Monday, December 7, 2009

Tri-perspectival Leadership

A while ago, I had an opportunity to teach our intern cohort at our church the paradigm of Tri-Perspectival Leadership. There has been much written about this subject already.

Pastors David Fairchild and Drew Goodmanson of Kaleo Church, along with others in the Acts 29 Network, have done some work to extrapolate the theological foundations laid by Dr. John Frame and Vern Poythress into this leadership paradigm.

In attempting to teach it to our cohort I created a visual representation of one of their talks explaining this very helpful paradigm. This way of thinking has greatly informed all aspects of my ministry especially counseling, correction and preaching.

I pray that this chart along with the talks and articles will benefit yours as well.

Here are the links to the various resources:

Chart (via

Acts 29 Talks:
1. Prophet, Priest, and King
2. Triperspectival Leadership

Online Articles:
1. Drew Goodmanson
2. John Frame (primer)

addition added on 1/8/10

Also for those involved in teaching and preaching here is a great resource from Tim Keller and Ed Clowney. They taught a 1 week intensive course on Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World.

It is pretty much an intensive class on Christocentric preaching from all of scipture. Really good but really dense material here.

iTunes download link
Accompanying 189 page pdf (that is not a typo...189 8.5"x11" pages)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Pastor Matt Chandler's pre-surgery witness

"18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

Philippians 1:18-21


Praying with and seeing the example of Pastor Matt Chandler through this difficult time in his family's life has been more impactful than any message that I have ever heard him preach. I praise God for pastors like him who never take their eyes of Jesus and their calling to shepherd and pastor their people even in the midst of their own suffering.

I pray that I would have the same commitment as Paul and Matt Chandler in seeing Christ honored in my body, whether by life or by death.


Matt Chandler's pre-surgery reflections:

The last seven days have been some of the most interesting of my life. I have felt anxiety, fear, sadness and a deep and unmovable joy simultaneously and in deeper ways than I have felt before. I am grateful for this heightened sense of things. Today at 10:45 a.m. CST I will have a good portion of my right frontal lobe removed. I head into that surgery with a heart that is filled with gratitude and hope.

Here are some of the things I am thankful for in no particular order:

1. I am thankful for the thousands of you who have prayed and fasted for my health. It has brought far more tears to Lauren’s and my eyes to receive this kind of attention from the Church universal than this tumor has.
2. I’m thankful for health insurance because I’m guessing they aren’t doing my five-hour surgery for free!
3. I am thankful that I have deep, real friendships at The Village with Michael Bleecker, Josh Patterson, Brian Miller, Chris Chavez and Beau Hughes. They have been such a comfort to me and my family this past week. Pastors should have good friends on their staff. It’s risky but worth the risk.
4. I am grateful for the men of God in my life, namely John Piper who taught me to hold my life cheap and to join with Paul in saying “I don’t count my life of any value or as precious to myself if only I might finish my course and complete the work that He gave me to do to testify to the Gospel of the grace of God. I’m nothing, I just have a job. God keep me faithful on the job and then let me drop and go to the reward.” Without this strong view of God’s sovereign will, I’m not sure how you don’t despair in circumstances like mine.
5. I am thankful for my wife Lauren. “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’” “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”
6. I am thankful for my children. Audrey the Beautiful, Reid the Valiant and Norah the Joyous. Being a daddy to these three is one of the greatest joys of my life.
7. The privilege of seeing and appreciating all of life through the grid of a heightened sense of my own mortality.
8. I am thankful for brilliant doctors and surgeons who have been given a real gift by our great God and King to repair things as complex as the brain.
9. I am thankful for The Village Church. If there is a place that loves Jesus more, takes sanctification as seriously and wants to see the lost love the great King deeply I am unaware of it. These last seven years have been a spectacular joy!
10. More than anything else I am grateful to my King Eternal, my Lord Immortal, for my God invisible. He alone is God. All Glory and Honor, Forever to You O God. I am overwhelmed in these moments by God Himself and the assurance of a future inheritance of a Kingdom that cannot be shaken and where all things are made new (Hebrews 12).

Christ is All,
Matt Chandler


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Francis Chan : Engaging in Authentic, 24/7 Community

Below is an excerpt form an article entitled Starting Over by Pastor Francis Chan. It is a condensed version of the talk that he gave at the Exponential conference:

View the full article here.

Engaging in Authentic, 24/7 Community:

Starting over would also mean changing how our church viewed and fostered community. If you came off an island after reading Scriptures, and then walked into a local church, what would you expect to see? I would expect to see a group of people boldly loving one another, sharing their possessions with each other, spending time together like a family.

A little over a year ago, we baptized this guy who came out of the gangs. I remember loving his fire and passion. A while later, someone came up to me and said that this guy had stopped coming to Cornerstone and had told him, “I had the wrong vision of church. I thought that when I got baptized and joined the church, it was going to be like when I got jumped into the gang. Immediately, we became family. They had my back 24 hours a day. If I was sleeping in the street, they were sleeping there with me. We didn’t get together just once a week; it was all the time. I guess I just didn’t understand church. It’s like Satan stole God’s playbook, and people are attracted to gangs because they’re doing things biblically—except for the killing part.”

That kills me! It’s so sad that gangs are a better picture of family than the body of Christ. And it just makes me say that it’s not this guy, it’s us—we are the ones who don’t under­stand church.

And I’ve heard the arguments. I know people say that even though it’s biblical, you can’t pull off that kind of bold community in today’s culture. And to that, I ask, Have we for­gotten who the Holy Spirit is? If Jesus could look at 11 people and say, “You’re going to get the message to the whole world without Internet access,” then we can grab 11 people and reach these three or four blocks. It’s the same Holy Spirit. I’ve got to believe that the Holy Spirit still can and will do these amazing things. We’re going through this as a church right now. The leaders of our church are my best friends. I trust them. I know that if I die tonight, these guys will take care of my family. They’ll treat my kids like their own. We’re seeing that type of bond happen. Today’s Church can foster bold and authentic, 24/7 community.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Information Overload Syndrome


Friday, July 3, 2009

Are we preparing our kids adequately?

Some humor from The Onion Network.

Are Violent Video Games Adequately Preparing Children For The Apocalypse?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bible Giveaway Contest from Logos

Check out the Logos Bible Giveaway contest. They're giving away some of the most premium bibles on the market!

"Logos Bible Software is celebrating the launch of their new online Bible by giving away 72 ultra-premium print Bibles at a rate of 12 per month for six months. The Bible giveaway is being held at and you can get up to five different entries each month! After you enter, be sure to check out Logos and see how it can revolutionize your Bible study."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

John Piper - Christ as Our Treasure

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Twitter Graphically Defined

Funny but true.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My wife and I have been too ghetto to pay someone else to take pictures of us so we just went to Ko'olina Beach and took some ourselves. And with a little bit of Photoshop magic it kinda looks like we know what we're doing!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lets not be so quick to celebrate...

Tonight Kris Allen won American Idol in front of millions of people. He was the underdog in the competition. His range and vocal capabilities were no where near his opponent Adam Lambert but he had obvious charisma and humility. In fact when he won he was speechless because he had absolutely nothing prepared. The only thing he said was "I don't know what to say. Adam deserves this." Even in victory he still believed that Adam should have won.

As my wife and I watched it was kind of bittersweet for us because, although We wanted Kris to win, we also feared for his heart and his marriage. From this point on their lives are changed forever. And with enough money and fame, a humble heart can quickly turn haughty and arrogant. And on top of that anything they want will be available to them which quickly leads to idolatry of things.

I fear that Kris, if he hasn't already, will ironically fall into idolatry of fame and popularity. The same idolatry that pastors can fall into when they are praised too much and made much of. God has given him a talent for music and influence. I pray that he will one day see Christ as worthy enough to divert all the praise for himself to Him.

Lets congratulate but let's also pray for his heart and his marriage. That he would remain humble and that Christ would take root as the foundation of their relationship.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Youth Ministry Musings

This past weekend we had one of the best services that we've ever had. And it wasn't because we did anything extravagant or that our program was totally legit, or that our numbers were high. I believe it was because of the sense of community that prevailed. The Holy Spirit is definitely at work in the hearts of our leaders, staff and youth. I'm stoked because I'm convinced that as community builds around the unifying Gospel, not around me, the leaders or the place, but Christ and Him crucified, we're gonna start seeing staff and students alike be on mission 24/7 and we can see this mug grow right, through gathering then scattering. Through equipping then sending. Praise Jesus who is not only the motivation and goal behind our ministry but also the one who defines success and makes sure it happens. He truly is all and above all.

Colossians 1:15-23

Christians can be like babies...

Funny but too often true.

"Christians can be like babies. When they're newborns they only take milk and are generally pleasant. But when they start to take solid food they throw up on people and their crap starts to stink."


The Good Samaritan?

I love the Bible. I love studying the Bible. I love being convicted by the Bible. I love preaching the Bible. Above all I love the God of the Bible. But in my humanity my heart can sometimes become calloused towards some of the things that the Bible has to say. Especially stories that I've heard over and over again. One of those stories is the story of The Good Samaritan which can be found in Luke 10:25-37.

Most will identify with the priest or the Levite and leave this passage feeling convicted, challenged and hopefully spurned into action to live on mission all the time, no matter the cost to their own person. But some are more arrogant and will readily identify with the Samaritan, thinking to themselves, "If that ever happened I would do the right thing."

Usually this is based on other external works of charity or kindness to others. But these acts don't normally involve any significant sacrifices on the part of the "philanthropist". Usually their level of service stops at the point of any discomfort.

In speaking of the difference between knowing of God and truly knowing Him, the great American theologian Jonathan Edwards writes:

"Thus there is a difference between having an opinion, that God is holy and gracious, and having a sense of the loveliness and beauty of that holiness and grace. There is a difference between having a rational judgment that honey is sweet, and having a sense of its sweetness. So there is a difference between believing that a person is beautiful, and having a sense of his beauty. The former may be obtained by hearsay, but the latter only by seeing the countenance."

He uses this analogy of honey:
There is a difference between knowing that honey is sweet by reading about it and knowing that it is sweet by actually tasting it yourself.

Do we ever have a true knowledge of what we would do if we were in the Samaritan's place? Not until it actually happens.

Well for many at our ministry center this past Saturday it did happen. As I pulled into the parking lot on Saturday Morning I passed by a homeless man apparently sleeping on the church premises. I hardly noticed him as I went into the building to prep for that evenings sermon. Later on more than 4 people came up to me to "alert" me that there was a man on premises and that I had to kick him off the property before our youth group service started. No doubt that countless others there that day had simply passed him by. I thought that if I waited long enough he might just go on his own and so I waited. But then it came time for service and so I begrudgingly went outside expecting to be met with resistance and attitude. But the man I encountered was the exact opposite. In fact he was absolutely compliant and understanding of the request. I talked with the man for a while about his life story and how he got to be where he was at that exact moment. I gave him some clothes and blankets that we had in the building and invited him to come back on Monday for some food, a shower and more clothes. As I began to walk away he didn't budge. So I asked if he needed any help getting up.

He did.

I could feel my Adam's Apple drop into my gut as I realized that his man had only been here all day because he could not get up. Flies encircled his entire body which was half clothed, smelled like feces and full of scabs. So I bear hugged him from behind and lifted him onto his feet and he went on his way.

As I walked back into the office I thought about how my soul is way more dirty than than that man's clothes. How could I be so selfish and let that man suffer in the heat all day because I thought someone else would take care of it. May it never be again. My prayer is that God would burn this memory into my skull that I won't ever forget.

I've tasted the honey but only after I had fooled myself into thinking that I knew what it tasted like already.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

An interesting and convicting article on the Christian "quite time" by Tim Challies over at

Here's one of my favorite quotes form the middle of the article.

"Quiet time becomes tyrannical when you understand it as a performance. Bridges provides a pearl of wisdom. “Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.” Whether you are having a good day or a bad day, the basis of your relationship with is not your performance, for even your best efforts are but filthy rags. Instead, your relationship is based on grace."

Check out the whole thing here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Piper Interviews Chandler

Part 1 - Chandler tells his story up to about 20 years old.

Part 2 - More on Chandler's story, through becoming a pastor.

Part 3 - Chandler's thoughts on being a pastor, a Calvinist, and a Complementarian.

Part 4 - Chandler and Piper finish up with some advice for pastors.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Lasting Joy vs. Circumstantial Happiness

As a youth pastor I get the privilege of preaching and exampling God's word to high school students almost every weekend, sometimes during our midweek services and throughout the week in personal conversations.

One thing that God has laid on my heart for the people that I get to shepherd is to constantly attack the idols in their lives (and in mine as well) with the truth of God's word. The things that they have built up to stand as their sources of happiness, satisfaction, fulfillment and comfort.

I stumbled upon this guy Albert Martin who makes some amazing videos. This one in particular communicates so clearly what I try to articulate (sometimes unsuccessfully) every week. The idea of Lasting Joy vs Circumstantial Happiness.

Check it out.

Lasting Joy vs. Circumstantial Happiness from Albert Martin on Vimeo.

That's my you know Him?

That's My King! from Albert Martin on Vimeo.

True Meaning of Easter

Cruising around today with my wife we say bunny after bunny and marshmallow peep after marshmallow peep. I originally wanted to post my own thoughts on this but then I came across these two videos that I think cut to the heart of what Easter is all about.

The content is creative and right on and the guys who made them have cool British accents so it makes it even more interesting to watch.

Their message is not only for Easter. They speak to something that we should be celebrating every day. They come as a pair so be sure to watch them both.

THAT'S EASTER Life to Death from St Helen’s Church on Vimeo.

THAT'S EASTER Death to Life from St Helen’s Church on Vimeo.

Original link: Between Two Worlds.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Blogs vs. Bible

Through some very unfortunate circumstances I will be Macbook Pro-less for more than a week. And while at first glance it seemed like a dismal outlook when I look at how much home work, sermon preparation and graphic design I actually need to get done within the next week, it's actually a blessing in disguise.

I have been without my computer for about 2 days now and I am slowly realizing how dependent I was on it. And to take it a step further I think that I was actually addicted to it or at least the internet on it. Because I no longer have a laptop handy I see myself going to my iPhone a lot more to check on random blogs, craigslist and to even read the Bible online. I think I'm addicted.

I have put some boundaries on my time spent online since this realization. This non-self imposed fast from my computer has made realize that I oftentimes depend more on my computer than I do on the Lord. That is utterly wrong and shameful.

My computer provides me with research tools, programs with which to design and make money as well as an outlet to be creative through blogging and videos. But now I realize that it became my default when I would feel any sort of anxiety or stress. Instead of meditating on His word and praying to Him I would read my anxieties away on good but not crucial reading material (i.e. blogs vs. the Bible)

This is kind of embarrassing to write about but I have a feeling that this might be true of so many of us. But if we are just humble enough to admit it and see Christ as worthy enough to do something about it then I think writing this is worth it all.

In the past I've scoffed at the idea of a technology fast or a t.v. fast. But if one aspect of fasting is to expose, as Piper puts it, our "sediment of self-reliance" than I think it would do us all good to do just that with technology.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Singing in the Rain remix

Singing in the Rain with Gene Kelly was on last night. It reminded me of this video.

It's an oldie but goodie.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sanctification through child rearing (not child bearing on my part)

6 weeks and counting. Time flies by fast.
God uses many things in my life to sanctify my soul. This little one will be a life long tool used by God to effect that process in my life. Already, I understand more what God means when He tells us that He loves us as our Father. And I've begun to understand the Gospel of grace a little bit more as I try to calm her at 3am and she just won't listen (sounds familiar). I'm sure God has much more in store for me and my wife as our children grow up. Just like only a surfer knows the feeling so it goes with fatherhood.

Humility Actualized

Ray Ortlund is one of my favorite pastors because he offers up an example of humility and gracious wisdom that is rare in our day. From his blog Christ is Deeper Still, he offers up daily doses of that wisdom that he has garnered from years of pastoral ministry. Recently he and his church joined the Acts 29 Network of church planters. They say that church planting is a young man's work and most of the people within the network probably look to men like Ray Ortlund for wisdom and advice. But in this recent post he lists some reasons why he has decided to join. It shows the humility in his heart and says a lot about the network, their mission and the wisdom with which they try to accomplish that mission.

Check it out here: