Life on the front porch

Faith, life, kids & bikes


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How to do a singing Bible study

Dear Worship Leader,

I enjoy worshiping and singing with you – it’s easy because your heart wants to worship.  Your role is important because the songs we sing will stay with us longer than most sermons or even encouraging words.  Your worship, helps us worship.

I’d like to give you a little tool to help your Bible Study time turn into songs between you and Jesus with a little model: Read it, Write it, Say it, Sing it, Pray it (thanks to my friend Kirk Bennett).  The goal is to take God’s word and turn it into prayerful worship, new songs and increased revelation of God. Continue reading

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How To Effectively Recruit Volunteers

Team Training for 17 June

It was the autumn of 2007, Christa and I were just newly settling into our new city and ministry after a summer of very intense and fun summer camp. We’d served with a great team who all loved the churches that they’d come from and since we were new to the city we wanted to find a church where we’d have some friends and find a place to get involved.

  • Week one we went to Gospel Church. The service was fine but as we waited in the very crowded foyer afterwards not a single person tried to figure out who we were.
  • Week two we went to a bigger Missionary church. This one was much more polished, had some good conversations and we even got a visitor package. But we left feeling neither excited nor disappointed.
  • Week three we tried Eastview. A growing church with a mission to yuppies living in the suburbs (we lived in the ‘hood’ (a poor neighbourhood) and served teenagers). The service was okay – same as everywhere really – but as we finished, Phil & Julie were sitting behind us and introduced themselves. Then they invited us to their home group that Thursday. We were blown away. When we showed up at home group and met some other folks who have been life long friends (and not just because of Facebook).

Fire hose

This relationship led to further invitations – to lunch after church, to serve on teams, to lead the youth worship band, to attend conferences. Each opportunity helping us to grow and helping us to serve our church effectively and well. Continue reading


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The Community We’re Building

I get really excited about Vineyard Brussels when I see the quality of people coming in to our church. People are encountering Jesus, making friends, getting healed and they’re scattering globally with testimonies that God is doing a good thing in Brussels. When I think of what’s at stake, we need the best people in the places where they can do the most good. I know that some of our needs are very urgent, God will help us.

Some of our best workers are right beside us, just waiting to be asked personally. Some need a friend more than a task – help people make some new friends. You’re not imposing on people to ask them to help – if you love this church, they will want to be part of making it great. Let’s show people that we really mean it when we say that here, “everyone can play.”

“If I were running a company today, I would have one priority above all others: to acquire as many of the best people as I could [because] the single biggest constraint on the success of my organization is the ability to get and to hang on to enough of the right people.”
Jim Collins

Building on Friendshipo

Quotes About Hiring People

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The default setting is: Pray

I have often wondered how when Jesus is so amazing – his life, his power, his wisdom – and yet most of my life I have struggled to spend time with him in prayer. I want to enjoy him, but my own brain and experience seems to keep me at a distance. It’s also easier to do things for God than to partner with Jesus and to spend the time needed in prayer.

Guilt. Shame. Hard work. Failure. Boredom. These are the words that often accompany the description of my life in prayer, maybe you Continue reading


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The church I would join: values in the story of Pentecost

 I grew up in a family that loved our church.  Many of our best friends were also in our church community and I loved my friends and the way I was grown and encouraged to become a man who could follow after God.  For me, church was not a once-a-week gathering, it was my extended family and support network.  Even now, when I go home, I consider these friends as my family and I always make a point to connect with them. Continue reading


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Learning to love

My grandma passed away about a year and half ago at the age of 92. As she faded in her later years there were fewer and fewer things that she could do, but God graciously gave her continued joy in song and full thankfulness. When I would visit, I would sing for her – it was amazing and emotional. And when someone would do anything for her, even if it was uncomfortable, she’d always say, “Thank you dear.” She is for me a picture of Jesus’ friend, coming out of the wilderness. Weak, but glorious because of the One on whom she leans.

For the longest time, I thought that love was a command that I must follow – but try as I might, it seemed impossible. Some people told me that love was a decision, not emotional, I just need to decide to love him and then work hard at it. And I really wanted to, but it’s really hard and probably ended up looking for other rules to follow.

My children are part of the curriculum to teach me to love!

My children are part of the curriculum to teach me to love!

I think we may all know someone like me, who works hard at religion, loves the truth and loves the story, but their heart has yet to love God fully. Maybe it’s you. God has been working on me for years to take the ideas of love from my head to my heart. There are 3 verses in the Bible that have been very meaningful to me in helping me transition from being someone who knows about love to someone who loves (and it’s not over yet, believe me).

1. Matthew 22.37

And [Jesus] replied to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect).

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How to be confident in faith

This week I was out for a walk and suddenly felt this awareness of being far away from Jesus. Do you know what I mean?  My prayers felt like they were hitting the clouds and coming right back at me, doubts were starting to creep in and everyone with no faith seemed to be doing just fine and even prospering, while I’m struggling.

What’s up with seasons like this?  Why am I experiencing this when Jesus promised to never leave me or forsake me? (Hebrews 13:5)?  Sometimes I just withdraw (“O poor me”) other times I compensate by working harder (“I will just get through this”).  Do you ever have times like this?  Fear, worry, pride driving your lack of connection with the one your heart loves?

In the Song of Songs, this is not the the Bride’s response in Song 4 – she is beginning to grow in confident maturity because she is learning to know and love and trust her Lover.  She not only knows his love, his beauty and his strength, but she also knows what he’s thinking about her.  She is beginning to understand (knowledge) and experience (emotions) the Bridegroom’s thoughts and emotions about her.  As you read them, can you believe that this is how Jesus thinks & feels about you?

3 Declarations of the Bridegroom over his Bride (Song 4.9-16)

1.  Do you know how you move Jesus’ heart? Continue reading