The Blessed Church – By Robert Morris

Learning from the best is always a wise thing to do! Whether you like that person or not, people who have achieved a certain level of success warrant a certain level of attention. Robert Morris is one of these men within the church leadership circles.

The Blessed Church is a handbook for the modern church leader. The whole thesis behind this book is that church growth is a result of church health, the only way to sustain healthy continuing growth is to create a healthy church. That’s an obvious statement, yet so profound.

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Robert Morris declares that the church he Pastor’s, Gateway is a healthy church. After reading The Blessed Church, I can only agree! The book takes a practical look at every aspect of the principles, foundation, structure and DNA of Gateway Church in Southlake, TX.

While I never really had a light shining huge revelation moment while reading this book, I just couldn’t out it down. This is pure wisdom, pure practicality and pure Jesus all wrapped into one. The wisest statements are so often the most obvious and while I learned a few things about church leadership and being a shepherd of a church of people, the most overwhelming thoughts that came to me as I read this book was, that’s why my church is falling flat in this area, or that is why we are excelling in this other areas, because we have systems of health or unhealth!

Any Pastor, no matter your view on church and leadership should pick this up! If I was to plant a church again I would along with Deep & Wide by Andy Stanley make everyone of our launch team read this book. Why? Because church health result in church growth, and ultimately every pastor wants their church to grow and I believe this book will help it grow numerically, financially and spiritually!

My favorite chapters were the ones on their Pastor, Staff & Elder structure and also church government. To be honest if I know church government was in this book I’d probably have skipped right by it, but Morris’ take on it is so refreshing that it immediately made me want to hold a board meeting (well not quite, but you get my drift!).

Robert Morris may, and sometimes does come across as a little full of himself at times, and to the outsider this maybe a turn off. Yet, after reading this book, I realize that Robert Morris isn’t full of himself, but full of the confidence of who God has created him to be, and that is a huge difference. By the end of this book, this confidence is a little charming and very refreshing.

Thank you Robert for writing this book, it’s a handbook to learn and grow from!


More or Less For 2013

2012 has come and it is about to go. It was filled with ups and downs like any other year.

For me it will be remembered most as the year my wife and I purchased a home then decided to remodel the home. However for others it will be remembered with sadness as it was filled with stories of despair and loss. I’m thankful that by the grace of God, 2012 in all was a good year for me. However, as we head into 2013 then are things that I need to improve and get better at. Commitments I want to make, so here is a short list of things I want to do more of and less of in 2013:

More

1. Create more memories with my wife

2. Spend more “silence” time with the Lord. Times when I am not distracted but still and silent with just the Lord and I. Time to give more space for the Holy Spirit to work!

3. Exercise more! I went off the boil in 2012. Time to get back on that horse.

4. Read more books that will challenge me as a person, a husband, a leader and a Christ follower.

5. Give people more grace. I realize everyday I get more grace from God, I need to show more in return.

6. Give more of the Gospel! Preach more, evangelize more, show love and mercy more and do more to rescue people from the pit of hell and place them into the loving arms of Jesus!

Less

1. Eat less Chocolate and Candy! Yes I have a weakness and I’m goin to deal with it!

2. Spend less so I can give more.

3. Watch less sports! My second weakness behind chocolate and again I’m going to deal with it.

4. Take on less responsibility and work. This means delegating more and training more leaders otherwise i’ll burn out fast.

5. Take myself less seriously. I became too serious in 2012. Time to lighten the mood a little in 2013.

6. Losen control of my marriage, my church and my life over to the one who has all things in control, Jesus Christ!


7,000 Others Feeling A Little Nauseous!

1 Kings 19:18 – Yet I will preserve 7,000 others in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal or kissed him!”

I have a problem! I eat too much! Without being gross about it I find that if there is food in front of me I will keep eating even when I am full. Then when my belly is full I will throw up! It’s a good job I’m not into hard liquor! It normally happens around holiday times! My main problem is comfort food! Candy, chocolates, chips, chex-mix! I’m working on it and realizing that too much of a bad thing is not good for me! I also realize that anything called “comfort food” is not a good thing!

The reason I say this is because for a long time I have been feeling a little nauseous about the spiritual food I am seeing being fed in a new wave of churches. I won’t go into specifics because I believe each church needs to hear from God and do what they hear. Some churches are doing that and so I don’t want to label them along with others! However, I see a spiritual diet that is being fed that we just keep on eating and I want to throw up!

I’ve felt like this for a number of years and it’s only getting worse. I began to think it was just me! Was I the only one feeling like this? Was there something wrong with me? Had I missed on what God was doing? Was God no longer talking with me?

The Friday before Christmas I had one of those God moments! Like when Elijah complained that he was the only one left who hadn’t bowed down to Baal, then God shows him 7,000 others who hadn’t. I felt stupid, but I also felt relieved! I had a telephone conversation with one of my friends who planted a church in Charlotte. That hour conversation breathed new life into me. He shared with me how he had been feeling and in that moment I felt like Charlie Brown when Linus told him what Christmas was all about! I wanted to shout, “That’s it!”

In that moment I realized that God does still speak and often when he speaks His message is unpopular and goes against the grain. It means eating comfort food is not an option when you pursue to do things for the Kingdom of God. However, it also means that God does not leave us, that He also speaks to others, that He doesn’t leave us alone and that He will bring others alongside to help fulfill the mission that is set before us!

So whatever God has been speaking to you, do it! Go for it! Don’t stop, don’t doubt and run will full gusto! For you are not alone, there are many others who are ready to run alongside you just as there were 7,000 others who had not bowed down to Baal!