The Two Bearded Preachers are trying their hardest to make those church gains, but what is the best way to measure success in ministry? Is it about leading people to grow the organization, or is there something more to it than that? In this episode, Justin and Martin talk about their criteria for successful ministry and point out that pastoring a church is fundamentally different than leading in the marketplace. Martin shares some demotivational techniques and Justin pretty much preaches his entire sermon for Sunday. This episode is outrageous!
The Two Bearded Preachers spend the episode discussing the meaning of life and whether or not the decisions we make matter. They comment on the fact that the listener doesn't get to hear the entire conversation since recording began well after they started talking. Justin gets his pump on and brags about his biceps. Martin is unimpressed and points out where his partner is wrong. Will listening to this episode matter in your life? One of us says yes, the other thinks it might not. Rest assured, it will make you happier than you were either way.
Justin and Martin talk about the golden era of television we are currently enjoying. The conversation begins with the rumors of a new Firefly series Fox seems willing to work on if only Joss Whedon will get on board. Then they discuss the joys of Burn Notice and Smallville before moving on to film. Neither of the Two Bearded Preachers are super excited about movies coming out this year with the exception of Lego Batman, Spiderman Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy, and pretty much any other MCU or DC movie. Maybe they are more interested in the 2017 movie scene than they say... Martin talks about the joy of Rogue One in Imax 3D and Justin spoils Split, the latest M. Night Shyamalan movie, for himself (don't worry, there aren't any spoilers in the episode). After all that they still find time to talk about how Martin's daughter broke her arm doing a back hand spring. What a glorious episode for your listening pleasure!
It's the newest episode of the Two Bearded Preachers! Justin and Martin discuss the role of emotions in the worship service and ask if they do themselves a disservice by minimizing emotional responses in the church. Martin talks about his experience at the Glennville Community Revival where Dr. Ron Archer pushed him out of his comfort zone. Justin shares how his son, Jonas, handled a bully at school with style and grace. Both share about how playing Diablo 3 is a spiritual exercise. Don't misbehave with that garlic bread, treat yourself with podcast gold instead. This episode is carbohydrate free.
Martin W. Bender
Fusion is an explanation of the assimilation program Nelson Searcy utilizes in his local church. It has many practical suggestions on how a congregation can be more effective at interacting with guests and engaging them outside the walls of the church facility. The book is all about function and encouraging the reader to be intentional about moving the first-time guest into fully engaged member of the church.
Fusion is not a book on ecclesiology. In fact, the greatest frustration I had with the book was the lack of clarity concerning what the responsibilities and privileges of church membership are for the individual. He does make the point very clear that membership is for believers, but it saddens me that such a point must be made in a book discussing how to appropriately assimilate people into the church. When a congregation lacks a clear understanding of the nature of the church any assimilation program will resort to pragmatism. How pragmatic were the first Christians in the establishment and building of the church?
In my congregation, we need to do a better job of listening to our membership. The systems that have been effective in the past are no longer working due to societal shifts. With this in mind, we will begin using some of the ideas presented in the book, but at the same time, we are developing and teaching a thorough ecclesiology in order to ensure our methodology is consistent with scripture.
Searcy, Nelson with Jennifer Dykes Henson. Fusion: Turning first-time guests into fully-engaged members of your church. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2007.