Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Are broken hearted over the lostness of our community.
Are comfortable being uncomfortable....okay so maybe that doesn't work
Understand that following God often necessitates a huge level of discomfort.
Are tired of apathetic Christianity.
Who want to see thousands and even millions of people come to know Christ through the ministry of of their church.
Are sold out to the vision of Oasis Church.
Who understands the huge need for relevant churches in America.
Understand that worship is an everyday action.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Just want a good church home.
Can't put aside their preferences for the cause of Christ.
Can't fully buy into the vision of Oasis Church.
Think the pastor's job is to sit with them at the hospital.
Find it easy to say the phrase "that isn't my job."
Are overly concerned about how the church spends their money.... It's not your money anyway.
Love to criticize others for being less holy than them.
Think that they have it all figured out.
Can't meet someones need for Christ just because they aren't dressed nice enough.
Don't understand that worship is what you do all week.
Have no real desire to see lost people come into their church.
P.S. I'd like to end this post by saying that I think we have the most awesome group of core members ever. Just thought that I would like to put this out there.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Camping for cans went great. (over 850 cans)
I really enjoyed spending time with everyone this past weekend. I love you guys.
We were in the index journal on page 3 of todays paper.
My family is precious.
The core group meeting was good today I think. I sure learned some stuff.
I don't know when I'll get time to write a quiet time to go along with the core meeting today.
I feel like we are riding a tidal wave and we are about to start seeig some effects!
I'm ready to launch today!
I am so blessed and excite to be a part of gods amazing plan through Oasis church!
I so love our core group!
It would be really cool if ponderance were a real word...
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
-I love reading my wifes blog. She is so good at blogging. I take notes from her often.
-we had staff meeting tonight. Eric and Matt are so amazing.
-Our core group is amazing too. Thank you guys for jumping all over our angel tree kid and everything that we do. I love you guys!
-KG is sick, I've been thinking about you girl. Get better soon.
-Morgan has been sick too but you would never know it. She actually has walking pneumonia...Did I spell that right (Curt thinks to himself)
-Wrestling is awesome
- Wrestling takes up a lot of time.
-I wonder sometimes if the devil laughs at how busy I am... We all are?
- typing on this phone is so annoying!
-Come and camp with us next Saturday for Camping For Cans. It's going to rock!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
How often does the father sit down and see that you have been nibbling at His food?
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Courtney Peacock's house. Thank you guys so much for letting us meet
there! Here are a few random thoughts.
Our core group is so amazing.
I'm so excited about meeting at the YMCA.
Billy's grass was very lush
I enjoyed seeing everyone.
Christmas isn't very far away.
I love my wife, but I don't know how she puts up with me sometimes.
Billy and Courtney's dog is cool.
The muffins were really good.
I'm thrilled about camping for cans!
I'm anxious to find out about liability insurance for using the Y pool
I'm tired and I'm not ready to go back to work.
I'm still celebrating the three gold medal sweep by the Calhoun Falls
Pastor of Oasis church
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
There is one thing to take note of. The last sentence of Acts 6 seems to indicate that Stephen didn't have a look of hatred on his face. I think that Stephen spoke with severe humility, and we should make sure to do the same.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
So what is it that we are supposed to get? Well…when you suddenly are overwhelmed with this sense of urgency and responsibility to tell as many people about Jesus as possible. When you look out at crowds of people and your heart is broken over lost souls, such to the point that it drives you like a freight train. Then you realize that you hold the answer to every problem any of those people have ever had or will ever have. Then you think “I’ve GOT to tell them! GOT TO!” There is such anticipation at this time. Then suddenly there is a drop in your heart when you realize that you don’t know very many lost people well enough to tell them about Jesus because you’ve always been so caught up with being with other Christians. Then you realize that you’ve rarely been a disciple of Jesus at all, but that for most of your life you’ve in fact been a disciple of some established order of right and wrong. This is a heart breaking reality when you get it, but it carries with it such anticipation because you now have a new perspective of what it means to be a disciple of Christ and not a disciple of man’s regulations. Then you begin to see the freedom that you really have in Christ; The freedom to sit with a man who is smoking a cigarette or drinking a beer, and to truly enjoy the company of that individual. The freedom to not spend every waking moment with other Christians, and to not listen to Christian music all the time and not spend most free time in a church building. The freedom to go into a bar and spend time with someone who needs Jesus. When you get it, you can truly say that the church is not a building and you can really mean what you say. When you get it, you can be a real close friend to a lost person, maybe even their best friend, and you can spend truly significant time with them. You can even have lost people over to your house on a regular basis. And when you really get it, you see that you not only have the freedom to do and not do these certain things that you have felt obligated to your whole life, but you will see the NECESSITY to do and not do those things. When you truly get it, you are struck with a very real sense of fear, guilt and disdain of who you have always been as a Christian, and you are overwhelmed with the need to change your whole lifestyle. When you get it, you get such a real look at your own self righteousness. That’s what I mean by “Do we get it?” That’s what we have all GOT to get before we can move on with this church plant. It’s about lost people becoming disciples of Christ.
P.S. If you felt a little uncomfortable while reading this blog, then you almost certainly don’t get it!
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
We have a staff meeting tomorrow night. I always look forward to spending time with my staff. they are awesome guys.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
As we plant this church, my hope is that we as a staff and as a core team will always move forward toward the goal, no matter what we face, no matter how many mistakes we make. I'm not saying that we just want to go out and make a bunch of mistakes and hope for the best. What I am saying is that I want us to give it as much as we have and fight for the gold, but even if we go down in flames, we go down in flames together...as a team.
While I was trying to get some stuff done today, the boys were watching Narnia. I love Narnia, it is an awesome movie. One of the greatest parts is where Peter looks at the guy beside him just before they are about to run into battle, you know, the guy who is part horse...anyway...they are about to run into battle, and Peter looks at the horse dude and says "Are you with me?" and the horse dude looks at Peter and says "To the death." Wow, what a statement. So what about it team,...Are you in this? Are you with me?
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
In planting this church I have heard some really crazy things about what people are wondering about Oasis. I've even heard that we have been called a cult, which is a very serious accusation to level against a church. Please, before any of you ever say that about Oasis church or any other church for that matter, please remember that you will have to stand before God and answer for it. What I want to share with you today is the simple fact that I believe in Jesus. I believe that Jesus is Lord and the only way anyone can get to heaven is to place their faith in Him and the sacrifice that He made on the cross. I do not think that anyone can get to heaven by just being a good person, or even by being a really great person. Christ truly is the only hope that we have as human beings. My desire is to see people in Greenwood come to know Christ. Ever since I came to know Christ, I have been part of a Southern Baptist church and currently my theology still lines up with the SBC. In saying that about the SBC you also need to know that I also believe that in heaven we will be worshiping right alongside people from many other denominations. As a youth pastor I always had and still do have really great relationships with Youth pastors in other denominations. As a pastor, I hope to have significant relationships with pastors who are not affiliated with the SBC. I believe in Christ, I believe His death on the cross is the only hope that we have.
To be honest, I have been amazed at how quick people seem to doubt me. My intention with the next few statements is not to brag, but just to be honest about how I feel. For three and a half years I served at Harris with integrity and passion. I think that if you ask anyone at Harris about my time there, they would be glad to affirm that I served there with integrity as far as they know. I really enjoyed the time that I spent at Harris and it was very very hard to make the decision to leave there. I have served in every area of my life with much integrity, and yet it seems like that means nothing to anyone. I really need those who know my character to stand up and defend me. I'm hurt by how I've been doubted. I have never given anyone any reason to doubt me and my love for Christ. I am hurt more than anything by the way my wife has been treated. She has had things said to her that no one should ever have said to them. I am utterly amazed at how quick people will abandon others. Do what is right! Stand up and defend me if you know me! If you don't know me, then don't speak up. If you hate my guts, then I'm sorry for anything that I ever did to you. I'd love for you to tell me what I did so that I can apologize. I love Christ and I want to see people come to know Christ, and there is nothing wrong with that. There is also nothing wrong with people following the call that God has placed on their lives. Will we make some mistakes following that call? Yes. Does that negate the call?....NO. I'm willing to admit that I have made some mistakes, but God is still calling me to plant this church, and that's what I'm going to do.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
So, here we go again with the What?! Stuff. The next concern that I would like to address has to do with guidance. Some people have asked me if I have sought any council about the whole idea of planting a church. I think that their idea may be that in my enthusiastic youth, I just decided to start a church because of some hair brained idea. I must say that if anyone ever thinks that, then they are far from the truth. As I began to deal with the idea of church planting early in 2007 I sought several friends who are also in the ministry. Later, after I really began to realize that God might have been calling me into church planting, I spoke with Frank and David, my pastors. Then David and Frank were supportive enough to allow me to go to the state convention and learn more about church planting, and I would like to say thank you to them for that. At that point I knew that God was calling me into church planting. As time went on I sought council from a plethora of sources. In the course of time I spoke with approximately 4 Associational missionaries and former Associational missionaries. Several other pastors and associate pastors, and at least 20 or more church planters or former church planters. Not to mention many, many other Godly men and women who have had a great influence in my life over the years. As a matter of fact I still seek council on a very regular basis in this process of planting a church. I have received a tremendous amount of support and advice throughout this process. Please, if you are at all thinking about supporting Oasis church, and you are wondering if I have been hasty and fool hearted, just know that there are many older and wiser people in my life who give me solid advice. By the way, I do always seek council from the ultimate source of wisdom through prayer. I am committed to do everything that I can to honor God in everything that I do. If any of you who genuinely care about me ever think that I am out of God’s will, you have my full permission to confront me. Otherwise, I’m assuming that you will be fully supportive. Thank you all for your generosity and support.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
In my previous posts I explained what I have been teaching to our core group. Now I want to address some other possible legitimate concerns with our church plant.
First question. "What are you doing to teach the children in your church plant?" Well,...
You need to know that I am very passionate about children and youth. I have no intentions of cutting our children short. My belief is that any children who are involved in a church should be taught exactly what the adults are being taught, for the most part, but on a different level, using the same principles. We have currently set up a volunteer led ministry for our children, which is led by two very capable and passionate individuals. By the way, thank you to those two persons! Everyone who is involved in our core group is expected to volunteer about once every two to three months. What are we teaching our children?... well, the exact same thing as our adults. Love God, Love others, Serve the World and Make Disciples. We are teaching them what it means to BE the church. We are teaching them about evangelism, missions, service, Christ crucified and anything else that we teach our adults. I am very passionate about seeing every ministry in a church tied into the vision of the church. Many times we allow our children's ministry to become a baby sitting service and I don't think we should ever be satisfied with that.
One last point to leave you with. Do you think that there were children's ministries in the New Testament churches?... I don't... Well... I don't think there were. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think that there was any organized form of ministry to children. How did children learn in New Testament culture? Well, they learned through an apprenticeship program, and their teacher was usually their mom or dad. Kids learned how to do what their parents did. It was built in their society for parents to teach their kids. Who teaches our kids today?... Usually just about everyone other than mom and dad. Now we can get into a whole argument about home schooling and public schools, but that's not the issue here. My kids go to public school and my wife is a public school teacher, but I don't think that should ever be an excuse for me to not teach my children. In today's society I think we want everyone else to take care of what we are responsible for taking care of, like our children. Maybe, just maybe, we should be teaching our children at home and not always expect schools, coaches and the church to teach them everything. If you haven't figured out my next statement yet, here it goes. Our greatest ministry as a church plant is to teach our parents to love thier children with every ounce of their being and to teach their own children about Jesus and what He has done for them. Should we have a children's ministry in a church?... Yes, but it should never stop there!
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Tune back in next time for the next blog in the series “What?!” Where I will address some possible legitimate concerns with my teaching.
In Numbers 21:4-9 The people began to complain about God and as a result God sent venomous snakes among them to kill them as a punishment. They later asked for forgiveness and God instructed Moses to make a bronze snake and put it on a pole. If anyone was ever bitten by a snake, all they had to do was look to the bronze snake and they would be healed. For the Israelites at this time, the bronze snake was very much their salvation. I think that we can all agree that the bronze snake was a very good thing. Jesus even referred to the bronze snake when he spoke about Himself on the cross in John 3:14. So, was the bronze snake a really really good thing…yes, I’m pretty confident that it was. There are some pretty wonderful things about the church that exist; music, preaching, worship services, air conditioning and many other things. These are all good things. Will they still be good things tomorrow?...Yes. My question for you is "at what point is a good thing no longer a good thing?"...Well, when it is no longer useful, it is no longer a good thing. I think that this occurred with the bronze snake. In 2 kings 18:1-4 King Hezekiah actually breaks the bronze snake. One has to wonder why he broke the bronze snake which was such a wonderful salvation to the Israelites, right along side other objects that were completely pagan idols? Well, first, the bronze snake had served it’s purpose. I think that is very obvious. But I do believe that it went much deeper than that. I would imagine that Hezekiah would have had no problem keeping the snake around, I mean wouldn’t it have been wonderful the keep the statue around to remind the people that God delivered the Israelites from a punishment that they put themselves under?...Wouldn’t it have been great to remind the Israelites of the compassionate God which they serve?... I believe that there was a much more important reason that Hezekiah broke the bronze snake. More in the next post.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
As soon as I felt God calling me to plant a church, I followed Him with much hesitancy. At first my delay in following His call was simply because I loved doing what I was doing where I was doing it. Many people knew that about me. But through the process of following God’s call on my life to plant a church I became hesitant for an altogether different reason. I know that in the history of church planting there seems to be a level of controversy that follows most any church plant. Why?... Well, I have my speculations that I may share later, but for right now we’ll just chalk it up to what I think is the biggest one…New church plants are usually different, and we all know that anytime something is different people are hesitant to accept it as valid. Noah, built a boat…different, David was passionate about defending his God even though he was a little kid…different, Paul preached against circumcision…different, Jesus…well…He tore down almost everything known to be sacred to the Jews…very very different. What do all of these guys have in common? Well, if you haven’t guessed yet, they were different. But more than just that they were different, they were not very well accepted. So anyway, church planting is different and not always accepted very well. Don’t get me wrong, I do understand where most Christians are coming from. Of course, some just want to cut the head off of anything that doesn’t look, act, smell, dress, talk, sing or think like them. Anyway, for the simple reason that controversy seems to follow church planters, I didn’t want to be a church planter, I’m not very big on dealing with controversy, I’m not a confrontational type person. But let’s get to the point. Over the past few weeks I have heard a few accusations leveled against Oasis church. The number one accusation and worst so far, is that we seem to have the characteristics of a cult.
The next series of blogs will deal with some of the concerns that have been shared with me by people who I believe genuinely care for me, my family and our church plant. For that reason, the blogs that I will write over the next few days are for two types of people. #1. People who are legitimately concerned about me, my family and the Core team. #2. The core team. The next few blogs are not for people who don’t genuinely care about me, my family or the core team. They are not for anyone who is just looking for some juicy gossip. They are not for anyone who is not willing to at least entertain the idea that I may be teaching biblical truths. If you already have your mind made up that I am trying to start some sort of cult, then don’t waste your time reading this, just keep on spreading your gossip and maybe you will get a life one day.
THE PURPOSE OF THIS BLOG SERIES.
#1. To address possible legitimate concerns to people who actually care about what we are doing.
#2. To solidify what I have already been teaching to our Core group.
A FEW THINGS THAT YOU WILL NEED TO KNOW.
#1. How long will this series be?
I don’t know, I’m guessing about 8-12 blogs
#2. How often will I blog?
I don’t know, maybe once every couple of days
#3. Will there be any name calling?
Maybe…Na, just kidding.
My desire is to help people understand what I have been teaching and what I will be teaching. It’s not to stir up anymore controversy. So don’t get your hopes up if you are looking for some great gossip…I mean, great conversational information.
P.S. If you have any questions or comments, please be honest, don't back down. You can even leave it anonymous if that makes you feel better...that's why I allow that option on my blog.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
So, I am reading through Psalms right now and tonight I read Psalm 29, and as I read the last part of verse 9 where it says “and in His temple all cry, “Glory!”, I couldn’t help but wonder “Is it possible to enter into the presence of God and not cry out to Him “Glory!”?... There have been times in my life where I felt like I simply caught a glimpse of Him and in those times I was simply in awe of Him…I could only say “Glory!”. But really, have any of us really been in the presence of God?... Have any of us really experienced His awesome power in its fullness which David speaks about in the 29th Psalm?... I wonder sometimes if some of us have actually been in His Temple, but we just refused to open our eyes… God is such an awesome God. He is so far beyond our understanding… More than we can ever conceive… How can we encounter Him in any way without being completely changed? How can we enter into His presence and go back to who we were before? The capability of humans or the lack there of absolutely leaves me so speechless. Do we at all understand the God we serve? I think we have a long way to go. Thank Him that He is patient, abounding in love and slow to anger, otherwise we’d have no hope…none!
Saturday, June 28, 2008
So, I was sitting in the chair tonight holding
-The Family and I had company all week with some teenagers from Greenwood visiting us this week. They helped with service projects, baby sat and entertained us. It was great to get to spend some time with them. They are leaving tomorrow. I hope that they come back before the end of the summer.
-The Bluffton area newspaper featured and Crosspoint in an article today. Click here to see it.
-I miss being in Greenwood.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
This comes from My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers
"...Peter...walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid.." (Matthew 14:29-30)
The wind really was boisterous and the waves really were high, but Peter didn't see them at first. He didn't consider them at all; he simply recognized his Lord, stepped out in recognition of Him, and "walked on the water." Then he began to take those things around him into account, and instantly, down he went. Why couldn't our Lord have enabled him to walk at the bottom of the waves, as well as on top of them? He could have, yet neither could be done without Peter's continuing recognition of the Lord Jesus.
We step right out with recognition of God in some things, then self-consideration enters our lives and down we go. If you are truly recognizing your Lord, you have no business being concerned about how and where He engineers your circumstances....
...If you debate for even one second when God has spoken, it is all over for you. Never start to say, "Well, I wonder if He really did speak to me?" Be reckless immediately-totally unrestrained and willing to risk everything-by casting your all upon Him.
Any of you who know me know that this devotional had to speak to me, but just so that you know, it didn't speak to me because I feel like I have done as well or better than Peter when he stepped out of the boat to go to Jesus. To be honest, I feel like I've got a long way to go before my feet are even over the edge of the boat. Right now I think that I may be standing up in the boat at the most and saying to myself, "Hey, there is Jesus and I want to go to Him!" So if you want to pray for me, please pray that I'll step out of the boat every chance that I get and walk to Jesus, keeping my eyes focused on Him. I'll leave you with the last little part of the devotional from Oswald Chambers for June 18th, and I encourage you to be reckless...Immediately when you hear His voice. Even though you will almost certainly sink at some point, He'll be there to catch your hand.
You do not know when His voice will come to you, but whenever the realization of God comes, even in the faintest way imaginable, be determined to recklessly abandon yourself, surrendering everything to Him. It is only through abandonment of yourself and your circumstances that you will recognize Him. You will only recognize His voice more clearly through recklessness-being willing to risk your all.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Since we are on the topic of being excited about simple things. I have to wonder how often we don't get excited about things that we used to get excited about. um...
-Dates with our spouses...for some, I know I still do, but we don't have nearly enough dates.
-Our Children...hm...do you still get excited about your children...they are a gift from God.
-Our Job...Is it a calling or just something that pays the bills?...(these dots are meant to encourage you to take some time to think...)
-How about our spouses in general?...
-Excercise?...I know I have my spells when I get excited about exercising...they don't last long, but I'm not saying that is okay. Physical health should be a priority.
-How about life in general?...Do you ever think "Who sucked all my life out and what do I do to get it back?"...Maybe you could talk to Jesus about that?
-Speaking of Jesus, and I know you knew that I was going to get to him...When was the last time that you really...legitimately...truly got excited about Jesus?..."Man, you cut me deep Shrek, real deep."
Saturday, June 14, 2008
I don’t really have anything to say tonight. So I’ll just give you a quick update about what is going on.
-Me and the Family returned to Bluffton yesterday at about 3:30am.
-Intern Matt and I went to a local FCA rally and made a good contact with the local FCA Director.
-We spent some time today on
-We are all currently sleeping in the floor of our house because we don’t have any furniture yet…it’s kind of like camping…without the fire…
-I enjoyed getting to be with the core group this past Wed. night. It was good seeing you all.
-We had a reality check this past Wed. in the core meeting when we came to the realization that we have 27 youth and children in our core group…That scared me…it isn’t something that we were expecting or that we were prepared for. It is one of those surprise praises though. God is blessing what we are doing and I have to give Him all the glory for it.
-Continue to pray that God will continue to meet all of our needs and that we will follow Him faithfully wherever He leads.
-Thank you to all those who are involved with
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
-We are still looking for a place for My family to stay this summer. We thought that we had somewhere to stay, but it all fell through on Monday.
-There is a possibility we will have something by tomorrow. Not exactly what we wanted, but exactly what we need....God knows what He is doing.
-We are constantly adding more and more organization to Oasis Church.
-I have an amazing staff!
-Austin and I are currently staying this week With Carl Martin (Crosspoint's lead pastor)
-We are looking forward to having several people on the core team come and spend the weekend with us and experience Crosspoint's preview service.
-I am totally stoked about all of the support that has been given to me, my family and Oasis Church.
-I am beginning to think that I need to figure out how to do shorter blogs.
-There is currently only One youth in the youth ministry of Crosspoint Bluffton. So gathering a group of young people for the church is going to and has already presented some challenges. It's mainly just relationship building right now....with strangers...and that's not easy.
-There is so much more, but I'm tired and I have a lot more to do tonight and you've already stopped reading this. Good night.