Tag Archives: pepperdine bible lectures

Reaching the Missing Generation @ #pbl12

The Pepperdine Bible Lectures are right around the corner.

Airiel and I will be teaching a class Thursday May 3 at 3:15PM in Keck Science Center 130 (map) entitled “Reaching the Missing Generation: Practical Evangelistic Ministry to Twenty-Somethings”. We’re finishing up our prep this week and are looking forward to being in Malibu next.

In our class we will share observations made regarding common characteristics among a few of the most evangelistically effective 20-something ministries in the United States. Data from national studies performed through Campus Ministry United will inform our content in addition to our own experience in evangelistic 20-something ministries both as students and leaders.

I believe this is going to be a good class, and encourage anyone interested in learning how to better make disciples of young people to attend.

Who will be in Malibu next week?

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Attend Bible Lectures or Workshops/Conventions? Why?

So I just spent a few days in Malibu taking in the 2011 Pepperdine Bible Lectures.

Airiel and I had a good time as did our children. One of the neat things about Pepperdine’s program is the emphasis they place on quality content not only for mom and dad, but also for the little ones. It brings a smile to my face to hear my kids talk about how much fun they’re having in their classes.

The PBLs and Tulsa Workshop are the only lectureships I attend regularly.  If you don’t know what a lectureship is, it’s basically a big convention for people in ministry or church members who dig excellent preaching and vibrant worship. The fellowship I’m apart of (Churches of Christ) offers several lectureships every year, each one independent of the other. Since there’s not an overseeing governing board leading all Churches of Christ, there’s not one big convention we all go to (there are pros and cons to that), and since there are so many different conventions, we’re left with the option of choosing which we’d like to attend or not attend.

That leads me to my question: if you choose to attend a lectureship, how do you make the decision which to go to? What motivates you to sacrifice the time and expense involved? Have you ever attended a lectureship and gone away from it disappointed? Why? What has been your best lectureship experience, and why do you say so? Which lectureship is consistently the best one to attend, and why?

As a new Christian and young minister-in-training, lecture programs (particularly the Tulsa Workshop) positively shaped me by exposing me to great Bible teaching. Nowadays in attending lectures I still enjoy good Bible teaching, but love more than anything the fellowship with friends and family I do not get to see often, and get more out of being exposed to practical ministry ideas/strategies from effective leaders God has blessed than anything else (unfortunately most lecture programs do not place a great emphasis on ministry practicum – this really should change).

What about you?

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Notes From the Pepperdine Lectures – Tim Spivey pt. 3

Notes from the Pepperdine Bible Lectures – part three of Tim Spivey’s class on church revitalization/renewal.


  • Don’t highlight visitors. Don’t ask them to stand up, don’t ask them to wave, don’t call attention to them at all. They don’t want the attention!
  • Don’t make filling out a card the goal for visitors. Make bringing them back, maturing them, growing them spiritually your goal.


  • Excellence is a sign of maturity and health.
  • Excellence happens at the intersection of service and vision.
  • Church leaders must ask themselves, “Do we have a reputation of making sausage out of volunteers?” In churches, consistent excellence largely comes from taking care of volunteers.
  • “More is not better. Better is better.”
  • Don’t strive to do more things – strive to do the things you do decide to do excellently.

Importance of Media

  • Tim walks through several terrible PowerPoint presentations and contrasts them with good looking ones.
  • Poor looking media matters when it comes to reaching young families! Many church leaders reduce the importance of this, but that’s a mistake.
  • “If I’m in my 30s, I’m checking out your website before I visit your church. 40% of people who come to church today check you out on the web or another source before stepping foot through your door.”
  • If your website is terrible, they’ll likely not bother coming. It must “pop” visually.
  • Tim recommends signing up at PowerPointSermons.com – it’s $199.00 per year for a membership, and you get access to loads of professional quality media to use for PowerPoint presentations, print media (like your church bulletins), and your website.
  • The initial transition to making your media excellent will cost money (website, bulletin, stage design, etc.), but it’s well worth it!
  • Jim Collins: “Good is the enemy of great …” – we don’t have many “great” churches because too many are satisfied with “good” churches!

Emotional Triangle

  • Emotional triangle – when two people or parts of a system are uncomfortable with each other, they will seek a third party to stabilize their relationship.
  • Three people making up the triangle: 1) Offender (persecutor), 2) Offended (victim), 3) Rescuer (person the victim gossips with about the persecutor).
  • Rather than the victim speaking with the persecutor and resolving the problem, the victim runs to the rescuer and spills their guts.
  • The persecutor becomes a new victim, and the triangle multiplies as this new victim runs to another rescuer to talk about the other person (instead of talking to the other person).
  • Emotional Triangles are a mess and cause churches to divide!
  • Church leaders must be rigid about getting people to talk to one another, and not about one another.

Good Questions to Ask During the Hiring Process

  • Three C’s & One F: 1) Character, 2) Competency, 3) Chemistry, 4) Fit.
  • Character: Are they spiritually mature/healthy/growing?
  • Competency: Are they capable? Can they get the job done?
  • Chemistry: Do they play well in the sandbox with others? Will they get along with other staff members?
  • Fit: Does this person fit our church?

After They’re Hired

  • Treat them well. Expect the best from them, but treat them well!
  • The apostles weren’t persecuted by the church, they were persecuted by the pagans! Churches of Christ are a species that seem to like to eat their own young!
  • Treat them well and you have every right to ask them to perform their best.

Tips for Building Healthy Leadership Teams

  • Leadership dysfunction is the #1 affliction of Churches of Christ! Here are a few tips:
  • Clarify Roles – each staff member should know what their job is and what’s expected.
  • Guard the Gate – never bring in an elder who’s “good enough” – never bring in a staff member who’s “good enough.”
  • Ministers shouldn’t ask elders to treat them well while treating the elders poorly, and vice-versa.
  • Talk to, not about each other – if there’s a problem, say it to the person you have the problem with. Don’t gossip, don’t create emotional triangles.
  • Meet together regularly.
  • Review staff performance annually – this is not a review the staff person being evaluated should be present for. Elders honestly evaluate staff performance on an annual basis.
  • Be ruthlessly committed to one another’s success.
  • Set rules for what you will and won’t argue about.
  • Write things down that are said in meetings – this will keep everyone on the same page.
  • Develop a process for exiting dysfunctional members.

Concluding Miscellaneous Tips

  • Eliminate this phrase: “my church.” Get people to eliminate that sort of language/attitude.
  • Eliminate this phrase as it pertains to assemblies: “private devotion to the Lord” (as in during the Lord’s Supper). We don’t meet corporately to have “private” devotion time with the Lord. If people want private time with God, tell them to do it in their homes. Assemblies are about coming together with the body … not quiet time.
  • Church bylaws need to be rewritten every few years. Do not allow them to become outdated.
  • Rotate volunteers to avoid burnout.
  • Staff should be involved in the hiring process – do not form a committee of non-ministers to hire new staff when you have trained professionals at your disposal.
  • Be CAREFUL hiring – all it takes is one bad apple to tank a church.
  • Making the five guys who get the most votes elders is a TERRIBLE/RECKLESS process for elder selection.

Phew, that was a lot. Great class, Tim!

For more like this, visit Tim’s blog here or listen to his preaching here.

If you’re interested in ordering audio or video recordings from the 2010 Pepperdine Bible Lectures, go here.

More notes from the 2011 Pepperdine Bible Lectures coming soon … stay tuned to this website, or subscribe to westcoastwitness.com to get the latest updates in your inbox or favorite reader.

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