Some Thoughts Regarding the “Billy Graham Rule” and Friendships Between Men and Women.

This coming weekend at Toronto City Church I’m going to preaching on “No Glass Ceilings in the Kingdom: Women in Ministry” as part of our DNA Series; where we explore our mission and foundational elements of who we are as a church. My wife is away on a missions trip (for two weeks… pray for me people) so while she usually preaches on Mother’s Day, I’m up. I’m going to use the opportunity to teach on woman and ministry and why we embrace women having full access to participate in every aspect of Kingdom leadership and ministry. (My notes for it will be posted here on Sunday and you can listen to the message here early next week)

While it doesn’t relate directly to my message, I came across an interesting article recently entitled “It’s Not Billy Graham Rule or Bust” by Tish Harrison Warren that really got me thinking. Continue reading →


#Food4Thought: They’re Growing, We’re Not + How to Quickly Lose Your Influence

I came across a couple really thought provoking posts today that I wanted to pass on:

The first is “They’re growing. We’re not. It’s time to listen”  by Graham Hill. :

While many statistics show the church in the West is in multi-generational decline, the opposite is true almost everywhere else.

Non-Western cultures and churches aren’t the minority any more: they are the majority.

The churches of the Majority World (sometimes called the Developing World) have seen extraordinary and sustained growth for decades. Places such as Africa, Asia and Latin America, Oceania and the Caribbean, the Middle East and eastern Europe, First Nations and Indigenous communities. Finally, immigrant Christian communities are also going through a time of growth and revitalisation. Insights from churches in these cultures can help renew the worldwide church. They can invigorate our churches, as we learn from each other. And they have the power to invest Western mission, worship and discipleship strategies with new vibrancy.

In 2016, I founded The Global Church Project so that we can listen and learn from non-Western Christian churches and leaders. I travelled the globe to meet and do filmed interviews with many hundreds of non-Western church leaders. The hundreds of filmed interviews and podcasts at is their voice.

You can read the entire post here. Continue reading →

#Food4Thought – Stuff that Got Me Thinking this Week…

It’s been a busy couple weeks in “Witton World”… lots going on at Toronto City Church, my wife was away for 10 days but I still had time to dig into some great resources this week. Here are a few of the ones that really got my attention:

  1. Podcast: How to Motivate Your Team by Craig Groeschel – Craig is right there at the top for practical leadership instruction. Very solid teaching.
  2. Podcast: A Culture of Collaboration by Andy Stanley – Andy has some excellent insights on how to create a culture of collaboration in your ministry/organization.
  3. Podcast: Exploring the Prophetic with Shawn Bolz – great podcast. I love Shawn’s ministry and he has top notch guests on with him who have great conversations about the prophetic in our lives. One of the things I love most about Shawn is how humble he is, and how much he ‘despookify’s’ (not sure if that is real word) the prophetic.
  4. Three By-Law Changes Needed to Break 100, 200, 400 and 600 by Brian Jones – now for many of you this one will not be your cup of tea, but if you are church leadership you will find it healthy. By-laws/structure is not on the top of most of our reading list but it’s so vital to healthy church and ministry.
  5. ‘The only electricity we use is one lamp’: Apple execs, Facebook billionaires embrace tech diets for devices, services they helped create” – Financial Post – I have heard my friend James Kelly from FaithTech talk about this before but it’s a very interesting read about how a lot of the execs of major companies are limiting their and their families use of the very technologies they are creating.
  6. How Pastoral Care Stunts the Growth of Most Churches by Carey Nieuwhof – really, really good wisdom from Carey for every Pastor and church leadership team member.
  7. 9 Characteristics of the Modern-Day Remnant Church by Joseph Mattera – I think articles like this are really key with the day and age that we are coming into. Some good thought provoking content.

Continue reading →

#Food4Thought – Stuff that Got Me Thinking this Week…

It’s been a busy week in my world… lot’s of stuff at Toronto City Church, my wife is in India… still I was able to get some ‘good food’ for my mind and soul. Here are some highlights:

  1. Chase the Lion by Mark Batterson – this was an assignment from my Bishop (I’m actually a little behind… catching up). Really good stuff on chasing the dreams that God has given you and believing big. A great quote: “Life is about more than arriving safely at death”
  2. The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere, Join the New Rich by Tim Ferris – this is not a Christian book and I don’t agree with everything in it… but it has really challenged and encouraged me so far in a number of areas. It is very thought-provoking.
  3. Top-Ten Ways Churches Drive Away First Time Guests by Thom Rainer – great little article that has some real nuggets about welcoming people in your church. You might be surprised by some of what is on the list.
  4. What To Do When Your Spirit is Inwardly Disturbed by Rick Renner – every Christian leader (and really every Christian) needs to understand and heed the truth in this Sparkling Gems from the Greek devotional from Rick.
  5. Erik Fish – got in a training session this week with and Erik Fish shared for a bit about real discipleship and what it looks like… some real good stuff. I’m planning to dig in a bit more to what he teaches.
  6. The Passion Translation is on – I got the Passion Translation for Christmas and am loving it… was hoping they would get it online soon and here it is! It is such a great translation!

Continue reading →

#Food4Thought – Stuff that Got Me Thinking this Week…

Here is some stuff that got me thinking this week…

  1. Church is a Family not a Business by Banning Liebscher – really, really loved this message by Banning at Bethel Church. I have been on my own journey of understanding ‘church as family’ (with the Toronto City Church Fam) and this spoke so much into that. (Note: the link is to a YouTube video that directs you to the Bethel TV site where you need to sign up for an account. You can also access the Podcast of it directly here)
  2. Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast: Giving and Receiving Feedback – Craig’s stuff is just so good… I highly recommend this podcast. Part 1 and Part 2 were both excellent. You can watch it on YouTube or subscribe to the Podcast.
  3. Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast: Uniquely Better (Part 1 & 2) and Culture of Collaboration – once again… just really good leadership stuff. Andy has been a thought leader for years and I learn a lot from him.
  4. Seven Paradigms the Church Must Restore to Impact Society by Joseph Mattera – this guy always gets me thinking. Deep, solid stuff.
  5. Pastor’s Coach Master Classes (Michael Brodeur) – I’m in a weekly master-class with Michael Brodeur. If you are a pastor I strongly encourage you to check him out. I have learned so much.
  6. 15 Practical Tips for a Fruitful Vision Sunday (Hillsong Church) – while this article is geared towards a “Vision Sunday” it has a lot of nuggets that apply across the board.

Continue reading →

#Food4Thought – Stuff That Got Me Thinking This Week…

One of my goals is to be a lifelong learner and I’m always trying to read/watch/listen to different resources that will cause me to grow.

Here is some stuff that has really gotten me thinking this week:

  1. Faith Tech put out their monthly newsletter – I can’t link it but just check out their site and get on their mailing list. This is a cutting-edge ministry that is really a great thought leader in the area of faith and technology.
  2. Why You Should Have a Not to Do List by Brian Jones – really good article that gets you thinking on what you should not be doing. Please Note: this is written by a Pastor to Pastor’s but I think it can be helpful even if you are not a pastor in your personal context.
  3. How to Build Your Vision from the Ground Up – I have not gotten a chance to go through this conversation between Steven Furtick and T.D. Jakes but I have heard so much good stuff I already know it’s going to be good (and worth passing on).
  4. Passion Translation – I got the New Testament + Psalms/Proverbs Passion Translation for Christmas and I’m reading through the New Testament this month and I’m loving it! I highly recommend this translation of the scriptures. Here is an example:

Continue reading →