Email Subscribers & WordPress Followers – Please Update Your Subscription to mattdabbs.com

Just a quick reminder that my blog has moved over to http://mattdabbs.com. People keep subscribing to this site but this site will no longer be updated or posted to. When you have a moment please update your email, rss, and wordpress subscriptions via these links to continue to get all of the future posts and content here at Kingdom Living. Also, thanks to all of you for taking the time to read and follow this blog. I can’t believe it has been going for over 7 years now!

New blog URL – http://mattdabbs.com

Subscribe to RSS Posts – http://mattdabbs.com/feed

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To anyone else who is reading this, head on over to the new and improved site. I look forward to discussing things with all of you over there!

Kingdom Living Has Moved – mattdabbs.com

It is official, this blog has moved to mattdabbs.com. Thanks to Brad Palmore for all of his help with this transition. I look forward to seeing you all over at the new site. All of the posts, comments, media, small group lessons, etc have all been transferred over. I can’t wait to pick up the conversation there! Thank you all for making this blog a very special place to me. It has sharpened me and my ministry in more ways than I can count and I hope it has done similar things for you.

God bless,

Matt

What Every Christian Blogger Should Learn from the Miley Cyrus VMA Debacle

Stirring up controversy is a quick fix to running dry on time and talent. Don’t fall into that trap. Be patient, stay in the Word, pray continually and don’t be controversial to stir up traffic and a buzz just because you are bored or don’t have anything of depth left to say. Slug-fests attract a crowd but numbers don’t always mean a win. Someone almost always gets beat up in the process. Let your talent speak for itself and the quality of your content be what draws people back time and time again to what you write and stay away from foolish controversies.

13 Tips on Disagreeing With Love and Respect

After blogging for the last seven years learning how to navigate through disagreements has been a real learning process for me. Here are 13 tips for learning how to listen well and disagree in a cordial manner.

1 – Make sure you really are disagreeing. A small percentage of disagreements are people who agree but just aren’t communicating well. Sometimes people talk past each other. Other times people are emphasizing different aspects of the same point and are really just wanting the person on the other end to say, “Ok, I see what you are saying too” when the honest truth is they don’t disagree at all.

2 – Be a learner. If you think you have all the answers, expect many disagreements and expect them to go poorly. There is little more frustrating than discussing things with someone who can never say they are wrong or that they have learned something from the other person. Be the person who can admit when they missed it.

3 – Start with a healthy goal. That goal is not to prove your own right-ness, as tempting as that is. In my opinion, the real goal of engaging in difficult topics is to come to a better understanding of reality. If someone can help you do that, even through disagreement, be appreciative. If both parties are seeking to come to a better understanding of something it sets a positive and healthy tone of mutual respect and mutual purpose that is missing when our purposes are self-serving.

4 – Exhibit humility. That means admit when you are wrong and don’t let pride get in the way. Pride is a roadblock to progress.

5 – Point out what the other person is getting right. That advances the conversation and lets the other person know you really are listening. It will often make them more willing to point out the strengths of your side of the discussion.

6 – Deal with one thing at a time. It is hard to have a conversation when each new point comes along with 15 other points and 7 new questions. Deal with one thing until you settle it as best you can and then move on to the next piece.

7 – Know when to “cut bait”. There are times when the conversation just cannot advance in a productive way. That can be frustrating. It is better to end the conversation in a respectful manner than to continue on and air your aggravation and make a fool out of yourself in the process.

8 – Read and re-read your comments before you post them. It is hard to hear “tone” in text. So make sure your words are unmistakably respectful.

9 – Avoid personal attacks and stick to the issues. Personal attacks may give you the leverage to shut the other person down but that is cheap.

10 – Get clarification. Ask questions rather than jump to conclusions. It is amazing how much people can interpret into what you say. Before you make a million assumptions, just ask if that is what they are saying. People will argue against points that aren’t even being made.

11 – Assume the best of someone until they prove otherwise.

12 – Keep your integrity. Remember, what is said online is typically public and will be seen by others.

13 – Know when the online/public medium is not the place to have the discussion. Often email, facebook private message or the phone works so much better. There are some things that don’t need to be plastered all over the internet…a lesson many have yet to learn!

How To Embed Youtube Video in WordPress.com

A couple of posts ago I tried to embed a video with no success. WordPress changed the way you do it and I got it all messed up. They actually made things as simple as possible but without telling us how they changed it, it ended up getting complicated. So now, instead of having to click through a bunch of stuff, here is all you do. Paste the youtube URL into the editor and just don’t make it a link. It will embed it for you from that text. That’s it!

The Problem With a Lot of Ministry Books Today

I just finished one of the most highly recommended books on discipleship written in the last six months. Here is the book in a nutshell – We are supposed to disciple people because God commanded it. We have to take God’s commands seriously. We haven’t done it (that was said at least 50 times in different ways). The mission God has for us is amazing. Let’s go do it. The book concluded with a single chapter on how to do it that turned out to be a list of questions to consider. I can’t say that I walked away from that book with a single new idea regarding discipleship or anything that I would actually do that the book helped me see more clearly. What is so frustrating about that is, I know the author of this book is up to some really great things and it might be helpful to learn from some of that. I don’t think everything he is doing in his context will work in mine but I do think hearing what he is doing would help.

Discipleship is such a hot topic because it has been a gaping hole in the mission and ministry of many churches. We need to hear about discipleship. I am fine with that but at some point action has to be taken and most of the books I have read have a lot of things to say about what is going on and what should be going on but have little to say on what it might actually look like if we did something about it.

Over the last 10-15 years of Christians publishing it seems like the same few topics come up all the time and the same things are said over and over again. It kind of makes me feel like we are running in circles with the need for a few trail blazers to finally pick a direction and go rather than just keep rehashing the same stuff over and over again. Or maybe the trail blazers who are righting the books need to spend less time trying to convince us of what we already know (that God said we must do it but we aren’t) and more time equipping us to create a vision for it in our context and execute ministry in line with that vision. I am so grateful to Mike Breen for doing exactly that in his writing.

Anyone else experience this?

Thanks to these guys for recently following the blog:
Deacon Jason
Gene
Colonel of Corn
Everyday Power Blog
Jason Stover

Some People Who Have Recently “Followed” Kingdom Living

I like to give a shout out to those who follow the blog. Maybe you will find some new must read blogs in this list. Here are some who have followed over the last few weeks:

Ray Sanabria
Allen O’Brien

Joe Warnimmont
Randy Carroll
Daily Aspects
Damyanti
Fraser McDonald
Valeriu Barbu
Brandon Andress
Trudom22
Greg Taylor – definitely check out Greg’s blog 🙂
Opinionated man
Cory Sullivan
James Miller
Break Room Stories
Rick Mallery
Trainer Trish
Holly B
CTC90 Guitarist
Ashley Bollinger
Sally Green