Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Let's all get stoned!

So I was reading Acts 7 about how Stephen, a godly man, stood up to all of his persecutors and spoke the bold truth. He said very simply that those men had killed Jesus, God's Son. He told the complete truth, with boldness and faith. I'm just thinking that I really need to speak the truth more, and if it gets me stoned, then so be it. If I speak the truth and I get stoned, then hopfully God will have the next Saul standing by watching it all take place. I truly do need to quit worrying so much about getting stoned. Really, I think we all should quit worrying about it so much. Hey, why don't we all just get stoned!?
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


On Thursday, many of our core group members spent the evening at the YMCA helping with their community carnival. We wore our OC shirts and had a few opportunities to speak with people about what we are doing. As good as it is that we had the opportunity to speak with some folks about The OC, the best thing is that we had the opportunity to show the Y that we are serious about being a partner with them. For us, the YMCA is a perfect community organization to partner with because they have Christian values and they effectively connect with a huge amount of people in the community. At the event, I had two wonderful conversations with two of the leaders of the Y. They are so excited about the potential of partnering with us and we have got to show them that we are serious about being an asset to them. I want to say thank you to the Y for all the ministry that you do and thank you to the core group for being so willing to do all that you do!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The long haul...

Just about anyone can do just about anything for a short time, but few people can be consistent. As a matter of Fact, this consistency, or this ability to persevere is what separates one time wonders from true legends. You all know what a one time wonder is right? The bands who make it with one song as a hit single and then you never hear from them again. I'm not referring to bands though, I am referring to life. God has no desire to see us be one time wonders. His desire for our lives is that we persevere as champions of Christ. Some days I really fell like I'm just dragging through the day. Other days I feel like I'm flying on cloud nine. Life is such a roller coaster ride. We have got to do our absolute best to keep our eyes on the goal, especially on the days when we are dragging. And lets be honest, there are always going to be a lot more hard days than there are easy. I hope that at the end of life, when it's all said and done, I will be one of the legends of faith, and that the OC will be a legendary body of believers.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sunday update

I must say that I really enjoyed being with the core group yesterday. We talked about the builders of the wall in Nehemiah and the similarities that we as a core group have to this group of builders and the similarities that we need to have with the builders of the wall. We also discussed some service and outreach project possibilites. We are really looking forward to December. The whole group seemed to be really enthusiastic about going ahead with another Movies In The Park in December. I don't know if that's what we will be doing, but we'll see. God has greatly blessed us. Please pray that He will continue to do so. We want so badly to see lost people fall on their knees for Christ.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Get it!

As I spend countless hours absorbed in the world of church planting, I wonder sometimes if we as a group really get it. "What does it mean to get it?" You ask… Well…The moment you are reading something and you suddenly stop reading because you get this feeling in your stomach much like the felling you get on a roller coaster when you are just about to go over the top of the first hill. You know…the moment when you’re not going fast, but the coaster is just picking up speed. You get this feeling of excitement about the ride that is about to take place and yet there is this nagging thought in the back of your head that says “Hey…What’s it gonna be like if this thing flies off of the rails?...” A wonderful anticipation and excitement and all at the same time this huge sense of fear. I love the look in a persons eyes when he or she gets it…They always have such a new found passion.
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!

Movie in the Y...

Well, the Movies in the park after dark went really well. We estimate that we had around thirty new contacts there on Saturday night. I want to give a big thanks to The YMCA. We had to move everything inside the gym to deal with the wind and rain. I also want to say thank you to North Side Baptist for allowing us to borrow a projector and screen and also to Brewer FCA for coming to help us out. And as always, thank you to the core group for all that you guys did. You all rock!! We look forward to the next time we get an opportunity to show a movie in the park after dark, or in the gym. You can go to my wife's blog to see a few pictures.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Scaredy Cat

As I was reading the other night, I came across a couple of verses in Ephesians Chapter 6 verses 19-20 where Paul asks the church to pray that he will preach the gospel fearlessly. I really need all those who are praying for me to pray this same prayer that Paul requested for himself. When I preach the gospel I find that sometimes I worry about what people are going to say…how they will criticize. What really troubles me about my fear is that I’m not afraid of what lost people will say. When I deal with fear as a preacher, it is always fear of what Christians will say. Why is that? Should I really be so afraid. I mean, who are we really preaching to anyway. I’ve really grown out of this fear for the most part, but it does still come back to haunt me every so often. Now I do have people who counsel me, and I do have people who I have requested to confront me on any doctrinal issues that may concern them from what I teach. But Let’s face it, Christians are going to heaven. If you are offended at what I say as a preacher, and you already know Christ, then my advice to you is to get over it. From what you proclaim, you will make it to heaven to worship with me, even if you hate my guts. Don’t get me wrong, my objective is not to offend people, but it is also not to shy away from saying what is true for fear of offending people who don’t want to face the truth. The gospel message is hope for the lost, so let’s take it to the lost. Why was Paul in Chains? Well in short, he was in chains because the self righteous religious zealots of his day claimed that he was starting a revolt… That’s why Paul asked this prayer in Ephesians, because he knew that his life could end at anytime, simply because of religious zealots who convinced the Romans that he may be starting a revolt. Let’s preach to the lost and quit worrying so much about whether or not we will offend those who already hold on to the hope of Christ.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Core Share Time

This blog is specifically for our core group members, but anyone can give some input. As you know, one thing that we want the core group to do is participate in one project per month. There are two basic types of projects that we as a core group will do. The first we call service projects. These service projects occurr when we as a core group do some sort of service looking for nothing in return but simply an opportunity to serve the you know, serve the world is the third part of our four part purpose statement. The second type is called an outreach project, and this occurs when we as a core do something to reach out and try to let the community know who we are. These outreach projects are intended to help us build a name in the community so that we as a church can more easily facilitate you as believers in reaching the lost. So, service projects are for us to serve the world and outreach projects are to help us get our name into the community. What I need from you as our core group are some specific suggestions of service and outreach projects that we can do each month. We can't do everyhing, but we would love to get some ideas. Please leave comments or email us about your ideas. Be as specific as possible. Our first two projects will have been outreach projolects, so November's will need to be a service project. We need suggestions for both types of projects. I love you guys, you are awesome!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Full steam ahead for the movie

Well, it's official. We got our licensed copy of the movie in the mail today. Any of you who read my blog regularly know that we will be showing Over The Hedge this Saturday at 7:30 at the YMCA in our first public effort to begin to build a reputation in the community with families who have young children. Have I ever mentioned that I am so excited about our partnership with the YMCA? I think that I have mentioned it a couple of times...Anyway... The Y is co-sponsoring this particular event with us and we are so so blessed to have them on board. The Y is such a wonderful organization to be partnering with. Gray, the guy in charge of the Y, has such a passion for ministry and Jesus. It is so hard for me not to jump ahead and do more than we need to be doing because there are so many possibilities for ministry when it comes to partnering with the YMCA! I'm in the office right now and I've got to finish getting my thoughts together for our staff meeting tonight. Can I just say that I love my staff! They are awesome. We are going to continue our discussion from last week about vision and direction. Last week was so productive and I anticipate just as much if not more productivity tonight in the area of vision. We frequently speak about how are hearts are broken over the lostness of our community, and that's what I love most about Matt and Eric. These two guys are truly broken hearted about lostness. By the way core group, don't forget your homework. Hey, one last thing, LOVE JESUS AND LOVE PEOPLE...THE REST WILL FOLLOW.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


The core group gathering was really great today. I enjoyed seeing everyone. It's always good to get a hug from Samantha. My ribs are still recovering. Any of you who have ever gotten a hug from Samantha know what I mean. I feel like we really got on target with our vision and I'm excited about what is next. Don't forget to give out your cards this week and to do your homework. I think that we will be back in Nehemiah next time we gather together on the 19th. I'm so excited about what I think God wants to teach us next from Nehemia. I love you guys.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


So we went to HarvestFest tonight and it was great. Great job on the stage Lee. I'm really excited about the core group meeting in the morning. We are going to talk about some things with our vision and we are going to talk about some ideas for some up coming stuff and then we will pray... See you in the morning Core.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Movies in the park after dark

I just wanted to take a minute to remind the core group about our next out reach event. We will be showing Over The Hedge at the YMCA in an effort to get our name out to families with young kids on October 11 at 7:30pm. This Sunday we will discuss some ideas about how we can make this event special and we will be talking about a lot of other things. I want to say thank you to the core group for all they have done and I'm sure will continue to do. While I'm giving thanks, I want to give huge props to quick copies. During this church plant they have been so so so supportive of us. Quick Copies, we love you guys. YMCA you guys are awesome too! We are so excited to be partnering with you guys in this next outreach event.