Wednesday, October 27, 2010
My passion in life is to help individuals live missionally. The hard part is that in order to truly live missionally you must change your lifestyle. For most of us, our faith community baggage has instilled is us an event mentality. That is we come to church, event, we go on a missions trip, event, we invite someone to a special event, event and the list goes on. Let me make it clear that all these things are good, but they are events that we build up to and they become segregated form the rest of our lives.
Missional living is really a lifestyle that we live and do 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I am having a blast helping people look at their lives and ask how can I "be the church" all week long.
In an effort to help, our church is encouraging our people to use Halloween to make a difference. We are encouraging them to leverage the fact that the entire neighborhood will come to their door and the fact that their family has the freedom to go to every door in our community.
Tomorrow night some neat things are happening, some people are getting together and inviting neighbors to a soup dinner to show they care and then passing out invitations to all the kids for our children's ministry.
Someone else is going door to door to pass out candy rather than ask for it...others are having chili and inviting others to stay and talk...
What are you doing? How are you leveraging what society is doing to make an impact for the kingdom?
I would encourage you to live missionally. Look for unique opportunities every day to share the love of Christ with those around you.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
This morning was our second official service at EC.tv. This morning was awesome. I had the privilege of serving under Chelsea Miller, our children's ministry director. Let me say, she is doing an awesome job.
This morning I had the privilege of being wild and crazy, yes wild and crazy at church. We were wild and crazy because we are excited that God has allowed us to impact children with life changing principles.
During our small group time, I got to coach 4th and 5th graders on what it means to "love the limits." They talked about limits their parents and God puts on them. They began to understand that the limits God puts on us are for our benefits. Some of the kids in my group never thought of God as loving in the "limits". I loved this morning because it reminded me that God is loving all the time. Thanks Chelsea and all the children's ministry volunteers for teaching even the adults as you serve.
The proof that we love God comes when we keep his commandments and they are not at all troublesome. I John 5:2
Monday, October 18, 2010
ExponentialChurch.tv is officially up and going. Yesterday was our first "official" Sunday morning experience. The band did a great job, "Misery" by Maroon 5 set the stage well for Gilbert's first Urban Legends talk. Chelsea did an awesome job with the kids. The impressions team and volunteers were awesome. It's now Monday and we have six more days till we do it again. I hope we are not going to sit around this week just waiting for the next awesome experience.
The vision for EC.tv is not just what happened yesterday, we are excited to be the church seven days a week. Sunday we come together to celebrate, invite, worship, learn and make God known. We are to live the rest of the week being a blessing. We desire for us to BE THE CHURCH every day of the week. How do we do this, by understanding that every day we can make a difference. Gilbert, our lead pastor, says every person wants three things, a smile, a word and an appropriate touch.
A good place to start is by understanding our words, our facial expressions and small acts of kindness can make a huge impact in the lives of people. Let me ask you to take a six day challenge, find one person each day until Sunday that you can impact with a smile, kind word and act of kindness. As you are doing this, invite them to your faith community this Sunday. Accept the challenge and you will be surprised at what happens.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
This Sunday will be a momentous day in my life. Looking back over the last several years, I know that God has been preparing me for this. The launch of ExponentialChurch.tv.
The past several months I have been part of a team that has passed out nearly 10,000 fliers and cards, Held 6 community events, two preview services, countless hours at starbucks, panera, borders and other places letting others know about what God is desiring to do, spent time preparing for lifegroups and YouMatter and too many other tasks to mention.
Gilbert has his talk prepared, (by the way, it's great, I've read it), Bill and the band have their set ready, Chelsea is ready for hundreds of kids, the serving matrix is set, we have a few more invites to make, with all of this done WHY AM I SO NERVOUS. After a restless night I realize why, I AM NOT IN CONTROL. There I said it, it is difficult when the results are not up to me. I am not saying I don't have a part in the preparation, but I realized that God has to work in the heart of people. I can't control who comes, I can only invite. I can't control who accepts Christ, I can only share. I can't control who joins LifeGroups, I can only prepare to be used by God. I can't make people serve, I can only offer service opportunities and ideas.
What can I do? I can pray and rest in the one who is in control. If you're like me, evaluate where you are putting your security.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
It's hard to believe that 12 years ago this past Saturday my wonderful, beautiful, youngest child, Caitlyn was born. She has brought joy, excitement and life to our house. I can't imagine doing life without her.
As I was thinking back, I remember the night she was born, Tammie rolled over, literally, and said it's time. I jumped out of bed and began the process of getting ready to go to the hospital.
One of the the things that had to be done was to let the set of parents that was with us know that we were leaving, they were set to watch the kids. I walked into their room and whispered, "mom, dad". I did this several times, each time I increased the volume of my voice. Finally, I reached out and touched them lightly to try and wake them up. At that moment, they bolted up and let out a scream, then the other one did the same. It was one of the times in my life where I was frightened. The response from a dead sleep startled them and then startled me. This was an exciting and frightening experience.
Twelve years later, we are embarking on another experience that is both frightening and exciting. We have spent the last 4 months preparing for this Sunday. The day that ExponentialChurch.tv will be launched. In the same way that we have watched are daughter grow, mature and become a young woman, we are excited to watch EC.tv mature, grow and multiply over the next years.
HOW ABOUT YOU? Are you excited about being a part of a faith based community that you believe over the next twelve years will mature, grow and multiply? I don't know what God's plans are for the future, want to make Him laugh, tell Him your plans. But I do know that he desires to transform the world through His people, the church. CHOOSE TO BE A PART OF A REVOLUTION today.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
"What If" is one of those questions that has always inspired and motivited me in my spiritual journey. I have found that for many this is a very disturbing question. "What if" questions almost always lead to rethinking things that are comfortable for us. For example..."what if" we changed our life to truly match what Christ desires for us...."What If" we truly believed the world could be changed through the church...."What If" we did everything within our power to introduce those who are far from God to a personal relationship with God..."What If" we viewed our possessions as tools to be used for the kingdom... I could go on an on but you get the point.
This morning at church I was once again challenged with "What If". This morning it was "What If" the church truly followed Christ missional teaching and "What If" i truly lived the pattern that Jesus lived...
I don't have all the answers but I do know that my life will be changed and my leadership will be transformed as I contemplate this question. I want you to ask yourself...WHAT IF....
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Thought I would just throw in a funny blog from a workshop I attended last night. Enjoy.
Dear Tech Support,
Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.
In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as
* Romance 9.5 and
* Personal Attention 6.5, and then installed undesirable programs such as
* NBA 5.0,
* NFL 3.0 and
* Golf Clubs 4.1.
Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system.
* Please note that I have tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.
What can I do?
First, keep in mind,
* Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while
* Husband 1.0 is an operating system.
Please enter command: ithoughtyoulovedme.html and try to download Tears 6.2 and do not forget to install the Guilt 3.0update.
* If that application works as designed, Husband1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5.
However, remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0 or Beer 6.1.
* Please note that Beer 6. 1 is a very bad program that will download the Farting and Snoring Loudly Beta.
Whatever you do, DO NOT under any circumstances install Mother-In-Law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources.)
In addition, please do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0-program .These are unsupported applications and will crashHusband 1.0.
In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve me mory and performance. We recommend
* Cooking 3.0 and
* Hot Lingerie 7.7.
Good Luck Babe!
Friday, October 1, 2010
This past week I had the privilege of attending a church multiplication workshop. The workshop was called 21st Century New Testament Churches. Terry Broadwater shared philosophical paradigms that must shift if the church is going to be truly missional in it's struggle to reach the far from God. I want to share some of these with you.
IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY MEMBER OR MINISTRY PARTNER
Membership brings about some concepts that are just not biblical. It denotes,ownership, rights, privileges and consumerism (coming to get). Christ made it clear that we have no rights (Romans 12) and the we have come to serve...do we view our churches as places where we are a minister to everyone.
IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY MISSION PROJECTS OR MISSIONAL PEOPLE
I am not saying that mission projects are not important, but our emphasis in missions must be to build up missional people. We can spend thousands of dollars on projects and not fulfill our responsibility of training people to take seriously their responsibility to bring redemption to the world.
There were many others, but these two resonated with me. Think through other shifts that we must make in order to be a 21st Century New Testament Church.
One other challenge I received that day...
WE MUST RAISE KINGS RATHER THAN SHEPHERDS
Our ideas of Shepherds is that of someone who only cares for the sheep. Those that already have a relationship with Christ. Christ has not called us to do that, he has gifted us to that, but that alone is not our mission. Rather let us look at raisins kings. Kings know how to take cities for their master. They have a confidence, not arrogance, that allows them to attempt and accomplish great things for God. Kings view their responsibilities in light of expanding the kingdom. How are we going to train the next generation leaders.
I hope this has sparked some thinking in your mind regarding Missional Churches. Continue to think, plan and dream to make God's church the most effective possible.