Tag Archives: Mark Batterson

Three Sermon Series You’ll Enjoy

I think you’ll enjoy these messages by 3 guys I listen to on a regular basis:

Your turn… What are some other series we should check out?

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Three More Books by Mark Batterson

A few months ago I shared with you Three Books by Mark Batterson. Here are 3 more you should read:

There never has been and never will be anyone like you. But that isn’t a testament to you. It’s a testament to the God who created you. The problem? Few people discover the God-given identity that makes them unlike anyone else. Mark Batterson calls this divine distinction our soulprint.

God would like to introduce you to yourself.

In Soulprint, Mark pours the contagious energy he’s known for into helping you experience the joy of discovering who you are…and the freedom of discovering who you’re not. The wonderful fact is that your uniqueness is God’s gift to you, and it’s also your gift to God. A self-discovery book that puts God at the center rather than self, Soulprint encourages you to recognize and explore the five defining moments in your life that will determine your destiny. Along the way, you’ll find that you’re not just turning the pages of a book. You’re turning the pages of your remarkable, God-shaped, world-changing life.

Celtic Christians had a name for the Holy Spirit–An Geadh-Glas, or ‘the Wild Goose.’ The name hints at mystery. Much like a wild goose, the Spirit of God cannot be tracked or tamed. An element of danger, an air of unpredictability surround Him. And while the name may sound a little sacrilegious, I cannot think of a better description of what it’s like to follow the Spirit through life. I think the Celtic Christians were on to something…

Most of us will have no idea where we are going most of the time. And I know that is unsettling. But circumstantial uncertainty also goes by another name: Adventure.

Christianity has a perception problem. At the heart of the problem is the simple fact that Christians are more known for what we’re against than what we’re for. But the real problem isn’t perception. We as Christians are often quick to point out what’s wrong with our culture. And we certainly need the moral courage to stand up for what’s right in the face of what’s wrong. But before confronting what’s wrong with our culture, we need to be humble enough, honest enough, and courageous enough to repent of what’s wrong with us.

So what’s wrong with us?

The answer is simply this: We’re not great at the Great Commandment.
And in too many instances, we’re not even good at it.

That, I believe, is our primal problem. That is the lost soul of Christianity. If Jesus said that loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength is the most important commandment, then doesn’t it logically follow that we ought to spend an inordinate amount of our time and energy trying to understand it and obey it? We can’t afford to be merely good at the Great Commandment. We’ve got to be great at the Great Commandment.

The quest for the lost soul of Christianity begins with rediscovering what it means to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Your turn… If you’ve read any of these take a moment to share your thoughts about them.

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Three Books by Mark Batterson

Mark Batterson is the founding pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC and a great writer. I’m currently reading his most recent book, All In. So, today’s post will feature it along with 2 other books he’s written that you should check out:

“The Gospel costs nothing. You can’t earn it or buy it. It can only be received as a free gift compliments of God’s grace. It doesn’t cost anything, but it demands everything. It demands that we go ‘all in,’ a term that simply means placing all that you have into God’s hands. Pushing it all in. And that’s where we get stuck—spiritual no man’s land. We’re afraid that if we go all in that we might miss out on what this life has to offer. It’s not true. The only thing you’ll miss out on is everything God has to offer. And the good news is this: if you don’t hold out on God, God won’t hold out on you. Readers will find Batterson’s writing filled with his customary vivid, contemporary illustrations as well as biblical characters like Shamgar and Elisha and Jonathan and . . . Judas.”

“According to Pastor Mark Batterson in his book, The Circle Maker, ‘Drawing prayer circles around our dreams isn’t just a mechanism whereby we accomplish great things for God. It’s a mechanism whereby God accomplishes great things in us.’ Do you ever sense that there’s far more to prayer, and to God’s vision for your life, than what you’re experiencing? It’s time you learned from the legend of Honi the Circle Maker—a man bold enough to draw a circle in the sand and not budge from inside it until God answered his prayers for his people. What impossibly big dream is God calling you to draw a prayer circle around? Sharing inspiring stories from his own experiences as a circle maker, Mark Batterson will help you uncover your heart’s deepest desires and God-given dreams and unleash them through the kind of audacious prayer that God delights to answer.

“Your greatest regret at the end of your life will be the lions you didn’t chase. You will look back longingly on risks not taken, opportunities not seized, and dreams not pursued. Stop running away from what scares you most and start chasing the God-ordained opportunities that cross your path. In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day is inspired by one of the most obscure yet courageous acts recorded in Scripture, a blessed and audacious act that left no regrets: “Benaiah chased a lion down into a pit. Then, despite the snow and slippery ground, he caught the lion and killed it” (2 Samuel 23:20 -21). Unleash the lion chaser within!” 

Erich’s note: If you haven’t read any books by Batterson, I think you’ll enjoy these 3. You can also listen to his weekly podcasts here and find series and resources on each of these books too. He is currently doing a series on All In.

Your turn… Take a moment to share some thoughts about these books or other books by Mark you’ve read.

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Three Sermon Podcasts You Will Enjoy

Let me say right up front that it was hard to narrow this list to 3 so I’m sure I’ll share a few more in coming weeks (I’ve mentioned a few of them at the bottom of this post if you want to check them out too). I listen to about 20 different podcasts on a regular basis (I know, I’m weird like that). The Carolinas are represented well in this list as 1 is from South Carolina and the other 2 are from Charlotte, NC. I’m going to exclude my preacher’s podcast (Rick Atchley @ The Hills) from this list since I listen to him live every week. If you don’t you should add him to your playlist (I highly recommend his recent series on Revelation, probably the best I’ve ever heard on that book). So, without any further ado, here are the 3 I think you would enjoy listening to on a regular basis:

Perry is the founder and senior pastor of NewSpring Church in South Carolina (a multi-campus move of God on a mission to reach more than 100,000 people in SC). He is a gifted communicator and teacher, convicted about speaking the truth as plainly as possible (he can be very blunt and his messages are full of humor and truth). God has given him a vision and a passion for helping people meet Jesus, and each week he shares God’s word and its practical application in our daily lives. His first book, UNLEASH, is also a great read. Check this series out first: Adam & Eve. His next series that begins on July 14 is called REDNECK.

Steven is the founder and lead pastor of Elevation Church based in Charlotte, NC. He is also the New York Times® Best Selling author of Greater and the national bestseller Sun Stand Still. You’ll enjoy his books and messages. Check this series out first: The Expectation Gap. For a unique message that is compiled from talks Steven has done around the world this past year check out Pound the Ground.

Jonathan leads the liars, dreamers, and misfits of Renovatus: A Church for People Under Renovation, in Charlotte, NC, where he lives with his wife Amanda. He is the author of the book Prototype. I absolutely enjoy listening to Jonathan. I discovered his podcast one day when Steven Furtick mentioned him being his “favorite preacher.” He might become your favorite too. Check this series out first: A Song of Ascent (a series on David)

UPDATE, 9.11.13: Jonathan started a new series this past week called PARABLE. You really should check it out. Here is a description of this series: Jesus was the master storyteller, and you are invited to come and sit by the fire to listen to his stories.  These stories are full of wonder, intrigue, enchantment, truth, beauty…and layers upon layers of deep meaning.  These are startlingly human, three-dimensional stories that bring the kingdom of heaven into color in our real lives.  They are stories from a time that is not our own about people we do not know–and yet ultimately stories about us.  

You can watch or listen to all 3 of these guys from their church’s website or search for them on your favorite podcast APP (by the way, these guys preach anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour plus at times).

Your turn… What are some of your favorite sermon podcasts?

Here are some of my honorable mentions that I’ll say more about in future posts: Andy Stanley, Judah Smith, Craig Groeschel, Dave Clayton, Toby Slough, Chris Hodges, Robert Morris, John Ortberg, Erwin McManus, Mark Batterson, Jonathan Storment, Matt Chandler, and Tim Keller to name a few more (and make sure you check out Rick Atchley from my home church).

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