Thursday, July 30, 2009

Axiom (2)

I'm posting a few blogs from Bill Hybels' book Axiom.

Axiom 16: Six by Six Execution--I liked this one so much, I've started to practice it and have challenged our pastors to do the same thing. Basically, this axiom asks the question, "What are the six most important challenges I can focus on over the next six weeks?" There is nothing magical about six weeks. What this principle does is help you get targeted and focused on the things that will bring the greatest return. In our staff meeting this Monday, we plan to share with each other the six challenges we will focus on.

Axiom 49: Is It Sustainable?--I guess we all learn this axiom the hard way. Any ministry idea that is proposed should pass a couple of obvious criteria. First, does it advance the kingdom of God? Second, can we effectively launch it? These two are all well and good. But the third question is one I have learned the hard way. Is it sustainable? Sometimes ministry ideas fail because they are unsustainable. What makes this difficult is that sometimes the idea appears to be sustainable, only later to find out that it actually is not. For example, the Edge service we started a few years ago. Great idea for the kingdom. We launched it; but we were not able to sustain it. On the positive end, Clothe-a-Child. Good idea for the kingdom? You bet. Could we launch it? Yes. Sustainable? So far, so good.

Axiom 62: Never Beat the Sheep--Wow! When problems arise in the church, the leader's natural reflex is to beat the sheep. "If they would have just...." Or, "If they could only get it...." If things aren't going well, the leader needs to put down the stick and ask himself, "Have I served the sheep well?" I've been asking that of myself a lot lately. As Hybels writes, "A word of loving admonition every once in a while might be appropriate, but put the stick away. Permanently."

"For our email subscribers, please visit Ken's full blog page at to view previous blogs and many other helpful links."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Beach Reading--Axiom

Outside of great time with family, one of the things that I enjoy the most about vacation is sitting on the beach or by the pool reading. One of the books I gulped during the week was Bill Hybel's Axiom. It's the best leadership book I've read in a while. I encourage every leader to pick up a copy and read it. I love the length of chapters (2-3 pages). I'll probably take 2-3 blogs and pull some of the leadership axioms that stood out to me.

Axiom 7: An Owner or a Hireling: Paul owned the vision God gave him even though he faced much persecution because of it. He didn't take a hireling approach to what God called him to do. The greatest determinant of whether followers will own a vision is the extent to which they believe the leader owns it. If the leader sacrifices for the vision, the people will also. If you are half-hearted about the vision, that's the heart the people will have.

Axiom 10: The Value of a Good Idea: Even though CBC is going through some seasons of struggle, through the years God has done a marvelous work. And whatever successes we've enjoyed can point back to a good idea. The first mission trip to Brazil, a good idea. Clothe-a-child, a good idea. Starting the Child Development Center, a good idea. "Leaders traffic in idea creation. The best leaders I know are ferociously disciplined about seeking them out and incredibly committed to stewarding them well." We need to be reminded that to have one breakthrough idea, you have to allow for hundreds of mediocre ideas.

"For our email subscribers, please visit Ken's full blog page at to view previous blogs and many other helpful links."

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Here are some gleanings from my read through 1 John.

God and Love cannot be separated. If you want to deal with God the right way, you have to learn to love the right way. If you want to love the right way, you have to deal with God the right way. In John's three letters he shows how Jesus provides the full and true understanding of God. And Jesus shows us the mature working-out of love. With all the various belief systems in Ephesus (where John was headquartered), John had a full time job keeping Christians focused on the real Jesus and His way of love.

  • 1:4--Helping others find true joy should be a leading factor in generating joy in us.

  • 1:5--Any message I deliver should certainly come from Christ. It must be His message.

  • 1:7--True community comes from believers walking in God's light.

  • 1:9--One of the greatest verses in the Bible. Genuine confession of sin leads to God's forgiveness and cleansing.

  • 1:10--To say that we have no sin shows how ignorant we are.

  • 2:1--Jesus solved the sin problem.

  • 2:6--Do you live like Jesus did? That's the litmus test on if you really have an intimate walk with God.

  • 2:15--Love for the world squeezes out love for the Father.

  • 3:1--I'm a child of God--that's awesome!

  • 3:2-3--Here's something else that is awesome. One day I will see Jesus and I'll be just like Him. That's double awesome!

  • 3:14--What is the evidence that you are saved? Love for others.

  • 3:16--God calls us to love others sacrificially.

  • 4:10--Sin damages my relationship with God. But thankfully God loved me and sent Jesus as a sacrifice to clean away my sin.

  • 4:11-12--God's love for me should motivate me to love others.

  • 4:21--Christ's command is simple. Loving God includes loving people. You must do both.

  • 5:11-12--One of the simplest, yet profound statements in the Bible--"God gave us eternal life, the life is in his Son."

  • 5:13--Yes, you can be absolutely certain that you have eternal life.

  • 5:14-15--One of my favorite prayer promises.

"For our email subscribers, please visit Ken's full blog page at to view previous blogs and many other helpful links."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Jesus Shines Brightly

I apologize for getting slack on my blog posts. For the 58th time, I will try to do better.

In my last blog I posted some thoughts about how tragedy brings out the best in God's family. Of course, I was referring to the tragic deaths of Parker and Haley Hewitt. Let me follow up.

As you know the services for these two precious children were held at our church last Friday. What an emotional day it was. Yet in the midst of the indescribable grief Jesus shined through. (or is it "shone" through?) Either way you know what I'm talking about.

Jesus shined through with our staff and volunteers. We knew there would be overflow crowds. And we were right. The worship center, Pointe, and fellowship hall were filled to capacity. Pulling that event off required many, many volunteers and much coordination. I was very proud of our church staff and our entire church family. Those outside our church family saw the great ministry you provided. And many have told me personally how impressed they were at your servants' hearts. My special thanks goes to my assistant Debbie Darnell. Logistically, she was the driver that pulled this thing off.

And certainly Jesus shined through with the service itself. Only God could have given me the strength I needed to pull that off. I can't tell you how many people told me before the service they were praying for me. In our church-wide prayer time the night before, we spent the entire hour praying for God to shine through. The worship led by the CBC and REFUGE musicians was awesome. God's presence was powerful.

But one more thing--Jesus certainly shined through Craig and Crystal. I wish you could have seen them during the entire service. Yes, they cried. But more significantly, they worshipped. They sang every song with hands lifted to God. During the solo music, their lips formed every word as Mike and Doug sang.

Their road to recovery will be long. But because of God's grace, they will make it. And Jesus will continue to shine through. And my prayer is that the lessons our church family has learned through this tragedy will linger for many, many years to come.

"For our email subscribers, please visit Ken's full blog page at to view previous blogs and many other helpful links."