Archives For Brandon Cox

Nathan Creitz is planting City Life Church in Queens, New York, a multiplying community of Jesus’ followers in Queens who GO on mission, GROW in grace, and GATHER in His name for the glory of God among all peoples. They plan on launching publicly in the Fall of 2013.

Tell us how God called you and your wife into this journey.

The calling happened in my heart and my wife’s heart almost simultaneously. My wife is originally from Queens, NY and she hasn’t been back since she became a believer. Her heart has always been for her family and friends who are far from God. In addition to that, God burdened our hearts for the sheer multitudes of people living in Queens. There are 2.3 million people and 48% of them are foreign born. It is the most diverse borough in one of the most influential cities in the world. I can’t think of a more strategic place to “make disciples of all nations” than Queens. Finally, God confirmed His calling to plant this church over and over again by providing miraculously for our…

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Denominations don’t plant churches.  Churches plant churches. This is why churches should be proactive about church planting rather than waiting for denominational boards and agencies to get the job done.

Having said that, most churches don’t have the resources to plant another church on their own, so they need to partner together with other multiplication-minded churches to expand the kingdom. Denominations can and do serve a vital place in the grand scheme of church planting, such as

  • Connecting churches together in partnerships
  • Assessing potential church planters
  • Equipping and training planters and sending churches
  • Directing funds appropriately for better stewardship

So if my church shouldn’t leave the task of planting a new church to my denomination, but we’re not prepared to oversee a planter or project on our own, what should we do? Form a strategic partnership with a few other leaders and churches to multiply.

I love the idea of four or five Pastors and church leaders getting together to discuss regional church planting needs, pooling their resources, and providing people, money, and mentoring to see a new church get started. Imagine this scenario…

Five churches, small to medium in size, come…

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One Minute In the Life of the Internet is a post from Brandon A. Cox.

One Minute On the Internet

With all this data being created every minute of the day, how is the gospel being heard? What do we need to do to connect with people and share the story of Jesus in a way that gets attention and draws people to Jesus in the right way?

Infographic by DOMO.


© 2011 Brandon Cox.

Brandon Cox is a Pastor who is planting Grace Hills Church in northwest Arkansas. He also serves as Editor and Community Facilitator for Pastors.com and Rick Warren’s Pastor’s Toolbox newsletter. He authors a top 100 blog for church leaders. You can catch him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or LinkedIn.

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I Am a Foreigner

By Brandon Cox

I don’t like that word. I don’t like to hear people called “foreigners” on American soil. And frankly, I just don’t care that much about the politics of immigration. I’m a Christian, a stranger and a foreigner in this culture. My citizenship is in another kingdom, so I’m odd and strange because of my beliefs and values.

Right now, I’m a foreigner in a more real sense. I’m writing this in my hotel room in the Dominican Republic. I’m on a mission trip, visiting Pastor Aridio Garcia and his church, Iglesia Bautista Nueve Espenaza. My task tonight was to take a Haitian translator (he’s tri-lingual) door-to-door and invite people to a Bible study, which I would later lead at a local family’s home.

At one door, the man of the house was a little upset that my Haitian friend had brought these “Americano’s” by and another group of guys around the corner felt the same. I’m not entirely sure about the source of…

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Some churches view the staff as hired workers. If that is the case in your church, respect your leaders and don’t blame any rebellious attitudes on what I am about to say about this. Other churches view the staff as interdependent creative thinkers and leaders. In the first case, the usual mentality is “anything you aren’t doing for the church should be done ‘off the clock’.” In the second case, the mentality is “everything you do as ministry and mission benefits us as long as your priorities are in order.”

When I was at Saddleback, I learned some pretty great lessons about systems, structures, and staff leadership. In spite of our blessed chaos and the “fast, fluid, and flexible” environment of the southern California megachurch, I learned a ton about leadership and how a church staff can function in a healthy way.

One of the principles Pastor Rick often shared was that every church staff member is expected to fulfill three different ministries, on or off “the clock.”

1. Every church staff member has a ministry to the lost. And our ministry to the lost trumps our other responsibilities every time. We…

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Don't Believe the RumorsPastor, you will always have critics, and you will always have fans. At the end of the day, you need to have the guts to believe neither, but rather to allow your affirmation to flow only from the truth God has declared about you in His Word.

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When I was in Bible college, I was taught the same basic sermon preparation methods that thousands of other preachers have learned. It’s a linear outline that usually begins with a major proposition, continues with several major points, each supported with explanatory illustrations and then a conclusion that summarizes the truths presented. There’s nothing wrong with that approach, but my tendency too often is to rely on what I know.

This past Sunday, my wife sat and listened to the message, so I asked her how it went and she offered plenty of encouragement along with a question about why I had chosen a particular illustration that was a little trite and impersonal rather than a life experience we had endured that illustrated the point much more personally. Ultimately, it was easier for me to stay away from the deep, personal story that would have better connected with the audience and play it safe with something more light-hearted. Hence, I missed a great opportunity.

The…

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What Is Next?Pastor, no one on the planet bears more responsibility for motivating a group of people than you.

W. A. Criswell, one of my own preaching heroes, defined preaching as “seeking to move a man’s will God-ward.” He went on to define teaching as “instructing that man in the will and ways of the Lord.” I agree with the late Dr. Criswell that both are the tasks of the local church Pastor, but it was his definition of preaching that captured my heart. At the end of every message, I want to issue a strong appeal to my congregation to do at least three things:

  • Consider the truth I have presented.
  • Understand the personal application of it.
  • Act on it.

Motivation is not the primary goal of preaching – seeing lives transformed by the gospel is. But motivation is near the top of the list of priorities in preaching. At the end of our expounding of the Scriptures, people need to know what to do with what we just said, and they need to be provoked to take action lest they be hearers of the Word and notdoers.

Therefore, when I preach, I try to do certain things.

Connect the ancient text with the audience’s…

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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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