10 Things I’ve Done in Ruidoso, NM

Posted December 19, 2009 by pastoralan
Categories: Uncategorized

I’ve been in Ruidoso, New Mexico for 4 months now. This place is incredible. Here’s 10 things I’ve done here in four months that I had not done in the last few years.

1. I’ve seen more deer than at any other time in my life. I live in a nature wonderland.

2. I’ve driven with the windows down in the Jeep more here than in any other place. The weather here is perfect.

3. I’ve taken a day off. Sabbath is easier here.

4. I’ve seen more mountains. The grandeur of God is a wondrous blessing.

5. I’ve preached more. I have my 2010 preaching calendar done.

6. I got to lead FBC in designing and implementing a simple church discipleship process.

7. I’ve started learning how to shoot a bow. I’m going to bag a deer at some point.

8. I’ve eaten lunch at school with my daughter more. I eat with her at least once every two weeks.

9. I’ve watched more Monday Night Football with church members 🙂

10. I’ve drank more Starbucks coffee with my sweet Jeana. Time together is a good things.


Discussing Doctrine

Posted December 10, 2009 by pastoralan
Categories: Uncategorized

I am convinced that most Christians don’ discuss doctrine and scripture enough. I have a principle I try to remember as I make disciples through teaching and preaching–“If they are not talking about it, how do I know they are getting it.” Discussion is crucial to spiritual growth. The Bereans knew to do it in Acts. They took what they heard home and “checked it out.” Last night in Wednesday Bible Study we had a great discussion on the doctrine of salvation from 1 John 4. It was AWESOME to say the least. We discussed how a person is saved and if a person is saved from many angles. We discussed election and choice from a theocentric view and an anthropocentric view. Last night we “wrestled” with scripture and doctrine. We talked about cults and heresy in the church and parachurch community. What’s my point? Discussing scripture and doctrine is key to spiritual growth. We need to be able to defend our faith. So, get involved in discussions about life and doctrine. Share and defend your faith. Get in a group that builds your faith and “grow.” “Our doctrine of salvation will drive our practice of evangelism.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted November 28, 2009 by pastoralan
Categories: Uncategorized

Most of you know how I am about “community.” The place of confidence in life is community with the Lord and His family, the church. I wan to wish each of you a “Blessed Thanksgiving.” I more good memories than bad of Thanksgivings past. But I always seem to remember that tough things happen on holidays. People are hurting. Others have family who are sick or die. Others have no community and no money. Most of all, many don’t know what real “thanksgiving” is because they have yet to enter a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Be blessed! Know I love each of you.

Moving to Ruidoso

Posted August 25, 2009 by pastoralan
Categories: Church

I’ve not posted much on this blog due to shear busy life stuff coming my way. But most of my readers know I was called a Senior Pastor of FBC Ruidoso. I’ve been working on getting out of Texas. Please pray for my home to sell soon.

You can follow me at www.fbcruidoso.com and www.fbcruidoso.blogspot.com. Also, we have a Twitter page at www.twitter.com/fbcruidoso.

More will come in the days ahead. Love all of you.

First Baptist Church in View of a Call

Posted July 27, 2009 by pastoralan
Categories: Church


Hello everyone,

communityI want to announce an important event for my family and ask you to pray. I’ve been asked go in “view of a call” to First Baptist Church, Ruidoso, New Mexico. We have interacted with the FBC Pastor Search Team for about 45 days. Of course, they have been on a longer journey in looking for a pastor. We are so excited to go to FBC. We believe the Lord is calling us there to join in the Great Commission work. I go to preach in view of a call on August 9, 2009. Please pray for the church and me.

FBC is a great church that has an Acts 1:8 vision to reach the Ruidoso, New Mexico, the United States, and the nations of this world. The church is a great, healthy group of God loving Christ following Christians. The church averages between 300-350 in worship. They are ready for a  pastor, leader, and servant. I hope to be their next pastor. Commit to pray for me for the next 2 weeks. I’m praying, planning, persevering in pursuing God’s kingdom agenda to reach the lost of Ruidoso.

I am so looking forward to preaching again on a weekly basis. I’m looking forward to serving the FBC and Ruidoso community. Of course, saying goodbye to our present ministry is tough. But the Great Commission requires us to duplicate ourselves in other people so they can carry on the ministry. It requires us to at times “send” people in the harvest fields. It’s requires us to “go” and “Make disciples.” I’m ready to once again, obey God. Pray for us: me, my family, and the FBC family.

Best Practices of Sermon Based Small Groups

Posted July 14, 2009 by pastoralan
Categories: Uncategorized

Here’s the second “best practice” of churches that use sermon based small groups.

Relationship Factor Prioritized

Churches that use the SBSG approach make a philosophy shift from prioritizing content to prioritizing relationship building. These churches see discipleship as a process that is not a program. Discipleship is a part of a process of living life close enough to a few other people to make a difference in their lives. In order to properly emphasize the relationship factor, these churches keep the small groups between twelve to fourteen participants. This number allows groups to be large enough to allow some anonymity and small enough to be intimate.

What people need are relationships to go with the content.

Best Practices of Sermon Based Small Group Churches

Posted July 3, 2009 by pastoralan
Categories: Sermon-Based Small Groups

Senior Pastor First

What are the best practices found in churches that use sermon-based small groups? Here’s the first practice I found in interviews and research with churches that use the model.

In the churches that use the SBSG approach, the senior pastor is the key player. He was bought in to the process of making disciples in small groups and saw the significance of using the SBSG approach. Some churches in the surveys did say the senior pastor needed to have buy-in before a staff and church could move forward in the process of implementing a SBSG model. This buy-in avoids personality and control challenges among the church leadership.

In churches that use the SBSG approach, the senior pastor is involved personally in a small group. The pastor does not set up a program or an opportunity he does not take part in himself. The pastor’s personal participation gives credibility to the most important process in a church, disciple making.

In churches that use the SBSG approach, the senior pastor is involved in the discipleship of other leaders. There are times when the senior pastor is not the main leader of the SBSG leaders. Other executive pastor level leaders do lead the small group leaders. The best churches minister to the leaders consistently and closely so the small group leaders are healthy and can reproduce.

A good freind of mine, who is also a mentor, has told me for years that 90-95% of pastors are not in any kind of small group (Dr. Daryl Eldridge, www.rockbridgeseminary.com). I’ve found this to be true. Yet pastors expect people to grow in community. We wonder why the church today is so anemic? Maybe it’s becuase we have gotten so far away from “disciple-making” in leu of programs and events. Jesus selected 12 “that they might be with Him” so He could teach them to preach and cast our demons (Mark 3:13-15).

Pastors, are you making disciples? Could you list 12 you’ve invested in for 2 1/2 years like Jesus did the 12? Why not? Let me encourage you to invest in 12-14 for a year. Teach that group to reproduce itself. Your people will thank you for it.