Felton Burton: A Life Well Lived

A dear friend and brother-in-Christ, Felton Burton, died on December 30th and will have funeral services conducted today at North Side.  The above picture is of Felton and his wife, Doris, attending a Date Night at our church 2 years ago.  They were standing as the couple married the longest in a group of hundreds of couples that night.  I remember thinking that night that they were such an example of dedication and faithfulness.

Felton has been an icon in Greenwood.  I could go on to list his accomplishments, but you can read about those in his obituary provided by his family.

I want to focus on one element in particular about Felton that I loved the most: his commitment to making his life count.


Stop Church Hopping

There is a growing epidemic in the United States concerning church hopping. More churches’ membership numbers fluctuate not due to new converts but due to revolving membership doors. When someone becomes upset with music styles, church programs, carpet color, differences with another member, frustration with a staff member, or any other reason, people move their church memberships like they would

My Problem with David Platt’s Radical

Like many people in the last year, I have read David Platt’s soul-searching book, Radical. Make no mistake, I was a David Platt fan before being a David Platt fan was cool.  I got the privilege to hear him preach years before his name got real big.  Back in the day, he loved Jesus and was committed to his mission.

Here’s a video preview of his book:

Pretty intense stuff.  The book is even more intense.  He unashamedly calls the American church to wake up from their pursuit of the American Dream and live out the gospel in their daily lives.  Russell Moore’s endorsement is right on: “Sometimes people will commend a book by saying, ‘You won’t want to put it down.’  I can’t say that about this book.  You’ll want to put it down, many times.  If you’re like me, as you read David Platt’s Radical, you’ll find yourself uncomfortably targeted by the Holy Spirit.  You’ll see just how acclimated you are to the American dream…”

My problem with the book is this: David Platt is living this out in the context of an existing Southern Baptist church.

And people are forgetting that.


One Worship Team’s Task

“And he [Jesus] had to pass through Samaria.” -John 4:4

It was the shortest of ways for Jesus to travel. Traveling through Samaria would be shortest distance geographically, but most Jews would bypass that city because of their disdain for the Samaritans. Racial stereotypes kept most religious Jewish leaders out of that city.

But Jesus had to go through that way. He had work there.

In that city, he didn’t feed the masses or heal numbers of people, he spent time with a loose woman by a well. She had been married numerous times and was living with a man who was not her husband at the time. As Jesus was sitting by the well, she came his way, and she would never be the same again.

In this amazing passage, John chronicles Jesus’ uncanny knack for reaching people far away from God. As he draws her in, she begins to realize she is not dealing with your average passerby. When she realizes this fact, she begins to discuss one of Scripture’s worship wars. These feuds about how worship should be done didn’t start when drums were brought into a sanctuary; they’ve been around a while.

“Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.”

“Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do now know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:20-24).

Did you catch it? She was more focused on when and where and how worship should take place. Worship happens when it’s in this location in a certain type of way and it doesn’t happen when it’s different than what is expected. Jesus reveals that worship cannot be confined to preferences. It is not manmade. It is not manufactured. It is a lifestyle. It is on God’s preferences and not our own.


A Church’s Barriers to Growth

I was told it was a bad idea.

Honestly, I was told it would never work. Young men in the ministry normally don’t find success going back and working at the church at which they were raised. Regardless of those people telling me it was a bad idea, I couldn’t shake that I felt God’s Spirit leading me back to North Side to serve as a minister when I graduated college in 2003.

As a young minister, I was eternally grateful to this church for what they had done to help me grow in Christ over the years. I wanted to give back as much as I could. At the same time, I began my seminary training through extension work.

In one of my classes, the required reading was a book called The Everychurch Guide to Growth by Elmer Towns, C. Peter Wagner, and Thom Rainer. With a large reading load that semester, I intended to rush through this reading but it didn’t happen that way. As I read the pages, I felt like someone had been watching my beloved North Side during the years that I had grown up here and chronicled some of the challenges we had experienced and had overcome.


Dreamers, Detailers, and Doers (Which One Are You?)

We had a very enlightening leadership team discussion yesterday.  This is some great leadership development stuff.  As we talked about tasks, responsibilities, and opportunities, Jeff asked us a question: “Are you more of a dreamer, detailer, or doer?” Here’s how he described it: Dreamer – This is the menu.  You see the big picture.  You love thinking about the big

Multiplying Leaders

Any leader needs to be intentional about developing the leaders around them. Due to fear and apprehension concerning delegation, some leaders fail to prepare clear guidelines for projects that they could accomplish.  I have lost time and wasted opportunities due to my unwillingness to delegate in the past. In the last few weeks, I have spent the majority of Mondays

Potential Leaders (May is Me & My Shadow Month)

One of the greatest needs for leaders is to identify and equip potential leaders.  Every congregation is comprised of potential leaders eager to serve.  If a leader can maintain a view of the long term success of the church versus a daily task mentality, that leader will intentionally develop potential leaders in the congregation. After discovering these potential leaders, we

The Greatest Need for Leaders

Due to the reading on leadership and time of self-reflection, I have identified some areas in which I need to change concerning my own leadership skills. First, I must constantly develop my own personal relationship with Jesus.  In order for me to leave a legacy to my family and my congregation, I need to ensure that my personal relationship with