Saturate the World: A Review of Jeff Vanderstelt’s new book Saturate

How do we make disciples?

This question should be at the center of everything that a church does. How do we live out the great commission that Jesus gave us? The strategy for many is to get people into the church building so that they can be taught. We want them in discipleship classes, Sunday schools, Sunday services, and sometimes Sunday night services. Before I go on, I should admit that there’s nothing wrong with these things in and of themselves. I am a full time pastor, and I teach some of these kinds of classes. The problem is that by themselves, they fall short. The heart of discipleship is teaching people to be like Jesus and doing this in a classroom alone means that we don’t have the chance to show people how to live. People hear us speaking, but don’t get to see us live it. That’s why life on life discipleship is important, and to do really be able to do that we have to be like Jesus all the time. Our lives need to be saturated with Jesus and his gospel. Continue reading

Lessons from McFarland, USA

McFarland-USA-Movie-PosterI think most of us would say that we want to make an impact in our community. Whenever we hear the stories of those who have, we are inspired and wish that we could do the same. The story of McFarland, USA is one of those stories. The struggling coach moves with his family to what seems to be the last place he can get a job and makes a discovery. He discovers that some of the students are amazing runners. So he decides to start a cross country program and the rest is history.

When I watched this movie, I left feeling inspired and after reflecting on it realized that Coach White lives a missional life in the community of McFarland. He makes certain decisions, whether he realizes it or not, that increase his ability to impact his community. As a followers of Christ we can do some of the same things that he did and make an impact. Here are 4 lessons that we can take away from McFarland, USA. This isn’t a magical formula by any means, but there are definitely valuable lessons to be learned. Continue reading

Asking the Right Question about Evangelism

“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” [1]

Recently I’ve been writing about asking the right questions, and there’s one more thing I want to ask about: Evangelism. Are we asking the right questions about Evangelism? Continue reading

We are being Transformed

If there’s one word that captures what happens when we make the choice to follow Jesus, it might just be transformed. Disciples of Jesus are not supposed to remain as they are, but instead we are transformed into something new, into the likeness of Jesus. It’s this transformation that Caesar Kalinowski writes about in his new book Transformed. Kalinowski, however, isn’t only concerned with the fact that we are being transformed, but also what we look like after we have been transformed. He writes, “The Bible teaches that if we are in Christ, we have become part of a family of missionary servants, sent as disciples who make disciples. This is who we are. This is our new identity.”  And the more we are able to believe and wrap our minds around this new identity, “the more our lives will be transformed.” Continue reading