Archives For Brandon Cox

NewtonRemember Newton’s first two laws of motion? Here’s a refresher…

  • First law: Every object continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a straight line, unless compelled to change that state by external forces acted upon it.
  • Second law: The acceleration a of a body is parallel and directly proportional to the net force F acting on the body, is in the direction of the net force, and is inversely proportional to the mass m of the body.

In other words, things that are sitting still don’t move unless something pushes them, pulls them, or otherwise compels them by force… including churches.

I realize this post will most likely get me into a bit of trouble, but I’m going to state what I believe to be in keeping with the way God has designed things to work. Churches often don’t see much movement because they don’t see much movementChurches who are unwilling to adapt will die. This is simply the law of the universe in which we live.

If that sounds radical, consider that God Himself tends to move and speak in different ways, in different ages, through different means. He has progressively revealed…

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“Religion isn’t a word often associated with technology — but it should be,” says Amanda Pittman in a Mashable story about how churches use social media. I agree.  And as I said in my comment on the story, when Gutenberg finished his printing press, the Bible was the first thing produced and churches utilized print media like crazy. When broadcasting took off, so did churches and some of the longest running programs on today are church broadcasts that started many decades ago. But with the emergence of social technologies on the internet, we’re slow to adopt. What’s up with that?

Check out this infographic put together by Buzzplant and tell us how your church uses social media, and why you think the church is slower to adopt internet-driven social technologies than past innovations.

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Never waste a good sermon, especially after you’ve spent so much time preparing it! Thom Rainer recently wrote that more time in sermon preparation usually means a more effectively evangelistic church. If you’re one of those who spends 15 hours or more on a message, it must stink to realize that all you can squeeze out of all that work is 38 minutes of preaching on the weekend. So why not stretch it further?

In the world of blogging and social media, you can do just that, and here are some suggestions for how…

  1. Blog your points, one at a time. A full sermon transcript or manuscript is probably too long for a blog post, but one point with its explanation is just the right size. So if you’re presenting three or four major truths this Sunday, write three or four corresponding blog posts during the following week.
  2. Post memorable quotes from the message. Every good message needs to have single sentences within it that really drive home the truth of Scripture. If those sentences can be written in 140 characters or less, send them out…

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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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