Talking Points :: Issue 1

As we go through the weekend, I would like to hear your thoughts about two specific topics.

1. I’ve always been a fan of goal setting. I like to establish clear goals for myself in ministry so that I push myself harder than I might otherwise. At the same time, I recognize that many don’t like goals because they believe that goals are picturesque of overlooking God’s sovereignty. In that vein, I’m curious to hear your thoughts about goal setting in regards to the ministry context?

2. What books are you currently reading that are proving to be helpful. (Leave the bad ones off the list, we’ll ask for those later)

Micah is a husband to Tracy & a daddy to Grace, Kessed & Haddon. He’s Senior Pastor at Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN. Most of all, he’s a debtor to grace.

8 thoughts on “Talking Points :: Issue 1

  1. Great questions. There seems to be two different camps concerning goals. Those that make goals and don’t leave room for God and those who “flow” with the Holy Spirit. Niether of these are good extremes.

    I prefer to make goals after much prayer and come up with actions plans that contain measurable steps. I’m currently with the IMB and I see very little of this happening. I would love to see more strategic long term measurable goals being developed.
    I think the key is to make the plan and allow space for God to change it and tweak it as we go along.

    We’ll there aren’t any bookstores in North Africa so I’m kind of lagging behind. I can’t wait to see what others say so I can know what to ask for Christmas.

  2. I’ll take a shot at question 2. If you read church planting books, then Stetzer’s Planting Missional Churches is a can’t miss text. I finished that one recently, and had my CP vision clarified, as well as being sobered and challenged.

    More along the lines of a flat out great book, I’m currently reading Telford Work’s Ain’t Too Proud to Beg–which has been a refreshing, faith-building series of meditations on the Lord’s prayer. Work is a recent discovery for me, and he’s simply brilliant: scholarly but accessible, honest but instructive–flashes of C.S. Lewisian thought.

  3. I just finished reading three:

    “The Divine Conspiracy,” Dallas Willard.
    “Shepherding the Small Church,” Glenn Daman.
    “Tipping Point,” Malcolm Gladwell.

    All three caused me to think outside of my “box.”


  4. First, welcome to FBBC. We are so excited to see what the Lord has in store for our church family… just so you might know who I am, my husband and I sing with the praise team. Your question is very timely, but of course, our God is an on-time God!
    Joe and I spent last evening “re-doing” our goals list for my music ministry, (and the to-do list that goes with it). I can tell you that being a housewife, if I were to only wait on the Lord, I would only be doing laundry, dishes, cooking, carpets, sewing, etc. But life becomes worth living when I make time to rehearse, practice, and sing in worship to Him on a daily basis. I couple these things with prayer and learning. Otherwise how will I be ready when our Sovereign One calls?
    I’ve just begun reading T.D. Jakes “Reposition Yourself, Living Life Without Limits.” So far as I have read, he writes of Deion Sanders, the only man to have played in both the Super Bowl and the World Series, and how the development of his skill was intentional!
    1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NIV) – “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do no run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

  5. 2) I recently read Confessions of a Caffeinated Christian, by John Fischer. I’ve been re-reading Fulton J. Sheen’s Life of Christ, interspersed with sermons by Charles Spurgeon–oh, mighty Spurgeon 🙂 –and John Piper.
    1) I believe God expects us to set goals, as long as we have been in His Word and have prayed for Him to show His will. Ultimately, I need to have my will conformed to His and to have His goals be mine.
    I hope Tracy is continuing to improve.

  6. I agree with “camelrider” on the goal setting issue. As long as the goals are biblical and covered in prayer, I think they are a must for growing in Christ and leading a church.

    On good books that I am reading:

    1. Exegetical Fallacies by D.A. Carson is a challenging book. I am still amazed at how many “fallacies” I have used. This book will give you a headache so be careful.
    2. Life Together-The classic Exploration of Faith in Community: by Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a wonderful little book. Every pastor should read it.
    3. Contending for Our All by John Piper is a book of short biographies on men God has used in major ways over the years. Biographies always help me stay grounded in ministry. Seeing the ups and downs of these wonderful faithful men encourages me to trust God today. This book is from “The Swans Are Not Silent” Series. I recommend the entire series

  7. For the record, in regards to setting goals, I am in agreement with both of you, Scott and Camelrider. That is certainly keeping in line with your thoughts, though, Steve.

    As for books, Scott I am with you in regards to The Swans are Not Silent” series. They are my favorite of all of Piper’s works. Contending for our All is the only one I haven’t yet read.

    I just finished Comeback Churches by Stetzer and I am writing a review of it currently which I hope to have up this week. It was outstanding! I’m also working through The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman. It’s not exactly a ministry book, but it will help you communicate in the 21st century. I’m in the middle of a few more, but I’ll wait to see what others continue to post before I list the rest.

  8. I’m pretty lousy with goals…they always seem to be metamorphisizing.

    Reading Andy Stanley’s Next Generation Leader and finally got around to Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals.

    Belated congrats on FBBC!

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