From the Editor:

Kairos Moments

Making Vision Stick
How Churches Reach Young Adults

July 4, Patriotism
July 4 Quotes
Preaching, Critics

Link of the Week

Preacher’s Bookshelf


And Finally…

“There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all.” (Peter Drucker)

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    Vol. 8, No. 22 June 16 , 2009    
Michael Duduit

Before moving to Anderson, S.C., a year ago this month, we were members for five years of Brentwood Baptist Church in suburban Nashville, where my friend Mike Glenn is pastor. Mike has recently written his first book, In Real Time (B&H), which offers a view of how the church has developed a ministry to young adults (Kairos) that is now attracting crowds of a thousand or more each Tuesday night. It’s a great book that any pastor will find useful.

Mike concludes the book with this: “Kairos is a moment, a unique moment when you know that you, with God’s help, have to find a way to reach the young adults in your community who, despite all appearances, really want to tell someone their story. They want someone to love them enough to listen. They are looking for someone who will tell them about Jesus in a way that makes sense in their world.

“They are our children and grandchildren, the children of our neighborhoods and communities. They deliver your pizza and wait on you at the local mall. They are your bankers and insurance agents, all brand-new in their careers. And they are lost.

“Do you know what it is to be lost? It means you don’t know where you are, how you got there, or how to get to where you want to go. Lost people can’t find their way home. Like rescue swimmers looking over the ocean for someone whose boat has sunk, we don’t expect those who are lost to find their way. We have to go to them. When you are sitting somewhere having a cup of coffee and you look around the cafe at all the young adults in the room and realize you can no longer sit still, you are going to have to find a way to reach them, then it will be Kairos for you.”

Has your Kairos moment arrived?

(Click here to learn more about the book In Real Time.)

Michael Duduit, Editor

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/MichaelDuduit

PreachingNOW will not be published during the next two weeks as we take a break (well-deserved or not).

On this week’s Preaching Podcast: Mark Batterson is Lead Pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C., and author of two great books being used by many pastors and churches. Listen in as we visit with Mark about preaching that reaches “unchurched” and “dechurched” young adults, plus much more.


“It’s tough to make vision stick. Time has a way of eroding the adhesive,” writes Andy Stanley in his book Making Vision Stick (Zondervan). He explains:

“Vision is about what could be and should be, but life is about right this minute. As important as we believe it is for people in our organizations to embrace our pictures of the future, their lives are consumed with the present. Life is about deadlines and decisions and problem solving, not to mention the kids and the house and the bills and the yard. To get people to sit still long enough to understand your vision is hard enough. But to get them to actually organize their lives around it is supremely difficult. The urgent and legitimate needs of today quickly erase our commitment to the what could be of tomorrow.”

Stanley continues by identifying “five things you can do to significantly increase the adhesiveness of your vision”:

1. State the vision simply.
2. Cast the vision convincingly.
3. Repeat the vision regularly.
4. Celebrate the vision systematically.
5. Embrace the vision personally.

(Click here to learn more about the book Making Vision Stick.)


In his new book Lost and Found (B&H), Ed Stetzer suggests nine traits of churches that are effectively reaching young adults. Here are five of them:

Creating Deeper Community
Churches that are effective at attracting and developing young adults place a high value on moving people into a healthy small-group system. Young adults are trying to connect and will make a lasting connection wherever they can find belonging.

Making a Difference Through Service
Churches that are transforming young adults value leading people to serve through volunteerism. More than being pampered, young adults want to be part of something bigger than themselves and are looking to be part of an organization where they can make a difference through acts of service.

Experiencing Worship
Churches that are engaging young adults are providing worship environments that reflect their culture while also revering and revealing God. More than looking for a good performance, young adults desire to connect with a vertical experience of worship.

Leveraging Technology
Churches that are reaching young adults are willing to communicate in a language of technology familiar to young adults. Young adults sense that these churches are welcoming churches that value and understand them, engaging them where they are.

Building Cross-Generational Relationships
Churches that are linking young adults with older, mature adults are challenging young adults to move on to maturity through friendship, wisdom, and support. Young adults are drawn to churches that believe in them enough to challenge them.” (Click here to read the full article. Click here to learn more about the book Lost and Found.)


In his speech before the 1988 Republican National Convention, John McCain told this story: “As you may know, I spent five and one half years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. In the early years of our imprisonment, the NVA kept us in solitary confinement or two or three to a cell. In 1971 the NVA moved us from these conditions of isolation into large rooms with as many as 30 to 40 men to a room. This was, as you can imagine, a wonderful change and was a direct result of the efforts of millions of Americans on behalf of a few hundred POWs 10,000 miles from home.

“One of the men who moved into my room was a young man named Mike Christian.

“Mike came from a small town near Selma, Alabama. He didn’t wear a pair of shoes until he was 13 years old. At 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He later earned a commission by going to Officer Training School. Then he became a Naval Flight Officer and was shot down and captured in 1967.

“Mike had a keen and deep appreciation of the opportunities this country — and our military — provides for people who want to work and want to succeed. As part of the change in treatment, the Vietnamese allowed some prisoners to receive packages from home. In some of these packages were handkerchiefs, scarves and other items of clothing. Mike got himself a bamboo needle. Over a period of a couple of months, he created an American flag and sewed it on the inside of his shirt.

“Every afternoon, before we had a bowl of soup, we would hang Mike’s shirt on the wall of the cell and say the Pledge of Allegiance. I know the Pledge of Allegiance may not seem the most important part of our day now, but I can assure you that in that stark cell it was indeed the most important and meaningful event.

“One day the Vietnamese searched our cell, as they did periodically, and discovered Mike’s shirt with the flag sewn inside, and removed it. That evening they returned, opened the door of the cell, and for the benefit of all of us, beat Mike Christian severely for the next couple of hours. Then, they opened the door of the cell and threw him in. We cleaned him up as well as we could.

“The cell in which we lived had a concrete slab in the middle on which we slept. Four naked light bulbs hung in each corner of the room. As I said, we tried to clean up Mike as well as we could. After the excitement died down, I looked in the corner of the room, and sitting there beneath that dim light bulb with a piece of red cloth, another shirt and his bamboo needle, was my friend, Mike Christian. He was sitting there with his eyes almost shut from the beating he had received, making another American flag.

“He was not making the flag because it made Mike Christian feel better. He was making that flag because he knew how important it was to us to be able to pledge allegiance to our flag and our country.

“So the next time you say the Pledge of Allegiance, you must never forget the sacrifice and courage that thousands of Americans have made to build our nation and promote freedom around the world. You must remember our duty, our honor and our country.

“‘I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.'”


“America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination, and unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” (Harry S. Truman)

“Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men; and so it must be daily earned and refreshed — else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.” (Dwight D. Eisenhower)

“The real democratic idea is not that every man shall be on a level with every other, but that every one shall have liberty, without hindrance, to be what God made him.” (Henry Ward Beecher)

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” (Mark Twain)

From the July-August issue of Preaching …

In an article on “The Curious Case of the Illusive Illustration,” Jere Phillips writes: “Illustrations are meant to connect people with the exposition or the application of sermonic points. A good illustration does more than shed light on an idea; it moves people emotionally and intellectually. Unfortunately, the average preacher relies on personal experiences, stories from church history, quotations from long-departed preachers or scriptural references.

“Personal illustrations can be powerful if used with discretion. People are touched by the transparency of a preacher who is not afraid to be vulnerable. However, no congregation wants to hear about the preacher and his family every week. Too, no minister’s family likes being the source of sermon fodder Sunday after Sunday.

“Try depersonalizing and universalizing personal experiences. Instead of saying, ‘Last weekend my son and I were on a hunting trip and …,’ try this: ‘Have you ever been on a hunting trip with your son and ….’ You are able to translate the personal experience into a common-life situation with which many of your people can relate. The anecdote becomes their story, not just your story, evoking memories and emotions.

“Historical illustrations can be useful provided they do not require contextual knowledge. Any reference to a historical event or character should be self-contained if possible, making the point whether the hearer knows the historical context or not. Preachers wanting to connect with postmodern hearers will not limit themselves to church history, since most listeners will not be familiar with pages from seminary textbooks.”


Every issue of Preaching contains insightful articles on preaching, plus great model sermons and practical resources. If you’re not a current subscriber to Preaching magazine, click here (or call, toll free, 1-800-527-5226) to go begin your subscription!


Also in the July-August issue of Preaching: “Safety in the Sanctuary,” “The Amazing Disappearing and Reappearing Cross,” an interview with Michael Quicke and much more. Order your subscription today!

Andy Rowell has compiled an interesting list of blogs by innovative church leaders and thinkers. Most of the bloggers I follow can be found on this list. While there are a few names on the list that leave me cold, if you want to read insights from those who are making us think about the future of the local church — such as Dan Kimball, Dave Ferguson, Ed Stetzer, Mark Batterson, Perry Noble, Tony Morgan and others — then check out the list, which you can find here.

“A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.” (James Dent)

Rather than focusing on a narrow set of gatherings and programs, Mel Lawrenz believes that the church should see ministry as a holistic, life-giving adventure that engages with God, God’s people, the community and the world. In his book Whole Church: Leading from Fragmentation to Engagement (Josey-Bass), he offers a practical model of empowered church ministry.


In the book On Track Leadership (B&H), John Kramp explores the real-life tools leaders use and how to use them more effectively. Among the topics he deals with: vision, planning, enlisting, team building, communication, delegation, motivation, correction and celebration. This is a practical book that church leaders will find helpful.




Finishing with something a bit more theological, Ben Witherington III, has written Imminent Domain: The Story of the Kingdom of God and Its Celebration (Eerdmans) as an exploration of the meaning of the Kingdom of God and how the church relates to the Kingdom. A useful book for pastors as well as a launching pad for Bible studies.

(Click on the title to learn more or order from Amazon.)


A pastor put sanitary, hot-air hand dryers in the restrooms at his church; but after two weeks he had them removed.

Asked by a friend why the sudden switch, he confessed that they worked fine; but when he went in there he saw a sign that read: “For a sample of this week’s sermon, push the button.”



• Motherhood — If it was going to be easy, it never would have started with something called labor!

• Shouting to make your children obey is like using the horn to steer your car, and you get about the same results.

• To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today.

• The smartest advice on raising children is to enjoy them while they are still on your side.

• Raising a teenager is like nailing Jell-O to a tree.

• Parents: People who bare infants, bore teenagers, and board newlyweds.

• The joy of motherhood: the time when all the children are finally in bed.

• Life’s golden age is when the kids are too old to need baby-sitters and too young to borrow the family car.

• Grandparents are similar to a piece of string — handy to have around and easily wrapped around the fingers of grandchildren.

• Adolescence is the age when children try to bring up their parents.

• The only people in this world who are always sure about the proper way to raise children are those who’ve never had any.

• Cleaning your house while your kids are at home is like trying to shovel the driveway during a snowstorm.

• There are only two things a child will share willingly, communicable diseases and his mother’s age.

• An alarm clock is a device for awakening people who don’t have small children.

• Kids really brighten a household; they never turn off any lights.

Chalk this one up to a really, really bad case of forgetfulness.

According to a June 10 AP story, an Israeli woman bought her elderly mother a new bed as a surprise and threw out the old mattress. It wasn’t until the next morning that she found out that her mother had hidden her life savings inside that old mattress — almost $1 million.

The mattress had already been carried away by garbage collectors, so she went to the landfill and frantically began searching for the mattress with its hidden treasure — searching among the 2,500 tons of trash that arrives at that landfill each day.

The AP story indicated the woman claimed her money “was in U.S. dollars and Israeli shekels. She refused to say how she acquired such a large sum. ‘It was all my money in the world,’ she said. There was no way to verify her claims, and she refused to disclose key details. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said he was not familiar with the case and no report had been filed.”

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