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Michael S. Rogers

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About Michael S. Rogers

  • Birthday 09/03/1969

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  1. Michael S. Rogers

    Publishing And Book Trailer

    See? Just like a rock star. Three minutes while the song is playing, then back on the road to the next gig....
  2. Michael S. Rogers

    Publishing And Book Trailer

    Thanks, Alley! It's going to take me some time to get through all the resources you offered! You rock!
  3. Michael S. Rogers

    Publishing And Book Trailer

    Thanks, Steve! I actually do have a marketing person and my daughter is going to school for digital animation. Their addition to my team is part of the reason for my decision to jump in. More time is needed, though, before we solicit authors. We will let people know here when we are ready!.
  4. Michael S. Rogers

    Publishing And Book Trailer

    I'm usually stingy with my cookies, but you asked so nicely...
  5. Michael S. Rogers

    Hi Everybody!

    Welcome! Excited to have you join us!
  6. Michael S. Rogers

    Publishing And Book Trailer

    Cookies are always a good response!
  7. Michael S. Rogers

    From One Middle To Another

    Discipleship is not for you. I know this is a confusing way to start, but I believe this sentence creates a new path for discipleship, especially for the Middles in the church. Please let me explain. My professor in college once taught something that rattled me. In any church, ten percent of the people sitting in the pews each Sunday will not let themselves be discipled no matter what the pastor does. This breaks my heart, but I have seen its truth. The figure may be off, but the statement is still valid. Each person fending off faith in our churches has personal reasons; but we can name some, can’t we? Church is a social club. Church is a comfort. Church is something to scratch off my spiritual to-do list. Church is expected. Church gets me business. Church is where I have power. Church makes me feel saved. We’ll call them the Others. Then, my professor taught that in any church, twenty percent are Type-A go-getters who reach for discipleship no matter what form the pastor gives it. Drop them in a room with a Bible and leave. In thirty minutes, some form of discipleship is happening. We’ll call them Type-A’s. These people excite me. They want to know what a disciple is, what a disciple does, how a disciple makes more disciples. They are the energy a pastor needs to feel like the work is not in vain. For these people, church is a university, an opportunity to serve, the base of operations; church is where to bring people looking for Jesus. As a pastor, most of my time is spent with one of these two groups. I don’t set out to let them monopolize my ministry, but they often do. While seventy percent of my congregation finds its own way, I either vainly reach out to the first group or in vanity feed off the second group. I want to reach everyone, so sometimes I focus on the Others to the exclusion of everyone else. When that becomes unbearable, I fall back on the Type-A’s who would get it if I just left them alone. I want to feel successful, so sometimes I focus on the self-starters to the exclusion of everyone else. When that becomes unsatisfying (or worse, too satisfying), I bypass the middle and reach for the Others again. As I pondered this truth in myself, the professor said the 70% in the middle were the ones he was teaching us to reach. The ones who won’t join either of the first two groups but are wondering why they are asked to attend church each week. They go because they know it’s good for them, but they don’t think they can really be disciples of Jesus. The notion seems too lofty or too difficult or too saintly for someone like them. But they dream of it a little. The Middles For years, we’ve diagnosed the disease killing the effectiveness of the Western church today. At some point, the church forgot her mission to go and make disciples. Hundreds of books are published on the subject. Movements started. Lives changed and hearts transformed. People are taking this seriously, and because of it, I believe the church is positioning for revival, not defeat. Seeing the work done by so many great leaders, I have a different perspective on all the church closings. What we see is pruning, not diminishing. God is consolidating the church to make her more dynamic. He is removing His blessing from congregations more consumed with comfort and less consumed with mission. This is harsh, I know, and it hurts my heart to say it. In many places today, across all denominational lines, churches are refusing to follow great leaders whose only crime is rearranging the furniture in the House of God to appeal to the culture of today. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:22 that the eye is the lamp of the body and if the eye is healthy the whole body will be full of light. But if the eye is evil, malevolent, pain-ridden, the whole body will be full of darkness. We can choose our perspective and that choice will lead us to light or to darkness. Jesus asks me to choose the light. So what I see is the beautiful life of the church ready to set fire to the world. Others who have made their religion more Churchianity than Christianity are truly out there—I see them—but I choose to focus on the ones who are getting back to the mission. When I do, however, I see movements focusing on the twenty percent who want to get it. I read those books and even I am discouraged about my ability to follow. Sell my house and move to the inner city. Create 90% participation in small groups in my church. Leave my ministry and head to Africa. Be fearless, undaunted, faith-filled, risk-loving, radical, crazy. Lead like Jesus. Live like Luke would mention my name in Acts if he were writing today. I am challenged by them but left speechless, aimless. I don’t know how to follow what they are portraying. I’m part of the middle group. I’m one of the 70%. I have some Type A in me, but I also have some ADD. I want to be fearless, but my greatest fear is to be exposed as a fraud in my faith. I am an introvert in an extrovert’s world. Sometimes I wonder if I’m an introvert in an extrovert’s religion. I’m administratively challenged and my ambitions ebb and flow. And I’m a pastor! Years after my professor sparked this realization in me, I was leading a new church and trying to discover how to crack the code for discipling the Middle Group. Not the stars of the church. Just people. I studied and came up with some ideas over the years, but not until recently did all the pieces fit into place. I think the best way to start explaining is with a fence. WE NEED FENCES One of my favorite analogies is learning to play in the yard. When we were little, our parents turned us loose in the back yard. They let us do mostly what we wanted so long as we didn’t go outside the fence without permission. If a ball went over, we didn’t have the right to chase it. If a friend came over, we didn’t have the right to jump the fence and go somewhere with them. That boundary kept us safe and honest while letting us explore our imaginations. In the same way, discipleship needs fences. Here are mine: 1. The discipleship process must be biblically accurate. I can’t decide what it means to be a disciple. What I teach must be backed up by Scripture or I’ve jumped the fence. 2. The discipleship process must be aimed at the Middle Group. It’s okay to make a process for the go-getters, but that’s not the focus God has given me. I can’t chase the ball over the fence. 3. The discipleship process must avoid doctrinal controversies. Since we are talking about how to live out our faith after salvation, much of this is avoided anyway. The controversies that remain are not central to the faith and we can disciple together while agreeing to disagree. 4. The discipleship process must teach people how to think, not what to think. We don’t need lemmings, we need lifers. I don’t want anyone to follow me. I want them to follow Jesus in the way God shows them. 5. The discipleship process must be progressive as a plan but flexible as a path. We can provide guidance while allowing individual freedom. Let people play inside the fence without dictating what that play must look like. By staying true to these guidelines, I keep myself from creating heresy while avoiding doctrinal controversy. I aim people away from me and toward Jesus. I help people realize discipleship is attainable and expected while leaving room for their personalities. In this way, we help God cast the net wide to serve one more, reach one more, teach one more, help one more grow in Christ.
  8. Excited to work on my next writing project today!  I'd appreciate your prayers!

  9. Michael S. Rogers

    New Member, Take Two.

    I am so blessed by your words! Thank you! I really believe God can use it to prove His Presence in the mundane so that we may have courageous hope in His Presence in what we think is important!
  10. Michael S. Rogers

    Publishing And Book Trailer

    I'm currently exploring how to run my own publishing house, A2G Media, but before I offer opportunities to other writers I want to learn how to make great book trailers. Does anyone know of any free or low-cost ways to make it great? I believe in doing a ministry of excellence with duct tape and paper clips!
  11. Michael S. Rogers

    New Member, Take Two.

    It's in the wandering that we learn new things!
  12. Michael S. Rogers

    New Member, Take Two.

    I am currently working on contemporary Christian fiction, including my latest novel Passing Lincoln, but I also write Christian living books and have my own discipleship channel on Youtube. What about you?
  13. Michael S. Rogers

    New Member, Take Two.

    Contemporary fiction. My latest novel is Passing Lincoln. I'm also working on some non-fiction based on a sermon series.
  14. Michael S. Rogers

    New Member, Take Two.

    Thanks for the welcome! If you don't see me on here on Tuesdays, send me a GRRRRR!!!
  15. Michael S. Rogers

    New Member, Take Two.

    I'm a new member again! I have to admit, I lost track of this opportunity to give and get support from others who sense a call to use the written word for God's glory. I hope to stay better attached and share how God is moving in my writing career from now on!
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