Archives For Brandon Cox

The Saddleback Internet Campus leadership team put together this great video challenging people to consider hosting an Easter party to watch the online service with friends. What a tremendous evangelism idea.

How could your church use this idea this Easter? What creative means do you use to reach more people at Easter?

And if you’re interested in hosting a party using Saddleback’s online service, click here.

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Stop Asking Jesus Into Your HeartAccording to J. D. Greear, yes! And J. D. is an expert on the subject, having asked Jesus into his heart thousands of times.

I remember leading a fifteen-year-old student through the gospel, which he knew quite well already, and then in receiving Christ by faith. He knew in his head, felt in his heart, and decided in his will to trust Jesus, repenting of his sin. I welcomed him into God’s family, congratulating him on his new faith in Jesus.

His mother held up her hand to stop me and then turned to her son with a question that disturbed me, “Son, did you feel any flutter in your heart? Do you feel any different?” His smile faded into a look of bewilderment. Since he had felt no such physical disruption, she said he’d need to do it again sometime until he felt differently. When I left that church, he was nineteen and had never had the confidence to declare his faith through baptism. After all, he was searching for an emotion that might never come.

In our evangelical culture, phrases like “just ask Jesus into your…

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One of our core values at Grace Hills is, “We stay fast, fluid, and flexible. There are no sacred cows. We embrace the pain of change for the win of seeing more people meeting Jesus.” I wrote that one knowing that of all of our other core values, it would probably be the hardest to honor over the long haul. It addresses the crossroads where theology meets psychology, where truth, mission, and fear intermingle. Change is hard.

The American evangelical church is in a rather desperate condition. You’ve heard that America is a “Christian” nation and that Christianity is dominant. Perhaps it’s the popular religion, but far fewer people are attending church than we realize. And we’re only planting one fourth of the number of new churches needed to keep pace with America’s current population growth and rate of decline in existing churches.

So churches absolutely must change and adapt if they will remain relevant to the culture. I realize many Christian leaders don’t like that terminology, so let me clarify that God’s Word, the gospel, Jesus, and…

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History of Oak Ridge Baptist Church from Oak Ridge on Vimeo.

Oak Ridge Baptist Church (ORBC) began as a community outreach on South Division Street in 1962. The church experienced some initial success but lost its way. After 25 years of plateau and decline, the church went through a near-death experience in 1998. In late 1999 the leadership made a decision to radically change the operating practices and philosophy of the church. They recaptured the vision and the mission of the church. Since that time ORBC has experienced incredible growth!


Dream ConferenceNow you can learn from Oak Ridge at their upcoming DREAM Church Conference!

Friday, March 1st from 9:00am-4:30pm

Do you have a passion to reach people for Christ? Do you dream about what your church could be?

We did and in the last 13 years we have

  • Increased our average weekend attendance over 3700%
  • Connected over 45% of our members into weekly ministries
  • Mobilized 50% of our adult crowd to serve at a 1 day Extreme School Makeover
  • Transitioned from Sunday School to Small Groups with 75% weekly participation
  • BAPTIZED 1200!

What God did for us He can do for you!

At…

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The Global Orphan InitiativeThere are 10 million in Mexico, 100,000 (officially) in China, 700,000 in Russia, and 7 million in Nigeria. Children. Without Moms and Dads. And each one is incredibly, immensely valuable to the heart of God.

It’s quite easy to assume that this is someone else’s problem, but because I’m a Christian, it’s MY problem. If you’re like me, you feel a little helpless. You can’t adopt ten million babies, at least not without a Nanny, and the cost of rescuing all of them is astronomical. So I’m asking you to do something little, something simple yet powerful. I’m asking you to “like” the Global Orphan Initiative on Facebook. But first, let me explain.

My good friend, Matt Fifer, is a business man. He worked his way up through Walmart and eventually struck out on his own as an entrepreneur. He’s founded several rather successful businesses, all of which have been strengthened by his expertise and relationships in the retail industry. I used to design websites for Matt’s businesses until they outgrew my capabilities, so I’m well acquainted with Matt on a professional level, but also on a personal level. We’ve had…

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CraveableJesus was irresistible. Yes it’s true that the Jewish leaders stirred the crowds to demand his crucifixion. But why? A big part of their motivation was jealousy. They no longer had a monopoly on the religious devotion of the people because this Jesus guy had come along and was stealing the show… and the crowds.

There was something different about Jesus. He was the life of every party He attended. He was always the giver, the encourager, the healer. And as a result of His character, people wanted to be around Him. The disciples left their old lives behind to follow Him and He taught them to live lives much the same as His, to make Jesus irresistible to their friends.

My friend, Artie Davis, is an irresistible guy. His enthusiasm is contagious. His love is deep, his vision is big, and his heart for people is huge. He’s highly qualified to have written and just released his new book, Craveable: The irresistible Jesus in me. My endorsement appears on the cover and says,

Artie Davis has written an excellent book about a much-needed subject—how to…

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What is success? Most people define it in one of three ways:

  • How many possessions do you own?
  • How much power do you wield over others?
  • How much prestige do you have among peers?

American Christians tend to blend right in. We even apply these standards to churches and church leaders. Which church has the biggest budget, the nicest building, or the largest weekend attendance? There’s nothing wrong with any of those things – money is good, influence is invaluable, and popularity is something God can use in huge ways. And we certainly need churches to grow exponentially in a world as lost as ours. The problem is, none of those factor into God’s viewpoint on success.

Jesus gathered a handful of followers in His lifetime, didn’t have a place of His own, and was despised and rejected by the social elite of his community. But He was most definitely successful. In fact, He was so successful that He could come to the end of His life and confidently proclaim…

I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.

– John…

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A History of Social Media

By Brandon Cox

Beth Hayden and Rafal Tomal, with Copyblogger, have put together an insightful infographic detailing the history of social media. They rightly say that it goes all the way back to the first email (since email is social) and they also rightly conclude that “at some point very soon, we will all stop talking about ‘social media’ and put the focus where it belongs – the global media network that connects us all.”

history_of_social_media

Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

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What On Earth Am I Here For?As you most likely know, The Purpose Driven Life is ten years old, and with its tenth anniversary, Saddleback Church and thousands of others will be launching a new spiritual growth campaign in the first quarter of 2013 called What On Earth Am I Here For? We’re putting together a crack team, a volunteer army, a special forces initiative… sorry, got a bit dramatic. We’re looking for Pastors and leaders who will be leading the campaign who are willing to blog the journey on pastors.com.

We’d like to see stories each week about…

  • How you are preparing for the campaign.
  • How you are recruiting hosts and launching new small groups.
  • What you’re preaching in January to prepare for the campaign.
  • How you’re promoting the series.
  • How lives are being changed – stories each week of people who are discovering God’s purposes for their lives.
  • How your church and its people are growing as a result of the campaign.

If you’ll be blogging about these things and would allow us to syndicate your posts here on pastors.com or if you’d like to write for us,…

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PhariseesMany of the Pharisees were probably great teachers and skilled speakers. I’m sure many were charismatic, skilled communicators. But by the time Jesus arrived on the scene, the Pharisees, on the whole, were killing the culture around them spiritually. Jesus had a lot of work to do just to unwire people from the performance-driven, legalistic trap of pharisaism.

I’ve been guilty of preaching like a Pharisee before, and as I review my sermons from the past, I cringe a bit as I peruse certain periods of my ministry when I placed undue burdens on my listeners in the name of “preaching the Word.” I’m writing out of my own past tendencies (and present tendencies I’m still trying to snuff out) as well as out of what I observe across the landscape of evangelical preaching.

The following tips will work to draw a moderate-sized crowd. A pulpit characterized by negativity and belligerence will draw a moderate-sized crowd of masochists who draw energy to go on another day by being beaten up spiritually. But it won’t make Jesus-like, craveable disciples. So use them at your own risk.

How do you preach like…

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I think most everyone is a bit weary of the commercialization of Christmas. Most of us love the season, the traditions, time with family, carols, food, and opportunity to rest. We are not tired of Christmas; we just fear losing what made it “Christmas” to begin with.

That is particularly true when it comes to our children. We do not want them to think this sacred holiday is merely about having their every electronic, plastic, and sugar-infused desire met. We love the expression on their faces as they open presents. We delight even more in putting those smiles there. But we want them to see that those presents represent “the gift;” a gift that was given not to pacify a desire or annual fad, but to meet the deepest need of their soul.

What follows is a liturgy (order of service) of sorts. Feel free to adapt it. The liturgy is intended to be highly interactive and is built around four presents and is infused with Christmas carols, Scripture and conversation. The…

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It’s that time of year again when churches focus on the celebration of the birth of Jesus. We can’t afford to pass up the extra attention that people tend to give to the greatest story ever told. This post is an open thread. Use the comments below to tell us what your church has planned for the holidays. Your name, along with your comment, might just wind up in lights!

Go!

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