ACU Summit 2012 Videos Are Up on Youtube!

I am sure many of you will enjoy watching everyone from Randy Harris to Walter Brueggemann…Enjoy!

ACU Summit 2012 Video

Here is one to get you started, Mitch Wilburn’s “Children of the Living God”

Highly Recommend Houston Heflin’s Teacher Equipping Workshop

This past Saturday we had Dr. Houston Heflin come and share some very practical thoughts about teaching with our teachers and small group leaders. He was engaging, informative and practiced what he preached. What I mean by that last part is that Houston actually incorporated the techniques he was teaching into the format of the workshop. I love that. He wasn’t jut telling us. He was showing us and helping us engage in the learning process rather than just listening to him lecture about why we shouldn’t always lecture. Good stuff Houston!

If you want to sharpen up your education program and Bible class teachers I recommend having him come and share some time with your congregation. Thanks Houston for a great event and for the ways God has equipped you to teach others how to teach more effectively! If any of you want to have him come you can get more of his credentials and his contact information at the ACU Bible Faculty page.

You can also subscribe to his podcast called The Weekend Teacher where he shares thoughts about how to teach more effectively. There you will find 31 free podcasts that would be helpful for your teachers and small group leaders to listen to.


Teaching Workshop With Houston Heflin This Saturday

Northwest is hosting a teacher training workshop this Saturday from 9-12 with Dr. Houston Heflin of ACU. I have known Houston for at least 10 years and have a tremendous amount of respect for him. If you live in the Tampa Bay area or even in central Florida come on over to Northwest this Saturday for a treat! Breakfast and lunch will be provided. If your congregation would like to host an event like this I am sure you could email Houston at the email address below and work it out.

Here is a summary of what he is teaching and a schedule:

Teacher Equipping Seminar

Northwest Church of Christ

Saturday January 7, 2012

Dr. Houston Heflin

This seminar will look at the creative teaching methods of Jesus to learn from the master teacher. We will consider how to lead classroom and small group discussions, and share ideas to make our teaching more engaging and their learning more memorable.


8:45 – Arrive, breakfast/coffee

9:00 – Welcome

9:05 – Session 1: Learning Styles Theory

10:00 – Break

10:05 – Session 2: Preparing for Effective Lessons

10:55 – Break

11:00 – Session 3: Teaching for Spiritual Formation

11:50 – Final Words / Closing

12:00 – Lunch

 Lesson Descriptions

 Lesson 1: Learning Styles Theory

As teachers, it’s helpful to understand how we like to learn. Many people teach to their own learning style. This session will help teachers identify their learning preferences and how to connect with students who learn differently. During the session we also consider if learning styles are in fact real, or just a theory. What if there are some principles that apply to all students, regardless of how they think they learn best?

Lesson 2: Preparing for Effective Lessons

From the moment you learn you will be teaching to the last minute of your class there are many things you can do to ensure a successful experience. This step-by-step conversation about creating learning objectives for students and teaching notes for teachers will help you have more confidence when you enter the classroom. You’ll be able to put the pieces of a lesson together much more efficiently and effectively as a result of this training session on writing your own curriculum and preparing to teach it.

 Lesson 3: Teaching for Spiritual Formation

There are many spiritual practices that can supplement the learning that occurs during class and small group times. This session equips teachers with ideas such as written prayers, retelling stories, lectio divina, scripture memorization, incorporating lyrics to the songs we sing, and breath prayers.

New Lessons Posted on Deuteronomy, Daniel, And Missional Church By Mark Hamilton & David Wray

Thanks to Mark Hamilton for allowing me to post his lessons on Deuteronomy & Daniel. Mark is a professor of Old Testament and Associate Dean of their graduate Bible department at ACU. The material looks great.

Deuteronomy – Now Choose Life

Daniel – Keeping Faith in a Distant Land

Thanks also to David Wray for allowing me to upload his series on Missional Church (12 lessons, 61 pages) to the Bible Class Archive. The archive is now over 700 free lessons and over 2500 pages! Thanks to all who keep submitting lessons. It is much appreciated.

You can find more free Bible lessons on ACU’s website at this link.

Bound and Determined – Jeanene Reese

One of the most important issues in the church in the next 10 years is women’s roles. One of the newest books dealing with that issue is about to be released by Leafwood press next month is called Bound and Determined. Jeanene Reese, wife of ACU’s Jack Reese, lends her voice to the conversation. This book looks at gender roles from a female perspective. She looks at this complex issue through the lens of what it really means for the genders to live in partnership rather than in competition or subordination. One of the problems we have had is that we have had this conversation more as a monologue than a dialog. Only one party has been able to talk, the men. So I appreciate hearing a woman’s perspective on this.

What I also appreciate about this book is that she starts the entire conversation from scripture, Genesis 1-3. She examines the role of woman as a helper and partner to her husband and how the same terminology is applied to God’s role in helping his people. One question she addresses that I had never really considered is that when God created woman it was said that a man would leave his father and mother and be joined with his wife and yet their culture was very much patriarchal. Was a patriarchal society God’s original intention in light of Gen 2:24? Her point in all of this is that this is not language of inferiority/superiority but of mutuality. She examines the effects of sin on all relationships, including the relationships between men and women.

Next is an examination of how many women in the Old Testament served in partnership with the men and how many of the men relied on the women for much of what took place in the narrative of the OT. She writes, “Too often we hear these stories only as indications of strong women being used by God and fail to see the unusual and meaningful partnerships they formed to strengthen and encourage them in their calling.” (p.36). We don’t often think of the relationships these women must have had with their male counterparts because we get so caught up in how God used them to accomplish a particular task. Could that be because we haven’t really spent time asking the same question in our contemporary culture in the church? We boil down women in the church to what they can and cannot do but how often have we asked the question of how they might better partner with us, the guys, to please God?

The last thing in chapter 1 is a discussion of our unity in Christ. The New Testament teaches us that all believers are on equal footing with God. That obviously doesn’t necessitate every believer have precisely the same role but it does mean God is not up to playing favorites, favoring the men over the women. Jesus’ ministry included a close connection and association (couldn’t we just as easily say partnership) with several women who really did make a difference in supporting his life and ministry. The same with Paul’s ministry (Phoebe, Junia, Priscilla, Lois, Eunice, and many more, p.40.). We don’t often consider gender differences as being a source of division in the church because, again, one party is typically not vocal but the reality is it might be on the most explosive non-verbalized silent issues in the church. One reason for that is women find themselves in leadership roles in the community and workplace and don’t find the same situation in the congregation.

Just as differences grew up among the earliest believers over cultural and social boundaries, so too we continue in similar conflicts today. Just as gender issues threatened the unity of the early church and the individuals in it, so too are we confused and challenged as we share life together. But these failures, conflicts, and threats are not the last word on godly partnership. The last word belongs to God. It belongs to God who lives in partnership within the Trinity in perfect love, harmony, honor, and unity. It belongs to God who calls each of us, and all of us, to live in meaningful relationship with God’s self. It belongs to God who places us in numerous situations that we share as men and women. To fulfill what God intends for us, we must learn to be together in new and meaningful ways.

I appreciate Mrs. Reese’s willingness to open up the text from a perspective that you don’t often hear. I think that is valuable and important as God created us male and female for a reason. I know I value the feedback, opinions, and interpretations of my wife when we have done Bible studies together. I have learned much from her and treasure her insights. I am looking forward to gleaning more from this book and will pass on whatever I find helpful. I believe you can order this book now and it will be available in September from Leafwood.

Databases of Churches of Christ Looking to Hire a Minister

This list will no longer be maintained at this site. Check it at my new site here where I have added in a half dozen more resources

Over the last few weeks I have run into several ministers asking about ministry opportunities. So I thought I would pass on some of this information via a post on the blog for those who are looking for jobs in ministry among Churches of Christ. Here is a list of the websites that typically provide this information. If you know of additional websites, please comment below and I will add them to the list.

Libscomb –
Pepperdine –
Freed-Hardeman –
Heritage Christian – –
Sunset –
Christian Chronicle –
Rocky Mountain Christian –
(click on Classifieds)
CofC Online Directory –
Oklahoma Christian University – –

Thanks to Clint for helping me update this

ACU Summit 2007-2009 Available for Free on itunes

Thanks to Philip for making me aware that you can listen to the ACU lectures for free on itunes. Here is the itunes link. Sermons available from the following speakers:

  • Leroy Garrett
  • David Fleer
  • Randy Harris
  • James Thompson
  • Chris Seidman
  • Brian McLaren
  • Eric Wilson
  • Robert Oglesby
  • Thomas Olbricht
  • Lynn McMillon
  • Rick Atchley
  • George Pendergrass
  • Greg Kendall-ball
  • Jeff Walling
  • Houston Heflin
  • Douglas Foster
  • Bobby Valentine
  • Rubel Shelly
  • And many, many more

When you get into itunes click around on the tabs for the audio/video from the different years (Thanks Philip!)

Two Books you Need to Know About

Two books connected with Abilene Christian University have come out recently. Philip recently brought to my attention the new book by Randy Harris. The title is God Work: Confessions of a Standup Theologian. The second book I noticed on Jay Guin’s blog and this one looks fantastic. It is called Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology, and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries

Who it is by is even more exciting – Everett Ferguson! If you know anything about E.F. you know that it is going to be quite a book. Just thought I would give you a heads up.