Archive for November 26th, 2013

November 26, 2013

FRANCIS CHAN Guest Post: What I’ve Been Up To Since Moving To San Francisco

“What are you doing?”

This seems to be the first question everyone asks when they see me, so I’m posting the ministries I am currently involved with…

1)   I’m working with my friends David Platt and Mark Beuving in developing a discipleship tool that will help equip believers to make disciples.  I am very excited about this, as I believe the greatest need in the American church is for allwho call themselves “Christian” to be out baptizing and making disciples.

2)   I’m helping my friend Chris Huang develop a conference on August 26-27. Much of the conference involves walking around San Francisco and actually doing ministry rather than just talking about it.  You can find out more about it atwww.cityimpactconference.com

3)   I’m helping my brother Paul launch a new service that ministers to people who attend English services in Chinese churches.  By combining worship services, it frees up the pastors to focus on discipleship throughout the week.  We had our first service last Sunday and it was a great time.

4)   I’m involved with my friend Brad Buser in establishing a new school that will train people to reach unreached people groups.  We’re hoping to launch in about a year.  The Lord has increased my burden for reaching those who have never heard the gospel.

5)   I’m working with my friend Dave Lomas in figuring out how to implement discipleship at his church in SF.  I’ll be team teaching and helping develop leadership this fall in hopes of launching a discipleship movement.

6)   I’m teaching a preaching class for inner city ministers.  We recently had our first class, and I was pretty blown away by their testimonies.  I believe God is going to do significant things through these individuals.

7)   Lisa and I decided to write a book over a year ago, but we haven’t gotten very far.  Now that our baby is sleeping through the night, we should have some more time to write.

8)   I have been spending a lot of time meeting pastors in the area and trying to support them in any way.  I have met a lot of great leaders.  I’ve learned a lot from them and hopefully I have been of help to some of them.

I still travel and speak almost every week.  I tried to cut back significantly, but the calendar gets full somehow.  No complaints though.  I am enjoying ministry a lot. I love the new friends we have made in San Francisco.  It’s beginning to feel like family, but we miss our friends at Cornerstone a ton.  I still go back to preach there every 6-8 weeks or so.

Most importantly, I have really been enjoying my time alone with God.  I readDesiring God by John Piper again last week.  It still tops my list of books everyone needs to read.  Besides the Bible, no other book has had as much impact on my life.

November 26, 2013

What In The World Happened To Aaron Schust?

Every now and then – maybe every 1, 2, 3 , 4 , 5, 6, 7, 14 —maybe 50 years an artist comes along who so embodies the very definition of talent and goodwill, and sometimes when we’re lucky they’re even Christian artists.  And to me Aaron Schust was one such one artist.  Plucked from the squalor of utter obscurity and thrust in to the limelight, headlining the Grammy Awards, having lunch with the president, getting a personal tour of the moon, Aaron rose to the highest ranks of Christian music royalty. Remember the gold ole days when you were blaring “My Savior My God” in the car, other people thought you were crazy, but to you life was all of a sudden, in the blink of an eye . . . alright.  Now to be fair you never bought the whole Aaron Schust album, just that single but still   . . . the world was alright.  But then as fast as the new promise of Aaron Schust arrived it seems to have  . . . dare I say it—vanished.  Which brings me to my question—what in the world happened to Aaron Schust? Or should I say where in the world is aaron schust? Or should I have capitalized those proper nouns? What happened man?  Anyone? Aaron you there?  I don’t understand.  I want more songs like “My Savior My God.”  I refuse to call you a one hit wonder, because there’s got to be more man.  Let us know – where’s the new album, the latest cool single that’s a remixed, coolerized version of a dusty hymn.

Just sayin’.

Any takers want to let me know what happened to Shust or what you think about this whole line of questioning.

Be bold.  Comment.  Forget about your worries and your strife.

November 26, 2013

Skillet Releases Their New Album Rise To A Flood Of Praise

Everyone agrees – RISE was worth the wait. Nearly four years since their last album, two-time GRAMMY®-nominated and platinum selling rock band Skillet aren’t showing signs of slowing down. The new release, out today, comes as the highly anticipated follow-up to Skillet’s mega-selling project AWAKE. The praises for RISE are pouring in with the project being called one of the “Best Rock Albums of the Year.” With a Top 5 slot on the iTunes® Overall Chart and the deluxe edition not far behind at No. 7, the band is also narrowing the gap on the iTunes® Rock chart, holding both the No. 2 and No. 3 slots.

USA Today featured the release in today’s edition offering a 3 out of 4 star review and toting the headline “Skillet’s ‘Rise’ above rock boundaries.” Adding to the momentum comes Billboard’s praise of the record for “mixing new sonic flavors into the group’s hard-rock bombast.” The flood of applause has just begun, with more reviewers chiming in agreement at diverse outlets in both the mainstream and Christian world:

“Skillet is excelling at its craft.” – HM Magazine

“Every note feels like it is there to convey an emotion and there is a laudable sense of in-the-moment intensity.” – HitFix.com

“Bottom line: Skillet really did rise above the norm and their previous projects with RISE. Each and every song is a masterpiece in its own right…RISE is THE album of 2013.” – About.com

“Skillet hopes to strike gold, well platinum, once again…with RISE, band clearly refuses to rest on their laurels.” – CCM Magazine

“The songwriting has more depth, there’s added diversity, the concept and lyrics are interesting and uplifting…there are plenty of potential hit singles like ‘Sick Of It.’ Current Skillet fans will find plenty to like, and new fans will be attracted to the album as well.” – Loudwire.com

“This has all of the band’s best elements in one record. It looks like Skillet has another platinum record on their hands.” – Midwest Music Scene

“Skillet’s RISE is an achievement well worth the wait…might also be their most musically complex and diverse offering.” – New Release Tuesday

“RISE is Skillet’s strongest album yet and is one of the best rock albums that will be released this year.” – Front Row Report

“…it’s hard to root against RISE, as its commercial aspirations are matched by its certainty that, despite the endless smackdowns delivered by the daily grind, goodness will ultimately prevail.” – AllMusic.com

The band has been building momentum around the album’s arrival with radio promotion, a social media blitz and festival show performances. The past two weeks Skillet hosted their first ever VIP fan events titled “Road to Rise” in Nashville and Chicago. The Chicago Sun-Times heralded the event stating that it “redefines the VIP experience.” In the digital world, the band did an exclusive album stream and podcast premiere with Billboard, video premieres with Revolver and Guitar World and a song premiere with USA Today, to name a few. The high media profiles lead up to the band’s late night debut on CONAN on July 11.

Prior to street date, Skillet released four tracks off the record: “Sick Of It,” “American Noise,” “Rise” and “Not Gonna Die.” The release led to “Sick Of It” and “American Noise” peaking at No. 1 on the iTunes® Rock Songs Chart and songs “Rise” and “Not Gonna Die” hitting the chart at No. 2. Their continual radio success can be seen on both the Active Rock and Christian charts with “Sick Of It” currently at No. 12 on the Active Rock chart with a bullet and the No. 1 slot at Christian Rock for six consecutive weeks. Also at Christian radio, critic favorite “American Noise” continues to receive airplay at AC radio while quickly climbing the Hot AC/CHR chart at No. 5 with a bullet.

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