Archives For Brandon Cox

ReWrittenA year and a half ago, I met Bruce and Heather Moore. I had somehow caught wind of their story and was so inspired that we invited them out to California to attend Saddleback’s leadership conference. Bruce had served on staff at two different suburban megachurches, but God had called he and Heather into a new ministry venture leading a dying church. Their new congregation in downtown Tampa had one year to live, and over that year, God worked a miracle through their leadership and began authoring a new story for Christ Fellowship.

Bruce and Heather are sold out for the gospel’s sake, and God keeps using them to lead others to Jesus. NavPress wisely approached them about writing a new book called ReWritten: Exchanging Your Story for God’s Story. I read the manuscript early on and loved the concept. I wholeheartedly endorsed it and want to do so now that the book is going to be released to the public.

Here’s an excerpt from the book…

Your life matters. It matters a great deal.

Truth be told, life will never be satisfying until you know who God created…

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MetricsChurch metrics. That’s not a very pretty phrase. In fact, for many, it seems cold. If church becomes a numbers game, then people become “just a number,” and when people are just a number, we’ve failed to emulate the ministry of Jesus. But if we fail to count anybody, we allow people to slip through the cracks and therefore fail to emulate the ministry of Jesus.

So how do you count people in a way that makes each person count? You balance the stats and the stories. In other words, who was there on Sunday is even more important than how many were there. I’m leading a breakout session during Exponential (it will be in their podcast some time soon) on “The Metrics of the Craveable Church.” I didn’t pick the title, or the topic for that matter. But what I’m emphasizing is that how many people showed up is not nearly as important as how many people moved. How many people gave their lives to Jesus, submitted to baptism, joined a small group, and got involved in a ministry for the first time?

We’re planting a church and when I travel, people often…

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The Measure of Our SuccessWe recently caught up with Shawn Lovejoy between breakouts at Exponential. His new book, The Measure of Our Success, was debuted during the conference and we see it as one of the most important reads for Pastors in recent times. Shawn candidly and transparently shares from his own mistakes and issues a challenge to Pastors to determine what really matters and how God defines success as opposed to how our culture defines it. It’s a must-read book for the heart and soul of any Pastor.

Grab a Copy!

You can also watch and share the Youtube edition.

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Joshua Meyer and FamilyJoshua Meyer is currently planting Cause Church in Clinton, Iowa and they are launching this week, Easter Sunday, April 8, 2012.

How did God call you to plant Cause Church?

About three years ago I was standing at my sink washing dishes and I heard in my mind: “You are done”. I called my wife, asked her to come home from work, and shared with her what I had sensed. From that moment on we have been praying and are drawn back to that moment. That day I went to three men and shared what I had heard, received wisdom and advice from each, and spent the next year asking God to help us understand what that meant for us.

One day while driving and praying God confirmed that whatever was next must be done in a new setting. Moments later I received a text message from a former youth ministry student and it said, “You can’t pour new wine into an old wine skin”. I was blown away. I called my wife and she said that in prayer she was receiving…

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Thin IceGrace Hills Church is eleven Sundays old, officially, and about eight months old, unofficially. And we’re in trouble. If we don’t do something, all of our effort will be in vain and all hope of planting the kind of church Jesus had in mind will be lost.

No, we’re not out of money. God has provided every step of the way. No, we’re not losing people. In fact, we’re seeing new attenders every week. And no, we’re not losing our leaders. We’re seeing new leaders emerge as each week passes. But still, I content that we’re in jeopardy of losing everything important to us… if we don’t fight for it.

Churches do not automatically thrive. The American church, as a local institution, has proven that it can coast along in almost-dead mode for many years. But there are no churches that are effectively reaching and changing their surrounding culture by accident. Recently, Rick Warren wrote a brief piece on Pastors.com about breaking three common barriers to church growth. In the comments, a troubling attitude emerged that is probably not too uncommon among believers in American churches…

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The RefugeTodd and Darren Lemons are currently planting The Refuge in Terrell, Texas and are planning on an official launch date of January 6, 2013.

Tell us about your calling to church planting.

Todd – I was part of a plant in 1996 in Savannah, GA and from there called to the ministry. Ever since then, I have felt a strong connection with church planting and after serving with established churches, I felt God calling me to plant a church a couple of years ago. When I asked for prayer from a good friend of mine, Darren, he said he was being called to do the same. We prayed, talked about it, and our visions lined up almost to a “T”. We then were approved by our association and God has confirmed our calling every step of the way.

Darren – I had been serving in Mesquite, TX and was struggling for 5 years with the calling of where God wanted me to plant a church. God kept revealing the Kaufman County area to me. I was getting ready to start the process when Todd and I discussed his calling….

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Handle with PrayerI’m wrapping up a message series on the subject of prayer this Sunday, and I’ve grown in my personal prayer walk as a result of preaching it. I’ve learned from some great sources and wanted to pass along a list of my favorites…

Handle with Prayer: Unwrap the Source of God’s Strength for Living by Charles Stanley

Complete Works of E. M. Bounds on Prayer, The: Experience the Wonders of God through Prayer by E. M. Bounds

With Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray

Prayer, the Great Adventure by David Jeremiah

Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? by Philip Yancey

Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home by Richard Foster

On Prayer and the Contemplative Life by Thomas Aquinas (currently free in Kindle edition)

On Earth as It Is in Heaven: How the Lord’s Prayer Teaches Us to Pray More Effectively by Warren Wiersbe

Prayer: Asking and Receiving by John R. Rice (out of print, but one of the best)

Praying the Lord’s Prayer by J. I. Packer

The Power of Prayer and Fasting and How to Pray by Ronnie Floyd

Too Busy…

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The people at MBAonline.com have put together a detailed infographic representing what happens in a 24 hour life cycle on the internet. It’s fascinating, but even more, it’s important for church leaders to “know the times” and understand how churchgoers and non-churchgoers alike tend to think, interact, communication, and consume information. So study it well…

A Day in the Internet

Created by: MBA Online

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Rick at Radicalis

En Espanol

Editor’s Note: Pastor Rick Warren has often said that “you never win your enemies to Christ, only your friends.” And he’s gone far past the limits most believers are willing to broach in order to form friendships and love a world in need of Jesus. Because of this, he’s often the target of unfair criticism and unfounded rumors. If you’ve longed for Pastor Rick to clear the air with boldness and clarity, keep reading. Along with another article we published about how Rick is a bridge-builder, this article answers the questions you might be asking. It’s the transcript of an interview between Rick, the Christian Post, and myself.  Read on…

QUESTION: Do people of other religions worship the same God as Christians?

WARREN: Of course not. Christians have a view of God that is unique. We believe Jesus is God! We believe God is a Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Not 3 separate gods but one God. No other faith believes Jesus is God. My God is Jesus. The belief in God as a Trinity is…

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Rick at RadicalisEn una entrevista para el “Christian Post” (portal de medios noticiosos) el Sr. Brandon A. Cox cuestiono la posición del Pastor Rick Warren sobre: musulmanes, evangelismo y misiones. Este es el reportaje:

Pregunta: ¿La gente de diferentes religiones adoran al mismo Dios que los cristianos?

Warren: Claro que no. Los cristianos tienen una perspectiva única de Dios. Nosotros creemos que ¡Jesús es Dios! Creemos que Dios es una Trinidad: Padre, Hijo y Espíritu Santo. No tres dioses separados pero un solo Dios. Ninguna otra religión cree que Jesús es Dios. Mi Dios es Jesús. La creencia en Dios como una Trinidad es la diferencia fundamental entre cristianos y todos los demás. Hay 2.1 billones de personas que se llaman a si mismo cristianos… católicos, ortodoxos, protestantes, pentecostales, evangélicos… y todos ellos tienen la doctrina de la Trinidad en común.

Pregunta: Un articulo reciente en un periódico hacia señalamientos que usted cree que los cristianos y los musulmanes adoran a un mismo Dios, y que usted esta “asociado” con una mezquita, y que ambos llegaron a un acuerdo de “no evangelizarse los unos a los otros”. Inmediatamente usted refuto a…

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Rick and Kay Warren at the PEACE Center

It wasn’t long ago that I wrote a response to critics claiming that Rick Warren endorses “Chrislam.” My frustration then remains my frustration now, namely, that people will follow their first impulse, believe whatever comes up in Google, and assume the worst in the name ofdiscernment, which is ironic since real discernment is about digging for truth instead of believing a first report.

The latest debacle surrounds a partnership between Saddleback Church and the Muslim community of Orange County, as reported by Jim Hinch in the Orange County Register. There are people who are constant critics of Rick and I fully expect, with any major news story, they will highlight minor points and twist them to fit their preconceived idea about Rick as the pseudo-evangelical heretic. God will handle such critics in His own way and time, as He sees fit.

I’m more concerned about the evangelical leaders who, because of those outspoken and overly-harsh critics, will be questioned by their church members every time they quote…

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WhitewaterOne of the more popular subjects we talk about on Pastors.com is the issue of church conflict. In His family, God has brought together people with different backgrounds, personalities, viewpoints, and feelings about life and then He has challenged us to accept one another, prefer one another, and to think of the needs of others before our own.

Because we’re naturally selfish and have inherited a nasty sin nature, we struggle to maintain peace in our relationships. BUT… God has also offered us redemption in Jesus Christ, which means that the entire person is redeemed. He’s also granted us the ever-present Holy Spirit to guide us, give us wisdom, and remind us to have compassion toward others. So while conflict is uncomfortable, it’s also inevitable and solvable.

Bill Elliff has written an excellent guide that includes his personal reflections on navigating the waters of church conflict as well as practical and usable wisdom. I don’t know a Pastor who can’t use help in this area, especially when that help comes from a seasoned veteran and leader the caliber of Bill.

In his own words…

This book was…

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