V6 Discipleship: Personal Influence (Part 1 of 3)

Part 1 of a look at the six sources of influence that promote healthy change and propel your next steps on this journey of faith. Personal Influence and Personal Ability are two of the cylinders in our V6 change engine. Getting all six cylinders firing together will help move you forward.

Look, Lift Up Your Eyes, And See

Warfare, Containers, Harvest, Living Water, and the LCMS Constitution and Bylaws By Justin Rossow One of my favorite moments in the Gospels comes in John, chapter 4, right after the Samaritan woman at the well leaves her empty jug behind to share what she has seen about this Jesus guy: So the woman left her […]

Does Synod Mean Walk Together??

By Justin Rossow I was recently presenting at a gathering of pastors when we went down a brief rabbit trail of a discussion regarding our English word “synod” (as in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod). I thought I was always taught that “synod” came from the Latin for “walking with,” while the other pastor pointed out […]

Test-Driving a New Sermon Structure

Trying something new for the first time is always a little uncomfortable. Sermon structures are no different. The first time you test-drive a shiny new sermon structure, it’s easy to feel like you are slightly out of control. Your natural cadence, your expectations, your anticipation of what your hearers will do next, your flow–all of […]

Advent Sermon Structures

Variety is one of the many benefits of being intentional about the way you structure the sermon from week to week: even when there is strong unity of theme, the experience of the hearers doesn’t become predictable or rote. Our 2013 Advent series is a case in point. The unifying theme was “Beyond Expectation” and […]

Biblical Studies

Beloved, Just Lost

Beloved, Just Lost

It dawned on me in my devotion time just the other day that we usually think the Prodigal Son was OUT and then back IN again; outside the Kingdom and then back inside, where the family belongs. That view of the Prodigal Son aligns with the Story of Salvation in 2 Acts, a common, biblical, and […]

Cultural Studies

Seedbeds of Discipleship in Greenhouses of Grace

Seedbeds of Discipleship in Greenhouses of Grace

What if we imagined every congregation, every small group Bible study, every home and neighborhood where Jesus has planted his Word as a seedbed of discipleship? And several of those seedbeds together could then comprise an innovation greenhouse, a greenhouse of grace.

Discipleship Tools

The Secret Code Prayer

The Secret Code Prayer

Have you ever run a discipleship experiment? When was the last time you tried something new related to following Jesus or being shaped by him? I think a spirit of adventure and discovery goes a long way in the life of a follower. Not everything you try will be right for you, or right for […]

Example Sermons

You ARE His Witnesses

You ARE His Witnesses

I had a chance to sit down with a preacher after I listened to his sermon. I find the conversation about preaching can be fascinating, and really helpful for those who face the art, craft, and challenge of preaching on a regular basis. The text for the sermon came from the assigned readings for Ascension, […]

Hom Helps

6 Tips for Preaching a New Structure

6 Tips for Preaching a New Structure

I forgot how uncomfortable it can be to test-drive a sermon structure you’ve never used before. Before you buckle up and take a new design out for a spin, here are some tips to get you–and your hearers–home safely. 1. Keep Your Goal in Mind I find the best way to use sermon structures effectively […]

Image and Metaphor

The Whole Pie (X)

The Whole Pie (X)

I got to officiate at the wedding of a college friend this last weekend; what an honor! One of my favorite parts of the service was an image I stole from the groom. He told me the story as we met together to prepare not only for the wedding but for the marriage to follow. […]

Reviews

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box

Reader’s Guide Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box, The Arbinger Institute (2010) WHAT IT’S ABOUT Leadership and Self-Deception is about getting out of the box. The box, in this case, is our own patterns of making ourselves seem good in our own eyes, pretty much at the expense of everyone else around us. The basic premise […]

Triads

Relationship Triad: Session 7

Speaking the Truth in Love: How to Be an Assertive Christian, Ruth Koch and Kenneth Haugk Session 7 Before You Meet I. Meditate 3-5 times on Hebrews 12:1-14  this week. Start with prayer for yourself and for others reading the same verse, that the same Spirit that inspired these words would open your heart and mind to them […]