Watermark Church Leaders Conference Notes 2021

God’s Church is unstoppable – Matthew 16:18

3 Things That Never Change 

Blake Holmes – Campus Pastor


1 the character of God. 

We constantly make theological decisions. How we spend money, deal with suffering, all our decisions. Remind yourself of who God is. 

Jeremiah 9:23 boasts in knowing God. 

Heb 13:8

James 1:17

Fix your feet on the rock. 

Rest in the character of God. 

2 the word of God. 

It’s not your opinion about the text, it’s the text that matters. Not everyone doing what’s right in their own eyes. God’s authority and His word remain the same. 

Ps 33:11

Ps 119:89

Fix your eyes on the rock. 

“What does the Bible say about that?”

Basic Worldview Questions:

Who are we?

What’s gone wrong?

What’s the solution?

Where are we heading?

3 the mission of God. 

Rome fell, products come and go, companies fail, blockbuster, Enron, floppy discs, countries. 

To make His glory know through all creation. 

Luke 19:10

The Bible is one story of the mission of God. 

Col 1:15-18

1 Cor 2:1-5

Matthew 16:13-18

Session 2

Don’t Stop Giving Feedback. 

John McGee & Caitlin Van Wagoner

Are you open to some feedback?

Feedback is a means of God’s grace. 

Healthy churches view feedback like Eph 4:15 as an act of love. 

How to give feedback like a pro:

Ask permission. Are you open to receiving feedback and is now a good time? This levels the playing field. Timing matters. 

Fight frustration. Prov 15:2. 

The emotional state should act as a barometer. 

It could mean you need to look at your motive. 

Be specific. Not helpful to generalize. 

Pinpoint specific examples. 

If you can’t define the problem it’s not fair to ask them to work on it. 

Make it actionable. 

Paint a picture of success. 

What if next time you considered “x”

Frame your feedback as an act of love and service. Help connect the dots for them. Wounds from a friend proverb. 

How to receive it like a pro. 

Consistently ask for it. “Do you have any feedback for me?” How can it be better?

Fight defensiveness. 

Choose to see and receive it as an act of love. This person loves me and is for me. They believe in me or wouldn’t say these things. Fight or flight. If always defensive then you stop getting feedback. 

Seek clarity. 

Ask questions. What do I not see? 

Paraphrasing back. 

Try it on. 

Think of it as a shirt. 

You don’t have to own it all. Ask your wife and community. Explain it and see if it’s true and what you need to do. If hearing the same feedback repetitively listen up. 

Move towards them. 

Thank them. I believe you’re for me and I appreciate that. Here’s my next step and why I’m owning it. 

Ask, what would you do if you were me? 

Say thank you and let them know the next steps. 

This is biblical. Eph 4:15. 1 Thes 5:14

Sharpen one another. 

If your church gets this right you start to produce healthy leaders and then your church is healthier. 

Feedback is a skill you can learn to grow. 

Give feedback because it’s a way we understand our gifts. No personal manual on yourself. Instead, He chose to give us the body of Christ. 

Give 10 positives to every corrective feedback. 

It’s hard but worth it. 

David Marvin – Young Adults. 

Identity becomes wrapped up in ministry. You become the ministry and this is dangerous. Your identity should be in Christ alone not your responsibility to keep the ministry going. Identity is a constant battle involving 2 things. 

Self-esteem and self-acceptance and self-worth are different. 

Self-esteem is a roller coaster of performance. 

You can walk in self-acceptance because of your identity in Jesus.

You are completely accepted in Christ. Am I enough, yes? Jesus already answered these questions. Rom 8:1-4. 

Everyone asks, “Was that okay?” There is only 1 person to who you should be asking that question. God is the only one who has the right to answer that question. 

Your value or self-worth is unchanging because it’s not dependent on circumstances. Your worth comes from being made in the image of God. Gen 1:26-27. Moses delivered this truth to slaves under Egyptian rule. Your worth has nothing to do with what you do. 

Penny Illustration – some are old, some are shiny, some have been in the trash, what they have in common is value because of who’s image is on them. Regardless of your success, you have value because you matter to God. Jesus paid the highest value to God. God was willing to pay for everything for you. You have value. 

Callie Nixon – director of women’s ministry teams.  

Thank you Jesus for your love and for my story!

Prov 28:13

Truth is being canceled and the church is losing her voice. We have to learn how to lead with a limp. Hidden and unconfessed sin. 

3 ways I almost canceled myself: 

I almost never confessed. You feel your sin disqualifies you. 

I almost kept my confession to one room. What if by sharing your story you start to become free? When you share people get set free. Obedience takes the next right step. A healthy body sharing weakness brings joy, not judgment. Remember God is kind and prepares the way. God is asking you to believe and obey. 

I almost let ungodly responses stop me. 

Remember Ps 34:18

John 14:15 if you love me keep my commandments. 

You might get canceled. Don’t send people out of the church bring them in. 

When the church is in a season of grief it’s hard but be bold and obediently follow. Don’t be sidelined by your sin. 

Lead from weakness in Christ rather than strength in yourself. 

“It’s not about becoming a smarter sinner but to fall in love with Jesus.”  – JD Rogers watermark institute. 

What is it like to work at Watermark? David Penley 

Culture- the way a group of people behaves. What is allowed and what is encouraged. Teams can even have a culture. Peter Drucker says culture eats strategy for breakfast. Culture endures. 

How you can build a culture? 

Clarify your culture. What is the set of behaviors that define our culture? Define it as a team. 


Excellence. Honors God and inspires men. 



Ownership. Pick up the trash. Stop and arrange the chairs. 

Relationships. We are a team serving on a mission but also the body of Christ. 

Trust. The trinity of trust. Professional,…

The watermark staff owner’s manual. A small book that outlines what is expected, tolerates and corrected. 

Celebrate your culture. When you see excellence, celebrate publicly. Correct privately. Preserve it to build it. 

It takes effort to be excellent. 

Why is fun part of our church culture? 

Farkling. We celebrate losers. If one person loses and they pay a consequence 99 people celebrate. 

CBS sports March madness. Losers go to magic school and perform for staff voted and picked a loser. Comedy school. Hot Fudge Sunday. Take the SAT at a high school. Cinderella-themed dance. Hire a choreographer. Have to do it at CLC. Loser makes a trick shot and lives there until. 

We need laughter.

Ecc 3:4. Ministry is full of times to cry. Prov 17:22. 

We need humility. 

Level playing field. Phil 2:3. 

We need unity 

Eph 4:3

Ps 133:1

Shared experience is team building. Break from normal life. Have fun. Farkle 

Wheel of consequences. 

Take Fun Seriously 

Tongue test:

No complaining. 

Don’t brag. 

No gossip. 

No insult. 

Don’t defend or excuse yourself. 

To affirm and encourage people. 

Community Shepherd Showcase

Rom 12:1

Simple 2 Cor 11:3

Stillness ps 46:10

Solitude mark 1:35

Surrender John 15:5

2 Cor 1:8-11

Where is our strength? 

It has to be from God from beginning to end. 

IS 40:28-31

Strength in weakness because it brings about dependence on God. Follow Him. The weakness we feel is a blessing. We don’t have to feel strong to be strong

What is our next step?

“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” Psalms 46:10 NLT

There may be a question I need to ask but it all starts with being still and knowing God. I am a vessel filled by God and that’s most important. 

What’s our hope?

2 Cor 4:8-9

Rev 21

What is our confidence?

John 4

“Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23 NLT

Removing the word just from the “just” pray. 

Our prayers reveal our deepest convictions about God. What do we believe about God and the Gospel?

Abide in the Lord. 

Walk humbly with our God. 

If not, it’s a red flag and you need to slow down. 

Pray scripture. 

Pray until you pray. 

Stopping to pray for someone is one of the most loving things you can do for them. Before someone leaves my office, pray. 

*writing letters to the church. Biblical example. Write handwritten letters to encourage the church. Strength and build them up. Remind them of the God who saves. 

-write first and last name and we will address, stamp, and mail them on your behalf. 

Shifting a Culture. Pastor JP

Some of you have been spinning your wheels and the harder you try it feels like the more stuck you get. 

Culture eats strategy for breakfast. 

Culture is a strategy applied and lived out. 

Ask, why do we do that? Respectfully ask the question why don’t we do it this way. Senior leadership defines the culture. 

5 things to do in an effort to shift the culture. 

S.H.I.F.T. Don’t forget the fun or else it’s really crappy. 

Start with the mission statement. Actual or inspirational? This is what we are doing and we will base success on this. We will spend money on this. We will do this. We exist to … and then every decision made is run through the mission. If it doesn’t fit don’t do it. 

Core values are what you want to be about. 

Check-in and measure yourself on these values. Who is living out Christ in me? Who is living out what love does? Who is living out we are family? If you aren’t living it out stop everything and do it! 

Honor the history. 

Esteem those who went before you. Know the history. 

We benefit from their hard work. 

Honor but don’t enable. 

Invest in the individuals

You can cast vision widely but it comes from the individual to see if there is buy-in. 

Prob 15:22

Groupthink matters. The minds of individuals. 

The Lord has called us all here. 

If you don’t choose this church here then I will personally help you find a place where you make more money. 

If you had to love God more before the sunset today, what would you do? Meeting adjourned, you have to go do it right now. 

Frequent Fun

You have to make this a priority. 

Whirley Ball – go make a memory. 

https://www.cheapcaribbean.com for the winner 

Loser goes swimming in January. 

Trust that trust doesn’t transfer. 

Trust is gained in drops and lost in buckets.  

Go slow. 

If there is broken trust in your staff you need to deal with it. If you’ve been hurt by someone in this room, you need to deal with it. If you haven’t, do it now. If you haven’t told them, stop now and address it. The enemy wants to steal, kill, and destroy. Don’t give him the opportunity. 

When you’re stuck and spinning your wheels, invite God into the problem. Scoot over out of the driver’s seat. If wheels are spinning maybe these aren’t the changes God is wanting you to take. 


Making Your Church Staff An Awesome Place for Female Leaders

John McGee & Caitlin Van Wagoner

The Church should be the best place for women to lead and use their gifts. Hear how we think about women in leadership and get practical takeaways for how both men and women can contribute to further cultivating a healthy, God-glorifying environment for female leaders.

It shouldn’t be weird, it should be normative with brothers and sisters in Christ working together. 

Why Talk About This? And why now?

 The math issue. Generally, senior leaders are men, and support roles are occupied by women. 

Women are working longer in the workforce. Thinking different about career trajectory. 

Society is telling us there is no difference between men & women. Younger women are trying to apply God’s truth inside the church structure. 

We take 1 Timothy 3 / Titus 3 seriously. 

Two roles are designated for men inside the church: Pastor and elder. 

Outside of those two roles, we expertise freedom and wisdom’

We have several instances of men report to women professionally. 

Whose job is it to make sure your church staff is awesome? It’s yours. It’s both of our jobs. 

What’s at stake:

If you get it right, all people feel like they can flourish, lead, and deploy their gifts. 

If you get it wrong, women, especially young women, feel demoralized. 

3 Barriers to making your church staff awesome for women: 

 Assumed ceilings

Development disparity

Unhealthy boundaries. 

Analogy: If scripture draws the boundary at the 20-yard line women are at the 50-yard line tiptoeing around the issue. 

The vicious cycle of assumed ceilings:

Leaders don’t clarify where true biblical ceilings exist and where there is freedom. 

This leads to confusion, women self-limit and then don’t aspire to roles. 

 Then leaders assume they know the career trajectory of the women they lead. 

A role becomes available and a woman is not considered because a woman hasn’t expressed an aspiration to the role. 

Women don’t feel freedom or safety to clarity their desire for the role. 

Often not malicious. 

Clarity ceilings with humility, prayer, and using scripture as your guide. 

Men – it is unkind to not clarify the filing. Have regular conversations about career trajectories. 

Women – if you’re unclear, seek clarity with humility and courage. Initiate career trajectory conversations. Embrace your gift. 

Express your desires and aspirations in the annual performance reviews. 

Development Disparity 

Let’s do some math. Most senior leaders in the church are men. 

 + most support roles are women 

+ natural tendency for older men to develop younger men 

= fewer development opportunities to be developed professionally in leadership roles. 

When John walks out of the office to grab lunch he will naturally grab a younger man. Understand this disparity. 

Initiate development conversations

Women – ask for feedback regularly. Own your development. Ask for access. 

You are your own “Chief Development Officer” it’s not a sin to be assertive but it’s a sin to be prideful. 

Men – Prioritize the development of everyone on the team. Give regular feedback. Same shots. Lean into the encouragement of calling out gifting in your staff. Debrief after significant meetings. Did you see this? Did you pick up on that? Here’s some context for the meeting. Or as we walk into the meeting here’s some info you need to know about. In God’s economy, use your power to serve. 

Unhealthy Boundaries – A unique dynamic of being on a church staff. 

Men Diagram of Personal, Spiritual, and Professional. In a church, there is a lot of overlap. 

An image of the church is that of a family. There will be a closeness in the family of God. 

When you add the spiritual component it also becomes very personal. 

We need wisdom to balance this dynamic. 

How we think about…

Men report to women – not just professional advancement but the spiritual part. Typically someone in the same department where there is the same gender to talk with about issues that arise in the personal and spiritual side of things. At the root of professional issues is often a spiritual or personal issue. Professionally some men report to women. 

Married/single/male/female dynamics – Personal Guardrails that are helpful. Do not text married men one on one about purely personal things. No asking how was your weekend. Do not call or text specifically married men at night out of respect for their wives and families. Pursue the wife of the men you work with. It would be a loss for you to not develop a relationship with the spouse of those you oversee. Clarify these guardrails with those you lead on day one. 

Guardrails are important but don’t treat women like sexual predators who are seeking to destroy your marriage. Billy Graham didn’t have an affair and finished strong. The posture for both of us matters. It’s not a trust issue but respecting your sisters and brothers in Christ. Clarity is kindness. Feeling like your work with your brothers can feel awesome. 

Meaningful Healthy Boundaries:

Be thoughtful

Be wise

Communicate clearly

Affirming women publicly. Praise publicly and correct privately. In staff, meetings call out the good of what you are seeing. 

If someone says they are just a secretary, correct and reframe the ministry they are doing. 

Communicate this is a valuable person on our team and here are the huge things they do for the body. 

Eph 4:3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Visionaries and Integrators: The Due Turning Ideas into Action

John McGee & Eric Hassfurther

Book Recommendation: Rocket Fuel

If you were to go back and start the relationship how would you get there? Move from nothing to something. 

The Concept

What is a visionary? 

Creates/keeps vision – Thinks big

“What if?” More than “Why not?”

Bogged down by details

What is an Integrator? (By far minority) 

 Laser-focused on execution and priorities. Bring clarity to chaos. 

If Visionaries ask “why?”, Integrators ask “How?” “When”

Moves the entire team or organization towards synchronized action

Help the team row in the same direction at the same cadence towards the same goal. 

Take many points down to two options and once having direction move forward in steps. 

1 plow horse 800 lbs, 2 pull 2400 lbs. You can do more together. 

Keys. To Success: Visionaries

1. Define the new dynamic for your team. 

When bringing in a new integrator: Let them know what’s coming and what this will mean practically. Show the new org chart. When you go to the integrator vs going to the visionary. Not in name or title only. 

2. Empower the Integrator

An admin will knock off your to-do list, the integrator is a lead with type person. Value gifts, empower them. I can get a yes or no from the integrator. Allow them to make decisions and put things in motion. Visionaries want to know when things are moving and need to trust the integrator to move. At times you may have to stand down and trust the thinking of the integrator. You don’t have to cast the tie-breaking vote. Give up control. You can have growth or control but you can’t have both. Circle back and give updates on the things you know the visionary cares about. 

3. Give integrator access to visionary’s time. 

Not always right back immediately but the priority is at the top. The Integrator is solving problems and getting things unstuck so don’t make him wait. Open the door for your integrator. 

4. Communicate and clarify the vision. 

Everyone knows a yes from the integrator is a yes from the visionary. No need to circle back. Clarify the vision for the integrator. A visionary may say in broad generalities and the integrator will be asking questions about it. They have the right to ask as many questions as they need to move forward with the vision. 

One of the hardest parts: Check some of your ego at the door. The hardest part was once it got going people stopped going to the visionaries office. Redeploy your energies towards something else that fits the visionaries life. 

Keys to Success: integrator

1. Force clarity for the Visionary’s priorities. 

Sticky notes that represent time. This priority here, who is working on it. Quickly you run out of sticky notes. Hire a ton more people or focus and prioritize what you are spending your time on. What are all the ideas in the visionaries head and prioritize resources towards those objectives? Manage the tension there. “You can have everything you want in the world, just three at a time.” Mutual respect working in unison with opposite and complementary gifts. 

2. Execute. Execute. Execute. 

“Ideation without execution is nothing more than delusion.” Ultimate responsibility for execution falls on the integrator. The integrator’s job is to put the team in the place where they can succeed at reaching the visionaries goals. The chief servant of the team. Have what they need, when they need it. Clear responsibilities. A clear understanding of success. Clear boundaries. Chief Unstuck Officer. 

3. Communicate well with both the Visionary and team

The team comes to you and you also need to know the visionaries heart. Weekly check-ins and often daily. Radar for what the visionary cares about. What can I just go and do without the visionary speaking into so that the team can move forward? Communicate clearly with the team. How their piece fits together with all the other pieces in the puzzle. Clarity is kindness. 

4. Stiffen your spine

Visionaries are passionate about their ideas and the integrator needs to be able to debate that idea healthily. Is this the right time, do we have the resources, how does it fit. What is our next best yes? Visionaries have the end in mind and the middle is mush. For the team the middle matters. Help the visionary see what the costs are in the middle of the vision push. Try not to say no to the visionary because it frustrates. Say yes we can but here is the cost or we can but what shifts in the priories. Tier 1 priority. Tier 2 priority. Tier 3 priority is you can work on it but not a priority. 

Other Notes:

1. Born out of a relationship. 

Someone you would want to hang out with.

2. Functions like a marriage. 

Different roles but must have mutual respect. 

3. Tension is to be expected but not confused with a lack of respect. 

4. What if we aren’t big enough for a full-time integrator?

There’s someone in the church where they already have competency in this. The COO Type executive can serve in this role. Or a group of COO’s can serve that way. Cook up a meal, invite the group over, explain where you’re going and ask for help. Do a post mortem of an event and you’ll see where gifting falls. 

5. Recommended Reaching: Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business

What is the most difficult thing to work with a visionary? 

Getting the wrap of the “no guy” is difficult. You are the deliverer of the bad news or the hard questions often to the visionary. That is part of the role. There is a part of the job where not all the work is fun. You are serving the team and the church at that moment. 

What is the most difficult thing to work with an integrator? 

How do you ensure the best idea wins vs. the biggest personality. If you have to ask your wife to submit you probably have something wrong. You need to work through things and maybe sit on them or bring more people in. We can violate a little no but not a big no. Not my preference and I believe you heard me so we will move forward. This isn’t a hill I’m willing to die on. You can knock me off this idea but you’ll have to pack a lunch and get ready to work through it if you want to move in a different direction. 

An integrator working in the flesh has a writing of a micromanager at times. Constantly be aware of this in your wiring. Where I can give clear expectations and lanes of responsibilities. Where clarity is there, I feel less need to micromanage. Submit to the Spirit. If the visionary senses this going on then step in to speak. 

Ask what’s going on? How can I help you? How can I serve you? 

If 3, expect a 3 headed monster and practice all the one another’s of scripture. Talk about expectations and frustrations along the way. 

When looking for an integrator: see how they think, operate, handle problems. Do they figure out a puzzle? Do they distill it down? Give them a test project. Personality tests with strength finder-type projects. 

When live processing, try to poke holes. If enough holes in the boat and it still floats then you have a great idea. I’m not trying to squash the idea, I’m just trying to make sure it floats. Position questions in a way that you are trying to make sure the great idea stands. 

What has maximum impact on the church? What is urgent and important. Ask what is easy to implement and have a huge return. Don’t start with the most difficult but the easy and big impact. Parable of the talents. Steward well. Think in percentages. Ask what the Lord has given us to steward. 

Study experiencing God by Blackaby

Creating a culture of authenticity 

Nate and Brett 

What does it mean to be “terminally unique”? 

The idea you are different in a bad way and can’t relate. The idea that no one understands you or can’t handle what you dealt with. Remember you are unique like everybody else. 

The idea hurts the body of Christ. Our nature is to move away from Christ but He reaches out to grab us. 

Why churches struggle with authenticity 

It’s human nature to hide and blame. 

Genesis 3:8

Porn is an idol issue, not a porn issue. 

Summer 1999: Watermarks nine core values. 


Full devotion to Christ

Grounded in grace

Passionate about prayer

Authentic in our walk

Committed to community

Committed to the uncommitted

Relevant and innovative 

Focused on ministry and service

2000 community groups involved in pastoral care

2001 first public testimony of a known leader. 

2002 celebrate recovery – everything but Jesus is a coping mechanism. 

2002 confidentiality and anonymity 

2002 watermark news stories. 

2003 hurts habits, hang-ups, and hopes series. 4 live testimonies. Struggled to find them. 

2009 Christmas Eve cardboard testimonies. All 90 stories filled up in 30 minutes. The leader knew 80 of them because they are the leader of the leaders. 

Bottom-up will affect culture/top-down will change a culture. 

Be patient, change is hard, prepare for resistance. 

Keys to changing culture. 

Start with you. Lead with your own story in every forum. Avoid us vs them thinking talking and attitudes. 

1 Cor 11:1

Call others to tell. Exhort others to fulfill the great commission through life stories of life change. Top 10 lists. 

1 John 1:3-4

Help others see. A changed life is a treasure for the church. Illustration of service. Invite all to heart testimonies. Invite pastors to share authentically in ministries. 

John 1:46

Help others tell. Review, practice, and hone testimony. Capture them in print and video. Allow them to share outside of the church. Make sure stories have been fully baked. 

Col 1:28

Don’t shoot the wounded but also don’t lead them to the front line. 

The confession of sin makes the most sense to those they have the most influence over. 

What older leaders and younger leaders need to know to build up the body. 

You can make fun of their fashion but don’t mock their passion. 

Champion them. They aren’t on probation. Be their biggest fan. I have your back. 

Empower them. Give them opportunities in all facets. Don’t be the old guy holding onto the reigns. 

Develop them. Give helpful feedback. Be a coach, not an umpire just calling balls and strikes. 

Generational Territorials will make people just go do their own thing. It’s not just they are the future of the church, help them make space for this today. Call them to hire and make a space for them to step into. 

Young leaders need to be asking for feedback and remember to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. You need people that call out gifting as well as calling out sin. It’s not you, it’s God’s gift you are stewarding. 

Be family. Be an extension of the community. 

The lessons that stick are the lessons that are painful. At a young age get your arms around where you are gifted. What are you not good at? 

A lot of people start well but few finish well. If you’re going to get in a ditch know what the top 3 reasons are you will get there and deal with those issues. When ministry is hard it will get you unless you’re dealing with it. 

Social media. The enemy can use it in a dark and twisted way. The Lord uses it to draw people to Him in a mighty way. Don’t fear and push away what you don’t understand. It can be a tool to seek to understand why. 

Social media profiles are not who they are. Sit down with them to get to know them. Don’t make assumptions. Your social media does say something about you though so know how your posts represent you. 

It is God who humbles. That’s not your job. You are to encourage one another. 

Take the time to get to know one another. We need to be about developing the next generation not keeping them behaved. Help them take over your job in a God-honoring way. 

Don’t tap out, lean in. Disciple the next generation. 

Creativity not just on social media but use those in the 9-5. Find the wisest person in the room and learn from them. In pride, you think you have it all together. 

Gen Z needs a gospel that is clear and uncompromised. Fight for this generation that needs Jesus. 

 Blake Holmes 

Ever Given blocking of the Suez Canal 

101 miles long. 50 ships a day pass through. 

Shipping across the world. Blockage estimate would reduce global trade by 10B a week. One ship impacts world trade. What a metaphor of what happens when one believer or one church doesn’t live in accordance with the Gospel. When we run astray the blockage for the community.

2 Cor 12 ambassadors for Christ. 

Impacts view of God and credibility of Gospel. 

Always strive to keep consciousness clear. 

Church, can I give you feedback? Character grate blocking our witness for Christ today. A quarrelsome spirit is killing us and hindering our witness 

2 Tim 2:23-26

“Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.” 2 Timothy 2:23-26 NLT

When should I argue? 

Paul warns us against engagement in foolish arguments because it brings quarrels. What do you naturally run from? Snakes. Sushi. Avoid folkish arguments. Foolish in Greek is “moron”. Don’t be a moron. Ignorant or unlearned controversy like speculation without basis in truth. Simple to understand and hard to do, don’t take the bait. 

We should engage people with the truth. Acts 17:17. Fight for truth. Acts 18:4. Avoid foolish and unproductive arguing. 1 Tim 4:7. 2 Tim 2:14-17. Titus 3:9. Bottom line, some things are not worth arguing over but far too many of us like to argue. Look no further than social media. We live in an outrage culture expressing itself to hear their voice. A mask represents many things. A political statement to some people. Biden Badge. Conspiracy. Test in faith. Way to stay healthy. A way to serve and protect others. Do you not trust God? Do you not love others? You aren’t protecting someone or simultaneously you can’t see a smile. Is your social media clear in your stance on God or politics? Is your church know more about what they are for or against. Are people drawn to Christ by you or are you arguing?  

When must I speak? Center of the bullseye essential to the Gospel. You must speak on the essentials. Take your stand and be loud. 

When should I speak? Moving out from the bullseye. What are your convictions? Membership matters for a healthy church and other churches might not hold that conviction. 

When could I speak? The outer part of the target. Opinion. Sports. Major on the majors and minor on the minors. A ten-dollar water bottle with a sip taken out. If water bottles rise to the level of essential, you have a problem and you won’t be a blessing in your home. Your community will be repelled and confused. 

How should I argue?

Promote kindness, patience, gentleness to everyone and not just those who agree with us. Skillful in our teaching means clear communication. Patient NLT says patient with difficult people. Correct with gentleness. What you argue and how you argue are equally important. We have lost the ability to respectfully disagree. Eph 4:29. Col 4:5. James 3. Instead, we attack people’s character and fail to address the issues at hand so instead, we chase the logical fallacies. What does the Bible have to say and have you done your homework? You are never USF responding to an argument you are responding to a person. God has providential put you in front of that person to lovingly talk with them. Extend them grace. 

What are Christians like? Anti and against

What is Jesus like? Loving. Compassionate. 

How do we explain the contradiction? 

Wisdom offers a better way. 

Prov 18:2. Seek first to understand. 

Prov 29:11 Check your emotions. 

Prov 15:1 measure your words. 

Prov 10:19 Limit your words. 

Prov 17:14 Shut up. 

Barna research. Look for to talk to about faith are looking for someone who listens without judgment. 

Book: the rise and triumph of the modern self

Book: Secret thoughts of the unlikely convert. 

How did you arrive at your interpretation? 

What biases do you think contribute to your conclusion? 

The kindest letter of opposition. After a week I called and it began a friendship when someone reached out to engage a person. 

What if we trained out people in arguing?

Why should I argue? 

2 Tim 2:22

Satan is our true enemy, not those who are arguing with us. Satan is the father of lies who blinds the eyes of unbelievers. John 8:44. We are to pray for people 2 Cor 4:4. Come to their senses means a return to soberness. Escape the snare and captive devil. The goal is not to win an argument but to win a brother. Don’t interrupt. Don’t yell. Don’t take the bait. Watch your emotions. Don’t dig in your heels. Don’t miss the opportunity to love. 

Remind yourself the goal is love. 1 Tim 1:15. Humility should mark me but I put on the best plate of pride. 

Prov 18:19 It is hard to win back those we have offended. 

Pray we would begin to think again about when we should argue, how to argue, and what’s motivating my argument. Are the blessing of God flowing through my speech? Through our staff meetings? 

Ps90:12 teach us to number our days so we can gain a heart of wisdom. 

Ecc 1:11. No one remembers the former generation. 

You will die soon and be forgotten. Be on mission and sold out today. So much freedom on remembering you are a minor player in God’s story. Colossians 1. The goal is to bring GOD glory. 

Exodus 3:11-12. 

You don’t have what it takes. God’s response was simply I’ll be with you. 

1 Cor 11:23-29

Thomas saw the wounds of the Savior. 

The resurrection power of a mortal wound. We were dead in our sins in trespasses. God being rich in mercy made us alive. Romans 3:23. 

How your wounds in order to share the savior that saved you from the dead. Everyone has a mortal wound and dead in sin but not everyone has a savior. Show your wounds, share your savior. 

Share your common ground because everyone has them. Put your hand on my sin. That mans dead and gone because I have a savior. 

Thomas put his hand into Jesus wound. That’s intimate. 

We put our worst food forward as a bridge. 

People argue about the Bible. Show them your wounds. Are they going to argue about that? What are they going to do, argue your life? 

Recovering Pharisee who thought they were good enough for God. God have mercy one me. 

Undone raw opened wound. My faith is secure and know God is never done. Although the wound is open, I know He is in the process of healing me. 

I’m not a good person and need a good savior. Never forget your wound. 

Mary Magadaline is not the one who funded the ministry but Mary the one who had 7 demons . 

Paul writing the letters remembered I am writing with large letters. My eyes were affected. 

Gariseen Demoniac – we don’t even know his name. Jesus says what is your name. Legion for we are many. Crazy weird exchange. Demons bargain with Jesus about going into the pigs. Says yes to demons and they die in the pigs. Then the man is clothed and in front of Jesus. The man begs let me go with you. Jesus usually says leave that and follow me but here Jesus says no. Says yes to the demon and no to the man. Go back to where you are from. Mark 5:19. Go home to your friends and tell them how much God has done for you. Some day later they caught up. Mark 5:30. Everyone marveled. They were amazed. When they saw the demoniac they were amazed. They saw his scars and were amazed. He showed his wounds so he can share his savior. 

Show your wound to share your savior. 

He saved you to send you. Go back and show your wounds to share your risen savior. 

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