Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 2011 newsletter

I am so excited to write this newsletter! So much has happened the past 6 weeks. There is no way that I can share everything, so let me just hit the highlights. Our "Why the Y?" series was incredible. It was such an honor for me to be able to share how God has placed us as a church in the Greenwood YMCA and what that means for our church. Being a church IN a YMCA and not just a church AT a YMCA means so much more than 99.9999% of people realize. It means being part of what I believe could be one of the greatest church plant movements in history.... Literally! The end of April will also be the end of our "Can You See Him?" series. This series, too, has been very powerful! Over the past six weeks our attendance skyrocketed to numbers that we have never seen! Our average attendance is up from where it was at this time last year by 250%! That is so incredible! While all of this and so much more has been taking place, we have also had the opportunity to support The FCA on the campus of Lander, where God is also doing incredible things! The first week of May will be our next baptism! Awesome! God is moving in peoples hearts and changing people's lives. It's unreal to think that what God is going to do is even more amazing than what He has been doing both in and through Oasis Church! Thank you so much for your prayers and support! Those of you who made a three year commitment have only 2 more months until you finish. Please, lets finish this stage of the church plant strong!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Moving Forward!

Oasis, I LOVE YOU GUYS! You are amazing. You are head over heels in love with Jesus and so willing to do anything short of sinning to see people meet Jesus and to see His name made famous in Greenwood. Your passion is an inspiration even to me as the pastor! I want to take a minute to share where we are and where we are going.
God has absolutely been blowing up our church!... All for His glory! Our attendance is up 250% from where it was this time last year, and our attendance is up 311% from December. We have outgrown one room and really have outgrown our current room. We will be having a baptism this Sunday after Church. Also, I really do believe that this is going to be one of the biggest, if not the biggest service we have ever had!...
The future of Oasis Church is going to be insane! Even with the fact that our college students are going home for the summer, with all that God is doing, I wouldn't be surprised to see attendance continue to climb as we go into the summer. Here's the deal. We are out of space. We have always said that we as a church will do whatever it takes to see unbelievers become believers and right now, we have very few empty chairs for unbelievers to sit in. That's a major problem... But it is such a great problem! We currently at best can fit 100 chairs in our current room. we always want to make more space when we see 70-80% of our chairs fill up, b/c that is typically when churches see attendance level off. So... we had 77 this past Sunday, we can set up 100 chairs.. um, that's 77% full.... WE NEED MORE EMPTY CHAIRS! In order to have more empty chairs we need to do one of two things, we need to move to the gym or we need to go to 2 services. We currently don't have the finances to make a transition to the Gym. In order to go to the gym and do it right, we need somewhere in the realm of $15,000 to $20,000. We have a commitment to be excellent in what ever we do and right now, if we transition to the gym with what we have, let's just face the fact that the music and seating arrangement would be like crap. We need some major upgrades to go to the gym. So apart from a major Donation or a significant amount of new tithers, we are going to need to go to 2 services very soon. I know that the idea of 2 services isn't very comfortable, but comfortable believers isn't our goal. And do you know what I really hate... Unbelievers going to hell because church people aren't willing to do something uncomfortable to see lost people meet Jesus! I hate that! I really do believe that you as Oasis won't hesitate to make this transition when it comes our way, but I just want to make sure that we keep our focus. The next phrase will be very important to us as a church for the future. "Empty seats at optimal worship times." What this simply means is that Our optimal worship time is 10:45am, meaning that's where we need the empty seats because that's when unbelievers are most likely to attend. When we make the transition, we need our volunteers to roll with it, and we also need our attenders to be willing to come to the 9am service. I don't know yet when we will be making this transition, but just know that God is doing amazing things in our church and impacting tons of lives. Now we just need to do our part by positioning our church so that we can receive all of God's blessings. Oasis, let's do this... Lets Move Forward!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Being a pastor in a YMCA!

Being the pastor of a church in a YMCA, I often times get the question "So when are you guys going to get your own building?" I usually respond with "We have the biggest indoor baptistry of any church I know (The pool) and we have a rock wall in our kids area. We have a better building that we could ever build. Why would we leave it?" Then I try to take the opportunity to explain why we really love being in the YMCA and why we plan on never leaving the Y. So I'll try to keep this short, but I want to take this opportunity as Gray's (or Mr. Stallworth or the CEO of the YMCA, however you may refer to him) as his guest blogger, to Share why we love the YMCA.
There are so many details that I could share about our journey as we have really embraced the call to be a church IN the Y and not just a church AT the Y. However, for the sake of time, let me just share a few highlights of why we love being a portable church in the YMCA. First, there is absolutely no better way for us to be good stewards of what God has blessed us with. We meet in the Y's facilities on Sunday morning and when we finish, those facilities are used non-stop all week long. So there are no big buildings that sit empty while our church members aren't there. Not to say that church buildings are bad... because the aren't... they are necessary. However, God has given us an amazing opportunity, and we want to hold on to it. But the facilities are really just a very small part. Second, The Y already has all the programs we need for outreach. As a church we don't have to look into starting programs for our members and for the community. If our church members want to start a soccer league... Already done! If we want to reach out to people outside of our church all we have to do is join in on anything that the Y is already doing! Think about it. How many churches do you know that have 5,000 people from the community come through their doors every week?... Um, I can think of one... Oasis Church. Why would we ever leave that? Third, the YMCA is an amazing Christian organization, rich in history. As a church, we get to help the Y sow Christian values into the lives of people in our community. Most people see the Y as just a "Swim and Gym", but the Y is so much more, and we are committed as a church to helping the Y plant Jesus values into every area of peoples lives; Mind, Body, and Spirit. The fact is, A permanent church in a YMCA is a win, win, win. We win as a church, The YMCA wins, and most importantly the community wins.There is so much more that goes into this aspect of why we love being a church IN the Y and not just a church AT the Y, but maybe I'll have another opportunity to share in the future.

February Newsletter 2011

As I am writing this, we are wrapping up our New Year's Revolution Series and I must say that God has really revealed to me what excites our church. I guess the best way to put it is "give it away". We've been talking about the potential each of us has and the potential that we have as a church to make a kingdom impact in this world. We asked some basic questions like are we really using our influence for God's glory? and how can we specifically use our influence for His glory? This Sunday, which will have already passed by the time that you get this newsletter, we will announce that our church is going to raise $5,000 to dig a well for people who have no access to clean drinking water. Our church has been waiting eagerly to hear how exactly we will be "giving away" our money. This is how we want to influence the world as a church. As individuals, we want to be consistently pouring kingdom principles into the lives of others.
If you would like to donate to digging the well, you can mail your contributions to PO Box 49772 Greenwood, SC 29649. Please be sure to mark it "Living Waters"
This February we will be doing a series called "I Killed Jesus". Please feel free to listen to our podcasts. It's going to be an intense series where we talk about God's Mercy, Justice, and redemption. We will also talk about the importance of sharing the gospel and our potential as a church to take the gospel into our community.
Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our sin; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

January Newsletter 2011

The past month has been a really exciting time in the life of our church and in my life personally. On Jan 1-3 We took some of our college students to Passion, a conference for young adults, in Atlanta, Ga. I was fortunate enough to get to tag along and I must say that I was encouraged and challenged to see the faith and excitement of this generation! I have always told our church that God has a history of using young people to change this world and expand His kingdom, And I am convinced that this generation will be no exception.
We are currently in our New Year's Revolution series and God is rocking our church. This series is really challenging our church and me personally to imagine what could happen if we would actually use the influence that God has given us to invest in the kingdom, to give hope to the hopeless. We have no idea how powerful of an impact we have the potential to make in this world.
We will begin Financial Peace University on Feb. 23rd. Anyone can sign up by going to the front desk at the YMCA or by emailing the church at We will meet every Wed. at 7pm and the course will run for 13 weeks through May 18th. The cost is $93 per household. If you want to take the class and don't have the money, please email us and let us know. This course is well worth every penny. I suggest to anyone who is able to take this course, to please do so. I believe that there are so many people who want to give to kingdom causes, but they feel too constricted because they are too far in debt and just don't know how to budget their money. Can you imagine what would happen if only a small portion of christians would begin to budget money in their personal finances for kingdom impact?
Thank you so much to all of you, our supporters, for all that you are doing!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December Newsletter 2010

It's the holiday season and we are all so very busy. Oasis is just finishing our "OC Christmas" Series. We've been taking a look at Mary's call to birth the savior of the world. We've learned about the fears she may have faced and how she responded to the call on her life. It's been a really powerful series. In January we will be in our "New Years Revolution" series. We'll be looking at how God has the power to move in our lives in revolutionary ways. As we progress into this new year I look forward to all that God has in store for us. I've been spending time in prayer and I am really excited to put some challenges in front of our church. In my heart right now there is nervousness and excitement for the next year. Please continue to pray for us as we try to spread the hope of the Gospel. Thanks to each of you for your support!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Discussion time

Today at Oasis we really put a lot of answers and questions out there. This blog is just in case anyone wanted to open a public dialogue about any issues. So here is your chance!