Category Archives: resources

Great Christian Finance Resources!

One of my favorite sites for financial resources is Christian Personal Finance.  They have an amazing library of free resources for all things financial from a Christian perspective.

Here are two links to a couple of my favorite blogs on their site.

  • How to Make a Budget!  http://christianpf.com/how-to-make-a-budget/
  • 250 Bible Verses About Money!  http://christianpf.com/money-in-the-bible/

Head over to their page.

“Like” them on Facebook.

Follow them on Twitter.

Subscribe to their email updates.

And while you’re there, sign up to win a free iPad 2!  =)  Now that’s hard to beat!

Books Available!

I’m parting with several books that I have had in my library.  Rather than sell them online, I thought I would give you the opportunity to ask for one first.  So, if you are interested in any of the following books, let me know.  First come, first serve.  You can message me with your requests at stan.rodda34@gmail.com.  All I ask is that you pay for shipping if you live far away from me.  =)

  1. I Became a Christian and All I Got Was This Lousy T-shirt  –  Antonucci
  2. The Leadership Lessons of Jesus  –  Briner & Pritchard
  3. Blue Like Jazz  –  Donald Miller
  4. Too Small To Ignore  –  Stafford
  5. Jesus Wants To Save The Christians  –  Bell (eBay)
  6. Guerrilla Lovers  –  Antonucci
  7. When Leadership and Discipleship Collide  –  Hybels
  8. The Prodigal Hugging Church  –  Wright
  9. Taking A Stand  –  Knowles
  10. The Purpose Drive Life  –  Warren
  11. If You Want To Walk On Water, You’ve Got To Get Out Of The Boat  –  Ortberg (eBay)
  12. Planting Growing Church for the 21st Century  –  Malphurs
  13. Faith In The Game  –  Osborne (eBay)
  14. Emerging Churches  –  Gibbs & Bolger (eBay)
  15. In A Pit With A  Lion On A Snowy Day  –  Batterson
  16. Creating Web Sites  –  Crowder & Bailey
  17. Building A Web Site For Dummies  –  Crowder

There you have it.  Let me know.

What Should I Name My Church Plant!

What I am about to say, I do not say lightly.  I have been praying about this for years and I believe that God is leading me down this path.  I believe that God wants me to plant churches.  I am on a journey where the future is completely unknown and must fall squarely in the hands of God Himself.  And there isn’t anywhere I’d rather be.  From here, it gets a tad less “heavy.”

When it comes to church planting, there is a lot to ponder.  Until I feel the spark to talk about other areas of church planting, I want to go ahead and offer a few tips to church planters and future church planters out there.  This post will deal specifically with your church’s name.  When it comes right down to it, your church name is going to be the center piece of your marketing, it will reflect who you are, what your values are, everything.  You are setting out to change the world for Jesus and chances are the first impression people have of you will be your church name.  That’s why the church name is almost as important as financial funding (insert hilarious laughter here).

That being said, I have some very important church names that you should consider for your church plant.

The Lord’s Vineyard

That’s right.  You want people to know that there’s only one vineyard in town that God has chosen, and it’s yours.  That other church down the street?  Forget them.  They don’t even have the right name on the door.  Surely God isn’t working in their lives.  You want everyone to know that if they’re going to be picked in God’s glorious elect, they better be in your vineyard.  After all, it is the Lord’s.

Church of the Holy Immaculate Conception

What we’re hoping for here is for people to be confused and think you meant, “immaculate reception.”  If that’s the case, they might think you’re talking football.  And if you know football, maybe you’re only half-weird.  Get them in the door with this brilliant “bait and switch” name.

Holiness Church of (  insert city/town name  )

Nothing says, “Our church is more holy than yours, yours, yours and definitely yours,” than a church name with “Holiness” in it.  If you’re in an uppity suburb somewhere, this may be the option for you.  Everyone should know that while other churches might be holy, they aren’t nearly as holy as yours.  The folk who love to keep up with the Jones’ will love that they can rub this one in to their friends.  “Oh, you go to First Church of God down the street.  Well, we have been members of the Holiness Church of (  insert city/town name  ) for 42 generations.  Yep, that’s right.  We’re holy.”

Anything with “Whispering” in it

Whispering Pines.  Whispering Grove.  Whispering Creeper.  Who’s whispering over my shoulder?  This is just getting weird.  Still, God spoke to Elijah in a whisper on a mountain side.  You want people to know that at your church, they will be hearing God in whispers over their shoulder.  Plus, this way you get to get them started in some Old Testament knowledge right away.  They’ll be learning Bible and won’t even know it.

The First Holy Faith Tabernacle Church of Peter, Andrew, James and John Founded on the Solid Rock

If your church name is longer than your mission statement, it’s a good one.  Because the one thing you don’t want to have happen is for the lost to actually remember your church name.  After all, new people means being uncomfortable.  So let’s just confuse them with a ridiculously long name on the sign.

Boring (  anything  )

Look, I get it.  You’ve lived in Boring, (State Name) since you were conceived.  You are proud of the 1/2AAA Girls Checkers State Championship your school won in 1903.  So go ahead and spit in the face of first impressions.  Who cares if people drive by and think your church is boring.  It’s worth it because of 1903.

So, there you have it.  It’s not an exhaustive list, but I do hope I have helped to ease the burden that is the hard work of church planting.  Feel free to use these free of charge for your church plant, or you can create your own variation as well.  Now, get out there, start a church and confuse the heck out of the people in your town.

Passion4Planting

If you have a desire to church plant and you believe God is leading you in that direction, let me know.  I would love to pray for you (seriously, no satire here).  Also, you may want to click the image above to help you get started on your church planting journey.

Social Media Does The Body Good!

The way we interact today isn’t like it was in the old days.  Back in the “good ol’ days” people would talk to each other using their mouths and eyes, not their computers, websites and fancy smartphones.  The way we connect, communicate and interact seems to be changing constantly at a blinding speed.  The minute I catch up with one thing, I’ve already got to learn a new one.

Fortunately for me, I actually enjoy the social media fad.  I’m on most major social media platforms.  I enjoy connecting with new people and catching up with people from my past.  Social media has completely changed the landscape of communication.

I want to speak specifically to those who are involved in ministry for a minute.

You may or may not like social media.  It may be something you naturally connect with or you might look at it and be completely baffled as to why anyone would get involved with such craziness.  I’m here to tell you something; your ministry needs social media.  Trust me, it does the “Body” good.

Adam Carriker

Adam Carriker

This is Adam Carriker.  He is a former Nebraska Cornhusker, stand out defensive lineman and Blackshirt.  He is a current Washington Redskin, right in my backyard.  I follow Adam on Twitter and am a “friend” on Facebook, mostly for selfish reasons (to keep up with Husker players).  However, this connection would prove to be extremely fruitful.

At our Campus in Haymarket, Virginia, we have a ministry we call, “Grab Your Groceries.”  We connect with social workers and guidance counselors in our local schools in Prince William County.  Through them, we are able to help provide grocery relief for some of the poorest in our area.  We meet very few of the families we serve, but based on our connections, we know the help is going to those who need it most.  The schools and families we serve are beginning to trust us more than other social organizations and it’s awesome to watch as they call us up and ask us to help us with different events at their schools.  I think we’ve stumbled on to a way to bring Jesus to schools without bashing them over the head with a Bible study or prayer group (but that’s a post for another time).

To help GYG grow, we are planning a huge benefit concert.  This is where social media comes back into the picture.  I sent Adam a direct message on Twitter, briefly told him about myself and introduced him to GYG.  I also was so bold as to ask him to help us out.  He responded with a message of his own and the conversation took off from there.  I found him on Facebook (to make messaging simpler) and gave him more details.  He was happy to help.  I asked him to donate cleats, signed by him, that we could raffle off to raise money to buy groceries for the families we serve.  He loved the idea and agreed.

No red tape.

No agents.

No long lines waiting for an autograph at a mall.

But I did make a connection with a professional athlete in the most powerful city in the world.  And he is helping us serve the community in his own way.  And I couldn’t have done it without social media.  Facebook, Twitter and more, have the power to connect you to people around the world like never before.  And in this case, it has served to further ministry efforts to provide grocery relief for those who need it most in our area.  Social media is capable of some very powerful things.

So, what do you think social media could help you and your ministry accomplish?

In what ways do you utilize social media to your ministries advantage?

Do you see ways that social media can be used to help make disciples?

Adam's cleats

Thanks, Adam Carriker, for the awesome donation!  You’re the man!  Go Huskers!  And, Go Skins!  We will be raffling his cleats at the benefit concert on Saturday, September 10th.

Follow Adam on Twitter here.  Check out his bio as well.  Maybe he knows a little something about making a difference in people’s lives.

Follow me on Twitter here.

We Can’t Get This One Wrong!

I enjoy listening to many people.  National speakers, pastors, writers, presidents, CEO’s and more.  I like listening to people that I disagree with.  It forces me to take a stand on what I really believe, rather than just float along with whatever the next thing to come along is.  With that in mind, this is what I like so much about a guy like Francis Chan.

When I listen to him, I don’t hear a lot of bias toward his own way of thinking.  He challenges us to confront God and Scripture to determine what we believe.  I think in a lot of ways I like him because he makes things very simple and I am a simple guy.

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about Rob Bell’s new book, “Love Wins.”  I haven’t read the book, so I won’t comment on it yet.  I don’t think I should comment on a book I haven’t read.  However, I believe Mr. Chan has read it and he has some very interesting comments.  He never calls out Mr. Bell.  He never points to anyone in particular to throw them under the bus.  He simply says that we can’t afford to get the issue of hell, wrong.  Check out this video and let me know what you think about this whole conversation.

Exponential Conference 2011!

Exponential

Today was an amazing day!  The opportunities to learn were amazing and the chance to meet some very cool people is simply fun.

I sat amazed today.  A large stage filled with speakers who are inspiring in the church world.  Names like; Alan Hirsch, Francis Chan, Matt Carter, Neil Cole, Ed Stetzer and more.  There aren’t many things that are obvious to me, but one very clear thing slammed into my face today; God is amazing!

God has blessed me beyond what I deserve and I’m so thankful to Him for all He is allowing me to see, learn and do.  I pray that I will be wise and use His grace to reach as many people for Christ as I possibly can.

As I listened to many speakers today, here are a couple of things that I picked up.

  1. “Everywhere you go, that’s where the church is!”  -Rob Wegner, Granger Community Church
  2. “If you want a disciple making movement, you have to have the Lord’s blessing!”  -Jim Putman, Real Life Ministries
  3. “Don’t plant churches.  Plant Jesus!”  -Neil Cole, CMA Resources

When all was said and done, I developed a challenge for myself.  I’m not going to tell you what that is just yet.  Maybe some day.  For now, it’s a personal challenge that God and I are working on.  I believe that God is up to something big.  And I hope He has in mind to allow me to be even a small part of it.

And today also held a few fun surprises.  It was very cool to sit in a room with 75 church leaders and planters from around the country and world, to listen to Rick Warren share some inspiring vision stuff for the church.  It was also fun to shoot a video with him.  No, really.

I’m very excited about what God is doing through church planting.

I’m very excited that I get to work closely with people who are doing some really cool things.

I am humbled that God even lets me near this stuff.

Typically, I’m scared I’ll just mess it up.  Which is very likely.

Thanks again, God, for being so gracious to me.

And thanks to all those who have made this conference possible.

What are some of your favorite things, that you have learned at different conferences, classes, seminars, books, etc?

What pieces of knowledge have been the most valuable for you in ministry?

Risk > Failure!

If I told you that risk was greater than failure (r>f), would you believe me?

Some of you would.  More of you wouldn’t.  For many of us out there, risk is equally associated with the possibility of failure.  And most of us out there want no part of failure.  We are taught and trained to believe that we must succeed and that failure is not an option.

But what if I told you that failure was a great option?  What if you began to believe that your failures were simply steps forward and that they were necessary for you to be successful?

Seth Godin says it this way in his new book, “Poke The Box,”

Seth Godin

Risk, to some, is a bad thing, because risk brings with it the possibility of failure.  It might be only a temporary failure, but that doesn’t matter so much if the very thought of it shuts you down.  So, for some, risk comes to equal failure (take enough risks and sooner or later, you will fail).  Risk is avoided because we’ve been trained to avoid failure.  I define anxiety as experiencing failure in advance…and if you have anxiety about initiating a project, then of course you will associate risk with failure.

Honestly, sometimes I get stuck.  I am afraid to fail.  There are probably many reasons for this.  Some linking back to how I was raised.  My beliefs growing up were that when I made mistakes (sinned), that somehow God was then against me and all of the work was on me to make things right with God.  I grew afraid to mess up, paralyzed, afraid to move for fear of getting out of line with my God or my family.  As a result, I fell in line (for the most part) like a good soldier.

My story has lead me to where I am today.  I have been in full-time ministry for 9 years.  The first 8 years of ministry, I took a lot of risks.  I made poor decisions and many of them did not pay off.  Those failures have fed into my feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness.  My thoughts go something like this, “How could God use such a failure?  How can God use someone who has made so many mistakes?  Surely God will just find a more talented, qualified person to do amazing things.”

Sometimes, my thoughts win.  I fail to risk everything for God.

Other times, my heart for risk wins.  I succeed and risk all I have for God.

Does that make me bi-winning?

I want to risk everything for God.  I hate the status quo.  I despise common.  I abhor same old.

What if Jesus was afraid of movement and collisions in life?  What if Rosa Parks allowed a fear of failure to keep her from sitting right where she belonged?  What if failure prevented Martin Luther King Jr. from having a dream?  What if fear paralyzed our Presidents in times of crisis when we need them to be our fearless leaders the most?

Mr. Godin has nailed me on this point.  I’m tired of being afraid of failure.  It’s not a good feeling.  I want to do more.  I want to risk more.  Why?  Because God created me for risk.

When I “push the envelope”…God sends another box of envelopes.

When I stand on the edge of the cliff…God sees a bigger cliff around the corner.

When I turn over a new leaf…God sends fall.

When I shift a paradigm…God says that’s just the beginning.

Even when I think I have risked as much and gone as far as I can go, God can do more and wants me to accomplish more.  He wants the same for you.

Ephesians 3:20 – Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

Are you risking everything to make your marriage a success?

Are you risking everything to bring your children up in the right way?

Are you risking everything to make sure you are a good steward of your finances?

Are you risking everything to tell your friend, neighbors, co-workers and family about Jesus?

Are you risking everything to make sure God has your entire heart?

Are you risking everything to love the unlovable?

Are you risking everything to make sure that God’s name is made great?

Are you risking everything for the mission of God and His Kingdom?

Poke The Box!

I opened my mail today and found my own copy of Seth Godin’s latest release, “Poke The Box.”  It came from amazon.com a lot quicker than I thought it would.  I opened it and began to read.  Then I kept reading.  Then I read some more.  In between a couple of fights, dinner and bedtime, I read some more.  Before I knew it, I had read the entire, eighty-four page, manifesto in one sitting.  I absolutely consumed that book.  Just to keep it real, it was a fairly simple read.  However, the content was more than that.  It was a great challenge.  A challenge and a call to our generation to, “Go.”  A challenge to initiate.

In his New York Times article called, “They Weren’t Careful What They Hoped For,” Barnaby Feder used an early example of the term, “slacktivism.”  Slacktivism is defined as, “the desire people have to do something good without getting out of their chair (Feder 2002).”  In other words, we don’t lack the market to make a great change.  We don’t lack the world that needs great change.  We don’t lack the resources or the network.  We don’t lack the finances or even the avenues by which we can employ a great change.  What we lack is the initiative.

I once changed my Facebook profile picture to one with a pink ribbon on it for Breast Cancer Awareness month.

I post links on my Twitter and Facebook accounts that lead people to great articles and stories about grand causes.

I watch videos on YouTube that have to do with great causes and sometimes if I’m really motivated, I click the “thumbs up” button.

All of those things are good, but they don’t require any initiative to actually create a change in the world.  There must be more.  In fact, there has to be more.  Now, I need to actually DO something with what I know.

I haven’t blogged in quite awhile, but I will try to post more of my thoughts on this book soon.  For now, I will leave you with one of the quotes from the second page of the book.

Imagine that the world had no middlemen, no publishers, no bosses, no HR folks, no one telling you what you couldn’t do.  If you lived in that world, what would you do?  Go.  Do that.

So, what would you do?

Poke The Box

Missional Doesn’t Equal “New!”

I started a discussion on missional communities last week.  Mostly, I just wanted to take time to share some of my thoughts and ideas on them.  Missional communities (MC) were first experimented with in the late 1980’s in London.  The idea was to create groups of 30-50 who were aligned around a common mission.  That mission could be feeding the hungry in a particular area of town.  That mission could be to clothe the people who had very little.  It could be whatever they believed God was calling them to do.  As this idea spread around Europe, it wasn’t until the early 2000’s that the idea finally came to the States.  Once here, a few people have been leading the way in “re”implementing this “new” idea.

London at NightAt the beginning of the year, I began a reading plan on YouVersion to read through the Bible in a year.  I chose the chronological reading plan because I wanted to be able to read the Bible more like a story, with everything in order as it happened.  I began to read and I came to the book of Exodus.  I have started Exodus before.  It’s not my favorite book.  The first twenty chapters or so are pretty cool.  Lots of action, you could even make a movie out of it.  Someone should do that.  But after that, it starts to get a little boring.  So I was a little nervous about being able to get all the way through without faltering.  What I found was incredible.  As I prayed through the “boring parts,” God began to show me something that I believe is incredible.  MC’s are not a “new” idea.

Exodus 35:29 (NLT) – “So the people of Israel—every man and woman who was eager to help in the work the Lord had given them through Moses—brought their gifts and gave them freely to the Lord.

This was an entire community of people, focusing on an area in which they had a passion and were gifted and they used it to complete a work the Lord had shown them through their visionary leader, Moses.  They not only did the work, but they “gave them free to the Lord.”  From early on, it seems to me that God has had this idea.  MC’s are not new, they are a throwback.  They are not something to be afraid of, they are God’s plan.  A MC gives the average, ordinary, everyday person an opportunity to find fulfillment by using their gifts and talents freely for the Lord.  To use the talents they have been given to follow God in the mission of sharing the love of Jesus with everyone they encounter.  Being a MC to me is simply a group of people living their lives as missionaries.  It is saying, “God has placed me where I am, for a reason.  And rather than waste the opportunity, I am going to use all of my time, talents and resources to make a difference for God right where I am.  I don’t have to live in a foreign country to be a missionary.  I’m a missionary right here.  And I’m going to join with others who feel the same way and I’m going to help make a difference right where I am.

I’m going to bring my gifts and I’m going to freely give them to God.

Join the discussion.

I want to hear your thoughts.

What do you think about MC’s?

What needs are right in your backyard that you can see as a mission field?

Is it time to freely give yourself to God by using your gifts and talents to be a part of the solution for that need?

In what ways can you see this concept playing out in everyday life?

Are MC’s a new idea?  Am I just crazy?  (I will be the first to admit that God doesn’t call this group in Exodus 35 a “missional community.”  Based on the way they are structured today, it seems to me that God has been trying to use people as “missionaries” since gifts and talents were first given to them.)

Can’t wait to hear from you.

10 Signs You Are A Workaholic!

This post at allprodad.com was sent to me in an email from a friend.  I want it to be very clear that I didn’t write this, it is not mine, it is sole property of allprodad.com.  Click here to read this post on their website.  If you are too lazy to click the link, please read the post here.  This is a fantastic list – “10 Signs You Are A Workaholic.”

    Most of us have been taught to “buckle down and get the job done.”  Work ethic is a sought after quality, but in some cases over zealous dedication to work wreaks havoc in other aspects of your life.  When do you know that you have crossed the line to something more destructive? To be a dedicated and productive worker is a very good thing, but there is a fine line between dedication and addiction.  The following 10 signs will help you to determine if you’re a workaholic.

  1. Conversation

    When you’re with friends and family, what types of conversations do you have? If you’re a workaholic, chances are your input will almost surely be work related. Whatever the latest “huge account” you are obsessed with will take center stage. You can manage to waddle through the small talk, but your conversations will always lead back to work. Your existence has been built to revolve around your job.

  2. Who Are Your Friends?

    How is your social life? Are the same people you socialize with also the same people you spend the majority of your life with at work? Friendships are made and last based on common interests. The workaholic is usually not able to connect long term with others outside of his profession.

  3. Control

    Are you able to properly delegate responsibility to others on your team? Can you give up total control and trust workmates to complete an assignment? “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” Do you find yourself saying that in your head even when it’s not true? The workaholic needs total control. To them, nobody could possibly do the task as well.

  4. Crackberry

    You carry it everywhere you go. The Blackberry™ never leaves your side…even in church or on vacation. The thought of missing an important email or tidbit of information worries you to obsession. Your daughter just made an incredible sand castle right in front of your feet. You barely look up to notice and your eyes go straight back to the Crackberry. You need help.

  5. The Roll Over Days

    Your neighbor is complaining that it’s only September and he’s out of vacation days. Every year your wife lobbies her company for more personal days to be with family. You? Last time you checked you had 8½ weeks of rolled over vacation days. The last time you spent an entire week away from your job is when you didn’t have one. You always threaten co-workers that “one of these days I’m going to take the whole month of July off.” You never do.

  6. Desk Cafeteria

    What is inside your bottom desk drawer? Cans of soup, crackers, and pre-packaged tuna lunches? Your desk cafeteria helps rid you of that annoying human trait—hunger. Who has time for lunch? If you work through it you might be able to justify leaving when you are supposed to leave. This way you might catch your son’s ballgame. However if that still isn’t enough, the ballgame goes on the cut list. The workaholic only takes lunches that are business related. Otherwise it’s the desk cafeteria and nose to the grindstone.

  7. I’m Not Sick

    Your nose is completely clogged. Your throat feels like you’re gargling razor blades. “I’m not sick, I just have some allergies.” You pump yourself up with whatever over-the-counter medication you can find that is non-drowsy, and off to work you go. All day long your germs spread through the office like a marauding band of pirates. You might consider your dedication as productive. The ten employees you infected and who are now out sick were never a consideration in your mind. They are just weak.

  8. Middle Of The Night Brainstorming

    It’s 3 am. Your wife is sleeping soundly beside you. You are wide awake trying to figure out the secret to landing the account you are chasing. The hours tick by as you lay in silence brainstorming. Another sleepless night but you think you might have found the edge you needed. Your health and disposition may suffer, but you got what you were after. The workaholic always has trouble sleeping.

  9. Your Roommate

    Do you spend quality time with your wife on a regular basis? Take her on spontaneous adventures? Spend evenings just talking about anything with her? Or has your marriage become more like a roommate situation? You have your life, she has hers.  You just happen to sleep in the same bed. Quite possibly you don’t even do that. Since you are up working late on the computer, it’s easier for you to just sleep in your home office. Your marriage is a shell and at this rate, it might be headed for eventual failure. This is not the type of provider she was hoping for.

  10. Who Are Those Little People?

    You remember your wife being pregnant. You certainly remember them being born. What you can’t figure out is, “Who are these little people making all this noise while I’m trying to work at home?”  “You kids go watch TV upstairs so Daddy can work.” Do you have personal relationships with your children? Do you know who their teachers are and their best friends? What are their hopes and dreams? Looking ahead into the future you’ll ask your son, “I was a good Dad right?” “I provided for everything you ever needed.” Your son will look you in the eye and say “Dad, the only thing I ever wanted was your time, but you were always busy.” That is the fate of the workaholic.

So, are you a workaholic?  I think I failed on 9 out of 10.  I am no officially, depressed.  Guess it’s time to be a better dad, an All Pro Dad.

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