Lawless launches blog for church leaders
    July 13 2015 by K. Allan Blume, BR Editor

    Chuck Lawless loves the local church and those who lead her. In an effort to build stronger churches and leaders he launched a new blog, chucklawless.com, on July 1 that he hopes will be encouraging and practical.
     
    “I want the blog to be practical, simple, helpful resources that a local church leader can pick up and read in a few minutes and grab a nugget to take with him for the day,” he said. Response to the blog has been “unexpectedly strong.”
     
    As a seminary professor for 19 years, a pastor for 14 years and a consultant for the International Mission Board, his typical readers are seminary students and missionaries. But he sees the need to reach a broader audience.
     
    “I particularly want to encourage local church pastors and lay leaders – perhaps those folks that may not have opportunity to go to conferences or get additional training,” Lawless said.

     
    The professor of evangelism and missions at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, said, “Frankly, I reached the place in my life where I am beginning to ask, ‘How do I maximize my time, my efforts and my training to try to help people in local churches reach their neighbors and the nations?’
     
    “Using this blog allows me to speak to a larger audience. It gives me an opportunity to speak to a broader world for the sake of the gospel. I’ve just come to the place where I want to maximize that, and the Internet allows me to do so.”
     
    The content of the blog is aimed at helping pastors and church staff because “that’s the world I work in,” he said. “But I also want to help lay leaders, who mean so much to our local churches. I want to help them think about, ‘How do I walk with God, how do I use my abilities to help my local church?’”

     
    7-13-15_Lawless_WEB.jpg

    Chuck Lawless

    The first of the blog’s three goals is to provide practical resources for local church leaders. “If someone has a question about how we get more prayer into the local church, they can at least come to the website to see if there are any resources that might help them,” said Lawless. “My primary focus is to help them think about, ‘How do we reach our neighbors; how do we extend the gospel to the nations, and how do we become the healthiest churches in order to do that?’”
     
    A second goal is to encourage church leaders. He said, “I think sometimes church leaders are beaten up. I don’t want to do that. I want people to come here, read and walk away saying, ‘I’m glad the Lord called me to do this ministry.’”
     
    The third goal is to encourage all believers to read the scripture regularly, so a daily devotion will be included on the website and readers are invited to subscribe. “I know there are an awful lot of folks in our churches that want to read the scripture,” Lawless added. “But they don’t know how, or they don’t make the time to read the scripture. I want to try to walk with them and invite them to read the daily post with me.”
     
    At the end of the day, Lawless said he wants to see church people in love with Christ, loving their neighbors and the nations, and being part of Great Commission minded churches. He believes churches should evaluate their health not only by reaching their local community but by reaching beyond themselves. Churches should ask themselves, “Are we thinking about the nations as we think about our neighbors?”
     
    Very early in his pastoral ministry, “The Lord just grabbed my heart for the nations,” he said. It began with a Woman’s Missionary Union leader who asked him to teach a foreign missions study. “I told her I would be happy to do it, but I had never heard of a foreign mission study.”
     
    She was not at all pleased that her pastor had not heard of a foreign mission study. “She strongly encouraged me that if I was going to be the pastor of that church, I was going to have to think about missions,” Lawless said. “She was right. The Lord started grabbing my heart.”
     
    His passion for the nations has only increased as he traveled to dozens of countries and witnessed the “depth of lostness,” he said. “You can’t help but be impacted when you get off the plane and see millions of people and very few believers in nations around the world.”
     
    He hopes international missionaries will be engaged with his blog, also. “I’ve seen missionaries around the world who simply need encouragement. They need somebody to walk with them and pray for them. I want to help do that.”
     
    Lawless’ 14 years’ experience as a pastor in Ohio instilled in him a love for the local church.
     
    “I have a great deal of respect for the pastoral position,” he said. “I love what God does when He puts the church together.
     
    “Often the church is messy and hard to lead, but there is still a beauty in the church, and it is an incredible privilege to be a leader in a local church. I want to help my readers fall in love with messy churches and know they are not walking this road alone. I want them to know that there are people praying for them and standing behind them and beside them.”
     
    Guest bloggers will be invited to write for chucklawless.com. Some will be church planters in North America, he added. Missionaries will write about how to connect with international missionaries and how to pray for them.
     
    He also recognizes that many church leaders are struggling with ministry, but not reaching out for help. Some hesitate to ask for help because they think they are imposing, Lawless said. “I strongly encourage pastors – young or old – to ask for help when you are hurting and struggling.
     
    We’re not supposed to lead churches on our own. We need to recognize the value of the body of Christ.”
     
    It is risky and dangerous to try to lead church ministry on our own, especially when we are struggling, according to Lawless. “We wind up fighting battles by ourselves, and that makes us only more vulnerable to defeat. I would strongly encourage pastors, if you need to talk to somebody there is nothing wrong with doing that. In fact it is almost more arrogant to keep it to yourself, to decide you can handle it on your own. That just gets us into more trouble.”
     
    Lawless welcomes ideas from local church leaders who offer insights or want to suggest topics for discussion. He invites readers to contact him through the website.
     
    He added, “Please contribute to the blog by asking, ‘Have you thought about writing about this?’ or ‘I need some help with this.’ I am very open to hearing from others.”
     
    (EDITOR’S NOTE – Chuck Lawless is dean and vice-president of graduate studies and ministry centers at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, where he also serves as professor of evangelism and missions. In addition, he is global theological education consultant for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Previously he was a professor at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a pastor in Ohio.)

    7/13/2015 2:30:36 PM by K. Allan Blume, BR Editor | with 0 comments
    Filed under: blogs, Chuck Lawless, church strengthening




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