Ten Things I’m Learning

1. When people say to “bring it” when you preach…they don’t really mean it.

2. People that say the want to be “going deeper” have no real concept of what “going deeper” actually entails.

3. Modern worship music is beginning to all sound the same.

4. Sometimes you just have to beat your chest and say, “because I’m the boss…that’s why!”

5. When you truly “bring it” in the pulpit…a lot of the people who wanted to be “going deeper”…leave.

6. Homeless people know the “Plan Of Salvation” better than most seminary professors…they have to hear it three times a day just to get a free meal.

7. You don’t want “yes men” on staff…but when every idea is met with a “no”…it’s time to kick some one to the curb.

8. Trying to lead a church would have been much easier if Paul had never picked up a pen.

9. Most homeless people don’t care anything about becoming not homeless…they just want a free meal…even if it means hearing the “Plan Of Salvation” three times a day.

10. Sometimes I wish to God I didn’t know now the things I didn’t know then (thanks Bret Michaels).

Ten Things I’m Learning

20 thoughts on “Ten Things I’m Learning

  1. If either #4 or #7 is carried out without agape love and sincere understanding of a staff member and his/her family, I pity any staff member you might supervise. Been there bought the T Shirt.

    =bR=

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  2. Bill – I can assure you that when..and if…#4 or #7 happens…it comes as no surprise. I’m a pretty hands off leader…except in the area of Scriptural integrity and flow of the Sunday service. However, I’m also pretty clear with written expectations, handling any areas of disagreement one on one and allowing staff to make mistakes. I have always told our staff if they are going to hit the wall…leave a face print…and then hit the wall again to make people think you did it on purpose. However, when there is rank disobedience to an directive from the Elders or myself (which rarely happens)…it’s time to take the next steps. Also #4 and #7 doesn’t happen because of just one incident or one disagreement. I’m really not a tyrant…I just believe in not letting cancer grow.

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  3. Number 9 has me scratching my head Chris. On one hand you make a great point. One I think would be impossible to track because it is impossible to see the heart of any person. Only God can truly do that. I pastored the homeless in San Francisco for 14 years and I have way to many stories that would prove that many do want to get out of the homeless life and many did. As far as the free meal goes San Francisco churches were horrible at feeding and not inviting the homeless into their services. When I arrived in 93 I started a church that did the opposite. I invited all who lived on the street to come in for church. They would stay and listen and the altar services were amazing. Hundreds of lives were changed over 14 years. After service we would then feed but it was a sit down lunch were they were served and our staff would sit among them and get up into their lives. It took time. A long time to break through all the pain of their lives but when you did…change came and it was lasting. Anyway, thanks for reading.
    Pastor Steve
    Former pastor of The Hotdogchurch.com
    Now pastor of the Salt Mine Charlotte

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  4. Steve – Obviously I can’t speak for San Francisco…but I feel pretty confident in speaking for the Lakeland, Florida area. We have many, many homeless people here…especially this time of year. It’s warm in the winter and we have multiple homeless shelters and food banks in the city. Don;t get me wrong we have some homeless folks that are just down on their luck and looking to get back on their feet. However, I spend A LOT of time hanging out with them…and the majority seem to be “professional” homeless. They’ve learned to play the game…and play people. We still feed them…help them out…love on them…but we keep seeing the same faces. We don’t had out cash…and we’ve had some pretty hateful homeless folks act pretty hateful because we won’t finance their drug or alcohol habit. It’s been pretty defeating when we work hard to provide food to homeless people…only to be told “I don’t want no soup…just give me some money” over and over and over again. it doesn’t mean we stop trying to “be the Church”…it just means we now head downtown with our eyes wide open.

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  5. When people say to “bring it” when you preach…they don’t really mean it.

    If it makes you feel any better every time I’ve heard you speak, you’ve “brought it” and I truly appreciated it.

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  6. Dan – Thanks for getting that one. 🙂

    Will – It’s because you are spiritually mature beyond your years. It must be Bobby’s leadership in your life! 🙂

    Seriously…thanks guys…I appreciate the encouraging words.

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  7. Brian says:

    Hey Chris. I read that you are married, and love your wife. Me to and it is the greatest thing in the world next to knowing Christ. One of the things my wife does for me is she just listens to me. She allows me to get things off my chest. I trust her and love that God put her in my life to help sharpen me by knocking of my rough edges. She has learned that certein kind of people just bring out the smart ass in me. For real its like they are just asking for it.
    Like I sai when I talk with her, it helps get things off my chest. This is the raddest part God takes that and draws my wife and I closer to each other. Now I don’t know how it goes down in your marriage. I just no about the one Iam in, but I do know that I have some of the same thoughts you have. Which means that others have them to. None of us are really as special as we think we are. I don’t have a blog or website to rant and rave and post my thoughts on, which are the same as others. I can’t grow closer to my computer, which in ten years will not be here but my wife will. I like to grow closer to her. So that in the end her and I can Reflect Christ back to the lost. Just some thoughts from another believer. Can you Dig it?

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  8. Chris, you are on my list of favorite dudes and pastors. You are on the same list as Rick McKinley at Imago. See his quote below.

    “I guarantee there isn’t a homeless person who couldn’t tell you the gospel verbatim. They’ve had to listen to it three times a day to get a sandwich. They’ve heard about Christ, but they haven’t seen Christ. Who will sit next to them while they panhandle, who will enter their world? I’ve had friends doing that for 15 years. That is seeing the gospel.”

    Chris, hey dude…I am speaking every Thursday morning at Daytona Outreach Center. I am doing messages for the homeless, addicts, prostitutes, the least of these every Thursday. God is asking me to speak more often and is leading me more and more into full time ministry. Keep praying for me dude. Keep up the great work on your blog.

    Ellis

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  9. At the risk of being a big nitpicky, the quote of McKinley’s seems a little strange. A homeless person is fed while also hearing a Gospel presentation, but he says that they have not seen Christ? I don’t get that. That makes it sound like the people helping the homeless while sharing the Gospel with them are somehow to blame for…soemthing.

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  10. Mike & jassact13 – I have never seen McKinley’s quote before…interesting. I would never presume to speak for someone else…so I can’t really explain the quote. My take on it is that he is implying that we hand out a sandwich…give the Gospel presentation…yet, never really get to know the homeless person or develop an authentic relationship with them. I know around here most people think if they will feed a homeless person one time…give them a blanket when it’s cold…that somehow that will bring them to the point of not wanting to be homeless anymore. While I never want to underestimate the power of God and His leading toward immediate life change…there is a danger in that perception. In most situations life change…total life change…is a progressive thing. That means that it takes relationships…Christians standing with you…real relationships being used by God in order to help bring about complete change. Maybe what McKinley is saying is that we need to hand out the sandwich…give the Gospel presentation…but also actually become real friends with the homeless? That’s just my take on it…and I could be wrong.

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