the mirror and heed the words of Jesus:

Mark 12:30-31 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

If you really want to make a difference in the issues that plague our society, that’s where we start. It’s time to stop going to church and time to start being the church.

Part of the Problem

Posted in Christianity, Church, Discipleship, God, Jesus, Religion on November 6, 2008 by Scott

From Pastor Keith Stewart from Springcreek Church in Garland, Tx.

No one is perfect. No one lives sin-free. You blow it. I blow it. And the church does, too… The truth is, an apology from the church should not “stand out.” It should not make the community sit up and take notice. But it does, precisely because that the church rarely does what it tells others to do.

…The church in America has a serious credibility problem. Those outside the church look at us and often don’t see anything that even remotely resembles Jesus. Instead they see judgment, hypocrisy, and very little compassion. They hear our words, but don’t see a lifestyle that aligns with those words.

The only way the community will ever believe our words is if our behavior backs it up. With the help of God, we want to become a community of believers that lives out its creed.

With this public apology, our foremost desire is to take responsibility for how we have failed in this area, because with 100% responsibility for our attitudes and behaviors comes 100% forgiveness. And secondly, in keeping with the spirit of repentance, our desire is to keep our eyes on Jesus and allow Him to keep us focused on His mission.

Sounds like perhaps now they can be part of the solution.

Saving Christians

Posted in Books, Christianity, Church, Discipleship, Evangelism, Faith, God, Jesus, Missional, Religion on October 29, 2008 by Scott

In their new book, Jesus Wants To Save Christians, Rob Bell and Don Golden examine the disparities between the message of Christ and the message of the modern, Western Church.

From Relevant Magazine:

“To preserve prosperity at the expense of the powerless is to miss the heart of God.”  (Rob Bell)

In what ways do you believe the church in America has “preserved prosperity” at others’ expense?

Perhaps one obvious question a church can ask herself is “What percentage of our budget is spent on us and what is spent on others?”

The Church has missed the heart of God by speaking out against abortion while keeping silent about war. Both are forms of violence used to preserve prosperity. Abortion is prenatal war against the powerless child. War is postnatal abortion that destroys innocent life. The kingdom is life for the fetus and life for the civilian. The church embodies this life in a world of expedient and preemptive killing.

It can be difficult to understand the plight of the powerless when we have so much, what can church leaders do to help connect their communities with the heart of God for those suffering right now?

The most powerful thing we’ve seen is when people make a friend from outside their bubble—through a tutoring program, a job skills training class, a Habitat for Humanity build project-when “the poor” has a name and a face and personality for you, everything changes.

As the title of the book suggests, Jesus Wants To Save Christians. In your opinion, what are the biggest things we need saving from?

Boredom. Which is really despair in its non-caffeinated form. And boxes. Where we live in fear and where we put those who unsettle us.

You describe the plan of God for the church to be a gift to the world. Many people today would say that the church is anything but. What are some crucial changes that our churches need to make to become a Eucharist that is broken and poured out for the world?

1. Master the art of doubt. Faith needs it to survive.

2. Surrender the compulsive need to constantly remind people that according to your worldview you’re going to heaven forever when you die and they’re going to burn in hell forever.

3. Celebrate the good and the true and the beautiful wherever and whenever you find it regardless of the label it wears or the person it comes from or the place you found it. All things are yours.

4. Remember that the tax collectors and prostitutes loved to feast with Jesus and the religious establishment gossiped about him and dissected his teachings and questioned his commitment to orthodoxy and eventually had him killed. There’s a lesson for us there.

Give Me Your Eyes

Posted in Christianity, Discipleship, Evangelism, Faith, God, Jesus, Religion on October 15, 2008 by Scott

We’re not real big on the Christian pop scene, but Give Me Your Eyes by Brandon Heath has an interesting concept.

Imagine if you could have God eyes for just one second…what would you see, what would you feel, how would it change you?

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me your heart for the once forgotten

Alright….The video of this song from YouTube keeps saying “no longer available,” yet plays perfectly on YouTube.  You can view it here.

Here’s another video from Brandon Heath:

Saving Soles

Posted in Christianity, Church, Community, Discipleship, Evangelism, Faith, Jesus, Religion on September 26, 2008 by Scott

Some of you have been waiting for this opportunity for months, so today we bring you for the first time ever in the blogosphere, special guest blogger – What About.

Freakin weirdos…what are these people doing? Surely Jesus didn’t really mean for us to do this.

Not convinced this is something we should be doing? Don’t take my word for it.

1 John 3:17

Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God’s love? It disappears. And you made it disappear.

Mark 9:35

He sat down and summoned the Twelve. “So you want first place? Then take the last place. Be the servant of all.”

Mark 10:41-45

“Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not to be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for many who are held hostage.”

You Floating Axhead boys like to keep a running list of “You Might Be a Pharisee if….”  Well, I have one to add.

If you think you are too good to do something Jesus did, you might be a Pharisee.

A Real Revolution

Posted in Christianity, Church, Discipleship, Evangelism, Faith, God, Jesus, Religion on September 17, 2008 by Scott

This from Dave Gibbons, Pastor of NewSong Church in Irvine, Ca.

When I looked more closely at our budget, I realized that over 55% of our budget was staff related. While our staff is amazing, it had unintentionally created a bottleneck in our mission—it impeded the development of our people because we were “staff-driven.

Our first instinct to address needs in the church tends to be hiring professionals. The economy is going to force us to re-examine that practice.

Am I saying we should do away with pastors? Of course not. But we must see the congregation as the leading edge of the church and redefine our pastoral role to support and resource them. The movers and shakers should be in the congregation, not the professional staff. We serve, support, and at times lead—but we lead in the way Paul defined it…equipping our people to do the work of the ministry.

Can you imagine what would happen if the bulk of our resources focused on the development of our people rather than on staff and facilities? Can you imagine the impact that would have on our mission?

It might just result in the greatest transfer of wealth in church history.

Let’s face it, most of us sitting in the pews don’t want this transfer of wealth. It’s easier to sit back and let the church staff do the hard work. Discipleship, evangelism, missions – that’s up to the staff. Just let me know where I need to be and when. With any luck I’ll already have something planned…

One sign of knowing we ARE the church, instead of going to church… when the movers and shakers are in the pews, not the pulpit.

That would be a revolution worth joining.