Archives For Brandon Cox

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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Road to Life ChurchPastors.com recently caught up with Dave & Vanessa Gargano who are planting Road to Life Church in Chesterton, Indiana. They launched this past Sunday, and the journey of this couple and their two college-age kids leading up to the big day has been pretty spectacular.

Tell us about your call to church planting.

My wife and I have served in ministry for 15 years. Thirteen of those years were as youth pastors at the church we currently left and almost 7 of those years I was the worship pastor as well as my wife who led the marketing department and the kids ministry for the past couple of years.

We had been feeling a nudge from the Holy spirit to do more but we thought that more was maybe our pastor grooming us to take the lead pastor role within a 10 year period allowing him and his family to start a work in Africa. Both of us were raised in Berrien county and lived there for 38 years. We are loyal people and were very invested in the church…

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Be a More Balanced Church

By Brandon Cox

Purpose Driven ChurchRemember the old V-8 commercials where someone who wasn’t taking in a balanced diet would be leaning to one side? That’s what I think of as I read the thoughts and opinions of various church leaders about “what the church should be all about.” It typically sounds something like one of the following…

  • Jesus was a disciple-making discipler who discipled disciples, so the church should be all about making disciple-making discipling disciples as well. Let’s disciple some more disciples.
  • Soul-winning is the main thing! And we need to keep the main thing the main thing, and that’s soul-winning. Let’s win more souls! How many have you baptized this week?
  • The church needs the Word. We should be taking people deep into the Word through a historical-grammatical hermeneutic and expository preaching. Let’s start another in-depth expository Bible study.
  • It’s all about the worship, man. Let’s feel the music, experience the excellence, and sing all night.

You get the picture. We tend to go to seed on our favorite issues, and sometimes unwise leaders pursue their own passions to the neglect of other areas of concern for the local church. This is the reason…

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Blogging and PublishingBlogging is such a weird word. We never used it until people started keeping “logs” on the “web” of their life called “weblog” and for some reason, we dropped the “we” and were left with the art of blogging. And in a sense, it has changed everything. How? Because now, everyone is a publisher.

Every business, every church, and every institution is now a publisher, and those who publish with the most gusto win. It’s the age where people with few connections and little resources can grow their voice in the marketplace in inexpensive and creative ways.

I’m writing this post for those who haven’t jumped in yet. I’d love to dialog about the latest developer’s beta version of WordPress or Google’s search algorithm, but my goal is instead to reach out to those who are on the verge of blogging and push you over the edge to take the dive. If you need to read no more, head over to WordPress or Tumblr and get started! If you’re still looking to rationalize your decision, read on…

Why Blog?

Still with me? Let me give you some…

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Our Creator designed us to be creative. And out of our inborn creativity come forth plenty of good ideas, but an idea is only as valuable as its successful implementation. In other words, brainstorming is good, but completing ideas is even better. Charles Lee, the founder of the Ideation Consultancy and many other brilliant ideas, helps leaders cross the finish line with well-developed good ideas.

Good Idea. Now What?In his new book, Good Idea. Now What?, Charles presents a guidebook that is very thorough, but also very readable. It’s a book for leaders, for thinkers, and for creators. It’s written in such a way that the reader can join in at any point, like a reference book. But it’s also a journey that can be followed on a pathway to creative growth. Here’s what Charles has to say about the book…

Going from inspiration to execution is hard work. Many steps stand between a good idea and the hit product, profitable company, or social change you envision. Your initial “aha!” moment provides the key to begin this process, but it’s…

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HarvestI recently wrote about defining the favor of God, and I defined it as enjoying the undeserved kindness of God. I also said you can spot the favor of God when you see that He has sovereignly chosen to bless something or someone for the purpose of bringing Himself glory. His favor is never for our enjoyment alone – it is always intended to be shared with others.

In the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus, Gabriel comes to deliver the message that the Holy Spirit would conceive His Son in her virgin womb, and that He was to be called Jesus. Astounding! Impossible! After the angel explained that nothing is impossible with God, Mary reacts, and there’s a HUGE lesson in her response…

Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.

~ Luke 1:38 NLT

Did you catch that? Mary was humble and highly favored as a recipient of God’s gracious gift. But she was also confident and even enthusiastic about what God wanted to do in her life. This is a point at which…

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