joelBefore exploring quotes from my book Leadership Explosion, let’s focus on Thanksgiving. For you who are reading this blog from other countries, the United States celebrates Thanksgiving as a national holiday (Thursday is the actual holiday but people normally take time off from Thursday to Sunday). On December 4, 1619, a group of 38 English settlers arrivedthanksgiving at a place called Charles Cittie (sic) about 20 miles upstream from Jamestown, where the first permanent settlement of the Colony of Virginia was established on May 14, 1607. The group’s charter required that the day of arrival be observed yearly as a “day of thanksgiving” to God. On that first day, Captain John Woodleaf held the service of thanksgiving. Here is the section of the Charter which specifies the thanksgiving service: “Wee ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

Just like those early settlers, we are on a pilgimage to heaven. God wins the final battle, and these brief days on this earth should be filled with thanksgiving. Sadly, we (I’m including myself here) allow worry, doubt, and fretting about the future to cloud the wonderful things God is doing. In these next several days, let’s practice what Paul says in Philippians 4: 4-9:

 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

I’ll post again on Monday. Enjoy your time with God, family, and friends.




How Men War…Then and Now

In yesterday’s post from Joel, his last sentence read:  “The first place to start [regarding leadership development] when looking for harvest workers is PRAYER.”  I agree.  Let me share the following story.

Around three hundred years before the birth of Christ, a certain king name Pyrrhus was reigning on the throne in Greece.  Because he was a great soldier, he was recruited by the people of Terentum to wage war against the Romans.  Pyrrhus was victorious in many of the battles and played an interesting “war card” against the Romans.  He used elephants!  That’s right!  Pyrrhus had in his arsenal seventy trained elephants who would run in to the ranks of the enemy, knock the Roman soldiers down, and trample them to death.  Sometimes an elephant would grab an enemy soldier with his trunk and throw him high into the air.

Needless to say, this pack of pesky, penetrating, powerful pachyderms packed a powerful punch, paralyzing the Romans with fear.  Eventually, one Roman soldeir was brave enough to rush at an elephant while it was charging and cut off a part of its trunk with his sword.  The elephant arsenal at Pyrrhus’ disposal was soon contained by the Romans.

Thus, Pyrrhus found it wise to resort to negotiations for peach with the Romans.  As was his custom, Pyrrhus sent his eloquent negotiator Cineas to the Roman Senate.  In previous scenarios, Cineas was quite successful in encouraging warring legislative bodies to agree to peace with Pyrrhus.

An interesting phrase became common to the Greeks of the day which hinged on this point in history.  The Greeks used to say, “The tongue of Cineas wins more cities than the sword of Pyrrhus!”  As I reflected upon this ancient saying and scenario, the following scriptures came to mind:

Revelation 12:11:  And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death.

Ephesians 6:12:  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of the darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Proverbs 18:21:  The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Let us be reminded that our victory does not come through persuasive words, clever physical weapons of warfare (be it elephants or such), or brilliant minds.

Instead, our advocate (Christ) intercedes in the heavenlies on our behalf and He has granted to us the indwelling Holy Spirit that teaches us how to pray.   As you war today in the heavenly realms, pray the scriptures above to God as an affirmation of His position and your position.


by Rob Campbell

Leadership Explosion

 joelLast week I did my first webinar. I discussed my book Leadership Explosion (webinar was sponsored by Leadership Network). If you’re new to the concept of webinars, join the crowd. I knew nothing about webinars until one month ago. A webinar is basically a Web-based seminar, that combines conference calling (everyone on the phone at the same time) and web conferencing (everyone on the same website at the same time). LEADERSHIP explosionA webinar allows for polling and question asking of the participants.

I had the chance to reread my book Leadership Explosion in prepration for the webinar. LE highlights the fact that the heart of the cell church movement is raising up an army of leaders who will reap the harvest. The thesis of the book is that making disciples who make disciples is the heartbeat of cell ministry (i.e.g, leaders who make other leaders). I repeatedly say in the book that the cell church movement is not about the cell. It’s about how leaders (disciple-makers) are developed in cell ministry to serve Christ’s body and evangelize the world.

LE was published in 2000, and I’ve had seven years to reflect on the contents. Granted, I would rewrite some parts of it today. Yet, other sections encouraged me to press on to view leadership deveopment at the heart of cell ministry.

In these next few blogs I’d like to present some quotes that radiate the heart of the book.

Unlike my own quotes, I’ll start with one that is without error. Matthew 9:35-38 says, “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:35-38)

Jesus is still looking for those who are willing to reap the harvest today. The first place to start when looking for harvest workers is PRAYER.  




Love Each Other Deeply

joelPeter tells us in 1 Peter 4: 8, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” In the Greek, the word “deeply” literally means to ‘stretch out’. It denotes the tense muscle activity of an athlete–like a football player “stretching out” to kick the ball. While living in Ecuador, I noticed that the thighs of the football/soccer players were huge. They were constantly exercising their leg muscles. FOOT WASHING

In the same way we need to exercise our muscle of forgiveness and love toward those who hurt us, rub us the wrong way, and generally make us feel uncomfortable.

And remember that Peter was writing these words to house churches. Small groups often make our live’s more uncomfortable, rather than comfortable. They force us to face our irritations and conflicts with fellow believers. We can either be honest and openly communicate about our feelings–thus growing in love and mercy–or we can walk away and look for another cell (and most likely we’ll face similar problems in the next cell).

I have one person in my own cell who rubs me wrong–AND I IRRITATE THIS PERSON! We’ve had to openly talk about painful, difficult areas on several occassions. But you know what? I’ve grown to respect this person. Why? Because we met our conflict in a biblical manner.

It’s easy to go to church on Sunday, hide in the crowd, and not really rub shoulders with people. The cell helps us to put into practice the words of Peter to love each other deeply.


Joel Comiskey

The King who stood still


by Steve Cordle

After the dream in which God promised the newly-crowned king Solomon both wisdom AND riches, Solomon returned to Jerusalem – the place of God’s dwelling. He sought out the ark of the covenant, which was where the Lord’s presence centered. And what did he do?

“Solomon stood before the ark…” (1 Kings 3:15)

Solomon stood before the Lord’s presence. He wasn’t planning, ruling, preaching, or traveling. He stood – making himself available to God. A new king — so much to do — and yet he stood…. still.  

How often do we “stand before the Lord”? How much more effective might our ministries be if we did so more often? Part of being still before the Lord is to quiet ourselves inwardly. I admit, standing doesn’t always come naturally to me.

Notably, the passage immediately following the account of Solomon’s time of standing is his famous test of wisdom of two women claiming the same child. It seems Solomon’s standing before the Lord allowed him to access the promised wisdom from God.

I haven’t always asked ministry leaders how they are doing in their devotional life – as if we should be beyond discussing such a seemingly basic thing. No more. I regularly ask “How is your life with Jesus?”, and I have a partner who asks me that question weekly. Standing.