The Prestonwood Network

The Prestonwood Network exist to equip and encourage pastors while working together to plant and revitalize churches. 

Established in 2011 under the leadership of Dr. Jack Graham, the Prestonwood Network exists to resource and encourage pastors while working together to plant and revitalize churches. The Network is relationship-based and consists completely of Kingdom partnerships including: former Prestonwood staff that are now lead pastors, pastors that have a relationship with Prestonwood Church, and church plants that have been supported in the past. These are all part of the Prestonwood Network.

FEATURED ARTICLES

Not only did Jesus testify to the authority of Scripture, but also He testified to its authenticity. Jesus viewed Scripture as being verbally inspired by God. When He read the Old Testament scrolls—whether the Law, the Prophets or the Writings, which includes the Psalms and the wisdom literature such as the book of Proverbs…

Horizon. To me, just the word invokes promise, hope and new beginnings. It rings of vast and epic exploration. It awakens the adventurer inside us. It beckons us to new frontiers.

It’s where heaven meets the earth.

Have you ever found yourself asking the question, “Who am I?” or “Why am I doing this?” Maybe it was after a discouraging Sunday morning experience. Maybe you had to have that same conversation with that same volunteer again. Maybe you led worship for a room that felt lifeless and disengaged. You’ve found yourself asking if it’s all worth it.

Tim Keller once said, “Both men and women today see marriage not as a way of creating character and community but as a way to reach personal life goals. They are looking for a marriage partner who will ‘fulfill their emotional, sexual, and spiritual desires’. And that creates an extreme idealism that in turn leads to a deep pessimism that you will never find the right person to marry.”

April 23, 2003, is a day that then 13-year-old Natalie Gilbert will never forget. On that day, she was scheduled to sing the national anthem for the 2003 NBA playoff game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Portland Trailblazers. As she stepped forward in front of a crowd of 20,000 fans and began to sing, she forgot the words! Embarrassed and not knowing what to do, an unlikely hero stepped forward. Maurice Cheeks, then head coach of the Blazers, came to her aid…

To the casual reader of the four gospels, it could be easy to overlook that Jesus Christ knew the Old Testament Scriptures from start to finish, and this despite not one mention of having a copy of the Law, Prophets or Writings as He traveled throughout the land of Israel. Indeed, He couldn’t have had a personal copy much as we have our own copy of the Bible today because copies of Scripture were kept only in the synagogues.

My entire approach to preaching was revolutionized about three years ago when I read Tony Merida’s short book Proclaiming Jesus: Christ-Centered Teaching and Preaching. I couldn’t escape Merida’s challenge: “To make the hero of the Bible (Jesus), the hero of every message you prepare.”

We know conflict is inevitable in ministry. However, we “must not be quarrelsome.” I don’t know about you, but I wish Paul would have given us a bit more information after this command as to just how we should “not be quarrelsome.” There are a number of ways we can engage in conflict better.

For any organization, any business, and any church, having a clear mission is vitally important. Likewise, in order to make wise choices, we must have a clear vision of what God wants to accomplish in our lives. And we want the vision to be great. What I’ve found is that as believers, our choices are less often between good or bad and more often between better and best.

This past Sunday at Southbridge, we had an incredible day of worship. At the conclusion of the sermon, I gave an old-fashioned altar call, inviting people to come forward and kneel at the altar and do business with God. There were a lot of people who responded in both of our Sunday morning services.

You’ve probably heard someone say it’s important to be authentic to who you really are. You should be the person you were designed to be and not try to be someone else. Authenticity is the only thing that matters.

You’ve got to get serious about your goals. Achieving your goals is important. You have to write them well, otherwise a year of discouragement and disappointment is in store for you. I use the acronym S.M.A.R.T.E.S.T. to explain how I write and attain goals. Here is a little more depth and a few tips.

A fascinating story appears in the book of Nehemiah about one man who led an entire nation to accomplish a lofty goal. Nehemiah was serving as cupbearer to the king, far away from his homeland of Judah, when he was visited by some of his old Jewish friends. He asked about the state of affairs in Judah—was everyone OK following the exile? How was the city of Jerusalem holding up?

When I was cutting my teeth in ministry, I was full of youthful angst, longing for more opportunities to grow and serve. A local pastor approached me to lead worship for his congregation each Sunday. He didn’t have any money or musicians, but it was a chance for me to learn to plan, recruit players, and lead a church weekly.