Several years ago, Michael Hyatt (former CEO of Thomas Nelson) responded to a rumor on his blog. In the post, Michael wrote,
“According to the most recent rumor—which I’ve now heard twice—we [Thomas Nelson] are planning a layoff for June 19th … There is absolutely no truth to it … If you hear this rumor, I would be grateful if you would help me short-circuit it. You can tell ’em it’s not true, and you heard it directly from me.”
I recall when this rumor was circulating and was saddened (and surprised) at how many Christians believed it without going straight to Michael to see if it was true or false. Here’s another example that’s much more national.[Continue Reading…]
In the secular world, it is universally understood that in order to succeed in life, one must read. Entrepreneurs constantly talk about how those at the top of the financial ladder read at least one book a week. The more wisdom gleaned from others, the better one leads and succeeds.
I believe the same is true when it comes to having spiritual influence and impact as a follower of Jesus Christ. Granted, most of the early Christians couldn’t read. However, the ancients had enormous capacities to retain information. That’s how the words of Jesus and the apostles were accurately recorded decades after they were originally uttered. Paul of Tarsus, one of the most influential Christians who ever lived, not only could read, but he was well versed in the writings of others, even quoting them.
Fact: I’ve never met a person who was successful in the Lord’s work who wasn’t an avid reader.[Continue Reading…]
Recently, someone asked me, “Frank, the other day I heard someone say that you’ve changed your views on the church since writing Pagan Christianity. I’ve read your blog since you started it, and I’ve never read or heard you say that. I even remember you saying that you have NOT changed your views on the church. Can you clarify this?”
My answer: You are correct on both counts. My views on the church have not changed since I wrote Pagan Christianity with George Barna. And yes, I’ve repeated that more than once on the blog. So I’m not sure where this idea came from. My only guess is that the person who made that remark hasn’t really read my work, but rather skimmed it, and came away with a misunderstanding.
The only things that have changed are:[Continue Reading…]
There’s a popular saying that goes something like this, “I love Jesus, but I can’t stand the church.”
To my utter amazement, a handful of people who tout this phrase have benightedly assumed that I support this sentiment. Since I’m globally known as one of the strongest champions of the ekklesia – even making it central to God’s Eternal Purpose – I can only assume that those who’ve mistakenly connected me with this sentiment have never read my work.
Either that, or they read bits and pieces of my 9-year old book with George Barna, Pagan Christianity, and missed the entire point nor ever read the constructive sequels.
So I hope this short piece clears the fog around this matter.
Let me state it bluntly: It’s simply impossible to love Jesus Christ and hate His bride—the ekklesia.
But that statement needs to be nuanced. Consider the following points:[Continue Reading…]
The Christian life is depicted by a race. Paul rejoiced that he finished the race well (2 Tim. 4:7). Someone cut in on the Galatians and shoved them off the track (Gal. 5:7). The writer of Hebrews exhorts his audience to run the race with endurance (Heb. 12:1). We also discover that a person can disqualify themselves from the race (1 Cor. 9:24-27).
Over the last three decades, I’ve watched Christians, including servants of God whom the Lord used mightily, start the race out powerfully, even burning up the track, only to disappear from it years later. I was in Alabama recently speaking to a group of young Christians, and I talked about the three main reasons why countless Christians end up walking off the track. One of the reasons (as I shared with the group) is the inability to survive failure.
The track is littered with the carcasses of those who couldn’t survive failure, so they threw in the towel and disappeared.[Continue Reading…]
Imagine you are living in the 1960s. It’s August 1966, and a friend invites you to hear The Beatles – the world’s greatest band at the time – in concert live. You respond, “I can’t make it this year. I’ll go to their next concert.” Only The Beatles never play live again during the 1960s. But you couldn’t possibly know that when you declined the opportunity to hear them live.
It’s July 1980, and your favorite band, Led Zeppelin, is playing a few hours from where you live. You have a scheduling conflict that you can resolve, but you say to yourself, “I’ll just hear them another time.” September comes and Zep’s drummer dies. It then hits you – you said “no” to the last opportunity any mortal would ever have to see the original Zeppelin live.[Continue Reading…]
Someone recently asked me how I come up with the content for these Thursday emails. I have no clear method. I notice things, write them down, queue them up, and send them out each week.
Sometimes, however, I get struck hard with an idea and it moves to the top of the queue.
Like this one today.[Continue Reading…]
Throughout most of my 20’s, one of the biggest struggles I faced was over whether or not I was impacting people. While my public ministry didn’t begin until I was in my early 30’s, I was active in my local fellowship all throughout my 20’s. I did some speaking and trying my hand at writing (mainly in the form of pamphlets, since we didn’t have blogs back then). My 20’s were my training ground for what would happen later.
However, during that period of my life, I remember being consumed with knowing whether or not my words were having an impact, or falling to the ground. Eventually, I learned to drop this entire way of thinking. While it was difficult, I began leaving the results completely to the Lord, not measuring anything by the response of others, whether they were positive or nonexistent.[Continue Reading…]