The Church Sidelines

Over a week ago, I had the privilege of attending the Montgomery’s Center graduation for doctors in residence with the Self Regional Healthcare network.  It was my first time attending this ceremony, and I was excited to be there because over half of those graduating had been a part of North Side while they were in Greenwood. I promised not to “Cousin …


Search Me

My wife and I both lead a discipleship group at our church.  While we love doing things as couples, and our groups do that, we have found a lot of men and women who will get more real with each other if the group is not co-ed.  Many of the guys in my group have wives in Amanda’s group.  We …


The Secret to College Ministry

My first job out of college was college and missions pastor at North Side.  Dual responsibilities are always challenging in a church, but I loved both of them. I thought I had figured out college ministry pretty early on.  We began to do a “cutting-edge” worship service away from a church building, because doing it in an established church would …


Values of a Disciple-Maker

Cannot begin to put into words what is happening at North Side in these days.  This morning, I was reminded of how focused, committed, determined, passionate, and sacrificial our church is becoming.  God is on the move, and it is amazing to watch!

We continued in our “Intentional Discipleship” series today as we talked about the values of a disciple-maker.  My notes have that someone who is serious about making disciples is someone who commits to authority (God’s Word), intentionality, maturity, and accountability.  People are stepping up to make disciples – not more programs, but to get into the lives of people and see multiplication rather than just addition.

It was great to surprise Stan Ligon today.  As Jamie Parler and Stan shared a testimony about the power of small groups, we wanted to thank this disciple-maker by allowing some of his guys to say thanks over a secret video.  It was pretty awesome to watch Stan talk about how much he needed these guys then followed by the guys saying how much they appreciated and needed him.  Kingdom living!

Today, we worshiped to:


Your Church’s Best Days Are Not Behind You

I was talking with a friend the other day concerning the future of his church.  As a pastor in another state, he is working with a congregation that has seen some incredible moments in their history.  The problem is – that’s all they think about.

“Remember when pastor so-and-so did this…remember that revival years ago…remember when all those young families started coming…”

His dilemma was that they had seen God move in the past, and all they wanted to do was to tell of the glory days.


Small Group Values

Following up from yesterday’s post, I want to share the 4 values on which my small group focuses.  There are many great lists out there, but this is my attempt at trying to maintain focus within the group I lead. Small group values: AUTHORITY Make sure each member knows that the authority in the study is the Bible.  The teacher,

Do Buffet-Styled Churches Honor God?

For years, I have bought into the church growth principle that the more choices you give people in a church, the more successful the church will be.

To agree with that principle, you must gauge a church’s success by the number of people who stay at that church.  But is that true success?

Here are the courses that the American church is serving up:

  • Worship – traditional, contemporary, blended, cutting edge, emergent, ancient future, classic, golden, choir, band, hard rock, country western, southern gospel, chandeliers, go-bos, expensive organ, expensive guitar, etc.
  • Discipleship – Sunday school, community groups, small groups, Bible fellowship classes, on-campus, in-homes, co-ed, single, married, guys only, girls only, by hobby-interest, by age, by life situations, etc.
  • Preaching – coat and tie, jeans and t-shirt, podium, table, old, young, hip, wise, screen, video, sermon, message, talk
  • Family Ministries – discipleship times, creative programs, glorified babysitting, “community” sports programs with a side of Christ, men’s ministry, women’s ministry, single, divorced, newlywed, with kids, with small kids, with fussy kids, for fussy kids, puppets, Awanas, GAs, RAs, children’s choir

And the list could go on.

  1. Is God honored when we explain what church we belong to by describing the type of music we like?
  2. Is God honored when we defend our group’s methods within the church rather than celebrating the diversity of the whole church?
  3. Is God honored when we try to woo members from other churches because this program is better than that program?


Expected to Grow

What a great day as we concluded “Solitary Confinement.” We’ve encouraged people to join community groups, but we’ve never really expected people to join.  If God expects us to grow, and he uses relationships to help us grow, then shouldn’t we make Christian relationships a priority? Versus hyping people up today and trying to get them to join a community

The Community Life of Jesus

Authentic Christian community is more than an novel concept, it is a biblical command and practice.  Looking at the life of Jesus, one can find an example on how to share life with others.  It’s more than coming to church.  It’s doing life together. It was a great Sunday as we kicked off the new series “Solitary Confinement.”  The picture

Confession: I’m a Horrible Shepherd

North Side hosted its first Shepherding the Shepherd Conference this weekend.  Jamie and his crew did a fantabulous job putting this event on!  Friday night, we gathered all our shepherds for an appreciation dinner.  Allen Levi entertained us, and Kickers cooked for it.  Great night! Saturday morning, we had some shepherd development (for those not accustomed to North Side’s strategy,