Entertainment: Some helpful questions

Your mind has a filter system that processes every thought, action and experience, every day of your life. This system is trained to process life’s ins and outs by some key influencers.

One of these influencers is our entertainment. When we watch television and see real people in real life situations, we program our minds to respond in kind. Each time a similar situation comes into our lives, we will consider all of the options that are pre-recorded in our brains.

So a big question arises from these thoughts: “How do I know what entertainment is right for me?” Let’s take a look at some questions that can help us answer this for us.

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Filters Follow-up: Entertainment

On Sundays we are going through a series titled “Filters.” The basic idea is that every thought, act and experience of every day is processed through a filter system that God has given to us. This week we mentioned that our filters are stained, in need of cleansing and repair.

Our filters are tainted, but it isn’t the fault of the filters. We have asked them to keep certain things from our hearts and minds. A coffee filter is soiled because we have used it to color and flavor water for us so that we can enjoy our daily cup of coffee. The filters of our minds help us enjoy life by keeping the crud and garbage away for us.

The bulk of this week’s message centered around five key influencers that have shaped and stained our filter. Because of a couple of questions I received following the message, and to help us out in this area of our life, I thought I’d write about one of these influencers: entertainment.

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Developing Yourself and Others

Pastors and Leaders: Do you take the time to develop yourselves and/or others? Many of us have heard of or even read John Maxwell’s Developing the Leader Within You and Developing the Leaders Around You.

If you’re like me, you could read a lot of books in a year and forget what you read. Some of it will stick with me, but have I really taken the time to apply it?┬áThere are so many ways to develop and mentor ourselves and others, but if we get discouraged by the things that say it isn’t possible for us, we miss them.

As a staff pastor for nine years before becoming a senior pastor, I have served under those who made it a priority to include development and those who haven’t. I know the power of being developed. I also know that there are issues that keep us from including development in our ministry.

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Relationship via Prayer Meeting

Pastors, how do you begin a prayer meeting?

In the past I used to put a different prayer focus on each slide of a PowerPoint presentation. This would run throughout the meeting, giving constant direction for prayer, but leaving the meeting itself unstructured. Another model I’ve used is to set a quiet, personal atmosphere in the room by turning the lights on low, turn on some instrumental or intimate worship music.

In each case, those attending were welcome to come and go as they please. There was no opening or closing prayer. One could enter, pray or worship or read their Bible, and quietly walk out the door when finished. Occasionally we might have prayed together, but not regularly.

I have discovered the power of leading the group into prayer. Remember, I’ve led prayer groups for over fifteen years, and I’m no stranger to the prayer meeting. I’ve also seen it done a few ways that I have chosen not to employ in my own ministry. But recently I’ve stumbled on some of the benefits of being the pastor and leading the group in prayer.

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A Simple Touch

We’ve wrapped our first full week at Gateway. It was quite full between unpacking the house, getting into the office and trying to unpack and organize there, getting ready for Thursday Bible Study and Sunday morning. Our home voicemail wasn’t working and I recorded a new message at the church. But all in all, that was to be expected. Then came the unexpected.

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Christian Living, Ministry

Who Is Discipling You?

I read a tweet tonight that was a few days old. (I’ve been “offline” for a number of days and am trying to catch up.) The Tweeter asked, “Who are you discipling? Who is discipling you? Blogs and vids don’t count. Imagine if the Amer[ican] dream was to disciple and be discipled.” While I understand the writer’s point, I would argue that blogs, tweets and videos are actually huge influencers when it comes to discipleship in our lives.

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